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senses of the observer; and it is also by the operation of such a law, that, if in Christ Jesus, we become subject to a quickening and a reviving touch that raises us to spiritual life, and maketh us susceptible of all its joys and all its aspirations. We have the immutability of nature's laws, or rather the immutability of Him who presideth over the constancy of nature's processes, as our guarantee for an ordination which can never fail-that he who is in Christ Jesus is a new creature, that he who is in Christ Jesus walketh not after the flesh but after the Spirit.

But fourthly—what have we to do that we may attain the condition of being in Christ Jesus? I know of no other answer than that you have to believe in Him. I know of no other instrument by which the disciple is graffed in Christ Jesus, even as the branches are in the vine, than faith. And certain it is that a connection is often directly affirmed in the Bible, between the act of believing and the descent of a quickening and sanctifying influence from above. The Holy Ghost is given to those who believe. The promise of the Spirit is unto faith. In whom after that ye believed ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them that heard. Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. Jesus is the Light of the world, and the Light is the life of men-All pointing to a law of connection between our belief of the truth as it is in Jesus, and our being set at liberty by a divine power for a life of new and holy obedience.

And again, to recur to the term law as having the same sense in this verse that physical law or a law of nature has. What a security does it hold out for the sanctification of every believer! If we believe we are in Christ Jesus—if we are in Christ Jesus the Spirit will put forth such an energy as shall overmatch the corrupt principle that is within us, and set us free from its tyranny-And all this in virtue of an ordination so certain and so unfailing, as to rank with those laws which have stamped an unalterable constancy on all the processes that are going on around us. There is nought that so arrests the admiration of philosophers as the inflexibility of nature—the certainty wherewith the observations of the past may be turned into prophecies for the future—the sure evolution of the same phenomena in the same circumstances; and how, without one hair-breadth of deviation, the same trains and the same successions will be repeated over again till the end of the world. It is thus that the seasons roll in their unchanging courses ; and that the mighty orbs of the firmament maintain their periods of invariable constancy; and that astronomers, presuming on the uniformity of Nature in all her processes, can, to within a second of deviation, compute the positions and the distances and the eclipses of these heavenly bodies for thousands of the years

that are to come—And not only so; but, throughout all the departments of Nature to which the eye of man hath had access upon earth, do we witness a uniformity rigid as fate, and that without a miracle is never violated-insomuch that some are the philosophers who have made a divinity of Nature ; and who, conceiving that had there been a God there would have been more of freedom and of fluctuation in the appearances of things, have affirmed this universe, instead of a creation, to be the product of some mysterious and eternal necessity, under which all things move onward without change and without deviation. But the Christian knows better how to explain the generality and the certainty of Nature's laws, and that is not because Nature is unchangeable, but because God is unchangeable. What has been once done has been best done, and cannot be amended; and so in the same circumstances will it again and again and again be repeated. It is the perfect and unerring wisdom of Nature's God, which has banished all

caprice, and stamped such a reigning consistency on the whole of Nature's processes: And when we find that each of these processes is denominated a law; and that this very term, in this very sense of it, is employed to express the union that there is between belief in Christ and the putting forth of a renewing and a sanctifying influence on the believer—I fear not lest the obedience of the gospel should lead to Antinomianism; but grant me only a true faith in the mind of an aspirant after heaven, and there will I confidently look for virtue and for holiness,

Both the certainty of Nature and the certainty of God's word are very finely expressed together in the book of Psalms. “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations ; thou hast established the earth and it abideth. They continue this day according to thine ordinances, for all thy servants.”

And therefore would I have you to be ever dwelling upon that truth, the belief of which it is that brings down the Spirit of God upon your soul; and the very presence of which to the mind, bears a charm and a moral energy along with it. It is a thing of mystery to the general world; but to the Christian indeed, it is a thing of experience and not of mystery. Never does the way of new obedience lie more invitingly clear and open before him, than when he finds the guilt and the reckoning of his past iniquities, whereby its entrance was formerly beset, all done away through the power of the great gospel sacrifice. And never does he move with such alacrity at the bidding of the Saviour, as when under a sense of the purchased reconciliation, he feels the debt of obligation to Him for all his peace in time, and all his hopes in eternity. And never does the vigorous inspiration of light and love and freedom come so copiously upon him from the upper sanctuary, as when praying with confidence in the name of Christ, he obtains from Him the presence of the witness and the comforter. The powers and principles of the new creature, are all alimented by these various exercises of faith; and so the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus makes him free from the law of sin and of death.

But to conclude. This freedom will be perfect in heaven, but on earth it is not so. Here it is not that freedom by which you are rid of the presence of sin. It is only that freedom by which you are rid of its tyranny. While you are in the body, you will be vexed with its solicitations; and sur

prised perhaps into an occasional overthrow; and at all events be so annoyed by its near and besetting artifices, that you must never let down the vigilance of a prepared and determined warrior. The process by which sin leadeth unto death, consists of various steps, from the lust which conceiveth and bringeth forth—and at length, if not arrested, will finish in deeds and habits of sinfulness, which land the unhappy apostate in destruction. By the law of the Spirit of life, you will be kept free of this awful catastrophe; but not without many a weary struggle against sin in its incipient tendencies, that these tendencies may be kept in check--against sin in its restless appetites, that these appetites may be denied and at length starved into utter mortification-against sin in its tempting thoughts and tempting imaginations, that the desires of the spirit as well as the deeds of the body may be chastened into obedience, and thus your holiness be perfected. It will be freedom, no doubt; but the freedom of a country that has taken up arms against its tyrants or its invaders-of a country that has refused submission, but must fight to maintain its independence—of a country from whose gates the battle has not yet been turned away, but where the enemy is still in force, and the watchfulness of all is kept alive by the perpetual alarm of hostile designs and hostile movements. “But ye are of God, little children, and shall overcome, because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. And this is the victory that overcometh the world even your faith."

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