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might bring us to God. Let those who consent in general to the truth of revelation, but go no deeper into it than to skim from the surface a vogue and indeterminate trust in God's mercy, learn from hence, that that mercy has a rule, and that no otherwise can it be applied to their souls than by a real, living, and effectual reception of the truth, to the renewal and sanctification of the life.

To those who trust in the morality of their lives—who flatter themselves that they do no harm-that they are, upon the whole, better than others, and proudly trust in their own righteousness, renouncing it only in wordsm let the words of my text give a juster view of themselves, and show them that in the LORD JESUS only have we righteousness and strength. That until we are interested in him by the faith of the operation of God, we are condemned and helpless aliens from God and without a hope of his mercy. And let the whole tribe of careless, thoughtless, prayerless, world-hunting, pleasure-loving creatures see here their true condition. Condemned already, and wasting the precious inoments of their reprieve in treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath. O that God would now be pleased to touch your hearts, to show you your danger, and to sanctify his true and faithful word to awaken you from the sleep of death, before everlasting ruin sieze upon your souls. Amen,

Vol. II.--44

nomian delusion or Pharisaical presumption. Bare abstract believing can save no man. It is dead, says St. James, being alone ; which is fully confirmed by John the Baptist's declaration-He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, but he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him ; that is, he is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God, so as to keep his commandments.

It remains to apply what has been said.

It appears, then, my hearers, that we stand in the situation of condemned criminals reprieved by the mercy of the judge ; that the present life is to determine whether the original sentence shall be executed upon us or not. This in itself is more than sufficient to stir up every exertion we are capable of, to escape the condemnation we labour under. But when, in addition to this, we consider that the compassion of God and love of Christ hath provided, not only for our escape from a most just sentence, but for our attainment of the original glory and blessedness from which sin had shut us out, what limit should there be to the grateful love with which we should hear and receive the glad tidings of mercy revealed in the gospel, to that willing obedience we should render to what is required of us.

Let me ask you, then—and O that God would help you to the true answer-are you believers or not in the name of the only begotten Son of God? On the answer you can make to this important question depends all that can be dear to you in time and in eternity. Therefore, let me exhort you, by the worth of your immortal souls, not to trifle with this solemn inquiry. Many, it is to be feared, have built up for themselves some unhallowed hope in which they speak peace to themselves while there is no peace. Careless of God's revealed word, ignorant of the true condition of human nature, and of the terms of salvation through faith in a crucified Saviour, they run, blinded by their own folly and presumption, headlong to destruction. To such let the solemn warning of my text be a word in season this day. Against the condemnation therein proclaimed there is but one refuge, in a hearty submission to God's appointed method of deliverance by faith in that Jesus who died, the just for the unjust, that he

might bring us to God. Let those who consent in general to the truth of revelation, but go no deeper into it than to skim from the surface a vague and indeterminate trust in God's mercy, learn from hence, that that mercy has a rule, and that no otherwise can it be applied to their souls than by a real, living, and effectual reception of the truth, to the renewal and sanctification of the life.

To those who trust in the morality of their lives—who flatter themselves that they do no harm—that they are, upon the whole, better than others, and proudly trust in their own righteousness, renouncing it only in words-let the words of my text give a juster view of themselves, and show them that in the Lord Jesus only have we righteousness and strength. That until we are interested in him by the faith of the operation of God, we are condemned and helpless aliens from God and without a hope of his mercy. And let the whole tribe of careless, thoughtless, prayerless, world-hunting, pleasure-loving creatures see here their true condition. Condemned already, and wasting the precious inoments of their reprieve in treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath. O that God would now be pleased to touch your hearts, to show you your darger, and to sanctify his true and faithful word to awaken you from the sleep of death, before everlasting ruin sieze upon your souls. Amen.

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SERMON XXXI.

TIL DANGER OF FORFEITING THE HEAVENLY REST.

HEBREWS iv. 1.

"Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of

you should seem to come short of it."

Whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, says the apostle ; the volume of inspiration, therefore, contains all that is wanted by us for instruction in righteousness. And in this collection of the experience of the people of God in past ages, we see as in a glass, my brethren, the contest of our fallen nature with divine grace, and are admonished, both by the failure and success of those who have gone before us, to take heed to ourselves, and to increase our diligence, in making our calling and election sure. But more particularly, in the dealings of God with the children of Israel, his chosen people, is the Christian Church admonished to take heed, lest there be in any of its members an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God, either by perverting the doctrines, or by departing from the precepts of the gospel. For, says the same apostle, all these things happened unlo them for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Very frequent, therefore, are the allusions made in the New Testament to the fate and fortunes of the Jewish people ; and in this epistle, addressed expressly to persons of that nation, who had embraced Christianity, does their countryman, St. Paul, a Hebrew of the Hebrews and an Apostle of Jesus CHRIST, point out the close connexion of the two dispensations, and establish the superior dignity and importance of the gospel, both in its helps and in its promises. In the chapter inimediately preceding that from which my text is taken, having drawn a comparison between the promises made thrcugh Moses to the Israelites, as the peculiar people of God, of a temporal inheritance, and of a peaceful and honourable rest in the land of Canaan, on condition of their obedience to the divine commands; and the assurances which Christ gives in the gospel, to his faithful followers, of an eternal inheritance and glorious rest in the heavenly Canaan;—and having shown that the Israelites, by their unbelief and rebellion against God, had forfeited the promised rest, and were condemned to wander as outcasts, and and to die in the wilderness ; he draws from this very noted circumstance in the history of that people, not only here, but in many other passages of his writings, a warning to Christians, lest they also, after the same example of unbelief, should forseit the heavenly rest and inheritance promised to them as the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus. Hence the great importance of the exhortation in my text. Let us Christians, also fear, lest we forfeit the high privileges and unspeakable blessings promised through our Lord Jesus Christ, by a like disobedience and rebellion against the Captain of our salvation.

God has indeed called us, my brethren and hearers, to a glorious hope of everlasting life and happiness, through our blessed Redeemer. He has given us all reasonable certainty and assurance, that we shall in due time be made partakers of it; but there are conditions required on our part, both to qualify us for and to entitle us to this happiness. And if, as did the Israelites, we fail to ful6l them, we shall, like them, find our expectations cut off, and a far sorer punishment incurred, in proportion as the high discoveries of the gospel exceed the shadows of the legal dispensation. * That we may come short of it, as they did, is not only possible, but greatly to be feared, for two reasons. One is, that we are men of like passions with those who have gone before us—of the same fallen nature, and exposed to the same tenuptations. The other is, that failure, as well as success, is inseparable from a state of trial, such as the present life.

That we may succeed, is not only possible, but the highest assurance is given, that success is attainable if we strive for it. First, from the invitations of the gospel. For God cannot mock and delude his creatures with offers of an impossible

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