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power to forgive sins! Should the remaining part of your life pass away in the same careless manner as that has, which is already elapsed, what bitter reflection must needs follow ! How cutting it must be to look back on all the means of salvation, as gone for ever ; the harvest past, the summer ended, and you not saved !
Suppose a company, at the time of low water, should take an excursion upon the sands near the sea shore-Suppose yourself of the companySuppose, that on a presumption of the tide's not returning at present, you should all fall asleep-Suppose all the company, except your. self, to awake out of their sleep, and finding their danger, endeavour to awake you, and to persuade you to flee with them for your life-But you, like the sluggard, are for a little more sleep, and a little more slumber—the consequence is, your companions escape, bet you are left behind to perish in the waters, which, regardless of all your cries, rise and overwhelm you! What a situation would this be! How would you curse that love of sleep that made you refuse to be awaked, that delaying temper that wanted to indulge a little longer! But what is this situation, compared with that of a lost soul? There will come a period when the bot. tom of the ocean would be deemed a refuge ; when to be crushed under falling rocks and mountains, instead of being viewed with terror as heretofore, will be earnestly desired! Yes, des sired, but de red in vain ! ? he signer, who hath negtected the great salvation, will not be able to escape, por hide himself from the face of him ihat siteth upon the throne, vor from the wrath of the Lamb !
My dear hearers !consider your condition with. out delay : God says to you, To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts -- To.day may be the only day you have to live-Go home, enter the closet, and shut the door-confess your sins : implore mercy through our Lord Jesus Christ-Kiss the son lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindlet but a little s blessed are all they that put their trust in him
The Importance of a deep and intimate Knowa
edge of Divine Truth,
HEBREWS v. 12, 13, 14.
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye
have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For
one that useth milk, is unskilful in the word of righteousness = for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both gocd and evil.
THERE is nothing in which the kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of Satan are more opposed, than that the one is characterized by light, and the other by darkness. The cause of false. hood is itself a dark cause, and requires darkness to cover it ; but truth is light, and cometh to the light, that it may be made manifest. Knowledge is every where encouraged in the Bible ; our best interests are interwoven with it ; and the spirituality of our minds, and the real enjoyrrent of our lives depend upon its increase. Grace and peace are multiplied through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. Nor is it
our own sakes only, but for the sake of others. It is a great encouragement to Christian ministers, when those whom they teach possess a good understanding in the thiugs of God. Indeed, none but those who are engaged in the work of teaching can tell how much the ardour of the mind is damped by the contrary. The truth of this remark is exemplified in the writer of this epistle. In the verses immediately preceding the text, you perceive him highly interested in his subject, and proceeding in a glorious career of reasoning ; when, all on a sudden, he is stopped. He had many things to say of his Lord and Master, but which were hard to be understood, seeing those to whom he wrote were dull of hearing. It is on this occasion that he introduces the passage now before us ; in which his object is to shame and provoke them, by comparing them with those who, as to years, were men-but, as to knowl. edge, children; and who, instead of having made advances in science, needed to be taught the alphabet over again. There are some things supposed and included in the passage, which require a little previous attention.
First-It is here supposed, that all divine knowledge is to be derived from the oracles o God It is a proper term by which the sacred scriptures are here denominated, strongly expressive of their divine inspiration and infallibility : in them God speaks ; and to them it becomes us to hearken. We may learn other things from other quarters; and things too that mav subserve the knowledge of God; but the knowledge of God itself must here be sought, før here only it can be found.
Much has been said of faith and reason, and the question has often been agitated, whether the Que, in any instance, can be contrary to the villa er ?
In the solution of this question, it is neces
sary in the first place, to determine what is meant by reason. There is a great difference between reason, and reasoning Nothing which God reveals can contradict the former ; but this is more than can be said of the latter It is impossible for God to reveal any thing repugnant to what is fit and right; but that which is fit and right in one man's estimation, is preposterous and absurd in the esteem of another ; which clearly proves, that reason, as it exists in depraved creatures, is not a proper standard of truth; and hence arises the necessity of another and a better standard, the or. acles of God. By studying these, a good man will gain more understanding than his teachers, if they live in the neglect of them.
Secondly-It is supposed, that the oracles of God include a system of divine truth. They contain the first principles, or rudiments, of religion, the simple truths of the gospel, which require little or no investigation in order to their being understood ; these are called milk. They also con. tain the deep things of God, things beyond the reach of a slight and cursory observation ; and which require, if we would properly enter into them, close and repeated attention; this is strong meat. Those doctrines, which the apostle enumerates in the following chapter, as things which he should leade and go on unto perfection, have been thought to refer to the leading principles Judaism : and it may be so ; for Judaism itself contained the first principles of Christianity : it was introductory to it; or, as it is elsewhere expressed, it was our school-master to bring us to Christ.
Thirdly—it is intimated that Christians should not rest satisfied in having attained to a kuowledge of the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, but should go on uoto perfection ; not only so as to blain satisfaction for themselves, but that they may be able to teach others. It is true, all are not