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therefore, upon any single derlaration of the eternity of Divine punishinent that we rest the proof of this doctrine; nor upon the expressions of any one Prophet or Apostle; nor even upon the concurrent testimony of them all:-we appeal to the harmony of the whole Revelation of God, to the correspondence of inspi ed testimony with authenticated facts, to the connexion of the whole with the system of worship which God has enjoined, and even with that highest and clearest dispensation of mercy which he has given to man. This accumulated evidence becomes irresistible. Declarations might be limited; arguments migbt be distorted; but proofs thus combined are subject to no ambiguity: their application is universal, and their force cannot be eraded.

“Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.

And first I call on the careless sinner to pause and tremble at this view of the character of God.

I probably speak to some who are living in the daily violation of God's commands. You know, for I speak to your consciences; you know that you are habitual sinners, and that you have not repented, and do not repent;-yet you presumptuously hope that God will be merciful to you, and will not destroy the work of his own hands. You have been told perhaps, and you eagerly catch at the delusive report, that God is very merciful, and did not make man to destroy him. But will you believe his own declarations? They are clear and plain, that no drunkard, no whoremonger or unclean person—in a word, no sinner remaining suchshall ever be admitted into the kingdom of God. Will you credit the testimony of facts? They are equally decisive. Look at the old world deluged by a flood. They could not believe that God would destroy his own works, till the flood came and swept them all away. Have you considered that the Bible must be shewn to be false, before you can hope to be saved? Dreadful alternative! Why will you put your salvation to such

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hazard? Why will you compel the Almighty to condeinn you? Behold, he sent his Son to save you; and you will not hear him, nor receive his salvation. By the terrors of the Lord, I entreat you to consider how dreadful must be the wrath of the Almighty. Be not deceived by vain imaginations. You know nothing of God but what his word has declared; and there you learn that he sees with abhorrence, and that he will visit by correction or punishment, every act of wilful disobedience.

Be careful, therefore, to avoid temptation. Impress your mind with a salutary dread of God's displeasure. This is the best safeguard of virtue, and is by no means inconsistent with the most fervent love to God. The most dutiful and affectionate son will be most afraid of his father's anger.—Learn also to prize that atonement which God has given you in his beloved Son. You cannot love God too much, nor feel too high a sense of your obligation to him. Shew then, by vour obedience to his law, and by your fear of sin, how much

you

love him, and how highly you value his approbation.

Lastly, let us learn to guard against those systems, whether philosophical or religious, which would in any wise diminish our dread of sin, or lead us to look upon it without horror. The true test of the excellence of any system should be the holy jealousy of sin which it produces, and the watchfulness it inspires against its approach. Such is evidently the main design of Revelation. It displays, in the strongest light, the evil of sin; and cherishes in us such a dread of it that we may be better fitted to dwell in that world where obedience to God is pure, and perfect, and uninterrupted.

SERMON II.

ON THE PARENTAL CHARACTER OF GOD.

Deut. xxxii. 6.

Is not he thy Father?

THE term Father implies all that is most tender and affectionate. The love of a father is immeasurable. It extends to every thing which can affect the welfare of his offspring: it leads him to anticipate all the dangers to which his child is exposed, that he may guard against them; all the inconveniences to which it

may be subject, that he may remove them; all its wants, ere yet they are felt, that he may supply them; all the advantages, comforts, and blessings which he can procure for his offspring, that he may obtain them. By day be labours for his child; by night he watches for him; and often are his eyes kept waking upon his bed while the welfare of his unconscious child is the subject of his anxious care.

His love is also unchangeable. The want of a suitable return will not extinguish it: sickness, infirmity, calamity, will not damp it: the disappointment of all his hopes will not destroy it: time itself will not efface it. To the very last beat of the pulse, amidst all the languor of sickness, or even the pain of dying, under everv circunstance which chills or suppresses the affection of others, a father feels the welfare of his child dearer to him than his own. It is true indeed that the love of a parent, like every thing else in this fallen world, partakes of the imperfections which cleave to human nature. Other passions may disturb its influence; the breast in which it resides may be unpropitious to its full development; folly and sin, the bane of every thing good, may poison its very sources; but the proper tendency of parental regard is what I have stated, and its general character such as I have described. For my own part, ever since I could form any observation of the human character, I have been accustomed to associate with the name of Father all that is venerable, tender, and affectionate. Many years have now passed since I could call any one by that endearing appellation; but no course of time will ever obliterate the memory of that unvarying kindness, that incessant solicitude, that perpetual watchfulness, that affectionate sympathy in my trouble, that abounding joy in my happiness. which for so many years I daily witnessed. I appeal for the truth of my representation of parental love to the oldest persons here present. I ask them whether, after the revolution of perhaps half a century, the impression of parental tenderness does not still remain indelible, whether memory does not upon this summons instantly call up innumerable proofs of kindness, which cause the heart to dissolve in grateful recollection. I appeal to the feelings of every parent in this numerous assembly, and ask them if the description I have given of a father's heart be not correct. They know with what anxiety they watch over their offspring, how incessant their cares, how unvarving regird; how much they live in the welfare of iheir children. I appeal to you who still enjoy the privilege of having a parent, if you do not daily witness such

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proofs of regard and solicitude for your welfare as will justify the representation which I have made is true that the painful, though necessary, restraints which are imposed upon you by parental authority, may check those feelings of grateful affection which else would force themselves upon your minds. You think you may complain of hardships which you perhaps sustain; but that very complaint originates in the high conception which you have justly formed of parental tenderness, and which you may conceive not to be realized in your particular case. But allow me to observe, that you perhaps are at present very inadequate judges of the wisdom with wbich the cares of a parent are exerted. The time may arrive when you will be better qualified, from experience, to form a correct judgment of the proper effects of a well-regulated affection. And then you will probably observe, even in the restraints to which parental authority may have subjected you, solid and substantial proofs of the most tender regard.

Parental affection is implanted in the breast by the Author of our frame, for the protection and benefit of our offspring. It is not left to reason to shew its necessity, nor to conscience to urge the observance of it; but it is interwoven in the frame of man, and begins to influence his conduct as soon as its operation is necessary. Being thus implanted in us, it is cherished, by the dependent state of children, who know no other protectors but their parents, and have no house but theirs in which to find an habitation. But God has further strengthened the bonds of parental regard by the firmest ties of moral and religious duty. In savage nations, its force is felt with irresistible strength through the mere instinct of nature: but in more polished societies, it is still further enforced by the obligations of reason and religion, law and equity, honour and conscience;—so important is it justly considered, so reproachful is the want of it esteemed, both by God and man.

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