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in a similar list tells the Galatians, Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, withcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal. v. 19.) So again he tells the Ephesians (v. 5, 6.) No whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. A similar statement is made by St. John, The fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Rev. xxi.)
Can any thing be more clear than these plain and affecting statements? O, if any of you are living in any of these sins, learn, we beseech you, your real danger.
2. THE UNGODLY.
There are very many who have a highly fair, honourable, and respectable character before their fellow creatures. They are upright in their dealings, moral and decent in their behaviour, and
possibly no charge may justly lie against them for injuries done to others, and much praise be due to them for their usefulness in society. They pride themselves on their character, and had rather lose their property or their life itself, than their reputation for integrity and morality. Yet are these persons, with all this respectability before man, fearfully guilty before God. They are guilty of a crime which they perhaps never suspect, but which is in reality the most enormous crime of which a creature can be guilty-they are living as without God in the world; full of regard to man's opinion, wholly regardless of God's opinion; fully alive to man's laws, wholly unconcerned about God's laws; daily slighting and daily rebelling against that merciful Father, from whom they have received all their blessings, and who is profusely shedding, every day, bounties without number all around them. The crime of ungodliness is the iniquity which God lays to their charge. They would be just as upright in their dealings, and as kind and benevolent in their actions, if there were no God in the world. They seek not to do his will, and he is not in all their thoughts. We do not undervalue the importance, the respectability, and the usefulness of such characters before men: but if all this be done without any regard to God and his will and his glory, of such the Scripture says, "the wicked
shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. (Psalm ix. 17.) The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. (2 Thess. i. 7-9.) Not every one that saith, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is heaven.
Search then your hearts, and try your ways. Is the main bent of your mind to live to God and not to yourselves?
Once more; the NEGLECTERS OF CHRIST.
This is remarkably brought forward in that account of the judgment which immediately follows our text. Why are they bid to depart from Christ; He tells them, For I was an hungered and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger and ye took me not in; naked and ye clothed me not, sick and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee. Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. (Matt. xxv. 42-45.)
Observe, they never suspected the sins for which they are condemned. Those sins of omission which were not thought of by them as chargeable upon them, are the very things on account of which heaven is lost. The scripture is remarkable on this point, for its distinctness and repetition. Thus, in this chapter of Matthew, xxv. 30. the sentence concerning the servant, who did notobserve you well-did not squander away, or waste his Lord's talent, but who did not improve it, is, Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness, where is weeping and gnashing of teeth; and in Matt. vii. 19. there is a similar mode of expression. It is not the poisonous tree merely that is to be cut down, but every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (Matt. iii. 10.) If the tree be barren, it is to be burned.
The true reception of Christ makes a man full of zeal and love. All who really trust in Christ are men of grateful and devoted feelings. The love of Christ constrains them, not to live to themselves, but to him who died for them. (2 Cor. vi. 15.) He that abides in Him bears much fruit. Hence omitted duties become a decisive test of a neglected Saviour. And how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? It is the only way left for sinners to escape hell. There is none other name, given under heaven, whereby we must be saved, but the name of Jesus. He that believeth not the
it in the plainest terms: Wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat. (Matt. vii. 13.) Remember the possibility of being deceivedthere is a way that seemeth right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Prov. xvi. 25.) And oh! if deceived, how fatal is the mistake. How terrible the reflection, 'I looked for heaven, and behold I am lost, for ever lost in hell!'
Improve then, to the uttermost, all the means which God has bestowed for your conviction and conversion:-the word of truth, constant prayer, self-examination, and weekly sabbaths. O rest not till you see your interests for eternity clearly and surely established. This is, this must be true wisdom. That is not wisdom which regards merely things seen. The rich man in the parable whose lands brought forth abundantly, was wise enough as to this world; he laid his plans judiciously in earthly things-but the Bible says, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee. (Luke xii. 20.)
What is called wisdom in this world, at the best is but the wisdom of one who spends all in providing so well for his journey to a distant country, where he has to live the rest of his days, that he arrives a bankrupt at the journey's end. Often ask yourselves, Am I provided for eternity? What treasures have I for that heavenly