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vention, scenes that accord to their thoughts:" for unless evil thoughts predominant propensities: and by are excluded or opposed, every apthese speculative indulgences they parent reformation must be hypotry to make themselves amends for critical. "O Jerusalem, wash thy those restrictions, which regard to heart from wickedness, how long reputation, interest, or health may shall vain thoughts lodge within impose. But God especially re- thee?" Peter seems even to intiquires purity of heart, and truth in mate a doubt, whether the thought the inward parts, by which real of Simon Magus's heart did not religion is distinguished from hypo- constitute the unpardonable sin; crisy. "Ye fools," says our Lord to pray God, if perhaps the thought some of these whited sepulchres, of thine heart may be forgiven "did not he that made that which is thee." Jer. iv. 14. Acts viii. 20without, make that which is within 24. This is therefore a matter of also? Thou blind Pharisee, first the greatest importance: and the cleanse that which is within the discovery of those secret thoughts, cup and platter, that the outside which no human eye could reach, may be clean also." Matt. xxiii. and which were scarcely ever sus25-28. Luke xi. 39, 40. How pected, will exceedingly help to diswould it astonish us, if we could criminate characters at the great see all that passes in the thoughts day. Nay, the countless multitude of many very virtuous persons, of vile imaginations and desires, during a single day! And as to the which are the spontaneous producimaginations of the profligate; they tion of our depraved nature, will are the very residence of evil spirits, greatly illustrate the truth and jusin which they forge all manner of tice of God, in all his declarations abominable crimes, previous to the and decisions, concerning the workactual commission of them. Instead ers of iniquity. therefore of men's hearts being bet- On the other hand, the thoughts ter than their lives, as self-flattery of believers also will be made often suggests, they are uniformly known, when the Lord shall come. far worse: for every sinful word Then it will appear, that they aband action was at first an evil horred, watched against, and lathought and desire; but ten thou-boured to exclude every evil imasand evil thoughts and desires, con- gination, and to repress all sinful ceived and cherished in the heart, desires: that they humbly mourned proceed no further; because men over the vain-glorious, envious, imhave not opportunity, courage, or patient, and peevish emotions of ability to realize them in practice. their hearts; and that they endeaEvery man, however, must judge voured to employ their minds, for himself in this matter: but let during their retired hours, in holy us ask ourselves, whether we should contemplations. It will then be feel comfortable, at the idea of all known how much their thoughts our secret thoughts being disclosed, were occupied, in considering by I do not say to the whole world, but what means they might best glorify to our intimate friends and acquaint God, and serve their generation; ance?-Yet they must all be dis- and how many desires they felt, closed to men and angels, at the and plans they formed, which they great day of righteous retribution! could not accomplish. Their affec"Let then the wicked forsake his tionate longings after the salvation way, and the unrighteous man his of their relatives, neighbours, and



persecutors and the anguish of pentance, faith, love, and habitual heart they felt on their account, conduct were answerable to that even when censured as severe and profession. We proceed therefore, harsh in reproving and warning them, will be brought to light; with

III. To advert to the conse

all other pious, holy, and benevo-quences of these discoveries. lent thoughts and desires: and By them the immense difference these discoveries will evidence of character between the righteous them to have been the genuine fol- and the wicked, will be undeniably lowers of the holy Jesus. manifested. In this world, numWe must even go further still in bers find it convenient to varnish this matter: the state of every man's over their crimes, to palliate or exheart, and the motives of his actions cuse many parts of their conduct, will then be fully disclosed. The and to cast others, as it were, into admired morality of numbers will the back ground, where they are then be demonstrated to have been little observed; while, regardless of only a modification of self-love; their hearts, they have leisure to without any real regard to the au- place their counterfeit virtues in a thority or glory of God. The Pha- conspicuous light, and to make risee's prayers, fasting, and alms- them appear immensely better than giving will be shown to have resulted they really are. On the contrary, solely from pride and ostentation. the believer has many infirmities, Many will be proved to have preach- and is engaged in a sharp conflict ed the gospel from envy and strife, with "the sin that dwelleth in him," from avarice or ambition; and to and with the temptations of Satan. have professed it, as a step to emo- The world rigorously scrutinizes his lument or distinction. In short conduct; and the Lord tries his every mask will then be taken off; faith and grace, as silver is tried in many admired characters will ap- the furnace. He is so afraid of hypear completely odious and con- pocrisy and ostentation, that he care temptible; and "the things which fully conceals many things which have been highly esteemed among might exalt his character, and scrumen" will appear to have been pulously shuns the appearance of "abomination in the sight of God." good before men, when he but susNeed I say, how tremendous this pects that there is not the reality of must be to dissemblers of every de- it in the sight of God. 2 Cor. xii. 6. scription, who now act a plausible On these and other accounts, the part, and exhibit on the stage of the apparent difference betwixt true world in an assumed character? Christians, and specious hypocrites

