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venially ignorant of your duty: in this country, and in your situation, in proportion as you have been ignorant, you have been ig. norant wilsully. Humble yourselves and repent. In the sincerity of humiliation and penitence, supplicate the Father of Mercies, that, through the atonement and the intercession of the Lord Jesus, your sin may be blotted out; that for His sake the presumptuous devices of your heart and the boastful language of your lips may be for given; and that grace may be bestowed upon you by the Holy Spirit, to preserve you from repeating the offence. By whatever clouds your mind may heretofore have been obscured, you now know " that which is good;" and, if you do it not, to you it is sin. Be conscientious in acting conformably to the full extent of your knowledge; be careful for nothing, except faith and holiness. Seck first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all things essential to your earthly welfare shall be added unto you. Stretch not your thoughts forward to remote plans of worldly interest. In all your plans, remember that the Lord God Omnipotent reigncth, and distributeth all things to cvery man severally as IIc will. Leave all things in His hands, with gratitude for bis past mercies, with undoubting reliance on His wisdom and his love. In discoursing concerning your future purposes, “be not ashamed when it concerncth thy soul.” Let it be visible, unostentatiously yet clearly visible, that you reser and commit every event to the good pleasure of your Father, who is in JIeaven. Why “takest thou thought," why art thou disquieted with anxiety, "for the morrow? The morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.” Why strainest thou thine aching eyes in spcculating on airy phantoms? Why buildest thou for thyself visionary palaces amidst the vapors that hang on the extremity of the sky. Thou hast here no continuing city. Scek one to

Seek “ an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens: a city having foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

Finally: Remember that the concluding admonition which St. James has so pertinently applicd to the immediate subject of his discourse, is in its nature a general precept, applicable to every branch and circumstance of duty. Whether faith or practice, whether doctrines to be received, tempers to be cherished, or actions to be performed, be in question; whether to govern or to

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serve, to labor or to endurc, to glorify God through the Lord Jesus by evil report or by good report, by life or by death, be the office to which the Christian is called forth, it is equally and universally true, that “to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” Restrict not to special occasions, circumscribe not by unwarranted limitations, a precept comprehensive as the sphere of human agency. Are you weary of well-doing? Are you solicitous to curtail the required tribute of truc obedience? Are you inclined to cherish, ignorance, or to dissemble knowledge, if you may thus escape from the obligation of rendering an additional testimony of love and gratitude to God? Is there any love, any gratitude, in the bosom where such thoughts are harbored? Is there any sense of cquity in that bosom? Has thy Creator merited thus at thine hand? Ilas He been a niggard in His mercies to thee? Has He pared away from thy portion every superfluity of comfort? When thou wast in bondage to sin and death eternal, did His power make no exertion, did His wisdom devisc no counsel, did His goodness suggest no sacrifice, for thy sake? Out of thine own mouth shalt thou be judged, thou wicked scrvant! Is this the “frec-will offering” of the heart? Is this to serve God “not grudgingly, and," as it were, "of necessity?' — What is the language of genuine gratitude, of genuine lovc? I am thine: I have longed after thy precepts. With iny whole heart have I sought thcc. In the path of thy commandmenis do I delight. Thy word is very purc; therefore thy servant loveth it. I love thy commandments above gold, yea, above finc gold. I rejoice at thy word as one that findeth great spoil. I esteem all thy prcccpts concerning all things to be right. All thy commandments are righteousness. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed when I have respect unto all thy commandments.” If you lay claim to the denomination of a disciple of Jesus Christ, be it in every point, and on every occasion, your main concern, to fulfill your known duty to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and your duty to your neighbor, as a branch of your duty to Cod. Without that stcadfast concern, you possess not the disposition of a Christian. If, through the renovating influence of Divinc grace, you have attained by effcctual prayer this regenerate frame of soul; and if, through the same grace, you hold it fast unto the end, then are

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you " in Christ a new creature.” Then have scriptural authority for your hopes that, whicther in the course of the present year you shall be numbered with your fathers, or shall be preserved unto the dawning of another, you shall be found of your Lord in peace, and be accepted through the righteousness of Christ.

SERMON XLIV.

THE COURSE OF THE WORLD.

By the Rt. Rev. DANIEL WILSON, D, D.,

Bishop of Calcutta.

EPHESIANS, ii. 2. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world.

