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every person in this assembly. Every one who now hears me is in a state of condemnation, and liable to everlasting misery, excepting that happy number who have " fled “ for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before them.” All insensible persons, living in a careless secure forgetfulness of God; all who indulge themselves habitually in the lufis of the flesh; drunkards, swearers, profane and lascivious jesters, liars, unjust persons, lovers of the present world, are aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenant of promise. Oh that it were polsible for me to awaken you to a sense of your danger, while there is yet a possibility of escaping! Oh the importance to you of the unknown time from this day of your merciful visitation to the day of your death! What would those who are now reserved in chains to the judgment of the great day, give for the precious opportunity you are now delpising! In a little time I know that you yourselves will repent; oh that it may not be when it is too late to reform! But all words must sink under such a subject. No picture that I could draw of the despairing horror of a finner on his death-bed, or the blafpheming rage of those who are tormented in hell-fire, could possibly give any of you a just apprehension of what it is to fall into the hands of the living God, unless it please himself to wound the conscience with the arrows of conviction, that he may af. terwards pour in the healing balm of peace and consolati- . on. And oh that it might stand with the will of God that none here present should escape !
3. Learn froin what has been said, that there is no sacrifice for sin, but the one offering of our Redeemer on the cross; no hope of mercy for any child of Adam, but through his blood. The typical sacrifices under the Old Testament were but shadows, the substance is Chrift. In vain will any go about to establish their own righteousness, and refuse to submit to the righteousness of God. Think not, my brethren, by attempts of reformation, by faulty defective duties, to be able to cancel any part of that guilt to which you are adding every day. How great is the folly and presumption of self-righteousness! What a profane contempt of the riches of divine grace! Hath God feen it
necessary to set forth Christ as a propiliation through faith in his blood ? and will you say, that it is unnecessary, and spurn the offered mercy? How much ignorance is in felf-righteoufness! What imperfect views must they have of the law of God, and how little knowledge of themfelves, and their own hearts who admire or trust in human virtue! Above all, what is the foundation and corner-ftone of self-righteousness? It is pride, that sin of all others molt odious and abominable in the fight of God. Is it not a matter of daily experience, that those persons who are evidently most loose and careless in their own practice, and who, one would think, should have least of that kind to rely upon, are most prone to a self-righteous plan, and most ready to defpise the doctrine of justification through the imputed righteousness of Christ. Are you fometimes surprised at this, Christians ? The thing is eafily explained. They know little either of the law of God or their own hearts. They feldom study the one, or reflect upon the other. If they did, they would soon be ashamed of such a pretence. Those who apply themselves with the greatest diligence to the study of holiness in heart and life, do always most sensibly feel, and niost willingly confess, that all their righteousnelles are as filthy rags before God.
4. In Christ Jefus, and the blood of the everlasting covenant, there is abundant provision made for the pardon of all our fins, and peace with an offended God. “Be" hold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the fin of the Ik world!" Behold the Lamb which God himself hath orilained, and set apart for this important work, and which he will certainly accept ! “ Deliver them,” faith he, " from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.” Behold the immaculate and spotless victim in the purity of his human, and the glory of his divine nature ! There is no fin fo atrocious but his blood is fufficient to wash away the guilt. Is there any finner in this assembly burdened with a fense of guilt, arrested by an accusing conscience, terrified by the thunders of the law, ready to cry out, " Who can stand before this holy Lord God! My flesh « trembleth because of thee: I am afraid of thy judg" menits.” Let such an one know, that help is laid on him that is “inighty to save,” Let your guilt be what it will, who can so far derogate from the Redeemer's glo. ry as to fufpect that his blood cannot purge it away? Give no heed to unbelieving thoughts, or discouraging fuggestions; but be “strong in faith, giving glory to God;" and attend to the Saviour's own words: “Him that " cometh unto me, I will in no wife cast out.”
5. In the last place, Let all the children of God, whose hope hath still been in the divine mercy through a crucified Saviour, enbrace the opportunity now given them of professing, exerciling, and strengthening their faith in the great atonement. Plead your relation to God through Christ
, and encourage yourselves in his all-fufficiency and merit. Look
Look upon his sufferings for humbling you under a sense of the evil of fin, which made fuch an expiation necessary. Nothing serves more to abase and level human pride, than to see our nature on the cross though personally united to the divine. Look upon him in his agony, for mortifying and crucifying sin in you. There is a purifying virtue, and fanctifying efficacy, in the blood of Christ. It not only speaks peace to the wounded conscience, but purges the confcience from dead works to serve the living God. I am not against the introduction of every argument from scripture or reason against fin, or in support of duty; but let them never supplant the great, the leading, the constraining argument, which is drawn from the cross of Christ. Believe it, my brethren, nothing so much reconciles the heart to duty, nothing so kindles a holy indignation against fin, as a believing view of the Lamb of God, which taketh away the fin of the world.-This gives the Spirit of adoption, a child-like fear, and a child-like love. This fills the Christian with comfort, this inspires the Christian with zeal. To seek our comfort in a separate way, or in the first instance from our duties, is to make that comfort feeble and variable as the duties are defective ; but to enliven our duties by the comforts of the gospel is to follow the order of the covenant of grace, by which we at once promote the glory of God, and most effectually secure our own comfort and
• the Spirit breathed by the apostle Paul, with whose words, · Gal. ii. 19, 20. I shall conclude ; “For I through the law
ain dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am 6 crucified with Christ; Nevertheless I live ; yet not I, " but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live " in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who " loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his
HE bare repetition of these words is sufficient to con
vince every hearer how well they are suited to the design of our present meeting. Redeeming love is certainly the most delightful of all themes to every real chriftian. It is the immediate and direct object of our contemplation in the Lord's supper. This ordinance was instituted to keep up the remembrance of the sufferings and death of Christ, which was the great and finishing proof of his love. How then can you attend on it in a more becoming and dutiful, a more pleasant and desireable, or a more happy and useful frame of spirit, than when your hearts are filled with a sense of the love of Christ, and you find yourselves disposed to join, with a mixture of joy and wonder, in the doxology of the apostle John, in the text, Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood ?
The author of this book is sometimes styled the disciple whom Jesus loved. Since, therefore, it pleased his malter to distinguish him by the tenderness of particular friendThip, it is no wonder that we find so much of the delightVOL. I.