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these demonstrate that wisdom hath but few disciples. This is what we undertook to prove.

5. But all this is only supposition. What will you say, if by discussing the fifth article we apply the subject! And if, instead of saying, Had you lived in the days of the ancient Jews, you would have rejected the ministry of Jesus Christ, as they rejected it; we should tell you, you actually do reject it, as they did ? This proposition hath nothing hyperbolical in it in regard to a great number of you. Nothing more is necessary to prove it, than a list of the most essential maxims of the morality of the gospel, and a comparison of them with the opposite notions which such christians form.

For example, it is a maxim of the gospel, that virtue doth not consist in a simple negation ; but in something real and positive. In like manner, in regard to the employment of time. What duty is more expressly commanded in the gospel ? What duty is more closely connected with the great end for which God hath placed us in this world? Is not the small number of years, are not the few days, which we pass upon earth given us to prepare for eternity? Doth not our eternal destiny depend on the manner in which we spend these few days and years on earth? Yet to see christians miserably consume upon nothings the most considerable parts of their lives, would tempt one to think that they had the absolute disposal of an inexhaustible fund of duration.

The delaying of conversion would afford another subject, proper to shew the miserable art of the greatest part of mankind, of shutting their eyes against the clearest truths; and of hardening themselves against the most powerful motives. Have not all casuists, even they who are the most opposite to each other on all other articles, agreed in this? we live ; but according to the manner in which we die ? Have they not agreed in representing to us the inability of dying people to meditate with any degree of application; and, in a manner, the impossibility of being entirely renewed on a dying bed ; and yet, do not the greater number of christians, even of those whose piety seems the most genuine, defer a great part of the work of their salvation to a dying hour? If you think I color the corruption of the age too strongly, answer me one question. Whence proceeds our usual fear of sudden death ? Since the last stages of life are general. ly the most fatiguing; since the reliefs that are applied then are so disgustful; since parting adieus are so exquisitely painful; since slow agonies of death are so intolerable; why do we not consider sudden death as the most desirable of all advantages ? Why is it not the constant object of our wishes ? Why doth a sudden death terrify a whole city? Is it not because our consciences tell us, that there remains a great deal to be done on our death-beds; and that we have deferred that work to the last period of life, which we ought to have performed in the days of vigor and health ? Let us enter into these discussions, and we shall find, that it doth not belong to us, of all people, to exclaim against the obstinacy and infidelity of the Jews.

I have run this disagreeable parallel, I own, with great reluctance. However, the inference from the whole, methinks is very plain. The multitude ought to be no rule to us. We ought rather to imitate the example of one good christian, than that of a multitude of idiots, who furiously rush into eternal misery. They who rebel against the doctrines of Jesus Christ, are idiots; they who submit to them, are wise men. If the first class

exceed the last, beyond all comparison in number, they ought to have no influence over our lives. If the sınallest be the wise'st class, we are bound to imitate them. Thus Jesus Christ reasons: Whereunto shall I liken the men of this generation? And to what are they like? They are like unto children sitting in the market place, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not wept. For John the Baptist came nezther eating bread, nor drinking wine ; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of Man is come eating and drinking ; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of all her children, Luke vii. 31, &c.

There were but very few of the Jews who entered into the spirit of the gospel ; as I own there are but few of those who are called Christians, who enter into it: but they are the wise and rational part of mankind. Jesus Christ himself hath determined it. Wisdom is justified of all her children. This is not the opinion of a declaimer ; this is the axiom of a philosopher; an axiom that carries its proof and demonstration with it.

Who were those Jews who resisted the powerful exhortations of Jesus Christ, and the clear evidence of his miracles? They were idiots who imagined God would suffer all the laws of nature to be interrupted to favor falshood, and to authorize an impostor: idiots who thought Satan would oppose himself, and would himself lend his power to a man, whose doctrine had no other end than the subversion of his empire: idiots, who annihilated prophecy under a pretence of giving it a sublime meaning: idiots, who knew not the true interests of mankind; who could not perceive, that


to put riches and grandeurs into the possession of men, whose dispositions, like theirs, were unrenewed, was to put daggers and death into madmen's hands : idiots, who for a great number of years had lightnings flashing in their eyes, and thunders roaring in their ears; but who coolly endeavord to shut their eyes, and to stop their ears, till the tempest struck them dead, and reduced them to ashes.

What is the character of a modern infidel, who prefers a system of irreligion before the system of christianity? He is an idiot, a man, who voluntarily shuts himself against evidence and truth: a man, who under pretence that all cannot be explained to him, determines to deny what can; a man, who cannot digest the difficulties of religion ; but can digest those of scepticism ; a man, who cannot conceive how the world should owe its existence to a Supreme Being; but can easily conceive how it was formed by chance. On the contrary, What is the character of a believer? He is a wise man; a child of wisdom ; a man, who acknowledgeth the imperfections of his nature: a man who, knowing by experience the inferiority and uncertainty of his own conjectures, applies to revelation: a man, who, distrusting his own reason, yields it up to the direction of an infallible Being, and is thus enabled, in some sense, to see with the eyes of God himself.

What is the character of a man, who refuseth to obey this saying of Jesus Christ, No man can serve two masters ? Matt. vi. 24. He is an idiot : he is a man, who, by endeavoring to unite the joys of heaven with the pleasures of the world, deprives himself of the happiness of both; he is a man who is always agitated between two opposite parties, that makes his soul a seat of war, where virtue and vice are in continual fight. On the

contrary, what is the character of a man, who obeys this saying of Jesus Christ ? He is a man, who, after he hath applied all the attention, of which he is capable, to distinguish the good from the bad, renounceth the last, and embraceth the first : a man, who, having felt the force of virtuous motives, doth not suffer himself to be imposed on by sensual sophisms : a man, who, judgeth of truth and error by those infallible marks, which characterize both; and not by a circulation of the blood, a flow, or a dejection, of animal spirits, and by other similar motives, which, if I may be allowed to say so, make the whole course of the logic, and the whole stock of the erudition, of the children of this world.

What is the character of the man, who refuseth to obey this command of Jesus Christ, Lay not up treasures upon earth ; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also ? Matt. vi .19. 21, He is a man, who fixeth his hopes on a sinking world : a man, who forgets that death will spoil him of all his treasures : a man, who is blind to the shortness of his life : a man, who is insensible to the burden of old age, even while it weighs him down; who never saw the wrinkles that disfigure his countenance; a man who is deaf to the voice of universal nature, to the living, the dying, and the dead, who in concert cry, Remember, thou art mortal! On the contrary, what is the character of him, who obeys this command of Jesus Christ? It is wisdom. The man is one, who elevates his hopes above the ruins of a sinking world : a man who clings to the rock of ages; who buildeth his house on that rock; who sendeth all his riches before him into eternity; who maketh God, the great God, the depository of his happiness : a man who is the same in every turn of times, be

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