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Christ, the Son of God, which he offered in his own body for sin upon the Cross. If all this be true, who shall say that the evil of our transgressions is not great, and no longer to be palliated or denied ? If in all this the Scriptures declare no more, than what has actually occurred, then indeed, without repentance, and faith, and renovation of heart, we can have no hope towards God; but we must resign all our pretensions to the virtues in which we fondly repose our confidence; and the complete hu, miliation which the Gospel claims from us, under a sense of our unworthiness of any thing, but God's righteous anger, must be the first act by which we can look for pardon and acceptance.

If, my hearers, we claim the privilege of being imper. fect, with a plea, that a blameless obedience is impracticable to us, consider, and say, might not I, or you, or any other mortal, like ourselves, venture to promise the ratification of the privilege, provided you will define, with a precision not to be mistaken, the limit at which the plea shall stop, and be no further urged? If God were to offer you this day, in explicit terms, to be fulfilled with the unfailing fidelity of his truth, the privilege of tracing out the extent of obedience, within which you should finally be an heir of Heaven, and without which you should be an heir of Misery, do you think, while you were thus choosing for yourself, you could possibly feel safe, while you retained one principle of moral rectitude, as prescribed by the law of God, to be a ground, on which you could with safety be finally judged? Were God to offer exemption from the consequences of all the sins you ever committed, upon the condition that you should be able to select one action unexceptionably good, from all the actions of your past life, consider and say, would you have any assured trust, that you would be sayed from the final misery which should await your failure to fulfil such terms, liberal as they would be ? What, then, shall be the limit, I repeat, to which we, thankless, and inconsiderate, and presumptuous mortals shall confine our demands of indulgence in sin ?

Were I to address a few words to the young upon this occasion, the subject is not without sentiments peculiarly appropriate to you. You, my young friends, are pro. fessedly, and conspicuously engaged in the pursuit of all that may give perfection to your character. To give you perfection ? you may ask. Yes, it is the object of education to impart every qualification, which may fit you to act your part with the utmost efficacy, with a view to usefulness, and true honour, and dignity, and consistency among your fellow men.

It is its object to present you to your friends, to society, to your country, and to the world, as good relations, good neighbours, good patriots; and every talent, and all knowledge, and all skill, are but little understood, if this be not considered their end. But how shall the endowments of the mind, and all personal qualifications, have the greatest assurance, and the most essential aids given them for the accomplishment of these purposes, but through the influence of an unfailing principle of rectitude ? If you have not yet laid it down as a certain truth, you have yet to learn, and the world will practically teach it to you, that the only basis upon which you can efficiently build up a structure of merit, and excellence, and happiness, in personal qualities, that shall recommend you to God and man, is the reformation of the heart, with an understanding enlightened and directed by a moral system, that will never be the advocate of sin, in whatever captivating or imposing form it may offer itself. Such a system is to be found, I know not where, if it be not exhibited to us in the life and the discourses of Jesus Christ, and in the doctrines and principles of his kingdom.

It is not to be imagined that Christians lay claim, God forbid that they should be so ignorant and presumptuous as to do it, to an actual attainment of the perfection to which they are called.

Hear what one of the greatest models which Christianity ever produced in our nature, has said of himself. “Not as though I had already attained, either were al“ ready perfect. But this one thing I do, forgetting those “things, which are behind, and reaching forth unto those 6 things, which are before, I press toward the mark for “ the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

This is the great scope of the Gospel ; in this is its su. perior excellency. It gives us the perfect system of moral principles; it calls us to the persevering pursuit of this in the present life; it alone furnishes us the means by which we can successfully advance; it provides for our deliverance from the consequences of sin, and it raises us, at length, to the glory and perfection of Heaven.

It is only in the correct views of the Gospel, in repentance of sin, in habitual converse with God, and in a life habitually governed by the precepts and maxims of God's holy word, that the perfection to which Christians are called, consists; at this perfection, we should be continu. ally aiming; and if we are Christians indeed, then it will follow, that, “ whatsoever things are just, whatsoever " things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever

things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, or if " there be any praise,we will think of these things and 66 do them."

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SERMON II.

ON THE GUILT AND DANGER OF DELAYING TO KEEP GOD'S

COMMANDMENTS.

PSALM CXIX. 60. "I made haste and delayed not to keep thy Commandments." AMONG the moral phenomena observable in the character of man, no one is more remarkable, than his propensity to put off the consideration and the performance of his religious duties. When St. Paul reasoned before Felix, “ of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come,” that wicked and worldly minded man, conscience struck and trembling, bade the Apostle go his way for that time, promising to send for him when he found it convenient. But we are not told that he ever found it convenient to hear him again on those subjects. And the conduct of Felix is but too true a specimen-too faithful a picture, of the conduct of a large portion of the human race.

Some, when young, flattering themselves with long life, find it an easy matter to persuade themselves, for they think it self evident, that they have time enough to become religious. After they are advancing from full maturity in the journey of life, much the same opinion obtains. And even when age and infirmities proclaim their approach to the tomb, death appears to them but in distant prospective, and religion a consideration of secondary importance. The subject which, one would think, would be nearest their hearts, seems to be least capable of engaging their attention; and the longer they

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live, the less they appear to think of dying. While their bodies are on the very point of entering the harbour of Eternity, their thoughts and affections are still tost about on the wide ocean of life: and nothing but the visible advent of the King of terrors, can awake them from their guilty slumbers.

Others again have never made religion the subject of a moment's reflection. Gay, thoughtless, full of business, full of cares, eager in their chace after the pleasures of life, or engaged in the pursuits of ambition, the interests of eternity are always kept out of view. To serious religious thoughts they are utter strangers: and if the subject should occur or be mentioned to then, it will be received, as Felix received the observations of St. Paul. The truths of God will pass through their ears, without leaving a trace behind-they will glance from their hearts, as does a ray of light from a block of marble. Or if they should occasion the least uneasiness, it is immediately removed, by the resolution, I will consider this matter as soon as I can get time. But they manage so as never to get time for this purpose.

Now, this delay, and procrastination, in matters of religion, is most absurd, iniquitous, and fatal. When God commands, who could think, it would ever enter the heart of man, to disobey ? Whence could so impious a thought proceed? One would suppose that a reasonable being would, as soon, armed with a fire-brand, leap into a magazine of gunpowder, as to dare, in any instance, to run counter to Jehovah's orders. What! not attend to the directions of the dread Sovereign of the skies, whose frown is death? Had you not much better bare your bosom to the vollied lightning? Had you not much better sink, through the yawning earth, to her very centre ? And yet, it is to be feared, there are some of you,

who have paid no more attention to the commands of the great

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