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flood came and took them all away ; So shall also the coming. of the Son of Man be.
I proceed now to close this discourse with a few reflections.
How great is the resemblance between our present ftate and that of mankind before the food! The fimilitude bears ja all respects, and that too with peculiar aggravations on our part. It is so glaring to every serious obferver, that the very meation of it were sufficient to bring all to an humble confession, and mournful sense of our dariger. But it is the dreadful unhappiness of finners, the nearer they approach to judgment and ruin, the more blind and insensible they grow. This arises from two general causes. 1. The proper nature of finful courses, which always blind the mind and harden the heart. 2. The additional judgment of God, who permits the ma. lignity of the human heart to exert itself with less controul.—He ceases to apply those usual methods of restraint, -gives thern up more to themselves,-leaves them to the government of their own heart's lufts,--denies them restraining grace,-takes his Spirit from them.
The resemblance between us and the old world is evident in the following refpects. The upiversal prevalence of deep security,—the great means which God is using with us to reclaim us,—and the amazing wickedness which abounds among all ranks of men notwithstanding.
1. The 'resemblance is evident in universal prevalence of deep security. Let us look around us, and do we not find in ourselves and others, stupidity and unbelief in its strongest likeness, to what we see drawn for those beyond the food? Are we acting any otherwise than they? Are we doing any thing else, but eating and drinking, marry
ing, the room of the ever-blessed Gospel, in the place of this glorious instrument of heaven for the support of religion ! Will not a jealous God take vengeance, and confound the designs of all such deistical and antediluvian builders !But leaving this, what sort of wickedness does not abound among us? How is the name, the dreadful name of God profaned ? How often are our ears stunned with hellish oaths, and direful imprecations ?-How are God's sabbaths abused? How are the ordinances, and special insti. tutions of Jesus Christ neglected? What restraint of prayer? What thoughtlessness, respecting all the great realities of eternity, take place? How does beastly drunkenness, and more than beastly uncleanness, in all their horrid forms, defile our land ?-And how has love and friendship among mankind ceased? What extortion and injustice ;-what tricking, defrauding, over-reaching and cheating, almost every where abound ?-Alas! how few are of clean hands, how few are of pure hearts !
How are mankind plunged and funk into iniquity!How do they add drunkenness to theft, licentiousness to liberty, profaneness to foolish jesting; and to all these, a total neglect of Divine admonitions, and yet vainly ima. gine they shall have peace !-Will not the eternal God cause his jealousy to smoke against such secure and bold transgressors ? — Jehovah's wrath is already enkindled, and unless we awake to repentance and reformation, it will surely burn unto the lowest bell! It will consume the young man and the virgin, the fuckling also, with tbe man of grey hairs.
Let us hearken to the Divine voice, and not be found proclaiming defiance to the vengeance of Heaven. O! that secure, stupid, and careless finners would make a ftand; lay your ways seriously to heart; consider what
is likely to become of you, and what will you do at the awful appearance of the Son of Man !
Go, confess your fins; mourn for your iniquities; break off from your transgresfions; and cry unto the Lord, and it may be, that he will restrain the fierceness of deserved wrath, and bestow blessings upon you.
Let the wicked man forsuke bis way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and be will bave mercy upon him, and to our God, for be will abundantly pardon. . Prepare to meet thy God, O Ifrael!-Let there be a ge: peral preparation. The Lord is on his way. Behold he
comes quickly! Gird up the loins of your minds, and go · je forth to meet him, repenting of your fins, acquiescing
in the Gospel-plan of reconciliation, observing all the commandments and ordinances of God. But if this advice seem evil unto you, prepare, O Sinners, for judgment ! Prepare to meet an incensed Judge! Our God is a consuming fire :-Upon the wicked be Mall rain snares, fire, and brimstone, and an horrible tempeft; this fall be the portion of your cup.
Let it be the fervent prayer of all, that God would awaken the secure, alarm the stupid and inconsiderate, and turn multitudes to righteousness.
GROWTH IN GRACE.
JOHN H. LIVINGSTON, D. D. S. T.P. One of the Ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church,
2 Peter iii. 18. But grow in Grace.
N OTHING can be more worthy of our attention TV than the great truths of Religion.—There is no fcience so sublime in its object, so sure in its principles, or so important in its consequences. Nothing can be conceived more extensive for speculation, and at the same time more immediately influential upon our conduct. Theory and practice are here inseparably connected, and the acknowledging of the truths will always lead to godli. nefs. A superficial acquaintance with some particular doctrines, and a bigotted attachment to favourite tenets, may soon be obtained, and considered by many as an important acquisition. But the least reflection must convince us, that such have reason to conclude, they are not
tamg!! taught of the Lord, and know nothing yet as they ought to know.
There is in Religion a connection, a harmony, a chain so firmly united, that it cannot be understood, if taken only in detached parcels. Like a beautiful and useful machine when deprived of any effential part, the whole is deformed or destroyed. In a coherent system of doctrine, there can be nothing useless, nothing repugnant, nothing which ought not to occupy the very place which the Divine Author, who composed the whole, has assigned it. What will become of Religion if we embrace any of its doctrines separately? What is the Religion of the Gospel, if the law can justify, or the Redeemer be not honoured as the righteousness and strength of his people? What becomes of Religion, if faith be not productive of good works, or an hope is entertained of seeing God without the love and practice of holiness? How mutilated, how changed, how opposite to itself the whole can be made to appear, when only a part is brought forward to view ! and how unsafe 'and wavering must that man remain, who rests satisfied with small attainments, and a partial knowledge of Divine truths ?
The Apostle Paul reproves the Hebrews for their little progress 'in knowledge, and urges them to go on unto perfe&ion. There are some truths which may be considered as principles of the doctrine of Christ; fo plainly revealed, so simple and evident, that mere babes in undera standing can receive and digest them. But to be always contented with these, without aiming at farther progress, would be to feed upon milk, when an advanced age renders it proper to take stronger meat.
In the verse, of which our text is a part, the Apostle Peter also exhorts believers to grow in knowledge. Grow, says he, in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lörd and F 2