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inexcusable; for they have both seen and hated both me and my Father. John xv. 24.

The next question I would ask you is, Must not your punishment be peculiarly aggravated, since it will be proportioned to your guilt? To be punished not only for sins against the law of nature, but against revelation, against the gospel of grace, against the love of a crucified Saviour-how dreadful must this be! He that despised Moses' law, died without mercy, says St. Paul: of how much sorer punishment (sorer than dying without mercy! Oh terrible !) suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden uuder foot the Son of God. Heb. x. 29. You may make light of this now, but oh! it will not prove light in the issue. Here let me mention a most alarming consideration : The love that God bears to his Son is the great source of all our hopes: it is because he loves him, that he accepts of his atonement for our sins; it is because he loves him, that he forgives and loves believing sinners for his sake; it is because he loves the head, that he shows such favour to the members; but as to such as neglect the Son, even the love which the Father has for him, becomes a source of peculiar terror, and prompts him to signal vengeance. “ If he infinitely loves his Son, he must infinitely resent it to see him neglected and slighted by others. If he loves him he will avenge the affront offered him ; and the more he loves him, the more severely he must resent and avenge it.” How wretched, then, is their condition, upon whom even the love of God for his Son calls aloud for vengeance! and how signal will the punishment be, that the Father's love for his Son will inflict upon the despisers of him !

The third question I would propose to you is, How do you expect to escape this signal vengeance, if

you

still continue to neglect the Lord Jesus ? Answer the apostle's

question if you can. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation ? Heb. ii. 3. You cannot expect Jesus will be a Saviour while you treat him thus: and if he refuse, to whom will you turn? What angel or saint can save whom he is determined to destroy? If he be against you, who can be for you? Remember the text: the Father sent his Son last into the world. He comes last, and therefore if you reject him, you need not look for another Saviour. You must take him or none: take him or perish for ever.

I would further ask you, If your guilt and danger be so great, and if in your present condition you are ready every moment to be engulfed in everlasting destruction, does it become you to be so easy and careless, so gay and merry? If your bodies were sick, you would be pensive and sad, and use means for their recovery;

if

your estates were in danger, you would be anxious till they were secured; if you were condemned to die for a crime against civil government, you would be solicitous for a pardon. . In short, it is natural for man to be pensive, anxious, and sad, in circumstances of danger; and it is shocking to the common sense of mankind, to see one thoughtless and gay in such circumstances. Can you be easy under such a load of guilt ? careless under a sentence of condemnation ? and negligent, when the possibility of deliverance is set before you? I would not willingly see you sorrowful and dejected: but when your case calls for it; when your temporal sorrow may be medicinal, and save you from everlasting pain; when it is as necessary in your circumstances as sickness at the stomach in the operation of physic, then I cannot form a kinder wish for you, than that your hearts may be pierced and broken with penitential sorrows. You have, in your manner, commemorated the birth of a Saviour this Christ

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mas;" that is, you have danced and caroused, and sinned to his honour. But now I come after, and demand in his name another kind of reception for him: I call you to the sorrowful work of repentance, for your ill treatment of him. Instead of such mirth and extravagance, would it not have been more proper for you to have listened to St. James's advice? “Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.”

“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God;" that mighty hand which can crush ten thousand worlds, and which is lifted up against you to revenge the quarrel of his beloved Son. Can you return home this evening as thoughtless and merry as usual? Well, your career will soon be at an end: your vanity and trifling will soon be over. Perhaps, as Jeremiah denounced to the false prophet, this year thou shalt dieJer. xxviii. 16, and oh! that will engulf you in everlasting sorrows.

Therefore what would you now think of making one honest trial, before it be too late, to obtain an interest in that Saviour whom you have hitherto neglected ? Oh! will you not make trial, whether the disaffection of your hearts towards him, inveterate as it is, may yet be subdued by divine grace ? whether he, who prayed with his dying breath, even for his murderers, will not have mercy upon you? whether the virtue of his blood is not still sufficient to cleanse you from all sin? Oh! will you give up the matter as desperate, before you make a thorough trial ?

Your case is indeed very discouraging, but it is not yet hopeless; if I thought it was, I would not say one word to you about it, to torment you before the time. But I can assure you upon the best authority, of Jesus Christ himself, that if you now give him that reception which his character requires, he will receive you into favour as

* This Sermon is dated Jan. 16, 1758.

though you had never offended him, and make you for ever happy. Therefore, come, ye poor, guilty, perishing sinners, fly to the arms of his mercy, which are opened wide to embrace you. Cry for the attractive influence of his grace, which alone can enable you to come to him, and let there be joy in heaven this day over repenting sinners

upon earth.

SERMON XL.

THE DOOM OF THE INCORRIGIBLE SINNER.

PROVERBS xxix. 1.He that being often reproved, har.

deneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

A PROVERB is a system of wisdom in miniature: it is a pertinent, striking observation, expressed in a few words, that it may be the more easily remembered; and often in metaphorical language, that it may be the more entertaining. A collection of proverbs has no connection, but consists of short, independent sentences, each of which makes full sense in itself; and therefore, in explaining them, there is no need of explaining the context; but we may select any particular sentence, and consider it separately by itself.

Such a collection of wise sayings is that book of the sacred Scriptures, which we call the Proverbs of Solomon. Wise men in all ages, and in all languages, have often cast their observations into the concise significant forms of proverbs; but the sages of antiquity, especially, were fond of this method of instruction, and left legacies of wisdom to posterity, wrapt up in a proverbial dress; many of which, particularly of the Greek philosophers, are extant to this day. Solomon chose this method of recording and communicating his wise observations, as most agreeable to the taste of the age in which he lived. The sacred memoirs of his life inform us that he spake three thousand proverbs.

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