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You have done more-you have not only sinned against your own soul, but against God. You have disobeyed the Lord of conscience. You have acted contrary to his known will; broken his holy, just, and good law. You have done all this. You cannot deny it ;—wrong and thus wrong.

4. Now suppose you had done this but once-suppose that of your innumerable acts and exercises, only one was sinful. Even on that hypothesis, you are guilty, condemned, inexcusable, and undone. You cannot answer for that one sin. The divine law tolerates sin in no

respect, and in no instance. "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them. He that offendeth in one point, is guilty of all." Gal. iii. 10. James ii. 10. The law of God is one, and he that breaks it in any part, breaks it all. The angels who kept not their first estate were consigned to the place they now occupy, in chains and utter darkness, for doing wrong ONCE. Did God wait for a second offence? Why should he? Does human law wait for the repetition of a crime? In like manner Adam, for one offence, incurred the sentence of death. Now if you have done wrong only once, you have done as much as dethroned the angels, and destroyed the father of the human race. If one offence ruined them, is not one enough to ruin you? But I need not speak on this supposition. For

5. You have done wrong more than once. How many times in your life do you suppose that you have acted, spoken, thought, and felt sinfully and wrong? So many times, that there is but one Being who can tell how many—and he will tell, when "the books are opened"—before assembled worlds.

Some appear to think that if their wrong doings, no matter how many they be, do not exceed their right doings; if their good deeds only outnumber by one their evil deeds, they have nothing to fear, and this is all that is required of them. For this opinion there is as little support derived from reason as from Scripture. There is none from either. It is absolute folly to think and talk thus. A man should be ashamed to entertain such an opinion. All analogy is against it. Is this all that the magistrate requires of the subject, or the parent of the child; viz. that they be careful to maintain a proper proportion between their acts of obedience and their acts of disobedience, never permitting the latter to outnumber the former? May the subject or the child break this law, provided only he obey that? Does not all law require universal obedience? Did any law ever allow or excuse its own trausgression in any respect or instance? There is not a government or society of any kind existing among men, having laws or rules for its regulation, which does not require the strict observance of all its rules by its every member. It punishes every breach of each rule. It does not wait till more than half of them are broken; and yet men expect that the great and jealous God will allow them to treat his holy, just, and good law, as no other law was ever allowed to be treated! And all the hope which many

have, is built on this expectation! Standing on this foundation, they are looking forward to the prospect of meeting God, with a calmness and confidence that nothing seems capable of disturbing. They acknowledge they have sinned, and they do not pretend that they have repented and secured an interest in the atonement. They have not, they suppose, sinned enough for that. It is not every sin, according to their notion, that renders repentance and a satisfaction necessary; but only the surplusage of sin, if any there should be after their good doings are subtracted from their evil ones! Into what absurdity and folly, not to say aggravated guilt, will erring mortals plunge! Sin first infatuates, then destroys them. It begins with making fools of them, and ends with making them wretches!

You perceive then, that it would avail nothing, though you could maintain the ground, that your right doings outnumber your wrong doings. But even this ground, were it available, you cannot maintain. For,

6. You have not done more good than evil; more right than wrong. The facts are against you. I know it is an astounding and unpalatable sentiment that I am about to advance; but it has the recommendation of being true, if it is not popular. You may disbelieve it, but you cannot disprove it. It is this-instead of having done more good than evil, if you are not now a penitent, a believer in Christ, a new creature; you have, so far as your moral nature is concerned, done no good; you have done nothing right. Your moral acts and exercises have been all of one kind, and all evil, all wrong. When this is said, it is not meant that your acts have been evil and wrong in every sense of those words. Right and good, according to the subordinate signification of those words, it is not disputed that you have done; but in the most important sense of the words, their scriptural sense, that sense of them in which they will be explained by God, and understood in the day of judgment (and that is the true sense of them), you have done "only evil," and that "continually." This assertion, though clothed with Divine authority, may give offence; but examine it carefully, remembering with whom you have to do.

