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around him his sense of the enormity of sin, which could be par doned by no other sacrifice than Christ's; and his sense of the holiness and truth of God, who would admit him on no other terms; and his sense of the infinite mercy and infinite merit of Christ, through whom he is accepted; and his sense of the need that his rebellious heart should be brought back again to God, by his submitting to be saved by his sanctifying grace; and by this does he give all the glory in a sinner's power to that great and gracious Savior.

What other instrument of justification can be so suitable as this? We see, on the one hand, that God will justify a sinner because of Christ's righteousness, and will give to Christ all the glory; we see, on the other hand, an instrument of justification, by which all the glory is rendered to Christ; and it must be plain to the commonest understanding, that that instrument, and none other, is that which may be most honorable to God, to order and establish as the one condition of a sinner's salvation. Is there merit in this act of faith? No more than there was in Peter, when, because he was sinking in the water, he trusted Christ's power and love to save him from it. No more than there was in the army of Israel, when they believed that the power of God would divide for them the Red Sea, and carry them in safety through it. No more merit, than there is in the destitute and dying welcoming the alms, that may save them from destruction. There is no merit in faith. It is not by faith as a work, by faith as a meritorious attainment, that any sinner is justified; but it is by the riches of Christ, which faith apprehends, and lays hold upon. It is by that which gives to Christ all the glory, and precludes all merit in the sinner, that God has determined to justify every sinner who is justified.

Once

If this, my brethren, be the plain, scriptural account of the way in which a sinner is justified by God, it is very easy to see how important it is, that you and I should not alone reason about faith, not alone talk about faith, but should have this justifying faith. In fact, it is impossible for me adequately to state the importance of obtaining this blessing. All blessings flow from it. Once obtain this saving faith in Christ, and we are glorious forever. obtain it, and the attributes of God are around us, like a fortress, that no evil can invade. Once obtain it, and the privileges of the new covenant of grace are ours. Without it, we are shut out from salvation, and honor, and happiness. No words can express the importance of every living and thinking soul in this congregation getting this faith. We must have it. We shall be lost without it. We shall hasten down to ruin, if we have not faith; and the more we know of it, the more convinced we are of it. the worse will it be for us

if we do not get it. That faith must burn in our bosoms, as the principle of eternal life, or we perish. We must have it, or we die.

Does any one here say I cannot have it; I have no faith, and I cannot have it? What does that mean I cannot have faith?

Is

Christ deserving your confidence? Are God's invitations plain and certain? Is it necessary to escape from hell, and to reach heaven? Must you be happy? Have you an indestructible thirst after happiness? Is the way to happiness made plain before you? Why, then, do you not take it? What is the meaning of saying, I cannot believe? It means this, as you must see if you recall what justifying faith is: I cannot see that I am a lost sinner; I will not own it; and therefore I cannot trust Christ's atoning sacrifice, and Christ's sanctifying grace. Is this what it means? Then what fatal pride there is in that man, or woman, or child, in this congregation, that ventures, in the face of facts that will silence all of us when we stand before the judg ment seat, and ought to silence all of us now, to say — I cannot own that I am a hell-doomed sinner; I cannot own that I merit my Maker's eternal curse? We shall see it plainly enough hereafter, if we do not see it now; and there is nothing to account for the dulness of our vision, but the pride of our hearts. What fatal pride, if we should have to own before God at the last, that in the face of all the clearest demonstration of his word, his attributes, and the workings of our own common sense, we denied that we deserved his eternal wrath!

Or does it mean-I cannot trust Christ's great sacrifice, and perfect obedience, and declared love? What ingratitude to him! what causeless unbelief! Is it true, or is it not true, that that unseen, but Almighty Savior is ready to intercede for you, and give you his Spirit, and carry you to heaven? Is it true, or is it not, that there is not one soul in this congregation, for whom Christ Jesus did not give his blood, and whom he is not now ready to make a child of God and an heir of heaven? What fatal, what damnable unbelief, if notwithstanding all this, any one in this congregation says - I cannot trust him!

Or does it mean, that because he has revealed that he will save you by making you holy, by leading you to obey, by making you mortify your sins, by giving you the sanctifying spirit through which all this may be done, you cannot submit to that; you must hold your sins; you must still live in that which God forbids; you must still cherish that which God's law condemns? Why, in the face of such fearful sanctions, and notwithstanding such plain and reiterated commands, and when such infinite mercy is extended to you, to refuse salvation because will cling to sin you oh! it must silence every one at the last, if nothing else did; it must strike such an arrow of remorse into

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the miserable soul, that will have then to own-I might have been rescued and blessed for ever, but I would not give up my rebellion against God. Alas! alas! it will deepen all the gloom of the condemnation, that is resting upon you already.

But if still you tell me that you are obliged to say, I cannot believe; are you to sit down in despair? Here is a fearful load of guilt upon you; must you sit down in despair? Do you say What can I do? I am lost, I shall sink into perdition, I have not believed, I cannot believe; all this is true, but I must sink into perdition, helpless and hopeless? You only half believe that; or you would not sit still and do nothing. Depend upon it, when any man says, I must sit still and do nothing, because I cannot believe, he has only half a conviction of his melancholy state. A little deeper conviction of the absolute and intolerable misery to which such a state is leading, would make you at once begin to be active in doing what you can.

