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SERMON XV.

Description of the World.

2 Peter iii. II. Seeing then, that all these things Mall

be dissolved,—what manner of perfons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness? looking and baftening unto the coming of God.

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HE subject upon which St.

Peter is discourfing in this chapter, is the certainty of Christ's coming to judge the world;—and the words of the text are the moral application he draws from the representation he gives of it,-in which, in answer to the cavils of the scoffers Vol. V.

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in the latter days, concerning the delay of his coming, he tells them, that God is nor Nack concerning his promises, as some men count Nackness, but is long suffering to us ward ;-that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent beat, the earth also, and the works that are therein sball be burnt ip.--Seeing then, says he, all these things shall be diffolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?The inference is unavoidable,-atleaft in theory, however it fails in practice ;-how widely these two differ, I intend to make the fubject of this

discourse'; and though it is a melancholy comparison, to consider, 'what manner of persons we really are, with

what manner of persons we ought to be,'yet as the knowledge of the one, is at least one step towards the improvement in the other, the parallel will not be thought to want its use.

Give me leave, therefore, in the first place, to recal to your observations, what kind of world it is we live in, and what manner of persons we really are.

Secondly, and in opposition to this, I shall make use of the apostle's argument, and from a brief representation of the Christian religion, and the obligations it lays upon us, thew,

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what manner of persons we ought te be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hastening unto the coming of the day of God. · Whoever takes a view of the world will, I fear, be able to difcern, but very faint marks of this character, either upon the looks or actions of its inhabitants.-Of all the ends and pursuits we are looking for, and hastening unto,—this would be the least suspected, for without running into that old declamatory cant upon the wickedness of the age, we may say within the bounds of truth,--that there is as little influence from this principle which the apostle lays stress on, and as little sense of religion,Las small a share of virtue (at least as

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