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that our great, and main business in life should be to prepare for this grand event.
This is an object, we should never lose sight of in any of the employments of life. Then we shall be tried and tried for what? Remember, eternal things depend on the issue of this trial. He, who is then found "holy, will be holy still,” and “ enter into the joys of his Lord.” These infi. nitely exceed all present conception. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." “And he that is unholy, will be unholy still.” He, will enter upon his state of lamentation and woe, which knows no abatement nor end,
if these things be so, how surprising is it, they are not more realized, both by old and young? Especially since we have both reason and scripture daily proclaiming their probability and certainty. How surprising is it, that so many old people, who are just ready to launch into eternity, live thoughtless of these things, which are just before them, and do not seem to realize, that in a few days, they must enter into the world of spirits, and be fixed in happiness or woe, according as their character shall be! Alas, what shall I say to such ? Do you consider that your day-your precious day of probation is almost closed ?- That you must soon depart to be here no more ? Do you daily remember, that there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge in the grave ? If you think but little about these things, is it not an evidence, that you are indeed unprepared ? You do not think about death ; about standing before the Son of man. Wonderful stupidity! Is it not the character of the Godly, old and young, that they are “looking for," and, by a realizing view of the shortness of life, “ hastning to the coming of Christ.” And how surprising is it, that any of you, who are in the decline of life, should be insensible of the near approach of death, and judgment, and their eternal and fatal consequences to you, if unprepared for this day! Especially to find any of you less thoughtful of these things, than you were in youth! It is often the case, that old people are less apprehensive of death-less concerned about the result of the day of judgment as to themselves; less solicitous to be found of their Judge in
peace, than in youth. This is a certain mark of increasing hardness of heart. O how melancholy ! how dismal—how almost hopelss is the case of such!
What shall I say to my young hearers ? You are to give an account of all your conduct. You know not but you may be called to do this before the aged. Do you believe, that you are accountable—that the religion of Jesus is necessary for you, to appear in safety before the bar of God? Why then do you not feel this, and daily act for that day? God will bring you into judgment, for every vanity--for disregarding his word ; for neglecting and profaning his Sabbath—for presumptuously depending on future time. You will assuredly stand before him, and how soon your day of grace will close, you know not. And you must appear either on his right hand, or his left. You will be justificd or condemned. There is no other alternative. Pursue the ways of sin, live unmindful of God, and of this great day; nothing more is necessary to make it a day of despair. Should you do this, I testify to you, in the name of the Judge, that you shall in that day call in vain, “to the rocks and mountains to fall on you, and cover you from the face of him, that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb."
MARK, vi. 12.
And they went out, and preached that men should repent.
In the preceding part of this chapter, we have the account of Christ's sending his twelve disciples to preach; and he doubtless gave them particular directions what to preach.-On what doctrines to insist. And may we not, from the manner of their preaching judge of the tenor of his directions to them on this subject ? “And they went out, and preached that men should repent." Christ had told them the nature and importance of the commission with which they were charged, and informed them, “ that it would be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city which should refuse to hear them." And as they went forth, preaching repentance, it is reasonable to conclude, they had been thus instructed by their Lord and master, and that he considered this a cardinal doctrine of his gospel which his disciples were to publish. In discoursing upon these words, it will be natural to describe in the
I. Place, the nature of this important duty.
III. Point out the motives by which this should be enforced.
I. What is repeñtance? It is taken for granted in all passages of this kind, that man is a fallen, guilty creature. For they who have never offended their Maker by sin, have no reason for repentance. “ Just persons have no need of repentance." .
When there. fore Christ orders repentance to be preached to the world, it implies that the world is in a fallen, guilty state. To preach repentance to a creature not guilty would be impertinent; it would be an imposition. But Christ has commanded repentance to be preached to all nations, and "he commands all men every where to repent.” This he tells us was one important branch of his own business into the world; "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance,"?: Repentance is an essential part of the religion of a sinner ; and therefore it becomes very important to distinguish true repentance from every counterfeit appearance. You will then give me your attention while I endeavour to display its nature. And I would first observe, that repentance is an exercise of the heart, not of the intellectual part
It is a moral exercise, for it is connected with the divine approbation ; and it is certain, according to the constitution of the covenant of grace, that all broken hearted penitents shall inherit