necessary to be entered upon at present; as what I vested with sin. When it is come to this case, it may be postponed to a more suitable time of life: is difficult for any call to be heard, for any warnwhenever they think thus, they think very pre ing to operate. It is difficult, but with God all sumptuously; they are justly chargeable with neg- things are possible. If there be the will and the lecting warnings. And what is the event ? These sincere endeavour to reform, the grace of God can postponers never enter upon religion at all, in give the power. Although, therefore, they who earnest or effectually; that is the end and event wait for the advances of age, the perception of of the matter. To account for this, shall we say decay, the probable approach of death, before they that they have so offended God by neglecting his turn themselves seriously to religion, have waited warnings, as to have forfeited his grace? Certain much too long, have neglected, and despised, and ly we may say, that this is not the method of ob- defied many solemn warnings in the course of taining his grace; and that his grace is necessary their lives; have waited indeed till it be next to to our conversion. Neglecting warnings is not impossible that they turn at all from their former the way to obtain God's grace, and God's grace ways: yet this is not a reason why they should is necessary to conversion. The young, I repeat continue in neglect of the warnings which now again, want not warnings. Is it new? is it un press upon them, and which at length they begin heard of ? is it not, on the contrary, the intelli- io perceive ; but just the contrary. The effort is gence of every week, the experience of every greater, but the necessity is greater : It is their neighbourhood, that young men and young wo last hope, and their last trial. I put the case of a men are cut off? Man is in every sense a flower man grown old in sin. If the warnings of old of the field. The flower is liable to be cut down age bring him round to religion, happy is that man in its bloom and perfection as well as in its wither-in his old age above any thing he was in any other ing and its decays. So is man: and one probable part of his life. But if these warnings do not afcause of this ordination of Providence is, that no fect him, there is nothing left in this world which one of any age may be so confident of life as to will. We are not to set limits to God's grace, allow himself to transgress God's laws; that all operating according to his good pleasure; but we of every age may live in constant awe of their say there is nothing in this world, there is nothing Maker.

in the course of nature and the order of human I do admit that warnings come the thicker upon affairs, which will affect him, if the feelings of us

as we grow old. We have more admonitions, age do not. I put the case of a man grown old in both in our remembrances and in our observations, sin, and, though old, continuing the practice of sin: and of more kinds. A man who has passed a long that, it is said, in the full latitude of the expreslife, has to remember preservations from danger, sion, describes a worse case than is commonly met which ought to inspire him both with thankful with. Would to God the case was more rare than ness and caution. Yet I fear we are very defi- it is! But, allowing it to be unusual in the utcient in both these qualities. We call our preser- most extent of the terms, in a certain consideravations escapes, not preservations; and so we feel ble degree the description applies to many old perno thankfulness for them; nor do we turn them sons. Many feel in their hearts that the words into religious cautions. When God preserved us, "grown old in sin,” belong to them in some sense he meant to warn us. When such instances, which is very formidable. They feel some dross therefore, have no effect upon our minds, we are and defilement to be yet purged away; some deep guilty before God of neglecting his warnings. corruption to be yet eradicated; some virtue or Most especially if we have occasion to add to all other to be yet even learnt, yet acquired, or yet, other reasons for gratitude this momentous ques- however, to be brought nearer to what it ought to tion, What would have become of us, what would be than it has hitherto been brought. Now if the have been our condition, if we had perished in the warnings of age taught us nothing else, they danger by which our lives were threatened ? The might teach us this: that if these things are to be parable of the fig-tree, (Luke xiii. ver. 6,) is a done, they must be done soon; they must be set most apt Scripture for persons under the circum- about forthwith, in good earnest, and with strong stances we have described. · When the Lord had resolution. The work is most momentous; the said, “cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground ?' time is short. The day is far spent: the evening he was entreated to try it one year longer; and is come on: the night is at hand. then if it proved not fruitful to cut it down. Lastly: I conceive that this discourse points out Christ himself there makes the application twice the true and only way of making old age comfortover, (verses 3d and 5th,) "except ye repent, ye able; and that is, by making it the means of reshall all likewise perish." If the present, or if the ligious improvement. Let a man be beset by then state of our conscience and of our souls call ever so many bodily complaints, bowed down by up this reflection, then are we very guilty indeed, ever so many infirmities, if he find his soul grown if such preservations leave no religious impression and growing better, his seriousness increased, his upon us; or if we suffer the temporary impression obedience more regular and more exact, his into pass off without producing in us a change for ward principles and dispositions improved from the better

