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St. Paul tells us, further, that Noah did two things by his faith and consequent behaviour.

1st. He “condemned the world.”

As Noah was affected, they might have been affected; and what he did, it was equally in their power to have done. They might have been moved with fear, as he

. was; they might have taken warning; they might have joined him in his work; they might have sought admittance into the ark for themselves: but they did not.

Then they perished, simply by their own fault, and by their own obstinacy. As it was their sin which occasioned the sending of the flood, so it was their unbelief which refused co-partnership with Noah, and rejected the ark. God did not send the judgment for nothing, neither did He fail to provide for them a way of rescue, if they would make use of it. suffering waited,” St. Peter tells us, “while the ark was a preparing.” And that forbearance might have been their salvation. Their first disobedience, then, though it deserved destruction, could not have actually brought it or made it sure, had they not rejected the counsel of Divine mercy against themselves. Their case was just the same with that of the Israelites, who died in the wilderness, of whom the Apostle says, “so we see that they could not enter in,” that is, into the land of promise, “because of unbelief 3."

Of this Noah's conduct certifies us. He was witness, by what he did, and by the issue of it, for God, and against them. And by justifying God, he condemned them; or, in other words, his behaviour made it plain, that their blood was upon their own heads, and that they had ruined and destroyed themselves.

2nd. And then, adds the Apostle, Noah “became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”

He was not, strictly speaking, righteous in his own person. A good man he was, through grace, but not, when tried by the law of God, one who had continued

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in all the things commanded therein to do them, so that he might have claimed to be reckoned righteous for proper merit of his own obedience.

But his faith was counted to him for righteousness. Having honoured God by believing in his word, that, though he deserved death, he might escape it by taking the way of God's choice, God honoured him, by accepting him, in free mercy, for the sake of the Redeemer, provided and promised from the time of man's first fall. And thus he actually obtained possession of that blessedness which belongs, through grace, to the man

unto whom the Lord imputeth no sin, and in whose spirit there is no guile 4.” The ark being made the instrument of his preservation from the general destruction, he had afterwards, when the waters abated, the whole world for his estate, and therein a type and a pledge of those new heavens and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness; which, through Jesus Christ, became his indefeasibly after death.

This is the history of Noah. That which made the difference between him and the world, so as precisely to draw the line between them, in character and in condition, was faith. He was by nature born in sin and a child of wrath, even as others; but, believing God that he might escape the curse through taking the course prescribed to him, he did take it, and so did escape, and is become an example of living and working faith, and of the reward of it, to all who shall read what is written of him in the Scriptures to the end of time.

II. I come now to the application of what has been put before you.

We are at this time, my brethren, in a state resembling that in which Noah and the old world stood during the 120 years “in which the ark was a preparing.”

We also are warned of God of things not seen as yet; not that the whole earth shall be drowned, but that “the heavens and the earth, which are now, are

4 Ps. xxxii. 4.

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kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men 5.” Not that the day of the Lord will come at the end of 120 years, or at any foreknown time, but that it “will come as a thief in the night ©;" and that then “the heavens shall

6 pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” This we are told, and the truth stands upon the very same word of Almighty God which forewarned Noah of the deluge. And at that day, “the kings of the earth,” it is said further, in the prophetic vision of St. John, “and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid them

, selves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand'?” And again, “The fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death 8. 6 And the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the people that forget God'.” So there is cause enough why we also should be moved with fear, seeing there is not one of us who can say, I am clean without transgression.

Nevertheless, there is no cause why we should give ourselves up for lost, or be without plentiful consolation, even whilst we still stand in awe, and tremble for ourselves, and all around us. God has done as effectually for us as He did for Noah, when He said, “ Make thee an ark of gopher wood.” The name of the Lord is a strong tower, and if the righteous runneth into it he shall be safe. The Lord Jesus Christ is our ark, which God Himself has made ready for us; and He says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,

, 2 Pet. iii. 7. 6 Ver. 10.

? Rev. vi. 15–17. 8 Rev. xxi. 8.

9 Ps. ix. 17.

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and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls'.” “Repent, and believe the Gospel?.” “For this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life *;" and again, “Come out from among them,”—from the ungodly and their ways, as Noah did,—"and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty?.”

This is the Gospel which, by the Word of God, we preach unto you. And though we are commanded to declare that God's Spirit will not always strive with you, we are at the same time permitted and required to add, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation 5." If therefore to-day ye will hear God's voice, ye may hear it to your everlasting benefit, notwithstanding what is past. It is “he that believeth not,” and no other, “that shall be damned 6.”

Then the exhortation to be built on all this is obvious, and may be condensed in the words of the Apostle to the awakened jailor at Philippi, “ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved ?." Only that ye may have this faith, ye must pray for it, and labour for it, as the Scriptures teach; and, that ye may not deceive yourselves with any false pretence or counterfeit of it, ye will do well to compare what you take to be the principle in yourselves, with those actings of it which were manifested in the behaviour of Noah, and those actings too of the contrary principle which appeared in the men of his generation.

For, first,“ the same Spirit which revealeth the object of faith generally to the universal Church of God, which object is propounded externally by the Church to every particular believer, doth also illuminate the understanding of such as believe, that they may receive the truth, for faith is the gift of God, not only in the object but also in the act: Christ is not only given unto us, in whom we believe, but it is also given us in the behalf of Christ to believe on Him; and this gift is a gift of the Holy Ghost working within us an assent unto that which by the word is propounded to us: by this the Lord opened the heart of Lydia that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul; by this the word preached profiteth, being mixed with faith in them that hear it. As the increase and perfection, so the original or initiation of faith is from the Spirit of God, not only by an external proposal in the word, but by an internal illumination in the soul, by which we are inclined to the obedience of faith, in assenting unto those truths which, unto a natural and carnal man, are foolishness.

1 Matt. xi. 28, 29.
• 2 Cor. vi. 17, 18.

2 Mark i. 15.
6 Ver. 2.
7 Acts xvi. 31.

3 John v. 11, 12.
6 Mark xvi. 16.

Take up then the prayer of David, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law';" and that of the Apostles, “ Lord, increase our faith 10;" and those of our Church, “ O God, who didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people, by the sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit; grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things !.” “Give unto us the increase of faith, hope, and charity; and that we may obtain that which thou dost promise, make us to love that which thou dost command 2.” For the Scripture not only says, “ Wait upon the Lord 3,” but, “in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for thee*;" and again, “ Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways .” And again, in St. Luke, “Take heed how ye hear,” that is, how ye hear the Gospel which ye are to believe ; “for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have 6.” God has not pledged





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8 See Pearson on the Creed, Art. viii. 9 Ps. cxix. 18. 10 Luke xvii. 5.

· Collect for Whit-Sunday. · Collect for 14th Sunday after Trinity, Ps. xxvii. 14. 4 Isa. xxvi. 8. 5 Isa. lxiv. 5.

6 Luke viii. 18.


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