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for his life*: But endeavour to open the eye of the mind, and by faith to behold the great realities of the invisible world, that you may govern your lives with a regard to them, and so secure, not the deceitful forms, but the substance of true happiness. 3. Let me seriously remind you, that the blessed God is the spectator of all

your

conduct. This is strongly implied, though it be not expressed in the text: For all these things God will bring thee into judgment; and you cannot surely imagine, that he is like earthly judges, who must have recourse to witnesses, to inform them of what they would otherwise be ignorant. He is not, he cannot be, far

from any one of us, seeing in him we live, and move, and have our beingt: Nor can we be concealed from his eye, should we fly on the wings of the morning, and with the swiftness of light, to the uttermost ends of the earth; for his hand must lead us thither, and his right hand support us there I. Remember this, my friends, he sees you when you overlook him, sees himself neglected by you, and his laws violated, and his grace despised: And all for what? You have reason to blush and be con. founded, when you think of that: For every vanity that offers itself to pour pursuit, for trifles lighter than air, for which you would not violate the common rules of decency to a fellow creature: As if it were to be taken for granted, that his favour is a thing of no consequence, or that nothing can forfeit it. Oh, Sirs, he hears me while I am speaking to you; and sees perhaps, that some of you hardly give me an attentive hearing. He observes, how many admonitions are despised by you, how many convictions are overborne, how many vows are broken, how many vain words are spoken to him, in those formalities which you call your devotions; and, perhaps, with regard to some of you, I may add, how many bold words are spoken against him, when those mouths are set against the heavens, whose tongues have walked through the earthş: All those slights of religion, which, for want of understanding either, you may be ready to call wit; all that licentious contempt which you throw on his sacred word and ordinances, and fancy it is freedom of thought. You may go on, and presume upon it, that your lips are your own|l; but I must tell you, that The Lord hearkens and hears, and a book of remembrance is written for you likewise ;-a book which will another day be thrown open, and read to you with a voice of vengeance and terror; which leads me to urge you,

• Prov, vii. 23. $ Psal. Ixxiii. 9.

+ Acts xvü, 27, 28.
#Psal. xii. 4.

Psal. cxxxix. 9, 10.

Mal. ü, 16.

4. To think how certain the judgment of God is, and your own

personal appearance before him.

You know there is not any doctrine of the gospel more plain and evident than this, that Every one of us must give an account of himself to God*; and indeed it was a doctrine of the jewish revelation, and even of the wiser heathens: But I would desire you particularly to observe, how strongly it is expressed in the words of the text, Know thou, that God will bring thee into judgment ! Thee, Oh young man, thee, Oh child whoever thou art, that hearest me this day, to thee is the word of this admonition sent, God will bring thee into judgment. His trumpet will sound, his tribunal will be set; thou wilt be summoned, and thou must obey. In vain will be every attempt to conceal thyself, or to excuse or dispute an immediate attendance. He will bring thee: His hand will be strong upon theet, infinitely too strong for thy feeble resistance : And therefore the assembly of the whole world before him is beautifully described, by driving together a Flock of sheep, or of goatst. Bear witness, Oh sinner, and let thy conscience record it, I warn thee of this solemn, this dreadful day. I tell thee, that as surely as thou art now in the house of God, thou shalt then be standing before his bar : And how will you stand ? Look you to that. We are to give the warning, and, Knowing the terrors of the Lord, are to persuade meng. Hear now therefore this admonition for yourselves, and knoze it for your good|l. Consider this, ye that forget God, lest he tear you in pieces, and there be none to delivere. And to increase the weight and efficacy of the thought, reflect, once more, 5. How strict and awful this judgment will be. For all these

things God will bring thee into judgment; which naturally implies, that it will be particular and final.

Every particular will be reviewed : All these things; or, as it is yet more strongly expressed elsewhere, Every work, and every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil**. He hath Sworn by himself, that he will not forget any of thy workstt. Poor thoughtless creatures ! you sometimes conceal your irregularities from parents and masters, or others to whom you are accountable; you disguise them in so artful a manner,

* Rom. xiv. 12.
Job v. 27.

+ Ezek. iii. 14.
Psal. 1. 22.

Mat. xxv. 32.
** Eccles. xii, 14.

92 Cor. v. 11.
++ Amos viï. 7.

or form such excuses for them as may impose upon men; and you

value yourselves on the dexterity with which you do it: But Be not deceived, God cannot thus be mocked*: For all these things, and a thousand times more than you can remember ; actions and words, and thoughts of vanity, which passed with you unobserved in the crowd, or, if at all observed, were for gotten in a moment; for all these, will he Reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyest, i. e. He will marshall them in dreadful array, as a host of enemies armed for thy destruction. Have you never seen a criminal at the bar, how he is confounded, when the force of evidence bears him down, and the sagacity of a judge detects the idle, foolish pleas, with which he flattered himself before his trial, and imagined he should easily come off with impunity? Then did you see an emblem of yourselves, and your own state ; thus will you, if you go on in your sins, be entangled and silenced, and shamed and condemned: All your crimes will be produced, in all their circumstances of aggravation : Nor will God forget this present admonition and expostulation, though you may forget it, or though you should remember it only in scorn, and wonder what occasion there is for all this earnestness and importunity. You may, if you please, make a jest of divine judgment; but you will find it dreadfully serious. Nothing so easy, as to despise it; but, Oh sinner, nothing so hard, as to endure it : For I add,

It will be a final doom, and your eternal state will be fixed by it. It is no light crime of which you will then be convicted, no less than wilful, obstinate, incorrigible rebellion against the Majesty of heaven, against the God of your lives, and the Father of all your mercies: And it will be no light punishment to which you will be consigned, for following the way of your heart and the sight of your eyes, in opposition to all the authority of his law, and all the methods of his recovering grace.

