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Lord, calls us all, to true repentance, divine order, and to the living, voluntary practice of every virtue, grace, and excellence of character: and this, individual and social, personal and relative, devout and moral, present and eternal. This, indeed, is the end of all religion.
6. This is the law and the prophets." This is the sum and substance of the gospel. “ Christ came not to destroy, but to fulfil,” this blessed law of life, charity, faith, and good works'; or, as St. James calls it, “ this perfect law of liberty.” And “if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” “ Depart from evil and do good, and dwell for evermore; says the Old Testament. And what
says the New__ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. " If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” These two quotations seem contradictory; but they are not so. For
as the body, without the spirit is dead; SO faith without works is dead also:" Faith and love are, therefore, as inseparable, as the light and heat of the sun.
But how say you, am I to do this? Hath not Christ 6 died for our offences,
and rose again for our justification?" Will not reading, hearing, loving, and acknowledging before men, Jesus Christ and his Gospel, make me free,
“a member of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the Kingdom of Heaven.” This brings me to the application, or use of this most important subject.
All that has been, said is 6 true and faithful.” The word of Christ, or of God the incarnation of Christ, or of God are either, both, or unitedly, all perfect, and all sufficient. But a house full of provisions, is nothing, without the using them. God hath contrived, done, and suffered infinite things on our account. “What (says he) could have been done more in my vineyard, that I have not done in it?”—Read his mighty acts in the Old Testament, and in the New; and witness, O Heaven! and be astonished, 0 Earth! at the tender mercy, the divine loving kindness of the Lord. Even the book of God can but faintly describe it. “ For
eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, to conceve, the things which God hath
pared for them that love him.” And what he hath already done for us, be well assured, is as great as what he hath prepared, as the future and eternal consequence thereof.
But, Alas! mere reading, hearing, and a good memory, will not be sufficient. “ If ye know these things; (says Christ) happy are ye if ye do them. He that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, is like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand.
But he that heareth and doeth, is like a wise man, who built his house upon a rock. Abide in me, and I in you; for I am the vine and ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing." But says the Apostle Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
." Which accords with holy David : “ By my God I have run through a troop; and by my God I have leaped over a wall.” “ If my words, says Christ, abide in you; you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.” Here then is the Christian's test, or mark of discrimi
nation. This is “to know the love of Christ, which (with respect to other people, who live without God in the world,) doth indeed surpass their knowledge.” Ye shall ask what
will." This shews, first, that we must ask ; secondly, that we shall receive; and thirdly, that we shall receive whatsoever
The first is prayer to God; not out of, but in Christ Jesus. The second is the accomplishment of his promises, and the communication of his graces.
And the third is, that whatever we desire, incline to, love and hanker after, shall be given unto us.
But is this proof of Christ's “ words abiding in us," only of a consequent nature. I answer, this proof is gradual and progressive. If we wait silently, and indolently, till Christ's words abide in us, they will never even enter into, much less abide in us at all. And, if we refrain from asking God's grace, help, and blessing, because whatsoever our foolish and depraved hearts desire be not given, or not immediately given ; it is not a proof that God's words are false; but that our belief in them is not true. 66 Patience
must do its perfect work.” Humility must be
be conjoined with assurance. Hope must govern doubt and fear. Love
must grow to maturity; even “ the love of God shed abroad in our hearts." We must 66 work out our own salvation;" believing that God is working all in us, and by us, to his glory and our good.
Self-examination must produce repentance; repentance, conversion; and conversion, final perse
“ Christ in you is the hope of glory.”
“ And if Christ is your's, all things are your's.” “ For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Come to him therefore now, just as ye are.
“ All things are possible to him that believeth.” Throw yourself upon him; “for he is faithful, that promised.” Hinder him not from performing all his pleasure, by your sinsyea, he will take
these away. “ Receive with meekness, the engrafted, (not the superficial, unreceived,] word, which is able to save your souls." And say with St. Peter, with your heart, and life, mouth, and expression, throughout all “ the changes and chances of this mortal