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come to God, must believe that He is ;" and no one is likely to obey the commandments of any being, in whose existence and authority he does not firmly believe. As faith is thus necessary, so it is easily discovered, and may be readily understood. It consists, my friends, in the full belief that the Bible is the word of God, and that every sentence of it is most true. sists in the full belief of God the father, of his Son Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit; in the belief, that man is a sinner, and, in his natural and fallen state, an enemy to God; lost and undone ; utterly unable to help himself; having no claim to the favour of God, and, while unregenerated, only looking forwards to the fiery indignation of his Maker. It consists in the belief, that Jesus CHRIST, “ the image of the invis:ble “ God," came down from Heaven, to redeem lost mankind; to be a propitiation for their sins; and to shew them the means of salvation, even repentance, faith, and obe. dience. It consists in the belief, that the Holy Spirit will give them puwer and grace to obtain and apply these means, if his assistance be sought for in humble and sincere prayer. It consists in the belief, that “ CHRIST died for all;" and that every human being has the blessed certainty of sal
vation, if he carefully use the means of obtaining it, according to the degree of light and knowledge which he possesses ; that there will be a resurrection from the grave, a final sentence, and a future and eternal life; that, at the last day, CHRIST will come again in the glory of his father,"
to judge the world in righteousness and equity;" when
" when “ they that have done “good, shall go into everlasting life; and “ they that have done evil, into everlasting “ fire. This, my friends, is a christian's faith ; and to hold it fast without wavering; and to shew forth “its fruits," in a pious and virtuous conversation in the world, makes that religion which will save your souls. Many are the disputes about the road to salvation, which, in these times, unhappily split and divide the christian world against itself, and raise up every man's voice, if not hand, against his brother. But, all these disputes arise from the pride and self-conceit of men, who would be “ wise above that “ which is written;" who add fancies of their own to the simple doctrines of our “ most holy faith ;” and, not content with holding them themselves, insist that others also, should profess them, under the pain of everlasting perdition. Such persons as these, however, have not been properly trained
in “ the school of Christ;" where the 'two first things to be learned are humility and charity ; a deep sense of our own ignorance, blindness, and unworthiness; and, consequently, of our having no claim or authority to judge and condemn brother.
(For the Third Sunday in Lent.]
EPHESIANS V. 9.
For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness,
and righteousness, and truth.
a comparison between the former state of the Ephesians, (to whom he writes,) in their heathen or unconverted condition, and the change which the religion they had embraced was to produce in their hearts and behaviour. It may be more fully explained in the following manner.
“ Be ye therefore followers of God, as • dear children." Since, then, you have been converted to the gospel, and become by these means the children of God, and
inheritors of the kingdom of heaven, endeavour to become a perfect, as your Father “ who is in heaven is perfect ;” and imitate, as far as human infirmity will permit, that example of his holiness and goodness which . was manifested in “ the image of the invi“sible God," Jesus Christ our LORD.
“Apd walk in love, as CHRIST also hath " loved us, and hath given himself for us “ an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a “ sweet-smelling favour.” And as the death and sacrifice of Christ for our sins was the highest instance of divine love and mercy to us, so let it be the great concern of all christians to resemble, as much as may be, this pattern of divine love, by living in unity and charity with each other, “ But fornis “cation and all uncleanness, or covetous
ness, let it not be once named amongst you, as becometh saints. As the lusts of the flesh, all obscene actions, and indecent practices, sp common among the heathens, are entirely inconsistent with the purity of that religion which you have embraced; so it is your duty not only to refrain from committing them, but also to avoid, speaking of them.
“ Neither filthiness, nor. s foolish talking, gør jesting, which are “ not convenient; but giving
giving of thanks:"> As out of the fulņess of the heart the