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Love Growing Cold

Love Growing Cold

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Published by glennpease
REV. HENRY WOODWARD, A.M.


St. Matthew xxrv. 12.
because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
REV. HENRY WOODWARD, A.M.


St. Matthew xxrv. 12.
because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 10, 2013
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LOVE GROWIG COLDREV. HERY WOODWARD, A.M.St. Matthew xxrv. 12.because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shallwax cold.H were the words of our blessed Saviour when Heold the destruction of Jerusalem, the general fallingr of that apostate people, and the full measure of lity which they were hastening to fill up. .He fore-the dangers to which His own followers would be•sed : that some would in this flood of evils makevreck of the faith ; that others would so far catchprevalent infection, as to slacken in their zeal andin the ardour of their affections towards Him.or were these dangers peculiar to the season thenoachirig. Human nature \s the same at all times,t has happened once will happen again, if similarmstances arise. It is therefore a standing rule,ied in the nature of things and in the constitutionan, that where iniquity s/tall abound, the love of manywax cold. The words of my text, then, apply infull force to the times and circumstances in whichive.hat iniquity abounds amongst us requires no labouredf Indeed, if any are disposed to deny this fact,denial itself is an instance of the very thing in1 82 SERMO XV.question : for to justify the wicked, or to call evil goa'is a sin most solemnly denounced in Scripture. Tt
 
iniquity which abounds is not so much one vice or ahotheas that which is the root of all vices, the fountain froiwhich all the issues of sin and all the streams of evflow. It is, in a word, insensibility to God. This is tldisease, though the symptoms be as tlte sand which is ithe sea-shorCy innumerable. It is the heart which hdeparted from the living God ; and out of the heartis that every sin proceeds— evil thoughts, murders, aditeries, fornication, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. Thinsensibility to God, this strange deadness to the awf interests of eternity, is, in substance, the fall of man-the death which passed upon his spirit when cut off tthat apostacy from the root of life and from the centof its being.The air which surrounds us, vast as its weightknown to be, presses nowhere sensibly, because it presseeverywhere. So it is with the ungodliness of the worl(The systematic exclusion of the Almighty from any acmitted part or share in the concerns of general societis so completely carried into effect, that men do not peiceive it, simply because it is not more observable at onpoint than at another. It is the atmosphere they breath<the element in which they live and move and have theibeing.When things are uniform and constant, we seldornotice them till some interruption of the ordinary coursarrives. Thus if we are sailing on a placid sea, wperceive that we have been in progress only when soimobstacle impedes the motion of the vessel. Thus b;long use we grow insensible even to the loudest nois<except when occasional pauses awaken us to attentioiSERMO XV. 183And thus is the general current of society so uninter-
 
niptedly devoid of any mixture of religion, that nothing' '>ut some sudden interference with the common courseof things will remind men that they are living withoutGrod in the world.But it is in the power of any of you to put this matterto immediate proof. You may try the experiment beforean hour is over. Ask the first acquaintance you meetw-ith, whether he is preparing for the day of judgment,and whethei" he has found peace with God throughJesus Christ. Or if you do not Wish to be too personal,say to him, "Can we ever be thankful enough to theAuthor of all our mercies.^" ow supposing this ac-quaintance to be an ordinary average specimen of whatpass for steady sensible characters in the world, do younot know that he would be as much startled and as-tounded by such a manner of address, as by any attitudeof insanity in which you could place yourself before hiseyes ? But you will say perhaps, " Serious mattersought not to be introduced thus bluntly: these thingsshould be spoken of only when there is good oppor-tunity." I grant it. Religion should not be forced. Itis too delicate a plant to buffet with rude storms. Butis it necessary thus to seek for favourable moments if we would inquire about a man's bodily health ? if wewould ask him whether he has sold his merchandise orreaped his corn ? There is nothing abrupt in talking of these things at once ; and why } Because they are notagainst the common current of intercourse. But religionis against it. Religion belongs to that awful futurity — that strange and ghostly region — that eternity which liesin vague and dreadful prospect before the children of this world. But the pleasures of sin for a season they1 84 SERMO XV.

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