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part of his conduct, in domestic, relative, commercial, and private life, and to descant on it in the style of panegyric, much more might be adduced worthy of commendation and imitation. If, on the other hand, every part should be rigorously scrutinized, it is not denied that blemishes might be descried; nay that even faults might be found. Doubtless some have been observed, and perhaps lamented, by those who were much conversant with him: but nothing inconsistent with strict probity, enlarged benevolence, genuine piety, and deep humility. The Evangelists have delineated a perfect character in the history of Christ; but no other can be found among the whole human race : however, were men in general, in their several stations, enabled to act in the manner that has been described, how would the miseries of the world be prevented, removed, or mitigated! how harmless, peaceful, and useful would they be to each other, in their families, connexions, and in civil society! how happy would they be in themselves! and how happy would they render all around them! When this shall become the general character of mankind, (as it will when they shall become true Christians,) then wars will "cease "throughout all the earth," and men will only contend with each other, who shall most abound in love and good works.—We proceed, therefore,
II. To consider some of the religious principles which gave rise to these peculiarities of character and conduct.
We may conceive of these as similar to the internal construction of a watch, from which, though unseen, arises its exact outward motion. The whole of what will be adduced on this head is virtually comprised in the words of the text, of which the love of Christ forms, as it were, the centre. In the introduction of the present discourse, some observations were made on St. Paul's leading motives, and consequent conduct: and it may here be added, that the same principles must form the main spring of holy activity in the heart of every real Christian; and that a measure of the same constraining love of Christ was the real source of those distinguishing features in the character and conduct of our honoured friend, concerning which we have been discoursing.
It cannot be expected that a full delineation of Christian principles can here be given. For this the reader must be referred to the scriptures, especially to the New Testament; to that book which, as before stated, this servant of God studied day by day, thence imbibing those instructions which, by divine grace, formed that character for piety and beneficence, which hath been commended to the reader's consideration and imitation. But it may be proper to point out some of those principles, evidently founded in scripture, which he was known by his more intimate friends to hold; and which, centering in the love of Christ, seem to have been most influential on his practice.
If we consult the Bible, we find that man is there considered as standing related to God, his Creator, Governor, and Judge. From this relation arise duties and obligations, at once very strict and extensive, and very reasonable and necessary: and we need that redemption of the death of Christ, of which the apostle speaks, only in consequence of having acted inconsistently with those relations and obligations.—A rational dependent, and accountable creature, that has received all his powers and possessions from God, and is here in a state of preparation and probation; whose 60ul is immortal, and whose body must shortly die, and at length rise again; who must appear before God in judgment, and be placed in a state of unchangeable and eternal happiness or misery, according to his conduct in this present world: such a being must be allowed to stand in a very important situation; and he who considers this doctrine of his relation to God, with hearty self-application, must consider himself his servant in all that he does, and his steward in all that he possesses; and he must regard it as his duty, interest, and wisdom, to use and do every thing with reference to the will, favour, and honour of his Sovereign Lord, his liberal Benefactor, his holy heart-searching Judge, and the righteous Arbiter of his eternal condition. But who is there that has fulfilled, or is disposed thus unreservedly and heartily to fulfil, these duties, in their large and spiritual extent? Hence therefore results a consciousness of guilt, and a liableness to condemnation at the tribunal of God. This the apostle intimates, when he says, "then were all dead." While he measured himself by other rules than the holy, spiritual, and perfect law of God, he "was alive without the 'law: but when the commandment came sin re"vived, and he died." So long as men judge of their own conduct by the general maxims and customs of the world, and by the ordinary rules of judgment, they will not readily be induced to plead guilty before God. But "by the law is the "knowledge of sin;" and he who understands the extent, spirituality, reasonableness, and excellency of the two great commandments, "Thou shalt love "the Lord thy God with all thy heart;" and, "Thou "shalt love thy neighbour as thyself:" he who judges all his former and present conduct; his thoughts, words, actions, tempers, motives, and affections, by this rule: he who sees this law perfectly reduced to practice in the character of Christ, and daily compares his own with it: he will gradually form a more humble opinion of himself, and perceive that "by the works of the law "shall no flesh be justified in the sight of God." This will lead him to discover sin in every part of his conduct; shew him his continual need of mercy and forgiveness; and convince him that neither his person, nor his defective services, can in any other way find acceptance with a holy God. He will thus also discern that his heart is incapable of so loving God and man, except it be renewed and rectified by the energy of divine grace. This humiliation, this "broken and contrite heart," this "poverty of spirit," forms the chief preparation for the due exercise of every Christian grace, and the performance of every Christian duty. It is essential in forming such a character as has been delineated, both in those things which the world commends, and in those which it censures. This was certainly the judgment which our deceased friend had formed of himself: he was fully convinced of the sinfulness of his past life, however blameless in the sight of men: he was aware of the evil of his own heart, and of the manifold defects in every day's conduct; for he weighed the whole in the impartial balance of the sanctuary. These streams he traced to their fountain, the corruption of the human heart; and he could not refuse to believe the testimony of scripture, concerning the apostacy and fall of man in our first parents, a doctrine very gloomy indeed when considered alone; but not so when viewed in its connexion with our redemption by Christ; and by which alone we can explain, and account for, the undeniable state of mankind in the present and every former age of the world. He was ready to subscribe to the declarations of scripture on this subject, without any palliation, as applicable to himself as well as others; and, from the time when his thoughts were first seriously and deeply employed about religion, to the moment when he breathed his soul into the Redeemer's hands, he could adopt the Publican's prayer, and say, "God "be merciful to me a sinner." And let anv man carefully examine the language of the most eminent and approved characters, mentioned in scripture, as Well as the general tenour of that sacred volume;1 and he will surely find that this judgment and disposition are always represented as more characteristic of genuine piety, than any other whatever.