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rejoice that God will honor himself-his mercy if he can, and his justice if he must. God will be honored, and we may glory in this. But oh, the sinner, the sinner! Who can measure the depth of his guilt, or the terror of his final doom! It will be more tolerable for all the heathen world together than for you.
7. It is time that we all understood this subject fully, and appreciated all its bearings. It is no doubt true, that however moral our children may be, they are more guilty than any other sinners under heaven, if they live in sin, and will not yield to the light under which they live. We may be perhaps congratulating ourselves on their fair morality; but if we saw their case in all its real bearings, our souls would groan with agony-our bowels would be all liquid with anguishour very hearts within us would heave as if volcanic fires were kindled there so deep a sense should we have of their fearful guilt and of the awful doom they incur in denying the Lord that bought them, and setting at nought a known salvation. O, if we ever pray, we should pour out our prayers for our offspring as if nothing could ever satisfy us or stay our inportunity, but the blessings of a full salvation realized in their souls.
Let the mind contemplate the guilt of these children. I could not find a Sabbath School child, perhaps not one in all Christendom, who could not tell me more of God's salvation than all the heathen world know. That dear little boy who comes from his Sabbath school knows all about the gospel. He is almost ready to be converted, but not quite ready; yet that little boy, if he knows his duty and yet will not do it, is covered with more guilt than all the heathen world together. Yes, that boy, who goes alone and prays, yet holds back his heart from God, and then his mother comes and prays over him, and pours her tears on his head, and his little heart almost melts, and he seems on the very point of giving up his whole heart to the Savior; yet if he will not do it, he commits more sin in that refusal than all the sin of all the heathen world-his guilt is more than the guilt of all the murders, all the drownings of children, and burnings of widows, and deeds of cruelty and violence in all the heathen world. All this combination of guilt shall not be equal to the guilt of the lad who knows his duty, but will not yield his heart to its righteous claims.
8. "The Heathen," says an apostle, "sin without law and shall therefore perish without law." In their final doom they
will be cast away from God: this will be perhaps about all. The bitter reflection, "I had the light of the gospel and would ⚫ not yield to it-I knew all my duty, yet did it not"—this can not be a part of their eternal doom. This is reserved for those who gather themselves into our sanctuaries and around our family altars, yet will not serve their own Infinite Father.
9. One more remark. Suppose I should call out a sinner by name-one of the sinners of this congregation, a son of pious parents, and should call up the father also.-I might say Is this your son? Yes. What testimony can you bear about this son of yours? I have endeavored to teach him all the ways of the Lord. Son, what can you say? I knew my duty -I have heard it a thousand times. I knew I ought to repent, but I never would.
O, if we understood this matter in all its bearings, it would fill every bosom with consternation and grief. How would our bowels yearn and our bosoms heave as a volcano. There would be one universal outcry of anguish and terror at the awful guilt and fearful doom of such a sinner!
Young man, are you going away this day in your sins? Then, what angel can compute your guilt? O how long has Jesus held out his hands, yes, his bleeding hands, and besought you to look and live? A thousand times, and in countless varied ways has he called, but you have refused; stretched out his hand, and you have not regarded. O, will you not repent? Why not say at once: It is enough that I have sinned so long. I can not live so any longer! O, sinner, why will you live so? Would you go down to hell-ah, to the deepest hell-where, if we would findyou, we must work our way down for a thousand years through ranks of lost spirits less guilty than you, ere we could reach the fearful depth to which you have sunk! O, sinner, what a hell is that which can adequately punish such guilt as thine!
I. OBEDIENCE TO MORAL LAW IS AND MUST BE, UNDER EVERY DISPENSATION OF THE DIVINE GOVERNMENT, THE UNAL
TERABLE CONDITION OF SALVATION.
II. UNDER A GRACIOUS DISPENSATION OBEDIENCE TO MORAL LAW IS NOT DISPENSED WITH AS THE CONDITION OF SALVATION, BUT THAT OBEDIENCE TO LAW IS SECURED BY THE INDWELLING SPIRIT AND GRACE OF CHRIST.
I. OBEDIENCE TO MORAL LAW IS AND MUST BE, UNDER EVERY DISPENSATION OF THE DIVINE GOVERNMENT THE UNAL
TERABLE CONDITION OF SALVATION.
