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wounds, and bloodshed, and death, Is it any wonder, then, that God has peremptorily and solemnly declared, that drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven? What would a drunkard do in heaven ? Whom would he find there that would admit him into fellowship and communion with them? The supposition is unnatural: the thing itself is utterly impossible. We must look for the drunkard, therefore, unless a change has been previously effected in him by divine grace, in another place and in other society, where even a drop of cold water cannot be obtained to quench the parched tongue! Let the voice of him who lifted up his eyes too late towards heaven and exclaimed, I am tormented in this flame! teach you to seek the Lord while he may be found, and to seek that grace which will both teach and enable you to live sou berly in the world.

Every thing here depends, under God, on resist ing or avoiding the beginnings of this soul-ruining sin. The relish for spirituous liquors increases invariably with every instance and degree of indulgence. I may here observe, what has often been remarked as a principle or law of our nature, that he continued practice of any virtue or vice, while it weakens what has been called the passive principle of that virtue or vice, strengthens its active principle in the same degree. Thus, the practice of visiting the cell of the prisoner, or the house of mourning, of sickness and distress, lessens the pain with which we first contemplate scenes of calamity, of sorrow and suffering ; but, at the same time, the practice itself becomes more and more habitual ; and, though our sympathy may be less pungent, it is more beneficial and vigorous and active. We have greater self-command and more enlarged experience, and feel a stronger impulse to act towards them that are bound, as if we were ourselves bound with them, and towards them that suffer adversity, as being ourselves in the body. The same thing may be observed in the practice of vice. A course of debauchery deadens the sense of pleasure, but increases the desire of gratification. To frequent the haunts of drunkenness is to cherish the habits of intoxication. The pleasure we enjoy in the society of the drunkard may be converted into disgust; but, by repeatedly drinking with him, we make ourselves drunkards, and accompany him, with our eyes open, to the chambers of death, the regions of despair, to torment one another with mutual and everlasting recrimination and upbraiding. Break off the sin, if you would avoid its consequences, by a timely and thorough repentance. Desist, absolutely and wholly, from all use of intoxicating liquor. A gradual reformation may seem to promise something, but nothing can be more deceitful or hopeless. He who does not hate and abhor and dash at once from his lips the intoxicating cup, will soon find himself more entangled than ever in this snare of the deyil. Hard as the alternative may seem, the right hand must sooner be cut off, and the right eye plucked out, than that that hand should

be again stretched out for the cup, or that that eye should again behold with pleasure the liquor when it sparkleth in it. It is better that these members perish, than that soul and body be cast into hell. fire. And is it so? Is this the consequence of indulging an appetite wholly unnatural, and which has nothing to plead in its favour? All things in heaven and on earth exclaim against it; and even hell itself subjoins its awful admonition, by marshalling before us the countless victims of this sin in the mansions of despair !

—The apostle adds, 2. Be vigilant. Our Saviour repeatedly gives the same caution: Watch, therefore : for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. Take heed, lest your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and the cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. And how dreadful must the arrest of death, the harbinger and messenger of judgment, be to one in these circumstances--to one who has allowed himself to be overcome by almost every temptation to intemperance, whether in eating or drinking! The former of these, surfeiting or gluttony, is not so common among us as the latter; and yet I am afraid few of us can say with the apostle, I keep my body under, and bring it into subjection; or with that holy and heavenly minded man, the Reverend Mr. Allein, the author of the Alarm to the Unconverted, “ I sit down to table, not to please my appetite or pamper my body, but to maintain a servant of Jesus Christ, that he may be fit for his Master's work.” And I may add, with Dr. Jeremy Taylor, No man ever repented that he rose from

table sober, healthful, and with his wits about him ; but very many have repented that they sat so long, that their reason, their health, their virtue, and their God, departed from them.”

Now, when we consider the number, the skill, and the devices of our spiritual enemies, how is it possible, it may be asked, even for those that are renewed in the spirit of their minds, much more for those in whom old things have not yet passed away, to vanquish the enemies of the soul at all points, and on all occasions ? Granting that this is not possible ; yet it surely is not impossible to take up arms against them, and to be sober and temperate in the spiritual any more than in the temporal warfare; to quit ourselves as good soldiers in the one case as well as in the other. A state of warfare may be conceived to last for life, without excluding proper seasons for refreshment and repose. The Christian soldier is not even called upon to confine his observations, his excursions, or his correspondence, to matters exclusively connected with the war. He may make observations on the country where his tent is pitched for a while; he may use the good things which it affords without abusing them; he may mingle with its inhabitants in civil concerns, and endeavour to render himself both agreeable and useful. Let him not, however, think it unreasonable that he must not retire to rest before the centinels are stationed: that when he is in quarters, as well as on the march, or in the field of battle, he must always keep himself in readiness for action. Nor ought he to wonder if he should be required to keep his armour bright and fit for use, even during his peaceful occupations. Do you ask of what his armour consists? You will find every piece of it minutely and separately described in Ephesians, vi. 11, &c.

The first thing to be done is to have our loins girt about with truth. This is spoken in allusion to the girdle or belt in common use in Eastern coun. tries, to bind their flowing garments fast about them. So, conscious truth and sincerity must be as a girdle about our loins. If our heart condemn us as guilty of known sin or hypocrisy, God is greater than our hearts, and knoweth all things. A double minded man is unstable in all his

ways.

But happy is the man who can say with Job, My witness is in heaven, and my record is on high; or with the apostle Peter, Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee. Such a man may stumble; he may be surprised by unsuspected evil, and fall into unpremeditated sin; but he will not fall irrecoverably, nor be left a prey to his enemies. He will be filled with shame, with remorse, with the deepest sorrow and regret; and he will see more than ever the necessity of watchfulness and prayer, lest he be led again into temptation. He will see also more than ever the necessity of exercising himself daily in keeping his conscience void of offence, and of having faithfulness as the girdle of his loins, that he may approve himself an Israel. ite indeed in whom is no guile.

The next piece of Christian armour which the apostle mentions is the breastplate of righteousness.

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