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but it was too late, and therefore found it not. So it is with sinners under the moral government of God. There are hours of mercy, when they may grasp

the promise and make eternal life their own. If these are neglected they must bear the painful consequences. If they waste the fleeting sands of life in frivolous amusements, or unprofitable cares, they will reap accordingly. If the season of youth be devoted to mirth, they cannot complain that old age finds them without stay or staff. If health and reason be frittered away upon trifles, they cannot wonder that the sick-bed and dying pillow should be planted with thorns. If the holy light of the Sabbath beam upon them in vain; if their hours of deep and solemn meditation leave no lasting impression : if the descending influences of God's own Spirit move not to active effort, where is the power that will break their slumber? where the voice that can speak in tones loud enough to awaken them God's from their lethargy? where the influence sweet enough to lure them on to heaven? They surely cannot hope for a more favorable season, when the world shall unbind its chain and leave them unmolested to seek after God. Besides no future hour can find them as they are at present. Every day they continue in sin, they are sinking deeper in the snare, and the chains of ungodly habits ar e riveting upon them. The seasons of mercy, through which they have passed have left some impression. They have been as the rolling tide. If its flow has not set them towards the heavenly shore, its ebb has swept them out farther upon the fathomless deep. The heart of man must receive some impress from all the scenes of human life. God has so constituted it for wise purposes. It must either be hardened or melted under the beams of grace. The wax melts, but the clay hardens under the sun's ray; the reed bends, but the oak grows more inflexible, before the autumnal blast. So when the sun of righteousness beams, the heart that does not melt, hardens; and when the breath of the spirit passes over, the will that does not bow, becomes more obdurate. Here, in a word, lies the danger of neglecting such seasons of spiritual improvement. If neglected, they not only increase the sinner's responsibility and guilt, but they also harden him against the influence of future sea. sons, and thus leave him in a more hopeless and desperate situation than they found him, and thereby the last state of the man becomes worse than the first.

In leading your minds to the practical remarks, suggested by this subject, I notice, 1. Its application to the young. You, my young friends, are highly favored of God. You have all the means of salvation in your hands, and

you are now at that point in your probation, when religion invites your acceptance on the most favorable terms. Cares will multiply, and temptations will increase as you travel onward. O! improve then the present moment, to secure the salvation of the soul. Youth is the time when we lay up knowledge for after life. If a man waste his youth in idleness, it will cost him a mighty effort to repair his loss in after life. Let your youth then be devoted to the persuit of the best of all knowledge-the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ, which is life eternal. Suffer this season to pass, and you may sigh in vain, amid the cares of middle life and the weakness of old age, for the leisure of

would you

youth, in which to secure the soul's salvation. Be assured the direction of wisdom, as well as the Bible, is, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth."

2. I notice in the next place, the application of this subject to those impeni. tent sinners, who have passed through revivals of religion unconverted. Yours is indeed a most perilous situation. How many warnings of the Bible, how many admonitions of conscience, how many strivings of the spirit have you resisted! Ah! fellow sinner,


and reflect on the season of harvest through which you have passed, without gathering any fruit into your garner : well might you tremble lest your soul be left portionless in eternity. And has the summer ended, while you are not saved? Can you then be unconcerned? Awake, awake, without delay, lest the winter of death set in upon you unawares, and your hopes be forever quenched in despair. True, you have resisted the mighty operations of God's grace, but still you are spared -still there is space for repentance. O! lift up the heart then in prayer

for pardon—and like the man who has neglected the most favorable juncture of affairs, use double diligence lest you finally fail of the kingdom of God.

3. The subject speaks a note of warning to every impenitent sinner. These seasons of grace, these hours of mercy are all passing away. The summer is well nigh spent, the harvest is rolling on; he that would reap its fruit, must speedily thrust in his sickle. Life's sands are fast running out; youth, manhood, and age are fleeing like shadows across the plain; the tabernacle is fast crumbling and ready to perish : the Sabbath, with its hallowed privileges, the means of grace, and the refreshings of the Spirit will soon reach us

Soon we shall be forever beyond their sound and influence. And are you still in impenitence? Still secure in sin? What madness. Surely your soul is in jeopardy every hour while you delay: for there is but a step between thee and death. O! impenitent sinner what art thou doing? Lay aside thy earthly gold: dash down that cup of pleasure: trample that laurel under thy foot: and lay up treasure in heaven, and drink of the water of life, and put on an incorruptible crown. Delay not thy choice, for there's but a moment in which to make thy decision. All these earthly baubles will not quiet the pangs of thy death bed, or alter the terms of the judgment, if on looking back on a mispent life, conscience shall thunder in thy ear-The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and thou art not saved. Not saved ! what then hast thou ? Not saved! then art thou lost: and " what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul."

no more.




