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on the contrary, the enemies of religion, beholding in the professors of it, a pattern of good works, may glorify God in the day of visitation.

Lastly : Works are necessary, as by them we are to be judged in the great day of the Lord. This is the constant doctrine of the gospel, that Jesus Christ, to whom all judgment is committed, will render to every

man according to his works-according to the deeds ; done in the body. Though heaven is the purchase of

Christ, yet it is promised only to them who seek it by a patient continuance in well doing. They only who do the commandments have a right to enter into the holy city. Though the righteousness of the Redeemer, and not our own, is the ground of our acceptance ; yet, for the

encouragement of virtue and holiness, God assures us, that the future happiness of believers will be measured out to them, in a greater or less degree, according as they have more or less abounded in works of rightcousness. " Let us therefore be stedfast and unmove. able, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as we know, that our labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

III. Our last observation is, that the necessity of i works does not diminish the grace of God in our salvation, nor afford us any pretence for boasting.

The whole scheme of redemption originated in God's selfmoving mercy. It was not the works or the prayers of men that brought Jesus down from heaven; but the preventing grace and love of God that gave his Son to die for their sins. It was not their sagacity which discovered; but his wisdom which revealed this glorious Saviour, and the marvellous plan of salvation through him. It was not their will that fixed; but his sovereign grace that stated the terms of salvation; and

promise is the foundation of our hope. Neither our faith, ror repentance, nor works can be considered as making atonement for past sins : That our salvation stands in conuexion with these terins, is owing wholly

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to the grace of God. It is of grace, that we are brought to a knowledge of, and faith in Jesus, and are disposed to the performance of works really good. “Faith is the gift of God.” The means of faith are from him : The word of revelation is not our procurement, but his gracious bestowment. It is by his kind influence, that we are excited to attend on the instructions of his word. It is his Spirit, that gives the word a saving power. We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works."-"By the grace of God,” says St. Paul, “ I am what I am.” It is by the power of God, that we are kept through faith unto salvation. If we live, yet we live not by ourselves, but Christ liveth in us. If we labor, it is not by our own power, but by the grace of God which is with us.

Our spiritual services are acceptable only by Jesus Christ, not by their own intrinsic worth. Were our works ever so perfect, yet between them and the reward promised to them, there is no proportion. There. fore, though believers have their fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life, yet this is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

IMPROVEMENT.

1. Humility essentially belongs to the Christian tem. per. The believer perceives his own unworthiness, and his dependence on the grace of God. He knows he has no cause for boasting, and he feels no disposition to it. Where faith operates, the soul is hum. bled. So faith used to operate, and so it does still, They who, on the apprehensicn of a title to salvation, are puffed up with pride in themselves, and contempt of others, discover manifest signs of the want of gospel faith.

2. The mighty preparation which God has made for our recovery from the ruins of the apostacy, teaches us, that the human race is of great importance in the scale of rational beings, and in the scheme of God's univer. sal government. Though in ourselves we are unworthy of God's notice, yet he has done much for us—more than we could have asked more than we can even think. He must, then, have some great designs to accomplish by us. His glory is in some way or other to be wonderfully displayed in us. Let us now fall in with the design of his rich mercy and grace, lest hereafter we should stand everlasting monuments of his ireful justice, against perverseness and ingratitude. 3. It infinitely concerns us to comply with the

proposals of the gospel.

A salvation procured in the manner which the gos. pel discovers, is great and important beyond all imagination. If we neglect this, proportionably great and awful will be our destruction. If without the grace here revealed, our state would be wretched and hopeless : How dreadful must be the condition of those who reject this grace? If he who sinned against the law, fell under a sentence of death, without any mercy promised him, How sore will be the punishment of those who despise the grace and grieve the spirit of God, and tread under foot the blood of a dying Saviour ?

4. Let no man flatter himself, that he is in a state of salvation, as long as he lives in the neglect of good works.

These are the fruits of that faith by which we are saved. If these are wanting, the root of the matter is not in us.

The hope, comfort and joy of Christian professors, must greatly depend on their care to main. tain those works, to which true believers are created, and which God has ordained that they should walk in them. They who rise to the joy of hope, on some transient religious exercises, before they have had opportunity to manifest their sincerity by the performance of religious duties, greatly dishonor religion and dangerously impose on themselves. And they who pre

sume to pronounce others in a converted state, before their faith has appeared in its works, and their repentance in its fruits, it is to be feared often flatter deluded souls to their eternal destruction.

5. Let us be careful, that we mistake not the nature of good works.

Works really good must proceed from a good prin. ciple-from a principle of faith. And as faith is a be. lief of the gospel, so works flowing from it will be conformed to the gospel. They will be accompanied with a correspondent temper, regulated by the divine precepts, and produced by the influence of gospel doctrines. If then we believe that we are God's work. manship, let us walk worthy of the Lord to all pleasing, and abound in all the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

SERMON XIII.

The Deplorable State of Heathens and Unbelievers.

EPHESIANS ii. 11, 12,

Wherefore remember, that ye were in time passed Gentiles in the flesh, who are called uncircumcision by that which is called the circumcision in the flesh made by hands ; that, at that time, ye were without Chrisi, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.

As the Ephesian church consisted partly of Jews, and partly of Gentiles, the Apostle in this letter addresses himself sometimes to the one and sometimes to the other, separately, and often to both jointly. The passage now read he directs to the believers," who in times past were Gentiles in the flesh.” He says in the following words, “ Ye, who sometimes were afar off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” In what tespects they once were afar off, he explains, in the words chosen for our text. The following part of the ehapter describes their present nearness.

What is now before us is to show, in what respects these Ephesians, before their conversion to the faith of Christ, were at a distance from God ; and how the description here given of their unhappy state may be applied to sinners under the gospel. Voi. III.

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