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child, cannot, and should not, abrogate the great law by which God purposes to save men; and unless to every other tie there be added. the unity of the faith" and "the bond of christian peace," there cannot be hope of unity in heaven. Yet I need not say one word to show how desirable it is that an entire family should be prepared to enter into heaven. Is there any one of our children on whom we can look but with overwhelming emotions of horror with the anticipation that he will be at the left hand of the Judge, and is to "dwell with devouring fire" for ever? Christian fathers, mothers, ye who hope in the mercy of the Lord, the affairs of this world are trifles light as air when this thought enters the soul. What think ye of the gaiety and vanity, of the worldliness and want of religion, of the neglect of prayer in your closets and in your families, which may be the means of separating a child from your side at the bar of God; which may unclinch your hand from the hand of a son there; which may sunder the embrace of mother and daughter there for ever, that the daughter and the son may "go away into everlasting punishment"?

II. My second object was to show that religion does in fact make a separation in families. You will not suppose that I design to attempt to prove this. The fact is too apparent to make an attempt at demonstration proper. I design, under this head, merely to suggest some of the circumstances where religion makes such a separation.

1. It divides families at the communion table. There are, indeed, in our congregations, perhaps generally, some three or four families all of whose members are communicants in the church, and there are about as many not one of whose members is a professed friend of Christ. Bt the body of communicants in the churches is made up of divided families; not divided in the sense of alienation, and jealousies, and heart-burnings; not divided it may be, unless in quite rare instances, in the sense that any portion of the families is sceptical or profane. But they are divided in a more important sense than any mere temporary estrangement would be, or any alienation founded on a reference to worldly concerns. It is a division that has reference to religion; where the welfare of the soul is at stake, and which bears upon vital and eternal interests.

Now, I will not say that in all cases it is true religion which makes this separation at the communion table. I will not venture to affirm that all who come to the Lord's Supper in the churches are true christians; nor will I say that all who do not have no evidence of piety. On these points my subject requires me to make no affirmation, and I would not dare to do it, for it is not given to man to search the heart. But there are two considerations which may without impropriety be suggested here, and which demand the attention of all who do not make a profession of religion.

(1.) The first is, that so far as the evidence goes in the observance of the Lord's Supper, it is, that true religion makes the difference

between those who commune and those who do not. The fact of coming to the communion-table, and of professing attachment to the Savior, is the public proof, or prima facie evidence, that they who do it are christians. I know, indeed, that the proof is not infallible; but so far as it goes it is proof, and is good evidence unless it can be rebutted by showing that the life proves that there is no true religion. To make a profession of religion is, and should be regarded, as in itself an expression of a desire to do the will of God, to give up the heart to the Savior, to lead a christian life, to be prepared for heaven. The profession has been also made in most cases after much anxious inquiry; after much examination of the heart and of the Bible; and after much prayer to be guided aright; and has about all the security that there can be that it is based on the possession of real piety. No selfish motive in our land is likely often to influence men to make the profession, for it is followed by no recompense of office or gain; and if there is deception, it is to be set down to the credit of the liability of human nature to deception, and to the difficulty of determining what the real state of the heart is, even after much examination.

(2.) The second thing is, that your neglecting or refusing to make a profession of religion, is a public proof of the same kind, and of the same force, that you are not christians. This may not, I admit, be infallible. There may be some recently converted who wisely and prudently defer the profession for the present, that they may examine and test their piety. There may be some who should have connected themselves with the people of God, but whose evidence of piety is not as clear as they desired and as they hope it will be. But my idea is this that your refusing to make a profession of religion is evidence, so far as it goes, that you are not a christian: it is the public proof that you are not. It is naturally and properly so interpreted by your fellow men. It is the construction which they must, will, and do, put on it, and a construction which it is difficult to avoid, and perhaps which you do not wish them to avoid. Why may it not amount, in many cases, to full evidence-so full as to be the public proof in the day of judgment of the want of religion? Why should we, from mere blind charity, kind-hearted as it may be, ascribe to a man that which he does not profess to have? Why give him the credit of possessing love to God and to the Savior, and of being influenced by the principles of religion, when he makes no such profession himself? Does that charity which is so commended in the New Testament, require us to go beyond what a man himself professes, and to put an interpretation on his principles which he himself forbids? The natural and fair inferences in regard to a man are, that when he professes to have no religion, he has none; that when he voluntarily separates himself from his christian friends, he has no sympathy with them in their religion; that when he declines to obey a command of the Savior which is simple, plain, obvious, universal in its obligation, and easy to be complied with, there is no principle of religious obedience in his heart. As a general rule, I know not why we should not abide by this simple

