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with the likeness of which it ought to be everywhere encompassed. You know how difficult it is to poise one body upon another when it has only got one narrow place to stand upon; and that even another will not afford a sufficient basis on which to rest; and that, to secure a position of stability, there must at least be three points of support provided-else the danger is that it may topple to an overthrow. We think that we have seen something akin to this, ere the mind of an enquirer was rightly grounded and settled on the basis of God's revealed testimony-how it veers and fluctuates, when holding only by one article and regardless of all the others—how tossed about it is apt to be by every wind, when it fails of a sufficiently extended grasp on the truths of Christianity-how those who talk for example of the bare act of faith, vacillate and give way in the hour of temptation, and that just because they have not stuck to the testimony of the Bible about the whole duty and discipline of holiness—how those who admit both the righteousness of Christ as their plea, and the regeneration of their own characters as their preparation for heaven, to be alike indispensable, have nevertheless been brought to shipwreck; and that just because, though adhering in words to these two generalities, they have never spread them abroad over their whole history in the living applications of prayer and watchfulness. They need the filling up of their lives and hearts w.th the whole transcript of revelation. One doctrine does not suffice for this—for God in His wisdom, has thought fit that there shall be a form or scheme of
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doctrine. The obedience of the heart unto the faith, is obedience unto all that God proposes, for the belief and acceptance of those who have entered on the scholarship of eternity; and for this purpose, there must be, not a mere subscription or assent of the understanding to any given number of points and articles—there must be a broad coalescence of the mind, with the whole expanse and magnitude of the book of God's testimony.
A scheme of doctrine, you will observe, implies more truths than one ; and St. Paul had actually gone beyond the announcement of his one individual item by the time that he reached the verse which is now submitted to you.
full on Christ as the propitiation for sin, and on the righteousness of Christ as the plea of acceptance and reward for sinners and then when he came to the question, shall they who are partakers of this benefit continue in sin that they may get still more of the benefit, he is very strenuous in pronouncing a negative thereupon. Here there was not one doctrine, but a form of doctrine, not one truth but a compound of truths—a mould graven on both sides of it with certain various characters; and the softened metal that is poured therein, yields to it all round, and takes the varied impression from it. And so of him, who obeys from the heart the form of doctrine into which he is delivered. He does not yield to one article, and present a side of hardness and of resistance to another article.
article. He is thoroughly softened and humbled under a sense of sinfulness, and most willingly takes the salvation of the gospel on the terms of the gospel. He does not like the sturdy controversialist, or the eager champion of system and of argument, call out from the word his own favourite position, with the light of which he would overbear and eclipse the whole remaining expanse of the law and of the testimony ; but, like the little child, he follows on to know the Lordjust as the revealed things offer themselves to his docility and notice, on that inscribed tablet which the Lord hath placed before him. This was the way in which the disciples of Paul seemed to have learned their lessons at his hand; and this way of it, it would appear, brings forth the testimony from their apostle, that they had obeyed from the heart the form of his doctrine. Their obeying of it from the heart marks their obeying of it truly and in the inward parts; and their obeying a form of doctrine marks, not their exclusive adherence to one doctrine, but their broad and entire coalescence in his summary of doctrine. A most important step this, for it forms the very nodus of concatenation, between what the apostle says they once were and what he says they now are. They were the servants of sin: They are the servants of righteousness, and why ;-what was it that took place at the interesting moment of transition, or rather what was it that gave rise to it? They obeyed from the heart the form of doctrine into which they were moulded or cast; and then was it that they were made free from sin—then was it that, loosed from its power as well as from its condemnation, they gave their emancipated faculties to the service of righteousness.
efficacious advice, that I can give for those who are desirous of being made free from sin, and so of being translated into the service of another master beside him who heretofore has domineered over them, than that they should spread open their whole mind to the whole testimony—than that they should render that obedience of their hearts unto the faith, which consists, not in the confinement either of their attention or belief to one of its articles, but in the freeness of their walking survey over the whole platform of revelation, and in their ready appropriation of all the truths which lie extended thereupon.
6 Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and ye shall be saved,” is a quotation from Scripture; and indeed one of the most precious and memorable of its sayings—but“ repent and believe the Gospel,” is the complex announcement of Jesus Christ Himself; and you must treasure up the saying that “unless ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.” There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, is a weighty and well-laid doctrine—but another is subjoined; and out of the two we have this scheme or form of doctrine, that "there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.” The belief of the truth as it is in Jesus, will be the salvation of one and all who embrace it; but mark how this one announcement has another added to it, which is hinged to it as it were, and may be made to close into a mould for impressing the heart of God's elect children—“God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." To have the blood of Christ sprinkled upon you, is indeed to be furnished with a sure defence against the angel of wrath —when he cometh forth in his avenging mission against the children of iniquity; but within the compass of a single clause, does the apostle Peter tack obedience to the sprinkling of the blood of Christ. And then, to use his expressions, do you
obey the truth,” and are indeed “obedient children not fashioning yourselves” according to the errors and the ignorance of former days, when
you submit to both the articles of this clause, and proceed upon them both. Paul went about preaching everywhere faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; but this forms only one part of his summary, according to his own description of it—and so he tells us of his “testifying, both to the Jews and also to the Greeks, repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ.” In one place he could say of himself and of his disciples, that, “ being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ;” and in another place he says to his disciples “ that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” And he told them that such they once were, but they had made it seems the very transition spoken of in our text; and he could now say, “but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” And the way for you, my brethren, to make good the same transition—is to have the same obedience of faith—it is to spread out the tablet of your heart, for the pressure thereupon of all the cha