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endless sorrow. Only just to fail of heaven, is completely and forever to make our bed in hell !

2. The subject teaches us, that professed attachment to Christ greatly heightens the guilt of sin, and renders an indulgence in it singularly dangerous. : Committed under such circumstances, sin is the violation of higher obligations, the rejection of stronger claims, the resistance of a greater number and weight of motives, and, consequently, the mark of a deeper depravity of heart. It is the first and great duty of all men to cherish a sincere and unalterable attachment to Christ. But it can never be the duty of any to profess such an attachment, when it is not really felt. They who sin against Christ after such a profession, therefore, break asunder the very bonds which they themselves had voluntarily wound around them, throw off the restraints which they had placed themselves under, and add to all the aggravated sins which the circumstance serves to increase, the sin of base and wilful hypocrisy. But what aggravates the sin of the professed followers of Christ, is that it is sin against light and knowledge. They cannot plead necessary ignorance of his character and laws. They must know that his service, and obedience to him, are compatible with the truest freedom and essential to the purest happiness—they must know, that in sinning they wrong their own souls and despise their own mercy. Again, the guilt and aggravation of their sin is to be estimated by the superior evil it does, when committed by those of the Saviour's household. They, of all others, can most grievously wound his cause by betraying his interests. One sinner, any where, destroyeth much good ; but no where, so much, as when that sinner belongs to the professed disciples of Christ. Nor need it scarcely be added, that as sin thus committed gathers about it peculiar guilt, so its indulgence under these circumstances is unspeakably perilous. Few in the church of Christ, who resist and harden themselves against the easy yoke of Christ, we are constrained to conclude, are ever the subjects of his salvation. Nor, as theirs is no ordinary guilt, is theirs a common perdition. As they break asunder stronger ties of obliga tion, so they wear heavier chains of darkness in the dungeon of eternal despair. As they venture to obtrude themselves into the holiest community on earth, so they sink to the deepest gulf in hell! Let all bypocrites in Zion remember the end of Judas, and warned by his doom, escape while there may yet be hope.

3. No one can ultimately gain any thing by sinning against Christ. They, indeed, who do this, have their reward. But it is a wretched profit, as contemplated in the light and estimated by the standard of the present world. They who covet and obtain it, find in the end, as Judas did, that it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder. Whatever it be that leads men to sin against the Saviour, whether it be profit, or pleasure, or worldly reputation, its emptiness and worthlessness will be, in measure, revealed, long before the revelation of all things. Before men die, and in the view of speedy death, they lose their relish for these things, and see their bitter mistake in preferring them to the service and salvation of Christ. They often stand stripped of every thing which they then can deem valuable on the brink of eternity, and are shoved out of life with unavailing endeavors to exchange what through life they had clung to, for the favor and friendship of the Saviour. But no sinner fully knows in this world, how much he loses, by preferring the reward of iniquity to the enjoyment of God. But we may know enough from the example of some and the declarations of inspired truth, to safely conclude, that nothing can be ultimately gained, but every thing truly valuable must be lost, by those who sin against the Redeemer of lost man!

And now, my beloved hearers, are any of you willing to take up with the reward of Judas? If you are not, you must hasten to cast it

away from you. For if

you are actually preferring a course of sin to a life of faith and self-denial, you are clinging to the same thing in substance which disappointed this false disciple, and drove him to despair and perdition. If you are not sincerely and deeply repentant, if you do not cordially renounce the practice and the profits of sin—if you do not give up your whole souls with affectionate and unwavering confidence to Christ and his cause you are following in the old way which Judas trod. Ponder on this subject. You have an unspeakable concern in it. It is a terrible calamity, which no language can describe, to fail of salvation !

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AND IMMEDIATELY, WHILE HE YET SPAKE, THE COCK CREW.

AND THE LORD TURNED, AND LOOKED UPON PETER; AND PETER REMEMBERED THE WORD OF THE LORD, HOW HE HAD SAID UNTO HIM, BEFORE THE COCK CROW, THOU SHALT TENY ME THRICE. AND PETER WENT OUT AND WEPT BITTERLY.

a

That decisive act, which marks the recovery

of real believer from a state of guilty aberration from duty and happiness, possesses points of remarkable interest. Such an event not only furnishes a delightful confirmation of the eat truth, that no one who has been the subject of spiritual views and affections, shall ever be wrested from the hand of almighty Grace, but illustrates the nature of those exercises which are peculiar to the children of God. The passage just repeated, is the faithful record of an event of this kind, connected with such incidents and circumstances, as serve to show what the important act is, which must ever be involved in a sinner's truly turning to the Lord. Early in our Saviour's ministry, the apostle Peter was favored with views of his character, which belong not to the discoveries of natural reason, To an inquiry which our Lord addressed to his disciples respecting his person and character, Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. It seems to have been in reference to this belief, so contrary to the prevailing opinions of men, and this confession so unhesitating and heart-felt, that this disciple was surnamed Peter. And Jesus answered and said, Blessed art thou, Simon, Barjona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. That isThou art a rock-strong, stable, and not shaken by the fluctuating opinions respecting me—and upon this rock—-upon such a belief and such a profession of this great truth, I build

my

church. Yet this disciple, who was enabled thus to believe and confess Christ before men, was subsequently left to fall. It belongs not to the plan of the present discourse, to go into an examination of the causes and the progress of his guilty defection. His naturally ardent and impetuous temperament, doubtless, had an agency in leading to the great sin of denying his Lord. rash in his determinations, and confident in his opinions. His fearlessness of danger carried him beyond the reach of self-control. When it was too late, he found that, because his zeal had not been coupled with a humble reliance on divine aid, and his courage tempered with jealous fear, he had gradually abandoned him to whom he had vowed perpetual allegiance; and suddenly denied him, for whose sake he had but lately professed a willingness to lay down his own life. But the text calls us off from the contemplation of this dark portion of his history, to notice that which presents indications of his progressive recovery. It is profitable, though painful, to follow the believer in his devious departures from God; but it is a service no less useful, and one of unmixed delight, to trace his returning steps back to the sphere of his duty and the centre of his joys. Such is the service to which we are now invited. AND IMME

He was

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