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glory of the first imparted infinite merit to the deed, and through it established an everlasting propitiation for sins, swallowing them up (as it were) like a little drop in a boundless ocean. This is the merit, Christian, which ransoms thee from the curse of guilt, the captivity of Satan, and the dreadful extremities of these in a future world. This alone preserves, and will ever preserve, thee from the deep abyss : and this alone is infinitely and eternally sufficient. Cast or roll thy burden then, upon the Lord; and he shall sustain thee. Thou hast not yet sinned beyond infinite merit and promised mercy; it is a diminution to the rich grace of the Redeemer to suppose it. An hard and impenetrable heart, denying and resisting the Holy Ghost in his tesa timony of Jesus, and persevering in this course against all light and evidence, is the great and dreadful sign of a reprobate mind. If sin be thy load, thy hate, and thy terror; come and welcome to this Saviour, this Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world; the sins of Gentiles, as well as of Jews; the sins of this day, and the sins of thousands of years, equally together. The keener thy bitterness of spirit was under bondage, the happier will be the reception of that precious salvation which delivers from it.
Come then, my Christian friend and perpetual brother, who hast tasted indeed of that true liberty of grace and holiness, with which the Redeemer maketh his people free; come, and let us rejoice together. Let us sing
the song of Moses and the Lamb by anticipation; as we · hope to sing it in everlasting harmony hereafter. " JEUOVAH the Redeemer hath indeed triumphed
gloriously: gloriously: all the agents and contrivers of evil are thrown into the sea, are swallowed up for ever. It was thy right hand, O LORD, which is glorified in power : it was thy right hand, which dashed in pieces and utterly destroyed the enemy. Fear and dread shall fall upon them: by the greatness of thine arm, they shall be still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till that people pass over, whom thou hast purchased. Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance; in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in; in that [cælestial] sanctuary, O LORD, which thy hands have established. The Lord shall reign for ever and ever!" .Amen.
O ur Lord said to the Jews, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed ; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.* He said. this to persons, whose ancestors had been delivered from the bondage of Egypt, and who declared for themselves, that they were never in bondage to any man. He did not therefore mean a temporal, but a spiritual freedom. Accordingly he explained himself by saying, Whosoever committeth sin, is the servant of sin, and so much the servant of sin, as to be wholly incapable of delivering himself from the bondage; upon which account he added, If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. None else could release them; though he could do it completely.
Upon this great' truth of man's slavery under sin and Satan, the whole Bible is founded. It would be absurd, to speak of the fall of man, of his entire apostasy from God, of redemption by a Saviour, and of hope in a Saviour; if man were free in the use of his powers, or if indeed he had powers to assert his freedom, and by his own strength, either of mind, will, or affections, could “turn himself unto God." The fact is; he is so “ tied and bound in the chain” both of his sins and sinfulness, .
that he cannot get forth. Nor hath he any inclination, except what may arise from the slavish fear of hell, or from some inconvenience to his natural lusts and passions. Hence, he is looked upon as dead before God, dead in trespasses and sins, without any spiritual life, and consequently without the least natural power to raise up himself, or the least desire after any such thing. Like the bones in the prophecy, he lies in the open valley of the world, and lo, he is very dry.* The Spirit of God alone could restore life to such bones as these, who represent the whole house of Israel, or the whole family and church of God by nature, And if these were dry bones in their natural state; can we suppose, that there is more vigor or sense of spiritual life in the rest of the world? If these had no spirit in them, till God was pleased to bestow it: where upon earth may we expect to find this spirit of life beside ?
The bondage of corruption (as 'tis called) though it falls upon all men; yet none of them feel it, till they are quickened with Christ and made alive unto God. And this is a further demonstration of their ruined state and helpless misery, When they have life given, they groan under it, and look out for a release: and where this comes to pass, the release shall surely be found; because the life was given for that very purpose,
Every natural and moral evil came in by sin. It was part of the curse imposed upon degenerate man, that he should serve the earth (from which he was taken, and over which he was otherwise to have ruled) in tilling
* Ezek. xxxvii. 2.
the ground by severe and constant labor. That curse fell on his nature and his offspring universally. All men, it is but too evident, serve the earth, seek it in the first place, expect nothing but earthly good, cultivate in different modes only a worldly interest, imagine every bliss, but what this earth affords, ideal or en, thusiastic, and, though much misery constantly attends their whole labor and expectation, are yet able to look no higher, but dread the very thought of a removal. The devil's curse was to grovel upon the ground, and, for a stigma of vileness, to eat (as it were) the very dust of what he had depraved, or (what that food signifies) to live in perpetual infamy without the least happiness or hope. Out of the dust groweth and can grow nothing: and dust mingled with fire, or ashes made by fire, serves to convey a very strong idea of the keenest torment, helplessness, and despair.
If this depravity of man be true; and trúe it is, if the word of God be true; what becomes of all those equally ignorant and arrogant pretences, which many have set up, of free will, free agency, spontaneity of determination, and the essential right and powers, in spiritual things, of human nature? If we believe God, rather than man, we must account them to be but idle dreams at the best, if not noxious speculations, or rather rebellious declarations against the truth of God. They may indeed be adorned with the greatest show of carnal and corrupt reason, and with all the splendors of style, or learning, or metaphysical reverie; hut, like the garnished sepulchres of the dead, they have only an outward glare of unprofitable pomp, covering at the same time filth,