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of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame; who mind earthly things*. But what does the existence of such characters prove? Does it prove that the real tendency of the doctrine, which they affect to hold, is immoral and licentious? Let not such a conclusion be hastily adopted. Confound not the legitimate consequences of the doctrine with the unwarrantable abuse of it. Ascribe not to the doctrine those mischievous effects, which are to be inputed only to the depravity of human nature. Would you argue that the blessings of Providence are evil in their tendency, because men frequently pervert them into instruments of sin? Is the medicine proved to be originally bad, because from improper management it becomes a poison? If this mode of reasoning be allowed, it will equally bear against Christianity itself. In every age numbers of those who have called themselves Christians, have, by their unholy practices, disgraced their holy calling, Professing to know God they have in works denied him. Is Christianity therefore immoral in its tendency? You-cannot be prepared to admit this conclusion. Urge not then the licentious lives of some, who maintain that we are justified by faith

* Phil. iii. 18, 19.

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only, as conclusive evidence that this tenet encourages licentiousness. See if there be not among the supporters of the doctrine, others who, equally with yourselves, lament and abominate this sad perversion of it. Examine with that candour, which becomes the inquirers after truth, into the whole merits of the case. See whether this doctrine be not productive of highly practical effects, in the far larger proportion of those persons who embrace it. See whether their work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope, be not great and exemplary. See whether, in numerous instances, they do not exhibit the brightest patterns of Christian simplicity, moderation, zeal, humility, charity; of self-denying exertions; of unwearied perseverance in well-doing; of fidelity in the discharge of relative and social duties; of chearfulness under sufferings; of meekness; of integrity; of heavenly tempers and affections. If the immoral conduct of some be adduced as an argument subversive of the doctrine; appeal can with confidence be made to the holy lives of thousands in confirmation and support of it.

To conclude. If the discussion of this subject fall short of the end proposed; if it prove insufficient to carry conviction to those for whom it is designed; yet let it not fail of producing its effects on the advocates


for Justification by faith only. Is so formidable an objection alleged against your fundamental doctrine? Let your whole life be a refutation of the charge. Are you reproached with the pernicious consequences of your tenets? Labour the more strenuously and circumspectly to shew, by your own example, that the doctrine which you profess is a doctrine according to godliness. Are you called to contend for what you conceive to have been the faith which was once delivered unto the saints? Contend with meekness of wisdom. Contend in the spirit of love. Prove that the way of truth is the more excellent way by the excellence of the fruits which it displays. Let this be the object of your contention, to excel in good works; to abound more and more in all holy conversation and godliness; by well doing to put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. Finally, my brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things which we have both learned and received from Christ and his apostles do; and the God of peace shall be with you*.

* Phil. iii. 8, 9.

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The Heart of the Sons of Men is full of Evil. IT is a truth, which Scripture throughout inculcates, and experience every day confirms, that no man, without some previous sense of his guilt and danger as a sinner, will ever cordially submit himself to the righteousness of God. The free gift of Justification will be little esteemed by one, who retains the presumptuous hope, that he has a righteousness of his own, in which he may appear before God. If the man-slayer had not dreaded the sword of the avenger of blood, he would not have fled for safety to the city of refuge. If the Israelites had not felt the envenomed bite of the fiery serpents, they would not have looked up for a cure to the brazen serpent. If the sinner be not impressed with some conviction of his misery, he will never flee to

Christ for refuge, or look up to him for deliverance from the wrath to come.

The same train of reasoning may be adopted with respect to the other branch of salvation, our Sanctification. The promise of the Spirit, and of the Renewal of the Heart to Holiness, will be lightly regarded by those who cherish favourable sentiments of the goodness of their own hearts, or entertain very limited notions of their original depravity. They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. Some adequate conceptions must be obtained of the strength and inveteracy of the disease, before any just apprehensions can be formed of the necessity and magnitude of the projected cure. To no other cause, indeed, but to inadequate conceptions of the nature and extent of Human Corruption is it owing, that so many partial and defective sentiments prevail respecting the meaning of conversion; of being born again of the Spirit; of putting off the old man, and of putting on the new man; and of other corresponding expressions, by which a transition from a state of sin to a state of holiness is designated. Yet such inadequate conceptions cannot but exist, so long as men, instead of simply crediting the plain and positive declarations of the word of God, listen to the suggestions of their own proud and carnal reasonings, and interpret the sacred


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