Do you say

What can we do? There are many things, God's Word declares you not only can, but must do. It is our duty to believe in Christ at once. It is the duty of every man, woman, and child in this assembly, to believe in Christ now. There is evidence that ought to convince every one, at once, without any further examination; and the obligations resting upon us are such, that not one night ought to be lost; not one minute's delay ought to be interposed. Christ offers you and me salvation, if we trust him; and it is our duty to trust him now. We are lost, and he offers to save us from hell by his atoning sacrifice, by his sanctifying Spirit; and he only asks us to trust him. We ought to trust him now.

But if the hardness of any heart forbids it; if the habitual unbelief of any heart forbids; if the devoted love of sin, which still masters any one, forbids it; then what must follow? To do nothing? No. Listen to God's Word, as you hope to be saved. God has required of just such persons" Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Break off every habit of sin. Keep out of the way of temptation. Forsake the company that tempts. Do what you obviously can. No one compels you to seek bad company; no one compels you to place yourself in the way of temptation; Satan cannot compel you to any Therefore, break these things off. Break off what

external act.

ever, in fact, interferes with your seeking salvation. once.

It is God's command.

Break it off at

" Who

Cannot

Is there nothing that you can do? God's Word declares soever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." you call on him? Cannot you at once begin to seek God's mercy? But you have not faith; and you have not earnestness. Still, call on him as you can. Begin to pray. Fasten upon your mind the necessity of salvation; and let the cry of your natural distress, if not the prayer of faith, ascend up before God.

God has said in his Word" The law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ." Then, in other words, it is when men perceive how the law condemns them, that they flee to Christ as the only Savior. Do not get rid of the sense of guilt; but fasten it on your mind. Meditate on God's holy law; look at all its precepts; apply them to your own case; see how you have violated them; acknowledge the condemnation that law pronounces. Let the humiliating thought rest there, till it compels you to seek salvation by Christ. "The law is our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we may be justified by faith."

Meditate, further, as you can, upon the gospel of Christ: for "faith," we read, "cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." When any one will day by day read the Scriptures solemnly and seriously, and endeavor to understand them, and to impress them on his mind, it may be the duty in which God meets him. In the absence of that, how can you expect the blessing? If you despise God's Word, if you neglect his gospel, can you look for salvation? Read it; meditate upon it. You may find, as thousands have, that in that obedience, however imperfect, to God's will, he may meet with you and save you.

If you feel still, that all this may leave you yet unsaved, because none of these things can sanctify, (which is most true,) remember, faith is the gift of his Spirit. It is not wrought by us; it is wrought by him, as many passages with which you are acquainted tell you. If it be wrought by him; if no man can enter heaven except he be regenerate by the Spirit, and it is he who imparts the faith, by which a sinner lays hold on Christ; then recollect that Christ has said, God is more willing to give you that Holy Spirit, if you ask him, than you, if the most loving parent, are willing to give the commonest blessing to your child. Christ has said so, and God will do it. Then wait on him. Ask for that Spirit. Ask it frequently; ask it day by day; never cease from asking, for "men ought always to pray, and not to faint." Ask on, till God grants you that necessary blessing.

These things, at least, you can do; and there are other similar

directions in God's Word, for those who are as yet in their sins. And till all these are done, and have been done long in vain, do not say you can do nothing. If you say so, my dear hearer, it is, depend upon it, because you are only half convinced. Once thoroughly per

suaded that you are ruined without Christ, you will gratefully seize the opportunities for these habits, which he has required you at once, as condemned sinners, to exercise and to cultivate.

But how can we express adequately, my Christian brethren, the gratitude we ought to have to God through Christ, if indeed he has given us this inestimable blessing? How can we sufficiently deplore the condition of some among us, to whom it seems almost impossible that they should believe; to whom the difficulty in their way seems almost insuperable? And yet God has taught us to believe. Why? Why do we rest on Christ this night? Why do we now look up to our most loving Savior, to deliver us from our guilt and ruin, from the curse of the law, from the malice of Satan, from his temptations, from the eternal wrath we have merited, from all evil; and to place us amongst his people in glory? Why, with a consciousness perhaps as complete as any one can have, that we are utterly deserving of eternal wrath, have we yet this confidence in Christ? Oh! brethren, it is a blessing from God, for which it is impossible we should be sufficiently thankful. Let us day by day exercise that faith. Let not a day go by, without our trusting in Christ still to save us. And may that confidence in him become more and more simple and complete.

SERMON XXIX.

DUTY OF ASSAILING THE ERRORS OF THE CHURCH OF ROME.

BY REV. JOHN CUMMING, D. D.

"Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about; all ye that bend the bow shoot at her, spare no arrows; for she hath sinned against the Lord."-JER. 1. 14.

THERE can be no question, my Christian brethren, that Babylon is the type and emblem of the popish apostacy. The eighteenth chapter of Revelations, which we have read this evening, and other parallel portions of the inspired record, abundantly demonstrate this. But, as there are several features which confirm this identity, we will en deavor, in humble dependence on grace divine, to lay them before you.

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