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orders to set bounds about the mount, lest | amongst men,-not what have you done at

the people should draw near, and God should break forth upon them.

the mere impulse of sensibilities however amfable, or of native principles however upBut we have an evidence to our state of right, and elevated, and manly,-but what banishment from God, which is nearer have you done unto me? how much of home. We have it in our own hearts. The God, and of God's will, was there in the habitual attitude of the inner man is not an principle of your doings? This is the heaattitude of subordination to God. The feel- venly measure, and it will set aside all your ing of allegiance to him is practically and earthly measures and comparisons. It will almost constantly away from us. All that sweep away all these refuges of lies. The can give value to our obedience, in the sight man whose accomplishments of character, of an enlightened Spirit who looks to mo- however lively, were all social, and worldly, tive, and sentiment, and principle, has con- and relative, will hang his head in confustitutionally no place, and no residence in sion when the utter wickedness of his preour characters. We are engrossed by other tensions is thus laid open,-when the God anxieties than anxiety to do the will, and who gave him every breath, endowed him to promote the honour, of him who formed with every faculty, enquires after his share us. We are animated by other affections of reverence and acknowledgment,-when altogether, than love to him, whose right he tells him from the judgment-seat, I was hand preserves us continually. That Being the Being with whom you had to do, and by whom we are so fearfully and wonder-yet in the vast multiplicity of your doings, fully made; whose upholding presence it I was seldom or never thought of,-when is that keeps us in life, and in movement, he convicts him of habitual forgetfulness and in the exercise of all our faculties; of God, and setting aside all the paltry who has placed us on the theatre of all our measurements which men apply in their enjoyments, and claims over his own crea-estimates of one another, he brings the high tures the ascendency of a most rightful au- standard of Heaven's law, and Heaven's althority; that surely is the Being with legiance to bear upon them. whom we have to do. And yet, when we It must be quite palpable to any man who take account of our thoughts and of our has seen much of life, and still more if he doings, how little of God is there? In the has travelled extensively, and witnessed the random play and exhibition of such feelings varied complexions of morality that obtain as instinctively belong to us, we may gather in distant societies,-it must be quite obaround us the admiration of our fellows,-vious to such a man, how readily the moral and so it is in a colony of exiled criminals. feeling, in each of them, accommodates itself But as much wanting there, as is the ho-to the general state of practice and observamage of loyalty to the government of their tion, that the practices of one country, for native land; so much wanting here, is the which there is a most complacent tolerahomage of any deference or inward regard, tion, would be shuddered at as so many to the government of Heaven. And yet this atrocities in another country,-that in every is the very principle of all that obedience given neighbourhood, the sense of right which Heaven can look upon. If it be true and of wrong, becomes just as fine or as that obedience is rewardable by God, but obtuse as to square with its average purity, that which has respect unto God, then this and its average humanity, and its average must be the essential point on which hinges uprightness,—that what would revolt the the difference between a rebel, and a loyal public feeling of a retired parish in Scotsubject to the supreme Lawgiver. The re- land as gross licentiousness or outrageous quirement we live under is to do all things cruelty, might attach no disgrace whatever to his glory; and this is the measure of to a residenter in some colonial settlement, principle and of performance that will be set-that, nevertheless, in the more corrupt over you, and tell us, ye men of civil and relative propriety, who, by exemplifying in the eye of your fellows such virtue, as may be exemplified by the outcasts of banishment, have shed around your persons the tiny lustre of this world's moralities; tell us how you will be able to stand such a severe and righteous application? The measure by which we compare ourselves with ourselves, is not the measure of the sanctuary. When the judge comes to take account of us, he will come fraught with the maxims of a celestial jurisprudence, and his question will be, not, what have you done at the shrine of popularity,--not, what have you done to sustain a character

and degraded of the two communites, there is a scale of differences, a range of character, along which are placed the comparative stations of the disreputable, and the passible, and the respectable, and the superexcellent; and yet it is a very possible thing, that if a man in the last of these stations were to import all his habits and all his profligacies into his native land, superexcellent as he may be abroad, at home he would be banished from the general association of virtuous and well-ordered families. Now, all we ask of you is, to transfer this consideration to the matter before us,-to think how possible a thing it is, that the moral principle of the world

