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lesser weight would suffice?" My hour is not yet come; I have many years before me in which I may forget my God, and follow the devices of my heart;-it will suffice if I weep, and fast, and pray, in the days when I am well-stricken in years;-let those praise God who are drawing near unto him; I will be happy and sensual while I am young; and reserve the gloom of religion for sickness, and old age. Such are the state of principles which the doctrine of a death-bed repentance naturally produces; it is a doctrine founded upon convenience, not upon truth; it makes the duty of repentance more easy; but it makes it utterly useless;—it is calculated to reconcile every one to the precepts of the gospel; and to frustrate every purpose for which the gospel was given to mankind.
This subject of repentance is of such importance, and such extent, that I must reserve what more I have to say upon it to another time; and I shall be satisfied, at present, with the endeavour I have made, to impress upon this congregation the
necessity that repentance should be sincere, early, and just; that the resolution which gives it birth, should be strong enough to prevent relapse; that it should be soon enough to make the sacrifice to the religion of Christ, real and valuable; and that it should inspire that spirit of restitution, or compensation, which is the best evidence to prove, that our repentance is sincere, and the best means to ascertain that it is useful, It was to teach these truths that the warning voice was first heard in the wilderness; it was to rouse, and it was to save, that the Baptist spoke in the solemn stillness of the forest, and said,-That the time was short,that the day was coming,-that the fan would soon drive the chaff on the floor,—that one was near at hand, the hem of whose garment he dare not touch, nor loose the latchet of his shoe. My brethren, the time is still short,— the day is still coming,---the fan is still ready for the chaff,---and he is not far off, whose garment the prophet dare not touch, nor loose the latchet of his shoe.--- Remember, then, the frailty of human life,—
remember the bitterness of death,-listen to the warning voice,-begin, continue, repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.