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than they are, a pretence for standing off from Christ. If you truly believed that he died for your sins, you would see a curse in them which you never could have thought of, and be glad to have that load taken off your backs. Come, my brethren, it must be so; do not mistake all, be not deceived all your lives. Christ never saves a soul, without first opening its eyes to see sin, and condemnation for it. Then it can see the necessity of his bloodshedding, and be very thankful for it; then it can study to please him, and have a will to live to him, and hear him saying, “ If ye love me, keep my commandments," John, xiy. 15. Give yourselves no rest, till you know such a work as this ; and let me advise you by no means to think well of your state till you do; for then you will never come to Christ, to know a passing from death unto life. You will have nothing to ask of him, nothing for him to do; no desire to be partakers of his life, no spiritụal sacrifices to offer unto God by him; but go to your graves with all your sins upon your heads, and die as much unbelievers as if you had never heard of the precious name Jesus. Let me speak a word more. What is it you trust in for salvation; upon what do you venture your eyerlasting hopes ? Is it your baptism and Christian name coming to church on Sundays, though not regularly and constantly; and now and then, once in one, two, or three years, receiving the sacrament, and some of you that hear me never? Alas! this is but a poor form, and if Christ was working at the root of it, you would do a great deal more; you would keep your Sabbaths as unto the Lord; you would come rejoicing to the

l sacrament as often as you had opportunity ; you would pray in and with your families; you would offer up your own sacrifice of prayer, and your hearts with it, to God

, in private ; you would have a Christian appearance in all respects. But if your outward walk was never so fault

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less in the eye of the world, it can be no ground of your peace, till you have been seeking after Christ, from a sense of your undone state, as the “ Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world;" resolve to know nothing for salvation but him crucified, praise God for him, and live as becometh his disciples. If you have feared God from your youth up, lived in no known sin, and kept a strict watch upon your heart, always believing in Christ as your Redeemer, and crucified for you, as well as for the greatest of sinners, renouncing the merit of your own works, and trusting only in him for your acceptance with God, I do not say, you are not come to him; but this is a very rare case; and I beseech you to consider whether it is yours, and whether you can say, as you will answer it to God, that you have been mindful of your vow in baptism ever since you could discern between good and evil.

On the contrary, have you been fearless of sin, and more especially blind to your own? Do you not make a conscience of examining your hearts and lives by the straight rule of God's commandments? Did you never see the extreme guilt of sin, God's hatred of it, and will to punish it, in the glass of Christ's sufferings ? Did you never put the great question to yourselves with any degree of seriousness and concern, “ What must I do to be saved ?” am I in Christ or not? but take it for granted that all is well with you because you are called Christians, though you are ignorant of your condition in sin, ignorant of God, ignorant of Christ, and never saw yourselves perishing without him? Have you not to this day made him your hope, your confidence of rejoicing, your peace; knowing that there is no other way or means of reconciliation for sinful man with a just and holy God; and whatever you do, always humbled under a sense of your manifold defects, and in your very

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best estate keeping close to him for párdon and salvation? Oh! see your danger; call upon God to take the veil from your hearts; all is wrong with you; repent and come to Christ. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you in all the riches of his

grace. If your unbelief does not keep you from him, your sins need not, He knows what they are, what we are in them, and that of ourselves we cannot wipe so much as one of them out of his book; and he would have us know it too, that we may gladly receive the Saviour he has provided for us. Hear St. Peter telling you once more what you will find in him, and what he will make you: “ To whom coming as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also as lively stones are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

SERMON XXIII.

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Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay

in Sion a chief corner-stone, elect, precious : and he that

believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe, he is precious; but unto

them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders

disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner. And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to

them which stumble at the word, being disobedient :

whereunto also they were appointed. i Pet. ii. 6—8. The five first verses of this chapter have already been opened; in which St. Peter exhorts those to whom he writes, and in them all Christians to the end of the world, to walk worthy of their holy profession ; by “laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies,

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and all evil-speakings.” Outward, gross sin of every kind they must avoid ; and if they had not, they would not have been reputed Christians at that time.

But he requires still more; even the purification of the heart from those inward sins, which no eye of man sees, these here mentioned and all others; it being the only test of our sincerity with God, to set him always before us, as the Lord who trieth the reins and the heart; and to be more concerned to approve ourselves to Him who seeth in secret, than if the eyes of all the world were upon us. And, to enforce his exhortation, he puts them and us in mind of an argument or reason for our : compliance with it, which no one who knows what it is to be a Christian, and what obligations he has to Christ, can well resist; “ If so be," says he, “ ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious,” i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ in taking our flesh, in the labours of his life, and the sufferings of his death, that he might redeem us from the curse of sin, and eternal misery. The exceeding riches of his grace, and the love which moved him to become our Savigur, no words can express, nor heart of man think worthily of. But we must be utterly dead to all sense of it, and, whatever we pretend, can have no real belief, or taste, or feeling of it in our souls, if it does not constraiņ us to answer the end of it, by living unto him that died for us; purposing and endeavouring, as God shall enable us, to purge ourselves " from all filthiness of flesh and spirit,"

“ and to be an holy people to the Lord, in the truth and purity of an inward righteousness. If this foundation is laid in us, and we have been taught by the Spirit to cry Abba Father, and rejoice in our adoption, we can, we shall be the children and servants of God in the newness of a free obedience. If we have come to Christ in repentance for the remission of our sins ; seeing in his death what sin is, how odious and abominable in the sight of God, and how much it cost him to deliver us from it; we shall dread above all things to come again under the curse of it, and look to him in faith for that other great blessing of the new covenant, the grace of holiness, as well as the grace of forgiveness. So St. Peter says, acquainting us in the next words, what Christ will be to us, and what we are to propose to ourselves as one end of our coming to him, viz. “ as unto a living stone, that we also, as lively stones,” (it is a wonderfully striking expression of our dead state, and of his power in raising us from it), “may be built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood,” (perfectly holy in him ; and though not spotless enough in ourselves, for the office of being priests unto God, yet pressing on to it with the utmost sincerity of intention), “ to offer up spiritual sacrifices,” (not the blood of beasts, as the Jews did, but the blood of Christ; and together with it our thanksgivings for the mercy we have received, our prayers that all grace may abound unto us, our wills, our souls and bodies, our best and purest obedience),

acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” He came first to us in great humility, and with bowels of melting pity, to seek and to save us, to bear our sins in his own body, and redeem us to God by his blood; and we have this

l day professed our belief that he will come to be our Judge. The Lord grant we may so improve his first coming, as to meet him with joy at his second ; and

; " blessed are they who shall not be offended in him.” For, elect and precious as he is, he was a “stone of stumbling and a rock of offence" to the Jews; and he still is so, at all times and in all places, to those who either reject him in unbelief, or, pretending to receive him as the Christ the Son of God, do not comply with his method of salvation. · Alas! much the greatest part of those who are called Christians neither understand what it is, nor give themselves any manner of

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