what they were formerly, and continuing to imInfirmities, whether they be of health, or of age, prove; that man hath a fountain of comfort and decay, and weakness, are warnings. And it has consolation springing up within him. Infirmities, been asked, with some degree of wonder, why which have this effect, are infinitely better than they make so little impression as they do?' One strength and health themselves; though these, chief reason is this: they who have waited for considered independently of their consequences, warnings of this kind before they would be con- be justly esteemed the greatest of all blessings and verted, have generally waited until they are be of all gifts. The old age of a virtuous man adcome hardened in sin. Their habits are fixed. mits of a different and of a most consoling deTheir character has taken its shape and form. scription. Their disposition is thoroughly infected and in- It is this property of old age, namely, that its 4 F



proper and most rational comfort consists in the present things of which we have no notion, by a consciousness of spiritual amendment. A very comparison with things of which we have a notion. pious writer gives the following representation of Therefore take notice what those figures and methis stage of human life, when employed and octaphors are. They are of the most dreadful kind cupied as it ought to bé, and when life has been which words can express: and be they understood drawn to its close by a course of virtue and reli- how they may, ever so figuratively, it is plain that gion. "To the intelligent and virtuous," says our they convey, and were intended to convey, ideas author, “old age presents a scene of tranquil en- of horrible torment. They are such as these: joyment, of obedient appetites, of well regulated “Being cast into hell, where the worm dieth not, atfections, of maturity in knowledge, and of calm and where the fire is not quenched." It is burnpreparation for immortality. In this serene and ing the chaff

' with unquenchable fire." It is "go dignified state, placed, as it were, on the contines ing into fire everlasting, which is prepared for the of two worlds, the mind of a good man reviews devil and his angels.” It is "being cast with all what is passed with the complacency of an ap- his members into hell, where the worm dieth nok, proving conscience, and looks forward with hum- and the fire is not quenched," These are beartble confidence in the mercy of God, and with de- appalling expressions: and were undoubtedly in vout aspirations towards his eternal and ever intended by the person who used them, (who was creasing favour."

no other than our Lord Jesus Christ himself,) to describe terrible endurings; positive, actual pains, of the most horrible kinds. I have said that the

punishment of hell is thus represented to us in SERMON XXXI.

figurative speech. I now say, that from the nature of things it could hardly have been represented

to us in any other. It is of the very nature of What is a man profited, if he shall gain the It is impossible to give to any one an exact con

pain, that it cannot be known without being felt. whole world, and lose his own soul ? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul ? – ception of it

, without his actually tasting it. Es Matt. xvi. 26.

perience alone teaches its acuteness and intensity.

For which reason, when it was necessary that the These words ask a question, the most home to punishment of hell should be set forth in Scripture every man's concern of any that can possibly en- for our warning, and set forth to terrify us from ter into his thoughts. What our Saviour meant pur sins, it could only be done as it has been done, to assert, though proposed to his hearers in the by comparing it with sufferings of which we can form of a question (which indeed was only a form a conception, and making use of terus drawn stronger and more affecting way of asserting it,) from these sufferings. When words less figurais, that a man's soul, by which term is here meant tive, and more direct, but at the same time more his state after death, is so infinitely more important general, are adopted, they are not less strong, to him, so beyond and above any thing he can get, otherwise than as they are more general. "inor any thing he can lose, any thing he can enjoy, dignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon or any thing he can suffer on this side the grave, every soul of man that doeth evil." "These are that nothing which the world offers can make up St. Paul's words. It is a short sentence, but for the loss of it, or be a compensation when that enough to make the stoutest heart tremble; for is at stake. You say that this is very evident: I though it unfold no particulars, it clearly desigreply, that evident as it is, it is not thought of, it nates positive torment. The day of judgment itis not considered, it is not believed. The subject, self

, so far as it respects the wicked, is espressly therefore, is very proper to be set forth in those called “ a day of wrath.". The Lord Jesus, as to strong and plain terms which such a subject re-them, shall be revealed in flaming fire. How les quires, for the purpose of obtaining for it some de rible a fate it must be to find ourselves at that day gree of that attention which each man's own deep the objects of God's wrath--the objects upon whon interest in the event demands of him to give it. his threats and judgments against sin are now to

