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is a manifest absurdity for those who are dead to sin to live any longer therein: it is a strange paradox for those who have put on the Lord Jesus Christ, who have been baptized into the belief of his incarnation, still to continue infidels in their lives and conversations. Since therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death, let not sin any longer reign in our mortal bodies; but, “like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father,” even so let us also “ walk in newness of life.”
Our duty, remember, rises in proportion to the means with which God has furnished us for the performance of it. For this reason the jewish dispensation demanded a greater degree of perfection and holiness, than was known to the heathen world: and a yet more eminent degree of piety, charity, and every other virtue, is required of us christians, as tests and evidences of our faith ; inasmuch as we enjoy a clearer light,
-purer, and less corrupted by that ignorance and superstition, which prevailed, and, alas ! still prevails, so much among the unenlightened Heathen. Where much is given, the Word of God declares much will be required : and “how then shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" If we would profit by the true light that is come into the world, we must endeavour to walk worthy of that light: let us therefore lay aside the works of darkness, and put upon us
the armour of light; and taking the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit ; and having our feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace,—“let us press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
christian brethren, “let us go on unto perfection:” “as he who hath called you is holy, so be ye also holy in all manner of conversation,” remembering always the injunction of our blessed Lord himself: “be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect;" and lest this should seem a hard saying,-lest any should turn back or falter in his christian course, let us ever bear in mind the encouraging declaration of Saint Paul to his Philippian converts: “being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.' Be not ye therefore weary in well doing, for in due season ye shall reap
faint not. “Rather let us earnestly pray, that we may be strengthened with might by the Holy Spirit in the inner man;" and thus “strong in the Lord,”—thus “ turned from the power of Satan unto God,”—we shall no longer cherish the false and dangerous idea, that, because the night veils our misdeeds from the sight of man, it is a season in which we may fearlessly revel and commit sin; but, our eyes being opened, we shall know and feel, that the darkness will not cover us: that “the darkness
is no darkness to God: but the night is as clear as the day: the darkness and light to Him are both alike.” Indeed, since the Sun of Righteousness has risen ; since Christ has come down among us, and become the Light of the World; the evangelical state,—the state of those who are living under the blessed influence of the Gospel, is agreeable to the sublime description which Saint John gives of the new Jerusalem :-“the city has no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God enlightens it, and the Lamb is the light thereof."
May that saving light shine upon us, to guide us into all truth here, and lead us, through the all-sufficient merits of Jesus Christ, to eternal glory hereafter. Amen.
ON A PROPER ADMINISTRATION AND RECEPTION
OF THE DOCTRINES OF GRACE.
2 Cor. vi. 1.-“We then, as workers together with Him,
beseech you also, that ye receive not the grace of God in vain."
NOTHING can be more encouraging to such a creature, feeble and fallen as man, than those views of the Supreme Being disclosed by the inspired author of the text, in the concluding part of the preceding chapter. There God is represented under attributes of mercy and beneficence, so perfectly suited to our necessities and guilty state, as must render him the object of our warmest affection, our most unreserved confidence, and our sincerest gratitude and adoration; and however the advocates for the light of nature may vainly boast of their discoveries, it may be pronounced absolutely impossible for unassisted reason to discover any means whereby guilty creatures could hope to satisfy the justice, or regain the friendship, of their Maker. All our knowledge, with regard to this momentous subject, must be collected from revelation alone. None else but the only begotten Son of the Father could communicate the divine will to mankind, and disclose the method by which sinful man was to appease the justice of his offended God. Upon this principle Saint Paul proceeds when he says,* “all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation, to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
The apostle then comes to the chapter commencing with the words of the text; and we shall not wonder that he is so much in earnest about our salvation, if we recollect what he honestly declared (in his first epistle to Timothy) he himself was, before his conversion to the faith of Christ ;—“a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious” to the cause of his Redeemer: yet, “because he did it ignorantly in unbelief, he obtained mercy,” and was chosen by divine wisdom, as a special instrument, to publish the
* 2 Cor. v. 18-21.