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are of use to set some bounds to iniquity, and to keep the world in order; and, when they are aided and directed by a superior principle of holiness, they are great helps to the religious life. Let these principles be extinguished, or perverted, and what restraint will the sinner be under ? He will commit iniquity with greediness. Thus St. Peter describes the character of the Gentiles, .“ They walked in lascivousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings and abominable idolatries ; and thought it strange that Christians ran not wich them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of them.” St Paul says, “ They were filled with all unrighteousness, uncleanness, covetousness and wickedness; and though they knew the judgment of God, that they who did such things were worthy of death, they not only did the same, but consented to, and had pleasure in those who did them.”

The gospel sets before us far more powerful arguments against a wicked life, than nature could suggest to the Heathens. If we break over the restraints which the gospel lays upon us, and mock the terrors which it holds up to our view, we not only discover a greater vitiosity of mind than they, but shall run to greater lengths in the practice of iniquity.

As water, when it has broken through its mounds, rushes on with more impetuous force, than the natural stream, so the corruptions of the human heart, when they have borne down the restraints of religion, press forward with more violent rapidity, and make more awful devastation in the soul, than where these restraints

never been known. Sin takes occasion by the commandment to work all manner of concupiscence.

Where the gospel has no salutary effect, it is a savour of death unto death. The apostle speaks of such uncleanness among the Christians in Corinth, as had not been known among the Heathens. The greater knowledge in religion men acquire, while their hearts are set in them to do evil, the more capable are:


they of wickedness. When they have once trampa led on the motives to piety and virtue which the gospel offers, their repentance, in human view, becomes more difficult and improbable, because no new motives can be placed before them. If they turn from the holy commandment delivered to them, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

A few reflections here offer themselves to you. : 1. You see how extremely dangerous it is, to continue in sin under the gospel. While you do so, you act in opposition to the most powerful motives, that ever have been, or can be proposed to the human mind: and therefore are filling up the measure of your sins with amazing rapidity, that wrath may come upon you to the uttermost.

Sin, in its own nature, is exceedingly heinous. It acquires a peculiar criminality in those, who practice it in opposition to the light which the gospel affords, the terrors which it denounces, and the calls which it sends. The indulgence of it hardens the heart more awfully, and leads to a mote dreadful issue, than under circumstances of inferior light. If he who despised Moses's law, died without mercy of how much sorer punishment shall they be thought worthy, who have trodden under foot the Son of God ?

2. You see that you have need to guard against the beginnings of sin.

Vice indulged lays waste the conscience, blinds the understanding, perverts the judgment, Jardens the heart, and may bring the sinner to such a state, that he will be without feeling. It is madness to venture on a vicious course at all. You now feel a timidity in vice conscience reproves you fear checks you ; shame restrains you : But you know not how soon you may break down all these barriers, and commit iniquity with greediness; therefore now turn your feet into the paths of virtue. Make haste, delay not any longer, lest you become so entangled in your evil habits, that you cannot cease from sin. ." His own iniquities shall take 1 the wicked himself; he shall be holden in the cords

of his sin; he shall die without instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray."

3. My Christian friends, consider, what you once were, that you may be humble for your past sins, thankful for recovering grace, careful to walk in new. ness of life, and prayerful for those who are still in their guilt. The apostle cautions the Ephesian converts,

that henceforth they walk not as other Gentiles. He s reminds them that in time past, they had so walked.

He would have them know what religion is, and make it appear, by the change in their lives, that they had ex. perienced its transforming power. Absurd is it to pre

tend, that we are the subjects of a real conversion, if i still we live according to the course of the world, and walk according to our former lusts.

4. Christians must be watchful, lest they be led a. way by the influence of corrupt examples. 6 Walk not,” says the apostle, “as other Gentiles walk.”_ Keep yourselves from the vices of an untoward generation. “ Be blameless and harmless, the sons of God

without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse e nation.”—“ Sleep not as do others, but watch and be sober."

5. Religion lies much in the temper of the mind. It is the opposite to that character of the Heathens, which the text describes. It implies just apprehen

sions of, and pious affections to God; an infuential ; knowledge of divine truth ; a zeal for a godly life ; a tenderness of conscience ; a hatred of sin

; and a res. olution for every duty. To judge then, whether we

are really religious, we must look into our hearts, ex3 amine our tempers, and observe the tendency of our thoughts, and the motion of our affections.

Finally : Since God has placed us under the dispensation of the gospel, which teaches us the life of godliness, and urges it by the most powerful motives, VOL. III.

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let us not walk, as others walk, who being blinded in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, hardened in their heart, and stupified in their conscience, have given themselves over to work iniquity with greediness; but having been taught, as the truth is in Jesus, let us put off the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness; and let us walk worthy of him, who has called us to his eternal glory by Jesus Christ.

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Renovation after the Image of God.

EPHESIANS iv. 20-24.

But ye have so learned Christ ; if so be that ye have heard him,

and have been caught by him, as the truth is in Jesus ; that ye put off, concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt, according to the deceitful lusts ; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind ; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

THE true happiness of man consists in the favor and enjoyment of God. Of this happiness fallen man is incapable, until he has become the subject of a moral change. What this change is, the apostle clearly instructs us in our text. To the several things contained in the passage row read, I shall endeavor to lead your attention.

1. The change here spoken of is radically seated in the mind. re have been taught that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind.

It is not assuming the name and badge of the Christian ; joining ourselves to this, or that religious sect ; or even reforming the outward manners; but it is a renewal of the temper and disposition of the soul, which qualifies us for, and entitles us to the happiness of the heavenly world. This is elsewhere in scripturc ex.

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