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worldly mind is employed and discovered, in the eager pursuit of worldly objects. “ This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.” He, who does not keep these commandments, does not love their Author. These things being true, there is,

4thly. No small reason to fear, that God has said, or will soon say, of some or other of you, Lo these three years I have come, seeking fruit of these trees and finding none. Cut them down. Why cumber they the ground?

The patience and forbearance of God extend to every man but a limited time. His own day is allotted to every man; as theirs was to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. “If in this day they know the things of their peace ;" it is happy: if not ; they are forever “ hidden from their eyes."

This period, every man ought to remember, may to him, be shorter than his life. There are transgressions so violent; there is an obstinacy of mind so obdurate; there is a corruption so en: tire; as to terminate the hope, and the day, of salvation in final and judicialimpenitence.

Suffer not yourselves to believe, that reprobation is the consequence of those only, which you are accustomed to consider as gross and scandalous sins. That terrible rejection, so affectingly announced in the first chapter of Proverbs by Christ, the Eternal Wisdom of God, is founded upon far other sins, than these; upon sins, which you probably have thought of little consequence; the sins of unbelief, impenitence, and neglect of duty. “Because I have called,” says the awful and final Judge," and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded : but ye have set at nought all my cousel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity ; I will mock when

; your fear cometh ; when your fear cometh as desolation ; and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind : when distress and an. guish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me ; but I will not answer: they shall seek me early ; but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord.” Let me beseech you to remember how often Christ has called to you, and how steadily you have refused; how often, and how earnestly, He has “stretched out his hand" to you, and how uniformly you have disregarded. Let me beseech you to remember, with what constancy of character you “have set at nought all his counsel, and" cast away “his reproof.” Ought you not, then, to tremble, lest he also should “laugh at your calamity, and mock when your fear cometh.” Ought you not to shudder, lest he should say of you, “ Then shall they call upon me; but I will not answer; they shall seek me early; but they shall not find me; because they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord.” Are not the very sins, of which many in this assembly are, and have long been, unquestionably guilty, exactly and terribly declared in this passage ? Are you not conscious, that these sins are yours? Whence then can you hope to escape this dreadful denunciation ?

There are, God himself assures you that there are, men, “who after their hard and impenitent hearts treasure up wrath against the day of wrath, and the revelation of the righteous judgment of God." There are “vessels of wrath, endured” by GOD

God “ with much long suffering” while they “ are fitting for destruction.” Are you assured that you are not of this unhappy number? Your hearts, hitherto, have been hard and impenitent. Have not you then, like others of this character, "treasured up," to the present time, "wrath against the day of wrath ?" Your ingratitude, impiety, and rebellion, have hitherto been endured, and certainly not, without “much long suffering.". Is there not, then, very affecting reason to fear, that you are“ vessels of wrath, fitting for destruction."

But you are still endured. The invaluable season of life is still by the hand of Mercy prolonged to you. Is not this blessing derived to you from a source, similar to that, mentioned in the Text; the intercession of those religious friends, whose character you have perhaps despised, whose instructions you have disregarded, whose reproofs you have resented, and whose example you have disdained to follow? They, with a disposition far different from yours, have pitied your insensibility to your danger; and your regular, and by your selves unperceived, approach to final ruin. Accordingly, while you

were asleep in your corruption, and “ dead in trespasses and sins," they entered heaven with their prayers; and became fervent, im. portunate, suppliants before the throne of mercy for the prolongation of your lives. The uplifted arm of vengeance has, perhaps in this manner, been stayed; and the shaft of death been stopped on the bow-string. Had the day of your doom not been postponed; where would you have been now? Had you been called to a dying bed, during the past year; what would have been your reflections on the life which you had led? What your feelings, while you stood on the verge of eternity ? What your expectations of a reception beyond the grave? Had you been summoned to the Judgment; what must have been your account? Had the sentence of retribution been pronounced on you ; what would have been your allotment ? Is there not the most dreadful reason to believe, that this world would have been most unhappily exchanged by you for another ?

