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choose "the way of truth:" but if I were to ask them whether they have not
yet made up their minds to choose the end of life and immortality, rather than
destruction and despair, they would consider that the madness was mine instead
of looking for it in themselves. "What," they would reply, if they thought it
necessary to return any answer to such a question-"What, and is it possible
that any one should not desire to obtain eternal happiness? Where can I seek
an enduring home but in heaven? With whom can I wish to spend an endless
eternity if not with God the Judge of all, and Jesus the Mediator of the New
Covenant, and angels and ministers of divine love, and the spirits of just men
made perfect, who are yet more lovely, and yet more glorious, than they?"
Thus answering, they shew that they have chosen the better part, if the end
only were concerned; for it would be madness to choose otherwise. But then,
we must say to them, that if they would attain the end of peace, they must
choose "the way of truth;" and if they are still unsettled and undecided as to
this only important point, O let them do as the Psalmist did, and lay before
them the judgments of God. The threatenings of that righteous Judge, so
threatening, so appalling, shall they not be executed? The promises of that
gracious Father, so great and precious, shall they not be fulfilled? Where are
we to seek his promises, but in the way of his commandments? And when are
we to dread his threatenings, but when we are walking in our own way?—our
own way, a way of lying through life-for it is full of false principles, and
deceitful pleasures, and evil practices; a way of lying in death, if it hides from
the unawakened eye the terrors of an angry God, of a slighted Saviour, of a
resisted Spirit, of an impending and inevitable condemnation. O then, depart
not from this sacred place without an earnest prayer, each of you, for himself
or for herself" Lord remove far from me the way of lying, and enable me to
choose the way of truth." Let not the warning which you have this day
received, add one to the list (already too long) of those which some of you,
perhaps, though so young, have in time past heard in vain. Let not wisdom
call whilst you refuse, and stretch out her hand while you pay no regard. Let
not the Word of God speak to you in vain, when it speaks tenderly as to
children. Let not Christ extend in vain the arms of his mercy, while you turn
away coldly and carelessly from his embraces. "Now is the accepted time; now
is the day of salvation." Let the spring-time of life be the seed-time of the
soul. Now is the season to choose your way, as in so doing you would choose
your end.
"The path of the just is as the shining light, which shineth more
and more unto. the perfect day." While God reigns, and Christ lives, and the
Spirit pleads with flesh, "the way of truth" shall ever terminate in the end of
peace. "Who shall separate us from the love of God?" asks the Apostle; and
who shall separate you if you begin now? Not life-for to live will be Christ;
not death-for to die will be gain. While you live you will live unto the Lord,
and when you die, you will die unto the Lord: so that whatever may be God's
will concerning you in the year on which we now enter, living or dying you
shall be the Lord's.

May God in his mercy enable you all, my dear young friends, to choose this day "the way of truth;" or, if you have already chosen it, may he confirm you in the choice, and convince you, like Mary, you have chosen "the good part which shall never be taken from you."

