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season for saving it is short and uncertain. Men, therefore, forego care, and endure fatigue to secure it. But what is the safety of the grain, to the salvation of souls! How many are destroying, for lack of knowledge! But the period is favourable for informing them. We have religious freedom; and our exertions are unimpeded. None makes us afraid. We have the Scriptures in full circulation. The rising generation are taught to read. Religious parties excite and emulate each other. Prejudices are wearing away. Persons are willing to hear. And not preachers only, but parents, masters, neighbours, Christians at large-all, in doing good, have the finest opportunities, if they will seize them; and the loudest calls, if they will obey them-But the space for all this, will not, cannot continue-Therefore, "whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."

Secondly, as addressed to public judgments. Thus we are principally to understand the passage before us. The people spoken of, were ripe for ruin -God therefore calls for the executioners of his wrath to cut them down. Thus it was with the people of Canaan, when their iniquity was full; and Joshua and his army were the reapers. Thus it was with the Jews themselves: and Nebuchadnezzar was called in to punish them; and afterwards the Romans, to destroy them. Thus it has been with many nations since. And thus it has been with many a community, even in our own times. The work was soon done; for the reapers were the Lord's; and the fields were fully ripe.-Are we in danger? We have reason for apprehension, if we estimate our condition by our guilt, and our guilt by our privileges. Let us not be high-minded, but fear. God can never be at a loss for instruments. He can mingle a perverse spirit in the midst of us. He can take wisdom from the

prudent, and courage from the brave. Hearts, events, elements, are all his. He has a controversy with us; and, by menacing dispensations, seems to say aloud, Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? But these threatenings are mercifully conditional. "At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; if that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them." May we hear, and fear, and turn unto the Lord-and he will leave a blessing behind him, that we perish not.

Thirdly, as addressed to the messengers of death -accidents, diseases, whatever can bring us to the grave. This regards us individually. Whatever be the destiny of the nations, we know our own destiny: old or young, rich or poor, it is appointed unto us once to die-This is the way of all the earth.-But when are people ripe for this removal hence?

It is certain that sin ripens the transgressor for hell. But when he is ripe, it is not easy to decide. The most grossly and openly vicious are not always the most guilty before God. We see a profligate wretch, and deem him ripe for ruin; and wonder he is not cut down-when, perhaps, though not immoral, we ourselves are much more criminal in the sight of Him, who judgeth righteously. He, perhaps, never had our advantages; and was pressed by severer temptations than we ever knew. If asked, therefore, when a man is ripe for destruction, we acknowledge we cannot determine. But it must be wise to beware; and to keep from every approximation to such a dreadful state. Surely when a man is insensible under the Word; and incorrigible under the rebukes of Providence; and his conscience ceases to reprove; and he can turn Divine things into ridicule; he must be, as the Apostle says, "nigh unto cursing."

Holiness ripens the saint for glory. But here,

again, when he is matured and made meet for it, we cannot ascertain. Actions strike us: but some have few opportunities for exertion; and yet they have much of the life of God in their souls. We should think favourably of a man, in proportion as he was dissatisfied with himself; and esteemed the Lord Jesus; and relied upon him; and was anxious to resemble him; and acknowledged God in all his ways. However, the Lord knoweth them that are his, and them that are not his; and he chooses the most proper time to remove them-the wheat for the barn, and the chaff for the burning. But the end of all things is at hand. And,

Fourthly, God thus addresses his angels at the last day. When this mandate will be given, is uncertain. But we are as sure of the event, as we are ignorant of the period. And then shall the Son of man come in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. Then cometh the end. Then all will be ripe. His purposes will be accomplished. His promises and threatenings will be verified-Time itself will be no longer-The earth will be cleared of all the produce; and the very fields in which it grew will be destroyed. "The field is the world: the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one: the enemy that sowed them is the Devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As, therefore, the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear"

Let him hear this. How many things are continually said! And how are we to judge of them? One says, this is excellent; another, this is all-important.

But if you would know what is the real value of these things, bring them to the standard-bring them to the great day! How do they abide this trial?

"Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless." If you say, "All this is far off; and many things must be previously accomplished;" remember you cannot say this of death-There is but a step between you and death. How soon, therefore, may all the prophecies be fulfilled, and the world be at end, with you! And as death leaves you, judgment will find you. Many who once heard the warnings, are now in possession of the facts. Could we ask them-now they have entered the eternal world by death; and are waiting for the judgment to come-Is there one of them that would not bear his testimony to the importance of every Sabbath, and every sermon, with which you are favoured? Is there one of them that would say, "While I was living, the preacher was too close, and too alarming?" Rather would he not say, "Why was he not more in earnest ?-And oh! wretch that I was, to disregard his voice-and come into this place of torment !"

AUG. 7.-"For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power." 1 Cor. iv. 20.

LET us not abuse, but improve the important decision. It may be abused in two instances:

First. When it leads us to undervalue the outward institutions of piety, and the ordinary means of grace. Some would so refine religion as to make it unsuited to human beings. We have bodies as well as souls, and we are required to glorify God

in the one as well as in the other. Our devotion is indeed nothing unless we "lift up our hearts with our hands:" but bodily exercise need not be excluded in order to our worshipping in Spirit and in truth.There may be the form of godliness without the power: but while we are here, the power cannot be displayed or maintained without the form. Enthusiasts may tell us, they never had so much religion as since they have given up, what are called, its ordinances; for now every day is a Sabbath, and every place a temple, and every voice a preacher. But they are not to be believed. Even all the private and practical duties of life are most fully and regularly discharged by those who wait upon God in his appoint. ments. It is a dangerous delusion that leads people to the neglect of those means of grace which God, who knoweth our frame, has enjoined us to use; and to the use of which he hath promised his blessing. In the New Jerusalem John saw "no temple there:" but the experience of every Christian leads him, while he is here, to love the habitation of God's house, and to acknowledge that it is good for him to be there. The streams that will be needless when we reach the fountain-head, are valuable in the way. Our present aliments will be unnecessary hereafter; but what pretender would be so ethereal as to dispense with them now?


Secondly. When we are heedless of regulating the energy of our religion by the rule of the word. It is desirable to enlist the feelings on the side of truth and excellence. Impulse is useful and even necessary to exertion and success; but, in proportion to its force, it requires guidance, if not restraint. is good to be always zealously affected in a good thing; but without knowledge, zeal may even in a good cause carry us astray; so that our good may be evil spoken of, and even produce evil. Something must be allowed for persons wanting in judgment; and for young converts, especially if they have been



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