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Holy Spirit, giving him up to his own heart's lusts, and to walk in his own counsels.

lxxxi. 12.


O sinner, harden not thine heart, lest this which is written come upon thee, lest conscience should lose all its sensibility, and thy day of grace be prematurely closed.

But in every case death approaches, and that dark night inevitably closes and terminates, to all, the day of grace.


The text assumes the present possession of the day of grace, when it says, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.

It is the acceptable time-the time of good will, or acceptance. There is a proclamation of pardon to rebels, and the day yet continues for accepting it-there is salvation from eternal ruin and to eternal glory, and to-day this salvation may be obtained.

To the Jews, the time of Christ's ministry was this day; but they rejected him, and he wept over them, and said, O that thou hadst known, even thou in this thy day the things which belong unto thy peace, but now they are hid from thine eyes. (Luke xix. 42.) They let the day pass. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

When the Apostle wrote to the Corinthians, the

day of grace was extended to the Gentile world; multitudes embraced the gospel, households, towns, cities, countries, and empires, gradually professed Christianity. The Gospel was widely proclaimed; there was a large outpouring of the Spirit, and all the glory of the primitive church.

But brethren, I turn from others, to proclaim in your ears that there is now for you an accepted time, and the present is now for you a day of salvation. Observe the remarkable repetition of now. We have a similar repetition of the word, To-day, in Hebrews (iv. 7.) He limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To-day, after so long a time as it is said, To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

The present time is the only season of which you are sure. Now in this life is the only time you have; the present life is a short reprieve for sinful creatures, a respite from the execution of the sentence upon them, in which they may seek, and obtain deliverance from eternal death, and the blessing of everlasting life. St. Paul does not speak in the future; there is no future day of salvation: no return to earth again. If ever you repent, it must be now; if ever you believe in Christ, it must be now; if ever God convert you and you are converted; if ever God work in you to will and to do of his good pleasure and you work out your own salvation, and escape hell, and

win heaven, it must be now. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whilst thou art in the way with him, lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the Judge, and the Judge deliver thee to the Officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily, I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. (Matt. v. 25, 26.) O my friends, there is no doing the work of salvation in another world. Heaven and hell have other employments: one to enjoy for ever the completed salvation, and the other for ever to bewail its loss. Now then, whatever may become of your reputation, of your estate, of your liberty, of your family, of your life itself, neglect not the one thing needful, your salvation.

Are you in youth-O my children, O my young friends, think not you are secure beyond a day, even the present day; the Saviour says, They that seek me early shall find me.

Are you in middle life, and have health and strength; give all to him who is worthy of all; health and strength are no protection against sickness and death; this may be to you also the only day of salvation.

Are you aged-the day of salvation still remains, it is rapidly departing, grasp hold of Christ ere it be gone for ever.

An affecting incident occurred in our own con gregation, which may to our minds give a reality


to all the things of which we have been speaking. A most regular attendant on my ministry, who never missed when he could help it, was at Church on the Sunday, and on the Wednesday in his business; but feeling unwell, he sent for a medical man, who seemed to think with proper care he might live for many years. He took his tea the same evening, and had hardly swallowed it, before he fell back dead. I see him as sitting on that seat before me, where he so regularly attended. He heard the sermons which you have heard; he joined in the prayers in which you have joined ; and now he is gone to the reality of what we have so often spoken of,-and soon you and I must follow. But his death tells us with a powerful voice, now is the day of salvation.


Behold! Behold!

It is twice repeated, because men neglect it so much-because it is so infinitely important to regard it.

There are many things which ask for our attention, that are not worthy of our thoughts; there are other things valuable in their proportion ; but this is supremely and incalculably important. It is nothing less than escaping the greatest of all evils-an evil beyond our highest thoughts ruinous, and attaining the greatest possible good, a good beyond our highest thoughts advantageous.

O if ever attention were needful, it is needful here! He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches.

Behold it so then, as to turn your eyes from all other objects that would distract and hinder your attention to this your happy season of grace. Let the Saviour have to say of you, But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken from her.


Consider much this rich grace of God; search the Scriptures, that you may see it in all its fulBelieve firmly all that God says concerning it, and use heartily, and gladly all its treasures for your soul's salvation. To enable you to act thus, you have a blessed Teacher and Comforter, John xiv. 26. Ask for his grace and you

shall receive it.

Have any hitherto neglected this great salvation? let me exhort them, with all possible earnestness and affection, to neglect it no longer. Now you have life, the word of God, Sabbaths, sermons, ministers, pious friends, the means of grace, every possible help. You have time to seek God: he is waiting to be gracious, it is a golden opportunity, all things are ready. Never, never will you have a better time, a fitter time, or one more favourable than now, and possibly you may have no other; never again may the same invitation reach your ears: never again the

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