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every person in this affembly. Every one who now hears me is in a state of condemnation, and liable to everlasting mifery, excepting that happy number who have " fled "for refuge to lay hold of the hope fet before them." All infenfible perfons, living in a careless fecure forgetfulness of God; all who indulge themfelves habitually in the lufis of the flesh; drunkards, fwearers, profane and lascivious jefters, liars, unjuft perfons, lovers of the prefent world, are aliens from the commonwealth of Ifrael, and strangers to the covenant of promife. Oh that it were poffible for me to awaken you to a fenfe of your danger, while there is yet a poffibility of efcaping! Oh the importance to you of the unknown time from this day of your merciful vifitation 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 defpifing! 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 muft fink 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 poffibly give any of you a juft apprehension of what it is to fall into the hands of the living God, unless it please himself to wound the confcience with the arrows of conviction, that he may af terwards pour in the healing balm of peace and confolati And oh that it might ftand with the will of God that none here present should efcape!
3. Learn from what has been faid, that there is no facrifice for fin, but the one offering of our Redeemer on the crofs; no hope of mercy for any child of Adam, but through his blood. The typical facrifices under the Old Teftament were but fhadows, the substance is Christ. 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 prefumption of felf-righteoufnefs! What a profane contempt of the riches of divine grace! Hath God feen it
neceffary to fet forth Chrift as a propitiation through faith in his blood? and will you fay, that it is unneceffary, and fpurn the offered mercy? How much ignorance is in felf-righteousness! What imperfect views must they have of the law of God, and how little knowledge of themfelves, and their own hearts who admire or truft in human virtue! Above all, what is the foundation and corner-ftone of felf-righteoufnefs? It is pride, that fin of all others most odious and abominable in the fight of God. Is it not a matter of daily experience, that those persons who are evidently moft loofe and carelefs in their own practice, and who, one would think, fhould have leaft of that kind to rely upon, are most prone to a felf-righteous plan, and most ready to defpife the doctrine of juftification through the imputed righteoufnefs of Chrift. Are you fometimes furprifed at this, Chriftians? The thing is eafily explained. They know little either of the law of God or their own hearts. They feldom ftudy the one, or reflect upon the other. If they did, they would foon be afhamed of fuch a pretence. Those who apply themselves with the greatest diligence to the ftudy of holinefs in heart and life, do always moft fenfibly feel, and moft willingly confefs, that all their righteoufneffes are as filthy rags before God.
4. In Chrift 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 "world!" Behold the Lamb which God himfelf hath ordained, and fet 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 ranfom." Behold the immaculate and fpotlefs 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 affembly burdened with a fenfe of guilt, arrefted by an accufing confcience, terrified by the thunders of the law, ready to cry out, "Who can ftand before this holy Lord God! My flesh "trembleth becaufe of thee: I am afraid of thy judg
"ments." Let fuch an one know, that help is laid on him that is "nighty to fave." Let your guilt be what it will, who can fo far derogate from the Redeemer's glory as to fufpect that his blood cannot purge it away Give no heed to unbelieving thoughts, or difcouraging fuggeftions; but be "ftrong in faith, giving glory to God;" and attend to the Saviour's own words: "Him that "cometh unto me, I will in no wife caft out."
5. In the last place, Let all the children of God, whose hope hath ftill been in the divine mercy through a crucified Saviour, embrace the opportunity now given them of profeffing, exercifing, and ftrengthening their faith in the great atonement. Plead your relation to God through Christ, and encourage yourselves in his all-fufficiency and merit. Look upon his fufferings for humbling you under a fenfe of the evil of fin, which made fuch an expiation neceffary. Nothing ferves more to abafe and level human pride, than to see our nature on the cross though perfonally united to the divine. Look upon him in his agony, for mortifying and crucifying fin in you. There is a purifying virtue, and fanctifying efficacy, in the blood of Chrift. It not only fpeaks peace to the wounded confcience, but purges the confcience from dead works to serve the living God. I am not against the introduction of every argument from fcripture or reafon against fin, or in fupport of duty; but let them never fupplant the great, the leading, the conftraining argument, which is drawn from the cross of Chrift. Believe it, my brethren, nothing fo much reconciles the heart to duty, nothing fo 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 Chriftian with comfort, this inspires the Chriftian with zeal. To feek our comfort in a feparate way, or in the firft inftance 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 fecure our own comfort and peace. This is
the Spirit breathed by the apoftle Paul, with whose words, Gal. ii. 19, 20. I fhall conclude; "For I through the law "am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am "crucified with Chrift; Nevertheless I live; yet not I, "but Chrift 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.”
REV. i. 5.
Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.
HE bare repetition of these words is fufficient to convince every hearer how well they are fuited 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 fupper. This ordinance was inftituted to keep up the remembrance of the fufferings and death of Chrift, 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 defireable, or a more happy and useful frame of spirit, than when your hearts are filled with a fense of the love of Christ, and you find yourselves difpofed to join, with a mixture of joy and wonder, in the doxology of the apoftle 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 fometimes ftyled the disciple whom Jesus loved. Since, therefore, it pleafed his mafter to distinguish him by the tenderness of particular friendship, it is no wonder that we find fo much of the delightVOL. I. Xx