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what was in his heart, and how he would acquit himself in this trying juncture; but to make his example the more useful," that the trial of his faith, being much more precious than of gold, that perisheth, might be found, or noticed, unto praise, and honour, and glory;" that all future generations, reading the history of his faith and obedience, might glorify God in him, and look on his example as a shining light, placed by the hand of Providence, in the firmament of the church, to guide and animate other believers, in the intricate and arduous paths of duty through which they may be called to pass. As God chose to honour Abraham, by giving him the title of the father of the faithful, it was proper that the genuineness of his faith should be thoroughly tried; and it was tried in a way which proved it to be a divine principle. "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt-offering, on one of the mountains which I will tell thee of." It is scarcely possible to conceive of a more trying case. The ligaments that bind the child to the parent's heart, are inexpressibly tender and endearing. We find it no small trial to part with one of our children, even by an ordinary sickness and death; if it be an only child we are apt to be utterly overwhelmed and inconsolable; the affliction whitens the father's head, and opens the fountain of the mother's tears. But in the case of Abraham it was an only son; son of religious desire; a son given in an extraordinary way, and in consequence of divine promise. Nor was this all; he was a son with whose life and offspring the growth and prosperity of the visible church were, by God's own covenant, intimately connected. The patriarch might have demurred against the command, saying, not so, Lord, for then what shall become of thy promise? How will he be a father of many nations, when he is cut off from life? Especially might he have declined the office of priest, when it had been determined that his beloved Isaac was to be the victim. But no, he was obedient, not staggering at the command through unbelief. Nor is the painful service to be performed instantly; the mountain lies at the distance of some two or three days journey. Here was time for deliberation; the awful scene was continually in his mind's eye from the announcement of the decree till the third day, when the destined mount showed its summit above the line of the horizon. Still the faithful patriarch proceeds submissive. At the foot of Moriah, the servants are ordered to remain till this mysterious act of worship is performed. The altar is prepared, the wood is laid in order; and now a dialogue ensues between the father and the son, which, for natural simplicity and affectionate tenderness, stands unrivalled and alone. "My father! here am I my son; behold the fire and the wood! but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?

My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt-offering!" What mutual kindness! What meekness! What loyalty to the King of heaven and earth! But we forbear to darken counsel, by words without knowledge. Any attempt to give an adequate description of this interview, would be like an idle effort to give fragrance to the rose, or colouring to the rainbow.

God did provide himself a lamb; it is offered; Isaac is restored, in a figure, to the enraptured father. The hand of the Lord is acknowledged, and, as a memorial of this marvellous interposition, the mountain is called Jehovah-Jireh; i. e. "In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen." Walk, my hearers, in the steps of faithful Abraham, and you will find that the Lord will provide for you, and make all his providences harmonize with his promises. "Then shall ye know the design of the mysterious ways and dispensations of Divine Providence, if ye follow on to know the Lord." See to it that ye possess the faith of God's elect; so "shall your light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work out for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

Finally, from the typical action, which we have been contemplating, let us turn our thoughts, with devout admiration and adoring thankfulness, to that Great Sacrifice through which we have the forgiveness of sins, and the hope of life everlasting. Christ, the only begotten Son of THE MOST HIGH, died voluntarily, "the Just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God:" and now a voice from the excellent glory is heard, saying, “deliver from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom.' Let us believe the infallible Oracle, and we shall realize the blessedness of him whose God is the Lord. "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world!"

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W. N.



"For the fashion of this world passeth away."-1 Con. vii. 31. How inconsiderable are most of the pursuits which men eagerly follow? Of how little value are the things to which worldly men give all their hearts? Riches and honours are like the wind, which roars at a distance, blows round for an hour, passes by, and returns no more. And how soon the time comes when the rich man can no more glory in his riches, when the strong man cannot boast of his strength, when the proud man cannot rejoice in his pride, and when the men of office, the rulers of their fellow men, have no more authority than the lowliest of their subjects.

Surely these things seem as though designed by the Almighty to withdraw men from an evil purpose, and to hide pride from man (Job xxxiii. 17). Soon the period will come to each of us, when all the conditions in which we have been placed in our journey of life will seem of very little moment, except those conditions which have a connexion with the gospel of Christ. The time will soon come when we shall think the time which we have spent in prayer and in meditating upon the divine character and works, and which we have spent in sitting as learners to this word of divine revelation, preached and read, and in aiding the disciples of the Lord Jesus, the best portion of our life; it will seem the portion of the passing fashion of this world, which we have improved for the world that is to come. And how little time has this been with any of us? How much of our time, when the whole is so short, has run to waste, whilst we have been regardless of our end? So teach us, O Lord, to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

"For the fashion of this world passes away."

But while this world is so changing, unstable, and disappointing, the Christian's world, the world of his hopes, the world for which he lives, is as durable as this world is changing and unsatisfactory.

