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Christ, or be damned. Infinite was the condescension of Jehovah, in devising the great and glorious scheme of man's redemption through Jesus Christ, and the great term of salvation, even faith in his name, is the lowest or most reasonable, that can possibly be made. Mankind must cheerfully comply with this, or else they must pray God to let them go on in the devices of their depraved hearts, and in the sight of their own eyes, without seeing any form or comeliness in the Saviour, that they should desire him.

3d. Perseverance in well doing, will secure a hea. venly and never failing treasure. Through grace, in consequence of the atonement which Christ has made, mankind may receive an everlasting reward for all those works, which imply true obedience. Then why stand ye here all the day idle? To those of the sixth, ninth, or eleventh hour, says the divine Redeemer, Go, work in my vineyard. To him, that endureth to the end, eternal life is the reward, for they received every man a penny,

The obedience of the heart, and perseverance in well doing, will gain an immortal prize. Thus we may see how mann kind may lay up a treasure of durable riches, and have something substantial in store to supply their future wants.

I now proceed in the third place, to offer some reas son to show, that they ought now to be greatly engaged, in preparing for their future well-being.

Ist. God, their heavenly Father, commands them immediately to engage in the work. When the Lord speaks, his intelligent creatures are bound to hear and obey. An earthly parent considers his child to be under obligations to yield obedience to his wise and reasonable requirements; but how much greater the obligations of men to yield entire and cheerful obedience to the righteous commands of the great, the infinite Parent. Shall any think to excuse themselves from their moral obligations of obedience How many

even of immediate compliance, by pleading, that they have lived in disobedience for many years,

and have no disposition to obey? Would a disobedient child be excused, for not returning to his father's house, and rendering filial obedience to his parent's commands, if he should observe, that he had voluntarily strayed from his Father's house, and openly trampled upon his authority ? Or, shall mankind be free from guilt and blame, if they plead the secret enmity of their hearts against God, and their averseness to all his reasonable requirements to be so great, that they cannot love and serve him? times, and in how light a manner, are such heavendaring excuses made by a God-provoking world! Perhaps some one is ready to say, I am greatly affected and alarmed at the awful wickedness and stubbornness of my heart, lest it finally sink me in perdition; hence my plea is made with great seriousness. Yes! and let me ask, What would you think of a child, who, in a very serious and solemn manner, even in the sincerity of his heart, should declare to his Father, that he hated him with perfect and fixed hatred; and that he could not be persuaded to love and obey him, even by the most solicitous and endearing entreaties and persuasions ? When you seriously and candidly decide this point, then judge how vain and wicked are all those excuses, which are made by mankind, for not turning to the Lord, and cheerfully engaging in his service with all the powers of their souls, since he commands them immediately to engage in the all important work of preparing for their future well-being.

2d. The patience and forbearance of God, is another reason why they should not delay to engage in the work. It is an affecting consideration, that they who defer laying up a treasure for a future day, despise the riches of God's goodness, and forbearance, and long suffering. The Lord grants sinners space for repentance, and lengthens out their for

sorrow.

feited lives, that they may turn unto him and live. But they who abuse his supporting and governing agency, by continuing their impenitence, and hardness of heart, do weary his patience, and provoke his awful vengeance. And are there not some, who have long abused the long-suffering of God, and who have often tempted him to show his wrath, and make his power known? The miser, after many years of covet

, ous success; and the clouds, just before a storm, do greatly increase in their treasure. So they, who have long abused the glorious compassion, and marvellous long-suffering of God, are making hasty strides in the road to ruin ; and their treasure is fast increasing and rapidly redoubling to be repaid in

But is there nothing neither in the character nor conduct of the ever blessed God, which will lead men to take heed to their ways, and to lay up in store a goodly and never fading treasure? If his justice will not excite them, must it be that they will not be moved neither by his grace, nor his mercy, nor

, , his forbearance and patience towards them? Have redeeming grace and dying love no attractions in the view of the sons of men ? Must the pleas and intercessions of yon glorious and exalted Saviour, be set at nought and spurned ? Shall it be that they, as barren fig-trees, will bring forth no fruit unto God? Mankind not only act unwisely, by refusing to engage in the great and all important work of laying up in store a treasure upon which their souls may feed after death, but they do very wickedly, by abusing the divine patience and forbearance.

3d. Mankind ought to be immediately and greatly engaged in this work; for it is that, in which they are most highly interested. They, who engage in this work, have eternal life begun in the soul; and a few years perseverance at most, will put them in full possession of a glorious and an eternal inheritance. Short, indeed, the term for laying up a treasure; but great and glorious the reward. How do men labour änd fatigue themselves, and seize every favourable opportunity to lay up a treasure upon earth, which must shortly fail them! But wisdom crieth aloud, she uttereth her voice in the streets; and, in view of a heavenly treasure, she says to every one, Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might: The compassionate Redeemer, who well knew what is the true interest and wisdom of men, says, Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which shall endure unto eternal life. They, who shall so run as to obtain, will be put in possession of an unspeakable prize; but they who loiter by the way and refuse to work, will meet with a loss which will be matter of unspeakable regret and endless lamentation. Then let men be immediately and greatly engaged, in working out their own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is a business of their highest concern.

4th. Men ought immediately to engage in laying up a heavenly treasure, for they have but one short space in which to perform this work. This present state, is the only day of grace; the only seed-time for mortals to prepare for a great and glorious harvest. And doubtless, with many the day is far spent, and the night is at hand. Doubtless, with many to-morrow will be for ever too late, to lay in store a good treasure, by sowing to the spirit, that they may reap everlasting life. And how melancholy, how deplorable indeed the state of those who in vain lament, The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. But will men still turn a deaf ear to all the calls of God? When the thunders of Sinai roar around them, will they not be moved? Are they so stupid and sluggish as not to be aroused notwithstanding all that the Lord has said and done? Solomon exhorts those who will not hear the voice of God, nor of his servants, calling upon them to go to the ant, one of the little and prudent creatures which God has made, to observe her ways; and, by awaking from their stupidity, to learn a lesson of wisdom. Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways, and be wise: Which, having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, 0 sluggard !

O when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep. So shall thy poverty come, as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. Of how much greater consequence is the soul-important work, in which men are called to engage, than that of the ants, whose only concern is to provide for the winter! And doubtless the time of many will be much shorter to lay up a treasure for heaven, than that of the ants to prepare for their future day. But shall it be, that the ants, guided by instinct, lay in a store in due season, and give all diligence to have a supply for their future wants, while men, who have intelligent powers, loiter and slumber, when eternal concerns press upon them? Let men observe the propriety and wisdom of the insects of the earth, and be admonished from their ways to learn a lesson of heavenly wisdom, lest in the book of divine providence, at the last great day, they appear in judgement against them.

IMPROVEMENT.

1st. Are men admonished not only by the word of God, but by the ants, to be laying up a treasure in heaven? Then it cannot be owing to the want of knowledge, that they neglect this work. In the word of God, the pathway of life is clearly pointed out; and all nature urges men not to delay the work of preparing for the future. The beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and insects of the earth, reprove men of their unmindfulness and ingratitude towards their Creator and most bountiful Benefactor. How active are the various tribes of irrational creatures, in showing forth the praises of their Maker! Their language to the sons of men is, 0 come join with us: in an intelligent, and

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