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But it seems to me almost impious to accumulate proofs of a fact, which is so distinctly asserted by the God of truth; and especially, do I deem it unnecessary, since those of my hearers, for whose conviction they are introduced, were they to utter the undisguised feelings of their heart, would themselves testify, that they have, in their own habitual experience, a most painful confirmation of the fact.

II. Why are the wicked strangers to real peace of mind? They are such from the constitution of the moral universe. It is the necessary consequence of their character. It belongs to their state of alienation from God, and disagreement with the great features of his character and government. He is the alone pure, lasting, and satisfying good, to which his rational creatures can have access. There is no other resting place for the souls of his sinful offspring. He, whose allpervading energy sustains the physical creation, and preserves all its parts in harmony, alone is able to still the disorders, and restore to harmony the troubled dominion of a single human soul. So that, were it possible, that such as never had the means of becoming acquainted with his character, and law, and administration, from revelation, should never feel any aversion to that character, or transgress that law, or oppose that government, they must, nevertheless, be destitute of the essential element of true peace. There must be, in the case of such, disorder and con

flict among the powers and passions of their own minds.

There must be even there, where there is no clear discovery of the object they are especially prepared to disrelish, or of the claims to which they have an instinctive repugnance, a restlessness which no resources of theirs can compose. But this naturally perturbed and restless state of mind, is greatly aggravated in the case of those who, amidst the light of the gospel, have this clear discovery forced upon them. The element, which in itself can never know repose, is thrown into more

violent commotions at the approach of light and breath from a purer region. No where this side of the world where the woes of perdition are felt, do the wicked experience so much of what those woes are, as beneath the light and influences of the gospel. Nothing so disturbs, agitates, and pains their unquiet bosoms, as distinctive gospel truth, poured in upon their minds in its simple and undisguised form. For such truth is only a developement of those features in the Divine character and dispensations, which are especially obnoxious to the natural heart of man. They are thus obnoxious, because they have an aspect of threatening evil upon the ungodly. All the truths, which can be considered peculiar to christianity, though they are singularly sustaining, comforting, and sanctifying to believers, yet as they imply or assert the perilous condition of the unrenewed, must serve only to alarm and distress them. It is on this account, that persons in an impenitent state, when conscience or other considerations lead them to read the word of God, and to attend upon the plain and faithful preaching of the gospel, neglect those parts of scripture, which announce truths the most alarming to them, and abstract their minds as much as possible, from those parts of a sermon which aim to bring home to their deepest sensibilities, some of the more solemn and awakening doctrines of the bible. For the same reason, others, whose consciences have become less tender, or whose outward circumstances may be more favorable to such a course, almost entirely abandon the written word of God, and heap to themselves preachers who, instead of laboring to destroy a spurious and unreal peace, endeavor to quiet the invariable restlessness of the unsanctified mind, or to quell the perturbations, which truth will occasionally excite in such a mind, by preaching another gospel which is not another. Thus having a mind, which from the very elements of its depraved nature, must be uneasy-must be forever seeking and panting for good where it does not exist-must be con

tinually throwing back upon its own painful consciousness, the mingled billows of disappointment and dissatisfaction and possessing too, tastes and preferences, inclinations and passions, opposed to the whole aim and tendency of revealed truth, who does not perceive wherefore it is, that the wicked cannot know peace, but must carry about with them, even in this life, a bosom filled with conflict, war, and woe?

In considering this inquiry, it is proper that I should just notice another reason, which lies beyond, and is, indeed, the cause of those which have already been mentioned, why the existing condition of the ungodly is so far from being felicitous. This reason is to be found in the benevolent economy of God's government of his moral creation. It is this, which forms the constitution of the moral universe. This creates that necessity, which forever links together sin and misery. In boundless benevolence it is fixed by the eternal law of Jehovah's throne, that, if any of his rational offspring will sin, they must suffer-if they will wander from him, they must walk in darkness-if they will rise in rebellion against all the merciful tendencies of his gracious sway, they must banish peace from their souls, and stir up there a ceaseless desolating war of appetites and pas

sions.

