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I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, why callest thou me good ? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal; do not bear false witness, defraud not, honour thy father and mother. And he answered, and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus, beholding him, loved him, and said unto him, one thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up thy cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: · for he had great possessions.” Here is a remarkable instance of the extent to which the amiable qualities of our human nature may be carried, without saving religion. This young man had adhered strictly to the letter of all, his social and relative duties ; neither his relajums nor any in his neighbourhood could bring the smallest cause of complaint against him ; it was impossible for any man of tender and affectionate feelings to know him, and not to love him. Jesus loved him, as man.

But observe how all this may exist, and yet the heart be alienated from God, the first and great commandment habitually broken, the affections fixed on the creature more than on the Creator. His treasure, and therefore his heart

was in this world, and he went away sorrowful, because he had great possessions.

Surely, my beloved brethren, this should excite serious self-examination in us all. Where is our treasure hid? Where are our hearts fixed ? On what foundation are we building for everlasting glory? If we could remain just as we are at present in this world: if we could have our comfortable food to eat and clothing to put on; our houses to dwell in, our occupations to follow, our friends to converse with, and our health to enjoy all these things: and if we could retain them for ever, then we might with some apparent reason turn a deaf ear to the subject now before us. But we cannot: the King is at hand: neither riches, nor poverty ; neither youth, nor age; neither health nor sickness ; neither information nor ignorance ; neither talents nor stupidity; neither morality nor profaneness; neither piety nor infidelity ; nothing can shield us from the iron grasp of death. He hath seized those who worshipped in this house before we were born; the tongue of the preacher, and the ears of the hearer, have become his prey; and now his unsatisfied, unwearied hand is stretched over us, to close at the first beckoning of Jehovah's will, and rivet us in his cold embrace.

Death is at the door, and after death, judgment. The King shall scrutinize the guests. Then there will be no carelessness, no carnal apathy, no unbelieving disregard of this weighty subject. There will be no houses or farms, or merchandize, or friends, or children, to occupy the attention, and leave the soul in a state of neutrality, to the issue of that scrutiny. No! then will eager interest, unutterable anxiety flash in every eye, and every guest who shall be found without a wedding garment shall be cast into a lake of fire. The wrath of God shall be indelibly engraven upon him. Not even the furious flames of hell shall erase from his forehead that unchangeable sentence of everlasting damnation : weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. The never dying worm, the never quenching flame, these shall be his portion for ever, for ever. You cannot be indifferent to this subject then my

brethren. 0, be wise, therefore, and give your best attention to it now ; for many are called, but few are chosen.

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SERMON XVI.

ON THE COMING OF JESUS CHRIST TO JUDGE

THE WORLD.

MALACHI 111. 1, 2.

" Behold he shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts : 1: But who may abide the day of his coming ? and

who shall stand when he appeareth ?

MALACHI was the last of the Jewish prophets, and lived about four hundred years before the birth of Christ. The Jews in his time had a strong expectation of the coming of their promised Messiah ; and it was part of Malachi's commission to confirm this expectation, announcing somewhat more distinctly, what Isaiah had already foretold, concerning the Lord's forerunner, John the Baptist. hold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare thy way before me.” These words are expressly applied by St. Mark, * to the person and preaching of the Baptist; and, then adds the prophet,

“ the Lord whom ye seek,

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Mark i. 2.

shall suddenly come to his temple: even the Messenger of the covenant whom ye delight in, behold he shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts."

But Malachi had a further commission. There were then, as there are now, various characters amongst those who professed to know and serve God, to believe his prophets, and wait for the coming of his Son. Some were true of heart; sincerely worshipping Jehovah, and anxiously looking for the arrival of the promised deliverer: to these, his coming would be a subject of great delight. Others, who professed the same, were unrenewed in the spirit of their mind; and whatever appearances they might put on, were really unconcerned, to say the least of it, about both God and his prophet: to these, the coming of the Messiah would be the occasion of inevitable detection, and most terrific exposure.

“Who may abide the day of his coming ? and who shall stand when he appeareth ? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap.

These are strong images to represent the separation of the pure metal from the dross, the clean from the unclean ; the precious from the vile, the righteous from the wicked, which would assuredly take place upon the coming of the long-expected Holy One of Israel.

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