principle, and why we should not regard those who profess to have no religion as having none-whatever we may think of those who do. This rule is certainly in accordance with the principles of the Savior. "He that is not with me is against me." "He that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God." If these remarks be correct, then the truth of what I have stated is established, that, to a great extent, the division which is made at the communion-table is a division made by religion, and that the line which is run there is one of fearful portent in regard to the destiny in the future world.

2. There will be less doubt in regard to a second separation which religion makes in families. It is in reference to the grave. It requires the exercise of large charity to believe that all families in the tomb sleep there with the same prospect of future glory. They may occupy the same dark house, and be arranged side by side, close to each other as they were when living; or they may sleep in neighboring graves, and a small enclosure railed around with iron, or set thick with flowers -an enclosure smaller than the area of the house where they dwelt in the land of the living-may hold them in close connexion in the abodes of the dead. But what shall make us believe that they all sleep there with the same prospect of heaven? What is our evidence that religion has made no separations there? Our nature prompts us -and I know not that our religion forbids it-to a more tender and wider charity for the dead than for the living; but the widest charity that is consistent with the maintenance of any religious principle whatever, can very rarely discern the evidence that all the members of a family die in hope. Religion made a difference while living it made a difference in their plans of life; in their principles of action; in their conversation and deportment; in times of temptation and affliction, and on the bed of death; and why does it not perpetuate that difference in the grave? Is there some magic virtue-some potent charm in being put into the same vault, the same coffin, or the same grave; in having the same solemn vestments, and in mingling with the same mother earth, to change the character or the destiny? Surely no one can pretend this; and what shall then hinder the conclusion that the division in the family which religion begins here, reaches down to the tomb? There might be much, could we see all, that would be melancholy in looking on a family burying-place besides what meets the eye. Of the smiling babe that was laid there, christian hope entertains no doubt that the soul is safe; of the christian father, mother, or child that sleeps there, there is as little doubt. But what is the doom of the others? Here faith and hope are speechless; and a double pall rests on their remains.

3. There is less doubt still in regard to a third separation which religion makes. If there is not absolute certainty in regard to the effect of religion in causing the division at the communion table; if there is still uncertainty of increasingly painful character in regard to the separation in the grave, there can be none of the agency of religion in the divisions of the day of judgment and of the future world.

Here there is no room for conjecture; none for doubt. If the line run at the communion table be not the true line; if we are deceived about the dead, and hope when there is no ground for hope, and fear when there was really no reason to fear, yet the line will be drawn at the judgment-bar with unerring accuracy. That line will be so drawn that the universe will see and approve the reason why it is done; and it is a line which will be run wholly by religion. On this point the Scriptures leave us no room to doubt; and the account in the Bible is one that wholly accords with our own reason, that it is religion that is to make the separation there. It will not be beauty or blood; not rank, station, or wealth; not bodily vigor, learning, or accomplishments; not age, or fame. These things do not trace lines on the human character or destiny that continue beyond the grave. They are obliterated before the earth is made smooth over the graves of the prince and the peasant; or before the surface of the sea becomes calm when beauty, and rank, and youth, are engulfed beneath,—when,

"Like a drop of rain,

Man sinks into the depths with bubbling groan,
Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown."

