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gospel would not have been sent to them. Were it not so, their guilty and rebellious lives would be cut short, and sudden destruction would early come upon them. This every sinner deserves. This every sinner would inevitably experience at the very dawn of his moral existence, if God did not rejoice over the repentance and conversion of the wicked. But there is no favor conferred by such acts. They are yet unprofitable servants, and have done no more than they were under infinite obligations to do, from the first moment they learned to depart from the living God. No one can be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself. Nothing can profit him who is the sole

possessor of the universe of mind and matter. Nothing can add to his happiness, who possesses in himself an underived and inexhaustible source of blessedness. But they who become reconciled and conformed to such a being, though they may lose their present spurious ease and quiet, shall gain a good which no finite measure can reach.

It is true, that when a man becomes illuminated, renewed, and spiritually wise, he contributes essentially to benefit the world. He adds to the joy of redeemed sinners on earth and in heaven. He adds to the amount of that holy moral influence among men, which is contributing to the regeneration of this sinful and polluted world. He stands up a new light to guide the darkened and bewildered sons of earth up to heaven's unclouded and unending glories. He cannot be concealed. He cannot live unto himself, or die unto himself. And yet if we look at the grand result of his wise preference of God to the world, of the pleasures of piety to the gratifications of sin, and of eternal to temporal interests, it will be seen, that however beneficial his wisdom proved to others, he was preeminently and emphatically WISE FOR HIMSELF.

When it is asserted that he who treats with scornful neglect the salvation of the gospel, shall alone suffer the consequences, the assertion is doubtless to be understood with some qualifications. The meaning of scripture must be learned by comparing scripture with scripture-spiritual things with spiritual. One sinner destroyeth much good. No person however obscure, can neglect religion and the soul without doing something towards leading others to do the same.

Every person who shall finally, through such neglect, come short of heaven, will have contributed to some extent, to plunge others into perdition. There is a sense, then, in which all the evil which results from a man's persevering rejection of Christ and his salvation, will not come upon himself. They who despise the gospel inflict, in the present world, a most serious evil on such as do not. Scarcely any thing occasions the spiritual disciples of Christ a deeper anguish of soul, than to witness the conduct of men, favored with the means of salvation, obstinately treating it with contemptuous neglect. It was in view of such conduct, that one holy man could say-Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law. Good men, then, do now suffer from the sins of the wicked. The reproaches of them that reproach their Lord, fall upon them. But these reproaches cannot reach them beyond the grave. Nothing of the sinner's terrible retribution will ever come upon them there.

And when it is considered how wretched is the existing state of all who will not obey the truth-how inevitably true it is, that there is no peace to the wicked—and how awful is the doom which awaits them in the world to come ; it singular emphasis be said to every such one-IF THOU SCORNEST, THOU ALONE shall bear it for you. You scorn 'him on whom was laid the iniquities of us all. No circumstances shall alleviate the weight of your coming woes. You shall agonize forever, unsupported, beneath their amazing power.

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SHALT BEAR IT.

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In further illustration of the subject it is proper to inquire, when and under what circumstances it will appear, that true believers were WISE FOR THEMSELVES. It can never appear, that they were unwise; or that they did not seek and secure their highest interests. Worldly minds may pronounce their wisdom folly in sacrificing a less for a greater good. But if it is wisdom to gain a preparation for events, it must be apparent, that sincere believers have been WISE FOR THEMSELVES, at all the great points and amidst all the circumstances in the range of their being, which are suited to show the necessity and value of security against difficulties and dangers.

They who are truly wise, show that they are WISE FOR THEMSELVES in the various trials and afflictions of life. True religion or wisdom is the only solace for the troubles, the only antidote for the miseries of the present life. They who have it must stand strong, where all who have it not must fall. They who have it must rise in moral strength and purity, where all besides must sink. What is there to which men without religion, can have recourse for security and support amidst the numberless calamities that assail human condition? They can have recourse to riches. profit not in the day of wrath. Hear what an apostle says to a class of persons who had made them their confidence. Go to now, ye rich men, weep, and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted. Your gold and silver are cankered, and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as fire. Ye have heaped treasures together for the last day. What can they do to shield from miseries, that bring so much misery in their train? They cannot purchase relief from pain. They cannot yield health in sickness. They cannot buy us friends in adversity. They cannot charm away anguish from our hearts, and secure the reign of peace there. They cannot purchase back from the grave, our friends who

But they have paid the debt of nature, and gone there to moulder into dust again. What can philosophy do for us in such circumstances ? It can attempt to teach us to bear up in stern silence, in sullen apathy, in heartless fortitude, but it can give us no inward energies to list us up. It has no spiritual vision to lead us, that we may commune with invisibles, and borrow strength and peace from the unseen world. Nor is there any thing beneath the skies, could all the resources below that high world be gathered into the possession and yielded up to the disposal of men, which could contribute any thing more effectual to reach their exigencies in the afflictions of life. But they who have the religion which the gospel describes and produces, are not without something to take away the force and overwhelming power of worldly calamities. They have something which makes them patient—not stupid, not obstinate, not enthusiastic- but patient-enduring as in view of what is not seen. What if they are laid upon a sick bed, or stripped of worldly goods, or bereaved of objects of endeared affection, and left solitary and desolate, their souls are in health, their treasure is in heaven, and there they expect shortly to meet the whole family of the redeemed. What are temporal reverses to them, while they know in themselves, that they have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. What are sufferings to them, so long as they are persuaded, that the severe visitation is working for them the inheritance of immortal glory! If we contemplate spiritual christians, then, in the trying circumstances of the life that now is, we shall not fail to perceive, that even here, where the first fruits of piety only are gatheredwhere its minor benefits are shared, where its feeblest powers are exerted, there is no little gain to the subjects of true godliness, and that such as have true wisdom, evince that it is not a vain thing to be wise.

Would you behold still more convincing evidence, that he who is wise, Is WISE FOR HIMSELF, go and stand by the bed of the dying christian. The scene where one of our fellow creatures is about to leave the shores of time, and to enter on the career of everlasting retribution, in interest and solemnity, has no parallel on earth, and resembles more the scenes which the eye of faith sometimes descries amidst the coming world. When marked by po strong exhibitions of the character and feelings of the departing spirit, it is impossible to contemplate it without having our thoughts spreading their eager pinions to measure the range of its opening destiny. Yet what is in itself so full of solemn interest, and connected in our minds with every thing that can move and absorb them, is not seldom rendered doubly affecting by presenting the case of one, who affords no token of a meetness for God's right hand. In such cases, where the reason is not obscured, the conscience not seared, and all the sensibilities of the soul are awake, there is something to give us some faint impressions of the horrors of the second death. How have we seen marks of a heart that would not pray, would not confide in the divine Mercy, would not burst in penitence, while all the powers of the soul were in the posture of a stern reluctance to quit its earthly tenement. How have we seen in the burning eye balls and the despair-written features, painful presages of the quenchless fire and the deathless worm! Now look to one who is dying in the Lord. Behold he prayeth. Every breath is prayer or praise.

His hope steadily anchoring his soul beyond the fluctuations of earthly things, springs alone from confidence in the sovereignty of the divine mercy in Christ. There is no rebellion of the heart against the way of salvation. There is no shrinking back from his opening destiny. Peace, and hope, and joy beam from his eyes just closing in death, and sit in the last smile which not even dying strife” can disturb. He has no fear. His love has extinguished it. He knows that his Redeemer liveth, for he feels his presence. He knows that hea

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