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النشر الإلكتروني

219

trating eye runs over the earth, how much of this does he witness? Vast portions of the globe are covered with literal idols, and sunk in all the debasement and wretchedness which are necessarily consequent upon idol worship. A vast majority of our race are at this moment professed idolaters.-Turning therefore from these to lands where the true God is known, and where open idolatry is abolished; how much that he regards as idolatry still prevails? Some are setting up one thing, and some another, while the great God who made them is excluded from their hearts. In the multitude of their idols, they have no place, and no homage, for him. And if he looks from these to his professing people, who have chosen him for their portion, and resigned themselves into his hands, and where of course he might expect a pure and constant service; even here the world is loved and pursued, and idols are admitted to a participation of those hearts which had been given to him forever. Even his own people are not effectually weaned from inferior objects, and attached and devoted to him alone.-And should he turn from these to the temples dedicated to his name, and the congregations assembled ostensibly for his worship; would he not find idolatry mingling and contaminating even here? when he follows with his eye those who enter the sanctuary, and sees them rise from their seats to praise, and pray, and unite in the worship of their infinite Creator; is he not often obliged to sce that their souls are not sincere, and the homage of their hearts is rendered to other objects ?-Is it to be wondered at, my brethren, that our prayers are not more effectual? Is it not much more strange, that for our hypocrisy and idolatry we are not consumed, while in the act of offering them?

DISCOURSE XVII.

After the view here taken, may we not with an emphasis repeat the exclamation, What a spectacle does this world exhibit to the holy eye of its Creator! How little is there that he can approve! How much every where presents itself-not excepting even our most holy places-which he must regard with displeasure and abhorence!-Let us all then fall humbly before him, and fervently implore that he would pour out his Spirit, reform a wicked world, put an end to all idolatry whether among Christians or heathen, and cause the knowledge of his name speedily to cover the earth, as the waters do the seas.-Amen.

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DISCOURSE XVIII.

ON THE FUTURE STATE OF THE HEATHEN.

Romans, vi. 21.

"The end of those things is death."

THE Apostle, in this verse and those connected with it, is addressing such as had been recently converted from heathenism to the faith of the gospel. And he reminds them, that in their former Pagan state, they had been "the servants of sin," and had "yielded their members servants to uncleanness, and to iniquity unto iniquity." But in the text he assures them, that "the end of these things"-of the practices in which they had indulged-" is death. For," he adds, "the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." That the death here spoken of must be eternal death, is certain from We have its being contrasted with "eternal life.” therefore in the text this affecting truth ;-The end of Or, in other words, the heathenism is eternal death. great body of those who live and die heathens, must finally perish.

I am aware, my hearers, that this proposition, if It is one sufficient to awaktrue, is an awful truth. en the sympathies, and rouse up all the energies of Christendom. Still, if it is true, we ought to know it is not the dictate of true benevolence, to shut our eyes upon the miseries of others, especially when we have it in our power to relieve them.

it.

222 ON THE FUTURE STATE OF THE HEATHEN.

In establishing the proposition which has been announced, the following method will be pursued :

I. I shall shew, that the heathen are sinners.

II. That being such, they have incurred the penalty of the Divine law. `

III. That from this they cannot be delivered without repentance and reformation.

IV. That in general they exhibit no evidence of penitence, but positive evidence to the contrary. And, V. I shall introduce several additional considerations, as corroborative of the general conclusion.

I. I am to shew that the heathen are sinners. And in proof of this, it may be observed,

1. That they belong to a sinful family and race. They are the children, with us, of a fallen father, and have naturally proud and depraved hearts. Their first, and their constant exercises, unless they are renewed by Divine grace, are selfish and sinful.-I shall not stop here to prove the doctrine of human depravity. Suffice it to say, that all who believe this doctrine, and admit the heathen to be human creatures, must also admit that they are sinners.

2. That the heathen are sinners, may be shewn from the fact of their moral agency. If they are moral agents, they possess a moral character, which must be either sinful or holy. I ask then, Are the heathen holy? Do they love God with all the heart, and yield obedience to his commands? And the inquiry, it will be seen, is not whether they have some holy exercises; but are they constantly holy? Are they immaculate, and free from sin? If not, my friends, (and we all know they are not then they must be chargeable with sin and are in fact sinners.

3. The Scriptures represent the heathen as sinners. The converts from heathenism are spoken of

in the verses preceding the text, as having been "the servants of sin ;" and as having "yielded their members servants to uncleanness, and to iniquity unto iniquity." The Apostle Paul describes the heathen of his time, with whom he had the best opportunities of being acquainted, as "filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful." Indeed it was the principal design of this Apostle, in some of the first chapters of bis Epistle to the Romans, to prove, concerning both Jews and heathens, that "they were all under sin. All,” says he "have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."

4. It may be shewn that the heathen of the present age are sinners, from the crimes which are allowed, and customarily practised, among them. In the various accounts, transmitted by competent and impartial witnesses, they are constantly represented, not only as sinners, but as flagrantly vicious and corrupt. Every command of the decalogue-every precept, whether of natural or revealed religion, is set at nought, and openly violated. They are almost without exception idolaters. They are to an awful extent the profaners even of their own sacred things. Instead of honoring and protecting their aged and helpless parents, in some instances, they abandon them to perish with hunger; in others, burn or bury them alive; and in others, slaughter and devour them. Their murders are continual, and of various descriptions. Their lewdness, says one who had

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