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mouth speaketh, so all lewd, impure, and wicked conversation, is the strongest proof that there is much corruption within. Refrain from all such language, therefore; and in lieu thereof, let your conversation be such as may glorify God, and be beneficial to those to whom you speak. “For this “ you know, that no whoremonger, nor “ unclean person, nor covetous man, who "is an idolater, hath any inheritance in “ the kingdom of Christ and of God." The gospel, as you are well aware, has positively declared to you, that no man who calls himself a christian, if he be guilty of those vices to which the heathen are so addicted, such as breaches of chastity, uncleanness of any kind, or making money his god, can ever be a true member of CHRIST'S church, or ever expect to inherit the kingdom of heaven when he dies.
“Let no man deceive you with vain words; 6 for because of these things cometh the « wrath of God on the children of disobe. “ dience : be ye not, therefore, partakers 56 with them." Do not listen, then, to any teacher who may tell you that such practices will be winked at by God; or that He will accept of faith, unless it be accompanied by a pure and holy life. All sin is the object of divine punishment. They were vices of this
description for which God gave up the heathens to vile affections, (as may be seen in the first chapter of the epistle to the Romans;) and the same vices will ever draw down his vengeance upon the heads of those who practise them.
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but :“ now are ye light in the LORD, walk as “ children of light.” It is not to be wondered at, that men in a dark and heathen state, and under the influence of a corrupt and fallen nature, should commit such vices; but when once they have been enlightened by the gospel, they must immediately see the wickedness and fatal consequences of them, and of course feel it to be their duty to renounce such practices, and lead a life of a quite contrary kind to such a course of iniquity.
- For the fruit of the Spirit is in all good
ness, and righteousness, and truth." For the religion which you now profess, and which has been sealed to you by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, ought as 'naturally to produce in your hearts and conduct hó. liness and virtue, as a good tree naturally bringeth forth good fruit in due season. “ Proving what is acceptable unto the “ LORD.” Shewing forth in your behaviour, (as, a proof to others, that you are really sin
cere in your profession of christianity,) all those christian graces which are approved in the sight of God. " And have no “ fellowship with the unfruitful works of “ darkness, but rather reprove them; for “ it is a shame even to speak of those “ things which are done of them in . se.
Never, therefore, be drawn into those unclean praćices which heathens and wicked men (who are like unto heathens) commit; but endeavour, on the contrary, to make them ashamed of them. For 60 gross and impure are they, and so vile their secret indulgencies, that it would be painful to a, virtuous and pure man even to describe them.
“ But all things that are reproved, are “made manifest by the light; for whatsoever “ doth make manifest is light. These works of darkness can have no connection with the pure faith which you profess; for as light makes every object visible to the eye, so does the christian religion expose the wickedness and danger of such irreligious and immoral practices.
" Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that “ sleepest, and arise from the dead, and CHRIST shall give thee light.” And to convince you the more of your duty to avoid those works of darkness, I will quote the prophecy of Isaiah, in which he points out the blessed light and information which the gospel of CHRISD would shed upon the world; and the obligation which christians would lie under, of living and walking as children of the light. “ Arise, shine, for “thy light is come; and the glory of the 6* LORD is risen upon thee.” “Awake, and “sing, ye that dwell in the dust."
Such, my friends, is the reasoning of St. Paul in the portion of scripture under con. sideration; which, though directed originally to those gentiles who had then but just been converted to christianity, is yet applicable to ourselves, and shews us, that all sorts of wickedness are inconsistent with our faith ; and that as we have received the gift of the Spirit, “ by which we cry to God by “ the name of Abba, father," so we should bring forth the fruits of that Spirit in piety and true holiness all the days of our lives. The text mentions particularly what these fruits of the Spirit must be ; “ the fruit of “the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteous
ness, and truth.” In goodness, or fulfilling our duty to God; in righteousness, or fulfilJing our duty to man; in truth, or in fulfilling our duty to ourselves.
We shall find, my friends, many persons in the world who speak very confidently
of having " received the Spirit," of <
possessing the Spirit,” of “ being led by the “ Spirit," and so forth ; but it will be well for us to doubt of their having such a blessing, till we can determine these two points,first, how they became possessed of it; and secondly, what effects its possession has had upon
their hearts and conduct in life. “ loved,” says St. John, “ believe not every “spirit, but try the spirits whether they are " of God." Now, it is clear from scripture, that no man can expect to feel the influence of the Holy Spirit, till he has first felt that he is a sinner, and repented deeply and sin. cerely of his sins. He must have been smitten with godly sorrow,. before he can enjoy “the comfort of the Holy Ghost ;" he must have“ sown in tears," before he can reap in spiritual joy; he must have laboured and felt heavy laden with the burthen of conscious guilt, before he can find this spiritual “rest unto his soul.” All boastings, therefore, of having the Spirit, without penitence for past offences; and resolutions (by God's grace) to commit them do more; without a sense of unworthiness and infirmity; and without that meekness and humility, and distrust of ourselves, which a proper sense of frailty naturally inspires; all such boastings, I say, are unfounded, and only prove