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sources. And with no business to engage, no amusements to beguile


-Say, ye gay dreamers of gay dreams,
How will ye weather an eternal night
Where such expedients fail!"

Then your application will be useless. You may supplicate, but you will be rejected, and no place will be found for repentance in the mind of your Judge, though you seek it carefully with tears.

Hence, we see what a difference there is between the origin and the issue of an irreligious course. "A prudent man foreseeth the evil and hideth himself, but the simple pass on and are punished." The wise will always judge of things by their end: it is the end that crowns the action, and we very justly say all is well that ends well. Sin is never profitable, but its beginnings are flattering: "Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant-but he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell. Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue : though he spare it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his mouth: yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him. What fruit had ye then in those things, whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death."

Again. Sin unavoidably brings a man sooner or later to lamentation and regret. "Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know, therefore, and see, that it is an evil thing, and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts."

And, hence, if we studied our true comfort, we should never sin; we should reason thus :-" If ever I am saved, I must be brought to repentance, and every sin I now commit will then give me pain: and if I have not that godly sorrow which worketh repentance unto life-O! the self condemnation and anguish of a dying bed, and a judgment day." Sin, like Ezekiel's roll, is "written, within and without, with lamentation and mourning and wo."


Let us also remark, that there is a repentance which is unavailing. Paul tells us of a sorrow of the world which worketh death!" Some are fretting, because every one will not submit to their humours; some grieve over their temporal losses, and never ask, "Where is God my maker, that giveth songs in the night?" Every remorse of conscience is not the effect of saving grace. Judas "repented, and went and hanged himself." The eyes which sin shuts eternity will open-but then grief comes too late: blessings once lost cannot be recovered.

I know that many unguarded things have been said of the loss of a day of grace. The subject is alarming. I do not pretend to do justice to it, or to answer any curious questions which may arise from it. What I think I am authorized to say from the Scripture, is this: First. That while there is life there is hope; nor can we imagine that God would prolong existence, but to afford us space for repentance. This, indeed, he has assigned as the reason; "God is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. The longsuffering of our Lord is salvation." Secondly. It is always dangerous to delay the work of

repentance; since, by repeated acts, habits are formed, and dispositions rendered more and more unfavourable. The disease neglected becomes inveterate; and the shrub suffered to stand, grows into a deep-rooted tree, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then, may ye also learn to do good, who are accustomed to do evil!" But, we should not only consider repentance as a work to be performed by us, and the delay of which multiplies difficulties; but also (and without this our repentance cannot be saving,) as a blessing, and an influence to be imparted from God. Now, your criminal delay in seeking this, renders it less probable that you will ever find it: for, though you cannot deserve grace, you may provoke it: and, after so many invitations scorned, what wonder if he should say, "None of them that were bidden shall taste of my supper?" Thirdly. There are cases and circumstances in every man's life, more friendly to religion, than others; on these much seems to turn; and these may be lost, even in this life. I have no doubt, but that when Felix trembled, he felt as he never did before, and never did again. But, he wilfully strove to do away the impression. And have not some of you had convictions which have for the time filled you with fear? Have had such relishes of good things, as have led you to call the Sabbath a delight, and to hear the word with joy? Has not your closet occasionally seen a bended knee? and your walks witnessed your tears, and vows? Your earthly hopes withered, and your comforts removed, have you not been constrained to turn aside from the world, deploring its emptiness, and sighing for a nobler good? Now, when he draws, we should run; when he

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knocks, we should open. Fourthly. Death, it is certain, ends all your opportunities: after this, no pardon will be offered, no motives will be urged. Time is for sowing, and eternity for reaping: and "what a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Hence the distinction always maintained in the Scripture, between this world and another: the one is a state of trial, the other of decision. Hence the infinite importance of life. Hence the wisdom of complying with the admonition, "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him, while he is near." For, there is a season, when, if you "call upon him, he will not answer, and if you seek him early, you will not find him." And how soon you may be in this unalterable state, it is impossible to determine. We know your breath is in your nostrils: you are exposed to a thousand accidents, and diseases.

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But your harvest is not yet past, your summer is not yet ended. Still he bears with you. Once more he invites you. It is time, it is high time; and, blessed be his name, it is not too late to seek him. I see him now standing with the door wide open, beseeching you, as you love your souls, to enter in-you refuse-and he shuts to the door, saying, "Oh that thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace, but now they are hid from thine eyes."



And Nathaniel said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathaniel coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathaniel saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee. Nathaniel answered and said unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God: thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig-tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.—John, i. 46-50.

MUCH of the excellency of the Scripture lies in this, that it does not state things in general representations, but descends to particulars-that it does not place them before us in speculative notions, but in practical effects-that it does not describe them only, but exemplifies-so that we see them alive, and in motion.

The passage of Scripture which is now to engage our attention, is peculiarly interesting, and instructive. It is a narrative of the interview between our Lord, and Nathaniel. It leads us—

First, to observe the advantages of occasional solitude. What was Nathaniel doing under the fig-tree? We are not informed. Perhaps he was reading the Scripture-perhaps he was engaged in meditation-perhaps he was praying-perhaps he was joining himself to the Lord in a perpetual

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