But on the other hand, the humi- or moralists, bears no proportion to lity, gratitude, zealous love, and the degree in which their characters holy affections of true believers will do really differ. But the discovebe made manifest to the universe. ries of the great day will perfectly The pure motives of those actions, distinguish them, and all the world which were censured or calumni- will "discern between the righte ated, will be domonstrated: every ous and the wicked, between him accusation will be silenced, all mis- that serveth God, and him that apprehensions removed; and it will serveth him not." be undeniably evident, that from the When the Lord shall thus "bring time when they made an explicit to light the hidden things of darkprofession of the gospel, their re-uess," every mouth will be " stop

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ped, and all the world will become the justice of the tremendous senguilty before God; for by the works tence will be universally acknowof the law shall no flesh be justified ledged; the friends of God will in the sight of God." Rom. iii. 19, perceive and adore his glory in this 20. The discoveries of the great part of his moral government; and decisive day will completely elu- the wicked shall be silent in darkcidate this fundamental doctrine of ness and despair, when bid to "deChristianity, which is now so gene- part accursed into everlasting fire, rally misunderstood or opposed: for prepared for the devil and his anthe whole of men's thoughts, words, gels." and works, will appear so contrary Far be it from us to suppose, that to the holy precepts of God, or so the merciful Saviour, who is TRUTH far short of their spiritual perfec- itself, would use such language on tion, that all must then feel the this occasion, if not really applicaforce of David's words, "If thou, ble to the case! He does not allow Lord, shalt mark iniquity, O Lord, us to speak deceitfully for him; and who shall stand?" As therefore "all will he utter fallacious words himhave sinned, and come short of the self?-Yet we cannot hear of eterglory of God," all must fall under nal punishment, unquenchable fire, condemnation, who are not inter- outer darkness, weeping, and gnashested in the salvation of the gospel. ing of teeth, a worm that never But it may be asked, in what dieth, and the place prepared for sense then will every man be judged the devil and his angels, without according to his works? This shall feeling our hearts tremble, and rebe reserved for the subject of a se-volt against the description. How parate discourse: and it may suf- unspeakably dreadful then will be fice to answer at present, that all the accomplishment? when the avowed unbelievers, however dis- Lord, to stop the sinner's mouth, tinguished, will be judged and con- by a discovery of his crimes, shall demned for the sins they have com- say, with stern indignation, "These mitted; and all professed believers things hast thou done, and I kept will be judged according to their silence: thou thoughtest that I was works, as proving, or disproving the altogether such a one as thyself, sincerity of their profession.

but I will reprove thee and set. The discoveries of this awful day them in order before thine eyes!will likewise silence all the blas- Now consider this, ye that forget phemies which are continually ut- God, lest I tear you in pieces, and tered against the justice of God in there be none to deliver." Psal. 1. the condemnation of the wicked. It 21, 22. Cease then, poor sinner, is on this account called "the day to object and dispute; and make of wrath, and revelation of the righ- haste to flee from the wrath to teous judgment of God." While come, and to seek refuge in the men conceal or palliate by far the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. greatest and worst part of their A more pleasing subject, howconduct, they may argue plausibly ever, is before us, while we conagainst the denunciations of Scrip- template the redeemed of the Lord, ture; but when the whole of their saved by his grace, washed from character and conduct shall be their sins in the Saviour's atoning openly exhibited, and all the world blood, completely justified, absolved shall know every thing respecting from every charge, and "presented them which is now seen by the faultless before the presence of his heart-searching Judge alone; then glory with exceeding joy." Then

death will be swallowed up in vic-time." Our duty often requires us tory; and raptures inexpressible to form some judgment of men's will commence a felicity, still to be characters and actions: but in all increased, with the enlargement of other respects, our business is with their capacities, through the count-ourselves and the Lord, and not less ages of eternity. But I must with our fellow-servants. And the leave it to your own minds, bre- more diligent we are to be found of thren, to form some conception of him in peace, without spot and the opposite sensations which will blameless, the less time and thought delight or agonize every heart, when we shall have to spare, for censurthe wicked "shall go away into ing and condemning the conduct, everlasting punishment, and the or suspecting the motives of other righteous into life eternal."


