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have neglected to perform their oaths ? Is it wise to enquire, how you may sin, at the cheapest rate ? Or, is it wise to spend time, in searching for a way, in which you may go down to hell, in the easiest manner? Would it not be wiser for you to enquire, how you may became reconciled to God, and escape the wrath to come?
3. Let us, my brethren, apply this subject, by way of self-examination.
We have avouched the Lord Jehovah, to be our God, and ourselves to be his people ; yea, we have sworn to the Lord, and bound ourselves by covenant vows, which we have also repeatedly renewed, at the Lord's table. But the question arises, in view of what has been said, are we pleased with our vows? Have we, in any good measure, performed them?
Suffer me to put the following questions, to my own conscience, and to each of yours. Have you, O professing Christians, given evidence, by your walk, that God's judgments and commandments are the rejoicing of your hearts? Have you considered your time, talents, and possessions, as the Lord's, and used them all as his property, entrusted to your care ? Have you loved the cause of truth, and followed the things which make for peace, and the things whereby one may edify another? Have you walked before your families, in a holy manner? Have you taught, faithfully taught those, under
your care, by precept and example, the right ways of the Lord ? Have you delighted in prayer, in the daily reading of the scriptures, and in attendance on the public worship of God? Have you walked in humility, meekness, patience, forbearance, and kindness towards all men? In a word, have you, in any good measure, taken up your cross, and followed Christ? On the contrary, are not some of you conscious, that you are weary of God's ways? Do you not regret your vows, and feel as if you had sworn to your
hurt? Are you not weary of prayer, of the sabbath, of searching the scriptures, and of daily duties, so that you begin greatly to neglect them? Is it not your desire, to get along as easy as you can; and are you not, consequently, conformed to the world? Do you not begin to seek the company, the connection, and the conversation of the vain and worldly, in preference to the company of those, who are heavenlyminded, who think upon the name of the Lord, and speak often one to another? Do you not conduct, as, if ashamed of Jesus? Do you not avoid religious conversation, and when it is introduced by others, are you not pained and speechless? Are you not ready to complain of your brethren, who would be faithful to perform their vows, to watch over others, accusing them of being Pharisaical, and righteous overmuch? Do you not, my brethren and sisters, find, at least some of these questions, applicable to yourselves? If so, you are deceiving yourselves, and destroying your own souls, and the souls of others ? How unhappy is your condition ! You are restrained from indulging, as you would wish, in sinful please ures, by the watch of your brethren, and by a regard to your reputation. And yet you have no pleas.. ure in God and religion. This is indeed an unhappy, as well as a dangerous state. Be exhorted, therefore, to become reconciled to God, that you may rejoice in his righteous judgments; for “great peace have all they, who love God's law.”
Must we not all confess, my brethren, that we have fallen greatly short of performing our vows? Let us, therefore, as the only way to enjoy more comfort, in the light of God's countenance, renew them, in the strength of the Lord, saying, with David, in the text, “ I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments."
Let us remember that “the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his." Men know not the heart. We
may so perform our vows, as to appear well to them, when we are wholly faulty, in the sight of Him, who looketh on the heart. Let us, therefore, give diligence to make our calling and election sure. Let every one who nameth the name of Christ, be careful to depart from iniquity. We are a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men. Let us not be deceived ; God is not mocked.
“I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world : but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." Amen.
AN ORDINATION SERMON.
STRENGTH ORDAINED OUT OF THE MOUTH OT BABES,
PSALM VIII. 2.
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings fast thou or.
dained strength, because of thine enemies; that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
The chief design of this Psalm appears to be, to praise God for the display of his glory in the creature man; or, for the honor and digvity conferred on him, in his, being ordained to be an instrument, to still, or confound and destroy the eneiny; and to be exalted from a lower to a higher degree of glory and happiness, than that of the angels. It thus begins, « O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! thou hast set thy glory above the heavens." From this solemn invocation and ascription of praise, the Psalmist passes to consider and dwell upon what God has done ; on account of which, he is thus wor. thy of praise ; and by which he has displayed and exalted his glory above the heavens. " Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength, because of thine enemies"; that thou mightest