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done by man recommend to the divine favor if perverted and made the ground of hope toward God.

THE finner's beft recommendation to the divine favor is a sense of his own demerit, which leads him humble and felf abafed to caft himself on grace in a mediator. His moft prevalent prayer is that made by the publican-"God be merciful to me a finner." Sinners are invited to the Savior, and encouraged to hope in him"Look unto me and be ye saved all the ends of the earth. It is a faithful faying, that Chrift came into the world to fave finners." But he faves only those who receive and truft in him. If we go about to establish our own righteoufnefs, relying on our own doings as the ground of our acceptance with God, he will give to us according to our works-" Behold all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with fparks; walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled This fhall ye have from mine hand, ye fhall lie down in forrow."*

Nor that finners are to neglect the means of grace, or indulge in fin. When God promised his church to give them a new heart, and cause them to walk in his ftatutes, he declared that those bleffings fhould be given in anfwer to prayer"Yet for this will I be inquired of by the houfe of Ifrael to do it for them." And when the apoftle teaches how to feek renewing grace, he directs to "lay apart all filthiness and fuperfluity of

* Isaiah 1. 11.

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naughtiness and receive with meeknefs, the ingrafted word."

SAVING grace is perhaps, never given till it is afked of God. Sinners are made to fee their need of this divine gift and led to cry to God for it. It is then when they ask that they receive. That they fhall not afk in vain, is intimated with fufficient clearness in the word of truth. "Whosoever fhall call on the name of the Lord, fhall be faved. If thou knewest the gift of God-thou wouldeft have afked of him, and he would have given thee living water."

YET the finner merits nothing by any doings of his. The true penitent is fenfible of it. He relies on grace alone; and afks mercy of God for the fake of him "who died for his offences, and rofe again for his juftification." He seeks in the use of appointed means because it is the way of duty, and the way in which God is wont "to have mercy, on whom he will have mercy ;" who are commonly chofen from among those who seek his face.

As fear puts fome on duty, it excites others to that which is not duty-puts them on doing things which are not required. Such are the pilgrimages and penances of the Romanifts; and fuch the fe verities which some others have practifed on themfelves with a view to atone forfin and render Deity propitious.

THESE have no tendency to conciliate heav-
A curfe is more likely to follow them than a

en.

bleffing; yet in this way fome have thought to

atone for fin and make peace with an offended God!*

IV. THERE is yet one other kind of fear which leads to deftruction-that which caufes men to fhrink from the hardships of religion; and decline the dif ficulties which lie in the way of duty.

DIFFICULTIES and temptations were not peculiar to the first ages of Chriftianity. St. Paul, af. ter mentioning his own, declares them, in a meafure, common to all Chrift's followers-" Yea, and all who will live godly in Chrift Jefus, fhall fuffer perfecution."

THE trials and difficulties of the righteous are divers, but none escape them. Many arise from indwelling corruption-many from an infnaring world-many from Satan's malice and devices.

IN fallen man there is a bias to error and wickedness. Not to fuffer his own lufts to draw him away, and entice him to fin, requires great felf denial.

FROM a wicked world temptations also arise and difficulties fpring up. In this land, the enemies of religion, have not power to kill and deftroy the faithful; but they have power to pour contempt upon them. Cruel mockings may feverely try those who fear neither the gibbet, nor the ftake. These do try the people of God at this day.

NEITHER do the powers of darkness ceafe to trouble and afflict-to affault the faithful with their temptations, and to lay fnares to entangle them,

* Vide Sermon on Colloffians ii. 8.

"Your adverfary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." Satan's devices are without number-his attacks are made. from every quarter; and he is often fo hidden that it is difficult to difcover him. Sometimes he affumes the mafk of religion-is "transformed into an angel of light," the more effectually to cover his dark defigns. Such is his enmity that he is indefatigable in his endeavors to feduce and to deftroy-fuch his craft and experience, that he is wife to accomplish his nefarious defigns: And against the faints his rage is the greater, because he knoweth that his time is fhort.

HERE the people of God live in a state of warfare-conflict with many enemies and fuffer many forrows. Often they are called to fuffer för Christ because they are numbered among his fol. lowers and wear his livery.

IF If any of these things move us, if we are afraid to encounter these hardships, are difcouraged in our Chriftian course and induced to turn back from after Chrift, our fear will deftroy us-it will cause us to have our part in the lake of fire-which is the fecond death.

THIS bath happened to fome who have affumed the Chriftian name, and for a time appeared among Chrift's difciples! faken him.

.

They have for

THERE is an hour of temptation, which trieth those who dwell on the earth; many fail in the trying hour. Attacked by enemies and affaulted by temptations, they yield themselves captives to

their fpiritual enemies. This happens to fome who had "heard the word and received it with joy-in the time of temptation, they are offended and fall away." Wanting courage to ftand on the * Lord's fide, when it exposes them to reproach and fufferings, they fuffer themselves to be overcome of evil, and fall from their ftedfaftness. These are Chriftians only in name. The real Christian pof, sesseth a noble courage which raiseth him fuperior to every trial, and enableth him to subdue every enemy. The forms of temptation beat upon him; but he ftands firm-refifts the powers of darkness and his own corruptions-is moved neither by the frowns, nor flatteries of the world. Like an eminent faint of old, he hath respect to the recompence of reward," keeps heaven in his eye, and presseth on in his way thither. "Through Chrift strengthening him, he doth all things and abounds -holds out to the end and is made more than a conqueror."

To fuch "pertain the promifes-they overcome-will inherit all things. God will be their God, and they will be his children.”

BUT those who cannot, "endure hardness as good foldiers"-who faint, and fail in the day of trial, suffering the enemy to prevail, and themfelves to be overcome, "will lofe that which they have wrought-others will take their crowns, and they will have their part in the lake of fire and brim. ftone: Which is the fecond death.

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