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and favour. Every year that rolls over your heads, nay, every feeling that passes through your bosoms, must either be increasing your qualification for the happiness of holiness, and the life of heaven, or imparting to you a new and higher character of preparation for the misery of sin and the death of hell. The current of passion is swelling, the force of evil habit is confirming, and he who imagines that he may easily stem the one, or break through the other, discovers a dangerous ignorance of the constitution of his own mind. He forgets that his love of sin and his aversion to holiness, are becoming inve
efforts to overcome them. A thought of repentance may occasionally steal athwart his mind; but feeling the difficulty of obeying the impulse of that thought, he delays repenting, in the foolish expectation that it will become easier by the delay. Thus, by a deceit which his heart acquires a facility in practising on itself, the period which should have been hailed as the season of forsaking sin and turning to God, is shifted backwards and backwards, till it is for ever lost in the shadow of death.
stroying it, when once its tangled roots have shot themselves down through the affections of the heart; and let the contemplation give emphasis to the exhortation of the text, "Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth." II. If religion obtains not a place in your heart when you are young, there is an awful probability that it never will. When I recollect the confidence with which many of my young hearers, who are not at present religious, may be looking forward to some period in their future lives, in which they persuade themselves they will most assuredly lay the concerns of religion to heart, I fear that some of you may be disposed to under-terate, and that soon it will baffle his utmost rate this probability. At present you are strong in the belief of your own decision; and, ignorant of the difficulty of changing the bias of the heart, you fancy that at a bidding you may stay the whole current of your passions, burst the fetters of long established habit, and give a new direction to thought and feeling, to word and action. Delusive thought! Go bid the river of the valley roll its waters back to the summit of the mountain, where its springs are placed! Go bid the Ethiopian change his skin, and the leopard his spots; and then, having made trial of equal difficulties, consider what it is to make the heart, which has once "learned to do evil, learn to do good." You will readily perceive the dangerous tendency of this confidence, and the strength of the probability, that religion, if neglected in youth, will also be neglected in maturer years, if you reflect for a moment that our sinful propensities grow with their gratification. We falsely imagine that we may keep our point of distance from God fixed-that we may go on for a few years in the ardent pursuit of the world, though not having accepted Christ, yet without increasing our principles of aversion to him. In short, we imagine that we may remain for a season indifferent, without becoming hostile. But it is impossible. Whilst we live in conformity to the world, the native aversion of the heart to the things of salvation is every moment becoming stronger. A continual process is going on, assimilating the soul more and more to the world; rendering it less and less capable of religious impression, and reducing more and more its relish for communion with heaven. If we are not for Christ we must verily and indeed be against him. There is no such thing as indifference in matters of religion--no neutrality-no middle domain which you may occupy. Every Sabbath you spend, and every sermon you hear, if not elevating you nearer to God,
If there be any before me, who are disposed to cling to the probability of their becoming sincerely devoted to God, after they have grown old in the neglect and violation of duty, I would ask them, on what are they founding their hopes? You cannot do so on the scripture record; for there is but one solitary instance-one insulated case of this kind in the Bible-the case of the penitent thief: and there" is but one," observes the judicious Henry, “ that none might presume, and none despair." But perhaps you are disposed to appeal to the many happy changes which the sickbed is producing around you. Far be it from me to circumscribe the operations, or limit the riches of divine grace. But we fear that most of these cases are nothing better than pious frauds; and even of the best of them we entertain our doubts. can never divest our mind of the lurking possibility, that the weakening effects of disease, and the decay of constitution, may subdue the pride and stout-heartedness of the transgressor, and superinduce upon the mind a composure and placidness, not at all the softening effects of sincere penitence, or the peace of a well-grounded hope in Christ. And this possibility gathers strength, when we think of it, that many a sickbed saint, whose progress through the dark valley has been arrested at the very gates of death, has afterwards lived to be a more hardened
In delaying the business of religion to the end of our days, we are calculating not only on our own strength, but God's willingness to help and receive us. We have shown you the probability that we are overcalculating the former; and we would now, in closing up the argument, point you to the possibility of overcalculating the latter. We know that in dealing with sinners, God's "ways are not as our ways, nor his thoughts as ours." But still we may ask, is it reasonable to expect that God will be pleased to accept as his portion, the shreds and fragments of a life, whose vigour has been given to the service of the world, or the pursuits of pleasure? Is it reasonable to expect, that God will esteem our inability any longer to follow the bent of our sinful desires, as self-denial, or the mortification of the lusts of the flesh? Is it reasonable to expect, that God will consider our inability any longer to mingle with the busy crowd of the world, as seclusion from it-as aversion to its character and practices? Is it reasonable to expect, that God will accept the penitence and the last despairing prayer, which the terrors of death and approaching judgment have called forth, as a turning from sin unto God? If reason be competent to pronounce any judgment in the case, must not its verdict be this-that God will reject the heartless and extorted service, and leave the man, who has thus abused his mercy, to seek support and consolation from that master to whom he has given the prime of his days, and the opening affections of his heart?
continual process going on in the heart of him who has not embraced religion, which is every moment diminishing his capacity of doing so; that there are no grounds either in the Bible, or observation, for supposing that deathbed repentances are at all numerous and finally, that there is a period in the life of man, when the Spirit of God ceases to strive with him-when all influence shall be withdrawn-when the Spirit shall be silent-and conscience cease to reprove ;-recollecting these things, with how much force may we now address to you the language of our text," Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth."
