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TWELFTHLY: Adam was deeply stained with pollution. Though he was made to represent God's holiness, yet he defaced his Maker's image, in which he was created. Christ is full of unsullied purity, and he imparts purity to all his genuine disciples. THIRTEENTHLY: Adam reduced himself and all his

posterity to the most abject slavery, under Satan. Christ enjoys and bestows true liberty. “ If the Son make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” “ I will walk at liberty, for I seek thy precepts.” Christ is God's exemplar in communicating grace. He predestinated us to be conformed to the image of his Son. And our example in acting grace.

Examine whose are you? Whom do you resemble ? Earnestly seek more conformity to Christ.

CIII.

TRIUMPHING IN CHRIST.

2 Cor, ii. 14. Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place.

The apostolic writings, which are so admirably adapted to the use of Christians in general, are peculiarly suited to direct and encourage the ministers of the gospel. The temper and conduct of the apostle Paul in particular, exemplifies the nature of Christianity, and presents an example worthy the imitation of every believer; but is especially calculated to excite the holy ambition of those, who have been called by the Head of the church to labor for the good of souls.

We know what manner of pre-eminence he enjoyed above his brethren. Yet he disclaims self-sufficiency, and confesses that the Redeemer's strength was made perfect in his weakness; (xii.9.) while, if there was any difference between him and his fellow-laborers, it was chiefly this : that he was in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths often. (xi. 23.) Yet he unites with them in the language of the text, Now thanks be to God, &c.

We are

And we bless God this triumph was not confined either to the apostles, or to the ministers of the primitive age. warranted to adopt the same language, and it bespeaks a criminal defect in our faith and love, if we cannot in some degree make it our own.

Let us consider, FIRST, The objective grounds of that constant triumph, which the Apostle and his brethren were enabled to maintain. We are caused to triumph in Christ.

In the dignity of his person. He is the only-begotten of the Father, attested to be his beloved Son, possessed of every perfection of deity. All things the Father hath are his. Therefore his incarnation has put the highest honor on our nature, which he has taken into personal union. And a sure foundation is laid for his successful discharge of every office he sustains as Mediator. Here then is ground of triumph; we serve the Son of God, are related to him, interested in him, and act by commission from him.

The perfection of his character. He is holy, harmless, and undefiled, separate from sinners. Every moral excellence belongs to him in full perfection, and was exemplified in his whole life. All the attributes of deity, were magnified by him. Love to God and man. Righteousness and unspotted purity, were manifested in all his conduct here below. This is ground of triumph. No room to be ashamed of our master. Though he veiled his natural perfections, yet his moral excellencies shone forth brightly when he appeared in the form of a servant.

The freeness and strength of his love. O how he loved us ! He loved his church and gave himself for it : loved his own, and loved them to the end. Proved it by words, deeds, sufferings ; laying down his life for his friends, then his enemies. And who shall separate from the love of Christ? His sufferings did not lessen it, nor shall ours. Rom. viii. 35. .

The suitableness of his offices. He sustains those various offices, which suit our necessities and those of all his

people. A Prophet, like Moses, but far superior; teaches the will of God perfectly, by instruction, import of his mediation, example: renders all effectual by the influence of his Holy Spirit. A Priest, beyond Aaron; sacrificed himself once for

all, needing no repetition; yet ever lives to make intercession : entered into heaven ; and is able to save to the uttermost all them that come unto God by him. A King, to subdue, defend, enrich his dear people: he overcame all his and their enemies, and on his head are many crowns.

The fulness of his grace, to pardon, renew, sanctify, comfort, support, preserve in a course of obedience, till he brings them to his glorious kingdom.

The greatness of his power. All power in heaven and in earth. Head over all to the church. Able to restrain Satan, convert sinners, confound all his enemies, uphold and recompense all his friends. .

The certainty of his success. He must reign, must increase. He will have the heathen for his inheritance. Will destroy Antichrist, conquer the incredulity and obstinacy of the Jews, bring home every elect soul, confound Satan and all his adherents : will bring all the affairs of time to the best issue.

