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and that the greater talent, if not faithfully improved, shall only heighten the condemnation of its poffeffor, and entitle him to more and heavier stripes. Once more, let me ask,
4thly, What is it that gives the highest value to every thing in your
esteein ? “ One thing have I desired of the Lord," said David, " and that will I seek after, 66 " that I may dwell in the house of the Lord “ all the days of my life, to behold the
beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his
temple," “ I count all things but loss," said the holy Apostle Paul," for the excellency 166 of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; 66 for whom I have suffered the loss of all “ things, and do count them but dung that
may win Chrift.” If you are sincerely devoted to the Lord Redeemer, you will value other things, in exact proportion to their connection with him, and the relation they bear to him. You will prefer the Bible to all other books, because it is the word, the testament of
Lord. You will rejoice at every return of the Sabbath, because it is -the Lord's day. You will delight in his
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saints, and account them the “ excellent
in the earth,” because they are dear to your Lord, and bear his image. Prayer will be your sweetest entertainment, because it is the means of correspondence and intercourse with your Lord; And doing good to the bodies, and more especially to the souls of men, will be relished by you as the most pleasant and honourable employment, because it renders you most like unto your Lord, " who
“ who went about doing good," leaving us an example that we should follow his steps. And thus will you estimate all other things.
These, and such like questions, I would have you to put to your own hearts, as in the presence of that God who is already perfectly acquainted with
who will shortly cause you to know yourselves, and will make all others to know you too, in that day when every disguise shall be torn off, and your real character shall be published in the presence of an assembled world.
I shall conclude this discourse with re
minding you of those 'peculiar obligations that lie upon all who name the name of Christ, to live unto the Lord in the manner I have endeavoured to describe.
, Unless we live unto the Lord, we shall counteract the very design of that marvellous love he hath manifested towards us, in giving himself for us an offering and sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling favour.
" He u bore our fins in his own body on the
tree, that we being dead to fin, fhould “ live unto righteousness." -“ He gave “ himself for us, that he might redeem us 5 from all iniquity, and purify unto him“ self a peculiar people, zealous of good
works.” “ He died for all, that they “ who live," by the merit of his death, “ should not henceforth live unto them“ felves, but unto him who died for them, « and rose again." This is fo much infifted upon
in the New-Testament writings, that the Socinians have represented it as the fole end for which our Lord both lived and died. But though we justly maintain, in opposition to them, that the death of Christ was, in the strictest propriety of lan
guage, a true propitiatory facrifice for expiating the guilt of fin, and rendering the exercise of mercy to the finner consistent with the holiness and justice of God; yet in expressing our abhorrence of their error, we must beware of running into the oppofite extreme: for nothing can be more clearly asserted in the oracles of truth, than that “ the Son of God was manifested for this “ purpose, that he might destroy the works,
of the devil ;" or, in other words, that he might prepare men for heaven, by the fanctifying influences of his Spirit, as well as that he might purchase a heaven for them by the merit of his blood. And it deserves particular notice, that though the main ditficulty the firft preachers of Christianity had to struggle with among their own countrymen, was to bring them off from a proud dependence upon their own righteousness, that they might rely upon Chrift alone for don and acceptance; yet in declaring this doctrine, they never failed to establish the inseparable connection between faith and holiness, ieft any should turn the grace of God unto wantonness, and, by claiming
the privileges of the gospel while they refused subjection to its laws, should reprefent Christ as the minister of fin.
2dly, We are further obliged to live unto the Lord, as we regard the honour of our Master, and the credit of that saving religion which he taught. For hereby we most effectually stop the mouths of gainsayers, and cut off occasion from those that desire occasion to blaspheme that worthy name by which we are called; presenting to their view a convincing proof, that Christianity is an effectual means of falvation, and that Christ is truly and properly a Saviour. The death of Christ appears to have a mighty efficacy indeed, when it maketh those that believe on him to die unto sin. And it is impossible to doubt, that he is alive, and hath all power committed to him in heaven and in earth, when he visibly lives in his members by his all-conquering grace, and causeth them to live unto him: Whereas a contrary behaviour doth the greatest possible injury to the cause of truth, furnishing the world with a handle to say, that Christianity is