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tion, and return to duty. And the fallen prince waited no exhortations--needed no entreaties“I acknowledged my fin unto thee ; and mine iniquity have I not hid; I said I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my fin.” *

Thus the opinion of those who suppose that David remained impenitent and secure, till awakened to consideration by the ministry of Nathan, is devoid of proof, and even of probability. David's well known character the nature of renewing grace ; and the temper and conduct of this transgreffor, when reproved by the prophet, concur to prove him then already a penitent; which is confirmed by the consolations forthwith administered to him by the Lord's messenger.

İr in this instance God pardoned, and gave a sense of pardon, to so heinous an offender, without à moment intervening sense of guilt, and evidence of pardon and peace, it must have been a very fingular divine treatment of fo vile a finner!

And if David, after having been long eminent for piety, lived a year of stupid unconcern, under such enormous guilt, it must have been a very strange event! A phenomenon in the history of man, unequalled in the annals of the world ! Whether there is evidence to justify so strange a conclu Gon, judge ye.

If we have not mistaken out subject, this affair gives no countenance to those who pretend religion to be a ching of nought that it doth not change the heart and life, turning men from fin to holiness. Good people may be seduced into fin, but they are soon renewed by repentance-soon turn again to the Lord in the way of duty, confesling their fins and renewing their purposes and engage. ments to serve the Lord" That which I know not teach thou me ; and wherein I have done iniquity, I will do no more."

* Psalm xxxii. 5. S

Neither doth this affair yield comfort and hope to those, who while they call themselves saints, live like finners. If here they find no comfort and support, Where will they find it? The only example thought to have been found in " the footsteps of the flock,” fails them; and we are left to con. clude that sanctification is the principal evidence of justification—" that by their fruits we are to know men."

It is a dark omen when professors paliate their errors and deviations from duty, by pleading those of saints of old. Those faints erred ; but they did not long continue in sin" When they thought on their ways they turned by repentance. Neither did they flatter themselves in allowed wickedness.

If any allege the Gins of former faints in excuse for their own, they allege not that which distinguish. ed them as saints, but that which they retained as Ginners---not that which they possessed of the image of God, but that which remained to them of the image of Satan. This they may have in full, and

yet be of their father the Devil. And such is

the sad state of those who allowedly serve fin, under whatever pretence.

Those who are born of God, favor the things which are of God. Sin is odious in their view. They long for freedom from it-"Oh wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?”

The saints will for heaven, not only that they may fee “ their father who is in heaven," and the divine Redeemer, “who loved them and gave himself for them;" but because there “the spirits of the just are made perfe&t”-because there they expect to be holy as God is holy—because there, to be " satisfied with God's likeness, and rejoice al. ways before him." May God give us this temper, and keep us to his kingdom, for his mercy's fake in Chrift, Amen.

SERMON XI.

General Character of Christians.

GALATIANS V. 24.

And they that are Christ's have crucified the Flesh, with

the Affections and Lusts. ST. PAUL is supposed to have been the first herald of gospel grace to the Galatians ; and they appear to have rejoiced at the glad tidings, and to have received the bearer with much respect. But after his departure, certain judaizing teachers went among them, and labored but too fuccessfully, to alienate their affections from him, and turn them from the simplicity of the gospel.

THE malice and errors of those deceitful workers, and the mischief which they occasioned at Galatia, caused the writing of this epiftle ; which, like the other writings of this apoftle, reflects light on the gospel in general, while it served to correct the mistakes of those professors of Christianity, and guide their erring footsteps into

of

peace and truth.

the way

It is not our design to enter into the controversy between this inspired teacher, and his ene. mies. We are only concerned to understand him, and shall receive his instructions as communicated from above.

The primary design of this epistle was to refute those false teachers who urged circumcision, and the observance of sundry parts of the Levitical code, which had been abrogated by the gospel. This appears to have been a leading error of those anarchists. That the apostle did not lay the in. tolerable burthens of the Mosaic ritual, on the professors of Christianity, was made the ground of a charge against him. St. Paul defended himfelf by evincing the errors of his opponents, shew. ing that Christians are made free from the ceremonial law; and that their justification before God is not in virtue of any obedience of their own, to either the ceremonial, or the moral law, but of grace through faith in Christ.

In the former part of the epistle, he shows the impossibility of justification in any other than the gospel way–especially in that way, to which those false teachers directed-shews that they subverted the gospel, and rendered Christ's sufferings of no effect" By the works of the law, shall no flesh be justified-If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."*

We conceive these to be obvious truths, and wonder that they should be matter of doubt, or dispute, among

those who are favored with reve

* Chapter ii. 16, 21.

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