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ousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.' Like his divine Master, he finds it his meat and his drink to do the will of his heavenly Father. But were he to do all that is commanded, or that inclination or gratitude might prompt him to perform; yet would he say, I am an unprofitable servant-I have done that only which it was my duty to do. He feels sin to be his heaviest burden, and holiness his principal delight. He presses towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus : anxious that he may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, and be made conformable unto his death. He knows that in his flesh dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with him ; but how to perform that which is good he finds not. He feels a perpetual conflict between the flesh and the spirit that mars every duty-which makes him dissatisfied with himself in every attainment; and this dissatisfaction and that conflict will continue till he be divested of the body of sin and death. But when mortality is swallowed up of life, then shall he awake in the likeness of him to whose image it will be his glory and his happiness to be eternally conformed.
The followers of him who went about doing good, are taught to distinguish between good works, which are the fruit of divine grace imparted to the heart, and that expiation by which forgiveness is obtained at the hand of God. In all they do, they act, or ought to act, from a principle of love. They know that their best services constitute no part of their salvation : yet are they assiduous in the performance of every branch of duty, desirous that they may be blameless
and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom they shine as lights in the world. The practice of virtue stands as a discriminating mark of their being disciples of him who was · holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. But in all this they have learned not to glory. They constantly declare that their endeavours to honour the government and grace of God, arise not from depraved nature, but from the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus which hath made them free from the law of sin and death ; and who, as their head, worketh in them both to will and to do. It is a sense of continual depeudence on his gracious influence that keeps alive the sincerest gratitude-that lays them in the dust--which teaches them to glory in the Lord their strength; in whose name it is their privilege constantly to rejoice, and in whose righteousness alone they shall be everlastingly exalted.
If the disciples of Jesus see others running in the broad way that leadeth to destruction, their sorrow is excited : they attribute no merit to themselves; but, on the contrary, adore the restraining and the sanctifying hand that has made the difference—which has not permitted them to wallow in the mire of sin, nor to run into the same excess of riot. Sin is that wbich the new man created in Christ Jesus abhors. The followers of the despised Galilean are, like their divine Master, nevertheless, stigmatized as friendly to sin. But it is an indubitable fact, that he who is born from above, delights in the law of God after the inward man. The uniform language of the redeemed on earth is, · Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the
world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.'
Should you ask, Are all who profess the name of Christ thus minded ? there are who will tell you, even weeping'—That' many, very many, are otherwise minded that they mind earthủy things-turn the grace of God into lasciviousness -trample on the blood of the covenant-glory in their shame, and are altogether enemies to the cross of Christ. They name the name of Christ, but depart not from iniquity; they cause the doctrine of God to be blasphemed, and his ways to be evil spoken of; so that those that are without, become presumptuous, and are not afraid to speak evil of the things which they understand not.
But notwithstanding this repugnancy of prin. ciple to practice, surely it will be acknowledged that the abuse of a doctrine is no proof of its being false. What truth of revelation, what precept. in morals, what art, what science has not been perverted by either the ignorance or the obstinacy of some of its advocates ? There have always been 'vain talkers and deceivers, who have professed to know God, but have ip works denied him ;' but was it ever concluded from the inconsistency of such characters, that atheism was rational !
The doctrine of salvation by grace has generally been treated with contempt by men of the world; and has indeed sometimes been abused by those from whom better things might have been expected. But the notoriously wicked, who seem as if studious to evince their having no desire of maintaining good works, are frequently the most clamorous against it. If we are not to be saved by works, we may, it is said, live as we list: we may sin that grace may abound.
Adien !' Vinosa cries,' ere yet he sips
But the conclusion is false; it is a vile slander on the conduct and character of God. As if be, in whose sight the heavens are not pure, should redeem the vessels of his mercy from all iniquity, in order that they might continue to commit it: or were to purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works, with a view to their wallowing at pleasure in defilement !
Loudly have opponents exclaimed, that the doctrines of grace enervate the obligations of morality, by rejecting the claims of human merit, by exhibiting a full and perfect atonement for all crimes, and by denying that good works are essential to salvation. But though a Christian will not admit that man can merit any thing from his Creator, he is far from denying that there are different degrees of worth and excellence in human characters. Nor does the righteousness of a Saviour implyany dispensation from the eternal and immutable obligations to virtue, but rather enhances their force, by shewing the dreadful effects of their violation, and by rendering the infinite love and grace of their divine Author more conspicuous.' It may be said, without being chargeable with bigotry or presumptionthat he who shall venture to abuse the mercy of God, because it is great; or the grace of God, because it is free ; never felt his utter unworthi. ness of either; has never tasted that the Lord is gracious: he is in a state of spiritual death; the guilt of sin is upon him; and he may rest assured, that unless he so feel its pressure as to groan for deliverance—as to hate the sin, as well as the punishment connected with it; except he
experience a sincere love of holiness, and of entire conformity to the moral image of Christ, he has no ground to hope that he shall ever awake with his likeness.
When we seriously reflect on the present state of man as a moral agent, and as accountable for his conduct to God, the governor of the world ; it is, in one view, astonishing that an individual should be found unfriendly to the doctrine of sal. vation by grace. But, alas! so blind and prejudiced by nature is the human mind, that this way of escape from deserved ruin, though exactly suited to his wretched condition and the only mean of deliverance, is nevertheless rejected and despised. Christ becomes a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence; and the presumptuous sinner, going about to establish a righteousness of his own, will not submit to be justified by that righteousness which divine mercy hath graciously provided. To search into the cause of this melancholy fact, we must advert to the primeval state of our first progenitors ; but I have already trespassed too long on your patience: the subject shall therefore be resumed in my next.
I am, &c.