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admire or trust in human virtue!
what is the foundation and corner-stone of selfrighteoufnefs? It is pride, that fin of all others moft odious and abominable in the fight of God. Is it not a matter of daily experience, that those perfons who are evidently moft loofe and carelefs in their own practice, and who, one would think, fhould have leaft of that kind to rely upon, are most prone to a felf-righteous plan, and most ready to defpife the doctrine of-juftification through the imputed righteoufnefs of Chrift. Are you fometimes furprised at this, Chriftians? The thing is easily explained. They know little either of the law of God or their own hearts. They feldom ftudy the one, or reflect upon the other. If they did, they would foon be afha med of fuch a pretence. Thofe who apply them. felves with the greateft diligence to the ftudy of holiness in heart and life, do always moft fenfibly feel, and moft willingly confefs, that all their righteoufneffes are as filthy rags before God.
4. In Christ Jefus, and the blood of the everlafting covenant, there is abundant provifion made for the pardon of all our fins, and peace with an offended God. "Behold the Lamb of "God, which taketh away the fin of the world!” Behold the Lamb which God himself hath ordained, and fet apart for this important work, and which he will certainly accept! "Deliver "them," faith he," from going down to the
pit: I have found a ranfom." Behold the im-, maculate and fpotlefs victim in the purity of his human, and the glory of his divine nature! There is no fin fo atrocious but his blood is fuf
ficient to wash away the guilt. Is there any finner in this affembly burdened with a fenfe of guilt, arrefted by an accufing conscience, terrified by the thunders of the law, ready to cry out, "Who can stand before this holy Lord "God! My flefh trembleth because of thee "I am afraid of thy judgements." Let fuch an one know, that help is laid on him that is mighty to fave." Let your guilt be what it will, who can fo far derogate from the Redeemver's glory as to fufpect that his blood cannot purge it away? Give no heed to unbelieving thoughts, or discouraging suggestions; but be
ftrong in faith, giving glory to God;" and attend to the Saviour's own words: "Him that "cometh unto me, I will in no wife caft out."
5. In the last place, Let all the children of God, whofe hope hath still been in the divine mercy through a crucified Saviour, embrace the opportunity now given them of profeffing, exer, cifing, and ftrengthening their faith in the great atonement. Plead your relation to God through Chrift, and encourage yourselves in his all-fufficiency and merit. Look upon his fufferings for humbling you under a fenfe of the evil of fin, which made fuch an expiation neceffary. No. thing ferves more to abafe and level human pride, than to fee our nature on the crofs, tho' perfonally united to the divine. Look upon him in his agony, for mortifying and crucifying fin in you. There is a purifying virtue, and fanctifying efficacy, in the blood of Chrift. It not only speaks peace to the wounded confeience, but purges the confcience from dead works.
works to serve the living God. I am not against the introduction of every argument from scripture or reafon against fin, or in fupport of duty; but let them never fupplant the great, the leading, the constraining argument, which is drawn. from the cross of Chrift. Believe it, my brethren, nothing fo much reconciles the heart to duty, nothing fo kindles a holy indignation against fin, as a believing view of the Lamb of God, which taketh away the fin of the world. This gives the Spirit of adoption a child-like fear, and a child-like love. This fills the Chriftian with comfort, this infpires the Christian with zeal. To feek our comfort in a feparate way, or in the first inftance from our duties, is to make that comfort feeble and variable as the duties are defective; but to enliven our duties by the comforts of the gofpel, is to follow the order of the covenant of grace, by which we at once promote the glory of God, and moft effectually fecure our own comfort and peace. This is the Spirit breathed by the apoftle Paul, with whose words, Gal. ii. 19. 20. I fhall conclude: "For I through the law am dead "to the law, that I might live unto God. I am "crucified with Chrift: Nevertheless I live;
yet not I, but Chrift liveth in me: and the "life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the "faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
The love of Chrift in redemption.
REV. i. 5.
Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our fins in his own blood.
HE bare repetition of these words is fuffito cient to convince every hearer how well they are fuited to the defign of our present meeting. Redeeming love is certainly the most delightful of all themes to every real Christian. It is the immediate and direct object of our contemplation in the Lord's fupper. This ordinance was instituted to keep up the remembrance of the fufferings and death of Chrift, which was the great and finishing proof of his love. How then can you attend on it in a more be coming and dutiful, a more pleasant and defireable, or a more happy and useful frame of fpirit, than when your hearts are filled with a sense of the love of Chrift, and you find yourselves difpofed to join, with a mixture of joy and wonder, in the doxology of the apostle John, in the text, Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our fins in his own blood?
The author of this book is fometimes ftyled
the difciple whom Jefus loved. Since, therefore, it pleafed his matter to diftinguish him by the tenderness of particular friendship, it is no wonder that we find fo much of the delightful affection of love in his writings. In the beginning of this chapter, he gives an account of the general fubject and defign of the book of Revelation, the manner in which the discoveries contained in it were made to him, and his fidelity in testifying them to others. Then follows the apoftolic falutation to the feven churches in Afia, which is a folemn benediction, in name of all the perfons of the adorable Trinity: "Grace "be to you, and peace, from him which is, and
which was, and which is to come;" (that is, from God the Father, the ancient of days, immutable and eternal); "and from the feven
fpirits which are before his throne';” (not to detain you with a critical account of this phrase, it means the Holy Ghost, single in his perfon, but multiplied in his gifts; the variety, fullness, and perfection of which, are denoted by this form of expreffion); " and from Jefus "Chrift, who is the faithful witness, and the "first-begotten from the dead, and the prince "of the kings of the earth." To him you fee he gives three illuftrious characters.
1. The faithful witnefs, who came from above, and revealed the whole will of God for our falvation; who being the eternal truth, might be abfolutely depended on in the account he was by the apoftle to communicate, of the great events of Providence towards his church