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trouble, like other men. Amos was astonished to see the sinners in Zion live in ease, put far away the evil day, lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall, to chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick like David, drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments. Not only this, but every other class of impenitent sinners appear to live in more ease and security, than any other

persons in the world. Though sinners widely differ from one another in a great many respects; yet in one respect they are very

much alike. They generally live without God in the world, and without fear of his future and eternal wrath. Such stupidity in rational and immortal creatures, who know that they are probationers for eternity, seems very strange, and cannot be accounted for upon any other ground, than that moral blindness and darkness in which they are all involved. Though they

. have eyes, they cannot see; though they have ears, they cannot hear; though they have hearts, they cannot perceive; and though they are told that they are blind and walking in darkness upon the brink of destruction, they will not believe it. Though they are continually stumbling at the things of the world, the men of the world, and the god of the world, they know not at what they stumble; but imagine they are walking safely. And it is not strange, that those who see no danger, should fear no danger. Where is the sinner who fears that the god of this world, or the men of this world, or that his owo heart will destroy him ? Where is the sinner who fears that he is every day preparing himself for final perdition? Or, where is the sinner, who does not live securely and even joyfully, notwithstanding all he has ever read, or heard about his depravity, his guilt, or his danger? Where is the sinner who is afraid of leading the blind, or of being led by the blind ? And why should this appear strange, since blindness has happened to all sinners, which makes them insensible of the objects, over which they are continually stumb

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ling and falling? The carelessness and stupidity of sinners is a visible demonstration of their moral blindness to all moral objects. Those who deny the moral blindness of sinners, discover their own moral blindness, and maintain a doctrine, which not only scripture condemns, but universal observation refutes. Nothing but this moral blindness can account for the conduct of the great majority of mankind, who are crying peace and safety, while exposed to instant destruction.

2. If all sinners are involved in such moral darkness as makes them insensible of their dangerous and perishing condition; then it is not strange, that they are so displeased at having their danger clearly pointed out. This tends to interrupt their present peace and comfort, and to destroy all their future hopes and prospects of happiness. If they are once made to realize their danger of the damnation of hell, their ease, security, and joy are completely destroyed. They cannot bear, therefore, to hear the plain truth, respecting their wretchedness

, and guilt. T'he experiment has been often made; and the effects have been recorded by the

pen of inspiration. Sinners could not bear to hear the plain preaehing of the prophets, nor the plain preaching of Christ, nor the plain preaching of the apostles. Those preachers did not make danger, they only pointed out danger so plainly, that sinners could not help seeing it. It was this that excited their bitterest complaints and most sensible opposition. The truth is still the same, and sinners still feel the same opposition to it, when set in the same light. They cannot bear to hear of their moral blindness, nor of the danger to which it exposes them both in this life and the life to come. They cannot bear to hear that they are walking in darkness, and know not at what they stumble, nor the fatal consequences of stumbling. But they have no reason to complain of those who clearly point out their danger. It is an act of kindness to point out the danger to which a blind man is exposed, and to direct a man who is lost to the right road from which he is wandering. Sinners are really walking


in the path of the destroyer, who is leading them captive at his will; they are really groping in darkness, and wandering from the strait and narrow path to eternal life, and inust perish unless they are made to see and avoid the dangers with which they are surrounded. But they will not take one step to avoid danger until they see it; and they will not see it if they can possibly help seeing it. This all faithful teachers know, and therefore feel themselves under indispensable obligation to show them their danger in the plainest and most impressive manner. They watch for souls, as those who must give account, and stand responsible if any perish through their neglect, or unfaithfulness. They are to warn sinners of their danger, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, whether they are pleased, or displeased. And if they do hear, they will be thankful for the most solemn warnings and the most searching truths, addressed to their consciences. They will find that the truths which they most hated and opposed, did them the most good.

