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ven will soon be his home, because he has sought no other, is educated for no other, has a taste for no other, and faithful is he that promised. His inward consolations more than counterbalance all the agonies of dissolving nature. And as he languishes into life, his feelings prompt the song-O death, where is thy sting0 grave, where is thy victory! While we thus mark the contrast between one dying without hope, and one dying in the Lord, shall we not acknowledge, that the genuine christian shows in his final hour, that he is WISE FOR HIMSELF?

There is yet another point in the range of man's being, when those who are wise unto salvation, will evince their wisdom to be a personal benefit to them of incalculable worth. It is the day of the final revelation of all things. One of the great ends of this ultimate disclosure, is to present to the universe marks of their wisdom, who secure the one thing needfulchoose the good part—buy the pearl of great price. These marks will be revealed not only by unfolding the history of their religious course on earth, but by exhibiting the issúe of that course—the end of their faith.

And by such a developement it will be seen, that while they have not been living to themselves, they have been wise FOR THEMSELVES—while they have not sought their own, but the things of Christ, they have gained as the gracious reward of him whose interest they labored to promote, the glories and felicities of heaven. By despising the riches, the honors, and the pleasures of the world, they will be seen to have gained the durable riches, the unfading honors, and the pure satisfying and endless pleasures of the upper world. The scriptures, though by no means minute in their details of the amazing proceedings of the judgment day, are sufficiently explicit to apprise us, that while the wise, and the great, and the renowned among men, if destitute of inward piety, are sentenced to outer and eternal darkness and sorrows, the most unknowing and obscure child of God,

who has made choice of his favor as better than life, shall be welcomed by the Judge of quick and dead, to the inheritance of that kingdom which was allotted to such, in the counsels of eternity. Then they that be wise, shall shine as the brightness of the firmament forever and ever. If then, you would have a full impression of the personal benefits of piety, in the light of revelation, anticipate the disclosures and decisions of the last day. See how nothing but saving piety or true wisdom, gains the acceptance and the rewards of the heart searching Judge. But behold how that, whatever be its attendants, secures for its possessor, a place in the mansions of heavenly love, purity, and peace. Follow in thought that accepted and glorified saint along the stretch of his eternal progression in light, and knowledge, and holiness, and blessedness; and say—is not HE THAT IS WISE, WISE FOR HIMSELF.

Much as others may be benefited by his example, do not the great and more important advantages of his religion, come to himself? Is not his the whole of the promised everlasting recompense of reward?

The proper illustration of the subject, requires that it be briefly considered in what sense, and when, he that scorns the offers of mercy and the blessings of religion, shall suffer the consequences alone. It belongs to the nature of sin, that he who commits it, should suffer the most from it. Sin and suffering belong together. It is impossible to break their union. But there is entailed on the commission of sin something more than what may be called its natural consequences. God has threatened the infliction of punishment on those who sin. The meaning of the text is, that he who scornfully neglects the offers of salvation made in the gospel, shall be punished for it. As such a rejection of such a blessing, indicates the independent actings of one's own mind and heart, whosoever is guilty of it, though others may have remotely contributed to the sin, yet the sin is his own, the result of his own unconstrained act, and he

ALONE SHALL BEAR IT.

He may have had those associated with him—he may have had parents and relatives, who had a guilty agency in leading him to this course, for which they will suffer punishment, unless they become penitent. But the course he pursued was his own chosen way, and none but himself share the iniquity and the punishment of it. Nor does the man, who goes on from year to year, to treat with contemptuous neglect the messages of mercy and salvation, by any means escape now in his fearful advances towards final ruin, something of that private, personal, solitary endurance of his own sin in this respect. He bears it at all those points and in all those circumstances in his mortal career, which are especially suited to show him his need of the religion he scorns. He bears it in the privacies of his own bosom, when he finds himself without any thing to sustain him amidst the reverses of life. He bears it, when he sinks overwhelmed by the billows of worldly trouble. He will bear it in this way, when he stands on the verge of a coming world, and when all his hopes from the present are vanished. But especially will those who scorn the salvation of the gospel, feel the weight of the punishment of their sins, when at the final day, they perceive that they have madly rejected and despised the only being in the universe, by whose

gracious assistance they could be prepared for that trying hour. And thenceforth forevermore, will each one of them know what it is to bear the punishment of their unreasonable and presumptuous wickedness, in new elements of woe, always beginning and never ending.

