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by, and see the severer doom that greets the child of many prayers. Once again, what is done must be done quickly. If you had a mere chance of inheriting a large fortune, and the limitation of that chance turned upon a little delay unknown to you say that the application must be made within a hundred days, or that the application must be made within seven years let me ask, is there one of you who would let to-morrow's sun set on the world without having made sure of his claim, without having made it sure without uncertainty and without delay. Surely your soul deserves that which a little property would not be denied; surely the Lord Jesus Christ deserves that which Mammon would at once have as his tribute; surely if you would be thus anxious to receive a little of this world's wealth, you must be equally anxious, you ought to be equally anxious, to secure the great salvation. The truth is, if you will not answer in the affirmative to the question of my text, "Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My Father, thou art the guide of my youth?" I fear that the concealed evil in your soul is infidelity, which you would not own, but which you fondly cherish. You believe not that God has spoken to you-you believe not that he will speak to you in accents of thunder by and by. But you must believe, and that right soon. You may now close your eyes against the brightest revelations of the Son of God; you may now stop your ears against the sound of salvation, and trifle with redeeming love; but remember that your eyes and your ears will be unstopped, and that very shortly you will behold the Lord "coming with clouds," and that you will "wail because of him." There will be no infidelity then; there will be no avoiding his gaze then. In vain shall you "call upon the rocks to hide you, and upon the mountains to cover you from the wrath of the Lamb," which shall "come upon you to the uttermost ;" and in vain shall you attempt to close your earsthose ears which have refused to listen to the invitations of redeeming love-in vain shall you attempt to close your ears against the awful thunders which shall say, "Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." The lost spirit will then say, "Well, I never thought it would come to this; I only intended to neglect the salvation of my soul for a little season, I never intended to neglect it altogether; God is my witness that I did not intend for ever to neglect his Holy Spirit; I wanted only a little of this world's pleas ure; I wanted only a little of this world's sin; I saw that others had been recovered after they had gone as far, or a little farther than myself, and I took courage from their example; I never intended to perish in my unbelief, I never intended to reject finally the grace of God. But oh! what a mistake have I made! I went a little too far; I went

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beyond the verge of mercy. God had long tolerated me, but at length he said he would tolerate me no longer; he said 'I will bear with the transgressor no longer; my ministers, let him alone; Providence, let him alone; my Spirit, let him alone;' and the result is that I am lost. Here I am, and here I must be for ever." My dear young friends, shall it come to this? Shall it come to this, after all that you have heard, after all that you have felt, after all that you have received? Shall others press into the kingdom of God, and shall you be shut out? Shall it be said of some of you, 66 Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven, but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out?" Shall you be among them? You will, you infallibly will, in God's name I tell you you will, unless you answer in the affirmative the question of my text, "Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My Father, thou art the guide of my youth?" God is sincere in asking it, the Holy Spirit is sincere in asking it, Christ is sincere in asking it. sincerity of the Almighty? will you dare to trifle a little longer with the great salvation? mark my words. You may forget all this remember it in hell. Nay, nay, I will not undertake to say that you will remember my poor arguments and weak illustrations there; they are poor and weak indeed, compared with the awful truth; but this I will undertake to say, you will remember my text there, you will never forget it. It will be written in your conscience as with a pen of iron in letters of living fire; you will remember, that then, that there, that at this time, God said unto you, "Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My Father, thou art the guide of my youth?"-and you dared to say, “O Lord, I will not have thy guidance; O Lord, I will not accept thy salvation, I will have none of thy counsel, I reject thy reproof." Remember, that if you make this hard bargain, you must stand by it, and none will have a right to complain. Remember it is your own. doing; for God invites you, heaven invites you-will you not repent, will you not be saved?

Will you doubt the a little longer and Well, then, in conclusion, sermon now, but you will

In conclusion, I tell you I have no hope of your conversion to God, if your reply is, "I will think of this matter." I have no hope of your conversion, if your reply is, "I will meditate on this matter when I go home." Do it now. God is waiting. Now let the resolve ascend to his throne, before the last hymn is over, before the service closes. Let the answer be made to God now "My Father, I will say unto my Father, I will consecrate my body, Thanks, immortal thanks to thy name, that I bless thee that I am not in hell; I bless

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thee, thou art my guide;'
soul, and spirit unto thee.
I have the power to do it.

thee that I have not perished in my sins; I bless thee that I have not sinned away the last hope of mercy, and that thou art waiting to be gracious; and now, after having tried thy patience so long, I will try it no more. My Father, be thou the guide of my youth, my portion and my hope, my guide even unto death." Amen.

SERMON XIV.,

GOD'S LOVE TO THE WORLD.

BY REV. W. ATHERTON.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."-JOHN iii. 16.