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But O, YE PARENTS AND HEADS OF FAMILIES, who are what are called Christians, O bethink you of your own solemn and weighty responsibility in regard to the dearest interests of your immortal charge, of whom you know well, that they can only obtain salvation by choosing "the way of truth;" but to whom you will be the most grievous offence, the most formidable and fatal impediment, if you have not chosen it for yourselves. How can any say without a pang of the heart, even without a blush of the cheek, "Come ye children hearken unto me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord;" who show but too plainly by their conduct, that they have never learnt it for themselves. What is such practical inconsistency of the parent, but a millstone around the neck of the child, which may drag it down to the depths of destruction? How can any exhibit God as gracious, who have not tasted of his grace? How can any represent Christ as precious, who have not partaken of his love? How can any trace the work of the Spirit in the hearts of others who have never been conscious of it in their own? You know that the eye of the child turns instinctively to the parent as the visible representative of God; are you then careful to shadow forth the moral attributes of the divine nature-justice, and holiness, and mercy, and love, in your conduct towards those to whom in a certain sense, you are what Moses was to Aaron, in the place of God? O, my Christian friends, there are, we acknowledge, unnumbered and unmeasured motives in the excellency of the way itself-in the loveliness of Him who hath opened it for us, and preceded us in it—in the glories which are brightening at its close, to lead you to choose, and to choose unalterably, "the way of truth." You desire and love heaven, and therefore choose it: you desire to die hopefully, and therefore choose it. But though these be the strongest arguments—for nought can be given in exchange for the soul-we would entreat you on this special occasion, to choose it, not only for your own, but your children's sake. Shall they receive everything from you, except the one thing needful? Shall they learn everything from you, except the way of salvation? Shall they expect every enjoyment at your hand, but that which is the purest and the best? Will you leave them unprovided with the only wealth that is incorruptible, and the only treasure that shall abide? Shall the father and the mother forsake them in the path of life, and cast them out to perish in the wilderness of this world, except the Lord had taken them up? O that you may be concerned to spare yourselves and them the inexpressibly bitter pang which must ensue when those are separated at the gate of heaven who have been companions through the wilderness of life; and still more that pang-of which it were a mockery to make mention of the woe in terms which human language can employ--when both, consigned to the place of punishment, shall wish with unavailing anguish that they never had been born: but they will wish that they never had been born of you; and the terrors of hell, the weeping and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, will be multiplied ten-fold by the bitter upbraidings-" It was thou my father, it was thou my mother, whose example and interest brought me to this: and now I am shut up for ever where the worm cannot die, and where the fire is not quenched.”

O that the judgments of God, thus faithfully laid before you, might compel every one who now hears me, to choose for himself, or for herself, the v▾ of truth." And such would be the result if every parent, or head of a Chelten

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family, would depart hence with the solemn conviction, “And I, too, must be to my children in the place of God: I must represent Him to them, if I would prepare them for Him. My watchfulness, my tenderness, my solicitude, my selfdenial, my travailing with them in birth again till Christ be formed in them, must be to them an emblem of the care with which Christ watches over them, and the tenderness with which Christ regards them, and the love which Christ displayed in the price at which he ransomed them, and of the holiness which Christ demands, and the service which he requires from them. I cannot lead them to the throne of grace, and remain inyself afar off: I must go with them; if I would that they should go with me. I cannot plead with them to choose “the way of truth," till I have removed the way of lying from myself. If our counsel is to profit, we must take it together; and if we would be planted in the courts of our God, we must go to the house of God in company. There must be one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one fellowship of holiness, one brotherhood of love, the unity of the Spirit which is the bond of peace. Thus, and thus only, can I hope, that when the earthly house of this tabernacle is dissolved, I shall inherit with them a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; and present myself before the judgment-seat, with the living evidences of duty performed, and of talents improved ;—“ Behold I, Lord, and the children whom thou hast given me.”

And now, my dear young friends, before you quit this place, take with you a last lesson of solemn warning; one which shall appeal to your senses : may it find through them the avenue to the heart. You observe the symbols of mourning in whieh this pulpit is arrayed. They are placed there as a memorial of respect to one whom we have very lately attended to his last long restingplace; one who had attained man's utmost limit of four-score years, and who had walked for many of those years in “ the way of truth.” He was one of whom those who knew him best bare witness that he had kept innocency, and taken heed to the things that were right; though his own humility was continually deploring that he had not known God sooner, nor served Christ better. For he looked back, and (incredible as you may think it) four-score years to him was but as a dream; for he acknowledged in my hearing, that the words of the patriarch were but too fully his own: “ Few and evil have been the days of the years of my pilgrimage;" evil, though not unprosperous ; few, though verging on four-score. But now he hath passed away, and he is gone. He was worshipping among us on the last occasion of this special service ; but he is now, we trust, adoring with the spirits of the just made perfect. His body is deposited in the dark and gloomy rault; but we doubt not his soul is with his God and his Saviour, in whose blood alone he trusted to cleanse him from all sin. May we thus die the death of the righteous, and may our last end be like his !