Acts xviii. 17. And Gallio cared for none of these things.

Man differs from the beasts that perish, by possessing a capacity for thought and reflection. He alone of all the creatures on earth, is able to contemplate his own destiny, to weigh the consequences of present conduct, and thus to choose the good and refuse the evil. The entire rld in which he lives, cannot set limits to his investigations. If so disposed, he can push his researches into Eternity itself, and dwell upon scenes which are to transpire long after his own body shall have been laid away in the dust.

But man is distinct from angels above him, as well as from animals below him, for he has the concerns of two worlds to attend to. His nature is compounded, made up of body and soul, and consequently there are two classes of objects which claim his regard—two interests neither of which he is at liberty to neglect. Besides making provison for a residence on earth, he has upon his hands the more important work of laying up a treasure in heaven. . In order to fulfil the high purposes of his existence, he must not only be diligent in this world's business, but fervent in spirit serving the Lord.

By most men, however, one of these interests, and the one too of confessedly greatest moment, is lamentably overlooked. They are careful to prove their newly bought oxen, to examine their recently purchased farms, and to drive forward the affairs of their merchandise, but this is all, or nearly all they think of. Instead of making the salvation of the soul a matter of deep and daily concern, their chief inquiry is, what shall we eat, what shall we drink, and wherewithal shall we be clothed ! That part of their nature which likens them to brutes is provided for, but that which likens them to angels and to God, is forgotten.

Such a man, at least so far as religion is concerned, was Gallio, the procon. sul of Achaia. He acted very discreetly, and as an honest, upright judge, in deciding that the difference between Paul and his accusers, was not of a character to require the interposition of any civil court. But we cannot commend his prudence or discretion in “caring for none of these things.” As a magistrate he did right in driving the vindictive Jews from his tribunal, but as a man he was deeply in fault for turning from such a subject with a cold and philosophical indifference.

But the thing which has been, is now. In a majority of cases it would seem that the men of our day, do not give to religion enough of care and thought, fairly to ascertain whether it has any special claims to their serious and immediate regard. Speculatively, perhaps, they admit that there is a hell; but they take no pains to avoid that place of torment. They grant that there is a heaven ; after all they will not be persuaded to make one persevering effort to gain its bright and unfading crown. Religion floats loosely on the mere surface of the mind, without ever descending to touch the heart, or influence the conduct.

Now, is this carelessness to the interests of the soul, and of the world to come, reasonable? My object is to show that it is not.

1. Religion involves considerations deeply interesting, in themselves consi. dered.

fore us.

We can scarcely open the Bible without finding disclosures, in regard to time and eternity-this world and the next, of a character that may well challenge the fixed and earnest attention of every man on earth. The communications of this Holy Book, are grand and mighty beyond all conception. On one page it places before us the infinite, self-existent, eternal, almighty, omnis. cient, and omnipresent Jehovah, in whom we live, move, and have our being. On another, it informs us of the awful fact of our own apostacy, and of the guilt and wretchedness to which the entire race is exposed, both here and hereafter. On another still, it brings into view the glorious doctrine of a Mediator, and we see Jesus travelling in the greatness of bis strength, to accomplish the amazing work of man's redemption. While on a fourth page, the scenes of the resurrection, the final judgeinent, the separation of the righteous and the wicked, and heaven and hell, are spread out in living colors be

Can any thing within the whole compass of human thought, be more grand and solemn ? Are these subjects about which it is wise to trifle ? Men will traverse half the globe to reach the top of some lofty mountain, or to stand a single hour upon the brink of some foaming cataract. Treasure and toil, and even life itself, are deemed to be well expended in tracing the course and fixing upon the head of one remote and wandering river. Things of this kind are wont to raise strong emotions. But tell me, is there nothing great, noth: ing sublime, nothing worth research in the idea of a God, a Deity incarnate, a throne of judgment, a crown of glory and a world of wo? The book of God outdoes in all these respects the works of God. On these sacred leaves are things calculated to raise sublimer sensations in the mind,t han either the Alps or the Andes, or any of the far famed seven wonders of the world. Why then are the hearts of men dead to the grandeur of religion, while they are so alive to every other grandeur ?