at large, may have sunk to a peaceable | we gather these principles from the book of and approving acquiescence, in the existing God's revelation,-when we are told that the practice of the world at large,-that the law of the two great commandments is, to security which is inspired by the habit of love the Lord our God with all our strength, measuring ourselves by ourselves, and com- and heart, and mind, and to bear the same paring ourselves amongst ourselves, may love to our neighbour that we do to ourtherefore be a delusion altogether, that the selves,-the argument advances from a convery best member of society upon earth, jecture to a certainty, that every inhabitant may be utterly unfit for the society of hea- of earth when brought to the bar of Heaven's ven, that the morality which is current judicature, is altogether wanting; and that here, may depend upon totally another set unless some great moral renovation take effect of principles from the morality which is upon him, he can never be admitted within held to be indispensable there;--and when the limits of the empire of righteousness.


Christ the Wisdom of God.

"Christ the Wisdom of God.”—1 Corinthians i. 24.

We cannot but remark of the Bible, how | pose, are thus driven in, where in the whole uniformly and how decisively it announces compass of nature or revelation can any itself in all its descriptions of the state and effectual security be found? It may be character of man,-how, without offering easy to find our way amongst all the comto palliate the matter, it brings before us the plexional varieties of our nature, to its ratotality of our alienation, how it represents dical and pervading ungodliness; and thus us to be altogether broken off from our alle- to carry the acquiescence of the judgment giance to God, and how it fears not, in the in some extended demonstration about the face of those undoubted diversities of cha-utter sinfulness of the species. But it is not racter which exist in the world, to assert so easy to point this demonstration towards of the whole world, that it is guilty before him. And if we would only seize on what may be called the elementary principle of guilt,-if we would only take it along with us, that guilt, in reference to God, must consist in the defection of our regard and our reverence from him,-if we would only open our eyes to the undoubted fact, that there may be such an utter defection, and yet there may be many an amiable, and many a graceful exhibition, both of feeling and of conduct, in reference to those who are around us, then should we recognize, in the statements of the Bible, a vigorous, discerning, and intelligent view of human nature, an unfaltering announcement of what that nature essentially is, under all the plausibilities which serve to disguise it, and such an insight, in fact, into the secrecies of our inner man, as if carried home by that Spirit, whose office it is to apply the word with power into the conscience, is enough, of itself, to stamp upon this book, the evidence of the Divinity which inspired it.

But it is easier far to put an end to the resistance of the understanding, than to alarm the fears, or to make the heart soft and tender, under a sense of its guiltiness, or to prompt the inquiry,-if all those securities, within the entrenchment of which I want to take my quiet and complacent re

the bosom of any individual,-to gather it up, as it were, from its state of diffusion over the whole field of humanity, and send it with all its energies concentered to a single heart, in the form of a sharp, and humbling, and terrifying conviction,-to make it enter the conscience of some one listener, like an arrow sticking fast,—or, when the appalling picture of a whole world lying in wickedness, is thus presented to the understanding of a general audience, to make each of that audience mourn apart over his own wickedness; just as when, on the day of judgment, though all that is visible be shaking, and dissolving, and giving way, each despairing eye-witness shall mourn apart over the recollection of his own guilt, over the prospect of his own rueful and undone eternity. And yet, if this be not done, nothing is done. The lesson of the text has come to you in word only and not in power. To look to the truth in its generality, is one thing; to look to your own separate concern in it, is another. What we want is that each of you shall turn his eye homewards; that each shall purify his own heart from the influence of a delusion which we pronounce to be ruinous; that each shall beware of leaning a satisfaction, or a triumph, on the comparison of himself with corrupt and exiled men, whom sin has degraded into outcasts from the presence of

time in all the tranquillity of death. We say peace, when there is no peace. Though in a state of disruption from God, we live as securely and as inconsiderately as if there were no question and no controversy betwixt us. About this whole matter, there is within us a spirit of heaviness and of deep slumber. We lie fast asleep on the brink of an unprovided eternity, and, if possible to awaken you, let us urge you to compare, not your own conduct with that of acquaintances and neighbours, but to compare your own finding of the ungodliness that is in your heart with the doctrine of God's word about it,-to bring down the loftiness of your spirit to its humbling declarations-to receive it as a faithful saying, that man is lost by nature, and that unless there be some mighty transition, in his history, from a state of nature to a state of salvation, the wrath of God abideth on him.