The brightness of his second coming. He will assuredly come again; appear as the life of his people, who shall appear with him in glory : for them that sleep in Jesus will God bring with him : he will come to be admired in his saints, to take vengeance on all who obey not the gospel, to judge the universe, to secure to his people eternal glory. What ground of everlasting triumph !

SECONDLY: The subjective endowments necessary to such a continual triumph in Christ.

We must have a spiritual acquaintance with him, just ideas of him, and an answerable frame of heart.

We must be possessed of vital faith in him, or a disposition cordially to embrace the divine testimony concerning him, inducing us to commit our souls to him, and sincerely to acquiesce in his method of salvation.

We must be brought into a union of design with Christ, and pursue, with earnestness and ardor, the same end with him. Being zealous for the divine glory, seeking the honor of God's government and the illustration of his grace, in the salvation of our own souls, and the souls of others, through the mediation of Christ Jesus.

Great spirituality is needful to our constant triumph in Christ. That we not only admit the truth of his gospel, but have our minds more taken up with the concerns of his kingdom than with all the objects of sense.

We must live as seeing the invisible God, and the invisible world ; impressed with a deep sense of the worth of spiritual things.

We must glow with genuine zeal for the honor of God our Saviour, love his cause, and feel it dearer than any thing else on earth.

We must have a strong confidence in the all-sufficiency of Christ to support and defend us, and to carry on his own interest, being persuaded that he will be exalted in his own strength, will overcome all his foes, fulfil all his counsel, gather in all his people, and make them eternally happy.

We must feel an implicit confidence in the divine wisdom, and a sincere acquiescence in the divine will ; knowing that our Lord will regulate all things so as shall be most for his own glory. His time and way is always best; and though we may be disappointed in some of our laudable designs, yet he will not be frustrated as to the execution of his purposes ;

we shall have our ultimate end secured, and be accepted of our Lord, whether he succeed our subordinate wishes or not.

Meanwhile, we must be always active in our Redeemer's cause, that whenever he comes he may find us so employed, as to manifest our sincere attachment to him. Finally,

We must be disposed to account the everlasting enjoyment of Christ, an ample compensation for all services and sufferings.

THIRDLY: The difficulties which must be encountered and overcome by those that triumph always in Christ.

They may expect, that, whereas they are called to bear testimony for him, they shall meet opposition, and frequently of the most virulent and violent kind. The world rose up in arms against the apostles; and if any one will live godly in Christ Jesus he must suffer persecution. I fear it is unfaithfulness prevents the world hating us more. Let us show we love and pity them that curse and hate us.

Satan not only works in and by the children of disobedience,

and so

but by more immediate assaults will oppose the friends and ministers of the gospel.

All Christians, ministers not excepted, are also exposed to an internal warfare, being still the subjects of indwelling sin, often burdened with guilt, and harassed with many temptations.

A sense of their own weakness and insufficiency would utterly discourage them, were it not for the promise and Spirit of Christ.

The want of success is too often discouraging to those whose hearts are set upon the promotion of Christ's kingdom on earth.

How many continue in obstinate rebellion, refusing to hear. Many hear without any visible effect; others are occasionally and partially alarmed, but never brought to God; some are hopefully awakened, yet the impressions wear off, and disappoint our hope. Some of whom we thought ourselves pretty sure, yet are drawn aside, by plausible errors, overcome by temptations, desert the cause they once espoused, and walk no more with us.

Add to these more peculiar difficulties, the various trials of life, with which we meet in common with other men; and that war in which there is no discharge, our conflict with

the last enemy.

FOURTHLY : The happy effects which may be expected from such a triumphant faith. He maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place.

Faithful ministers, and other sincere believers, shall not be entirely destitute of some fruit of their testimony, especially if their hearts are greatly set on their service, and they depend wholly on Christ. God will manifest by them the certainty and truth of his gospel. They shall be enabled to show the pure and holy nature of Christianity; securing God's honor, giving just ideas of his moral character and government, and discountenancing all sin. The amiable and benign tendency of true religion shall be thus discovered. It excites good will to men, and ardent desires after their recovery from sin and misery, and their eternal salvation and happiness, and teaches that conduct which

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