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persons of both sexes, of all ages, professions, and degrees, submitting with the utmost cheerfulness to contempt, reproach, hatred, persecution, tortures, and death, in behalf of that very religion which in our days is received by the generality of men with coolness and indifference. To what

. can this be owing? not, surely, to any change that has taken place in the thing itself; its truth and importance “ are the same yesterday, to-day," and will be so “ for ever.” The encouragement to it, with us, is greater than ever it was in any age or country; religion is so far from being checked and oppressed by worldly power and authority, that on the contrary these are employed to support and defend, nay, to promote and exalt it. Yet even in such happy circumstances, when it might reasonably be expected that, in the psalmist's language, “ the zeal of God's house" should “ devour” his professing people, instead of that we meet with nothing but a stupid inattention to, or at most a very lukewarm reception of, those eternal truths which primitive christians maintained with their blood. Under this character are comprehended not only those who are absolutely and professedly indifferent about religion, whose lives are a downright, open contradiction to the gospel, but likewise all those who, though free from gross and notorious immoralities, go on in a sluggish and inconsiderate course, who sit down contented to be “ without God in the s world”—who feel themselves under the reigning power of “ the carnal mind, which is enmity

against God," and, consequently, know themselves to be in the “ broad way that leadeth to “ destruction;" but have learned the unhappy art of saying to themselves, “ peace, peace, when “ there is no peace;" who under the stupifying influence of this fatal enemy of souls, despise the Saviour, and overlook the means which God has in infinite mercy provided to conduct them to eternal life. While open profanity kills its thousands, indolence and inconsideration may justly be said to kill their ten thousands. There is more hope of the profane and the profligate, than of the slothful and indolent: the former may be, and frequently are, reclaimed; but the case of the others is truly dangerous, if not desperate, as their very situation renders them incapable of attend. ing to what might prove beneficial to them.-The life of a christian is active, laborious, unquiet, is exposed to many hardships and incon. veniencies which others are strangers to, and is deprived of many comforts and enjoyments which are agreeable to nature: it is, in a particular man

ner, inconsistent, absolutely inconsistent with carelessness and indolence, however fond some may be of reconciling them together. The most paltry enjoyments of this world are not to be purchased without diligence, without trouble ; and accordingly we find, through all the professions and employments of life, that those who design, who desire to prosper, lay their account with toil and unrest, in the prosecution of their several plans, They “ rise up early and go late s to rest, they eat the bread of carefulness;" and is it to be supposed, that the kingdom of heaven is attainable by a few faint endeavours or lazy wishes? No; “ the kingdom of heaven suffereth “ violence, and the violent take it by force ;' it is “ they that wait upon the Lord,” in the diligent and conscientious exercise of their duty, to whom it is promised that “ they shall renew their “ strength.”—“Strive," says our blessed Lord, « to enter in at the strait gate, for verily I say “ unto you, that many shall strive to enter in, « and shall not be able :” and if the righteous hardly are saved, where shall the sinner and the ungodly, the careless and the indolent appear? But it is almost useless to attempt moving persons of this unhappy character by argument. " Like the deaf adder, they have stopped their

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ear against the voice of the charmer ;" in them is fulfilled that awful word by the prophet Isaiah, “ Hear ye indeed but understand not; and see

ye indeed but perceive not ;"_" the heart of “ this people is fat, and their ears are heavy, and “ their eyes are shut.”. If it were possible to rouse them for a little, nothing more alarming could be urged than the consideration in the text, the fearful doom denounced against every unprofitable hearer of the everlasting gospel“ Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground?” a sentence which might strike like a peal of thunder the ears of the greater part of the attenders on public ordinances. Allow me, therefore, as the improvement of what has been said, to call upon you and myself, to beseech you by the tender mercies of God, to be deeply humbled before him, the great sovereign and judge of all the earth, under a just conviction of fruitlessness and unprofitableness, notwithstanding the signal advantages with which we have been favoured: and let us tremble to think, that possibly while we are indulging in schemes of vanity, contriving how we may impose upon the world and upon ourselves, or are stretched upon the bed of sloth, wishing with the sluggard for “ a little more « sleep, a little more slumber, a little more fold

ing of the hands to sleep,”--the sentence may actually be gone forth against us.

forth against us. We may be given up to “ an evil heart of unbelief,” to final hardness and impenitence of heart, or our days may be cut off in the midst, while we are still strangers to God, at enmity with him-stout “ hearted, and far from righteousness-cut down “ as barren cumberers of the ground: and as the tree falleth so will it lie for ever; for there is no

work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom “ in the grave, whither we are all fast hasting.” “ Wo unto thee, Chorazin, wo unto thee, Beth« saida,” says our Lord, concerning those sinful cities which were blessed with his personal presence while upon earth, “ for if the mighty works had “ been done in Tyre and Sidon which have been “ done in you, they had a great while ago re“ pented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it ff shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at “ the judgment than for you.”

We, in this happy land of gospel light and liberty of conscience, are no less the distinguished objects of the divine favour and love, than if our Saviour in person taught in our streets. While one part of the christian world is subjected to the tyranny of priestcraft, bigotry, and superstition; kept in the dark about those things which

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