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to the oldest offender- to the individual who may have sunk from crime to crime, from one stage of profligacy to another, 'Vile as you have been, repentance, even in your case, is not impossible. is not impossible. Happy indeed had it been for you, that you had never thus offended-that, in the morning of life, and before the habits of sin had struck their deep roots into the soul, you had sought the feet of your Redeemer, and there had breathed out the prayer of lowliness and love, for acceptance and grace, and a fitness for heaven, and a title to its immeasurable joys. Many are the pangs which would then have been spared you. Many mountains of difficulty which now cross your path, would not have arisen. Your conflict would not then have been, as it now is, with habitual as well as with original corruption. Nevertheless, deep as your guilt is, and great as are the obstacles in your way, there is no ground for despair. The throne of mercy is still accessible: conversion is possible. God is a "Father," and even now his language to you is, “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself,
but in me
is thine help :" "Return"-and "I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you.' 66 I will forgive your iniquities, and remember your sins no more. "It shall come to pass that in the place where it was said. unto" you, "Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto" you, 66 Ye are the sons of the living God."'
And finally, let me address myself to that class of persons who have hitherto substituted a nominal for a real religionthe profession of the lips for "the life of of God in the soul." I am persuaded that many such persons are offenders as much from error in opinion as from hypocrisy of heart; and, wherever this is the case, it is but right to give them credit for their sincerity, for their desire to be right, for every word and action which has the sanction, though the mistaken sanction, of their conscience. Let us not despise. their offering to the Lord, though it bear not the clear stamp of the sanctuary, and the image and superscription of the Master they desire to serve. But I would, nevertheless, remind such persons of the awful caution suggested by the text, that their
nominal religion may prove as substantiał and inveterate a barrier in their way to God, as even the profligacy of the avowed transgressor. They also must acknowledge their guilt-they must come as transgressors to the foot of the Crossthey must seek as a gift what they can never claim as a reward-they must act on the truth of the declaration, "By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." it is no heavy yoke which I am laying upon you. You also have a Father in heaven. You have a friend who will not despise or forget your honest, though mistaken, endeavours to do him honour. You “have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities."-Therefore "come boldly to the Throne of Grace, that" ye "may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." !
Brethren, as a dying man, speaking to dying men- as one who may never be permitted to meet you again till we are assembled by the trumpet of the archangel-as one who will have to give a so
lemn account of his address to you today, I call upon every member of this congregation, to "awake" and "arise," that "Christ" may give him light." May the Lord teach the ignorant-warn the careless-strengthen the weak-pardon the guilty-sanctify the unholy. May he "give" you in his "house, and within his walls, a place and a name, better than of sons and daughters." May he " give" you "an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off." May we, if it be his good pleasure, meet again in this world to "take sweet counsel together," to "see the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple." And, at all events may we be re-assembled amidst the undisturbed tranquillity of that kingdom-" where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest"- where the brightness of the immediate presence and unveiled glory of the Most High disperses the mists which darken this vale of tears, and where His children see his face, and share in His happiness for ever.