But the voice of intercession itself must one day fail, and fail to you. The friends, who have so kindly besought for you the divine mercy, will soon close their eyes in dust; and go to receive the reward of their piety. You will then be left behind. Should they live; like Noah, Daniel, and Job, in the case specified by the Prophet Ezekiel, they may be able to “deliver only their own souls.” For you God may hear their cries no more. Should they live; you may die; may be "cut down as cumberers of the ground, and cast out of the vineyard.” Should this be your lot during the year which is begun ; what, in your own view, will be your probable reception in the future world ? Should it be founded on what you have already done; do you believe it could be happy? Would you be willing, were the decision left to yourselves, to be "rewarded according to the deeds," which you

have - done in the body ?"

Many youths of your own age, many more still younger than you, and some of them numbered among your companions and friends, have during the past year gone down to the land of silence; finished their probation ; and entered upon the “recompense of reward.” What has become of them ? Have not some

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of them been cut off in the midst of their sins? Have they not in all probability met that Saviour, as their Judge, whom they disbelieved, denied, and contemned, to the last? Has their retribution, in your view, been probably of such a nature that you would be willing to make it your own? Was their conduct here such, upon the whole, that without apprehension, without trembling, you now dare to follow them in your thoughts to their present habitation ? If they, if any of them, have been cut off in the midst of their sins, during the past year; where is your safety, during that which is now begun?

Among the sins, which may contribute largely to your reprobation, and may peculiarly provoke God to destroy you in the midst of your days, your procrastination is probably not the least. Few things are more provoking, or less cheerfully forgiven, by mankind to their fellow men, than Procrastination. A fraudulent debtor is scarcely regarded by his creditor with stronger feelings of censure, and rarely with more contempt or hatred, than he, who is continually resolving, and promising, and yet never pays. The workman, who gives you the promise, or the encouragement, of doing a piece of service for you, and from time to time postpones the performance, while he still continues to promise and encourage, soon becomes an object of absolute loathing. A child, who, when reproved, and punished, for his frowardness, or treated perhaps with indulgence and tenderness, from the fond hope, that he may amend, engages from time to time, but never begins, to reform his life, becomes an inexpressible weariness to his father, and an insupportable “heayiness to his mother.” All these characters you unite in one ; and, like them all, postpone your duty, your repentance, and your reformation, to a future time. These things you have postponed, from time to time, through life. The past year, given to you for the very purpose of bringing you to repentance and reformation, and thus conducting you to endless life, has rolled all its days and nights over your heads, and seen all these invaluable purposes unaccomplished. What a dark and melancholy chapter must that be, in the history of an immortal being, which, through the best year of his




probation, records not a single effort to gain the blessings of immortality ? What an afflicting story must that be concerning such a being, which is made up of impiety, rebellion, ingratitude, unbelief, impenitence, evil thoughts, evil designs, evil conversation, and evil conduct? What a dreadful blank must that volume of life be, in which there is found not “one good thing towards the Lord God of Israel ;" which records no service done for God; no voluntary beneficence to mankind; not a solitary attempt to oppose sin; not a single exercise of gratitude, or faith, towards the Redeemer? With what emotions will you see this volume opened, and yourselves about to be “judged out of the things, which are written” on its pages ? How guilty, how deplorable, how pernicious, will your procrastination then appear; and how will your hearts die within you, to find it all perfectly known, and perfectly abhorred, by your Judge ?

But is there not the most afflicting reason to fear, that the whole year has passed by you, without witnessing even a single attempt to renounce your sins, and turn to God? Are you not now conscious, that not even one solitary prayer has ascended from your lips for the forgiveness of your sins, and the sanctifica. tion of your souls; that God has not been even asked to remember you with mercy; that not a single wish has started up in your minds for immortal life? What a melancholy year must this then be, to be remembered by you beyond the grave ?

With all these solemn reflections before your eyes, let me in the

5th place, exhort you most seriously to consider in what manner the present year ought to be employed.

The present year may, without any improbability, be your last; and, if not, it may be the last of your accepted time. Should you survive it; as most of you probably will; God may say of you, if another year should find you still hardening your hearts, and postponing your repentance, as he said of such as you are, by the mouth of the Prophet. “What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked, that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do 10

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