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sibly enjoy. It is to have every (L«ire accomplished, every sense gratified. It is to havlwic' lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride «f life, indulged in the highest perfection. All that can please the palate; the luxuries of all countries collected on the table of the epicure; all the delightful charms of music; all the elegancies and conveniences of a noble palace; all that can gratify the smell and the touch; all the pleasures of imagination, arising from grandeur, beauty, and novelty. And, supposing all this obtained, (Solomon obtained it all), what a poor all it proved !— "Vanity and vexation of spirit" was the total amount! And is this the whole of that for which men risk their souls? Foolish barter! Wretched exchange! Was Esau wise, who sold his birth-right for a mess of pottage? Was Judas wise, who sold his master, and his own soul too, for thirty pieces of silver? Just as wise is the worldly man, who parts with heaven for the sordid and short-lived pleasures of earth. I remember reading of a woman, whose house was on fire. She was very active in removing her goods, but forgot her child, who was sleeping in the cradle. At length, she remembered the babe, and ran with earnest desire to save it. But it was now too late. The flames forbade her entrance. Judge of her agony of mind, when she exclaimed-4-" O my child, my child! I have saved my goods, but lost my child!" Just so it will be with many a poor sinner, who was all his life "careful and troubled about many things," while "the one thing needful" was forgot. What will it then avail for a man to say—" I got a good place, or a good trade, but lost my soul! I got a large fortune, but lost my soul! I got many friends, but God is my enemy! I lived in. pleasure, but now pain is my everlasting portion! I clothed my body gaily, but my soul is naked before Godl" Our Lord exposed this folly, in the parable of the worldly rich man, Luke xii. 16, &c. His wealth increased abundantly. He was about to enlarge his bams, and then he promised himself a long life of
idleness, luxury, aid mirth; "But God said to him, Thou fool, this nignt shall thy soul be required of thee: then whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?" Here, for the sake of the body, the soul was forgot. While he was dreaming of years to come, death was at the door; and little did he think "that the next hour his friends would be scrambling for his estate, the worms for his body, and devils for his soul."
1. Is the soul so valuable? Then do we act as if we believed it so to be? Are our chief desires and endeavours for the body, or for the soul? It is true that the business of life, and the support of the body, require our daily care and labour. But God has placed no man in such a state as to allow no time for the care of the soul. One whole day in seven is, by his authority, appointed for the care of the soul and the worship of God. Every man, however busy, finds some time for meals, and rest, and conversation, on other days; and if the heart were set on God and heaven, as it ought to be, many a moment would be found for spiritual exercises, without hindrance to worldly business. Yea, a proper regard to true religion, and the blessing of God procured by prayer, would render worldly business more easy, and more prosperous too. But, were it otherwise, remember the text, "What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Is it reasonable, think you, that this nobje part, the immortal soul, should have no share in your thoughts, and cares, and endeavours? Shall the brutal part of man engross all his affections? If it does, the event will be fatal. "If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."
2. Is there danger of losing the soul? then beware: be on your guard; watch and pray, lest you should lose your souls. Remember that sin, and ignorance, and carelessness, and unbelief, will certainly ruin the soul. Though the flesh may plead for these things and you may have the majority of the world on your side, yet God has said, "The end of these things is death."
But why should you lose your souls? Is there not a Saviour, and a great one? He came from heaven on purpose to save that which was lost. Do you ask, "What shall I do to be saved?" We reply, with the apostle Paul, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." There is no name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved, but that of Jesus. He is the only deliverer from the wrath to come. Take care that you trust in nothing else. Make not your good works, as they are called, your dependence. Virtue and morality are excellent things, and promote the peace and welfare of society; but they are not saviours. He that trusts them leans on a broken reed, builds on the yielding sand, and will be woefully disappointed at last. By grace alone are sinners saved, through faith; and faith is the gift of God. Many who have some concern for their souls, perish through their ignorance of Christ. They think themselves moral and devout, and doubt not that God will accept them. But this is a ruinous mistake. Such moral persons are in as much danger as the most profane. This is the fatal stumbling-block of thousands; but know this, Christ alone can save your souls. He must be your wisdom, your righteousness, your sanctification, and redemption; your all in all. Fly, then, to him without delay. If you would not lose your soul, call upon him to save it. This is his office; He is the Saviouk. It is his--delight; he waits to be gracious. His open arms are ready to receive the trembling sinner. "Turn ye to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope." Believe in him, and you are safe. You may then say, with St. Paul, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him;" namely, the immortal soul, with all its eternal concerns against that day, the day of final judgment.
Finally. Can the whole world make no amends for the loss of a soul? then prize the world less, and the soul more. Learn to think of the world now, as you will think of it on a dying bed. "A dying man would give all the world for his soul; when in health he does not so much as think of it. Whilst he is able, he will do nothing at all! and he would fain do all, when he is no longer able to do any thing. What strange delusion is this ! will mankind never recover from it after so many fatal examples?" Be moderate in your pursuit of the world. "Be diligent in business;" but take care to be "fervent in spirit" also. Time is short. Eternity is long. Live for eternity. Show your regard for your souls, by earnestness and diligence in all the means of grace. If you prize your souls, you will prize Sabbaths, and Bibles, and Sermons, and Prayers, and serious frends. Redeem, then, the time. "Hear the voice of God while it is called To-day; for this is the acceptable time; this is the day of salvation. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do, of his good pleasure.'' Were religion painful and miserable; still, as necessary to eternal happiness, it would be your wisdom to be religious; but to be religious is to be happy now, and happy for ever. On the contrary, the wicked man is miserable now, and will be miserable for ever. So that the choice which is proposed to every man on this subject is: "Will you have a foretaste of heaven now, and then heaven for ever: or will you have a foretaste of hell now, and then hell for ever? "Will you have two hells or two heavens?"
END OF VOL. II.
JohD Haddon and Co., Doctors' Commons.
OR, SHOUT AND PLAIN
FOR THE USE OK
FAMILIES, SCHOOLS, AND RELIGIOUS SOCIETIES.
BY GEORGE BURDER.
CONTAINING THIRTEEN SERMONS,
WITH A COLLECT ADAPTED TO BACH.
A NEW EDITION.
Tlie inhabitants of the villages shall rehearse the righteous acts of the Lord."
Judges v- 7, 11 ■
SOLD AT THE DEPOSITORY, 56, PATERNOSTER ROW;