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world. It is to convert it, not from the power of Satan unto God, but from one class of sins to another class of sins-from licentiousness to ambition, from profligacy to avarice, from the love of sinful pleasure to the love of a sinful world. The effect then plainly is to destroy a soul, and to bring down its blood upon its betrayer and murderer. Such are the evils of lukewarmness. If
any whom I now address are of that spirit, would to God that I could lead you into the
into the very train of reflections into which I insensibly fell, while I was preparing this discourse.
It was as follows:
Whose cause, I asked myself, am I now about to plead ? Is it the cause of God with his own creatures, the work of his own hands? And is his charge against them, the want of zeal, of true fidelity, of all that can be termed affection or attachment? And can they bear the cutting accusation of ingratitude, and of cold indifference to the source of all their blessings ? Can they listen, without emotion, to a direct charge of disaffection to the King of Heaven; as if he were not, like earthly superiors, a real person, but an abstract notion, an empty name, a fleeting shadow, an infinite nothing? Is the root then of lukewarmness, I continued, after all, a disbelief of the very
fundamentals of religion? Is this deadness of the heart a lurking suspicion that there is no power above? a spirit which whispers, in the secret chambers of the soul, there is no God? Or cannot another reason be assigned ? Earthly masters are hasty in resentment, and quick to punish. But God is slow to punish, and in the midst of provocations is long-suffering, mild, patient, and forgiving. Temporal majesty dresses out its brief authority in every sign and circumstance of power.
But God veils the splendor and brightness of the uncreated essence, the terror and lightnings of his omnipotence, in clouds of soft compassion; in the gentle characters of a father's condescension, of more than a mother's tenderness. The truth is, if at this moment it were proclaimed, by a voice from heaven, that we had all been in error, and that God was in his nature inexorable and cruel, men would know how to respect and reverence him. The lukewarm would then burn with zeal; they would bow the knee in servile homage; they would think no sacrifice too costly, no pains too great, to flatter his caprice, or avert his anger. Yes the case is clear :-it is because God is good, that he is neglected and unheeded. This is the reason why that all-gracious being is banished from men's hearts and minds and familiar con
versations; why his benefits meet no kind returns, his blessings win no gratitude.
Such were the thoughts which presented themselves to my mind. And if these suggestions cannot reach the soul, and force a way, through every obstacle, to the seat of conscience, where, alas ! shall we look for motives to rouse and animate the lukewarm breast? Yes, there is one consideration, which can act when every other fails, and which, to them that believe, is the power of God unto salvation:-I mean the sufferings and death of the Redeemer.
The sacrifice upon the cross, was the means ordained by heaven to satisfy the divine justice, to vindicate the divine law, and to clear a passage for God's mercy to this fallen world, without the compromise cf his unchangeable righteousness and truth. But the revelation of that stupendous mystery, and its exhibition before the eyes of men, was manifestly intended to serve a purpose altogether of another nature.
It was not to soften the heart of God, it was to soften the heart of man, that the Scriptures have so circumstantially detailed all the hardships of the Saviour's life, and all the agonies of his death. It was not to draw forth pity from the divine bosom, or to call down the
compassion of God upon the sufferings of his beloved Son; it was to win our affections, and to gain our hearts, that Christ is set forth in these unerring pages, as, emphatically, “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;" as enduring all the extremities of a hard and afflicted lot, of distress, contempt, indignity, and pain. Yes, my brethren, read these records for yourselves: behold there and see, if “any sorrow was like unto his sorrow." The question then is, do you really believe that Christ has drunk to the dregs this cup of misery? Do you believe that he bore all his pains and agonies for you? Do you believe and acknowledge him to be your Saviour and your God? What suitableness, then, is there in the measured movements of the lukewarm, to such inconceivable, overwhelming obligations ?
God claims, indeed, the affections of an undivided heart: but what has he not done to win our hearts? What has he not condescended to, that he might gain our confidence and love? What has he not suffered, which could disarm even enmity itself, and turn the heart of stone into a heart of flesh ?
If we still resist these motives—if we still despise God's goodness, his last best means to lead us to repentance--we have then been brought fairly to the test; the sovereign re
Aaratya5*, tt sar, Visit this kare I col so site se ***? erud bare teen die more for saytishad iua I kate midde ii? And
the ind haut Lurteur go round the erotik sayrade, and pas a ong all ihe ranks of the auzelic hot_“ Lo, these are the dege“ nerate and apustate spirits, for whom God " delivered up his Son, and for whom the “ Lord of Glory died; but they rejected that
great valvation, and are now departing into " everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and “ his angels."
pon that tremendous day, a far different generation will appear at Christ's right hand. In their Judge they will behold their Saviour, their Deliverer, and their friend. The glad tidings of redeeming love had reached their cars in life-- they had ears that heard, and hearts that understood. God's goodness had not been lost on them. Their affections were engaged, their hearts were won--their souls, and all the powers within them, became a willing sacrifice, and whole burnt offering unto God. Thoir salvation had begun on earth.