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in the gospel, wholly taken up in amassing riches. When they have collected together a goodly quantity, they exult in their wealth, and seek to perpetuate their name, by building houses and barns. As soon as completed, they rejoice, and say, " Soul, thou hast much good laid up for many years ;” the world is in thy power, take thine ease, and be glad. But, in the height of their hopes, in the bloom of expectation, and the eve of enjoyment, a frightful voice cries out to them, “ this night thy soul shall be required of thee;" and then, what will this world be to thee?
A great many persons resemble Dives: they feast on the luxuries of the present time; their bodies are wasted with sensuality, and their souls polluted with iniquity; but the time of their enjoyments is very short; for, like Dives, they will soon be cut off from all they love, and with him they will vainly call for a drop of water, to cool their parched tongues.
The lover of pleasure, the worldling, cries out, Oh, thou fool! thus to talk. You may try to frighten me from my delightful course, but your
fanaticism is too obvious. Go, speak to the wind, and roar to the waves; but attempt not to tell me of that which I know more of than yourself: the world was created for my use and enjoyment; whatever is, is right; and when I am old and grey-headed, it will be time enough to think of eternity.
The infidel will also say-cease your ravings, you madman ! the world, with all its beauties and riches, is eternal; but if it be not, all things will revert to their original condition : chaos will again reign ; the soul perishes with the body, and there is no such thing as a future state of retribution.-Oh! what dreadful, awful delusions are these! God's word declares that they are so; and many of the wisest and best men, have acknowledged, and proved them such.
Sinners! you may indulge in your unbelief, and proudly make a mock at sin, but how can ye escape the damnation of hell ? You are trying to grasp the world, but cannot; you are aiming to procure all its honours, and striving to feast upon all its pleasures; but they will not satisfy you. Were it possible for you to possess worlds, and were you to live a thousand years upon their enchantments, you would be no nearer the goal of solid felicity: “ What is a
man profited if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul, or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul ?»*
Great God! arise, and assert thine own cause; convince the inhabitants of this world, that it is only a stage on which thou art accomplishing the mighty and mysterious affairs, which will usher in an awful eternity! Make every one feel, that in comparison with thee, they are poor contemptible creatures, less than nothing, and vanity. Let not the world and its riches, engross so many hearts; but lead poor sinners to seek thy kingdom, and to lay up treasures in heaven. Prepare us all, most merciful Father, for that dreadful period, when the devouring flames shall be sent forth, to set this our lovely world into one awful, tremendous conflagration. “ The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burned
* Matth. xvi. 26.