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part from me ye accursed, into everlasting fire,' Matt. xxv. What will it then avail to plead our privileges, when, if this be all, we may read our doom already? And that servant who knew his master's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes: for unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. O consider this, ye that forget God, lest he tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver,' Luke xii. Psalm i.

Finally, Let those who through grace have attained to worship God in spirit and in truth,' be careful to adorn and hold fast their profession. You see your calling, brethren let the name of Christian always remind you of your high obligation to, and continual dependence upon, the Author of your faith. Use it as a means to animate and regulate your whole behaviour; and if, upon some occasions, you find undeserved ill offices, or unkind constructions, wonder not at it: thus it must and will be, more or less, to all who would exercise themselves in keeping a conscience void of offence,' Acts. xxiv. Yet be careful to model your actions by the rule of God's word. Our Lord says, 'Blessed are ye when men revile you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake,' Matt. v. Observe, first, the evil spoken of you must be false and groundless; and, 2dly, the cause must be for the sake of Christ,' and not for any singularities of your own, either in sentiment or practice, which you cannot clearly maintain from Scripture. It is a general blessing when the innocence and simplicity of the dove is happily blended with true wisdom. It is a mercy to be kept from giving unnecessary offence in these times of division and discord. Endeavour that a principle of love to God, and to mankind for his sake, may have place in all your actions; this will be a secret, seasonable, and infallible guide, in a thousand incidents, where particular rules cannot reach. 'Be sober, be vigilant;' continue instant in prayer; and in a little while all your conflicts shall terminate in conquest, faith shall give place to sight, and hope to possession. Yet a little while, and Christ, who is our life, shall appear,' Col. iii. to vindicate his truth, to put a final end to all evil and offence; and then we also, even all who have loved him, and waited for him, shall appear with him in glory.' Isa. xxv.

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ROM. viii. 82.

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

VARIOUS have been the disputes, and various the mistakes of men, concerning the things of God. Too often, amidst the heat of fierce contending parties, truth is injured by both sides, befriended by neither. Religion, the pretended cause of our many controversies, is sometimes wholly unconcerned in them: I mean 'that pure religion and undefiled,' that wisdom which, coming from above,' abounds with proof of its divine original, being pure, peaceable, gentle, and easy to been treated, full of mercy and good works, without partiality, and without hypocrisy;' James iii. Religion is a serious and a personal concern. It arises from a right knowledge of God and ourselves; a sense of the great things he has done for fallen man; a persuasion, or, at least, a well-grounded hope, of our own interest in his favour; and a principle of unbounded love to him who thus first loved us. It consists in an entire surrender of ourselves, and our all, to God; in setting him continually before us, as the object of our desires, the scope and inspector of our actions, and our only refuge and hope in every trouble: finally, in making the goodness of God to us the motive and model of our behaviour to our fellow-creatures, to love, pity, relieve, instruct, forbear, and forgive them, as occasions offer; because we ourselves both need and experience these things at the hand of our heavenly Father. The two great points to which it tends, and which it urges the soul, where it has taken place, incessantly to press after, are, communion with God, and conformity to him; and, as neither of these can be fully attained in this life, it teaches us to pant after a better; to withdraw our thoughts and affections from temporal things, and fix them on that eternal state, where we trust our desires shall be abundantly satisfied; and the work begun by grace, shall be crowned with glory.

Such is the religion of the Gospel. This the life and doctrine of our Lord, and the writings of his apostles, jointly recommend. An excellent abridgment of the whole we have in this eighth chapter to the Romans, describing the state, temper, practice, privileges, and immoveable security of a true Christian. Every

verse is rich in comfort and instruction, and might, without violence, afford a theme for volumes; particularly, that which I have read may be styled evangelium evangelii; a complete and comprehensive epitome of whatever is truly worthy our knowledge and our hope. The limits of our time are too narrow to admit any previous remarks on the context, or, indeed, to consider the subject according to the order of an exact division; therefore, I shall not at present use any artificial method; but, taking the words as they lie, I shall offer a few practical observations, which seem naturally and immediately to arise from the perusal of them, making such improvement as may occur as I go along. And may the Father of mercies, who has put this treasure into our hands, favour us with his gracious presence and blessing.

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I. From the words, He spared not his own Son,' we may observe, in one view, the wonderful goodness, and inflexible severity of God. So great was his goodness, that when man was, by sin, rendered incapable of any happiness, and obnoxious to all misery; incapable of restoring himself, or of receiving the least assistance from any power in heaven or in earth; God spared not his only begotten Son, but, in his unexampled love to the world, gave him, who alone was able to repair the breach. Every gift of God is good: the bounties of his common providence are very valuable; that he should continue life, and supply that life with food, raiment, and a variety of comforts, to those who, by rebellion, had forfeited all, was wonderful: but what are all inferior blessings, compared to this unspeakable gift of the Son of his love? Abraham had given many proofs of his love and obedience before he was commanded to offer up Isaac upon the altar; but God seems to pass by all that went before, as of small account in comparison of this last instance of duty. Now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me,' Gen. xxii. Surely we likewise must say, In this was manifested the love of God to us, because he gave his Son, his only Son, to be the life of the world.' But all comparison fails; Abraham was bound in duty, bound by gratitude; neither, was it a free-will offering, but by the express command of God: but to us the mercy was undesired, as well as undeserved. Herein is love; not that we loved God;' on the contrary, we were enemies to him, and in rebellion against him, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation of our sins,' the sins we had committed against himself. My friends, ought not this love to meet a return? Is it not most desirable to be able to say, with the apostle, on good grounds, We love him. because he first loved us? Should it not be our continual inqui

