The Works of Thomas Chalmers

Front Cover
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009 - 88 pages
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: SERMON XVII. THE PURIFYING INFLUENCE OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH. ACTS XXvi. 18. Sanctified by faith. III. It is a matter of direct and obvious understanding, how the law, by its promises and its threatenings, should exert an influence over human conduct. We seem to walk in a plain path. when we pass onwards from the enforcements of the law, to the effect of them on the fears, and the hopes, and the purposes of man. Do this, and you shall live; and do the opposite oi' this, and you shall forfeit life, form two clear and distinct processes, in the conceiving of which, there is no difficulty whatever. The motive and the movement both stand intelligibly out to the discernment of common sense; nor in the application of such argument as this, to the design of operating on the char- acter or life of a human being, is there any mystery to embur- rass, any hidden step, which, by baffling our every attempt to seize upon it, leaves us in a state of helpless perplexity. The same is not true of the gospel, or of the manner in which it operates on the springs of human action. It is not so readily seen, how its privileges can be appropriated by faith, and at the same time its precepts can retain their practical authority ovfcr the conduct of a believer. There is an alarm, and an honest alarm, on the part of many, lest a proclamation of free grace unto the world, should undermine all our securities for the cause of righteousness in the world. They look with jealousy upon the frecnesa. They fear lest a deed so ample and unconditional, of forgiveness for the past, should give rise, in the heart of asinner, to a secure opinion of its impunity for the future. What they dread is, that to proclaim such a freeness of pardon on the part of God, would be to proclaim a corresponding freeness o...

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