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premature old age, and an untimely death-in many cases inflicted by their own hands-these are the customary fruits of infidelity in this world: and in the next-let us not pass sentence upon those miserable sinners against their own souls; but hope, that if it be possible, the Lord may have mercy upon them, even for the sake of Him whom they have rejected and despised. And for ourselves, let us pray, that we may be kept stedfast in the faith, through the power of the Spirit of God. Let us say, I thank God that I am a Christian; that I am fixed in a religion, which, if it be true, secures my eternal happiness; and if not, is consistent with the dictates of my conscience and reason, and cannot be otherwise than pleasing to God. I am sure, that every sinful deed, and every unholy word and thought, must be offensive to him; and I perceive no way by which he can be satisfied, except that which is pointed out in the Gospel. As for those wretched men who deny that Gospel, if it be true, what remaineth for them but a certain fearful looking for of judgment? and if it be false, what are they profited? As, therefore, I have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so will I walk in him; and again, I thank God,
6 Col. ii. 6.
that he hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation, and good hope through grace.
But I entreat you to remember, that, if you embrace Christianity at all, you must embrace it with sincerity and singleness of heart; with a firm purpose of submitting to its authority, of abiding by its precepts, of reposing upon its promises, of using its means of grace. If the Gospel be true at all, it is altogether true; if it have any authority, it has a paramount and supreme authority: our opinions and our practice must be entirely and implicitly formed according to its standard. Stedfastness in Christian principles admits of no inconsistency; no acting by various rules: there is one, and one only question which a Christian may conceive his Lawgiver and Redeemer to propose to him, when he is in doubt how to act; What is written in the law? how readest thou? If God himself, by his blessed Son, has marked out for us the way to heaven, there can be no other; and it is a plain and direct way; there are no by-paths nor private inlets, through which a man can creep in by stealth. There is one wedding garment in which all must be clothed who would be
7 2 Thess. ii. 16.
SERM. II.] IGNORANCE AND UNGODLINESS.
admitted into that holy place; into which there shall in no wise enter any thing that defileth.
No proposition can be more undeniable than this, that whatever God has revealed, must be believed; and whatever he has commanded must be done; and we have the express testimony of his Word, that an intentional irregularity in any part of our conduct will vitiate the whole. Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. There is no sin whatever, which will not, if persisted in, be a rock of shipwreck to our faith and our hopes. Nothing will suffice for the purposes of our Christian calling, but a spirit of entire and uncompromising obedience to the law of Christ, founded upon a deep and constraining sense of his mercies towards us, and strengthened by the hope of that glorious reward which he has promised to his faithful followers.
Let me then, finally, my Christian friends, address you in the words of an Apostle, who, having once fallen away, recovered his stedfastness; and was strengthened, by the effectual grace of God, to persevere even unto the testimony of martyrdom: Ye therefore, beloved,
seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness; but grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: to him be glory, both now and for ever.10
10 2 Pet. iii. 17.
THE MYSTERIOUSNESS OF SOME PARTS OF A DIVINE REVELATION NO GROUND OF OBJECTION.
MATT. XI. 27.
No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he, to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
MANKIND have derived their knowledge of God from two sources; the works of nature, as it is called, by a consideration and comparison of which human reason is able to ascertain some of the attributes of that Creator, the belief of whose existence has been written by himself on the table of the heart; and, secondly, the direct revelations which the Deity has made of himself to man. It is extremely difficult to determine, to how great an extent any portion of mankind has been at any time exclusively indebted to