My appearance here this evening, implies my approval of the Glasgow Young Men's Society, on whose account you have been called together. The most critical period perhaps in a man's whole life, is at that moment when he steps from under the parental roof, and enters society to make his way through the world. It is like the first step in a journey, which determines the direction of all that are to follow. A false movement then, may send him in a wrong and calamitous direction, both for this world and the next. Inexperienced-impetuous—and unsuspecting-he may form associations, and acquire habits, which shall involve him in poverty, disgrace and misery among his fellow-men, and draw down on him the everlasting displeasure of his God. In all circumstances this period is important and perilous: but in a city like ours, crowded with men of all characters, abounding with But we take higher ground. Conversion every species of temptation, the danger rises is the result of grace. And what if God, in magnitude; and the necessity for some wearied with our impenitence, and grieved at expedient to secure the safety of the young, our abuse of privilege, should withdraw his becomes more urgent and pressing. Such Spirit from us, and leave us to harden in an expedient is the Society for which we our iniquity? Because he finds that we have have the honour of pleading. It proposes nothing," what if he would "take away to raise a shield above the head of the even that which we have?" Be assured youthful and inexperienced, that shall serve that the Spirit of God long resisted, ceases as a partial substitute for the shadow of the to strive with the spirit of man, when re- parental roof. And it does so, by endeapentance becomes not only difficult and vouring to cast the circle of their acquaintimprobable, but absolutely hopeless-hope- anceship among those who are less as the conclusion of eternity, or the bering their Creator in the days of their reversion of doom. "Because I have called, youth;" to strengthen those principles which and ye have refused; I have stretched out are the safeguards of virtue; and to foster my hand, and no man regarded; but ye those tastes for moral and intellectual plea have set at nought all my counsel, and would sures, which alone can lift the soul above none of my reproof: I also will laugh at the grovelling pursuits and pleasures of senyour calamity; I will mock when your fear suality. Of such an Association, then, no cometh. Then shall ye call upon me, but I friend to his race can fail to approve-and will not answer; ye shall seek me early, but no Christian refuse to implore on its behalf ye shall not find me." the blessing of Heaven. That that blessing may rest on its members, and its operations, is our earnest prayer.
Laying all of these considerations together then-recollecting that there is a
BROWN, Rev. THOMAS, D.D., Glasgow.
The Tendency of the Word of God to produce Sanctification—
John xvii. 17. .
BROWN, REV. THOMAS, D.D., Glasgow.
The Nature, Necessity, and Importance of the Sufferings of
BRUCE, Rev. JOHN, Edinburgh.
The Duty of Glorifying God-1 Cor. vi. 19, 20.
The Parable of the Talents-Matt. xxv. 14, 15.
BUCHANAN, Rev. ROBERT, Glasgow.
The Difficulties of Declaring the whole Counsel of God-
Acts xx. 17.
CHALMERS, Rev. THOMAS, D.D., S.T.P., Edinburgh.
On the Smooth Things by which Men are apt to be Deceived-
On Venial Sin, and Auricular Confession—Micah vii. 18.
GIBSON, Rev. JAMES, A.M., Glasgow.
The Service of God the only True Dignity—1 Sam. ii. 30.
The Joy of Heaven over a Repentant Sinner-Luke xv. 10.
Characters of the Cause over which Christ presides-Ps. xlv. 3—5
OHNSTON, Rev. JOHN, Edinburgh.
The Trial and Condemnation of Christ-Luke xxii. 66—71, and
The Character and Blessing of Him that Overcometh—Rev. xxi. 7. 71
This gentleman formerly belonged to the Relief Body, but afterwards, with his congregation,
MACGILCHRIST, Rev. JOHN, Edinburgh.
The Obligation of Christians to Interest themselves in the pre-
MACLEAN, late Rev. JAMES, D.D., Glasgow.
Lecture-Proverbs xvi. 4, 5.
MARSHALL, Rev. ANDREW, Kirkintilloch.
MARSHALL, Rev. ANDREW, Kirkintilloch.
Trust in God and in his Son Jesus Christ, the best Consolation
MARSHALL, Rev. ANDREW, Kirkintilloch.
MARSHALL, Rev. JAMES, A.M., Edinburgh.
MARSHALL, Rev. JAMES, A.M., Edinburgh.
The Conduct of Noah, and its Consequences-Heb. xi. 7.
Christ, the Head over all Things to the Church-Ephes. i. 22, 23.
On the Obligations to Fervour of Spirit-Rom. xii. 11.
Extract from Funeral Sermon on the late Rev. Dr. DICK.
MITCHELL, Rev. J., D.D., S.T.P., Glasgow.
The Mission of Paul-Acts xxii. 21.
MITCHELL, Rev. GRAHAM, A.M., Whitburn.
God the Solace of his people-Deut. xxxiii. 27.
MUIR, Rev. JOHN, D.D., Glasgow.
The Divinity of Christ-John xiv. 8-18.
MUIR, REV. JOHN, D.D., Glasgow.
The Character, Privilege, and Duty of the People of God-
MUIR, Rev. WILLIAM, D.D., Edinburgh.
Qualities of the Gospel Method of Imparting Comfort and In-
Charity in Union with Love to God and Personal Purity-
M'CRIE, REV. THOMAS, D.D., Edinburgh.
The Judgments of God a Lawful Subject of Human Study and
M'FARLAN, Rev. PATRICK, D.D., Greenock.
The Description and Blessedness of Dying Believers-Rev. xiv. 13. 64
The Christian strengthened in the Lord-Zech. x. 12.
M'NAUGHTAN, Rev. J., A.M., Paisley.
The Curse converted into a Blessing-Neh. xiii. 2.
NISBET, Rev. ARCHIBALD, Glasgow.
The Glorified Humanity of Christ, and the Comfort arising from