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himself being judge, if they would, might have been saved. Though they had long enjoyed and abused the tender mercies of God-had put to violent death those whom he had sent on errands of love, had rejected the Lord of glory, and planned a conspiracy against his innocent life ; yet, had they returned before the cup of iniquity was filled to overflowing, Christ would have embraced them, as the father fell on the neck of the prodigal son. So it is with the perishing sinner now. Christ has been wounded for his transgressions, and bruised for his iniquities. He waits long for the stubborn child to relent and return, and weeps when the days of hope are ended. Jesus wept, is a touching and repeated expression in the scriptures ; and these tears of the Son of God blot out the aspersion that he desires the ruin of any. Spiritual and eternal death can be imputed only to impenitence and unbelief. The lost sinner will feel at last that he has destroyed himself. He will remember that there was a time, when his Lord reasoned with him, and made him the offer of pardon, though his sins were red like crimson. Oh, that thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things that belong to thy peace!

In this thy day. The space for repentance allotted, through grace, to sinning man, makes a distinction between our condition and that of sinning angels, which demands the most devout expressions of thankfulness. We are prisoners of hope---they prisoners of despair. Upon our ears have fallen glad tidings of great joy. Through their dreary abodes has echoed no voice of mercy. We are permitted to lay hold on eternal life. They are reserved in chains, under darkness, for the judgment. This distinction of condition and future prospects between us and the fallen angels constitutes the chief value of life. The brief portion of our being passed in a world significantly termed the valley of tears, would be unimportant, if during this hand-breath of time the character were not formed, and the destiny fixed, for the eternity which lies beyond. But our everlasting welfare is suspended on the conditions of repentance and faith to be performed in the present life. This solemn fact is confirmed by the general and explicit declarations of the Bible. And now because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not : therefore will I do unto this house which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.—Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be towards this peo

ple :--cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth.-(Jer. vii. 16, ch. XV.-Ezek. xiv. 14.) It is evident also from the lamentation of Christ, that the hopes of impenitent men terminate at death, and even before in respect to some transgressors. What propriety was there in his weeping over Jerusalem, and expressing the earnest desire that the guilty people had known in their day the things that belonged to their peace, if they were so soon to go to heaven; or if they were ever to be saved ? What mean those tears of the Son of God, and that exclamation of sorrow ?-Oh, that thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things that belong to thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

The things that belong to thy peace. Hadst thou known, after thy many years of unbelief and sin, the character of Him thou hast re. jected, he would have protected thee from danger as a hen gathereth her brood under her wings. Peace which the world can neither give nor take away should have been thine. He whom thou hast despised, and art about to nail to the cross as a malefactor, should have been to thee as an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place; as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.-(Isa. xxxiii. 2.)

He from whose lips fell these words of pity and of terror knew their full import. He knew, for he gave it existence, what the soul would suffer, shut out forever from the light of God. He knew what bliss it might enjoy in the eternal kingdom of his Father. He knew what will be the consternation at the last day, when they that pierced him shall mourn, and call to the rocks and mountains to fall on them, and hide them from the face of him that sitteth on the throne. He knew what agony must rend the sinner's heart, when his refuges of lies should be swept away, and he should remember that salvation was once urged on his acceptance with all the tenderness and patience of intreaty, and his Redeemer stood weeping and knocking at the door, but he would not give him entrance. Enough there was in the character and in the present and future condition of Jerusalem to melt the Savior to tears-enough to excite the compassion of all holy beings. The God of their pious fathers had been wearied by their long ingratitude. Prophets had wept, and hung their harps on the willows. Angels had looked down with deep anxiety on the city of God. The long expected Messiah had entered their temple, preaching the gospel of the kingdom ; but they received him not. They refused to hearken. They stopped their ears, lest they should hear the law, and the words of the former prophets. Nothing could subdue them to repentance, for they made their hearts, saith the scripture, like an adamant stone. And now the things that belonged to their peace were hid from their eyes. He who held the keys of life and death had come to weep over them for the last time, and to declare that they should see him no more till he should descend in the robes of judgment.

We have been meditating, my friends, on the overthrow of an ancient city, beautiful for situation, and the joy of the whole earth. I trust we have not surveyed the mighty ruins with the mere feelings of a traveller. We have, or should have, applied to ourselves the monitory instruction. We have received, as a nation, richer blessings than were ever bestowed on the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Is not our responsibility therefore greater ? Have not we too a day in which we may know the things that belong to our peace ? And is not this day silently and swiftly drawing to a close ? Are not our everlasting interests suspended on the conditions of obedience, to be complied with while we are standing on the threshold of eternity ? Oh, to lose the things that belong to our peace !-to awake when the harvest is past, the summer ended, and we are not saved ! And then to endure the thought forever—that God took no pleasure in our death-that eternal life was brought within our reach; and the Savior came to our dwelling-place, and wept over our unbelief, and intreated us to live, and we would not! And now the days of hope are ended! No more the sabbath morn ushers in its golden beams, inviting us to the house of God and the gate of heaven. No longer the voice of prayer can reach the mercy-seat. The day of probation is forever closed--the good things have been received the door is shut—let him that is filthy be filthy still, and him that is holy be holy still !