3. If sinners are blind to the objects, which are in sensibly leading them to destruction; then they are in extreme danger of being finally lost. All things conspire to destroy them, because they abuse all things, with which they are connected and concerned. Prosperity tends to destroy them. If God treats them kindly, and pours the blessings of providence in their bosoms, they are disposed to abuse every favour they enjoy. If God frowns upon them, and subjects them to every species of adversity they will murmur and complain, and abuse his holy and righteous chastisements. . If he uses the best means of grace with them, they will abuse them, and take encouragement from them to continue in impenitence and unbelief. If he waits to be gracious to them, and spares their lives and their health, they will live to themselves, and not to him. If he alarms their fears, and they cannot forbear to read and hear, seek and strive to escape future and eternal misery, they will trust in themselves that they are righteous, and on that account, refuse to submit to the self-denying terms of salvation. The more they think, and say, and do themselves, and the more is said to them and done for them, the more their dark, ness increases, and the more stumbling blocks they meet with. Their path is like the setting sun, which withdraws every beam of light from the eye, and leaves every one in total darkness. This they find to be true, by their own experience, as they pass from childhood to youth, from youth to manhood, and from manhood to old age, whether they have lived in security, or whether they have lived in bondage through fear of death. As nothing has served to remove their darkness, but every thing has served to increase it, so every thing is armed against them, and threatens their final ruin. De you should ask any sinner of any age, character or condition, whether the path in which he is now walking, grows any lighter, or his prospects of future and eternal happiness any brighter, he will answer, no; but the longer he lives, his path grows darker and darker. And the most aged sinner walks in the greatest darkness, and is most exposed to stamble and fall, and rise no more. Thick clouds and darkness are gathering fast over the paths of sinners, and all things are conspiring to increase the danger of being finally lost. There is not a gleam of hope in their case from men or

These have proved ineffectual, and they will continue to be ineffectual, though Paul plant and Apollos water, unless God sees fit to give an increase, which he has delayed to do, and may delay to do until the day of their death, and they close their eyes in everlasting darkness. And this truth, like every other truth they have ever heard, may prove a stumbling block, and an occasion of their endless destruction.

4. If sinners are constantly growing blinder and blinder, and more and more insensible of the things, which are leading them to ruin : then they are entirely in the sovereign hand of God, who may save or destroy them, according to his holy and righteous pleasure. It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but

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of God, who sheweth mercy. And he has mercy on whom he will have mercy, and compassion on whom he

, will have compassion, and whom he will he hardeneth. This prerogative belongs to him, and he solemnly declares that he will exercise it. " See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no God with me: I kill, and I make alive ; I wound, and I heal : neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand." Sinners would fain flee out of his hand, and the false friends of sinners would fain take them out of his hand, but this is impossible. And their real friends have no disposition to take them out of his hand, but cheerfully resign them to his sovereign disposal. Though sinners are apt to think it is extremely hard, that God should hold them in his sovereign hand, yet it is entirely owing to the blindness of their hearts, that they think so. For it is the dictate of their own reason and conscience, that they deserve everlasting misery, and that God would be just and even amiable in making them the vessels of his everlasting wrath; and that without being reconciled to his amiable sovereignty, they cannot be happy either in this world, or the next. It is vain and dan. gerous, therefore, to say or do any thing, which tends to make sinners believe, that they can find any path to heaven, in which divine sovereignty will not meet them, and in which they can arrive to heaven, without being cordially reconciled to it. This, however, is too often attempted, by those who deny the doctrine of divine sovereignty, and by those who profess to believe it, but never plainly and fully preach it. It is easy to bring sinners out of any darkness, but that which arises from divine sovereignty; for it is easy to make them see, that there is no difficulty in the way of their salvation, but what with their natural hearts, they can surmount, if they are not obliged to exercise unconditional submission to divine sovereignty. They are often willing to do any thing and every thing else, rather than to be for ever miserable, but this they say and feel, that they cannot do. But it is vain and dangerous to tell them, that they need not, and ought not, to do this. Whether

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