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Law-do we perfectly fulfil either of the two great commandments, into which all the others are resolvable, in the love of God and our neighbour ? Do we love the glorious God and Father of the spirits of all flesh, with all our heart, and soul, and strength, without abatement or intermission ? Do we love our neighbour as ourselves ? Has selfishness, hatred, or envy no part in us? If to neither of these we can answer a word, but must all lay our hands upon our mouths, what possible ground can there be for the self-righteous delusion, under which so many are posting to the consuming fire of God's righteous judgment.

But it will be said, God does not now require perfect unsinning obedience from us. What? God not require perfect obedience from those who proudly stand in their own righteousness? Why, what saith the law? The man that doeth these things shall live by them. But what if he doeth them not? The soul that sinneth it shall die. But to come a little closer yet. Have you committed one sin ; have you taken the name of God in vain, have you profaned his day of holy rest and privileged worship? Have you given way to hatred or revenge, have you defrauded or exacted, have you lusted or coveted, and this even in thought; what becomes of you? Where is your boasted righteousness ? But we repent of our sins, and are sorry for them, you will say. But I say, that without faith in Christ you do a needless work, and one that will profit you nothing ; for there is no room left for repentance in the law itself; nor, from the very nature of the thing, can there be provision of mercy, in favour of the violater of it, in any law, divine or human. Such a provision would nullify it as a law, and invite to the breach of what it forbids. Mercy and means to undo wrong must be sought for elsewhere. But did not Christ die for us, and redeem human nature from the curse under which it laboured ? Yes. Blessed be the merciful God, who freely delivered him for us all-that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. But let me ask, does the name of Christ act like a charm, and save those who never have recourse to it, as set forth in the gospel-who are such righteous, good sort of people, that they do not need his interposition but in part? Oh! what a cruel and

tive in these plain and direct confessions of sin, original and actual, and of the utter worthlessness of every thing that can be done by a fallen, imperfect creature, to propitiate and please a just and perfect God. No, it is matter of fact and of experience, as is ready to be testified by every Christian present. How, then, shall those escape who resist such conclusive testimony, and refuse a righteousness perfect and complete, provided for them by the mercy of God, in Christ Jesus. O flee to the strong hold ye prisoners of hope-tarry not in the plain, however pleasant it may appear-and look not behind you, neither turn back to gather up the filthy rags of your own righteousness—they will but encumber your flight, and mar your progress to the city of refuge.

III. For, thirdly, the actual condition of all present is such as to prove beyond dispute, that in our own righteousness we cannot stand the severity of God's judgment.

To satisfy you on this point, let us first consider what that God is, whom we have thus to meet. Now can any of you, even the wisest among you, tell me any thing of his nature and attributes, by a knowledge of your own? How, then, are we to know any thing of him, unless by revelation ? And what, in this respect, says the true and faithful witness, who was with him from the beginning, and hath plainly showed us of the Father? Pure, holy, perfect, and unchangeable; who cannot behold iniquity, or look upon sin with the least degree of allowanceyet gracious and merciful, compassionate and long-sufferingnot willing that any should perish. Do you require a proof of his hatred of sin. Behold him exacting from his only Son, as our representative, the penalty due to it, as the sole condition of its pardon. Do you want one of his loving kindness and tender mercy? Behold it in his so loving the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. But what is sin ? Sin is the transgression of the unchangeable law of this pure and holy being, in any of its literal or spiritual requirements. Cursed is every one that continueth not, in all things written in the Book of the Law, to do them.

And now let us all view ourselves in the glass of this Holy

Law_do we perfectly fulfil either of the two great commandments, into which all the others are resolvable, in the love of God and our neighbour? Do we love the glorious God and Father of the spirits of all flesh, with all our heart, and soul, and strength, without abatement or intermission? Do we love our neighbour as ourselves ? Has selfishness, hatred, or envy no part in us? If to neither of these we can answer a word, but must all lay our hands upon our mouths, what possible ground can there be for the self-righteous delusion, under which so many are posting to the consuming fire of God's righteous judgment.