God, and the joys of paradise; that each of you shall look to the measure of God's law, so that when the commandment comes upon you, in the sense of its exceeding broadness, a sense of your sin, and of your death in sin, may come along with it. "Without the commandment I was alive," says the Apostle; "but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died." Be assured, that if the utterance of such truth in your hearing, impress no personal earnestness, and lead to no personal measures, and be followed up by no personal movements, then to you it is as a sounding brass and as a tinkling cymbal. The preacher has been beating the air. That great Agent, whose revealed office it is to convince of sin, has refused to go along with him. Another influence altogether, than that which is salutary and saving, has been sent into your bosom; and the glow of the truth universal has deafened or intercepted the application of The next inquiry comes to be, What is the truth personal, and of the truth particular. this transition? Tell me the step I should This leads us to the second thing proposed take, and I will take it. It is not enough, in our last discourse, under which we shall at- then, that you exalt upon your own person tempt to explain the wisdom opposite to that the degree of those virtues, by which you folly of measuring ourselves by ourselves, have obtained a credit and a distinction and comparing ourselves among ourselves, among men. It is not enough, that you which we have already attempted to expose. throw a brighter and a lovelier hue over The first step is to give up all satisfac- your social accomplishments. It is not tion with yourselves, on the bare ground, enough, that you multiply the offerings of that your conduct comes up to the measure your charity, or observe a more rigid comof human character, and human reputation around you. This consideration may be of importance to your place in society; but, as to your place in the favour of God, it is utterly insignificant. The moral differences which obtain in a community of exiles, are all quite consistent with the entire obliteration amongst them, of the allegiance that is due to the government of their native land. And the moral differences which To the eye of man you may be fairer than obtain in the world, may, in every way, before, and in civil estimation be greatly more be as consistent with the fact, that one and righteous than before, and yet, with the unall of us, in our state of nature, are alienated quelled spirit of impiety within you, and as from God by wicked works. And, in like habitual an indifference as ever to all the submanner, as convicts may be all alive to a ordinating claims of the divine will over your sense of their reciprocal obligations, while heart and your conduct, you may stand at dead, in feeling and in principle, to the su- as wide a distance from God as before. And preme obligation under which they lie to besides, how are we to dispose of the whole the sovereign, so may we, in reference to guilt of your past iniquities? Whether, is our fellow-men, have a sense of rectitude, it the malefactor or the Lawgiver who is to and honour, and compassion, while, in re- arbitrate this question? God may remit ference to God, we may labour under the our sins, but it is for him to proclaim this. entire extinction of every moral sensibili- God may pass them over; but it is for him ty, so that the virtues which signalize us, to issue the deed of amnesty. God may may, in the language of some of our old have found out a way whereby, in consis divines, be neither more nor less than tency with his own character, and with the splendid sins. With the possession of these stability of his august government, he may virtues, we may not merely be incurring take sinners into reconciliation; but it is for every day the guilt of trespassing and sin- him both to devise and to publish this way; ning against our Maker in heaven; but de--and we must just do what convicts do, void as we are of all apprehension of the when they obtain a mitigation or a cancelenormity of this, we may strikingly realize ment of the legal sentence under which the assertion of the Bible, that we are dead they lie, we must passively accept of it, in trespasses and sins. And we pass our on the terms of the deed,-we must look

pliance, than heretofore, with all the requisitions of justice. All this you may do, and yet the great point, on which your controversy with God essentially hinges, may not be so much as entered upon. All this you may do, and yet obtain no nearer approximation to Him who sitteth on the throne, than the outlaws of an offended government for their fidelities to each other.