But where," you will perhaps ask, “where is the especial lesson for us? He came to the grave full of years, as a shock of corn cometh in its season. His was no hand-breadth of life, swifter than a shuttle, and shorter than a span.” No; but he is not the only one now in the sepulchre, who on this day last year, was, as you are, in the sanctuary. The scythe of the great reaper, Death, mows down the blade and the ear, as well as the full corn in the car. There are others who have passed into the world of spirits, not only in the first ripeness, not only in the full vigour of perfect age, but in the very flower and bloom of youth: one, in particular, who was only not a child, who sank into the grave the victim of a lingering disease; not unprepared—Christ had been formed in her heart; she had chosen the way of truth, and she found that it led her to the end of peace. And this is no single instance; nearly twenty deaths have occurred under my own inmediate cognizance during the year

that has passed : and again and again have I heard the departing accents testify to the excellence of this way of truth, rejoicing and glorying therein: and the hand of death was strong upon the frail body, and the foundations of the earthly tabernacle were shaken ; but they felt that the rock was firin, and they testified that the house was sure. And it is alike with heartfelt regard to the mourners and hallowed remembrance of the dead, that I exhort you this day to follow them, considering the end of their conversation, Christ Jesus, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever--that I entreat you, as you would be partakers of the promises that they are now inheriting, to sanctify the commencement of this new year, by choosing, or confirming your choice of, “ the way of truth." And I would assure you, on the authority of God's true and tried word, that thus alone can you expect to attain what you most desire-an end of peace.

I repeat then, for the third and last time, the words of the Lord Jesus, and may the finger of God write these upon your hearts, if all besides melt and fade away from your memories—“I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” Strive then to follow him as the way; seek to obey him as the truth : and it is not more certain that the brightest eye must darken, and the fairest form must fade, that earth shall return to earth, ashes to ashes, and dust to dust, than that so walking and so obeying, aided and supported by strength from above, you shall

tain to, and enjoy Jesus for ever, as the life. When Christ, who is your life, bhall appear in judgment, then shall you also, purified through his blood, appear with him in glory. God grant that such may be the end of all here present, through Jesus Christ!

THE SUPREMACY OF THE CLAIMS OF RELIGIOUS TRUTH.

REV. R. AINSLIE,
NEW COURT CHAPEL, CAREY STREET, JANUARY 4, 1835.

“The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.“

Psalm cxix. 72.

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ft is not easy to conceive of preference for religion being expressed in a plainer or more decided manner than in the text. It was the utterance of a heart familiar with piety, and well disciplined in self-denial. Such an acquiescence in the supremacy of the claims of religious truth, was not attained in a day; but was the result of a sound and matured experience in the ways of God, and of a knowledge of evil sufficiently extensive and painful, to enable the Psalmist to judge of the excellency of religion, and to delight in it above every earthly joy.

Every one present this evening, who has spent but a few hours in a calm and enlightened review of his life, his habits, his associations of thought and feeling, who has sat down to look into the interior of his mind, and to explore the secret chambers of imagery within, must have arrived at this conclusion—that there is a natural tendency in the mind to overlook and undervalue the influence of religious truth, and devotional feeling. It is palpably true in the history of the unconverted : and there is no one feature of character which brings the Christian to a throne of grace with deeper humiliation and sorrow, because it originates other transgressions, and leads to other backslidings, over which his heart mourns and is in bitterness. I ask you not at this moment to what other conclusions your self-examination has led you, but has it not led you to the one I have just named ? Can you not fix upon periods even in the history of your youth, brief as it may be, when your mind was blank to all obligations to God and to Christ; and when error, folly, levity, and sin, had inscribed upon it their many claims to which you rendered a willing acquiescence and a cheerful obedience? And since that writing was blotted out, and the supremacy of those claims renounced_since the claims of religion have been impressed upon your heart by the Holy Spirit-have you not felt, and has not your soul been grieved at the influence of things seen and temporal, over the things which are unseen and eternal?

This tendency, brethren, may be diminished, or it may be greatly strengthened. In the present day, and especially in the history of young people, the multiplied and pressing duties and engagements of life, and the innumerable sources of pleasi.re and literary gratification opened to them, constitute a powerful

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