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the conditions of salvation; he puts his whole confidence in GoD, never presuming upon his own strength; and seeks, by prayer and holiness, to obtain power and ability from Him, to order his life according to the rules of the gospel; and to live in godliness and virtue in the world, and in peace and charity with all his fellow travellers on the road to heaven.

These, my friends, are a christian's defence; and with these he grows every day "stronger in the LORD, and in the power "of his might."

But it must never be forgotten, that, in order to increase this strength, which is thus given unto us, we must diligently read God's word; we must earnestly pray to Him for aid; we must keep a strict watch over our passions; and, by these means, secure to us a continuance of God's protection, by rendering ourselves deserving of it.. Assure yourselves, my friends, that this watchfulness and perseverance are well worth all your pains, whether you consider the comfort of the present life, or the happiness of that which is to come. Heaven and hell are words which are in every man's mouth; while few of us lay seriously to heart what is meant by the one or the other. Either heaven or hell, however, must be the portion

of every living soul; so that nothing upon earth can be so important to us, as to study and practise that law, which will place us in the one when we die, and save us from the inexpressible pains of the other. Now the ALMIGHTY has mercifully pointed out to us what this law is; and promised us the assistance of his armour to enable us to fulfil it. It is, therefore, our best interest, as well as our bounden duty, to use these means with that seriousness which becomes those who are anxious to be saved; with that concern which they should feel, who are surrounded by so many dangers; and with that courage which they should experience, who have the ALMIGHTY for their shield and guardian, their defender, protector, and friend.

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SERMON LIII.

[For the Twenty-Second Sunday after Trinity.]

MATTHEW Xviii. 21, 22.

Peter said unto Jesus, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? until seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee until seven times, but until seventy times seven.

O man can read or hear the discourses

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of our blessed Saviour, without being convinced, that a great part of the religion of a christian consists in his having kind dispositions and compassionate feelings; and in his manifesting the forgiving spirit, and a merciful conduct, towards his fellow-creatures. He who "knew what was in man," or, in other words, who was thoroughly acquainted with the human heart, knew also, that unless that heart was softened by tenderness to

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man, it never could be an acceptable sacrifice to GOD; because it would be too proud to bow itself down in humility; and too hard to make that offering of love and affection, which God requires from those who worship him. CHRIST, therefore, was always earnest in pressing upon his hearers this great duty of compassion and forgiveness to their brethren in the flesh; and, in numerous discourses and parables, both pointed out the necessity of it, and shewed the extent to which it should be performed. The gospel for the day gives us one of these beautiful parables; which I shall make the subject of my present discourse.

"Peter said unto JESUS, LORD, how "often shall my brother sin against me, "and I forgive him? until seven times?" The Apostle knew full well that the forgive ness of injuries, and shewing mercy to man, made a capital branch of CHRIST's religion; but he was not yet aware to what length these duties were to be carried; and, probably, thought, that repeated provocations would justify a man in refusing to forgive the person who had provoked him, and in revenging the insults he had received, To this question of Peter JESUS replies, "I say not unto you, until seven times, but until seventy "times seven :" meaning, that how often

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soever a man may have trespassed against us, yet if he repent, we must forgive him.-This is "a hard saying, my brethren, to "flesh "and blood," and seems almost impossible to be performed by human nature; but we must remember, that "flesh and blood can"not inherit the kingdom of GOD;" and that human nature must be spiritualized, and purified, and regenerated, before it can be fit to be received into glory. It is the bad parts of our nature, wicked passions, and evil inclinations, which produce anger, and malice, and the desire of revenge in the soul; and unless these bad parts are corrected by the influence of the gospel, by faith in CHRIST, and by the assistance of the Holy Spirit, obtained by prayer and a good life, we can have no grounds to look for that everlasting inheritance above, which is only promised to the "poor in spirit," to "the meek," to "the merciful," and to "the peace makers."

In order to explain more fully the answer which he had given to Peter, and to shew him that God's dealings with mankind hereafter would be regulated by their behaviour to their fellow-creatures here, CHRIST goes on to relate the following parable.

"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is "likened unto a certain king, which would "take account of his servants.' " A certain

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