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ritual health they may have attained; for "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and " is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for cor"rection, for instruction in righteousness, that "the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly "furnished unto all good works."

SERMON VII.

1 CORINTHIANS, vi. 20.

Ye are bought with a price.

THE use that St. Paul makes of these words is as remarkable as the words themselves. Some time after he had left the Corinthians, he was informed that many of them, while they still professed to be Christians, had fallen away from the purity of the Gospel which he had preached. They no longer trembled, when the man was gone who used to reason among them " of righteousness, temperance, and judgment "to come." They relapsed into former habits with an appetite that seemed to have been sharpened and increased by the self-denial to which they had for a time submitted; and the evil spirit, which had gone out for a season, said, "I will return to my house whence I

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came out; and he took other spirits more "wicked than himself, and went in, and dwelt there; and the last state of many of those

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men was worse than the first." St. Paul remarks, that many vices, such as extortions, strife, envy, and revenge, were gaining fearful ground upon them: many of them indulged in gluttony, in drunkenness, in debauchery, in adultery, to an extent that had been before unknown. They prostituted their bodies to intemperance, and their immortal souls to covetousness, malignity, and corruption.

This was cruel and bitter intelligence to such a man as Paul,-one, whose heart and soul were wrapped up in the success of his ministry,—who seemed to rejoice with the joy of ten thousand angels over one sinner that repented, and mourned like one heart-broken if one soul, that appeared to have been won from sin, had fallen away from its immortality. He accordingly writes to them a letter, the most solemn and the most tender that can well be conceived, in language at once the most dignified and affectionate; and he here brings down the great argument of the Gospel upon them with all its weight.

Perhaps we shall understand it better if we first consider those which are generally used in such cases.

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If a prudent man of the world, who had little respect for religion, but a high sense of what is called morality, had been sent to preach to these men, what arguments do we conceive he would have employed? He would probably have said: The excesses in which you indulge will ruin your health, will shorten your days, will rack your body with pain ⚫ and disease, will enfeeble your understanding, rendering it poor, unsteady, and effeminate, ⚫ unable to follow any regular, manly, and honourable occupation in life; you will lose 'both your own respect, and the respect of ⚫ the world; and if you cherish ill-will, malice,

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and envy, it will destroy your peace of mind, and keep you at variance with your fellowcreatures, with whom you should live in friendship and tranquillity.' And he would say very right: these arguments are in general very true; but, alas! they are seldom found to avail; and when they do, suppose the object gained, their hearts relieved, their lives lengthened, their success in the pursuit of affluence secured, their reputation standing fair in the eye of all the world; there is yet something behind; there is a death, and there is a judg

ment; and have they looked to them? have they prepared for them? Verily they have had their reward, the reward they looked for,health, wealth, long life, and reputation. What claim have they to any thing farther?

But suppose a man who possesses a higher sense of religion, but who forgets to look for it in his Bible,-who recollects that there is to be a state of rewards and punishments, but who forgets that it is only through a blessed Mediator that we can hope for escape from the one, and for the attainment of the other,-suppose such a one sent to reform these profligates, what might he say? He would probably say, The course in which you are proceeding is offensive to Almighty God, and will draw down his everlasting vengeance and indignation upon your heads; but, change your course, and reform, and you will then deserve his forgiveness, his favour, and his blessing.' Alas! this argument would, it is to be feared, have less chance of succeeding than the former; for while it places the objects to be attained at a greater distance, it leaves their attainment much more uncertain; for, in the first place, how could they know whether the God of holi

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