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blood of bulls or goats, slain on Jewish altars, take away sin, or purify the conscience? Can the prayers and intercessions of Romish saints obtain for us the pardon of our sins, and all those spiritual blessings we need 2 Will the most exact moral obedience, without faith in our blessed Redeemer; or, faith in the doctrines of the gospel, without obedience to the precepts of it, give us a title to a crown of glory What will the name or profession of religion avail us, if we are destitute of the vital power of it? And, as to mere form and ceremony, Dr. Watts observes, “these are so easy a way of getting to heaven, that God would never allow them to be a sufficient title, lest his palace should be crowded with ten thousand hypocrites.” None of these things are suited to the moral condition of an immortal soul, nor capable of answering its wants or supplying its necessities. They can neither expiate sin, nor purify the conscience, nor satisfy the offended justice of God, nor renew and sanctify the soul, nor give a legitimate claim to a glorious immortality. As none of these things are ordered or appointed of God to be the foundation of the happiness of men, he has purposed to save lost sinners in a way agreeable to his infinite wisdom. And it is his sanction, his ordinance and appointment, that gives virtue and efficacy to any means: and no means, not of his appointing, can have any efficacy to so great an end. If any thing could be a suitable support of the eternal salvation of men, it must be the infinite mercy of God. But God has determined, in his unsearchable wisdom, to extend his mercy to lost sinners only through his blessed Son, and has ordained him to be the foundation of all our hopes, and all our blessings. Therefore, to neglect and despise him, is to despise the wisdom and mercy of God; is to forsake him who is the fountain of living waters, and to hew out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. For Christ is the only way to the Father, the only way in which we can be saved, and other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. SUPERSTRUCTURE.-Having made these remarks on the true and substantial foundation God has laid in Zion, or in his church, we shall proceed to notice the superstructure to be erected on it. As it is the intention of an architect, in laying a foundation, to erect an edifice on it, so God has been graciously pleased to lay CHRIST crucified as the only foundation on which we are to build our salvation and happiness, and we are not to delay this necessary and important work. A distinguished theologian wisely observes, “It is not less necessary to build on the foundation than to lay it. Many grievously err on this point. They are ever laying the foundation, and never building on it: and, strange to tell, this only is allowed by some to be preaching Christ As if one should say, He who is determined to build a proper and convenient house for himself to dwell in, can never effect his purpose but by laying the foundation every day as long as he lives | Who does not see that this man can never have a house He has no more than its foundation, and can never be its inhabitant. As the foundation should be laid, and kept lying, once for all, and the building raised upon it; so Christ Jesus, as the foundation-stone, as the only name through which men can be saved, should be laid once for all; and when it appears that this foundation is laid, from that moment the minister of God, who understands his work, and attends to it, will proceed to raise the superstructure.” The Church of God is, in the Scriptures, frequently compared to a house. St. Paul says to Timothy, “That

thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God.” All true believers, regenerated by the Holy Spirit, are, by St. Peter, denominated “lively stones” in this sacred building, “built up a spiritual house,” on Christ the divine foundation. Believing Jews and Gentiles, says St. Paul, “are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord; in which you (Gentiles) also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” St. Paul speaks of preachers who lay Christ as their foundation-doctrine, but build other doctrines on it, not similar or agreeable to it. While some build on this precious foundation gold, silver, and precious stones, those gospel doctrines that magnify the grace of God, and the merits of Christ, and tend to perfect Christians in faith, holiness, and love; there are others that build on it wood, hay, and stubble, weak and unsound doctrine, nothing suitable to the foundation, but doing dishonour to it, and which will be destroyed in that day when God shall try men's works, though they themselves, being upright, shall be saved: but he that builds good doctrine on Christ, the only foundation, shall receive a rich and endless reward. The soul of man, often represented in Scripture under the figure of a building, is, in consequence of sin, in a state of ruin, the form and comeliness of the original structure being passed away. Yet, “to follow the metaphor, not one of the first materials is lost, the stones and timbers are still in existence: but they are all displaced and disjointed; and none but the divine Architect can revive these out of the rubbish, and restore the shape

and beauty of the edifice. When the ruined soul is built wp, on, through, and after him, the excellence of the materials, the regular adjustment of the parts, the form, beauty, magnificence, and utility of the whole, at once proclaim the infinite skill, unlimited power, and eternal love of the great Master-Builder.” The apostles preached CHRIST crucified, as the only foundation of a sinner's hope and salvation, endeavoured to build their hearers on it, and their arduous labours were crowned with distinguished success. They addressed their understanding, as well as their will and affections; and required the assent of the one, as well as the obedience of the other, to the important doctrines and precepts they delivered. They constantly endeavoured to bring them to the right foundation, and establish them on it. Many, through believing, received Christ, and rested on him for salvation and eternal life. Thus it is with all genuine Christians: renouncing all dependance on themselves or others, they place all their trust on Jesus Christ, expecting to receive from him constant supplies of grace and endless felicity. But this believing is not a bare credence that there once lived in the world such a person as Jesus, who did and suffered all that is recorded concerning him by the Evangelists, but comprehends a conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit— the scriptural knowledge of the mediatorial character of Christ—and an entire devotedness of body and soul to him, to be completely and for ever saved. A deep and painful sense of our moral depravity and personal guilt, of our danger and misery by nature and practice, is antecedent to our receiving Christ, so as to build our salvation on him as the only foundation. Every man born into the world is naturally depraved, and if the grace of God prevent not, as he grows in years his sinful inclinations will strengthen into habit; he will be averse from good, disposed to evil, and obnoxious to avenging justice. Of this sinful and dangerous state a man must be made sensible, before he can have any sincere desire to come to Christ for salvation. He who thinks himself whole, will not come to this heavenly Physician for healing. He who is not convinced that he is “naked, blind, and poor,” but imagines that he is “ rich, and increased with goods,” and has “need of nothing,” will not come to him for “white raiment” to cover his nakedness, for “eye-salve” to cure his blindness, and for “refined gold” to enrich him. But all they who have been made sensible of their weakness, poverty, and guiltiness, who have seen all their former presumptuous hopes blasted, and been alarmed with the apprehension of impending wrath; will be ready and anxious to escape to Jesus, when revealed to them as the only secure refuge for a guilty sinner, and rest on him as the only rock of their salvation. There is an inexpressible evil in sin, as committed against God. It is robbing him of his glory; “through breaking the law, we dishonour God.” It is virtually a denial of his wisdom, as if he knew not how to make laws proper for the government of his intelligent creatures. It is an impeachment of his righteousness and equity, as if he required a subjection and homage that are not his due. It is a reflection on his goodness, as if he denied men the privilege of some beneficial enjoyment. It is a contempt of his power, as if he was not able to support the sanction of his laws, by the performance of his promises, and execution of his threatenings. It is a disparagement to his authority, as if he was not worthy to be regarded and obeyed. It is a contradiction of his sovereignty, by giving the preference to our own will

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