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none, of that indeed we are informed fully and strongly. To them, indeed, God is a consuming fire, and far abore all other misery will be the misery of those who trample under foot the Son of God, and do despite unto the Spirit of grace. It is true that the Apostle, in many of his epistles, cannot bear to think that any who have heard the name of Christ can fall so fearfully; he will not believe it to be possible that any can hear the call of his Saviour in vain. Yet, when the fact was presented to his mind, that any had thus fallen, then his language is decided enough. “Ye are fallen away from Christ, whosoever ye are who are trying to be acquitted by the law, ye are fallen from grace,” he says to the Galatians ; and again, when describing the conduct and feelings common amongst them as amongst the heathen, because they had not put on the Spirit of Christ, he adds, “ of which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they who do such things, shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” And what are those apostacies or great fallings away, those perilous times of the latter days, which he more than once foretells as about to visit the Christian society? It is almost shocking to my mind to see men turn these solemn warnings, and at the same time these lively descriptions of what actually exists among ourselves, into a subject of controversy, and a weapon with which to attack their neighbours; to hear them saying, this applies to the Roman Catholics, or this to the Socinians, instead of looking home and saying that it applies to the Church of England, to the Church of Rome, to the Socinians, and to all alike, who, holding the form of godliness, deny the power of it; who, naming the name of Christ, do not depart from iniquity; whose lives are no better, and

ye

whose principles nothing stronger than those of other men who are living under the law, in name as well as in reality. Or if we wish in the fewest words to have the liveliest image of the state of our church, that is of the state of ourselves in this nation, and members of the Church of England; then let us turn to our Lord's comparison of the salt. “Ye are the salt of the earth, who are named after my name,

and
say
that

you are my servants; ye are the one living mighty principle of good to reform and purify the corrupted world, by the holy influence of heavenly minds, heavenly tempers, and heavenly lives, each of you being born again into the image of Christ, that is the image of God. But if the salt have lost its saltness, wherewith shall it be salted? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill, but men cast it out.” If we are not become like God and Christ, if we are become like the world, instead of reforming it, there can be nothing done to mend us; no more powerful motives can be supplied to us than we have already in the love of Christ; if that has not turned and softened our souls, then indeed they must remain hard for ever. And our Lord then adds, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” “It is a warning that most concerns all my disciples, now and to the end of the world ; they who heed any thing, will do well to heed this, and they who do not, must be left for ever in their folly. Once they shall see me, and once shall erery knee bow before me, and even those who have pierced me by their evil and careless lives, shall look upon me and own that I am Lord. But I am not their Lord, nor is My Father their God; we have given them up for ever; they cannot dwell with us, for into our kingdom nothing unclean or evil

can enter; they must be shut out from our presence ; shut out from Him who is the only light, and therefore dwelling in darkness; shut out from Him who is the only good, and therefore dwelling in everlasting restlessness and misery, amidst wailing and gnashing of teeth."

LALEHAM,

October 7th, 1827.

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SERMON V.?

ROMANS IX-XI.

Romans, ix. 18.

Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and

whom He will He hardeneth.

I said that some parts of the Epistle to the Romans related more particularly to the times and circumstances under which they were written, and concerned us now far less nearly. This remark especially applies to the three chapters at which we are now arrived,--the ninth, tenth, and eleventh. When St. Paul wrote, the fact of a new church or people of God being established, to which the Gentiles were admitted, and from which the greatest part of the Jews were shut out, was to all the Jews, whether believers in Christ or not, a matter of the greatest astonishment, and as far as regarded the exclusion of their own nation, a matter of the greatest regret. Now after the lapse of nearly eighteen hun

The parts * Two sermons were here, at a later time, united into one. in brackets are substitutions of the later date.---The notes are from the earlier sermons.

K K

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dred years, when the Jews are only a small and scattered handful, and the Church of God has long been made up of Gentiles only, it is impossible for us, who are ourselves Gentiles, to feel either the wonder or the grief expressed by St. Paul for the case of his countrymen; nor are we very anxious to hear a defence of the Providence of God for a dispensation which, to our minds, seems far more to deserve our thankfulness than our complaints.

Besides the general nature of the subject, there is another reason which might make us regard these chapters as less useful than the other parts of the Epistle. It is on them chiefly that have been raised up some of the most unprofitable speculations, and some of the most mischievous disputes that have ever exercised the faculties of men. One can scarcely read these chapters without being haunted by the thorny questions of God's foreknowledge, and election, and reprobation, and man's free will, which have so distracted the peace of the Christian Church, and have led to so great and so many evil consequences. Surely these foolish and unlearned questions which gender strife, can be no fit subject for the Christian minister, who, for his own sake and for that of his hearers, should dwell on nothing from this place but what may be profitable for godli

If indeed I might judge of others by myself, I might safely leave this matter at rest, as one which has never disturbed my mind, and which I trust, by God's grace,

will never do so. But I know that with many persons, of every age and of every condition, it is one which does disturb them; and which rises above all, in the moment of temptation, as one of the Devil's most successful arguments to make them rush into sin with

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ness.

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