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NATIONAL PREACHER.

THE AMERICAN

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VOL. XII. No. 1.

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NATIONAL PREACHER.

No. 1. VOL. XII.]

THE AMERICAN

JANUARY, 1838.

SERMON CCXL.

[WHOLE NO. 133.

BY EDWARD D. GRIFFIN, D. D.

THE WORTH OF THE SOUL.

MAT. xvi. 26. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

THERE is in man an immaterial soul, distinct from the clay which composes his body; a spiritual substance that thinks and reasons, chooses and refuses, loves and hates; and this conscious being, not depending for its existence on the body, will survive in a separate state when the body shall be dissolved. Reason assents to this when it is discovered; and although reason could not have made the discovery, yet the separate existence of the soul is clearly revealed in that Gospel which has brought life and immortality to light. Every believer in revelation must, therefore, perceive it to be the chief interest of man to secure the happiness of his soul in a future and eternal And those who believe in the necessity of a change of heart and of a thorough religion, will not deny that there is a lamentable and surprising degree of inattention to the soul among the greater part of mankind; an inattention which, where it continues, must prove eternally fatal. Such will not impute it to severity, if the ministers of the Gospel, with the most heart-felt solicitude, endeavor to awaken their brethren, their flesh and blood, from such a destructive lethargy. The most impassioned calls will not be deemed too vehement in such a cause.

state.

I cannot hope, my dear hearers, to speak to you with effect, unless you firmly believe in an eternity of rewards and punishments. If this be denied, I shall not carry you along with me as I pursue the subject. And because I may have to break company with some here whom I would not leave behind, I will stop a little and plead with them. God grant that it be not à parting leave.

If

you doubt a future state, tell me, for what end were the human race created? For happiness? this none attains to the extent of his capacity in the present life, and many are wretched from the cradle to VOL. XII, No. 1.

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THE WORTH OF THE SOUL.

MAT. xvi. 26. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

THERE is in man an immaterial soul, distinct from the clay which composes his body; a spiritual substance that thinks and reasons, chooses and refuses, loves and hates; and this conscious being, not depending for its existence on the body, will survive in a separate state when the body shall be dissolved. Reason assents to this when it is discovered; and although reason could not have made the discovery, yet the separate existence of the soul is clearly revealed in that Gospel which has brought life and immortality to light. Every believer in revelation must, therefore, perceive it to be the chief interest of man to secure the happiness of his soul in a future and eternal state. And those who believe in the necessity of a change of heart and of a thorough religion, will not deny that there is a lamentable and surprising degree of inattention to the soul among the greater part of mankind; an inattention which, where it continues, must prove eternally fatal. Such will not impute it to severity, if the ministers of the Gospel, with the most heart-felt solicitude, endeavor to awaken their brethren, their flesh and blood, from such a destructive lethargy. The most impassioned calls will not be deemed too vehe

ment in such a cause.

I cannot hope, my dear hearers, to speak to you with effect, unless you firmly believe in an eternity of rewards and punishments. If this be denied, I shall not carry you along with me as I pursue the subject. And because I may have to break company with some here whom I would not leave behind, I will stop a little and plead with them. God grant that it be not à parting leave.

If

you doubt a future state, tell me, for what end were the human race created? For happiness? this none attains to the extent of his capacity in the present life, and many are wretched from the cradle to

VOL. XII, No. 1.

1

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