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ner shall suffer, who neglects an entrance into favor
O my Fa
My brethren, no man should presume to disguise the nature of his engagements, and the high characters of the gospel. Because, on the solemn festivalday, when we appear in the presence of the Lord our God ;--when we enter into covenant with him ; and after the engagement, when we come to ratify it in the holy sacrament ;-we 'not only enter, but we also pass into covenant, according to the idea attached to the term : we pass between the parts of the victim divided in sacrifice : we pass between the body and blood of Christ divided from each other to represent the Saviour's death,
We then say, " Lord ! I consent, if I should violate the stipulations “ of thy covenant, and if after the violation I do “ not recover by repentance, I consent, that thou “shouldest treat me as thou hast treated thy own “Son, in the garden of Gethsemane, and on Calvary, " Lord! I consent that thou shouldest shoot at me “ all the thunderbolts and arrows which were shot « against him. I agree that thou shouldest unite “ against me all the calamities which were united
against him. And, as it implies a contradiction, " that so weak a mortal as I, should sustain so tre: “ mendous a punishment, I agree that the duration “ of my punishment should compensate for the de“ fects of its degree; that I should suffer eternally “ in the abyss of bell, the punishments I could not “ have borne in the limited duration of time."
Do not take this proposition for an hyperbole, or a rhetorical figure. To enter into covenant with God, is to accept the gospel precisely as it was delivered by Jesus Christ, and to submit to all its stipulations. This gospel expressly declares, that fornicators, that liars, that drunkards, and the covetous, shall not inherit the kingdom of God. On accepting the gospel, we accept this clause. Therefore, on accepting the gospel, we submit to be excluded the kingdom of God, if we are either drunkards, or liars, or copetous, or fornicators ; and if after the commission of any of these crimes, we do not recover by repentance. And what is submission to this clause, if it is not to enter into the execration of oath, which God requires of us, on the ratification of his covenant?
Ah! my brethren, woe unto us should we pronounce against ourselves so dreadful an oath, without taking the precautions suggested by the gospel to avert these awful consequences. Ah! my brethren, if we are not sincerely resolved to be faithful to God, let us make a solemn vow before we leave this temple, never to communicate, never to approach the Lord's table.
What! never approach his table ! never communicate ! Disdain to enter into the covenant which God does not disdain to make with sinners! What a decision! Great God, what an awful decision ! And should this be the effect of my discourse ! Alas ! my brethren, without this covenant, without this table, without this oath, we are utterly lost ! It is true, we shall not be punished as violators of vows we never made : but we shall be punished as madmen ; who, being actually in the abyss of perdition, reject the Redeemer, whose hand is extended to draw us thence. Let us seek that hand, let us enter into this covenant with God.
The engagements, without which the covenant cannot be confirmed, have, I grant, something awfully solemn. The oath, the oath of execration which God tenders, is, I further allow, very intimidating. But what constitutes the fear, constitutes also the delight and consolation. For what end does God require these engagements ? For what end does he require this oath ? Because it is his pleasure, that we should unite ourselves to him in the same close, constant and indissoluble manner, as he unites himself to us.
Let us be sincere, and he will give us power to be faithful. Let us ask his aid, and he will not withhold the grace destined to lead us to this noble end. Let us say to him, “ Lord, I do enter into this oath “ of execration ; but I do it with trembling. Estab“lish my wavering soul; confirm my feeble knees; “ give me the victory ; make me more than conque“ ror in all the conflicts, by which the enemy of my “salvation comes to separate me from thee. Pardon “ all the faults into which I may be drawn by hu
man frailty. Grant, if they should suspend the “ sentiments of fidelity I vow to thee, that they may “ never be able to eradicate them." These are the prayers which God loves, these are the prayers which he hears. May he grant us to experience them! Amen.
The Seal of the Covenant.
2 Cor. i. 21, 22.
He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath
anointed us, is God : who hath also sealed us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
How distinguished soever this sabbath may be, it affords a bumiliating consideration to us. How glorious soever the event might be to the church, whose anniversary we now celebrate, it cannot be recollected, without deploring the difference between what God once achieved for his saints, and what he is doing at the present period. In the first Pente cost, the heavens visibly opened to the brethren, but our weak eyes are unable to pierce the vaults of this church. The Holy Spirit then miraculously descended with inspiration on those holy nien, who were designated to carry the light of the gospel throughout the world; but now, it is solely by the efforts of meditation and study, that your preachers communicate knowledge and exhortation. The earth shook ; the most abstruse mysteries were explained ; languages the least intelligible became instantaneously fainiliar ; the dead were raised to life ; Ana