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ry, 'What shall we render to the Lord for all his benefits?' especially for this, which is both the crown and the spring of all the Are we cold and unaffected at this astonishing proof of divine love? and are not our hearts grieved and humbled at our own ingratitude? Then are we ungrateful and insensible indeed!

The justice and severity of God is no less conspicuous than his goodness in these words: as he spared not to give his Son for our sakes, so, when Christ appeared in our nature, undertook our cause, and was charged with our sins, though he was the Father's well-beloved Son, he was not spared.' He drank the bitter cup of the wrath of God to the very dregs: he bore all the shame, sorrow, and pain; all the distress of body and mind, that must, otherwise, have fallen upon our heads. His whole life, from the manger to the cross, was one series of humiliation and suffering, John xviii. Observe him in the world, despised, vilified, persecuted even to death, by unreasonable and wicked men; ridiculed, buffetted, spit upon; and, at length, nailed to the accursed tree! Consider him in the wilderness, Luke iv. given up to the power, and assaulted by the temptations of the devil! Behold him in the garden, Luke xxii. and say, 'Was ever sorrow like unto his sorrow, wherewith the Lord afflicted him in the day of his fierce anger? How inconceivable must that agony be which caused his blood to forsake its wonted channels, and start from every pore of his body! Behold him, lastly, upon the cross, Matt. xxvii. suffering the most painful and ignominious death; suspended between two thieves; surrounded by cruel enemies, who made sport of his pangs; derided by all that passed by! Attend to his dolorous cry, expressive of an inward distress beyond all we have yet spoken of, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" St. Paul reminds the Galatians, that, by his preaching among them, Jesus Christ had been evidently set forth crucified before their eyes,' Gal. iii. Would it please God to bless my poor words to the like purpose, you would see a meaning you never yet observed in that awful passage, Tribulation, and wrath, and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil,' Rom. ii. for the punishment due to the sins of all that shall stand at the last day on the right hand of God met and centered in Christ, the Lamb of expiation; nor was the dreadful weight removed till he, triumphant in death, pronounced, It is finished,' John xix. Let us not think of this as a matter of speculation only; our lives, our precious souls, are concerned in it. Let us infer from hence, how fearful a thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God,' Heb. x. The apostle Peter, 2 Pet. ii. admonishes those to whom he wrote from the fearful example of the angels who sinned, and

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of the old world; where the same word is used as in my text, oux spεitato, 'he spared them not; that is, he punished them to the utmost; he did not afford them the least mitigation. It is a frequent figure of speech, by which much more is understood than is, or can be expressed. Much more then, may we say, if God spared not his Son, what shall be the end of those who obey not the Gospel?' 1 Pet. iv. If the holy Jesus was thus dealt with, when he was only accounted a sinner by imputation, where shall the impenitent and the ungodly appear? If these things were done in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry?' Luke xxiii. The punishment of sin in the soul, in a future state, is two-fold: the wrath of God in all its dreadful effects, typified by fire unquenchable, Mark ix. and the stings of conscience, represented by a worm that never dies. Our Lord endured the former; but the other, perhaps, could have no place in him, who was absolutely perfect and sinless. But if the prospect of one made him amazed and sorrowful beyond measure, what consternation must the concurrence of both raise in the wicked, when they shall hear and feel their irrevocable doom! May we have grace so to reflect on these things, that we may flee for safety to the hope set before us, to Jesus Christ, the only, and the sure refuge from that approaching storm, which shall sweep away all the workers of iniquity as a flood, Isa. xxiii.

II. Here, as in a glass, we may see the evil of sin. The bitter fruits of sin are, indeed, visible every where. Sin is the cause of all the labour, sickness, pain, and grief under which the whole creation groans. Sin often makes man a terror and a burden, both to himself and those about him. Sin occasions discord and confusion in families, cities, and kingdoms. Sin has always directed the march, and ensured the success, of those instruments of divine vengeance whom we style Mighty Conquerors. Those ravagers of mankind, who spread devastation and horror far and wide, and ruin more in a few days than ages can repair, have only afforded so many melancholy proofs of the malignity of sin. For this, a shower of flaming brimstone fell upon a whole country; for this, an overwhelming deluge destroyed a whole world; for this, principalities and powers were cast from heaven, and are reserved under chains of darkness, 2 Pet. ii. to a more dreadful doom. But none of these things, nor all of them together, afford such a conviction of the heinous nature and destructive effects of sin as we may gather from these words 'He spared not his own Son.'

III. Here we may likewise see the value of the human soul. We ordinarily judge of the worth of a thing by the price which a wise man, who is acquainted with its intrinsic excellency, is wil

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