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matters not what it is that you are taking in exchange for soul. Whether it be much or little, makes no alteration in the
You may be selling your soul as certainly for a small, as for a large portion of the world. And be assured, that you most certainly are selling it, if. in your endeavours to gain even this small portion, you are neglecting “ the one thing needful.”. Your soul must be your first, your great concern. It claims, it deserves to be
If it be not; that thing, be it what it may, which you prefer before the soul, is the price for which you are selling it. The more worthless things may be (if indeed the worthless things of time and sense can admit of a comparison with each other, the greater is your folly, and the worse your bargain.
Be assured also, if this be the case, that you will one day bitterly repent what you are doing. At present you may not be sensible of your folly. The god of this world may have blinded your eyes, that you see not. The things of the world appear of so. much value, that you can look at nothing else. But it will not be always thus. A day is coming when the dream will end, when the veil will be torn from your eyes, and the world will be seen in its true light:
when all its profits, and all its pleasures will be seen to be lighter than vanity and more worthless than chaff ;' while the importance of the soul and of eternity will rusli upon the mind with a clearness and a force, of which you now have not the slightest notion. And what at that time will be your feelings? When you are lying on the bed of death ; when you are about to close your eyes for ever on this world; when the whole world, if you have gained it all, cannot for a moment stay the parting breath-what will be your feelings? How deeply will your lieart be torn with grief, remorse, and terror?: How 'bitterly 'will you lament and condemn your folly! What will you not be ready to give, that you might but live over again and provide for eternity ? Many most awful and distressing scenes of this kind are the ministers of the gospel forced to witness. Many instances do they see of persons, who never discover the value of their soul, till, as there is every reason to fear, the discovery is too late ; of persons, who like Esau, having profanely sold their birthright for some worldly trifle, when, like him, they " would afterward inherit the blessing," find, as he found, " no place of repentance.
And still what greater nuinbers are there, we may tremble to think, who even go out of the world without making this discovery! who, sunk into a deadly sleep, think not of eternity, till they awake in the flames of hell, and find their souls lost for ever!
God forbid! my brethren, that this should be your miserable case! O that you would see these things in this your day, as you must see them in the day of visitation ! Remember, that whatever the world, and your soul, and eternity, will appear to yoų then, such they really are now. If to have gained the whole world, but to have lost your soul, will then appear to be a most miserable bargain, be assured that it is a most uniserable bargain now.
Make not this bargain for yourselves.
Be wise in time. Prepare for death and judgment. Attend to the things which belong unto your peace, your everlasting peace, before they are hidden from your eyes.
* Hebrews, xii. 17.
THE UNFRUITFULNESS AND MISERY OF SIN.
ROMANS, vi. 21.
What fruit had ye then in those things where
of ye are now ashamed ? for the end of those things is death.
ONE of the surest means by which Satan keeps men under his power, is by keeping them in ignorance of their state. once see, in what a vile, a shameful, a ruinous service they were engaged, they would quickly leave it.
Did they once see what sin really is, they would speedily flee from it. In this view the text is particularly useful; for it sets sin before us in its true colours, and shews us what it is, when stript of every covering:
St. Paul is speaking to persons, who have ing once been the servants of sin, had now left that service, and were become the servants of God: and he puts to them this serious question; " What fruit had ye then in those things, whereof ye are now ashamed ? for the end of those things is death.”—At the time when you lived in your former sinful courses, what real comfort, satisfaction, or happiness, did you
find in them? Did they yield you any true profit? The manner in which the Apostle puts the question, plainly shews his meaning. He knew that they had found nothing of this kind. They must be ready to own, that sin, far from having been profitable to them, had brought with it disappointment and vexation; had been followed with shame and grief; and had exposed their souls to the greatest danger.
In discoursing on these words, I shall set before you the three things, which are here stated concerning sin.
1. That it yields no present fruit. II. That it is followed by shame. III. That it ends in death.
I. Sin yields no present fruit; that is, nothing which deserves the name of fruit. It may furnish indeed some short gratification, some momentary pleasure. But this is not fruit. It does not pay a man for the trouble and danger into which