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you have transgressed, in numberless instances. What day has passed without your having done, either in thought, or in word, or in action, that which you ought not to have done; and without your having left undone that which you ought to have done? Were the very best of you to examine fairly the very best of your works, you would find them to have been so imperfect; to have fallen so far below the standard towards which a higher measure of antecedent holiness would have advanced them ; to have been fo far from proceeding from truly Christian motives, and from those only; to have been fo stained in part, either in the intention, or in the execution, or in both, with various degrees of guilt; that you would tremble at the thought of producing them as pure, as examples of perfect obedience before God. Before him we all stand condemned sinners. From the law it is impossible to derive forgiveness. If we are saved, we must be faved by one able to make an atonement. We must be saved by unmerited grace through a Redeemer. We must receive falvation as a free gift through faith in Jesus Christ the Son of the Most High. Renounce then, unreservedly
renounce, all presumptuous ideas of merit in - yourselves. Look to the cross on which the
promised Redeemer died, and to that only. Present yourselves as suppliants for mercy through faith in his atoning blood. It is only by his atoning blood that your fins can be washed away. It is only by faith that the fruits and merits of the death of Christ can be received and applied to the benefit of your soul. But remember that, if you wish Christ to be your Saviour, you must receive him as your Master. If you desire a juftifying faith, it must be a living faith. It must be a faith wrought by the Holy Ghost. It must be a faith which governs the heart. It must be a faith which worketh by love. It must be a faith, which labours after universal holiness. You must give up yourselves wholly to Christ. You must make it your constant object, and your fupreme delight, to obey all the commandments of your Lord; to walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; to have your heart filled with Christian tempers, and impelled and controlled by Christian motives. These blessings are in no degree to be attained by your own strength. They are entirely the gifts of the Spirit of God. But Chrift, by his death, has purchased them for all who seek them through him. If you seek them by daily and fervent prayer, offered in his name and grounded on his merits ; if, in pro
portion to the grace which he has vouchsafed, you constantly strive to act as his faithful servancs; he will bestow them in larger and larger abundance upon you. Then will he acknowledge you for his own at the last day: and while he commands the wicked, who remain under the curse of the law, to depart into everlasting fire ; will address to you the unchangeable benediction, “ Come, ye blessed “ of my Father: inherit the kingdom pre“ pared for you from the foundation of the “ world.”
On the Nature and Efficacy of Divine Grace.
2 Cor. xii. 9. And He said unto me, " My Grace is sufficient " for thee: for my trength is made perfect " in Weakness.”
FOR the accomplishment of any useful de
sign, it appears necessary that all inferior instruments should be subjected to one su- ; perintending power. In the structures of human mechanism, however numerous, however complicated may be the contrivances by which the ultimate object is pursued; some main-spring, some master-wheel, fome ruling force, some preponderating weight, actuates and controls all the subordinate parts, and gives motion and efficacy to the whole. It
is thus, if we may presume to connect together by any semblance of comparison the labours of terrestrial feebleness and ignorance with the operations of infinite perfection ; that the divine wisdom conducts its plans to their appointed success. Earth and air, cold and heat, clouds and sunihine, the interchange of day and night, the gradual yicissitudes of seasons, and all the principles of vegetation by which food is produced and ripened for mankind; thesc are all but means governed and directed by the providence of God. Youth and age, health and fickness, affluence and poverty, prosperity and distress : these and all other secondary causes through which salvation is vouchsafed to man, are all but instruments in the hands of the First Cause: these are all but ministering agents subservient to the sway of the grace of Christ.
Never perhaps was the power of divine grace more gloriously displayed than in its effects wrought through the instrumentality of St Paul! Never perhaps among all the children of Adam did it form to itfelf a more able, or a more willing minister ! This great instructor of the Gentiles, in vindicating his character and his apoftolical authority against the infinuations of false teachers among the Corinthians, was led to specify, among other