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to powder.” (2.) They are despisers of the gospel who, professing belief in the doctrine of Christ, continue to live in unrighteousness. He came to turn you from all your tranfgreffions, as well as to deliver you from condemnation. His power is particularly illustrated in bringing finners “ from darknefs to light, and “ from the power of Satan unto God.” The end of his coming is loft as to all those who continue in fin. If they are called by his name, they are a fcandal to it ; if they form any hopes from his fufferings, they will be disappointed; if they advance any claim to his mercy, it will be rejected; if they plead relation to him, he will openly renounce them : Matth. vii. 21. 22. 23. every

one that faith unto me, Lord, “ Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven : but he that doth the will of

my

Father " which is in heaven. Many will say to me in " that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophe“ fied in thy name ? and in thy name have “ cast out devils ? and in thy name done many “ wonderful works? And then will I profess

unto them, I never knew you : depart from “ me ye that work iniquity."

5. In the last place, Suffer me, in the moft earnest manner, to befeech every finner in this assembly, to believe in the name of the Son of God. I fay, every fioner, because thofe only who are sensible that they are finners, will be obedient to the call. Are you not therefore fenfible of your guilt and danger? Are your usderstandings fo blinded ? Is natural conscience it

self

felt so feared, that you do not see how much you stand in need of a saviour ? Remember, that if there be any truth in the whole compass of natural and revealed religion that cannot be spoken against, it is this, That God “is of purer

eyes than that he can behold iniquity;" and that, for this reason, “ he will render to every “ man according to his works.” It is a truth engraven upon the conscience, and ratified by the course of providence; the Heathens discovered it through the thickest darkness; and the guilty confess it by their daily fears. What a harvest of converts would I bring in even in this assembly, if I could but lead to the Saviour every one that believes, in fome measure, in a judgement to come! What an astonishing diforder is brought into our nature by fin! What a marvellous delusion is upon the mind, and what inconsistency is there in the conduct of sinners ! It is hard to say, which of the two is most amazing; their backwardness to receive the truth, or their unwillingness to obey it; their inattention to evidence, on the one hand, or their forgetfulness of what they do believe, upon the other. Is there any person within these walls, who doubts that he is to die; or who does not believe, that he must be judged after death? Are you then ready for the trial? Have you served your Maker ? Have you loved him above all? Have you lived to his glory? Have you fought and placed your happiness in his favour? Or are you sensible that iniquities have prevailed against you? Have they now taken hold upon you, so that you cannot lift your eyes? Behold, I preach peace to you by Jefus Christ. Believe in his name and merits for your pardon ; rely on his grace and Spirit for your reformation; and return to God, through. him, as your unchangeable portion. This is the tenor of the gospel : Luke xxiv. 46. 47. « Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ

taken

to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third “ day: and that repentance and remiffion of “ fins should be preached in his name, among * all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."

4

SER

94

SE R M O N

V.

Chrift's death a proper atonement for fin.

i JOHN . 2.

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for

ours only, but also for the fins of the whole world,

Action Sermons.

MY

Y brethren, To as many as have any be

lief of eternity, it must be a matter of anspeakable moment to know, how they may have confidence towards God. This inquiry be. comes, if possible, still more serious, when we consider man as in a lapsed and corrupt state by nature, as guilty, and obnoxious to his Maker's righteous judgement. Then it becomes neceffary, not only to preserve the favour, not only to avoid the displeasure, but to seek for some fhelter or covering from the wrath of God.

This is the account given us of our condition in fcripture ; which, as it is a truth of the utmost importance, lying at the foundation of all religion, I have often endeavoured both to ex. plain and inforce. And happy, happy they who have heard with application; happy they whose eyes have been opened on their danger as finners; who have seen and felt the evil of fin, as a departure from, and rebellion against a most

holy,

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holy, righteous, and gracious God. Happy they, who, rejecting the vain reasonings of the carnal mind, and the cobweb-defences of the short. fighted creature, have been laid proftrate as guilty and helplefs, before the sovereign and almighty Creator. All mankind, in the several ages of the world, have in general discovered such a jea. lousy of their condition, and have so far felt the reproof and condemnation of natural con. science, that their attempts and inventions have been innumerable to appease the offended Deity,

But bleffed be the name of God, we are not left to any uncertainty as to this important que. ftion, We may chearfully apply our minds to it, and receive unspeakable consolation " through " the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayși spring from on high hath visited us.” The

way to life and peace is fully explained in the glorious gospel of the Son of God. We are indeed, by nature, guilty finners, enemies to God in our minds, and by wicked works; but there is a gracious provision made for our recovery in the mediation of Christ. This is the strong. hold and refuge of the finner; it is the foundation-stone and confidence of the believer. In the 8th and oth verfes of the preceding chapter, the apostle John fays, “ If we say that we have "! no fin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is $ not in us. If we confefs our fins, he is, faith“ ful and just to forgive us our fins, and to « cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” And in the verse preceding the text, “ My little chil"dren, these things write I unto you, that ye

$6 fin

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