There are two momentous ideas, which are in- be executed, the revelation of his righteous judgcluded in the expression—the loss of a man's ment and of his unerring truth to be displayed soul; and these are the positive pain and suffer- may be conceived, in some sort, by considering ings which he will incur after his death, and the what stores of inexhaustible misery are always in happiness and reward which he will forfeit. Upon his power. With our present constitutions, if we both of these points we must go for information to do but touch the smallest part of our bodies, if a the Scriptures. Nowhere else can we receive any. nerve in many places goes wrong, what torture Now as to the first point, which is, in other words, do we endure ! Let any man who has felt, er the punishment of hell, I do admit that it is very rather, whilst he is feeling, the agony of some bodifficult to handle this dreadful subject properly; dily torment, only reflect what a condition that and one cause, amongst others, of the difficulty is, must be, which had to suffer this continuclis, that it is not for one poor sinner to denounce such which night and day was to undergo the same, appalling terrors, such tremendous consequences without prospect of cessation or relief, and thus against another. Damnation is a word, which lies to go on; and then ask, for what he would knownot in the mouth of man, who is a worm, towards ingly bring himself into this situation ; what pleaany of his fellow creatures whatsoever; yet it is ab sure, what gain would be an inducement ? Le solutely necessary that the threatenings of Al him reflect also, how bitter, how grinding an ag mighty God be known and published. Therefore gravation of his sufferings, as well as of his gui we begin by observing, that the accounts which the it must be, that he has wilfully, and forewards Scriptures contain of the punishment of hell, are brought all this upon himself.- May it not be nefor the most part delivered in figurative or meta- cessary that God should manifest his truth by er. phorical terms; that is to say, in terms which re-ecuting his threats ?—may it not be necessary that he shonld at least testify his justice by placing a Now, by the side of this immense consequence wide difference between the good and the bad ? of saving or of losing our immortal souls, place between virtue, which he loves, and vice, which any difference that the things of this life can make he abhors ? which difference must consist in the to us; place riches and poverty, grandeur and huthe different state of happiness and of misery in mility, success or misfortune ; place, more especiwhich the good and bad are finally placed. And ally, the difference between possessing and sacrimay we not be made deserved sacrifices to this dis- ficing an unlawful gratification; between compaspensation ?

sing and renouncing an unjust purpose; making Now if any one feel his heart struck with the or giving up an unfair gain; in a word, between terrors of the Lord, with the consideration of this the pleasures and temptations of vice, and the dreadful subject, and with the declarations of self-denials of virtue; and what do they amount Scripture relating thereto, which will all have to ? The objects themselves are nothing when their accomplishment; let him be entreated, let put in competition with heaven and hell. - Were him be admonished to hold the idea, tremendous, it true, which it is not, that real, solid, inward as it is, fully in his view, till it has wrought its happiness was proportioned either to outward cireffect, that is, till it has prevailed with him to part cumstances, or the indulgencies of our appetites with his sins; and then we assure him, that to and passions; that the good things, as they are alarm, fright, and horror, will succeed peace, and called, and pleasures of life, were as satisfactory hope, and comfort, and joy in the Holy Ghost. to the possessor, as they are, for the most part, deThere is another way of treating the matter, and ceitful and disappointing, still their duration is that is to shake off the idea if we can; to drown nothing. The oldest men, when they cast back it in intemperance; to overpower it with worldly their eyes on their past life, see it in a very nar. business; to fly from it in all directions, but mostly row compass. It appears no more than a small in that which carries us to hurrying tumultuous di- interval cut out of eternal duration, both before versions, to criminal indulgencies, or into gross and after it; when compared with that duration sensuality. Now of this course of proceeding it as nothing. But we must add to this two other is certain that if it lay the mind in any degree at questions. Can life be counted upon to last to ease in this life, it is at the expense of the inevita- what is called old age? No man, who observes ble destruction of our souls in the next; which is the deaths that take place in his neighbourhood, enough to say against it; but in truth it answers or amongst his acquaintance, will so compute. even its present purpose very imperfectly. It is a Or, secondly, do the pleasures of sin last as long way of getting rid of the matter, with which even as our lives? We may answer, nerer ; with the we ourselves are not satisfied. We are sensible single dreadful exception of the sinner being cut that it is a false, treacherous, hollow way of acting off in his prime. Whoever looks for permanent towards our own souls. We have no trust in happiness from the pleasures of sin will find himwhat we are doing. It leaves no peace, no hope, self miserably mistaken. They are short, even no comfort, no joy.

