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What do you say now is the issue ? Ye modern Laodiceans, are you not yet struck with horror at the thought of that insipid, formal, spiritless religion you have hitherto been contented with ? And do you not see the necessity of following the advice of Christ to the Laodicean church, be zealous, be fervent for the future, and repent, bitterly repent of what is past? To urge this the more, I have two considerations in reserve, of no small weight. 1. Consider the difficulties and dangers in your way. O sirs, if you know the difficulty of the work of your salvation, and the great danger of miscarrying in it, you could not be so indifferent about it, nor could you flatter yourselves such languid endeavors will ever succeed. It is a labor, a striving, a race, a warfare ; so it is called in the sacred writings : but would there be any propriety in these expressions, if it were a course of sloth and inactivity ? Consider, you have strong lusts to be subdued, a hard heart to be broken, a variety of graces which you are entirely destitute of, to be implanted and cherished, and that in an unnatural soil, where they will not grow without careful cultivation, and that you have many temptations to be encountered and resisted. In short, you must be made new men, quite other creatures than you now are.

And O! can this work be success. fully performed while you make such faint and feeble efforts į Indeed God is the Agent, and all your best endeavors can never effect the blessed revolution without him. But his assistance is not to be expected in the neglect, or careless use of means, nor is it intended to encourage idleness, but activity and labor : and when he comes to work, he will soon inflame your hearts, and put an end to your lukewarmness. Again, your dangers are also great and numerous; you are in danger from presumption and from despondency; from coldness, from lukewarmness, and from false fires and enthusiastic heats; in danger from self-righteousness, and from open wickedness, from your own corrupt hearts, from this ensharing world, and from the temptations of the devil : you are in great danger of sleeping on in security, without ever being thoroughly awakened; or, if you should be awakened, you are in danger of resting short of vital religion; and in either of these cases you are undone for ever. In a word, dangers crowd thick around you

in every band, from every quarter; dangers, into which housands, millions of your fellow-men have fallen and ever recovered. Indeed, all things considered, it is very oubtful whether ever you will be saved, who are now ukewarm and secure: I do not mean that your success s uncertain if you be brought to use means with proper arnestness; but alas! it is awfully uncertain whether ever you will be brought to use them in this manner. And, o sirs, can you continue secure and inactive when you have such difficulties to encounter with in a work of absolute necessity, and when you are surrounded with so many and so great dangers ? Alas! are you capable of such destructive madness? O that you knew the true state of the case! Such a knowledge would soon fire you with the greatest ardor, and make you all life and vigor in this important work.

2. Consider how earnest and active men are in other pursuits. Should we form a judgment of the faculties of human nature by the conduct of the generality in religion, we should be apt to conclude that men are mere snails, and that they have no active powers belonging to them. But view them about other affairs, and you find they are all life, fire, and hurry. What labor and toil! what schemes and contrivances ! what solicitude about success! what fears of disappointment! hands, heads, hearts, all busy. And all this to procure those enjoyments which at best they cannot long retain, and which the next hour may tear from them. To acquire a name or a diadem, to obtain riches or honors, what hardships are undergone! what dangers dared! what rivers of blood shed! how many millions of lives have been lost ! and how many more endangered! In short the world is all alive, all in motion with business. On sea and land, at home and abroad, you will find men eagerly pursuing some temporal good. They grow grey-headed, and die in the attempt without reaching their end; but this disappointment does not discourage the survivors and successors; still they will continue, or renew the endeavor. Now here men act like themselves; and they show they are alive, and endowed with powers of great activity. And shall they be thus zealous and laborious in the pursuit of earthly vanities, and quite indifferent and sluggish in the infinitely more important concerns of eterni

ty? What, solicitous about a mortal body, but careless about an immortal soul! Eager in pursuit of joys of a few years, but careless and remiss in seeking an imma tality of perfect happiness! Anxious to avoid poverty, shame, sickness, pain, and all the evils, real or imaginary, of the present life ; but indifferent about a whole eternity of the most intolerable misery! O, the destructive folly, the daring wickedness of such a couduct! My brethren, is religion the only thing which der mands the utmost exertion of all your powers, and alas! is that the only thing in which you will be dull and inactive? Is everlasting happiness the only thing about which you will be remiss? Is eternal punishment the only misery which you are indifferent whether you escape or not? Is God the only good which you pursue with faint and lazy desires? How preposterous ! how absurd is this! You can love the world, you can love a father, a child, or a friend ; nay, you can love that abominable, hateful thing, sin : these you can love with ardor, serve with pleasure, pursue with eagerness, and with all your might; but the ever-blessed God, and the Lord Jesus, your best friend, you put off with a lukewarm heart and spiritless services. O inexpressibly monstrous ! Lord, what is this that has befallen thine own offspring, that they are so disaffected towards thee? Blessed Jesus, what hast thou done that thou shouldst be treated thus ? O sinners! what will be the consequence of such a conduct? Will that God take you into the bosom of his lore! Will that Jesus save you by his blood, whom you make so light of ? No, you may go and seek a heaven where you can find it; for God will give you none. Go, shift for yourselves, or look out for a Savior where you will; Jesus will have nothing to do with you, except to take care to inflict proper punishment upon you if you retain this lukewarm temper towards him. Hence, by way of improvement, learn,

