« PreviousContinue »
here, and glorious for ever hereafter. Surely if you would lay these things to heart, you would not continue the willing servants of sin. Only consider what injury you are doing to yourselves by serving such a master.
You are depriving yourselves of all the present peace and happiness, which you would certainly find in the ways and service of GOD. As yet indeed know you nothing of these things by experience; and therefore it is probable, that you rate them far below their real value. Not having ever felt the joys and comforts of religion, you account them to be little. But they are not little. They are great; beyond your conception great. The peace of GODthat peace which God gives to his people, and which they only know-is a peace "which passeth all understanding :" a peace which the workers of wickedness can never know: for there is no peace to them. A conscience void of offence, a sense of God's favour and love, a well-grounded hope of eternal glory, are causes of delight and joy, with which all the pleasures of sin are not to be compared. Would the servants of GOD be so repeatedly said in the scriptures to be happy and blessed, if they had not a happiness and a blessedness peculiarly
their own? Could you but be persuaded to make trial of their ways, you would find them to be ways of pleasantness and peace. Could you but be persuaded to forsake the service of sin, you would soon be sensible of the present happiness which you are loosing, by obstinately persisting in that service.
Besides, the longer you continue in the ways of sin, the greater unhappiness you are laying up for yourselves hereafter. You have seen, that shame must follow sin. Here, or hereafter, either in this world, or in the next, you must be brought to shame for every sin which sin which you commit. If you should live to repent of your transgressions, and to sorrow for them with a godly sorrow; yet every additional sin which you commit, will embitter that repentance, and make that sorrow deeper. The greater is your guilt, the greater will be your shame and self reproach, whenever GOD, in his mercy, may bring you to a penitent feeling of your sins. But if this should never be the case. If the Lord, provoked at your past and present impenitence, should never grant to you repentance unto life: What, in that case, will become of you? What, in that case, are you now doing? You are sealing your own destruction. You are
treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath. By every additional sin, you are adding fuel to that fire which will torment your soul for ever. Consider these things. May they work in you a holy resolution to forsake the service of sin, and to choose the service of GOD! Surely you mean to do this at some time. Why delay the doing of it? Why delay to be freed from the bondage of the devil, from the guilt of sin, from the wrath of GOD? Is sin so profitable? Is the state of a sinner so safe, so happy, that any should be loth to leave it? Can you be happy too soon? Too soon be a child of GoD and an heir of heaven? Too soon be delivered from the danger of dying eternally? Would you gratify and please your worst enemy a little longer before you quit his service? Would you fix sin a little deeper in your heart, before you try to root it out? Is your life too long? Are you afraid of having too much time, and of beginning the great work of repentance too soon? Believe it, Satan is not idle in destroying your soul, though you are negligent in saving it. Time is not standing still. You, together with it, are hastening fast towards eternity. When a few more days, or weeks, or years, at farthest, shall be past, your time of trial will be gone; your day of repentance over;
your doom for ever fixed. What mean you then by delaying to flee from the wrath to come? "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead." Do you say, "We will repent to-morrow?" This night your soul may be required of you. "Behold, now is the accepted time: behold, now is the day of salvation:" While it is called to-day, harden not your heart. Lie not down on your bed this night, till you have. begged of God to enable you to renounce the service of sin, and to yield yourselves servants to righteousness. So" shall you have your fruit here unto holiness, and in the end everlasting life."
Impossibility of serving God and Mammon.
MATTHEW, vi. 24.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.
THERE are few persons who could be
brought plainly to say, even in their own hearts, We will not serve God.' Most men would be shocked at avowing such a resolution. But there are numbers who act in the spirit of it; who are resolved to serve the world, and, at all events, to have a portion on earth: And what is this, but, in fact, to give up the service of God? It is true that they do not professedly intend to give it up. They mean to secure a portion in heaven, as well as a portion on earth. But in attempting this they are attempting an impossibility. Our Saviour in the text strongly condemns