"And then shall every man have But do you, my friends, really praise of God." Then every hum- believe these things? and are you ble believer, according to his mea- preparing to meet your Judge? I sure of faith and grace, will be ho- fear, the actions, conversation, and noured with the commendation of spirit of numbers awfully prove the his condescending Lord, for those contrary. Still, however, the Lord services which the world condemn-waits to be gracious: flee then to him ed, and which perhaps his brethren as a Saviour, without longer delay, undervalued or censured. To be who will speedily come to be your accosted by the Judge of the world, Judge. You who profess the gospel, in these most gracious terms," Well be advised and persuaded to examine done, good and faithful servant, en- yourselves whether you be in the ter thou into the joy of thy Lord," faith: look well to it that your eviwill form an adequate gratification dences of conversion are clear and to the noblest ambition of which the decisive; for that day, of which we rational nature is capable. Seeking speak, will detect multitudes of selffor this glory, honour, and immor- deceivers, as well as unmask many tality, let us here be indifferent to artful hypocrites. And if you are all human applauses or contemptu- conscious of following the Lord ous reproaches. This is the honour with an upright heart, take heed that cometh from God only, and is that you do not slacken your dilireserved for all his saints; when no gence, or yield to unwatchfulness: more danger shall remain of their" Let your loins be girded and your being exalted above measure, or lights burning: and be yourselves sacrilegiously ascribing any thing like unto men that wait for their to themselves: but when, on the Lord:" "for blessed are those sercontrary, they will cast their crowns vants whom the Lord when he before the throne, and return all to cometh shall find watching; verily the bounteous Giver, in endless I say unto you, that he shall gird songs of adoring praise. Let us not himself, and make them to sit down faint then, on account of our trials to meat, and will come forth and and difficulties; for" our light afflic-serve them." Luke xii. 35-38. tions, which are but for a moment," Therefore, my beloved brethren, are working for us, a far more ex-be ye steadfast and unmoveable, ceeding and eternal weight of always abounding in the work of glory.' the Lord: for as much as ye know Let us also remember the cau- that your labour is not in vain in tion, "judge nothing before the the Lord."


by providence than others, as the Jews had every way the advantage of the Gentiles: but he intimates

FINAL RETRIBUTION OF BELIEVERS AND that they generally abused those

doeth evil.


advantages to their deeper condemROMANS ii. 5...9.—Who will render of his goodness, and forbearance, nation: "Despisest thou the riches to every man according to his deeds; and long-suffering, not knowing that to them, who, by patient continu- the goodness of God leadeth thee to ance in well-doing, seek for glory, honour, and immortality, eternal repentance?" The more kind, patient, and merciful the Lord is, the life; but unto them that are con-baser our rebellion and ingratitude tentious, and do not obey the truth, must appear; the greater cause but obey unrighteousness, indigna- have we to repent, and the more tion and wrath, tribulation and an- abundant motives and encourageguish, upon every soul of man that ments. But if men presume on his lenity, supposing that he will not or In meditating on the solemnities, cannot punish, and so encourage discoveries, and consequences of themselves in sin, they "despise that great decisive day, when the the riches of his goodness and merLord shall come to be our Judge, cy:" and "after their hardness and we were obliged to pass over in a impenitent heart, treasure up to general manner, several important themselves wrath against the day particulars relative to the subject; of wrath, and revelation of the righand especially we reserved for a teous judgment of God, who will separate discourse, the considera- render to every man according to tion of the manner in which all men his deeds." The treasures which will be judged according to their they perhaps covetously and disworks, and receive according to honestly accumulate on earth, must what they have done, whether it be left to their survivors: but the be good or evil. The present will vast accessions, which impenitent therefore be an appendix to the sinners daily make to their load of preceding discourse, as intended to guilt, and the heavy wrath of God illustrate its interesting truths, and against them, are laid up for themto render them more perspicuous selves, to be their future and eternal and impressive. In the passage portion. For at the great day of before us, the apostle does not un-righteous retribution, God “will dertake to decide a controverted render unto every man according to point of doctrine, to state the me- his deeds: to them who by patient thod of a sinner's justification; or continuance in well-doing, seek for to account for that difference of glory, and honour, and immortality, character which actually subsists eternal life: but unto them that are among the descendants of fallen contentious, and do not obey the Adam. These subjects he hath truth, but obey unrighteousness, infully discussed in other parts of his dignation and wrath, tribulation and writings: but here he takes occa- anguish, upon every soul of man sion from his subject to show, that that doeth evil."-In discoursing the opposite conduct of the righte- on these words, I shall endeavour, ous and the wicked will terminate in

future happiness or misery. He con- I. To describe more fully the two siders some persons more favoured characters contrasted by the apos

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