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of the world. Then shall he say also to them on the left hand : Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” He adds, á And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal."

The apostles also followed the example, and obeyed the command of their Lord, in preaching terror to the wicked, and in threatening the most awful and endless destruction to the finally impenitent. We find St. Paul, in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans, thus addressing sinners : « Despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long suffering, not knowing, that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance ! But, after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to every man according to his deeds ; to them who, by patient continuance in well doing, seekfor glory and honour and immortality, eternal life : But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul that doeth evil, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men, by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel."

In another place, speaking of that day, he thus represents it : “ When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of his power."

I might proceed to consider the testimony of the other apostles, and the book of the Revelation, the chief design of whicla is, to describe the future prosperity and salvation of the righteous; and the awful destruction of the wicked. But, I trust, you are sensible, that, were no more than a hundreth part of the

passages, in scripture, of this import, to be adduced, the day would scarcely suffice to repeat them. But if the whole tenor of scripture, and even of the preaching of Christ, thus carry terror to the wicked, and threaten an awful destruction to the finally impenitent, then the point proposed is established, viz. That the true prophets, or ministers of God, they who make the word of God their standard, can never prophesy any good to the impenitent wicked, but must always prophesy evil.

I proceed to observe,

II. That sinners, like wicked Ahab, generally dislike, and harbour a persecuting spirit towards, those who faithfully reprove them, and warn them of their sin and danger.

This will sufficiently appear, if we consider, a little, the nature of depravity in mankind, and advert to a few scripture texts and examples. It is evident, from scripture and experience, that it is the nature of a depraved heart, to choose darkness rather than light. Those, who “do evil, hate the light. They will not come to it, lest their deeds should be reproved.” They even say to the prophets : “ Prophesy smooth things unto us ; yea, prophesy deceits.And if any one refuses to do this, and drags them to the light, pouring painful conviction upon their consciences, he fixes them his enemies. They hate him because " he prophesies evil.” Christ declares, that this was the ground of the opposition he received from the world : “ Me the world hateth, because I testify of it, that its works are evil.” This was a testimony, which implied their danger, as exposed to the wrath of God.

His disciples he also forewarns, that they must receive the same treatment, and from the same cause. 6 Ye shall be hated of all men, for my name's sake." The reason was, that his disciples would speak the same truths, which he spake, and bear the same tes.

timony against wickedness, which he bore, prophesying evil to the wicked. He adds ; “ The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his Lord. Ifthey have called the master of the house, Beelzebub, how much more them of his household.”

The point may be corroborated, by attending to a few instances, in which faithful prophets and teachers have been hated and persecuted, by those whom they have reproved, and warned of their danger.

Elijah was a prophet of God, and faithful to declare the divine counsel, and to admonish degenerate Israel of their sin and danger. Therefore he was hated and persecuted, and particularly by wicked Ahab, who considered him as his enemy, called him a troubler in Israel, and sought his life. « When Ahab saw Elijah, he said unto him ; Art thou he, that troubleth Israel ? And Ahab said to Elijah, hast thou found me, O mine enemy ?” Kings xviii. 17. and xxi. 20.

Thus Ahab also hated Micaiah, as he acknowledged in the text, “ because he never prophesied good to him, but always evil.” He therefore persecuted him, and cast him into prison.

In Jeremiah we have also an eminent instance of a faithful and true prophet being hated and persecuted by the wicked, because he prophesied evil concerning them. Jer. xviii. 18. " I'hen they said ; Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah. Let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.” Also xxvi. 11. “Then spake the priests and the prophets, i. e. false prophets, unto the princes, and unto the people, saying ; This man is worthy to die, for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears." Thus, in various ways, did they plot against the prophet, and persecute him, and cast him into prison. They accused him also of perverting the divine counsel, and of prophesying falsely, merely be. cause he prophesied evil.

We have, in the New Testament, still more striking examples of this, in the treatment, which Christ and his apostles received from the wicked, whom they warned and reproved. Christ was an eminent reprover of wickedness of every kind, in all ranks of people, as we have shewn. He was more frequent, plain, and full, than any other, in dwelling upon the sin of those, who reject him and his words, and the wrath that awaits them. Accordingly, he was more opposed, hated, and persecuted than any other. The chief priests and pharisees, and even the multitude, often kindled into wrath, under his preaching. They sought to lay violent hands upon him, because he represented them as under the wrath of God, and dependent, for deliverance, upon the divine, sovereign mercy. Nor did they give over, till they had obtained their desire, and 'shed his blood upon the cross.

The apostles, also, experienced the same opposition, and from the same cause. They boldly accused the Jews of being the murderers of the Son of God. They testified, “ both to the Jews and Greeks, repentance," i. e. the necessity of repentance, “towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ.” Therefore they were reviled, hated, and persecuted.

Thus it has ever been, to the present time. Incorrigible transgressors have always manifested, in a higher or lower degree, that, like Ahab, and like degenerate Israel of old, “ They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and abhor him that speaketh uprightly."

May I not appeal to your experience, my hearers, that those who prophesy smooth things to the wicked, and endeavour to lull their fears, and widen the way of life, are caressed by them, and considered liberal and benevolent? Are not those, on the other hand, who declare the whole counsel of Gocl, and prophesy nothing but evil to the wicked, at least, neglected, as illiberal, and made the subjects of a kind of malicious ridicule and contempt ?

Having, as I trust, sufficiently illustrated the points proposed, I shall close with a few practical infer

ences.

1. From what has been said, we may infer, that the wicked will be far more likely to be pleased with those, who teach error, than with those who teach the truth. We have seen that those who preach the truth, and “declare the whole counsel of God,” making the scriptures their standard, can prophesy no good to the wicked; but must always prophesy evil. As the wicked hate those, who reprove and warn them of danger, and wish rather for smooth things ; the inference is plain, that sinners will, in general, be far better pleased with false prophets, than with true and faithful ones. The latter will always be denouncing woe against the impenitent. “ Except ye repent, ye shall perish.“ Fxcept a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

But false teachers are not thus confined. They can assure sinners, that there is no need of regeneration; or that it is a mere imagination ; that, if men are but morally honest, all will be well : yea, they can declare, that “ there is peace for the wicked ;" that they shall “ not surely die ;" and that it shall be finally and equally well with both the righteous and the wicked.

This is one reason, that error is so prevalent in the world. The truths exhibited in the scriptures are, every way, calculated to mortify pride, and to alarm the fears of the wicked. Revealed truth is a light, which gives sinners pain, in their present state. They therefore falsely consider it as not salutary, and shrink from it. The propagators of error have thus all the natural propensities of mankind in their fa

vor.

We infer also, that those who support the truth, at the present day, and declare the real state of sinners —their depravity and impotency--their dependence on sovereign grace-and the judgment which awaits

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