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you have your fruit to sanctification, and the end everlasting life. (v. 22.) Can stronger motives than these be proposed or imagined ? Deliverance from the slavery of sin, an assurance of God's love and friendship, exemption from eternal death, and a life of never-ending felicity! These are inducements held out to those who shall persevere in the career of virtue.
These, my brethren, are the honors, this the end of your short labors ! Compared with these inestimable blessings, what can be offered that shall induce you to violate your engagements with God? Be not deceived; galling is the yoke of sin ; oppressive the tyranny of Satan. He promises, indeed, pleasure and joy to his followers; but once enlisted under his banners, he deprives them of the true liberty of the children of God, he overwhelms them with unspeakable sorrows, and finally precipitates them into the miseries of eternal death. Yes, the wages of sin are death, (v. 23.) death, even in this world, by the deprivation of the grace of God, and in the world to come death everlasting. But in the service of Jesus Christ, what happiness is enjoyed! Our divine leader delivers the poor captive from his wretched slavery, and breaks to pieces the fetters with which the tyrant had bound him. Then does
the sinner begin to experience tranquillity and comfort. In being delivered from sin, he becomes indeed a servant unto God, but his yoke is sweet, and his burden is light! He must offer violence to himself, becoming obedient to divine faith, and subjecting his passions to the law of God; but divine grace shall enable him to surmount every difficulty. Happy subjection! by which we become united to our sovereign good, and delivered from all evil! If the Son of God shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. (John, viii. 36.) But besides the deliverance of the soul from the captivity of sin, St. Paul mentions two other motives, which should have a powerful influence upon the repenting sinner, sanctification and lifeererlasting : Oh that men would consider them, and weigh their importance! The soul that is sanctified, enjoys the friendship of its God, becomes the abode of the adorable Trinity, and is abundantly enriched with the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Each day it may increase in the riches of divine grace, each moment it may produce new fruits of virtue; and as the sinner under the dominion of his infernal foe, grows in iniquity, and daily brings forth fresh fruits of sin; so the just man advances daily in grace and sanctity: and as the wages of sin are death, so is eternal glory the happy retribution
of grace and sanctity, everlasting life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (v. 23.)
But, O! how impossible is it for language to describe, or the mind of man to conceive, that exquisite delight, that unbounded happiness, that immortal glory, reserved for those who persevere to the end in newness of life ! Not confined, like the paltry joys of this world, to a few short years, nor limited to millions of ages, but lengthened out through the round of eternity, to a duration unlimited as the God who confers the high reward, and communicates the inconceivable happiness! O, eternity, eternity! happy eternity for the servants of God, and happy they who die in the Lord, for precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. O blessed eternity! happy state of invariable bliss in the possession of all good, even of God himself; if mankind knew thy real value, what would they not do, what would they not be ready to suffer, to merit and obtain thee! How will then
appear the transient sufferings of mortality! how cheaply purchased will then be thought the glories of the heavenly Jerusalem! We cannot, with all our exertions, merit the rewards of heaven, without the grace of God, since it is by his grace that we are called to glory: yet it is his will that we should be made worthy of his heavenly kingdom, and deserve his enjoyment by co-operating with his divine grace. And shall we be so blind and infatuated as to oppose the great and merciful designs which he has formed in our favor? Henceforth, and for ever, let us bid adieu to every forbidden pleasure, to every false and insidious allurement, to whatever can rob us of the treasure of his grace, and exclude us from life everlasting. By him, and for the enjoyment of him, were we created; we are consecrated to him; let us then dedicate to him every action of our lives, every thought, and every affection of our souls. Cheerfully let us submit to every trial, readily let us give our whole being to his service, that with all the members of our body, and all the faculties of our soul, we may serve justice unto sanctification. Let us without ceasing lament our past treasons and infidelities; it is all that we can, with respect to what is past; oh! that we could do more, that we could annihilate our misdeeds! but for the time to come, let us refrain from all evil, and by penance, and self-denial, atone for our ingratitude. Gladly let us receive every tribulation, prepared for us in this desert of the world, this vale of tears, this state of probation : knowing that it is in the furnace of tribulation that the just are purified, that the Lord chastiseth those whom he loveth, that he only shall