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futile tributes of regret; but take warning by the bitterness of this thy contrite affliction over the dead, and henceforth be more faithful and affectionate in the discharge of thy duties to the living.



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a week, without meeting with some warning to his conscience; without something to call to his mind his situation with respect to his future life. And these warnings, as doubtless was proper, come the more thickly upon us, the further we advance in life. The dropping into the grave of our acquaintance, and friends, and relations, what can be better calculated, not to prove,-for we do not want the point to be proved,—but to possess our hearts with a complete sense and perception of the extreme peril and hourly precariousness of our condition; namely, to teach this momentous lesson, that when we preach to you concerning heaven and hell, we are not preaching concerning things at a distance, things remote, things long before they come to pass; but concerning things near, soon to be decided, in a very short time to be fixed one way or the other? This is a truth of which we are warned by the course of mortality; yet with this truth confessed, with these warnings before us, we venture upon sin. But it will be said, that the events which ought to warn us are out of our mind at the time. This, however, is not so. Were it that these things came to pass in the wide world only at large, it might be that we should seldom hear of them, or soon forget them. But the events take place where we ourselves are, within our own doors, in our own families; amongst those with whom we have the most constant correspondence, the closest intimacy, the strictest connection. It is impossible to say that such events can be out of our mind ; nor is it the fact. The fact is, that, knowing them, we act in defiance of them ;

which is the neglect of warnings in the worst sense possible. It aggravates the daringness; it aggravates the desperateness of sin ; but it is so nevertheless. Supposing these warnings to be sent by Providence, or that we believe, and have reason to believe, and ought to believe, that they are so sent, then the aggravation is very great.

We have warnings of every kind. Even youth itself is continually warned, that there is no reliance to be placed either on strength or constitution or early age : that, if they count upon life as a thing to be reckoned secure for a considerable number of years, they calculate most falsely; and if they act upon this calculation, by allowing themselves in the sins which are incidental to their years, under a notion that it will be long before they shall have to answer for them, and before that time come they shall have abundant season for repenting and amending :-if they suffer such arguments to enter into their minds, and act upon them, then are they guilty

of neglecting God in his warnings. They not only err in point of just reasoning, but they neglect the warnings which God has expressly set before them. Or, if they take upon themselves to consider religion as a thing not made or calculated for them; as much too serious for their years; as made and intended for the old and the dying; at least as what is unnecessary to be entered upon at present; as what may be postponed to a more suitable time of life ; whenever they think thus, they think very presumptuously. They are justly chargeable with neglected warnings. And what is the event? These postponers never enter upon religion at all, in earnest or effectually. That is the end and the event of the matter. To account for this, shall we say, that they have so offended God by neglecting his warnings, as to have forfeited his grace? Certainly we may say that this is not the method of obtaining his grace, and that his grace is necessary to our conversion. The neglecting of warnings is not the way to obtain God's grace ; and God's grace


necessary to conversion. The young, I repeat, want not warnings. Is it new? Is it unheard of? Is it not, on the contrary, the intelligence of every week, the experience of every neighbourhood, that young men and young women are cut off? Man is, in every sense, a flower of the field. The flower is liable to be cut down in its bloom and perfection, as well as in its withering and its decay. So is man; and one probable cause of this ordination of Providence is, that no one of every age may be so confident of life as to allow himself to transgress God's laws: that all of every age may live in constant awe of their Maker.

will see and regret the imperfection of their former views: they will lament that they bestowed so large a share of their thoughts and affections upon this passing scene, so small a portion upon God, and upon that future state, in which they are to exist for


The best of us, when, towards the close of life, he looks back upon the past, will discover too many things of which he has reason to be ashamed. Be it ours so to live, that the painful recollections which shall then force themselves upon our minds may be as few as possible. Be it ours to make the beliefthat the preparation for the next life, is the great, the paramount business of the present—not merely the professions of our lips, but the ruling principle of our practice. Armed with this belief, and relying op the support of Him, whose strength is made perfect in weakness, we may hope to be carried safe throngh the dangers and temptations by which we are surrounded ; and having thus preserved a conscience void of offence, may, when we shall be summoned from the world, assure our hearts before God, in humble confidence, that he will accept us through his beloved Son.




OW important and how impressive is the warn

ing conveyed in those remarkable words of our Saviour,-“ What I say unto you, I

say unto all,—Watch !" How characteristic of the wisdom of Him who knew the weakness of man's best resolutions, and who not only called his disciples to repentance for the sins which they had committed, but taught them how they might keep his commandments for the future, and walk in newness of life. It is by our perseverance in a Christian course that the reality of our profession is proved; and for this end continual vigilance is indispensable. A deep impression may be made on the soul, but it may soon pass away again and be forgotten. We may put forth a strong effort to release ourselves from the bondage of evil habits, and may soon relapse into the course we had abjured. The visitations of sickness or affliction, or some more signal interposition of Providence in our behalf, may for a while arouse us from our lethargy, and we may sink again, as though no such warning had been vouchsafed. Sometimes, indeed, an entire change of heart and of life may be dated from such circumstances as these ; but there are too many examples to prove that such is very far from being generally the case. Hear the resolutions of the sick man, who believes himself to be lying upon his death-bed; and behold the con


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