compared with our short lives ; subject to casualBut to return to the direct subject of our dis- ties and disasters without number; transitory, not course. The Scriptures uniformly represent the only as the things of this world are transitory, but wicked as not only

suffering positive nisery, but in a much greater degree. It will be said, howalso as having lost, by their wickedness, the hap- ever, that though this observation may be true of piness of heaven, and as being sensible of their the pleasures of sin, yet an advantage gained by loss. They are repeatedly described as cast out, sin, that is, by uprighteous, unconscious means, or as shut out, into outer darkness: whilst the may nevertheless, remain an advantage as long as good are entering into the joy of their Lord. This we live. This may sometimes be the case ; and imports a knowledge of their own exclusion. In such advantage may be so long enjoyed, if that the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich can be enjoyed which has a fearful expectation man being in torments, is made to see Lazarus at and looking-for of judgment annexed to it. But rest. This teaches us, that the wicked will be so what is the term of that enjoyment compared with far informed of the state of the good, as to per- the sequel ? It is a moment, the twinkling of an ceive and bewail, with unutterable anguish and eye, compared with a day; an hour compared with regret, their own sad fate in being refused and re- a year; a single day with a long life. It is less jected, when, had they acted differently, they than these; for all these comparisons are short of would have been admitted to it. This is, strictly the truth. Well therefore doth our Saviour ask, speaking, losing a man's soul : it is losing that "What doth a man profit if he gain the whole happiness which his soul might have attained, world and lose his own soul ?" That world, and for which it was made. And here comes the when gained, he could not keep; nor, if he could, bitter addition of their calamity, that, being lost, would it make him happy. it cannot be recovered. The heaven we hear of But our Saviour delivered his powerful admoin Scripture, and the hell we hear of in Scripture, nition, not so much for his disciples to reason upon, are a heaven and hell depending upon our be as to carry into practice; that is, that his words haviour in this life. So they are all along spoken might strike into their souls upon these occasions of. Indignation, wrath, tribulation, and an-|(which are but too many,) when the business, the guish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil:" bustle, or the allurements of the world are in dan meaning evidently the evil done by him in this ger of shutting out futurity from their thoughts. life; no other evil was in the apostle's thoughts. - These are the times for calling to mind our SaOr again, more expressly, " we must all appear viour's question. Whenever, therefore, we are before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one driving on in the career of worldly prosperity; may receive the things done in the body, accord- meeting with success after success; fortunate, rich, ing to that he hath done, whether it be good or and flourishing; when every thing appears to thrive bad.”—" The things done in the body," are the and smile around us; but conscience, in the neanthings taken into the account.

time, little heeded and attended to; the justice, the

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integrity, the uprightness of our ways, and of our true; that the sinner, the man involved in unredealings seldom weighed and scrutinized by us ; pented, unforsaken sins, can never know how religion very much, or entirely, perhaps, out of soon he may be reduced to this state. the question with us; soothed and buoyed up with that self-applause which success naturally begets; -in this no very uncommon state of soul, it will be well if we hear our Saviour's voice asking us,

