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actions to relieve his necessities; but had been patient, resigned, and contented; bowing himself humbly beneath the chastening hand of God; and saying, with the holy Eli," it is the LORD, let him do what "seemeth him good."
The parable goes on to relate, that the rich man, while in torments, solicited Abraham "to send Lazarus to dip the tip of his
finger in water, to cool his tongue;" and that this being denied, he further intreats that Abraham would send him to his father's "house, to warn his brethren lest they also "should come into the same place of torment "with himself." To this Abraham replies, "they have Moses and the Prophets, let "them hear them." No man, my brethren, can be ignorant of his christian duties, who takes the least pains to find out what they are. Our religion is a dispensation of light; and if we do not love darkness better than light, we may easily see the path which leads to heaven. The Bible is in the hands of every one; the church and its ordinances. are open to all; and a ministry is appointed to teach and explain the holy scriptures to the ignorant, to warn the wicked, to "comfort the dispirited, and to help on the feeble christian to everlasting life. CHRIST has promised his blessing upon the use of these
means of salvation, and the Holy Spirit is ever ready to shed his influence on those who are desirous of using them. No excuse, then, can remain to them who slight such calls, or neglect such opportunities They wilfully throw away their souls. They go to perdition with their eyes open. GOD willeth not the death of a sinner; "but that all men should turn unto Him, " and be saved." He has made no absolute decree for the ruin of any particular soul; nor created any human being for the purposę of final condemnation. We are all free agents; have all the power of being good or being wicked, "as best liketh us," according as we seek for, or neglect, his grace; and, consequently, if we do perish at the last, it must be through our own free choice; and the blame will rest entirely on our own heads. We shall be lost, not because we were predestinated to destruction; but, because we would not hear," nor obey, that " holy word," which He himself has given us, to lead the faithful christian to eternal life.
Dissatisfied with the answer of Abraham, the rich man still entreats him to send Lazarus to his father's house; assured, "that if one "went unto them from the dead they would "repent. The reply of Abraham declares a truth, which, at first sight, seems difficult
to understand; but a little consideration will convince us, that it is no more than fact: "If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, "neither will they be persuaded, though "one rose from the dead." There is nothing, my brethren, so blind as prejudice; or so deaf as sin. The opinions which a prejudiced man has entertained from his early youth, which he has been educated in, and which have been long and deeply rooted in his mind; and the sins which a wicked man has been in the habit of indulging in for any length of time; become so natural to him, and get such a hold upon his carnal heart, that it is hardly possible to root them out of him; and nothing but the grace of GoD can free him from their terrible influence. This is clearly shewn in the case of the Jews: JESUS CHRIST not only spake to them as man never spake, and taught them with more authority than their own scribes and doctors; but, worked the most wonderful miracles in their presence, to convince them of the truth of what he said. He actually endeavoured to persuade them by raising the dead from their graves; and finally rose himself from the tomb, that he might convince them of their errors, and bring them to repent of their iniquities. But the force of prejudice, and the influ
ence of sin, still hardened their wicked hearts; and their descendants remain to this day a convincing proof, that, if men "hear "not Moses and the Prophets, neither will "they be persuaded though one rose from "the dead." Let us, therefore, my brethren, take warning from their fatal example; and suffer no evil opinions, or sinful habits, to darken our foolish hearts, or shut our eyes against the light of the everlasting gospel. "Let us lay apart all filthiness and "superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with "meekness the engrafted word, which is "able to save our souls;"" and because, through the weakness of our mortal na"ture, we can do no good thing without" the help of God, let us pray for his "grace, "that, in keeping his commandments, we
may please Him both in will and deed, "thro' JESUS CHRIST our LORD. Amen."
[For the Second Sunday after Trinity.]
LUKE xiv. 16.
A certain man made a great supper, and bade many.
ANY of our blessed LORD's parables have a double application; that is, they relate both to the case of the Jews, to whom he was delivering them, and to people of all nations and ages, who should be converted to his gospel from other religions, or be born, bred, and educated as christians. Of this description is the parable which forms the gospel for the day. It describes, in the first place, CHRIST's invitation of the Jews to embrace his religion; their refusal to accept his invitation, and become christians; GOD's rejection of that stiff-necked