But it will be said, God does not now require perfect unsinning obedience from us. What? God not require perfect obedience from those who proudly stand in their own righteousness? Why, what saith the law? The man that doeth these things shall live by them. But what if he doeth them not? The soul that sinneth it shall die. But to come a little closer yet. Have you committed one sin ; have you taken the name of God in vain, have you profaned his day of holy rest and privileged worship? Have you given way to hatred or revenge, have you defrauded or exacted, have you lusted or coveted, and this even in thought ; what becomes of you? Where is your boasted righteousness? But we repent of our sins, and are sorry for them, you will say. But I say, that without faith in Christ you do a needless work, and one that will profit you nothing ; for there is no room left for repentance in the law itself; nor, from the very nature of the thing, can there be provision of mercy, in favour of the violater of it, in any law, divine or human. Such a provision would nullify it as a law, and invite to the breach of what it forbids. Mercy and means to undo wrong must be sought for elsewhere. But did not Christ die for us, and redeem human nature from the curse under which it laboured? Yes. Blessed be the merciful God, who freely delivered him for us allthat he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. But let me ask, does the name of Christ act like a charm, and save those who never have recourse to it, as set forth in the gospel-who are such righteous, good sort of people, that they do not need his interposition but in part ? Oh! what a cruel and

desperate disease, is this deep-rooted and wide-spread propensity in our fallen nature, to be in whole or in part our own saviours. How does it cast contempt on the gospel of our salvation, and make the blood of Christ a needless thing? How does it bar up the door of our hearts, against the entrance of that conviction of our sinful, lost, and undone condition, which alone makes Christ precious to the believer? How does it stupify, and stifle, and drown the wholesome convietions of the Holy Spirit, as belonging only to the very profligates of our race ? Did it not thus act on the self-righteous Pharisees, my hearers, who rejected the preaching, both of John and of our Saviour, while the Publicans and harlots pressed into the kingdom of God before them? Oh! how many estimable persons—how many dear and precious souls are dreaming out their day of grace, under this delusion--turning aside the arrows of God's true and faithful word, and crying peace, peace, when there is no peace. How many are indolently resting on the general proclamation of the gospel, for mercy with God, through Jesus Christ, who have not even taken the first step towards securing that mercy, by professing his religion, confessing his name before men, and partaking of the ordinances he hath appointed in his Church, who are in fact, afraid and ashamed of the self-denials these things draw after them, but never think of the awful threateningWhosoever shall be ashamed of me and my words, in an adul. terous and sinful generation, of him will I be ashamed before my Father and the Holy Angels. O thou, who art thus sleeping, awake, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. Hear him calling to the ends of the earth to come unto him, and be saved. Hear him declaring, that whosoever cometh unto him, he will in no wise cast out. Be no longer faithless, but believing—for unto thee is the word of this salvation sent. But come as a sinner, for he also declares that he came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance for the sick only have need of the physician.

And let not the plain and unadorned manner in which I have endeavoured to set before you the mortal disease, under wbich we all labour, my hearers, revolt you against the wholesome warning. To speak smooth things, and to prophesy deceits, might please more, perhaps, for the little hour you were listening ; but what, then, becomes of your souls and my own ? Ilow deep and loud would your curses be upon me, when together we shall prove the truth or falsehood of this doctrine, in the great day of Eternity ; but how much deeper the curse of God upon my soul, for healing the hurt of the daughters of his people slightly; and, as the LORD's watchman, failing to warn the wicked from his way. God being my helper, your blood shall not be required at my hand. I might, indeed, have set before you the rich mercy of God in Christ Jesus to his creatures, or I might have expatiated upon the joys and glories which await the righteous in the presence of God, and been to you as the sound of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well upon an instrument. But such is our miserable condition, that until convinced that we need mercy we spurn the offer : and the glories of heaven are prepared for those only who, by faith, are made the righteousness of God in him whom God hath made to be sin for us; for those who, born from above, bring forth the fruits of their heavenly birth, in all holiness of life and godliness of conversation, and overcoming the world by faith in the Son of God, shall be accounted worthy to sit down at the marriage supper of the Lamb. But to this the righteousness of the creature is an insuperable bar, and as surely excludes from the Paradise of God as the flaming sword of the cherubim kept the way of the tree of life from our fallen first parents.

Suffer, then, the word of exhortation ; take its leading truth to your private meditations and prayers ; bring it to the law and to the testimony in the word of life ; and may that light which is the life of men shine into your hearts and guide you to light and glory eternal.

And you, my Christian brethren, who know and confess that in the LORD only have we righteousness and strength, whose constant cry is, not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy great name be given the glory and the praise ; cease not to strive together in your prayers to God, for these, your brethren, and with them in your lives-letting your light so shine before men that all may take knowledge of you that you have been with JESUS. Strengthen not the self-righteous delusion under which

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