Right is that which is conformable to the rule which God has given for the regulation of human conduct; that conformity having for its spring and principle the love of God, and for its object his glory. Now, though you have acted in some things agreeably to the revealed rule of God; yet has your motive been his love, and your aim his glory? It is quite possible to do things required by the law of God, and yet render no acceptable obedience to that law; for they may be done without any respect for the law; done for other reasons than that God requires them; or done rather from fear than love. To do right is to do what God requires, because he requires it, at the suggestion of love, and with a desire to glorify him. To do good is to do what is pleasing to God; but "without faith it is impossible to please him." There are no truly good works, according to the Scriptures, but those unto which we are "created in Christ Jesus." They that are in the flesh (i. e. in an

THE SOLEMN QUESTION ANSWERED.

"I know that in me, that is, unregenerate state), cannot please God." in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing." And it stands to reason, that repentance, in the case of the sinner, must go before all acceptable obedience, and that all good in him must be the fruit and consequence of repentance. In the case of the rebelling subject or child, after the first act of rebellion and disobedience, it is all rebellion and disobedience up to the moment he repents and makes his submission. So it is with all who rebel against God.

Well then, it appears you have done wrong, and nothing but wrong. You have done a great deal, and it has all been evil. All the entries under your name, in the book of God's remembrance, are on one side. The other side is a blank. You will never have anything of your own to be entered there; and the obedience of the great Surety is not entered to your account, because you have not believed on him, and with all your heart confided in him as your Surety. So the case stands. This is what you have done. And now,

Consider to whom you have done it,-to God, the great, blessed, and benevolent God, your creator, preserver, and benefactor. You have broken his law, which is holy, just, and good; have transgressed his commandments, which are not grievous; and have refused to render to him that which is your reasonable service!

Consider under what circumstances you have done it; circumstances of light and love; in despite of exhortation and command, admonition and entreaty, promise and threatening, judgment and mercy; with and hell uncovered to alarm you, and the cross heaven open to allure you, of the Son of God in full view before you; you have acted wrong, with every inducement to act right.

Consider also the evils involved in such doings, under such circumstances; the presumption and rebellion; the impiety and injustice; the folly and madness; the baseness and daring; but above all the ingratitude, of having, under such circumstances, acted as you have acted towards God!

The ingratitude! There never was such a case of ingratitude before, God never so loved and I suppose there never could be another like it. any other world as to give his only-begotten Son to die for its inhabitants. Such goodness does not exist to lead other sinners to repentance. They have no such love to despise. They have no blood of atonement to tread under foot. They cannot be so ungrateful. The intervention of the Son of God to save rebel man, renders his case peculiar, and will render his condition hereafter peculiar. He will rise to the highest in heaven, or sink to the lowest in hell. He is the only sinner that ever God never before sought to woo received a call to repent and return. back a wandering soul to him. But for you, O man, He has bowed his heavens and come down. He has sent his Son after you. And what have you done? How have you requited God's gift of his Son? How have you met the mercies of redemption? How have you treated Christ? Has his story interested you? Has his cross attracted you?

Have you stopped and gone near to see and 'sympathize in those unparalleled sorrows, of which you were equally the author as the object? -For he, who died for you, died also by you. Have you ever looked on him whom you pierced, and mourned? Have you given to him your heart? and are you living now to him who died for you? Alas! has he not been despised and rejected of you? Have you not passed him by, even if you have done no more?

