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vation.-Not to reign in life, is to sink in death it is to fall under its dark dominion, and to endure its direful consequences. And what shall we think of those who, elated with their own goodness, see no need of this " gift of righteousness?" and who, satisfied with their own sufficiency, have no desire for this "abundance of grace? Such persons have yet to learn" the first principles of the oracles of God: they are preferring "the chaff to the wheat;" they are opposing at once their own interest, and the kindest designs of Heaven: they are " rejecting the counsel of God against themselves." And is this the case with any of us? Is light come into the world, and do we love darkness rather than light? Is blessing set before us, and will we choose the curse? Our folly is equalled only by our inevitable wretchedness; for "how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?"-Finally,

3. Be assured, that if you would enjoy the privilege stated in the text, you must answer the character described. They only "reign in life by Jesus Christ" who "receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness." And why not receive them? A gift must be free, and " grace" is liberality itself. Would to God that you felt your need of these blessings, that you perceived their glory and value; then would you seek them with diligence, and receive them with "all readiness of mind! Deceive not yourselves with vain notions, and flattering compliments to human merit; bow to the righteousness of the Saviour, imbibe the grace of the Gospel, and fear no result. "Sin hath reigned unto death;" but grace reigns, through righteousness, unto life eternal, by Jesus Christ our Lord."

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SERMON XXVII.

CHRIST ABLE TO SAVE.

(A FUNERAL DISCOURSE FOR MISS MARTHA RHODES)

HEB. vii. 25.
He is able to save.

THESE words are selected for two reasons:-they were frequently on the lips of the deceased during her illness; and the sentiment they contain was abundantly refreshing to her heart. They afford also the fairest opportunity of preaching to you the Gospel; of exalting the Saviour; of addressing you on a subject which lies at the foundation of your faith, and is closely connected with your hope and comfort.

This service has been anticipated with considerable feeling. On some accounts it is a task which I would decline, could it be done consistently with duty. At the same time, the attempt is attended with pleasure, arising partly from the satisfactory state of mind possessed by my departed relative, and also from the hope, the humble hope, that on this occasion some useful impressions will be felt; the hearts of some

melted in penitence, awakened to prayer, and turned to God through Jesus Christ. May this indeed be the case, and God shall have the glory!

SAVE.

Our subject is-THE ABILITY OF CHRIST TO This ability, we shall endeavour to shew, is of three kinds;-Natural, Official, and Moral. In other words, it is an ability of power, of right, and of will. Each is important; but taken together, and in their connection with each other, they are of infinite moment, and afford the richest encouragement -"He is able to save."

What is salvation? We cannot fully answer this question, unless we knew the extreme evil and demerit of sin; unless we understood the worth of the soul, the duration of eternity, and the felicity of heaven. This we know, salvation is deliverance from sin and all its consequences. It is freedom from the curse of a broken law, and from the wrath of an offended God. It is the possession of pardon, peace, and growing purity in this life; and the full fruition of holiness, happiness, and glory in the life which is to come. Salvation includes whatever constitutes the perfection of our immortal nature, its highest enjoyment; and this enjoyment perpetuated to the countless ages of eternity. Christ is "able to save."We notice,

1. HIS NATURAL ABILITY:-His ability of nature, irrespective of any office he fills, or engagement he has made: in plain words, his ability as God.

We have no notion of placing the Saviour lower in the scale of being than the sacred Scriptures explicitly assign. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word (in his essential

nature) was God." His name is called, "the mighty God"-" the true God"-" the only wise God." And to Him is addressed the magnificent language, "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever!""Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thine hands. They shall perish, but thou remainest: they all shall wax old as doth a garment, and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail t." It is a solemn declaration, "Cursed is man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord." But may we not trust in the Saviour; and trusting in Him, are we not safe? May we not place entire confidence in Christ; and thus confiding, are we not safe? Yet tremendous danger would await us, were he merely a man-were he not Immanuel, God with us.

The Godhead of the Saviour is an essential pillar of our holy religion. Remove this, and it falls; the whole system of Christianity sinks into insignificancy. But it cannot be removed. "The Deity of Christ stands on the basis of claims which he himself advanced, of worship which he received, of power which he exerted, of attributes which he exhibited, of an empire unbounded as the universe, and infinite as eternity."

But it is not necessary on this occasion to search for arguments in proof of the Deity of Jesus Christ. You are persuaded of the truth of the doctrine, and you feel its importance in connection with his ability to save; an ability founded originally in his essen

+ Heb. i. 8-12.

John i. 1..

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tial nature, as one with the Father-" The brightness of his glory, and the express image of his perover all, God blessed for ever. Amen."

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We remark,

II. HIS OFFICIAL ABILITY:--His ability of office, in virtue of which it is his right, his prerogative, to save.

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The Son of God undertook the cause of ruined man: He became Mediator. This was the office he condescended to sustain; and in pursuance of this office He saves. It is as Mediator that he speaks thus: Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire: mine ears hast thou opened; burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not required. Then I said, Lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me; I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart*." The will of God is the salvation of man, and Christ is the Saviour; "neither is there salvation in any other." His designation to the office, his qualifications for the work, and the authority under which he acts, are clearly intimated; "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me." "Him hath God the Father sealed t." Thus he possesses not only an ability of power from his Divine nature, but also of office from his constituted character; an ability of right resulting from his appointment to the work of saving sinners, and his voluntary engagement in this work.

It is observable, that this is the kind of ability particularly intended in the text, considered in its

*Ps.xl. 6-8. ↑ Is. Ixi. 1; John vi. 27.

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