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favourably regards you, and your addresses to his throne.
How much more desirable would it be, on sufficient and scriptural ground to stand, and
“ I was guilty ; but my guilt has been removed : I was far from righteousness; but it has been brought nigh to me: I was an unclean thing; but I have begun to be holy: I was dead in trespasses and sins; but I have become alive to God: I was subject to all the curses of the Bible ; but now I have an assured interest in all the promises it contains :
I was in the road to hell; but now my steps take hold on heaven?"
If any of you, my brethren, have obtained an assurance of farth and salvation, be careful that you do not lose it, through negligence, and the deceitfulness of sin.
We have divine security that all the redeemed shall be kept, by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation ; but we have no authority of God for saying, that the person who is once assured of his interest in Christ and the life everlasting, shall constantly retain this assurance. Nor does the experience of the pious lead us to conclude that a well grounded assurance once obtained must alwavs remain.
When we become too much devoted to the world, and engaged in its pleasures; when strong temptations assail, and in some instances gain the victory; when we have no sen
sible, present love, faith, repentance and hope, when our Father hides his face in displeasure; then we must doubt whether we ever believe ed; shall
say, 0! that it were with us as in days that are past! and shall have many inducements to think, that we have laboured under a delusion when we thought favourably of our spiritual condition.
Ifbwe would always be assured, and enjoy the delights which flow from such high confidence, we must always believe, and be obedient to the commandments.
« Beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." AMEN.
THE END OF FAITH.
Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” 1 PETER 1. 9.
MANY who wear the badges of Chris. tianity, and many public teachers too, have advised us to preach less about faith, and more about moral duties. The reason which they assign for such counsel is, that the doctrine of the justification of the ungodly through faith alone must render mankind remise in the performance of duty, if it does not even promote licentiousness:
It is the glorious truth of the ever blessed God, that the perfect righteousnes of the Redeemer is imputed to the vilest sinner who believes on Christ Jesus, and that so soon as he receives the gift of saving faith, being united to the Saviour of sinners, he is account. ed legally holy. The objection made to this doctrine of faith is founded in ignorance of the nature of that salvation which is the end of faith.
It is proposed as the object of this discourse to state in the first place, the scriptural doce
trine of salvation; to show, in the second place, that this salvation is the end of faith; and to consider, in the third place, the time of the reception of this salvation. A brief application of the subject will then be attempted ; and may the God of truth bestow his blessing on the words of our mouth, and the meditation of your hearts. Amen.
Í. The scriptural doctrine of salvation necessarily implies the truth, that mankind are in a fallen condition, and liable to endure the wrath and curse of God for ever; for would not speak of saving that which was in no danger of being lost; por would you speak of an everlasting salvation of any thing which was not lost for eternity. We might speak of the preservation of man in innocence, but salvation was a thing unknown before the fall.
The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost. If men, therefore, deny the doctrine of the apostacy, they are very consistent with themselves in opposing also the doctrine of salvation by the Redeemer ; and the notions which men entertain of their need of salvation will be commensurate with their notions of human depravity. If men are not entirely ruined, they need not an entire salvation if they have any strength, it is not necessary that Christ should become their whole strength ; and if they have any inherent righteousness, it is superfluous that Jesus should become their only righteousness.
Il men can perform any thing in the work of salvation, Christ need not perform the whole, and thus become the Lord our Righteousness, Strength, and Salvation.
Hence, if it be discovered to be a certain truth that man, in his natural estate, is not wholly an unclean thing, it will also be manifest, that a partial Saviour, a Redeemer in part, and a Sanctifier in part, or a Socinian God and Saviour will answer the
of effecting our restoration. But the word of God assures us, that in due time, when we were without strength, and righteousness, when we were ungodly and condemned, Christ died for us, that he might redeem us, sanctify us, and introduce us to heaven. Sal. vation consists in the restoration of man from that estate into which he has fallen by disobedience, to that everlasting felicity which was promised in the covenant of works.' He was just with God, and enjoyed his immediate friendship: he was like his God in knowledge, and true holiness, and had he continued upright during the time of probation would have been rendered perfectly blessed in the celestial paradise.
By sin man became guilty and miserable. The scriptural salvation is a complete deliv. erance from guilt and misery. With, or without man's consent, he is under obligations to obey God, and is the subject his governiment. Jehovah exercises discipline over our