SERMON XXXII. what does all this prosperity signify? if it do not lead to heaven, what is it worth? When the scene is shifted, if nothing but death and darkness remain behind; much more, if God Almighty be For the grace of God, that brir.geth salration, all this while offended by our forgetfulness both hath appeared unto all men, teaching up, thai of his mercies and his laws, our neglect of his ser- denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we vice, our indevotion, our thoughtlessness, our diso. should live soberly, righteously, and godly in bedience, our love of the world to the exclusion this present world.—Titus ii. 11, 12. of all consideration of Him; if we be assured, and if, in reality, it be the case, that his displeasure There are certain particular texts of Scripture shall infallibly overtake us at our death ; what in which are of inestimable use ; for that in a few, truth, under all this appearance of advantage, are short, clear words, they show us the sum of our we getting or gaining? The world may amuse duty. Such texts ought to be deeply infixed and us with names and terms of felicitation, with their imprinted upon our memories; to be written, inpraises or their envy, but wherein are we the bet- deed, upon our hearts. The text which I have ter in the amount and result of substantial happi- read to you, is entitled to this distinction. No ness? We have got our aim, and what is the single sentence that ever was written down for end of it? Death is preparing to level us with the direction of mankind, comprises more importthe poorest of mankind; and after that, a fearful ant truth in less room. The text gives us a rule looking-for and expectation of judgment; no well of life and conduct; and tells us, that to lay down founded hopes of happiness beyond the grave; and for mankind this role, and enforce it by the we drawing sensibly nearer to that grave every promise of salvation, was a great object of the year. This is the sum of the account. Or, which | Gospel being published in the world. The Gas is another case no less apposite to our present ar pel might include other objects, and answer other gument, is it some sensual pleasure that tempts purposes; but as far as related to the regulation of us, some wicked enjoyment that has taken such life and conduct, this was its object and its purhold of our passions, that we are ready to rush pose. The rule, you hear, is, that, “ denying unupon it whatever be the consequence? If we godliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, gain our object; if we possess our wishes, we are righteously, and godly in this present world." happy: but what, if we lose our own souls? what, We must begin " by denying ungodliness and if we find ourselves condemned men for hardily worldly lusts:" which means, that we must resist venturing upon crimes, which will, and which we or break off all sins of licentiousness, debauchery, were forewarned that they would, render, us the and intemperance; for these are what are specific objects of God's final indignation and displeasure ? cally meant by worldly lusts. And these must be Will any gratifications which sin affords be a re- denied ; that is, they must either be withstood in compense or a consolation ? Are they so even the first instance, or the evil courses into which for the diseases, shame, and ruin, which they they have drawn us must be broken off. often bring upon men in this world? Ask those When a rule of morals is plain and positive, it who are so ruined or so diseased. How much is seldom that there is any advantage in enlarging less then for the gnawings of that worm which upon the rule itself. We only weaken it by de dieth not; the burnings of that fire which will not lating it. I shall employ, therefore, my present be quenched? In hopeless torment, will it as- discourse in offering such heads of advice as may suage our sufferings, or mitigate the bitterness of be likely, by God's blessing, to assist us in renderour self-accusation, to know that we have brought ing obedience to the rule laid down for us; an ourselves into this state for some transient plea-obedience upon which salvation depends. sure which is gone, lost and perished forever? Oh First, then, I observe concerning licentious that we had thought of these things before as we practices, that it is most practicable to be entirely think of them now! that we had not been infidels innocent'; that it is a more easy thing to withstand as touching our Lord's declaration ! that we had them altogether, than it is to set bounds to their believed in him; and that believing that he had a indulgence. This is a point not sufficiently unperfect knowledge of the future fate of mankind, derstood; though true, it is not believed. Men and of the truth of what he taught, we had listen- know not what they are doing when they enter ed in time to his admonition !

upon vicious courses: what a struggle, what a Universally the true occasion for remembering contest, what misery, what torment, they are preand applying the passage of Scripture before us is, paring for themselves. I trust that there is hardly when we are deliberating concerning the conduct a man or woman living who enters into a course we are to pursue in the contests which arise be- of sin with the design of remaining in it to the end; tween temptation and duty, between the flesh who can brave the punishment of hell; who inand the world, or between both united and our tends to die in that state of sure perdition, to which own souls. Be the temptation what it will, either a course of unrepented sin must bring him or her. in kind or strength, this is the thought to be for No; that is not the plan even of the worst, much ever set against it. That if we give way, we give less of the generality of mankind. Their plan is way in exchange for our own souls; that the per- to allow themselves to a certain length, and there dition of the soul is set forth in Scripture in terins stop; for a certain time, and then reformn; in suh most tremendous, but not more tremendous than I and such opportunties and temptations, but in no

