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SERM. “ to purify us unto himself as a peculiar people “ zealous of good works.”
“ The grace of “ God did appear into all men bringing sal66 vation.” This is true ; but how did it appear? In the person of the blessed Jesus, teaching both by words and example, thạt
denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we “ should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in “ this present world." But though this seems to be made as clear as possible by Scripture, that faith and works are to go hand in hand, that faith without works is not a living and efficacious, but a dead and fruitless faith; yet, as if men were resolved to run into mistakes, there are still many who seek to separate them, and so much so, as to cause no small divisions in the church. Thus if we preach to you of morality, recommending as the Apostles themselves recommended to their Disciples, that ye “ eschew evil, and do good;" that ye
« draw “ not nigh to God, without cleansing your “ bands, and purifying your hearts from sin;" that ye “ lay apart all filthiness and super
fluity of naughtiness, and mortify your mem“bers which are upon the earth, fornication,
6 uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concu- SERM.
• piscence, and covetousness ;” there are XIV. those who will tell you we do not preach the Gospel of Christ ; that Christ having died to redeem you from sin, you have nothing more to do than to trust to him to save you, to call upon his name daily, and to place all your hope in his righteousness. Surely we do not transgress the bounds of charity, if we pronounce such doctrine to be in direct contradiction to our Saviour's own words. Not every one, saith he, that
saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into “ the kingdom of Heaven, but be that doeth “ the will of my father which is in heaven.” This is our duty here, to follow after righteousness in hope of the gift laid up
in store for those who prove their faith in the blessed Jesus, by keeping his commandments. It is through his mediation, intercession, and atonement, we shall be set free hereafter from the punishment of sin; but it is not less our duty, for his sake, to keep ourselves“ unspotted from the world,” till it please God to call us hence. The virtue to be opposed to both these errors is humi
SERM. lity; the deepest and most profound sense XIV. of your own unworthiness and God's trans
cendent goodness. Do good and follow after holiness to the best of your abilities, otherwise neither will God the Father, or our blessed Redeemer, receive you as their servants.—This be sure of; but trust not to your own righteousness in any shape : it is your duty to be good, and obedient to God's commandments. But there are gifts of joy and happiness unbounded offered to you through Christ, if you will manfully
, fight under his banners, as you have bound yourselves by your baptismal vow, against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Your good works are here put upon a different footing-you are not labouring for wages ; the service of God is perfect freedom; you are testifying your love of Christ, and doing all for the glory of his holy name. This must be better than merely calling upon him; this is testifying your gratitude, your loyalty, your confidence in him. This is openly to shew, that if he could want your services, they would not be withheld; whereas, in the other case, there is
an indoleiice and carelessness apparent, SERM. very inconsistent with the call of our XIV. blessed Saviour. To consider ourselves as set free from the power of sin in this life, by calling upon his name, is an easy way of getting rid of the enemies set in array against us.
Christ inculcates no such confidence; he does not tell us that he will put us out of the way of temptations, but that if, for his sake, we manfully oppose them, he will be present through his spirit to strengthen and support us. What “ the
sprinkling of the blood of Jesus” has obtained for us, is not any present freedom from the contagion of sin, but “ an inbe“ ritance reserved in beaven” for the “ obe« dient, to be revealed at the last day.” The gift is not bestowed upon us yet, though the ransom is indeed paid--without the ransom having been paid, we could have no hope of salvation, but without good works we can have, after all, no assurance of reaping the benefits of that ransom. Call then for ever upon the name of the Lord; he is your salvation ; and I by no means wish to set you free from this high
SERM. and important duty, but trust not to any XIV.
mere calling. Call upon him to help you in this your time of need—in this your anxious state of trial and probation. Call upon him to strengthen your faith, and animate your endeavours after righteousness. Call
him to lead you into the paths of life;
“ Call upon him to accept you, “ inasmuch as you fear him, and to the best of
your abilities work righteousness.” above all, be careful to think no more highly of yourselves than that, after all, you are unprofitable servants: without these services you could not be accepted, because they are especially required of you; you must not think to compass heaven by claim, but by confidence in the promises of Christ; not in virtue of your good works, but by proving yourselves his faithful soldiers and servants unto your lives' end. But it is the lot of all people to be evil spoken of. Because we preach the necessity of good works as a proof of our obedience to Christ, we are said to put our whole trust in them, and to neglect the so great salvation offered to us through Jesus 3