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ters of “ the children of God, and the children of the « devil.” This division is the most general and universal. It extends to all mankind ; and by a claffifin cation the most simple, reduces the innumerable diverfities of the human race into two orders. It enters this house, and arranges this assembly ; it; finds no individual in a state of neutrality ; it instantly blends each of you with those children of wrath, or with these heirs of glory. .. . .
It is also a division the most serious and eventful. It overlooks every thing adventitious, and confiders only character. It passes by the distinctions of speech, complexion, rank; and regards the foul and eternity: It views even the diversities which arise from the en: dowments of nature, and the gifts of Providence, as nothing compared with those which spring from faith and infidelity, holiness and fin. How soon 'will the difference between the learned and illiterate, tyrants and slaves, poor and rich be abolished ! Death levels: them all, and sends them into the world of spirits, not as lords or vassals; not saying, this came from a man. fion, and this from a cottage. He separates by a more, unchangeable rule of discrimination. This was a true worshipper of God on earth, let him enter the temple above ; this made the wicked his choice and his companions, let him be led forth with the workers of iniquity. Death decides the importance of every claim. Your true greatness is your final ; and those distinc; tions are alone worthy of your regard, which, being internal and spiritual, will adhere to you when you: leave every thing else behind, and which will remain with you for ever...
· Let us consider farther what results from these rela tions. According as you are the children of God, s or the children of the devil," you are crowned with honour, or covered with disgrace. How did David prize an alliance which made thim fonLin-law to the King ! How vain are the people of their lineage and extraction ! But to be 166 sons and daughters of the SS Lord Almighty,"confers substantial dignity, unfading honour, in comparison with which all the glory deri! ved from fécular nobility vanishes intol fmoke. Upon this principle, what infamy attaches to the finner, who has for his father the devil, va rebel, a traitor, who for feited his inheritance, and is bound in chains of darknefs, a murderer, the most accurfed being in the universe! And what renders him more worthy of re. proach, and draws froin us execration where other. wife we should rather shew pity, is, that this is all his choice, that he is not ashamed' to acknowledge the re. lation; every time he fins, he calls him Father ; ev. ery time he swears, slanders, takés' revenge, obférve, says he, my pedigree, and behold the example copy, 'LB',,!
Upon thefe connections innumerable privileges or evils depend. Are you the children of God ? Heaven is your home; it is your Father's house, where are many mansions. He has in reserve for you an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away. And here you shall want “no good thing." “ Your heavenly Father knoweth what things ye have “ need of before you ask him." Have you afflictions ? He will pity you « as a Father pitieth his children.” Have you infirmities? He will spare you “as' a màn
“ spareth his own son that serveth him." Are you to be prepared for a “high calling ?" You shall “ be all 64 taught of the Lord.” Do you require care and attention ? The angels shall be your guardians : “ are So they not all ministering fpirits, sent forth to minister
for them who shall be the heirs of salvation?" Bat, my dear Hearers, I leave you to fill up the remaining article, and to think of the children of the wicked one. I leave you to reflect upon the miseries they endure from their perplexities, their fears, their passions, and their pursuits in life. I leave you to look forward to the horrors which will devour them in a dying hour; to follow them HOME,, and to contemplate their por. tion” WITH THE DEVIL AND HIS ANGELS."" The “WAY, of transgressors is hard.” “ The End of “ these things is death.” It is therefore above all things neceffary for you to know in which of these classes you rank ; and we are going to lhew, " E : I nie s t
!. .. II. The possibility of ascertaining this. The children of God, and the children of the devil are MANIFEST. Observe, it is not spoken of as a future, but as a present discovery in they are manifeft. There is indeed a period of separation approaching, when those who are now blended fhall be detached from each other, and mingle no more. It is called “the man"ifestation of the fons of God.??! Every man's 66. work shall be made manifest, for the day shall de" clare it.” This will bring to light the hidden
things of darkness, and make manifeft the counsels w of the hearts, and then fhall every man have praife
of God.” “And Then shall ye return and discern
6 between the righteous and the wicked, between him " that serveth God and him that ferveth him not." But even now they are to be discovered, though not sufficiently and perfectly known. They 66 are 66 manifeft.” You ask, To whom?
First. They are manifest to God. It is impossible to impofe upon him ; he “is not mocked." “ His “ eyes are in every place, beholding the evil and " the good.” He“ knoweth them that are his;" " and he knoweth them that are not his ; “ nei“ ther is there any creature that is not manifeft in € his fight : but all things are naked and open unto " the eyes of him with whom we have to do."
Secondly. They are manifest to others. The tree is known by its fruit. “A good man out of the o good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good 46 things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure 6 of his heart bringeth forth evil things." The partakers of Divine Grace are designed to be distinguished from others; they are to appear religious, as well as be so ; they are to hold forth the word of life ; to reprove and convince others ; their light is to "shine “ before men, that they may see their good works, 6 and glorify their father who is in heaven.” And surely there must be an observable difference between them and others. It is unreasonable to suppose that persons whose principles and aims and rules of action, are not only fo widely different, but fo completely oppofite, can be undistinguishingly confounded together. The difference is not indeed so conspicuous as it ought to be, but this arises from the imperfect degree of their religion; for when they live as they ought, ;" they declare PLAINLY that they seek a country ;' w they are MANIFESTĻY, the epistles of Jesus Christ, “ known and read of all men.”
Thirdly. They are manifest to themselves. It will readily be acknowledged that it is not possible for a man to be wicked without knowing it. He cannot live in the practice of fin, and in the omission of the various duties of religion ; he cannot love the one and hate the other, and not be conscious of it. But is the same true of a good man ? In reply to this, fuffer me to ask two things. First. Is it not necefsary for him to be able to know his character ? If promises are made to a religious state, how can he claim these promises unless he can determine that he is in this state ? If privileges are suspended upon duty, how can he rejoice in these privileges, unless he can determine that he has performed this duty ? Secondly. What is religion ? An unintelligible mystery, a charm, an operation which passes upon us and leaves no trace behind ? Is it not the most serious and impressive concern in which we were ever engaged ? Does it not excite fears and hopes, joys and forrows, far superior to those which can arise from any other source ? Does it not involve us in a succession of difficulties, oppofitions, and warfare ? Is it not a general and continued course of action ? The business of life, to which we endeavour to render every thing else subordinate and subservient ? Our prevailing aim ? our chief care? And is this incapable of being known ? But these are the views which you should take of religion, and by these your condition is to be tried ; which brings us,