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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

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"ing of the hands to sleep,"-the sentence may

actually be gone 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 "shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at "the judgment than for you."

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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 superstifion; kept in the dark about those things which

are of the greatest importance to the eternal happiness of their souls, buried in ignorance, and, O wretched condition, deprived of the means of discovering truth, the scourge of temporal power, tyrannically lording it over the judgment and consciences of men--and others, in the depths of divine wisdom, are visited with a famine of the word, have " the glad tidings of the gospel" administered to them with a sparing hand, who wish and long for one of the " days of the Son of Man," and cannot obtain it; who would with gladness, with transport, enjoy the blessing of a gospel sabbath, or communion solemnity, but it is far from them-and while a great proportion of the human race is still lost in pagan idolatry, upon whom the glorious light that hath visited us never yet dawned; we enjoy the gospel dispensation in its purity, in its simplicity, and in abundance, in the greatest abundance. If we could suppose the divine favour under the gospel capable of being confined to any one particular nation or people, we are that happy people so highly favoured of the Lord, who have" line upon "line, precept upon precept, here a little and "there a little;" among whom, for a long course of years, the kingdom of the Redeemer has been supported and maintained with that energy, that plainness and power which has often made us


the envy of our neighbours.

"Have we not


heard, and have not our fathers told us, nay, "have we not seen with our own eyes, the great "things which God hath wrought for us; how he "hath watered us with the dew of heaven, and "all his paths have dropped fatness upon us ?"But, alas, has our fruitfulness been answerable to this distinguishing goodness--as "God has been "rich in mercy towards us," have we abounded in all the fruits of righteousness towards him? has this grace of God, which has appeared in so remarkable a manner, led us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, and righteously and godly in the present world? It is too evident that it has not. And here let every one, instead of looking around him, to observe where he may fix his charge, come home to himself, cast his eyes upon his own heart, and there give the challenge, addressing himself in the words of Nathan to David, "Thou art the man. Thou standest convicted at the bar of a just and holy God. Thou hast offended against much light, and against much love. Thou hast wearied out the patience and long-suffering of a merciful God, and what hast thou to plead why sentence should not speedily be executed against thee? Knowing, therefore, the terrors of the Lord," be persuaded to awaken to a sense of your duty,


that being no longer " unprofitable hearers of the "word, but doers of the will of God, you may be "blessed in your deed:" and if you would" bring "forth fruit unto God," and to eternal life, close, by a sincere and lively faith, with the Redeemer, as he is freely offered to us in the gospel; for out of him "God is a consuming fire;" out of him, all our fruit, however specious, however outwardly fair, is but like the vine of Sodom, and as the clusters of Gomorrah. There are two stocks into which men are ingrafted; the stock of nature, "the old man, which is corrupt according to the "lusts of the flesh," and the stock Christ, the second Adam, "the new man, which after God " is created in righteousness and true holiness;" and according as we are built upon the one or other of these foundations, will be the fruit we produce. "Do men gather grapes of thorns, or "figs of thistles? Christ is the true vine, and his "father is the husbandman." As we, therefore, have the name of Christ marked upon us, as we profess to be his disciples and followers, let us live as becomes the gospel of Christ. God forbid that any of us should satisfy himself with an empty lifeless profession, with a mere external form of christianity, while our hearts still remain insensible to the life, the spirit, and the power of it: God forbid that we should remain care

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