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stand more clearly the part they have to perform in working out their eternal salvation, and be induced more heartily to engage in it. For surely where every obstacle is removed, all needsul help promised, and the highest reward offered, the deepest sense of gratitude and love should fill the hearts, and the most earnest engagement rule the lives of all under the gospel. My brethren and hearers, we are redeemed that we may be saved ; the means of grace are provided that they may be used; a mediator is appointed to stand between the holiness of God and our unworthiness"; salvation is limited on faith in his name ; his qualifica. tions are every way suitable; and the gospel is the proclamation of these facts for our information and assurance. Our duty, therefore, is to believe the gospel, to follow the direction and example there given us, by personal endeavour to bring ourselves within reach of its promised grace and saving mercy, and by exertion and perseverance to press toward the mark for the prize of our high calling of God in CHRIST JESUS. Nothing else can prove that we have any just sense of what God hath done for us, any fear or reverence of his glorious name, any desire to be saved. For so long as we slight the invitations of the gospel, and on any pretence hold ourselves back from the duties it enjoins, we do, in fact, persist in rebellion against God, reject the mediation of Jesus Christ, and if we continue thus must perish for ever.
What is thus so clearly our duty is also our privilege, my brethren and hearers.
For as God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and as Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man, it is the privilege, the heaven-granted, blood-purchased privilege of every child of Adam, to come unto God by him ; to return to his Father's house ; to receive the welcome of a pardoned penitent, and to be clothed with the best robe, even the unspotted righteousness of Christ. It is the high privilege, I say, of all who hear the joyful sound of the gospel, on the simple faith of the message itself, to draw near to GOD through Jesus Christ. It is the warrant to believe, that God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our LORD JESUS CHRIST. What saith the Father in this mess
sage of love and mercy to man ? This is my beloved Son, hear ye him—and what saith that beloved Son ? Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest ; learn of me. And what saith the Spirit of truth to the Churches of this beloved Son ? He is able to save, to the uttermost, all who come unto God by him. It is your high privilege, then, my dear hearers, forthwith to cast your idols (the vanities of the world and the lusts of the flesh) to the moles and to the bats ; to lay down the weapons of your rebellion, and return to him who hath made and redeemed you ; to enter the school of CARIST, and there be made wise unto salvation. All things are ready, come ye to the marriage. And what hinders? Who can stand up and show cause why this gracious invitation should not be accepted ? Alas! alas ! that immortal souls, that reasonable creatures, should prefer darkness to light, and choose death in the face of eternal life. Yet so it is the gospel is a savour of death as well as a savour of life, but not by God's appointment. Eternal death is the wages of unbelief, the end of those who will not receive the love of truth, that they might be saved, who will not believe that message of mercy which God hath spoken unto us by his Son.
But it is more particularly, my brethren, the privilege of the believer, through this one mediator to approach God in acts of private and public worship, especially in prayer. This is the foundation on which, in the chapter from which my text is taken, St. Paul rests the obligation and the efficacy of the worship of God. This is a faithful saying, says he, in the chapter before this, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I exhort, therefore, that first of all supplications, prayers, and intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men ; for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all. I will, therefore, that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
Hence, it would appear, my brethren, that in the judgment of St. Paul, the only reasonable ground of religious duty or reli
gious hope in man, is found in the mediation of the man CHRIST JESUS; and that this mode of access to the Father being provided for us, it becomes not only the duty but the privilege of believers to draw near to God in supplications for themselves and others. More particularly does it appear, that this is the privilege of public worship, of joint or common prayer; and the reason, I think, is obvious. Whatever we do is coupled with imperfection, the holiest of our duties need the intercession of a mediator, holy, harınless, and undefiled, to render them acceptable to a pure and holy God. Without a mediator, therefore, faith is vain, prayer useless, and hope a delusion; but with an intercessor possessing the qualifications of our great High Priest, a new and living way is opened for us to a throne of grace. Let us, therefore, my brethren, draw near with true hearts, in full assurance of faith, that he who spared not his own Son but freely delivered him up for us all, will, with him, also freely give us all things. That we are thus furnished is an argument to warm the coldest heart, to encourage the most timid spirit. That we are thus provided, is a warning that we come not before God otherwise than he hath appointed. Wo unto that man who, in the fond conceit of his own worthiness, looks to God through himself, rejects the one only mediator between God and man, or adds others to His infinite sufficiency. God out of Christ is a consuming fire. Christ rejected is an accusing witness, a condemning judge. Christ dishonoured is double perdition. Let us, therefore, my brethren, have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, that when faith shall end in sight, and the man Christ Jesus come in the glory of his father with the holy angels, we may be accounted worthy to enter in through the gates into the city, and to join with all the company of heaven in ascribing glory, honour, and salvation, to him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and made us kings and priests unto God even his Father, world without end.
CHRIST THE END OF THE LAW.
ROMANS X. 4.
" For CHRIST is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”
As the accountability of moral agents is to be inferred from their nature, as obedience required implies a law given by which it is to be tested, and as a judgment expected necessarily involves acquittal or condemnation, the process by which we arrive at our real condition as amenable to him who bath made us, is within the reach of every rational being, independently of what we are in the habit of considering as revelation. Upon this ground, the apostle's argument in the first part of this epistle respecting the Gentile world, seems to be constructed where he infers their capacity to know God from the consideration of his works, and their obligation to worship and serve him according to the law written in their hearts; and so far there is not a dissenting voice in the world of his creatures, whether Pagan or Christian.
But the nature of that accountability, my hearers, the extent and quality of that obedience, and the consequences of that judgment, can never be satisfactorily ascertained by this general principle. For however undeniable in its truth, universal in its acknowledgment, and infinite in its application and use, yet, nevertheless, it sheds but a faint and obscure light upon the ten thousand anxieties which occupy the heart awake and alive to the unspeakable interests of eternity.
Hence not only the absolute necessity, but the infinite and priceless value of the revelation we are favoured with in the Scriptures of our faith, which is truly a light shining in a dark place, and the only light which can afford us a gleam of hope or a ray of comfort in the deep, and solemn, and overwhelming inquiry-wherewithal shall I appear before the LORD } what shall
I do to be saved ? To this there is but one answer, my friends, and as we are able with a good conscience to apply it to ourselves, will it be well or ill with us for ever. Believe in the LORD JESUS CHRIST and thou shalt be saved, is the short but comprehensive reply of God's most true and faithful word to the convinced and penitent sinner; as it, also, is the clear and express declaration of the same unchangeable word, that there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved, only the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. And hence the deep inportance to each one of us personally, to examine and ascertain whether we are believers, in the Scripture sense of the word; because on this one point depends whether we have the slightest interest in the mercy revealed in the gospel. And so indisputably certain is this truth, that if every other point in the obedience of faith were fulfilled by us under the gospel, this foundation and corner stone of all being wanting, the rest would profit us nothing. This I purpose, with God's good help, to demonstrate to you from the words of my text, applying them as St. Paul did, to shake, and I pray God it may be granted me, to pull down the unfounded confidence of too many in these days, who like those of whom the apostle speaks in this chapter, but not with the same excuse, going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God.
In discoursing on this subject, I shall, in the
First place, consider in what sense we are to take the word law, as here used by the apostle.
SECONDLY, what is the extent and nature of that claim which the law of God has upon us.
THIRDLY, the means by which alone that claim can be satisfied.
FOURTHLY, what is meant by Christ's being the end of the law.
Lastly, I shall apply the subject.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
I. First, I am to consider in what sense we are to take the word law, as here used by the apostle.