Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE

SCRIPTURE DOCTRINE

OF

SALVATION BY GRACE

THROUGH FAITH,

ILLUSTRATED AND IMPROVED, IN TWO SERMONS.

I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST; FOR IT IS THE POWER OF GOD

UNTO SALVATION, TO EVERY ONE THAT BELIEVE TH.-Rom. i. 16.

TO THE

CHURCH AND CONGREGATION

OF

PROTESTANT DISSENTERS

AT ROWELL,

TO WHOM THE SUBSTANCE OF THESE SERMONS WAS PREACHED,

AND AT WHOSE DESIRE THEY ARE PUBLISHED.

My Dear Brethren and Friends, beloved in our common Lord, When I first preached these plain sermons to my own congregation, which I here offer to your perusal, I was much surprised at the request which several of them made, that they might be printed: But I was yet more surprised, when, after having delivered the substance of them in one discourse at Rowell some time after, you so unanimously and affectionately made that request your own. I apprehended, that though the many excellent treatises we have on this subject already, might excuse my backwardness to comply with the first motion of this kind; yet absolutely to have refused your repeated solicitation might have appeared disrespectful to my good friends, and perhaps have looked like some unwillingness to bear my testimony to this great and important doctrine, in an age, in which the credit of many evangelical truths seems to be fallen very low.

I am really sorry I have delayed this little service so long ; but it was chiefly owing to my desire of finishing my Sermons on Regeneration, which indeed cost me more labour than I at first apprehended. That seemed a business of such importance, that I knew not how to interrupt it: But as they are now almost printed off, I send out these discourses as a kind of supplement to them; and therefore they are printed in a form very fit to bind up with them. The delay is more excusable, as salvation by grace is not a subject which grows out of date in a few months. This glorious doctrine has been the joy of the church in all ages on earth; and it will be the song of all that have received it in truth throughout the ages of eternity, and be pursued in the heavenly regions with evergrowing admiration and delight.

I cannot conclude this short address, without congratulating you on the abundant goodness of God to you as a church, in bringing among you that worthy and excellent person*, under whose pastoral care you are now so happily placed. I know he is a faithful witness to the truths of the gospel, and rejoice in that rich abundance of gifts and graces which render him so fit to state and improve them in the most advantageous, as well as most agree

* The Rev. Mr. Jonathan Saunderson,

able and delightful manner. I hope and believe, that the grace he so humbly
owns his dependance upon, will add happy success to his labours : And I
heartily pray, that you and neighbouring churches may long be happy in
him: and that God, who has by such various and gracious interpositions in
your favour, expressed his paternal care of you, may still delight to dwell
among you. May he multiply you with men like a flock, daily adding to
his church among you such as shall be saved! May your souls continually
rejoice in his salvation! And may you ever walk worthy of the Lord, and
prove, by the integrity and purity, the spirituality and usefulness of
whole behaviour, that this grace of God which brings salvation has entered
with power into your hearts; and that it is your care and delight to improve
it, as well as to hear of it! To contribute to this blessed end, by this or any
other attempt of cordial love and faithful respect, will be an unspeakable
pleasure to,

My dear Friends,
Your very affectionate Servant

In the bonds of our common Lord,

P. DODDRIDGE.

Northampton, Sept. 1, 1741.

SERMONS ON GRACE AND FAITH.

SERMON I.

On Salvation by Grace.

, you

Ephes. ii. 8.-For by Grace are ye saved, through Faith; and that not of your

selves; it is the Gift of God. YOU are often, my dear brethren and friends, hearing of the duties of a religious life: And it cannot but be a pleasure to every

faithful minister of Christ to observe, how willing, nay, how glad you are to hear of them; and with respect to many of you, how ready you are to practise them. But I am now coming to you with a renewed admonition on another head, which is always to be taken in connection with the former; and which, I persuade myself, will in that view be welcome to you all. I am to inculcate it upon you, that when you have Done your utmost, how much soever that be, should still

say,
that

you are unprofitable servants*: and endeavour to maintain a deep sense of it upon your hearts, that, as the apostle admonishes the believing Ephesians in the words of the text, by grace ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.

The apostle, in his preceding discourse, speaks of the happy change which the gospel had made in the state of these poor Heathens. He freely acknowledges on this occasion, that the Jews were likewise in a very bad state, and if not entirely sunk into the same enormities, yet Were by nature children of wrath even as otherst. So that on the whole, both Were (as it might be expressed by an easy and very proper figure) dead in tres. passes and sins f, indisposed for any religious sensations and actions, and far more odious to God than a putrid carcase is to

But he adds, that God by his grace had saved them ; that his unmerited goodness had begun their salvation, and having thus far carried it on, would undoubtedly complete it: And

men.

* Luke xvii. 10.

| Ver. 1,5.

† Eph. ii. 3.

« PreviousContinue »