i. The vanity and wickedness of a lukewarm religion. Though you should profess the best religion that ever came from heaven, it will not save you ; nay, it will condemn you with peculiar aggravations if you are lukewarm in it. This spirit of indifferency diffused through it, turns it all into deadly poison. Your religious duties are all abominable to God while the vigor of your spirits | is not exerted in them. Your prayers are insults, and he will answer them as such by terrible things in righteousness. And do any of you hope to be saved by such a religion? I tell you from the God of truth, it will be so far from saving you, that it will certainly ruin you for ever: continue as you are to the last, and you will be as certainly damned to all eternity, as Judas, or Beelzebub, or any ghost in hell. But alas!

2. How common, how fashionable is this lukewarm religion! This is the prevailing, epidemical sin of our age and country; and it is well if it has not the same fa. tal effect upon us it had upon Laodicea; Laodicea lost its liberty, its religion, and its all. Therefore let Virginia hear and fear, and do no more so wickedly. We have thousands of Christians, such as they are ; as many Christians as white men ; but alas! they are generally of the Laodicean stamp; they are neither cold nor hot. But it is our first concern to know how it is with ourselves; therefore let this inquiry go round this congregation; are you not such lukewarm Christians? Is there any fire and life in your devotions ? Or are not all your active powers engrossed by other pursuits !--Impartially make the inquiry, for infinitely more depends upon it than upon your temporal life.

3. If you have hitherto been possessed with this Laodicean spirit, I beseech you indulge it no longer. You have seen that it mars all your religion, and will end in your eternal ruin : and I hope you are not so hardened as to be proof against the energy of this consideration. Why halt you so long between two opinions? I would you were cold or hot. Either make thorough work of religion, or do not pretend to it. Why should you profess a religion which is but an insipid indifferency with you ? Such a religion is good for nothing. Therefore awake, arise, exert yourselves. Strive to enter in at the strait gate ; strive earnestly, or you are shut out for ever. Infuse heart and spirit into your religion.

“ Whatever your hand findeth to do, do it with your might.” Now, this moment, while my voice sounds in your ears, now begin the vigorous enterprise. Now collect all the vigor of your

souls and breathe it out in such a prayer as this, “ Lord, fire this heart with thy love." Prayer is a proper introduction : for let me remind you of what I

should never forget, that God is the only Author of this sacred fire ; it is only he that can quicken you ; therefore, ye poor careless creatures, fly to him in an agony of importunity, and never desist, never grow weary till you prevail.

4. And lastly: Let the best of us lament our lukewarmness, and earnestly seek more fervor of spirit. Some of you have a little life; you enjoy some warm and vigorous moments; and O! they are divinely sweet. But reflect how soon your spirits flag, your devotion cools, and your zeal languishes. Think of this, and be humble: think of this, and apply for more life. You know where to apply. Christ is your life: therefore cry to him for the communication of it. “ Lord Jesus! a little more life, a little more vital heat to a languishing soul.” Take this method, and “you shall run, and not be weary; you shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah xl. 31.

SERMON XVI.

THE DIVINE GOVERNMENT THE JOY OF OUR WORLD.

Psalm XCVII. 1.The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice ;

let the multitude of the isles be glad thereof.

Wise and good rulers are justly accounted an extensive blessing to their subjects. In a government where wisdom sits at the helm ; and justice, tempered with clemency, holds the balance of retribution, liberty and property are secured, encroaching ambition is checked, helpless innocence is protected, and universal order is established, and consequently peace and happiness diffuse their streams through the land. In such a situation every heart must rejoice, every countenance look cheerful, and every bosom glow with gratitude to the happy instruments of such extended beneficence.

But, on the other hand, “ Wo to thee, O land, when thy king is a child,” Eccles. X. 16; weak, injudicious, humorsome, and peevish. This is the denunciation of

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