Imatges de pàgina

not your own reason tell you, that such persons are not true Christians : that whatever they may now think, or say, however they may now boast of their privileges, and may plume themselves upon their fancied distinctions, they will then be treated as workers of iniquity, as enemies of Christ, as despisers of the covenant of Grace; and will be cast into outer darkness, where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth ?

And while reason tells you these things, what does conscience say? Does it convict you of being in the state of which I speak ? Does it secretly say to any one here present, “ Thou art the man :" . Thou art the per• son, who hast the form of godliness, but · art without the power of it; who professest • to know God, but in works deniest Him; • who callest thyself a Christian, but hast no • real interest in Christ; who trustest in thy

privileges, but art an enemy to all serious . godliness?' If there be one, whose conscience speaks thus to him, let me earnestly say to him, Consider your ways. Consider them before it is too late ; while yet there is time for repentance; while yet a door of mercy is open. Renounce your wisdom. Mortify your pride. Come as a little child to Christ, and pray to be baptized with the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Pray that you may become a new creature, a worshipper og

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nor lot in the matter," so long as their “ heart is not right in the sight of God.” While this is the case their baptism, their profession, their Christian name will profit them nothing. They are “ yet in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity."'*

But let us go further into detail. Let us consider with more attention the particulars of that remedy which the Gospel proposes to mankind. We shall then distinctly see how little any outward thing can give to any one an interest in the promises and privileges of Christianity. The remedy provided in the Gospel, like the evil which it undertakes to cure, is two-fold.

1. The Gospel opens a way for our being reconciled to God." It represents to us the blood of Jesus Christ as the means of effecting this reconciliation. By his blood He inade an acceptable sacrifice for our sinş. By his one offering of himself on the cross He satisfied the divine justice, and so took out of the way that obstacle, which had prevented God from showing mercy to man. Thus it is said that “we who sometimes were afar off, are brought nigh by the blood of Jesus ;” and that “ we who were enemies, are 'reconciled to God by the death of his Son." Thus Christ is said to be “our Peace, who hath “ redeemed us to God by his blood ;” and “ was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” - This is the remedy provided.

* Acts, viii. 21. 23.


But how is it to be used and applied ? It is to be received with humble faith, and relied upon with a believing hope. Christ is “ set forth as a propitiation through faith, in his, blood.” And his “ Righteousness is unto all and upon all them that believe.We are expressly told that it is "faith which justifies;" and that “whoever believeth shall obtain remission of sins.” But what then is this faith? Is it merely a fancy in the brain ; a notion in the head; a persuasion in the mind; an assent of the understanding ? No. It is a grace, a principle in the heart, deeply fixed and abiding there. It is “with the heart that man believeth unto righteous

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The persons who really believe in Christ, are those, who feeling their guilt and misery as sinners, hear with joy of the atonement which Christ has made for sin on the cross, and with the heart put their whole trust for pardon and acceptance in his merits, mercies, and promises. These persons are reconciled to God. In the use of the remedy provided, their deadly wound is healed. They have peace with God through Jesus Christ : for their faith in Christ uniting them to Him, secures to them a perGod in spirit and in truth. Pray that his kingdom may be set up in your heart; and that being enlightened, converted, and sanctified by his Spirit, you may walk with Him in newness of life. Do you slight this counsel ? Are


offended with this friendly admonition ? Wise in your own conceits, are you too proud to be taught? Puffed up with fleshly wisdom, will you still boast of your privileges, and say, “ The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we?” Is this the case? Then will I conclude with. solemnly addressing you in the words of the prophet, “ Lo, thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, and what wisdom is in theę," *

* Jeremiah, viii. 9.



John, iii. 7. Marvel not, that I said unto Thee, Ye must

be born again.

The truth contained in these words is one of the most weighty in Scripture: one which concerns us all, and requires the deepest attention. May God dispose our hearts to attend to it with seriousness, humility and impartiality! The way in which we receive the doctrine of the New Birth is one of the clearest tests of the pride, or the humility of our heart; of its teachable, or unteachable, of its prejudiced, or unprejudiced state. For the better understanding of the subject, let us shortly review the circumstances which stand connected with the text.

Nicodemus, a Pharisee, and ruler of the Jews; a person of the strictest sect, and highest authority among them, having heard of the miracles which Jesus wrought, and

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