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No. 12.

MAY, 1831.

Vol. V.


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REVELATION, xx. 11.-He that is anjust, let him be unjust still; and he that

is filthy, let him be filthy still. There is a depth of meaning in the descriptions which the Bible has given of the final condition of the ungodly, which the boldest human mind is utterly inadequate to fathom. There is the most fearful imagery employed on this subject which lies within the compass of human language. There is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. There is the smoke of the torment that ascendeth up for ever and ever. There is the worm that always gnaws and never dies. There is the pit over which hangs the blackness of darkness. There is the resurrection of damnation, and the listing up the eyes in torment, and the being trampled under foot by Jehovah in his righteous indignation. I say that in this imagery there is a depth of meaning which we cannot fathom ; but this circumstance renders it not the less but the more dreadful; for the implication manifestly is, that the woes which are to constitute the portion of the ungodly, and which are to break upon them in an everlasting storm, are really out of the bounds of our present conceptions ; that no one can know all that is implied in the loss of the soul, until he learns it by experience.

That the statement now made will generally be assented to by this congregation, even by that part of it who are not professedly the followers of Christ, I cannot entertain a doubt; and if each individual were interrogated as to the fact whether he really believes what the Bible has said on this subject, I should expect, at least in nearly every case, to receive an affirmative answer. Why then, I am ready to ask, this entire unconcern which prevails in so many minds in respect to the salvation of the soul? If there be a fearful hell before the ungodly, wherefore is it that the ungodly do not fear it?llow is it that these probationers for eternity, who, in acknowledging the truth of the Bible, acknowledge that they are themselves exposed to an eternal perdition, are after all apparently as much at case, and move about in circles of levity with as cntire thoughtlessness, as if they were really only the creatures of a day? I

VOL. V. -No. 12.

will tell you the solution of this; it is that they do not after all expect to perish. They have some loose calculation in their own minds that at some period or other they shall become religious : the precise time may be or it may not be determined upon; but at all events it is to precede their entrance into eternity. I doubt not, my friends, that all of you who are conscious that this great work is yet upon your hands, are at this moment precisely in this condition ; fully intending to wake up and attend to it before you die. But it is my business, in this discourse, to attempt to show you that this will probably prove to be a delusion; in the language of my text, that those of you who are unjust now will be unjust still ; that those who are filthy now will be filthy still; in other words, that THE FACT THAT AN INDIVIDUAL IS AT THIS MOMENT PUTTING OFF RELIGION, FURNISHES GROUND FOR A STRONG PROBABILITY THAT THAT INDIVIDUAL WILL PERISH.

I know, my friends, that this may seem to many among you a startling doctrine ; and really it is so: but if I can prove to you that it is true, I hope you will not refuse to look at it seriously. May I not hope, too, that each one will hear for himself; and if the argument should be sound, that each of you, I

pass along, will bring home to his own conscience the appalling reflection, " this proves that, humanly speaking, the chances are in favor of my destruction; that it is fearfully probable that death will to me prove the gate of a dark and wretched eternity !"

I say then, that the fact that any of you are at this moment putting off religion, furnishes ground for a strong probability that you will perish. Listen, and see if it is not so.


1. For, in the first place, you can never expect that any better adapted means will be used for your salvation than have been used already.

Look back upon your life, and see how God has been dealing with you. Many of you were in infancy dandled on the knee of piety ; were brought to the altars of God for baptism ; were instructed and counselled to fear God, by the lips of parental affection; and were privileged to come morning and evening to the domestic altar. All of you have, from your earliest years,

had access to the word of God, in which the path to heaven is so clearly marked out that the wayfaring man, though a fool, need not mistake. You have also enjoyed the privileges of the Sabbath and of the sanctuary; have heard from the pulpit, in instances almost innumerable, the most solemn appeals and the most tender expostulations; have listened while the prayers of God's people have been going up as a cloud of incense towards heaven; have frequently witnessed the celebration of that most impressive ordinance in which are represented the love and the death of Christ; and have had the obligations to join in this celebration tenderly urged upon you. Most of you, I have no doubt, have passed through scenes of special religious attention, in which many around you, and not improbably some of your near friends, have been the subjects of renewing grace; seasons in which the path to heaven was thronged by inquiring multitudes, and

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