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mercy been shown? By visiting sentence to the very uttermost. He did not fling us his mercy indolently from his throne; but he executed sentence to the very uttermost upon his only begotten Son. His mercy does not consist in extinguishing his justice, but in executing it upon the head of the Son in whom he was well pleased. Awful mercy! terrible forgiveness! mercy that we must not dare to trifle with.

Let us be ourselves the judges: if any man makes this mercy an argument for sin, what new punishment, what fresh torments, how many times must the furnace be heated for that man, for him who dares to say, Because the Lord Jesus has died for me, I will follow my iniquities!—for him, who would thus make Christ the minister of sin! That blessed mercy -that glorious manifestation of infinite love, was always used in Scripture as an argument for repentance, for holiness, and for all good; but any man that curses God's blessing, by turning it into an argument for continuing in sin,-how is he described in Scripture? He is "The enemy of the Cross of Christ;" and "He crucifies the Son of God afresh, and puts

"him to an open shame!" It had been " good "for that man that he had never been born." Every hour of sin that you add to your life, under this dispensation, is gathering over your head--in judgment. The goodness of God, in not cutting you off with your sins still green and fresh, is turning every day into wrath. For what says the apostle? 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

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up wrath against the day of wrath, and reve"lation of the righteous judgment of God?" Here you see two things: first, that the goodness of God, in bearing with you thus long, in not blotting you out from the face of the earth while you were engaged in the last sin that you committed, was leading you to repentance it cannot lead to mercy but through repentance: secondly, you see that every time you neglected and refused, "you have been

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treasuring up wrath against the day of "wrath. There is a treasury of vengeance in Heaven and day by day, and hour by hour, you have been casting in your mite. When

will your cup be full? Perhaps at this moment it may be overflowing; perhaps the plain, simple warning that you hear this day may be the last that the Lord God will ever vouchsafe to your soul. This at least is certain,— that the next time you return to your sin it will be in deliberate defiance of the wrath of

the Almighty. Who shall say, whether you

will be allowed to make the trial a second time? Probably your cup may then be fulland he may strike you dead upon the spot. Or if not, he may let you live as a monument of his vengeance; and as Pharaoh was allowed to live, after he had resisted all the means of grace, that the Lord might openly manifest his power and his justice upon him, God may prolong your life only that men may see a sinner gasping without hope upon his death-bed,—and, as they look upon the horrors of your dying countenance, they may smite their breasts and say, "God be merciful to me a sinner!"

SERMON XIV.

1 JOHN, iv. 10.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

IF God had waited until we loved him before he loved us, we should not have been assembled here this day to read the history of his mercies, and to humble ourselves before him, in astonishment at the multitude of his loving kindnesses. If God had waited until we loved him, before he loved us, we should never have known what it was to come together on a Sabbath morning, to talk of mercy and salvation, and the holy charity that binds us to God and to each other: we should be now bowing our heads before the works of our hands, and the inventions of our own imaginations: perhaps, at this instant, we should be met together to perform our impure and bloody ceremonies to the powers of darkness; the house which is now the Lord's tabernacle, and the place

where his honour dwelleth, might be the temple in which we adored the God of intemperance and sensuality, or made our offerings to the wicked spirit that delighteth in war, violence, and revenge; or we might be flocking to the table of our evil god-not to eat the bread of life, or to drink from the fountains of the living water, but to sound his praises in festivals of drunkenness, riot, and indecency; or we should be kneeling at his altar-not to offer the sacrifice of a broken and a contrite heart, but to worship him with the knife, and with the blood of our fellow-creatures; and, perhaps, we should now be preparing the children that we loved as our own souls, to pass through the fire of sacrifice that was kindled in his honour, that we might satisfy his fury and avert his indignation.

It is true, the very mention of these things may now shock our feelings, and we may fancy, if we please, that no possible conjuncture of circumstances could have reduced us to such crimes and enormities: but such was the state of the world at the time that the Son of God came down upon the earth,-and we shall not find it very easy to prove, either that we are a superior race of beings to the men of those

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