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The Pleasures of Religion

The Pleasures of Religion

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. GEORGE BURDER.

" HER WAYS ARE WAYS OF PLEASANTNESS, AND ALL HER PATHS ARE PEACE." Prov. 3:17.
BY REV. GEORGE BURDER.

" HER WAYS ARE WAYS OF PLEASANTNESS, AND ALL HER PATHS ARE PEACE." Prov. 3:17.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Mar 28, 2014
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THE PLEASURES OF RELIGION
BY REV. GEORGE BURDER.
" HER WAYS ARE WAYS OF PLEASANTNESS, AND ALL HER PATHS ARE PEACE." Prov. 3:17. It is a maxim admitted by all the world, that " every one is drawn by pleasure." But it is the misery of our fallen nature, that we are not drawn so much by the best pleasures, as by the worst: that the pleasures we generally prefer end in pain; and that the pleasures we commonly neglect, are such as would make us happy for ever. These are, the pleas-ures of religion, called in our text, the icays of icisdom; by which we may understand the ways prescribed to us by Christ, who is Wisdom itself, and the pursuit of which is the true wisdom of man; for "the fear of the Lord, that is wis-dom; and to depart from evil is understanding." All men seek happiness, but few know where to find it. They may be compared to a number of seamen, sailing from difierent ports, in quest of a very rich and beautiful country, which they have heard much of, but never saw; and the greater part of whom set out without a map or a compass. Is it any wonder if few of them ever reach the desired spot ? Just so it is with young persons who are eagerly desirous of pleasure: they are willing to take any pains, or run any risk
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for it; but they never seriously inquire what is true happi-ness, and how they may certainly acquire it? Now, if we will take Jesus Christ for our counsellor, and "none teachoth like him," he will assure us that " his ways are ways of pleas-antness, and all his paths are peace." Satan indeed says, that the ways of sin are pleasantness ; so he told Eve. She believed him; and you know the consequence. Satan also SERMON XXV. 255 says, that the ways of religion are painful and irksome. But whom will you believe : the God of truth, or " the father of lies;" Him that "cannot lie," or "him that deceiveth the whole world?" G-od's testimony is true; and it is confirmed bv ten thousand witnesses. All the good men that ever lived will bear witness to the pleasures of religion; yea, the death-beds of wicked men are constrained to confess the same. Let us now consider what the pleasures of religion are, and we may rank them under the following heads: 1. The possession of Christian graces. 2. The enjoyment of Christian privileges; and,
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3. The performance of Christian duties. I. The possession of Christian graces is a source of pleas-ure. The great thing which distinguishes a real Christian from another man is, his having the Spirit. " If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his;" and whoever has the Spirit, has the seal of God, and the earnest of heaven. " The water that I shall give him," said Christ when speak-ing of the Spirit, " shall be in him a well of water springing up unto everlasting life." Now, the Spirit of God is the author of a new and divine life in the soul of a believer. He is born of God. He is a new creature. Every grace is im-planted in the soul; the exercise of which is as natural and pleasant to the new nature, as the due exercise of our senses is to the natural man. Look at some of the graces of this renewed nature. Knowledge y the knowledge of God in Christ, is pleasfYnt. It is, to the soul, what the light of the sun is to the body. " Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun." St. Paul, who was blessed with this knowledge, "counted all things but loss for the excellency of it;" and was so delighted with it, that "he determined to
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