A DISPOSITION to sin against God can convert the most innocent things into an occasion of evil. The social principlc in man, which is the fruitful source of so many blessings, is, through our depravity, the cause of various dangers. Few subjects. therefore, are more important than the one proposed in the text. It is observable, that the Apostle, when he had declared that the Ephesians, previously to their conversion, bad been “dead in trespasses and sins,” states, as the proof of this, that they had walked according to the custom and inode of the world around them; most obviously implying thal, since corruption had sprcad over the whole nature of man, it was sufficient to say that the Ephesians followed the general usages of the great body of mankind, in order to prove that they were dead as to God and spiritual religion.

Our objcct then is, The course of the world; which may be considered, as to its gencral nature, and as to its particular modifications. We shall consider,

I. The spirit of this world, as to its general nature.

By the expression, The spirit or course of this world, is meant the collected force of that neglect of God and supreme love of things present, in which the great mass of mankind live. Men being fallen from God and ignorant of spiritual religion, are, when united in society, likė a vast current made up of a thousand streams, and flowing with a proportionably augmented violence. As cach separately loves sin and pleasure, and delights in the honors, and riches, and enjoyinents of sense, their combined movements are like the action of some great and complicated machine of an endless variety of parts, cach contributing to the momcntum of the whole. As cvery individual is inflamed by the pursuit of appetite and pleasure, the general cffect is like the progress of a vast conflagration raised to tenfold extent and fury by tlic prodigious accumulation of materials. By the spirit of the world, then, is meant the aggregate force of the general notions, customs, and practices, of the great bulk of mankind, so far as their habits and opinions are contrary to the will of God.

of this the Scriptures frequently speak. From the passage connected with my text, we learn, that worldly persons are in a state of spiritual death, are subject to Satan, are under the rule of ungoverned passions, and exposed to Divine wrath: “ And you -were dead in trespasses and sins, wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; among whom also we all had our conversation in times past, in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the fiesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, cven as others.”

From oiher passages we Icarn, that all that is in the world, the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world;" that “the friendship of the world is enmity against God;" that " wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go in thercat;" that "the cares of this life, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things, choke the seed" of truth, “and make it unfruitful;" and that we must not be conformed to this world, but be transformed in the renewing of our mind.”

Examples of this worldly spirit, in a greater or less degree, abound both in the cases of persons wholly scnsual and ungodly, and in those of more religious and hopeful characters. The young

ruler who “ went away from our Lord sorrowful because he had great possessions,” is an example of amiable and decent persons who are yet too much attached to the possession of this world. Martha “cumbered with much scrving," though on the whole a faithful disciple of our Lord, yet exhibits a specimen of persons too anxious about its subordinate duties. The rich fool who “pulled down bis barns and built greater,” is an example of those who yield to ease and sensuality: Dives, “clothed with purple and fine linen, and faring sumptuously every day,” of the luxurious and splendid; the guests “ who made light of the marriage supper,” and pleaded their different excuscs, are a specimen of the indifferent and carcless; Saul the Pharisec, of the proud and self-righteous; Judas of the covetous and base; Nabal, of the gross and churlish; Solomon, of the lcarned and voluptuous; Lot's wisc, of those who are lovers of plcasure: Eli, of the easy and unfaithful; Jehoshaphat, of the fecble and irrcsolute; the Laodiccans, of declining professors of religion; and Demas, of apostates, who appear utterly to forsake the ways of Christ.

From these various instances, compared with the passages of Holy Writ which preceded them, we may collect that the “goderning principle” of the world, when it wholly prevails, is the “ laboring only for the meat that perisheth," the “neglecting of salvation,” the “ forsaking of God the fountain of living waters;" in one word, the "minding carthly things, The carnal mind," the phronema tes sarkos; or, as it is in the words following my text, " the fulfilling of the desires of the flesh and of the mind." From this main principle, as from a secret but exuberant spring, the mighty current of ungodliness flows.

The system of conduct to which this governing principle leads, is that of practical irreligion in the heart and life. Under this general description, almost every kind of irreligious persons may be included. It is not necessary to pursue a course gross

and flagrant immoralities in order to be of the world; though even thesc are but too much countenanccd. Men may be decent, benevolent, honest, reputable, punctual, and even virtuous in the ordinary sense of the expression, and yet give their society and apparent sanction to persons of the most opposite habits, and thus be on the best terms with the general body of men around them. Nor is it necessary that the pursuits which men arc engaged in, should be in themselves unlawful. The most innocent avocations

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