THE chapter now before us contains a variety of important and interesting matter. In the beginning we have an annunciation, accompanied by a solemn asseveration, which is enough to make any man thoughtful; in the conclusion, we have a denunciation which is enough to make any thoughtful man tremble; and in the interval, we have glad tidings of great joy, suited to all people. In the commencement we hear it said by Jesus Christ," Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." This is enough to make any man thoughtful; especially when we consider that it is addressed to an old man - to a religious man - to a master in Israel; and that it was necessary to tell even him that he must be born again. In the conclusion of the chapter, we are told "He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”This is enough to make an unbeliever tremble. Then, in the middle of the chapter, we have indeed tidings of great joy; for it is said, "God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." The coming of Jesus Christ into our world; the work he performed; the redemption which he effected; and the greatest events the world ever knew, or of which men can ever be told. This was the great object of creation the grand design of Providence. This event was revealed to men by the holy prophets, announced by the voice of an

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gels, recorded by the pen of inspiration, and is of the greatest imporThe words of the text lead us to consider,

tance to us.

I. THE OBJECTS OF GOD'S LOVE.

"God so loved the world." This expression has various significations in Scripture. Sometimes it means the globe on which we live, the earth which we behold, with all its various scenery, its furniture, and the animals by which it is inhabited. Thus it was said, "He was in the world, and the world knew him not." "He came into the world to save sinners." But while heaven is God's throne, the earth is his footstool. Much as it is desired; much as it is idolized; much as it is pursued; this world is the most despicable of all God's creatures, it is that on which he sets his feet. And yet men set their hearts on the footstool, while they might have the throne. The words of the text cannot apply to this.

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By this term we sometimes understand the Gentiles in every nation, age, and circumstance, as distinguished from the Jews, who had a revelation of the true God, the knowledge of his will, and the services of his law; while the rest of mankind, the Gentiles, were in the grossest ignorance, addicted to the vilest superstitions, and sunk into the most sensual idolatries that ever disgraced men. Thus we read, "If the fall of them," that is, the Jews-"be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fulness?" Here the words "world" and "Gentiles" are evidently synonymous. And again: "If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?" Here, also, the term "world" means the Gentiles. Now "God so loved the world," the Gentile world a world perishing in ignorance and idolatry, that he gave his Son to die for them.

The term means, also, the ungodly part of mankind, as distinguished from believers who have "passed from death unto life." Thus, Christ said to his disciples, "Ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." Believers are not of the unenlightened, carnal, unregenerate world. They are separated from it, hated by it, opposed to it; and these are rea sons why they should not wish to be united to it.

The term most commonly signifies all mankind - every child of Adam. In this sense we read, "the whole world lieth in wickedness;" -"the whole world is become guilty before God." And in this extended sense we understand the term in the text. This sense fully accords with all the attributes of Deity, and is well supported by the

united testimony of the Holy Scriptures. Hence, we are told that Christloved the church, and gave himself for it;" and again, that he "died for the ungodly;" and the ungodly and the church include, of course, all sorts and conditions of men. "He is the propitiation

for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." The term "the whole world" is only employed twice in the sacred volume and on both occasions by this same apostle. First, he says, "the whole world lieth in the wicked one;" and again,— "Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world." We can assign no reason whatever why the words should not be understood in the same sense in one place as in the other. But we are told, also, "if Christ died for all, then were all dead; and he died for all, that they should henceforth live unto him." The same "all" that were dead in sin, is the "all for whom Christ died." Again: "He gave himself a ransom for all." "All we like sheep have gone astray; the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all." The same "all" that had gone astray like lost sheep, was the "all" whose iniquities were laid on him. And lest still we should suppose that "all men" meant only a part, we are expressly told that "Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man."

Here, then, we have a ground for hope. We are the objects of God's love. Men can only exclude themselves from his compassion by wilful obstinacy and unbelief. God has given a commission to his ministers to go" into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature;" and "God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Let us consider,

II. THE NATURE AND DEGREE OF THIS LOVE.

1. Its nature. But in speaking of the nature of this love, it is much more easy to say what it is not, than to say what it is. It could not be a love of complacency. We love objects on account of their excellency, or their beauty, or their fitness to make us happy. But in man there is, by nature, no moral excellence, no rectitude of principle, no beauty of holiness. His nature is depraved, his principles are corrupt, his actions are defiled, his soul is black with pollution, the whole head is sick, the whole heart is faint; he is so destitute of every par ticle of righteousness that he has nothing to cover or conceal the nakedness of his nature. God must, therefore, look upon such a creature with the greatest abhorrence.

It must, therefore, be a love of pity. He looked down from his high and holy habitation, and saw that men everywhere were filled

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