But some, to all else they have done, are adding this, the last and worst they can do, the resisting and grieving of the Holy Ghost.-Art thou one of them?--They counterwork the Divine Spirit, who strive with them. God comes on a visit of mercy to them, and whispers in the ear of the soul, of pardon and heaven; but they say, "Depart from us: we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. Who is the Lord that we should obey him?"—And he departs perhaps; for he says, "Be instructed O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee. My spirit shall not always strive with man." What then?-What is their history after that? I know not, but this I know, a dark death and a deep and desperate damnation are the subjects of the last chapter. Sinner, there is one piece of advice, that as a friend I would give you. It is, that whatever you do, quench not the Spirit." You may do any thing but that, and your case not be desperate. But if you quench the spirit, there remains no hope, there is no refuge left-there is no fourth person in the Godhead, to undertake the case of the sinner who has wilfully put away from him the light and fire of the Divine Spirit. Art thou grieving him? Beware!-Another hour-another moment-and he may depart for ever!

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I have told you what you have done. Let me now urge you to consider the consequences of having done so; the great guilt you have incurred, the deep and virulent depravity you have contracted, the tremendous wrath you have treasured up for yourself, and the utter ruin you have entailed on soul and body, for time and for eternity. In doing what you have done, you have destroyed yourself. You have forfeited the divine favor, and lost the divine likeness. You are no longer a child and heir of God. That privilege and dignity are gone from you, and peace is gone, and purity is gone, and freedom and honor, and all but just one only hope is gone, and that is going, and unless you lay hold of it will soon be gone, never to return. You have blasted your prospects for eternity. You have caused a blight to come over the beauty and fruitfulness of the soul. You have lost all that was worth having, and have got in exchange nothing but what it is as much your interest as your duty to give up!

You have done what to undo, constituted a problem that baffled all created minds! You have done what to undo, required a special interposition from the adorable Trinity, and from the Son of God exacted suffering the deepest and most dreadful.

In fine, you have done, O sinner, so much that it is necessary you should do something more. And do you ask me what it is? Dost thou,

in view of what thou hast done, ask what thou must do? I am glad to hear that question-it indicates returning reason. I will briefly answer

it. And

First, You must do something-you must act-you will never be saved without your own agency. When the jailer asked this question, did Paul and Silas say, "Do nothing-wait-wait God's time?" A time, by the way, which cannot be waited for, because it has come already. It is now.

Secondly,-What you do, you must do quickly. The command of God urges you to immediate action. The difficulty of the work urges you. The uncertainty of life urges you. The ever-increasing hardness of the unregenerate heart, affords another argument for doing immediately what you find to do. "Behold now is the accepted time-behold now is the day of salvation."

Thirdly,-You cannot be saved by doing any thing which you may No amount of choose to do, aside from what God commands you to do. unauthorized effort will avail you any thing.

Fourthly,-You may do many things which the word of God approves, and even enjoins, and yet never be saved; for no one of them may be that specific thing to which the promise of salvation is made.

Fifthly,-There is only one thing that you can do to secure your salvation. You will be disappointed if you expect to be saved by doing many things. One act, one single exercise, is the indispensible requisite to salvation. What is it?

Sixthly, That which you do in order to be saved, is not to make an atonement for sin, nor is it to acquire yourself a title to heaven: it is not any act whereby you may make yourself better, or recommend yourself to God. There is nothing expiatory, meritorious, or commendatory in what you are required to do. The object of the act is not to make atonement, but to receive an atonement already made. It is not to do something for yourself, but to avail yourself of what another has done for you.

Seventhly, It is no external act or movement that is required. It is an act of the soul, a single, confiding act of the soul, the object of the confidence being Christ Jesus. There are two things presupposed as necessary to this act; viz. a sense of your need of him, and an apprehension of his suitableness and sufficiency for you. These existing, you have nothing to do that you may be saved, but heartily to trust in him. "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Exercise a confiding faith in him, and all is done. Cease to do any thing for yourself, except cordially to trust Christ to do every thing for you. This is what you must do. Now do it. It is reasonable that you should. Christ is altogether worthy of your confidence. He is able to save, and he is willing. He offers himself to you-He presses himself upon you. Receive him and you are saved. Do not be confounded by the very simplicity of the requirement. Do not say, "Can this be all?" I assure you it is all. And there is nothing to be done in preparation. for doing this. If you know that you are a sinner, and believe that

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