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SERMON I.

"IT IS APPOINTED UNTO MAN ONCE TO DIE, BUT AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT.'

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DELIVERED IN BOSTON ON THE SECOND SABBATH IN FEB. 1818.

HEB. IX. 27, 28

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judg ment; so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin unto salvation."

BEING Sensible that the common opinion entertained of this portion of divine truth, is in a very important sense different from what I am fully persuaded the Apostle designed to communicate, it seems reasonable that the hearer should be advertised of this circumstance in the introduction of the subject. If the audience should pass the time of the introduction with minds directed to, and possessed of the general opinion of a day of judgment in a future state, which is the subject to which our text is applied, by almost universal consent, it might be difficult for the hearer to undergo so great a transition at once, as would be required, in order to gain a clear view of the true sense of the passage under consideration.

In order, therefore, that the candid inquirer after truth, should not be too much embarrassed with traditional notions on this subject, it is thought expedient to bring the general opinion of the text first into view, and expose its improprieties, so that the mind, being satisfied, in some degree at least, of the error of the commonly

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received opinion, may be the more easily conduct-
ed to the right sense of the text.

This part of duty is always attended with some
unpleasant sensations to the labourer. He feels
the necessity of approaching this work with cau-
tion. In performing this, he well knows that
there is danger of wounding those who are in-
volved in the error to be corrected, and the deli-
cate ear which shrinks from the language of con-
troversy.

But notwithstanding all difficulties, necessary labour must be done and done faithfully. An architect whom you might see fit to employ to repair your house, might, on due examination, find that the labour and expense of repairing would be surely lost, for want of soundness in the foundation; and however disagreeable it might be to you to hear it, or to him to declare it, yet it would be most consistent with your interest and his duty.

But it is hard to give up the ancient, the venerable, though decayed building. The habitations of our fathers hold our fond hearts with a sort of charm that is not easily broken. But from this digression we may return to our subject.

This passage read for our present consideration, as has already been hinted, is generally applied to the subject of a day of judgment, in a future state, when and where all mankind will be brought to trial, duly examined, judged and rewarded according to their works in this mortal life. Some of the absurdities of this notion of a future judgment, I have pointed out in a discourse which I recently delivered in this house, and which has since been published. That sermon, having stirred up the minds of the thoughtful, has thereby, been the means of calling our present subject into consideration; which gives me another occasion to attend to this very important inquiry.

As this judgment is supposed to mean a decision. to be formed, on due examination and investigation of character and conduct, how it is possible

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