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and eternal world, to which they are shortly going. They do not dwell, but only sojourn here; not looking upon earth as their home, but only
"Travelling through Immanuel's ground,
To fairer worlds on high."
15. Brethren, are you of this number, who are now here before God? Do you see him that "is invisible." Have you faith? Living faith? The faith of a child? Can you say, "The life that I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me?" "Do you "walk by faith?" Observe the question. I do not ask, Whether you curse, or swear, or profane the Sabbath, or live in any outward sin? I do not ask, Whether you do good, more or less? Or attend all the ordinances of God? But suppose you are blameless in all these respects, I ask, in the Name of God, By what standard do you judge of the value of things? By the visible or the invisible world? Bring the matter to an issue in a single instance. Which do you judge best, that your son should be a pious cobler, or a profane lord? Which appears to you most eligible, that your daughter should be a child of God, and walk on foot, or a child of the devil, and ride in a coach and six ? When the question is, concerning marrying your daughter, If you consider her body more than her soul? Take knowledge of yourself! You are in the way to hell, and not to heaven; for you walk by sight, and not by faith. I do not ask, whether you live in any outward sin, or neglect,—but Do you seek, in the general tenor of your life," the things that are above," or the things that are below? Do you "set your affection on things above," or on "things of the earth ?" If, on the latter, you are as surely in the way of destruction, as a thief, or a common drunkard. My dear friends, let every man, every woman among you, deal honestly with yourselves. Ask your own heart, What am I seeking day by day? What am I desiring? What am I pursuing? Earth or heaven? The things that are seen, or the things that are not seen? What is your object, God
or the world? As the Lord liveth, if the world is your object, still all your religion is vain.
16. See, then, my dear brethren, that from this time, at least, ye choose the better part. Let your judgment of all the things round about you be according to the real value of things, with a reference to the invisible and eternal world. See that ye judge every thing fit to be pursued or shunned, according to the influence it will have on your eternal state. See that your affections, your desire, your joy, your hope, be set, not on transient objects, not on things that flee as a shadow, that pass away like a dream; but on those that are incapable of change, that are incorruptible and fade not away: those that remain the same, when heaven and earth "flee away, and there is no place found for them." See that in all you think, speak, or do, the eye of your soul be single, fixed on "him that is invisible, and the glories that shall be revealed." Then shall "your whole body be full of light." Your whole soul shall enjoy the light of God's countenance. And you shall continually see "the light of the glorious love of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
17. See, in particular, that all your " desire be unto him, and unto the remembrance of his Name." Beware of "foolish and hurtful desires:" such as arise from any visi-. ble or temporal thing. All these St. John warns us of, under that general term, "love of the world." It is not so much to the men of the world, as to the children of God, he gives that important direction, "Love not the world, neither the things of the world." Give no place to the "desire of the flesh," the gratification of the outward senses, whether of the taste, or any other. Give no place to ❝ the desire of the eye," the internal sense, or imagination, by gratifying it, either by grand things, or beautiful, or uncommon. Give no place to "the pride of life," the desire of wealth, of pomp, or of the honour that cometh of men. St. John confirms this advice, by a consideration parallel to that observation which St. Paul had made to the Corinthi
ans, "For the world and the fashion of it passeth away," is in the very act of passing, and will return no more. There-. fore, desire none of these fleeting things; but that glory which "abideth for ever."
18. Observe well: this is Religion, and this alone: this alone is true Christian religion: not this or that opinion, or system of opinions, be they ever so true, ever so scriptural. It is true, this is commonly called faith. But those who suppose it to be religion, are given up to a strong delusion, to believe a lie and if they suppose it to be a sure passport to heaven, they are in the high road to hell. Observe well: Religion is not harmlessness; which a careful observer of mankind properly terms, Hellish harmlessness, as it sends thousands to the bottomless pit. It is not Morality, excellent as that is, when it is built on a right foundation, loving faith. But when otherwise, it is of no value in the sight of God. It is not Formality, the most exact observance of all the ordinances of God. This too, unless it be built on the right foundation, is no more pleasing to God, than "the cutting off a dog's neck." No: Religion is no less than living in eternity, and walking in eternity: and hereby walking in the love of God and man, in lowliness, meekness, and resignation. This, and this alone, is that "life which is hid with Christ in God." He alone, who experiences this, "dwells in God, and God in him." This alone is setting the crown upon Christ's head, and doing his "will on earth, as it is done in heaven."
19. It will easily be observed, that this is the very thing that the men of the world call Enthusiasm. A word just fit for their purpose, because no man can tell either the meaning, or even the derivation of it. If it has any determinate sense, it means a species of religious madness. Hence, when you speak your experience, they immediately cry out, "Much religion hath made thee mad." And all that you experience either of the invisible or of the eternal world, they suppose to be only the waking dreams of a heated imagination. It cannot be otherwise, when men born blind take upon them to reason concerning light and colours.
They will readily pronounce those to be insane, who affirm the existence of those things whereof they have no conception.
20. From all that has been said, it may be seen with the utmost clearness, what is the nature of that fashionable thing called Dissipation. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear: it is the very quintessence of Atheism: it is artificial added to natural ungodliness. It is the art of forgetting God, of being altogether "without God in the world:" The art of excluding him, if not out of the world he has created, yet out of the minds of all his intelligent creatures. It is a total studied inattention to the whole invisible and eternal world: more especially to death, the gate of eter nity, and to the important consequences of death, heaven and hell.
21. This is the real nature of Dissipation. And is it so harmless a thing, as it is usually thought? It is one of the choicest instruments of destroying immortal spirits, that was ever forged in the magazines of hell. It has been the mean of plunging myriads of souls, that might have enjoyed the glory of God, into the everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. It blots out all religion at one stroke, and levels man with the beasts that perish. All ye that fear God, flee from dissipation! Dread and abhor the very name of it. Labour to have God in all your thoughts!> To have eternity ever in your eye! "Look" continually, "not at the things that are seen, but at things which are not seen." Let your hearts be fixed there, where “Christ sitteth at the right hand of God," that whensoever he call eth you, "an entrance may be ministered unto you abund antly into his everlasting kingdom."
ON THE UNITY OF THE DIVINE BEING.
MARK XII. 32.
"There is ONE GOD."
1. AND as there is one God, so there is one religion, and one happiness for all men: God never intended there should be any more: and it is not possible there should. Indeed, in another sense, as the Apostle observes, "there are gods many, and lords many." All the heathen nations had their gods, and many; whole shoals of them. And generally, 、the more polished they were, the more gods they heaped up to themselves: but to us, to all that are favoured with the Christian Revelation, "there is but one God," who declares of himself, "Is there any God, beside me? There is none; I know not any."
2. But who can search out this God to perfection? None of the creatures that he has made. Only some of his attributes he hath been pleased to reveal to us in his word, Hence we learn, That God is an Eternal Being. "His goings forth are from everlasting," and will continue to everlasting. As he ever was, so he ever will be; as there was no beginning of his existence, so there will be no end. This is universally allowed to be contained in his very name, JEHOVAH: which the Apostle John accordingly renders, "He that was, and that is, and that is to come." Perhaps