Read over the sentence, as recorded from the lips of him by whom it is to be pronounced. There is but one for those on, the left hand, and hearken to it; Depart from me, ye cursed :Sinner, thou must be separated from God. But that perhaps you can bear: It is but calling him by some bold name; it is but dressing him up in your imagination under some false odious character, and you may perhaps think it is best to be at a distance from him. Wretched creature! But thou must depart, as accursed, Into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil

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and his angels *. And canst thou reconcile thy mind to that? To dwell for ever in darkness and horror, in such a scene, and with such associates! To have nothing to entertain the eye, nothing to cheer the heart, nothing to divert painful reflection, nothing to allay the most cutting remorse! To see every pleasurable object, for which you forgot God, and sold yourselves to destruction, removed to an eternal distance ; to feel all the irregular passion of your own hearts let loose at once, like so many hungry vultures to prey insatiably upon them ; and hope, the last of supports under the last of evils, shut out for ever !-Oh Sirs, this is the result of the judgment of God. Lo, this is the portion of the wicked, and this the heritage appointed to him by God t. It is a grief to a tender heart to think of it, to hear the very report. Oh what will it be to you to meet it and feel it, in all its force and all its terror! Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong, in the day, that God shall deal with you I.

Alas, my heart is pained for you, and my bowels yearn over you! Methinks I see all the haughtiness of your spirits broken, see you pale and trembling on the very brink of that pit, from whence there is no redemption, and into which the fiaming sword of divine justice is driving you. And can nothing be done to save you? Alas, what should be done? Can any rescue you from the hand of Omnipotence? Can any intercede for you with that then inexorable Judge? It cannot be. But he is not yet inexorable. He has not yet laid aside the character of a Saviour, of a compassionate Friend to perishing creatures. And I present these things to persuade you, if possible, In this your day, to know the things that belong to your peace, before they be for ever hid from your eyes ß. May divine grace effectually do it; and teach you so to Judge yourselves, that you may not then be condemned of the Lord||! And now,

III. It only remains, that I conclude the discourse with some plain inferences from it. And here,

1. The young sinner has surely a great deal of reason to be

thankful, that he hath not already been brought into judg

ment.

You have indeed the greatest cause to say, It is of the Lord's mercy, that you are not consumed. Your Breath is in your nostrils*; and perhaps you can recollect times and circumstances, in which it seemed just ready to take its fight, when you appeared to be in the extremest danger, so that there was But a step between you and deatht. And what if that little interval had been passed! Where had you then been ! How low had you then fallen! Why, it is most certain, as to some of you, that had you been thus cut off, the torrent had swept you away into eternal ruin. Even now, while we are worshipping God in his house, rejoicing in mercy and in hope, your miserable spirits had been in the regions of the damned, feeling more than mortal language can express, and fearing yet more, much more than you felt; being, like the apostate angels, Reserved in everlasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgment of the great days. Adore the divine patience and forbearance, that your case is so different; for most happily different it is. I have the pleasure to testify to you this day, in the midst of all these terrible things which faithfulness to your souls extorts from me, that The Lord waiteth, that he may be gracious, and does, as it were, raise himself up that he may have mercy upon youş: He rises from his throne to stretch out the golden sceptre to you, to open his compassionate arms to embrace you, if you approach him as humble penitents. Jesus the Judge will become your friend; he will receive you, he will shelter you and bless you ; if with believing hearts you seek his mercy, after having so long dared his vengeance. This day do I testify, that he is readyto bestow upon you far more valuable pleasures than those which he calls you to resign, and to give you much greater satisfaction in contradicting the corruptions of your heart, and controling the impulse of your senses, than you ever have found, or could possibly find, in gratifying them. May you be persuaded to the wise and happy exchange! Then will the patience of God be salvation to you, when his goodness leads you to repentance. . 2. The young christian hath apparent reason to be thankful for

*Mat. xxv. 41.

Luke xix. 42.

+ Job xx. 29.
ll 1 Cor. xi. 31, 32.

Ezek. xxii. 14.

Lam. iii. 22.

1

that grace, which hath sanctified his heart, and turned away

his eyes from beholding vanity. My brethren in the Lord: permit me to remind you that You were sometimes foolish and disobedient, serving divers lusts and pleasures|| : But there is now room for us to congratulate you, and say, Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your

* Isa, üi. 22.

Isa. XXX. 18.

+ 1 Sam. XX. 3.
Il Tit, iii. 3.

Jude, ver, 6.

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