III. I come to notice more particularly, the condition of the wicked as indicated by the figure in the text. They are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. Though often apparently tranquil, cheerful, or gay, they are nevertheless full of troublous emotions. While to the eye which cannot look into the chambers of their souls, all seems composed and quiet; they are in a state in which rest is impossible. Where too, this inward war and rebellion are concealed from human view, the incessant rage of inbred inclinations and desires, and the feelings of unreconciliation and enmity awakened by the truth, or the providence of God, are continually developing to

his omniscient mind, the impurities of that fountain, from which proceed all the nameless sins and abominations of our depraved nature. But I feel the utter impotency of any language of mine to explain or add emphasis to this striking representation of the unrenewed sinner's state. I would only turn your minds to the impressive emblem of that condition. And my hearers,

Have you not beheld yon world of waters,
When swept by tempests fierce, how it raised
Its turbid billows to the skies, and seemed
To war against those pure and sunny climes,
Which share perpetual peace, far above
Clouds, and storms, and darkness; how they sunk
Far down, as if to meet in conflict dread,
The horrid world below? Have you not looked,
Until its troubled bosom labored for repose,
But could not rest-could not calm its surges-
Could not hush its boist'rous undulations-
Nor spread out its element smooth and pure,
To reflect from its peaceful, limpid depths,
The loveliness of that bright world above?
But did you not gaze on, until you saw,
When from that world of light, parting the clouds,
And scattering all the storm, a breath came down,
And mov'd on ocean's agitated breast,-
How all its warning billows sunk away-

Its deep convulsions ceased-its groans were stilled,
And heaven lay smiling on its calm expanse!
O then you have seen, dimly shadowed forth,
The troubled empire of the sinner's soul,
Before it feels the power, and seeks the rest,—
Bears and reflects the moral charms of Heaven.
And imaged there, you saw, how great the change,
When He, whose voice erst reared creation's frame,
Says to the troubled bosom-" Peace-Be still!"
Then all is peaceful, quiet, pure, and fresh,
As the young morning of the first-made day.
Stilled are the loud raging waves of passion,
Long foaming out their shame. The soul finds rest
From burning, restless, and impure desires.
Forever ended is its war with Heaven.
While Heaven's own peace, and loveliness,
Diffus'd through all its faculties, shine forth,
And show to man sin-darkened here below,
How great their peace whose thoughts delight in God;

How fair the new-born soul which grace creates ;
How pure the bliss that reigns in minds renewed!

Effectually to apply the truths which have now been exhibited, is His exclusively, who has written them on the pages of the bible. I may not, however, close this discourse without asking such of my hearers as have not made their peace with God, seriously and solemnly to weigh these truths in their minds. That you have no real peace of mind, is a truth bearing the stamp of the divine testimony, and confirmed by your own paiuful experience. The great reason why you are strangers to peace, is to be found in the state of your hearts. That is a depraved state. A state involving an utter disrelish of whatsoever things are spiritually pure and lovely. A state consequently opposed to infinite purity, and all the great and essential principles by which he governs the universe, and displays to that universe his own most glorious character. A state too, of inward moral disorder and conflict-without any self-restoring and self-quieting power. A state which nothing so fully represents as the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. But God, who in the constitution of the moral world, connects sinning with suffering, who has made your alienation from himself, a departure from peace, has done this that you might be constrained to escape to that refuge; that resting place which he has opened in the gospel, for the wandering, and wearied, the troubled and restless sinner. And allow me affectionately to urge you to abandon every other refuge but this. Make the Saviour your only resting-place. Until you do this, you cannot know peace. In the soul purifying religion of Jesus, you will find a bark which will outride, not only all the storms of earth and time, but bear you safely to the shores of that eternal world, where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest. In that religion you will find a power, nowhere else to be found, adequate to reduce to order, and harmony, and tran

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