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19. 20. “ For I through the law am dead to the " law, that I might live unto God. I am cru• cified with Christ : nevertheless I live ; yet 6 noi I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life “ which I now live in the flesh, I live by the « faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave
himself for me.” That this motive will have the most powerful influence on the believer's conduct, is evident both from reason and expe. rience. No principle takes a faster hold of the human heart than gratitude for favours received. If the mercies be cordially accepted, and highly esteemed, which is certainly the case here, nothing can withstand its influence. It reconciles the heart to the most difficult duties; nay, it even disposes the believer to court the opportunity of making some signal sacrifice, in testimony of his attachment. Love sincere and fervent overcomes all difficulties ; or rather indeed it changes their nature, and makes labour and suffering a source of delight and satisfaction. Let but the Saviour's interest or honour feem to be concerned, and the believer, who feels how much he is indebted to him, will chearfully embrace the call, and set no bounds to his compliance. This shows how much beauty and force there is in our Lord's manner of recommending love and compassion to our fellow. creatures, Matth. xxv. 40.
- And the King “ fall answer, and say unto them, Verily I say "unto you, In as much as ye have done it un. to one
of the least of these my brethren, ye 66 have done it unto me.” But to what pur
pose pose do I dwell upon this subject? for a sense of redeeming love is not only the most powerful motive to every other duty, but is itself the poffeffion and exercise of the firft duty of the moral law, as well as the fum and substance of evangelical holinefs, viz. the love of God. The first fin, by which our nature fell, was a distrust of and departure from God; and the malignity of every fin we continue to commit, consists in giving that room in the heart 10 fomething else, which is due only to God. A fenfe of redeeming love, therefore, expels the enemy, and makes up the breach, as there by the love of God is foed abroad in our hearts.
3. You may fee, from what has been said, the necessity of a particular application of the truths of the gospel to ourselves, and the reliance of every believer upon them as the foundation of his own hope. I have sometimes had occafion to obferve to you, that it is very doubtful, whether any person can so much as approve in his judgement the truths of the gofpel, till he perceive his own interest in them, and their neceffity to his peace. Certain it is, the world that lieth in wickedness generally defpises them. However, I shall admit as a thing poffible, that a bad man may, either by imitation, or the power of outward evidence, embrace the gospel as a system of truth. But surely the love of Christ can neither be a source of comfort, nor a principle of obedience, una less he consider it as terminating upon himfelf. Without this, the whole is general, cold, N 2
and uninteresting. But when he confiders, not only the certainty of the truth, but the extent of the invitation, and can fay, with Thomas, My Lord, and my God, then indeed the ties are laid upon him; then indeed he begins to feel their conftraining power; then he not only con. templates the glory of God in the grace of redemption, but chearfully and unfeigredly confe. crates himself to the service of his Redeemer. This leads me, in the
4th and last place, to invite every finner in this assembly to accept of Christ as his Saviour, and to rely upon him as he is offered in the gofpel. To the fecure and insensible, I know it is in vain to speak. But if you fee your own danger, what fhould hinder your belief and reliance on the Saviour ? If you either necd or dcfire deliverance, what with holds your acceptance of it, when it is not only freely offered to you, but earnestly urged upon you ? Can you doubt the testimony of the Amen, the faithful and true witnefs ? The blessings of his purchase belong not to one people or family, but to everja nation under heaven. The commission of those who bear his message is unlimited : Mark xvi. 15. “ Go ye into all the world, and preach the go“ spel 'to every creature. They are offered, not only to the virtuous, the decent, and regular, but to the chief of finners :
1 Tim. i. 15. “ This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all ac“ ceptation, That Christ Jefus came into the “ world to save finners; of whom I am chief." Whoever heareth these glad tidings, he disk.o. noureth God, he poureth contempt on his Sa. viour's love, and he wrongeth his own soul, if he does not receive confolation from them. Be not hindered by what you see in yourselves, un. less you are in love with fin, and afraid of being divorced from it. The gospel is preached to finners. It does not expect to find them, but it is intended to make them, holy. A deep and inward sense of your own unworthiness, unless it is prevented by the deceiver, should only make you more highly esteem the grace of the gospel, and more willingly depend on your Redeemer's love.
I conclude with the invitation which he him-felf gives to the weary finner, Matth. xi. 28. 29. 30. “.Come unto ine, all ye that labour, and “ are heavy laden, and I will give you reft. “ Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; “ for I am meek and lowly in heart : • shall find rest unto your souls. For my. yoke " is easy, and my burden is light.”.
Mbrethren; A serious and attentive mind,
Y brethren, A serious and attentive mind,
on perusing the sacred volume, can hardly help being often struck both with the fentiments and language of the inspired writers on the subject of redemption. With what a deep veneration of foul, with what warmth of affection, with what tranfports of adoring thankfulness do they speak of the plan laid by divine wisdom, for the falvation of loft finners, by the cross of Christ! A perfon pofseffed only of understanding and taste, may admire these fallies of holy fervour, for the elevation of thought, and boldness of expression, which a man's being in good earnest on an interesting subject doth naturally inspire. But happy, happy, and only happy, that soul who from an inward approbation can receive, relish, and apply those glorious things that are spoken of the name, character, and undertaking of the Saviour of finners.
You may observe, that there are two different subjects, in general, on which the writers