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it pass through the mind, shall they be expelled as foreign to its proper business ? Shall youth, manhood, and the meridian of life pass away without any decided choice of it? If a present affliction, or apprehended danger, has awakened the conscience, shall its voice be ftifled ? Is religion unnecessary, useless and prejudicial for the present? Will another day be more convenjent? Is it safe to defer this one thing? A conviction of its importance will not permit us to defer it a fin, gle day. We know not whether we shall be among the living to-morrow. Or, if alive, in what circumstances--whether in any capacity to make choice of religion. No reason can be assigned for making this choice at any future time, which does not more forci. bly apply to the present day. Suspense, inconstancy, displays levity and giddiness, dishonorable to intelligent, dependent, accountable creatures, bound for eternity, and whose eternity depends on the choice they make in this probationary, transitory world Pofsibly eternity may depend on this day's choice.
Ye who have deferred to this day a cordial choice of religion, to you the counsel of God in the text comes addressed. Choose you this day whom ye will serve. The God of patience hath borne with your contempt of him thus long. Let the time past fuffice you to have walked in the vanity of your mind-to have left undone the business for which you were fent into the world ; and which, if finally neglected, good were it had you not been born. Your earliest care should have been to remember your Creator, Preserv, er and Father--to remember your Redeemer; to know who and what he is, what he hath done and suffered to save your souls, and what you owe him in return. Were you sensible of the vast importance of being reconciled to God in Chrift-were you mindful of the uncertainty of life, you could not put off to another day the choice which you may and should make this day. You do not conduct thus in your worldly concerns. Yet you have no more evidence that to-morrow will be as convenient as this day in your eternal concerns, than you have that it will be so in your temporal. If your soul should be required this night-or if you may be immediately cast on a bed of ficknessor if God should withdraw his influence, must not the neglect of the present day be pronounced folly? There is no work in the grave. The dead are not called upon to make the choice which you now decline. After death is the judgment. A sick bed is not the best season to acquaint yourself with religion. When pain and disease arrest you, would you lay a foundation for the greater burden of an evil conscience? Would you give your strength and vigor to the world, the flesh and the devil; and appropriate to God and your souls no other than decayed powers, wasted strength ? AMiction from without calls for the supports and comforts of religion—a review of a timely choice of the good part, of advantages well improved. Would you have to lay the foundation for eternity at a season when your work should be finished ? If not, then hear the Saviour's command, Go, work today in my vineyard. Make the wiser choice to-day : It cannot be made too soon: It should be made as early as the capacity for moral action commences: From that time there is no excuse for delaying it. The guilt and danger increase with neglect and delay. Can those, who have long procrastinated, make the progress they might have done, had they made choice of religion early in life? Will her path be so easy and pleasant, as if embraced much sooner? Whenever they apply their hearts unto wisdom, they will reflect with grief and shame that they made objections and excuses so long. There can therefore be no reason why any should excuse themselves to-day.
Ye whose faces are towards heaven, look not back. Hold fast the profession of faith, whose end is the filvation of the soul. It claims the united, utmost exertions of your faculties. Be stedfast, always abounding in the work of the Lord. Give all diligence to make sure your calling and election. · It is not the will of our heavenly Father, that any
immortal fouls should perish. Whosoever will may come, and take the waters of life freely. He who giveth these living waters, and who gave his own life to purchase them, hath said, Ask, and ye shall receive. Religion admits not of compulsion; it muft be voluntary; not by constraint, but of choice. All Christ's people are willing. The Spirit of life in him must open and incline the heart to accept his offers: But the operation of the Spirit on human minds accords with moral agency. The attempts of heaven and earth can be of no avail without our consent. Ye will not come to nie that ye might have life. No means or encouragement are wanting. But sinners reject the counsel of God against
themselves. Christ would gather them, but they will not. They harden against the voice of the Holy Ghost, calling on them to accept the gospel invitation to-day. They grieve, reSift and quench the holy Spirit.
