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were that dog!" Such was then his happiness; and such perhaps is that of hundreds more, who bear themselves highest in the contempt of religion, and glory in that infamous servitude which they call liberty.
If the conscience of the wicked be easy, it must be in one or more of these ways, either by a long course of iniquity, or by adopting false principles, or by a comparison with others who are thought worse; or by resolving to amend in future ; or by performing part of the duties of Religion. Wo to those who are able to quiet it by any of them. It will some time or other awake to their forsow. Like a frozen viper laid to the fire, it will recover strength, and sting them to the heart. Take them in their most composed frame, how far are they from that serenity of soul whích Religion gives. This is a peace which pafsetb all understanding. The minds of the wicked are restless, and hurried by their lusts and passions. In the verse preceding the text, it is said, The wicked are like the troubled fea, when it cannot reft, wbose waters cast up mire and dirt : But in the godly soul there is a calm. The contemplation of heavenly things affords complacency; and in God the soul can hope and rest for time and eternity. Peace, said Christ to his disciples, I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. With this peace, what earthly bleffing can be compared ? Could we command every thing our hearts would wish, where is the enjoyment, if the mind be dilquieted? This, like an aching tooth, or a bone out of joint, will disturb us, will break our fleep, and render us unhappy.
Perhaps some may think, that only atrocious finners are subject to such severe lashes. Generally it is so; but every person estranged from God is destitute of solid and lafting peace. It is owing to ignorance and mistake that
he has any at all. There are no fins small, considered with respect to God. It is found so in a thorough conviction ; and their being committed against the light and grace of the Gospel, highly aggravates them, and is a bitter ingredient to all true penitents. Our hearts condemn us for secret as well as for open fins ; for omissions as well as transgressions. Unless then conscience is unduly hushed, it cannot otherwise than moleft all who are not reconciled to God.
Again : There is no peace to the wicked in a dying hour. By this is not meant that they shall undergo more pain of body than others. The pangs of dissolution are the fame to all. Those, indeed, of whom the world was not worthy, have often suffered the most cruel and violent deaths, Nor is it meant that the wicked have never any composure in death, or hope of well-being hereafter: For though the scripture tells us, The wicked is driven away in bis wickedness; but the righteous batb bope in his death; yet we are not to understand, that none of them ever entertain in that folemo hour expectations of mercy, or that they all anticipate their misery. Some of them die as they had lived, stupid and thoughtless as beasts. Besides, I know not that death shakes every false hope. • It is thought that some good men may have fears and perplexities to the very laft; and that some bad men may remain unshaken, and die with more apparent confidence than the others. There are instances of infidels maintaining cheerfulness and resolution in their last moments. With some it has been otherwise, and they have betrayed dreadful forebodings of a wrath to come. Now and then they have retracted their principles, and sought relief in a profession of Christianity. It is said, that the poet Dryden, not being able to fortify himself in infidelity, em. braced the Popish religion. Some years ago it was con.
fidently asserted, that Voltaire, at the age of eighty, and being, as he thought, about to die, had felt some strange qualms of conscience, in consequence of which, he had made a long and goodly confession of the truths of reve. lation. His followers deem this a slander, and cannot be. lieve that their mighty champion would ever retreat. Having so long edified them by his writings, perhaps there is no sufficient authority to deprive them of their comfort in his death.
The fears of the good man cannot render his state less safe, por the confidence of the bad render his less danger. ous. Whatever their own sentiments are, it shall be well with the righteous, and ill with the wicked. We are, however, compassed about with a cloud of witnesses, who bear testimony that the end of the perfect and upright man is peace; who have died, not only with calmness and resignation, but have been filled with a joy unspeakable and full of glory; who have met death, not only on a bed surrounded by friends, but in its most horrid form, on a gibbet, or at a stake; not only those of strong and fearless make, but those of a timorous nature, and from among the weaker sex ; not only those who had no at. tachment on earth why to wish for life, but those who had estates, families and friends. It is an observation made to show the efficacy of grace, that, in suffering times, none went more cheerfully to martyrdom than those who had numerous families dependent on them. Let the decriers of Religion produce us any principle so powerful to bear one up, under the distresses of life, and support through the valley of the shadow of death, any thing that will fo revive and embolden the soul, as a view of God reconciled in Christ, and the hopes of a blessed immortality. No; it is only this will disarm death of his fting. It is this will make death not only tolerable, but defirable; will give not only composure, but triumph; not only free us from pain, but make heaven beam all around us.
Dr Young, in his trad on original composition, has given us a precious anecdote of the amiable Mr Addison. “ After he had dismissed his physicians, and all hopes of life, he sent for a youth nearly related to him, and finely accomplished, yet not above being the better for good in. ftru&tions from a dying friend. He came;--but life now glimmering in the socket, the dying friend was filent. After a decent and proper pause, the youth said, “ Dear Sir, you sent for me ; I believe and I hope that you have fome commands; I shall hold them moft facred." May distant ages not only hear, but feel the replý! Forcibly grasping the young gentleman's hand, he loftly said, “ See in what peace a Christian can die!"--He spoke with dif. ficulty, and soon expired.” I the rather adduce this instance, because he was a man of genius, of great literary fame, and in high station, with which empty smatrerers and conceited fools are ready to think Religion inconsiste ent. Indeed, the men of greatest talents who ever adorn. ed our world, were not ashamed of the Gospel of Chrift; among whom we may rank a Locke, a Boyle, a Newton, and a Bacon. Perhaps it might be asserted, without extravagance, that these, for strength of mind and deep research, as far exceeded many of the retailers of infidelity as an angel did them; or, as an untutored savage exceeds the beasts below him. They were the glory of Britain, and one half her fame.
What awful spectacles have some of the wicked exhi. bited on a deathbed! How contrary to the example just now adduced! Hell seemed already to have been kindled in their souls. Under the scourges of a guilty conscience, and a fearful sense of impending wrath, they could not contain, but vented their dismal outcry enough to rend
the stoutest heart. One, of whom mention is made in a practical writer, “a monument of justice, worn to skin and bone, blasphemed the God of heaven, cursed himself, and continually cried, O torture ! torture ! torture! O torture, torture !” Another is said to have cried out, “I have had a little pleasure, but now I must have hell for ever more.” To whatever was spoken to afford him comfort, he replied, " I must to hell; I must to the furnaces of hell for millions of millions of ages." The repetition of these expressions is frightful ; how much more to have seen the sad objects ! Suffer me to say, with the greatest seriousness and affection, that no finner who goes on against his conscience can expect to die in another manner. Let not the fright of these examples freeze the blood and make the hair stand on end only, but so impress our minds as to deter us from all the paths of known fin. Should we fall blindfold into destruction, it will not be less terrible in the issue. It must be grievous and distracting to think of appearing before God without some fure and firm hope. To have our peace to make when the body is racked with fore pain, when refreshing leep has de parted, and we know not when the pulse may cease, and we stiffen into cold clay,-how affecting, and alas, what prospect that the mighty work shall be done, when years of health and strength have been finned away! I leave this mournful theme, but for one more mournful ftill. There is,
In the last place, No peace to the wicked after death. Then their sorrows begin, which admit of no alleviation. In this world they had their good things: They enjoyed with others the common bounties of Providence, and were sensible of pleasure. In these they placed their only happiness; but now all is gone, and they are tormented. Conscience can be quieted no more, It is the worm that
with others at they had the which admit of