Besides, the matters with which religion has to do, are all practical in their bearing. The Bible does not exhibit to us the attributes of God merely to excite our wonder, but to lead us to love and obey him. It does not place before us a Savior bowing himself under the weight of a world's redemption, merely to move our sympathies, but to produce a permanent influence upon our hearts. It does not reveal to us a future state, merely that we may speculate about its bliss or wo, but that we may secure the one and avoid the other. The God the Bible makes known, is the God whom we are to choose as a Father and Friend. The Savior it reveals, is the Savior to whose bosom we must flee with the cares and sorrows of our aching hearts. The heaven it unfolds, is the hea. ven where we are to strive to live forever. The hell it tells us of, is the hell from which we are to labor and pray to be preserved. Every thing here comes home at once to the heart, as truth to be believed, as rules to be followed, as principles by which to be actuated, and as supports on which to lean.

No wonder then that religion works such a change in the character of all who are brought savingly under its influence. It lifts the poor out of the dunghill and sets him far above the princes and nobles of the earth. The Dairyman's Daughter, or even the Praying Negro had loftier conceptions than the hero of the Nile, or the man whose eloquence so long swayed and enchained a British senate. And

yet there are those who“care for none of these things." They can read, and think, and feel on other subjects. Heroes, statesmen, and philosophers all engage their attention, and they can admire the exploits recorded on the bistoric page. But there is nothing in the gospel of the blessed God, or the story of the wide spread influence of redeeming love upon which they can dwell with the least delight. Oh, is there taste, is there sen. timent in such a state of mind as this?

2. The interests at stake here are all personal, and they are immense interests.

Religion, says the renowned Locke, if any thing, is every thing, and the

bare possibility of its proving true, should secure for it the earnest and solemn attention of every reflecting mind. This is the remark of one of the wisest men that ever lived, and no one can find it in his heart to dissent from its correctness. What then should be our feelings on this subject, when proba. bility is reduced to certainty, and reasoning results in complete and triumphant demonstration ? To be careless under such circumstances is folly indeed.

The object to be gained is the salvation of the soul. Grant then that the Bible is true, and it follows without dispute, that every man on earth is to enjoy the everlasting favor, or to suffer the everlasting frown of Him that made him. Each one of us is to reign in heaven or to burn in hell forever. What can counterbalance such an object. Put the material universe into the scale, and it has not the weight of a feather against a mountain. All computation fails. Arithmetic has no power to tell what would be the disaster of the man who should gain the whole world amd lose his own soul, or the profit of the man, who should lose the world and save his soul.

Can you measure the blessedness which will be enjoyed by a single redeemed sinner, during the long lapse of eternity? The work is beyond an angel's reach.

Well does the Apostle call the happiness of that bright and unchanging world, a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

On the contrary, who can describe the misery of an eternal residence in the land of despair ? There too all effort fails. No one can tell what will be the pain and agony of dwelling forever with devouring fire, of lying down in everlasting burnings! Never on this side of the grave shall we be able to measure that wretchedness which must be borne by the sinner, as he makes his Jong and gloomy journey in the world of wo.

Far smaller matters than these excite attention. What lines of care and anxiety are often drawn upon the brow of one, who is struggling after a little political distinction? How does the lover of this world's wealth toil and watch, by day and by night, to gather a heap of shining dust! Think of the tumult and agitation of the man, whose commercial credit is deeply pledged, and who sees no way open for the redemption of that pledge! Here we justify solicitude. But are men to feel no anxiety when the soul is in jeopardy? Is care out of place only when it concerns judgment and eternity ? Answer these questions ye who deem it wise to forget God, and lose sight of your own final destiny.

3. We learn from the very nature of man, that religion is the concern to which he ought chiefly to attend.

Man, it has been well said, was made for religion; and religion, it may be added, was made for man. Why else has he an undying soul, as well as a dying body? Why else is not the grave the end of him? Why else does he feel such irrepressible longing after immortality? Why else is the whole world in which he lives unable to carry one cup of real consolation to his mouth? Fallen and ruined as he is, there is a divinity within, which not only " intimates Eternity to man,” but urges him to prepare for that eternity.

The voice of nature, as well as the voice of revelation, decides that "Man's chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy him for ever." This was the design of his Maker in giving him existence, and this should be his own design in reference to that existence. Never should he be willing to live, under any circumstances, or during a single day, for any lower or meaner object than ihis. To call him a good farmer, an ingenious mechanic, or a prosperous merchant is nothing, unless you can also call him a sincere Christian. To


that he is a moral man, is nothing, unless his morality is based on religion. These may all have been, in some sense, ends of his being, but they were not the chief end, and a thousand woes must rest upon his head if he even regards them so.

Let me illustrate my idea. There is a father, a kind benevolent father, who assigns to a son various items of service, all of which he wishes him to perform in a particular way, and within a specified time. In order that his

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