In discussing this proposition I will,
3. Show that it must be true.
1. What is not intended by it.
It is not intended that no one can be saved who has at any time broken the law. For this would shut all sinners out from the possibility of salvation.
2. What is intended.
That no one can be saved who does not return to full obedience to the law.
3. Prove the proposition.
(1.) Salvation upon any other condition is naturally impossible. Without holiness salvation is out of the question. But holiness and full obedience to the moral law are the same thing.
(2.) The gospel is not a repeal of the law, but designed to establish it.
(3.) As the moral law is the law of nature, it is absurd to suppose that entire obedience to it should not be the unalterable condition of salvation, that is, that salvation should be possible upon a less condition than a return on the part of sinners to the state of mind required by this law of nature.
(4.) The bible everywhere represents the perfect love required by the law as indispensable to salvation. It is naturally indispensable.
Perhaps some one will say that it is true indeed that one can not enter heaven without first becoming entirely obedient to the divine law, but that this obedience may first take place
immediately after death. I reply,-that the uniform representation of the bible is that men shall be judged according to the deeds done in the body, and that the state of mind in which they enter the eternal world shall decide their destiny forever. It is nowhere so much as hinted in the bible that men shall be saved in consequence or upon condition of a change that takes place after death. But the opposite of this is the unvarying teaching of the bible. If men are not holy here, they never will be holy. If they are not sanctified by the Spirit and the belief of the truth in this life, there is no intimation in the bible that they ever will be; but the contrary of this is the plain and unequivocal teaching of the bible. The work of regeneration and sanctification is always represented as being instrumentally effected by the instrumentality and agency of those means that Christ has provided in this world. "But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth. He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."-Eph. 4: 713. This passage is only a specimen of scripture declarations and teachings upon this subject. It unequivocally teaches the entire sanctification of the whole mystical body or church of Christ in this life or by the means which he has provided, and which means relate exclusively to this life.
II. UNDER A GRACIOUS DISPENSATION, A RETURN TO FULL OBEDIENCE TO MORAL LAW IS NOT DISPENSED WITH AS A CONDITION OF SALVATION, BUT THIS OBEDIENCE IS SECURED BY THE INDWELLING SPIRIT OF CHRIST RECEIVED BY FAITH TO reign IN THE HEART.
In discussing this proposition I shall endeavor to show, 1. That salvation by grace does not dispense with a return to full obedience to law as a condition of salvation, and
2. That the grace of the gospel is designed to restore sinners to full obedience to the law.
3. That the efficient influence that secures this conformity to
law is the Spirit of Christ or the Holy Spirit received into and reigning in the heart by faith.
1. Salvation by grace does not dispense with a return to full obedience as a condition of salvation.
There is a class of scripture texts which have been quoted by antinomians in support of the doctrine that salvation is not conditionated upon personal holiness or upon a return to full obedience. It has been found very convenient by many who were lovers of sin and never conscious of personal holiness, to adopt the idea of an imputed holiness, contenting themselves with an outward righteousness imputed to them instead of submitting by faith to have the righteousness of God wrought in them. Unwilling to be personally pious they betake themselves to an imputed piety. Because the scriptures declare that men are not saved by works of the law, they infer that a return to that state of love required by the law is not even a condition of salvation. The texts above referred to are such as these. "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."-Gal. 2: 16. This and sundry other passages that hold the same language are grossly misunderstood and misapplied by antinomians. They merely declare that men are not justified and saved by their own works, which of course they can not be if they have committed even one sin. But they do not intimate, and there is no passage rightly understood that does intimate, that men are saved or justified upon conditions short of personal holiness or a return to full obedience to the moral law.
Again: James wrote his epistle to establish this point. Grace can not save by dispensing with personal holiness or a return to full obedience to the law. Grace must not only pardon, but secure personal holiness, or the soul is not fitted either for the employments or enjoyments of heaven. It is naturally impossible for grace to save the soul but upon condition of entire sanctification.
2. The grace of the Gospel was designed to restore sinners to full obedience to the moral law.
This is abundantly evident from almost every part of the Bible. "And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul that thou mayest live."Deuteronomy 30: 7. "And I will give them, a heart to know