Am I describing the condition merely of those who perished in the deluge--of those who fell on the plains of Admah and Zeboim--of those who entered not the land of promise--of those who moved to tears the holy Savior ? Is it not true that the men of this generation, also, may fall short of the rest which remains for the people of God ? Have we then estimated the value of the soul, and attentively considered what is necessary to salvation ? " Have we realized the deceitfulness of the heart, the allurements of temptation, and the uncertainty of life? Do we remember that each revolving day bears us onward one day nearer the anthems of heaven, or the wailings of hell—blots out one day from the pilgrimage of sorrow, or strikes 'one from the period which must forever close the avenues of mercy? Why should this vain world gain the ascendancy over us, when we must so soon sleep beneath its surface ? Our fathers where are they? and the prophets, do they live forever? A few moments more, and where are we? Gone to that eternity on the borders of which we already stand. Who then has obtained the Christian hope ? Be ye steadfast, for the crown of life

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is at hand. Who is still living without hope, and without God in the world ? Lay hold on eternal life while it is called to-day, for the night cometh wherein no man can work. Waste no time in objecting that it is a difficult thing to be saved. When will the path of life be easier of access ? Is it not also a difficult thing to be lost ? God has hedged up the entrance into the broad way by promises and intreaties; by prohibitions and penalties; by the prayers and efforts of Christians; by the strivings of his Spirit, the checks of conscience, and the love of Christ. If you perish, you must force your way through all these barriers. Desist, then, from the unnatural work of self-destruction, and enter immediately on the work of salvation-for to-morrow may be loo late. “He who delays repentance a single day, has one day more to repent of, and one day less to repent in.” When the sinner is not far from the kingdom of God, a few moments of indecision may cost him death eternal.

Lay hold, then, on eternal life while it is called to-day, lest the hour of mercy glide away, and your eternal doom be written beneath that of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Jerusalem ; and the compassionate Savior looking down shall say; “Oh that thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things that belong to thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.”

“Unhappy city! hadst thou known

Then were thy peace secure;
But now the day of grace is gone,

And thy destruction sure.”

And can mine eyes, without a tear,

A weeping Saviour see?
Shall I not weep his groans to hear,

Who groan'd and died for me?

Blest Jesus, let those tears of thine

Subdue each stubborn foe;
Come, fill my heart with love divine,

And bid my sorrows flow.




Acts v11. 51. Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always

resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

The metaphors employed in this passage are too obvious in their import to justify much comment. The phrase, “stiff-necked,” is suggested by the obstinacy of the bullock, when first subjected to the yoke: unaccustomed to obedience, and impatient of restraint, he heeds neither the caresses nor the goadings of his master. In the text, the phrase is employed to indicate the natural frowardness and contumacy of sinners under divine dispensations. God employs various methods to bring men to obedience. He instructs, he commands, he intreats, he threatens: the agency of nature and providence, of the word and Spirit, is enlisted, to turn them from their idols to God; but sinners disregard all, and walk, each one, after the promptings of his own hard and impenitent heart.

Again, this same class of persons are styled "uncircumcised in heart and ears." Circumcision was the ancient symbol of a holy heart-of a conscience purified from dead works. In this solemn rite, the saints of the former dispensation recognised not only the seal that confirmed their title to the promises of the covenant, but also the evidence of their reconciliation, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. A circumcised heart, then, is a heart sanctified from sin-a heart once wayward and perverse, but now restored, with its affections and powers, to the Great Spirit above, from whom is our life. The ears are circumcised when the understanding and reason, and all the inlets of knowledge, are made subservient to the growth of that new life within, which is after God in righteousness and holiness. But those addressed by the apostle are, in both these senses, uncircumcised; their hearts are alienated from God by wicked works;" "sin reigns in their members,they know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The description contained in the text demands of the preacher an extensive application. He is to carry it home to all men, and men of all times, who are favored with the overtures of mercy, but, like the unbelieving Jews, reject these overtures, and strive to counteract the means employed for their salvation. In an eminent sense is he to urge it upon the consideration of those multitudes around him, who enjoy the stated ministrations of the gospel, but pass on, from Sabbath to Sabbath, without hope and without God in the world. petual and solemn warning to all such, it is written-“ Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost." These words suggest several important inquiries, which merit the serious consideration of all the impenitent.

1. Who is the person mentioned in the text as slighted and dishonored ?

For a per

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