We may see from this subject, that it is not a vain thing to be truly wise. No one can be so, and not do much to bless a world still lying in wickedness. He will be a constant reproof of the folly and wickedness of such as depart from God and despise the Saviour. It is however, in reference to the personal advantages of being wise, that I chiefly speak. Wisdom is a defence. It secures from dangers that throng the path of human life. It proves a munition of rocks against the assaults of every foe to the soul. It is a support. Nothing but religion can bear up the soul through the multiplied troubles of life. If it proves not here to be an effectual cure for all the miseries of man, it affords the only alleviation which human sorrows know.

It yields benefits, where nothing else can. It fills the dying man with unearthly joys. It makes all the terrors of death vanish. It spreads light through the gloom of the grave. It gives the soul pinions to mount upwards from the sins and darkness of earth to the unending enjoyment of the holiness and happiness of heaven. In a word, it makes and peoples heaven. The grand results of its benefits are to be measured by eternity. Human languagecreated things cannot represent them.

But if we are wise we shall know them, for we shall be WISE FOR OURSELVES; and all the ineffable results will be measured by our own everlasting progression in bliss and glory! Who will not be wise?

The subject teaches us, that every individual in an important and interesting sense, determines his own destiny. If he will incline his ear unto wisdom, and applý his heart to understanding-if he will cry after kenowledge, and lift up his voice for understanding-if he will seek her as silver, and search for her as for hid treasures ; then shall he understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. But if, on the contrary, he neglects such a pursuit of religion-if he refuses and disregards the calls of mercy-if he sets at nought the counsel, and despises the reproof of the Saviour, then shall he eat of the fruit of his own way, and be filled with his own devices. Now every man may thus successfully seek the purity and happiness of religion. No one is obliged to treat the subject with scornful indifference and neglect. But if he does, the fault, the guilt, and the punishment will be alone chargeable to himself, He will achieve his own ruin. He will bring upon him

self the threatened swift destruction. Will you consider this, all ye who are living estranged from God, in disobedience io his law, and in the stubborn rejection of his proffered salvation ? Hear the kind expostulations of the Saviour whom you neglect. How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity, and the scorners light in scorning, and fools hate knowledge. Turn you at my reproof: behold I will pour out my spirit unto you,

I will make known my words unto you. From the subject may be learned the nature of the retribution, which is to be measured out to man in the future world. It will be personal. Every one shall give an account of himself unto God. Every one shall receive the thing done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. He that shall then be found to have been wise, though he lived in the midst of heathen ; though he was alone in an ungodly community ; though he dwelt in a household that called not on the name of God, shall receive according to his own personal character, and not according to the character of those around. He shall be seen to have been wise FOR HIMSELF, though all his kindred and associates continued to despise his religion and his God. So likewise, shall he that delighted in his scorning, though he was the child of believing parents, and of many prayers, though he was educated in the ways of religion, though he mingled in society with spiritual christians, BEAR ALONE his awful retribution. The piety and prayers of parents and friends, will not help him then. He will share no more in their sympathies. They cannot, if they would, and doubtless would not, if they could, intercede for him and attempt to lessen the weight of his woes. No, these circumstances, as they served to aggravate his guilt, will tend to deepen the horrors of his hell! This is neither fancy nor fiction. It is the plain and eternal truth of God. And now, perishing sinners of every description, you may be WISE FOR

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