For, whoso doeth the will of God abideth for ever (1 John ii. 17). The Christian's world is pure and holy; it is satisfactory in the enjoyment and affords pleasure in the retrospect; and more than this, its fashion is eternal. Nothing occurs to the Christian, not even at death, to change the nature of his hopes, or to alter the character of his desires. The friends he loved on earth he will love in heaven.

And his love to them there shall be free from all imperfection; free from all alloy of sin. The pleasure which he longed for on earth he shall enjoy in heaven. The temptations which he feared on earth, he shall there forever escape. There he has got away from trouble, because he is there out of the way of sin. He is beyond the very appearance of danger. He has not merely rest in his soul, but his soul is at rest in heaven. His Redeemer, Jesus Christ, is immutable, the same yesterday today and forever; and every thing connected with his kingdom is permanent and secure. Yes, when this world in its last great change, shall pass away; and the heavens, or the surrounding atmosphere, shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth, and the works that are therein, shall be burnt up, then, yes then! not one jot or one tittle of the word or promises of God shall fail the Christian; but it shall then appear that righteousness is the girdle of Jehovah's loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The Christian is, therefore, secure for time and for eternity.

His world never changes; its fashion abides and does not pass away. He is secure, for his trust is in the Rock of ages, and nothing can move him from his standing. What shall we then say to these things? The scripture itself answers in the 8th of Rom. 31st, &c. If God be for us, who can be against us: He that spared not his own Son but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Who?-it is a question of holy triumph,-who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again; who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Contrasting, therefore, this world, which passeth away, with the Christian's which endures forever, in which he lives and rejoices without end; who but must feel the importance of making a right choice, and renouncing this world in the love of it; for if we love the world, the love of the Father is not in us, 1 John ii. 15. While, if in obedience to the gospel, we act faith in the Lord Jesus, and thus rise above the world, and set our affections on things above, we shall become inheritors of that better world, of which it is characteristic that it is incorruptible, undefiled and fadeth not away, 1 Pet. i. 4.

But if this do not win you, O ye lovers of the world, and lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; if this view of the Christian's world, the fashion of which is eternal, where holiness and happiness never pass away, fail to attract, to allure, and to persuade-if it fail to lead to a right choice and to right conduct, I will open another view, I will present another prospect, and endeavour to exhibit the state and the future world of them that know not God and obey not the gospel of Christ. And I do this, O reader, that I may, by the divine blessing, alarm the impenitent in their fancied, and treacherous, and false security; that I may wake them out of the sleep of sin, and show them their danger whilst they are prisoners of hope; I mean your good, O bear with me, for I cannot bear to neglect to warn you, and see your ruin. O Lord, make effectual the words of this address. Here then, ye lovers of the world, let me remove the curtain which hides futurity from you; let me open the world of the damned, and look ye therein; see and mark well

its fashion, for it too is eternal. And what is this fashion? It is a fashion of hatred to God, to Christ, and to holiness; it is a fashion of separation from happiness by the irrevocable sentence of the Almighty Judge; it is a separation from happiness by an impassable gulf, and it has anguish inexpressible, without the least intermission or mitigation; it it a fashion of suffering more than language can describe, or mind can conceive, and ever existing to suffer more. O this word forever! Mercy's door is shut-Misery's gate is wide open, and the torments of hell encompass the sufferer. Justice, outraged, has closed him in the prison of the damned, and within him gnaws the worm which never dies, and without him burns the fire which shall never be quenched.

Eternity is stamped on his misery; it is everlasting punishment into which he goes, not voluntarily, but by constraint; and the fashion of his world never! no never! passes away. Eternity is fixed to his character and his state.

He put afar off the evil day, but it hath overtaken him. He had a day of grace, but he hath sinned it away. He heard the gospel preached, but he did not repent. He neglected duty, hated prayer, and loved sinning; and the long arrear of sin's wages is now, and shall be for ever given him. O how changed his condition, from that ever-varying scene in this world, where, under a dispensation of mercy, against prayer, against preaching, against providences, against the warnings of his own conscience, and the strivings of the Holy Spirit, he pushed his way as though clothed in mail, or wearing leviathan's rind; he filled up the measure of his sins, fitted for perdition, and died.

The Son of God reveals his state, when by sinning he has lost his soul. In hell!-ah! my readers, what is hell? It is the Lord's prison for his enemies:-and who are prisoners there? The devil and his angels, and sinners of mankind who live ungodly and die impenitent! In hell he lifted up his eyes being in torments; thither he has gone-not that he sought this place, but he loved and followed the way to it; not that he loved this punishment, but he loved sinning, of which this punishment is the wages. He is now the everlasting victim of inflexible and punitive justice. Mercy, too long abused, no more intreats to spare him a little longer; but unites with justice, acquiesces in his doom, and bids cut him down. From this awful prison, from these torments of the damned, from this eternal hell, the thread of life is all that separates every one of you who are not born of the Holy Spirit, and united to Christ by a living faith. By this brittle thread of a most precarious life, you, O sinners, hang suspended over everlasting burnings! And are your eyes closed? And do you sleep on and feel secure? Do you never look downward and behold that fiery pit, which, without bottom,

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