to the warrant as issued by the sovereign, world, or as elevate them to a certain deand take the boon or fulfil the conditions, gree above the level of the world's populajust as it is there presented to us. The question. These are the materials of the foundtion is between us and God; and in the ad- ation on which they build. It is upon the justment of this question, we must look possession of virtues which in truth have singly to the expression of his will, and feel not God for their object, that they propose =that it is with him, and with his authority, to support in the presence of God the attithat we have exelusively to do. In one tude of fearlessness. It is upon the testiword, we must wait his own revelation, and mony of fellow rebels that they brave the learn from his own mouth how it is that he judgment of the Being who has pronounced would have us to come nigh unto him. of them all, that they have deeply revolted Let us go then to the record. "No man against him. And all this in the face of cometh unto the Father but through the God's high prerogative, to make and to pubSon." "There is no other name given un-lish his own overtures. All this in contempt der heaven, but the name of Jesus, whereby of that Mediator whom he has appointed. we can be saved." "Without the shedding All this in resistance to the authentic deed of blood there is no remission of sin ;" and "God hath set forth Christ to be a propitiation through faith in his blood." "He was once offered to bear the sins of many," and "became sin for us, though he knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." "God is in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, and not imputing unto them their trespasses." "Justified by faith, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord ;”—“ and we become the children of God, through the faith that is in Christ Jesus." We are "reconciled to God by the death of his Son,"-" and by his obedience are many made righteous," and "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." These verses sound foolishness to many; but the cross of Christ is foolishness to those that perish. They appear to them invested with all the mysteriousness of a dark and hidden saying; but if this Gospel be hid, it is hid to them which are lost. They have eyes that they cannot see the wondrous things contained in this book of God's communication; but they have minds which believe not, because they are blinded by the god of this world, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine into them. And here we cannot but insist on the utter hopelessness of their circumstances, who hear these overtures of reconciliation, but will not listen to them. Theirs is just the case of rebels turning their back on a deed of grace and of amnesty. We are quite confident in stating it to the stubborn experience of human nature, that all who reject Christ, as he is offered in the Gospel, persist in that radical ungodliness of character on which the condemnation of our world mainly and essentially rests. And as they thus refuse to build their security on the foundation of his merits,--what, we would ask, is the other foundation on which they build it? If ever they think seriously of the matter, or feel any concern about a foundation on which they might rest their confidence before God, they conceive it to lie in such feelings, and such humanities, and such honesties, as make them even with the

of grace and of forgiveness, which has been sent to our world, and from which we gather the full assurance of God's willingness to be reconciled; but, at the same time, are expressly bound down to that particular way in which he has chosen to dispense reconciliation. Who does not see, that, in these circumstances, the guilt of sin is fearfully aggravated on the part of sinners, by their rejection of the Gospel? Who does not see, that thus to refuse the grant of everlasting life in the terms of the grant, is just to set an irretrievable seal upon their own condemnation? Who does not see, that, in the act of declining to take the shelter which is held out to them, they vainly imagine, that God will let down his approbation to such performances as are utterly devoid of any spirit of devout or dutiful allegiance to the Lawgiver? This is, in fact, a deliberate p sting of themselves, and that more firmly and more obstinately than ever, on the ground of their rebellion-and let us no longer wonder, then, at the terms of that alternative of which we read so often in the Bible. We there read, that if we believe, we shall be saved; but we also read, that if we believe not, we shall be damned. We are there told of the great salvation; but how shali we escape if we neglect it? We are there invited to lay hold of the Gospel, as the savour of life unto life: but, if we refuse the invitation, it shall be to us the savour of death unto death. The gospel is there freely proclaimed to us, for our acceptance; but if we will not obey the Gospel, we shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Saviour's power. We are asked to kiss the Son while he is in the way; but if we do not, the alternative is that he will be angry,and that his wrath will burn against us. He is revealed to us a sure rock, on which if we lean we shall not be confounded; but if we shift our dependence away from it, it will fall upon us and grind us to powder.

