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speak they shall assuredly give an account in the day of judgment,” and I know of none of the commandments of our Lord which it can be more useful, by reason of its importance, for the mind of a minister to dwell upon, or more fearful, by reason of his disobedience, for the memory of a minister to recall. Strive we then to rescue our present inquiry from the folly, and the sin, and the danger, and the damnation of idle words, by setting before
that faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation,—" that they which believe, be careful also to maintain good works.” 'Tis true, we are taught, and therefore teach, that “we live by the faith of the Son of God.” But then we are also taught, and therefore also teach, that “ the just” alone “ shall live by that faith.” "Tis true we read, and therefore speak, as if “ by faith a man were justified, without the works of the law ;" but then we also read, and therefore also speak, not as if “ the hearers of the law are just before God," but only as if the doers of the law shall by faith be so justified. Wherefore in our exhortations to godliness we would call“ unto all, and upon all them that believe, for there is no difference,” to add virtue to their faith. Pain and corruption are the same in nature, whether they be found in the head or in the hand of the afflicted. And sin is exceeding sinful, and in its exceeding sinfulness will it be judged, whatever member of the Christian body it may affect. Tribulation and anguish, indignation and wrath will be poured down alike upon pride and covetousness, and lasciviousness, and indolence and drunkenness and revellings and banquetings, and such like, wherever they continue and abound; whether in the old or in the young. And high and low, rich and poor, understanding and simple, master and disciple must alike sit down in meekness at the feet of Jesus, and be content to learn wisdom from the fishermen of Galilee. For in the rules of righteousness there is no respect of persons with God; and faith, and love, and worship, and prayer,
and heavenly-mindedness and purity and humility are all alike demanded in the Gospel from all. every one, therefore, that nameth the name of Christ, depart” also at the same time “ from iniquity;” because it is so comfortable to a man's own mind, so conducive to the glory of God, and so necessary for the conversion of sinners from the error of their
First of all, I say, let us be influenced by our hopes and fears, and be godly for our own sakes. As we rejoice in the sunshine of future happiness, or tremble at the darkness of future misery, let us not be cast down by the ruggedness of our holy path, but remember the unspeakable greatness of the reward.
Next, let us be godly for the glory of God and in compliance with the wise and merciful designs of his providence. The law of the Lord is an undefiled law, formed and intended to purify the soul. How then do we blaspheme the name of the Almighty, thwart his views and counteract his blessings, if, with adeep sense of the excellence of our religion in our minds, and full acknowledgment of its truth upon our lips, we yet curse it with an inward barrenness, and render abortive its every effort to bring forth the fruits of holiness in our lives. Faith, hope and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” If, therefore we have faith without works, it is possible that we know God, but it is certain that, as God, we glorify him not.
Lastly, let us be pure, holy, harmless and undefiled, for the sake and salvation of those around us.
As the lot has not fallen to us in a heathen country, we are not called upon to
pass through the fire of persecution; but we are still bound to prove the steadfastness of our faith by the sincerity of our obedience. We are surrounded by the prejudices of the Jews, the weakness of unstable brethren, and the perverted judgment of the philosophic infidel; and little do we know of the influence of example, or the evil consequences of evil actions, if we dare to flatter ourselves that
they are looking with an eye of indifference upon our conduct. It may be, that had it not been for the inconsistency which subsists between the profession and practice of Christians, those that have fallen might have yet been standing in the faith ; Infidelity might ere this have ceased to blot the moral creation; and all the scattered children of Israel have been numbered in the fold and flock of Christ. But these things you will say have happened according to the word of prophecy. They have. “ It must needs be that offences come, but woe be to that man by whom the offence cometh.” Let us, then, most diligently study to avoid that woe. Let us humbly examine our hearts, and reflect upon our lives, and strive after perfection. For all the reasons which I have advanced, “ let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart also from iniquity.”
Coloss. I. 23.
“ Continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not
moved away from the hope of the Gospel which ye have heard."
We have hitherto been occupied in giving a connected and systematic view of the evidences of Christianity, and in endeavouring to point out the particular power of each separate part in supporting and binding up the whole. The miracles, the doctrines and the life of our Lord, and the prophecies by which the Messiah was described under the law, have passed before our understanding in successive review, and we have been satisfied that each link in the chain has its peculiar office; that they cannot be separated without mutual and material injury both to their beauty and strength; and that though, when singly considered, there is not one which alone and by itself can sustain the whole weight of the