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to measure by their unaslisted reason subjects utterly beyond the grasp of human understanding, plunge into the most extravagant wildnesses of interpretation, rather than bend to the plain and repeated declarations of God concerning the nature of his own Godhead. More frequently they take offence at the humiliating facts which lie at the root of the doctrine of redemption: that man is radically corrupt ; that the law of God is a law of
perfect holiness, and requires perfect obedience; that any breach of that law in any one point, subjects the offender to the penalty of eternal death; that holiness is in no respect the product of the human heart, but altogether the frụit of the Spirit of God; and consequently that whoever shall receive remission of punishment, fanctification, and the gift of life eternal, will receive all these bleflings solely through the free grace and mercy of God in Christ, and will owe no one of them in the smallest portion or degree to any right or merit of his own, Numbers, instead of humbly acknowledging these truths, which are as consistent with reason as they are decidedly inculcated in the Scriptures, proudly rely on their supposed personal righteousness; dare to claim forgiveness and salvation as in part at least due to their own excellence and good
works ; and are so far from looking to Christ as the fole ground of hope of deliverance from the wrath to come, and of admission into the kingdom of glory, that they regard his atoning facrifice merely, if I may venture to apply the term to so aweful a subject, as a sort of make-weight, which may compensate for such of their transgressions as their own imaginary righteousness may not have been altogether sufficient to wipe away. So blind to their own state, so ignorant of the fundamental principles of Christianity, are many who frequent Christian worship! May God grant that few or none of you examine your own faith, may find
yourfelves of this description: Meditate then, as the apostle exhorts, upon these things. Take heed to thyself and to thy doctrine: continue in them. Speak thou the things which become found doctrine ; that men be found in faith. If any man consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness ; be is proud, knowing nothing (k).
2. Chrift, in the second place, is the cornerstone of morality. He conferred, in various ways, most eminent glory on the moral law of God. He came to give himself as a sacrifice (6) 1 Tim. iv. 15, 16. Tit
. ii. 1, 2. 1 Tim. vi. 3, 4. B 4
for offences committed against that law: and thus established in the face of men and of the universe, the excellence of that law; and evinced the heinousness of fin, for which no inferior atonement could suffice. În explaining that law, he fewed by his sermon on the mount, as well as by many occasional expofitions, its holy and spiritual nature. Far from perverting its operations, like the Pharisees and Scribes ; far from restraining its influence, according to their absurd and pernicious fyftem, to outward and notorious fins, or exhausting its efficacy on the punctilious observance of trilling duties and unauthorised commandments; he fanctioned and magnified the whole law: he assigned to its several precepts and injunctions the place and preponderance to which they were respectively entitled : and he extended the empire of every one of them to the heart. Think not, said he, that I am come to destroy the law: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily 1 say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle sball in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Wo unto you,
Scribes and Pharisees! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise, and cummin ; and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgement, mercy, and faith. These ought ye to have done ; and not to leave the other undone. Who13
foever is angry with his brother without a cause is in danger of the judgement. Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart. Out of the heart proceed the things which defile a man. Blessed are the pure in heart : for they fall fee God (1). During the whole period of his ministry he afforded a constant example of perfect obedience to the moral law. Every duty which it became him as man to fulfil
men, he discharged no less punctually than those obligations of which the immediate object was God. He was boly, undefiled, feparate from finners (m). Made like unto his brethren (na) in every point except one; in one point he differed totally and immeasurably from them all: for he was without sin(). By his example, and for the express purpose of glorifying his name, every moral duty is inculcated and enforced by the apostles : and thus also the moral law is continually receiving additional glory through him. If humility is to be impressed, Let this mind, saith St. Paul, be in you which was in Christ Jesus ; who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but mode himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of
(1) Matt. v. 17, 18. xxiii. 23. v. 22, 28. xv. 18. v. 8. (m) Heb. vii. 26. (n) Heb. i. 17, (0) Heb. iv. 15.
a fervant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man,
he bumbled bimself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (p). When the same apostle recommends meekness and gentleness; what is his argument? I beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ'9). When he exhorts to unity and concord, and mutually edifying assistance ? Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification : for even Chris pleased not himself: sought not his own ease and satisfaction, but the benefit of others. The God of patience and consolation grant g'ou to be like minded one towards another, according to Christ Jesus; that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God (r). When he admonishes Christians to brotherly love; to what pattern does he refer us? Walk in love, as Christ also both loved us; and hath given bimfelf for us an offering and a sacrifice unto God (s). By what example does he enforce the duty of forgiveness ? Even as Christ forgave you,
so also do ge (1). How does he encourage charity to the poor? So labouring ye ought to support the weak ; and to remember the words of the Lord Fesus, how be said, It is more blessed to
() Philipp. ii. 5-8. (9) 2 Cor. x. I. (r) Rom. xv. 1-6. (s) Eph. v. 26 (d) Col. iii. 13.