And this alternative, so far from a matter to be wondered at, appears resolvable into a principle that might be easily comprehended. God is the party sinned against: and if he have the will to be reconciled, it

is surely for him to prescribe the way of to God in the highest; and for this purpose it: and this he has actually done in the re- did the eternal Son pour out his soul an of velation of the New Testament: and whether fering for sin, and by his obedience unto he give a reason for the way or not, certain death, bring in an everlasting righteousness, it is, that in order to give it accomplish-It is through the channel of this great exment, he sent his eternal Son into our world; piation that the guilt of every believer is and this descent was accompanied with washed away; and it is through the imsuch circumstances of humiliation, and con-puted merits of him with whom the Father flict, and deep suffering, that heaven looked was well pleased, that every believer is adon with astonishment, and earth was bid-mitted to the rewards of a perfect obedience. den to rejoice, because of her great salva- Conceive any man of this world to reject tion. It is enough for us to know that God the offers of reward and forgiveness in this lavished on this plan the riches of a wisdom way, and to look for them in another. Conthat is unsearchable; that, in the hearing ceive him to challenge the direct approbaof sinful men, he has proclaimed its import- tion of his Judge, on the measure of his ance and its efficacy; that every Gospel own worth, and his own performances, and messenger felt himself charged with tidings to put away from him that righteousness of pregnant of joy, and of mighty deliverance Christ, in the measure of which there is no to the world. And we ask you just to con- short coming. Is he not, by this attitude, ceive, in these circumstances, what effect holding out against God, and that too, on a it should have on the mind of the insulted question in which the justice of God stands Sovereign, if the world, instead of respond- committed against him? Is not the poor ing, with grateful and delighted welcome, to sinner of a day entering into a fearful conthe message, shall either nauseate its terms, troversy, with all the plans, and all the peror, feeling in them no significancy, shall fections of the Eternal? Might not you turn with indifference away from it? Are conceive every attribute of the Divinity, we at all to wonder if the King, very wroth gathering into a frown of deeper indignawith the men of such a world shall at length tion against the daringness of him, who send his armies to destroy it? Do you think thus demands the favour of the Almighty it likely that the same God, who after we on some plea of his own, and resolutely had broken his commandment, was willing declines it on that only plea, under which to pass by our transgressions, will be equally the acceptance of the sinner can be in harwilling to pass them by after we have thus mony with the glories of God's holy and despised the proclamation of his mercy; inviolable character? Surely, if we have after his forbearance and his long-suffering fallen short of the obedience of his law, and have been resisted; and that scheme of par- so short as to have renounced altogether don, with the weight and the magnitude of that godliness which imparts to obedience which angels appear to labour in amaze- its spiritual and substantial quality,-then ment, is received by the very men for whom do we aggravate the enormity of our sin, it was devised, as a thing of no estimation? by building our hope before God on a founSurely, if there had been justice in the sim-dation of sin? To sin is to defy God: but ple and immediate punishment of sin-this the very presumption that he will smile justice will be discharged in still brighter complacency upon it, involves in it another, manifestation on him, who, in the face of and a still more deliberate attack upon his such an embassy, holds out in his determi-government; and all its sanctions, and all nation to brave it. And, if it be a righteous its severities, are let loose upon us in greater thing in God to avenge every violation of his law, how clearly and how irresistibly righteous will it appear, when, on the great day of his wrath, he taketh vengeance on those who have added to the violation of his law, the rejection of the Gospel!

force and abundance than before, if we either rest upon our own virtue, or mix up this polluted ingredient with the righteousness of Christ, and refuse our single, entire, and undivided reliance on him who alone has magnified the law and made it honourable.

But what is more than this-God hath condescended to make known to us a rea- But such, if we may be allowed the expres son, for that peculiar way of reconciliation, sion, is the constitution of the Gospel of Jesus which he hath set before us. It is, that he Christ, that, in proportion to the terror which might be just while the justifier of those it holds out to those who neglect it, is the who believe in Jesus. In the dispensation security that it provides to all who flee for of his mercy, he had to provide for the dig- refuge to the hope which is set before them. nity of his throne. He had to guard the Paul understood this well, when, though he stability of his truth and of his righteous-profited over many of his equals in his own ness. He had to pour the lustre of a high and awful vindication, over the attributes of a nature that is holy and unchangeable. He had to make peace on earth and good will to men meet, and be at one with glory

nation,-when, though had he measured himself by them, he might have gathered from the comparison a feeling of proud superiority,-when, though in all that was counted righteous among his fellows, he

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