But religion makes a separation at the judgment—makes THE GREAT SEPARATION FOREVER. It makes a division there in such a manner that there shall be no future union. It places at the one hand of the Judge a father, and at the other a son; at the one hand a mother, and at the other a daughter; in one world a parent who sought the conversion and salvation of his children, and in the other those children, neglectful, impenitent, unbelieving. The time is coming when one portion of a family, redeemed and sanctified, shall ascend to heaven, elevated to its glories by the religion of the Redeemer; the other portion will live on, indeed, but in the GREAT SEPARATION THAT IS TO BE ETERNAL. To this all things tend. Every communion hastens it; every closing year, every month, every week, every Sabbath, every day. To-day it has been determined in relation to multitudes who have left the earth for eternity; ere the shades of this night pass away, it will be determined in regard to multitudes more.

The subject is one that cannot be pursued further without exciting emotions that would produce pain without profit. My object in presenting it will be gained if it secures two or three results which I will now state in the conclusion of the discourse.

1. If it leads christians here to feel more deeply, and to pray more fervently, for their impenitent children, partners in life, parents, and friends. To-day you are separate from them. They evince no love for our great and blessed Redeemer. How natural, how proper, to ask whether they are to be separate in the grave, and for ever, as well as in the church on earth! How appropriate to bear them on our hearts when we are near the cross, and to beseech, even with tears, the Redeemer to have mercy on those whom we tenderly love!

Friends of the Savior! Ye who can scarcely bear the thought of

separation from your children for a month or a day, how can you think of being separated from them for ever? Ye parents who are sleepless with anguish when they suffer on a bed of pain, who watch with earnest solicitude over them in the slow-moving hours of night, how can you bear the thought that they are to suffer on for ever and ever? Ye who would start with horror at the thought of their sinking into a watery grave, or at the idea that they would be wrapped in flame in a burning vessel at sea, how can you be unmoved at the possibility that they may sink in an ocean of fire to roll amidst its billows forever? Rouse, parents, rouse! Awake, arise, and call upon your God that they may be saved!

2. If the subject leads those who are not now christians, to similar reflections, it will accomplish another object which I wish. Among those of you who do not profess to be christians, are husbands separate from your wives, parents from your children, children from your parents. From that father, and that mother, who have consecrated their hearts to the Son of God, and from that Savior to whom they have devoted themselves, you are divided. Shall this continue? Shall it be deepened and prolonged until it terminates in the great separation that shall endure forever? Dear objects of our earthly affection; friends whom we love more tenderly than we love any other friends, why not come and let heart beat against heart in love to the same Redeemer, and walk hand in hand with us in the same path to heaven? How can you bear the thought of an eternal separation from your christian friends? Divided in religion from us, yet you are not divided in affection. Without our hope of heaven, yet you love us; and though with different feelings in regard to the prospect of eternity, yet at home, at the table, at the fireside, in affliction, in joy, your heart beats against ours, and the same chord is struck in our souls and yours. Children of pious parents, parents of pious children, husbands of pious wives, how can you bear the thought of an eternal separation from your friends? How can you think of their walking on the banks of the river of lifehappy spirits, while you wander-wretched outcasts-on the plains of despair? How can you think that all these tender ties are to be torn asunder, and that you are to be banished from them for ever and ever? Friends that we love! Awake! Arise! and call upon our God! Seek the salvation of the soul! O let the love begun on earth be perpetuated on the plains of heaven! Save us, O save us, we beseech you, from seeing you driven away from us that we may behold your faces

no more!

3. A third result to which our subject should lead should be to cause us to look forward to the future world, and to contemplate the possibility that a family should be united in heaven. It is possible that there should be such an eternal union. It is not necessary that religion should make an eternal separation. There is nothing in the nature of christianity that naturally and necessarily demands this. There is no such adaptation of the gospel to one member or portion of a family only as to make such a result inevitable; there is no restricting of the

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