If religion depends on our choice_if the divine counsel has interposed no obstacle to our choice of it, but placed before us the highest motives to choose it, the consequence is obvious, that finners are their own destroyers. There is no pretence for any man's saying, I am tempted of God. The truth is, he is drawn away of his own luft, and enticed. Heaven will reveal his iniquity; and angels and men will justify the forer punishment, to which the unbelieving and impenitent under the gospel shall be adjudged.
See then the ingratitude and folly of neglecting the great falvation set before us—of choosing our own ways and delusions. God proclaimeth peace, and commandeth all men every where to repent. All are intreated to be reconciled to God by the death and paffion of his own Son. The riches of divine mercy and forbearance lead to repentance. But hear, O heavens;
and give ear, O earth; men will not be persuaded, by the mercies of God, to present themselves a living facrifice, holy, acceptable to him, which is their reafonable service. They will not account the long-suffering of God their opportunity to fly for refuge. They will hazard the destruction of foul and body in hell, rather than consent to sacrifice their lufts. Felis repels the apostle, preaching righieousness temperance, and a judgment to come. Though he could but tremble; he answered, Go thy way for this time. The same apostle's preaching almost persuaded Agrippa to be a Christian, but not altogether. The young man, who appears seriously to have enquired, What shall I do that I may enter into life? went away grieved, when he heard the terms. The hypocrite, content with hearing and professing the gospel, has a name that he liveth; but he will not choose life. Not having the spirit of Christ, an enemy in heart to him, his hope shall perish. “ Ye who compass yourselves about with sparks; walk “ in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye “ have kindled. This shall ye have of the Lord's hand,
ye shall lie down in forrow."
Contemplate the dignity of the soul. It claims an union with angels and with God; nor can it find reft in any thing short of this union. When sensible of its own necessities and the divine fulness, it thirsts for the living God. Convinced of deviations from the way of truth, it faints for instruction in the paths of salvation. Man's happiness and dignity consist not in debasing his rational nature to a subserviency to his animal appetites and passions; but in keeping under the body, and bringing it into fubjection-Not in cherishing the speculations of a vain mind, presuming, with Lucifer, to be like the MOST HIGH; but in humil. ity and meekness. The eternal God dwelleth with the humble and contrite. Supreme reverence, worship, love and obedience are his due; and man's wisdom consists in cultivating this temper toward the greateft
and best of Beings—in unreserved submission and entire resignation.
When Ifrael faid, “All that the Lord our God shall speak, we will hear it, and do it:" The answer of God was, “ They have well faid all that they have
spoken. Othat there were such an heart in them, that “ they would fear me, and keep all my commandments
always, that it might be well with them, and with “ their children for ever.” The holiness and happiness of his intelligent offspring is the earnest wish of the Father of spirits. No means and encouragement, on his part, are wanting to accomplish this great end. With them it lies to choose his service or refuse it, to choose life or death. There is much danger of their departing from serious resolutions, taken up at a season when the mind has been tenderly impreffed by the providence and Spirit of God. Men often make good promises, and break them. There is more of the form of godliness than of the power.
Amidst the defections of his people, Joshua determined to be ftedfast in the cause of truth. He had made his choice of religion, and would not renounce it. Superiors honor themselves and their station, when they stand up in support of true religion. Their example has great and good influence. When the upper ranks in society are foremost to honor God, he will honor them. But it cannot excuse lower orders in neglecting and reviling religion, that it is neglected and reviled by higher orders. Religion alike concerns all orders and ages. Every one must give account of himself to God. Religion hath an immutable, eternal excellency. It is the only foundation of temporal and eternal happiness, of public and private virtue. There is but one rule of faith. The book of books, the BIBLE, is this rule. Call no man father or master upon earth : For one is your Father, even God; and one is
your Master, even Christ. Search the scriptures. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. The law of the Lord is