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eth, who can attain to the everlasting blessedness of heaven, except it be on the terms and by the path which Christ hath pointed out? Fail in the required repentance of the Gospel, and his omnipotent word hath gone forth—“Ye shall all likewise perish.” Fail in the required faith of the Gospel, and his omnipotent word declares—“He that hath the Son hath the life, he that hath not the Son hath not life, but the wrath of God abideth on him; he that believeth shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned.” Fail in the peculiarities of a changed and converted heart, and his omnipotent word hath declared—“Verily I say unto thee, except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”—“If any man be in Christ he is a new creature.” Fail in the required obedience of the Gospel, and his omnipotent word is like the fiery characters on the wall of Belshazzar's banquet room, “thou art weighed in the balance, and art found wanting. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Salvation's offer rejected upon earth, is everlasting condemnation secured when this earth shall be no more. A Saviour despised and neglected, and crucified afresh, will prove a consuming fire. Who among this assemblage of immortal beings have submitted themselves unto the Lord Jesus Christ for wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption? Who have a Gospel-founded hope of an abundant entrance into his everlasting kingdom ? Dear brethren, is not this a point worthy of settlement? It is the Lord Jesus Christ who hath the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; and the individual against whom he shall close the door, is lost beyond every possibility of recovery.
Brethren, I would wave every other consideration connected with this subject for the present, for the one purpose of adapting my closing remark to the providential circumstances in which you are now placed. We have nearly reached the termination of one of those great epochs into which our time is divided; and if ever there is a fitting season for sober and serious reflection, it is when the close of the year mournfully suggests the approaching termination of our mortal life. Perhaps there are many individuals present, who are convinced in their minds, that they must make a surrender of themselves to the Lord Jesus Christ, if they would secure the interests of eternity, but with a fatal reluctance to attend to the things which concern their souls, they postpone the period of this surrender, looking, in the vanity of their minds, for some more accepted time, and some more convenient season. Alas, that the preacher is compelled to reiterate, day after day, the neglected theme of your mortality. Who hath believed our report? If I were gifted with the supernatural privilege of selecting those among you who had already laid hold of the hope of the Gospel, and were thus prepared for death and for judgment, oh how few, how few would be found with their loins girt and their lamps burning. And yet, in a day when ye think not, and in an hour when
ye are not aware, the messenger may come, charged with his fatal commission, and amidst all your plans and prospects of the future, you may be called from time into eternity, for which, as yet, you have made no adequate preparation. Another year of Gospel opportunities is about to close, and every wasted privilege stands on the pages of the book of memory a witness against you. Another year
probation is closing, and yet you are no nearer to the happiness of heaven. The Lord Jesus Christ has yet no abiding influence in your hearts, and the work of eternity as to all its vital purposes is yet to be begun. But this day, in the name of God and in Christ's behalf, I once more tender to the careless, the unconcerned, and impenitent, the gracious invitations of the Gospel. As
The mighty flood that rolls
Its torrents to the main,
From that abyss again:
so cannot you recall the time, the privileges, the blessings you have lost. But the present is your own; seize on it with a desperate energy; make no postponements, for death is on the wing, and the end of all things is at hand. Soon will the judgment be set, and the book be opened; soon will the heavens pass away with a great noise, and the elements melt with fervent heat; soon will the trumpet sound, and you and I, and earth's inhabitants, be called before the judgment-seat. The Saviour who now calls you to repent is he who hath the keys of heaven—“he shutteth and no man openeth.” Must it be that any who are present, lost by their impious delay, shall then hear the terrific sentence, “I know you not ?" It need not be, for I take you to record this day, and I constitute you witnesses against yourselves, if ye perish, that to you, time and again, the Lord hath called, and ye have refused. And if in the great and terrible day of decision, Jesus Christ, the Eternal Judge, shall shut up the door of salvation and compel any to eat the fruit of
their own ways, it has only been because they trampled on his blood. They perseveringly did despite to the spirit of grace; and over all the obstacles of dying love and rich redeeming grace, forced their way into the mansions of eternal wo, and carried out their own desperate passage to destruction. Oh, my friends, be wise and of understanding hearts. Leave not the business of salvation
But ere the trumpet shakes
The mansions of the dead,
What joyful tidings spread.
Ye sinners seek his grace,
Whose wrath ye cannot bear;
And find salvation there.
Then, when “ he who hath the keys of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth ;" then when he comes, the portals of his heavenly habitation will be opened, and to you will come the enrapturing invitation"Enter into the joy of your Lord.” And there is no death there.
GOD'S FIDELITY TO HIS PEOPLE,
ILLUSTRATED IN THE
HISTORY OF THE CHURCH AT PHILADELPHIA.
REVELATIon iii. 7–13.
my last discourse on the epistle to the Church in Philadelphia, our attention was entirely confined to a consideration of the past and present condition of that Church, and to the strikingly important description which is given of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, together with such practical remarks as the nature of the subject discussed constrained me to offer to your serious consideration. In regular course I come this evening to take up the consideration of what constituted the second and third general divisions of my subject, and I am gratified that we have been led thus far at this time, because I think we shall discover a striking coincidence between our condition as belonging to the general Church of the present Philadelphia, and the condi