more. Now, to such persons, and to such plans, themselves deceived, will never persist in their enI say this, that it would not have cost them one deavours to any purpose of actual reformation, tenth of the mortification, pain, and self-denial, to All mankind feel a reluctance to part with their have kept themselves at a distance from sin, that sins. It must be so. It arises from the very nait must and will cost them to break it off; adding ture of temptation, by which they are drawn into the further consideration; that, so long as men sin. Feeling then this strong reluctance, it is preserve their innocence, the consciousness of very natural for men to do what great numbers doing what is right is both the strongest possible do, namely, propose to themselves to part with support of their resolution, and the most constant their sins by degrees; thinking that they can source of satisfaction to their thoughts; but that more easily do it in this way than in any other. when men once begin to give way to vicious in. It presents to their view a kind of compromise; a dulgences, another state of things takes place in temporary hope of enjoying, for the present at their breasts. Disturbance at the heart, struggles least, the criminal pleasures to which they have and defeats, resolutions and relapses, self-reproach addicted themselves, or the criminal advantages and self-condemnation, drive out all quietness and they are making, together with the expectation of tranquillity of conscience. Peace within is at an a final reform. I believe, as I have already said, end. All is unsettled. Did the young and un- that this is a course into which great numbers fall; experienced know the truth of this matter; how and therefore it becomes a question of very great much easier it is to keep innocency than to return importance whether it be a safe and successful to it; how great and terrible is the danger that they course or not. What I am speaking of is the trydo not return to it at all; surely they would see, ing to break off our sins by degrees. Now, in the and see in a light strong enough to influence their first place, it is contrary to principle. A man is determination, that to adhere inviolably to the supposed to feel the guilt and danger of the pracrules of temperance, soberness, and chastity, was tices which he follows. He must be supposed to their safety, their wisdom, their happiness. How perceive this, because he is supposed to resolve to many bitter thoughts does the innocent man avoid ? | quit them. His resolution is founded upon, springs Serenity and cheerfulness are his portion. Hope from this perception. Wherefore, I say, that it is is continually pouring its balm into his soul. His in contradiction to principle, to allow ourselves heart is at rest, whilst others are goaded and tor- even once more in sin, after we have truly become tured by the stings of a wounded conscience, the sensible of the guilt, the danger, and the conseremonstrances and risings up of principles which quences of it. It is froin that time known and they cannot forget; perpetually teased by return wilful sin. I own I do not see how the plan of ing temptations, perpetually lamenting defeated gradually diminishing a sinful habit can be conresolutions." There is no peace unto the wicked,sistent with, or can proceed from sincere religious saith my God." There is no comfort in such a principles; for, as to what remains of the habit, it life as this, let a man's outward circumstances be implies an express allowance of ourselves in sin, what they will. Genuine satisfaction of mind is which is utterly inconsistent with sincerity. Whonot attainable under the recurring consciousness ever continues in the practice of any one known of being immersed in a course of sin, and the still sin, in defiance of God's commands, cannot, so remaining prevalence of religious principles. Yet continuing, hope to find mercy: but with respect either this must be the state of a sinner till he re- to so much of the habit as is yet allowed by him cover again his virtuous courses, or it must be a to remain, he is so continuing, and his continustate infinitely worse; that is, it must be a state of ance is part of his plan. These attempts, thereentire surrender of himself to a life of sin, which fore, at gradual reformation, do not proceed from will be followed by a death of despair; by ruin a true vital religious principle; which principle, final and eternal; by the wrath of God; by the succoured by God's grace, is the only thing that pains of hell.

can stand against sin, strengthened by habit. So But, secondly, In what manner, and by what I should reason, upon the case, looking at it in its methods are sins to be broken off? for although own nature. The next question is, How is it in the maxim which we have delivered be perfectly fact? Is it in fact better, is it in experience more and certainly true, namely, that it is ease and hap- successful, than from its nature we should expect piness to preserve innocence entirely, compared it to be ? Now I am much afraid, that all the with what it is to recover our innocence, or even proof which can be drawn either from observation to set bounds to guilt, yet it is a truth which allor consciousness is against it. Of other men we cannot receive. I do not mean that all will not must judge by observation; of ourselves by conacknowledge it, for I believe that those will be sciousness. What happens then to gradual remost ready to give their assent to it, who feel formation? Perpetual relapses, perpetually defeatthemselves bound and entangled by the chain of ed and weakened resolutions.' 'The principle of their sin. But it is not applicable to every man's resistance is weakened by every relapse. Did case; because many having already fallen into vi- the mortification of a defeat incite and quicken cious courses, have no longer to consider how men to stronger efforts, it would be well. But it much better, how much happier it would have has a contrary effect; it renders every succeeding been for them, to have adhered closely to the laws exertion more feeble. The checked indulgences, of virtue and religion at first, but how to extricate which in the progress of our fancied amendment thernselves from the bad condition in which they we allow ourselves, are more than sufficient to are placed at present. Now to expect to break feed desire, to keep up the force and strength of off sin in any manner without pain and difficulty, temptation; nay, perhaps the temptation acquires is a vain expectation. It is to expect a moral im- more force from the partial curb which we impose possibility. Such expectations ought not to be held upon it. Then, while the temptation remains out, because they are sure to deceive; and because with unabated, or perhaps augmented strength, they who act under such encouragement, finding our resolution is suffering continual relaxation;

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