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your immortal souls, not to trifle thus, and call down denunciations against yourselves. Have any of you a son who has offended you, but may now be imploring pardon ; striving to conciliate, or seeking a reconci. liation O spurn him not from you! make peace with him; be at peace with him ; lest your Almighty Father refuse to listen to your prayers, and bar the door of mercy against you for ever! Have you a brother, afriend, or a relation, who has dispitefully used or even persecuted you? The Saviour, when asked, How oft shall my brother of. fend, and I forgive him ; till seven times?" we know, replied, " Not until seven times, but I say unto you seventy times seven.” And many of us may have been merely offended once, or twice, or thrice, and we are implacable, and full of resentment! But you may say, There were so many aggravating circumstances in the offender's conduct. O let us consider how oft we aggravate and insult the Majesty of Heaven! And were the Almighty to requite us for all that we have done amiss, how could we abide the indignation of the Lord ?
Thirdly, The motives to the duty we o have been considering must and ought to be love and gratitude to that divine Benefactor, who hath opened to us
the way of access and reconciliation to the Father of spirits, that we may be called the children of the Most High! and hath shed his own blood to reconcile us to God! If you do not feel your hearts glow with gratitude and love, O pray for a new heart and a new spirit, that you may more duly estimate the great love of the Redeemer..
It is possible, however, that the condemned criminal, who has received a reprieve from death, is the man, of all others, most likely to have the liveliest and highest sense of the inestimable benefit of redemption; or he who, having been long estran. ged from his father's house, is brought by some kind peace-maker into his parent's presence, and sees the pardoning hand of love instantly extended towards him ; and feels himself reinstated in the affection of that heart from which he feared he was excluded for ever.
To conclude. It is of the first importance, in conclusion, to remind you, that though the door of mercy and peace is open to us, we must diligently seek the way of access through Jesus the mediator. We must unremittingly sue for pardon through his intercession. We must walk steadily, meekly, humbly, and obediently, in the path which our heavenly Guide has pointed out to
us, following the steps of his most holy life. We must not imagine that our inheritance is secure to us when we have not the spirit of peace and love so dwelling in our hearts that it shines forth in our lives and daily conversation. He who lives in strife and enmity, it is much to be feared, will not die in peace. Let us not deceive ourselves ; we must so live in peace, that the God of peace may take up his abode with us, and finally receive us to everlasting habitations. Which God of his infinite mercy grant, through Jesus Christ.
If any man among you seem to be religious, and
bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
THERE are few subjects less considered by men in general, than the government of the tongue, or regulating our thoughts in such a manner that “our lips shall speak no guile;" and yet it is a point of peculiar importance to every individual, and equally so to society, and to the perfection of the intellectual, the moral, and the spiritual man. As the apostle saith in another chapter of the Epistle, from whence my text is taken, “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body;" i. e. as perfect a character as the frailties and infirmities of human nature will allow. In this discourse it is my intens tion, by the divine, blessing, to endeavour to take that yiew of the subject with which
the Scriptures supply us, and which our own experience unquestionably confirms.
To enter fully into these would, however, far exceed the limits of one discourse. I shall therefore confine myself chiefly to the injunctions contained in the book of life in regard to the obligation we are under to govern our speech, and the fatal consequences which must result from not doing so, and how we may be enabled to fulfil the divine commands in this respect. First, then, in regard to the injunction itself, we are enjoined and commanded not to swear, nor take the name of the Lord in vain ; not to utter falsehoods, or to deceive in any way. And our Lord, after enforcing this, and declaring, that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaketh, proceeds to say, “that for every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account in the day of judgment.” Hence doth follow the necessity of keeping the heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life and death. “He that keepeth his tongue, keepeth his soul.”
The apostle Paul repeatedly, in various parts of his Epistles, lays the utmost stress upon this subject; and to the Ephesians saith, “ Let no corrupt communication, proceed out of your mouth, but that which is