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SERM. Scripture, or on the other hand that the indulgence of any vice is approved; therefore we may conclude with the Apostle, that in the practice of virtue we are secure thus far, that "against such there is no law;" whereas all impurity and immorality of every kind is particularly condemned in Scripture, and shewn to be in constant opposition to the spirit of God. Nor is it any where said that Christ will save sinners persisting in their sins, but that those sinners only shall "save their souls alive,” who, repenting of their past disobedience, shall "turn away from the wickedness" they have been in the habit of committing— not those who expect to be saved upon such easy terms as the Sadducees and Pharisees, who ran to partake of John's baptism, but those who adopt his admonition, and are careful in the conduct of their lives,
bring forth fruits meet for repentance;" that is, to practise and cultivate such virtues as may manifest their sincere conversion, and their just abhorrence of all iniquity, so hateful in the sight of God.
And now to conclude-" May the God of SERM. "Peace that brought again from the dead our "Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the
sheep, through the blood of the everlasting "covenant, make you perfect in every good “work, to do his will, working in you that "which is well pleasing in his sight, through
Jesus Christ: to whom, with the Father and
"the Holy Ghost, be ascribed as is most due
all glory, might, majesty, and dominim, now " and ever."
ON GOOD WORKS.
ROMANS VI. 22, 23.
But now being made free from sin, and become servants of God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Of all the motives which should ac- SERM.
tuate the Christian to lead a good life, that XIV. which ought to be the most efficacious and prevailing, is commonly altogether overlooked and neglected, or else made too much of. To lead a good life, or to endeavour to do so, through the mere hope of future reward, or dread of future punishment, is acting from a low and mercenary principle in comparison with the motives that should operate upon the true Christian,
SERM. Christian, and stimulate him to works of righteousness. Besides, Christianity does really not promise us any thing future as a reward of virtue, strictly so called; not as a recompence for the worthiness of the work, but as proceeding from God's mere bounty. To virtue in all its branches we were bound, long before Christianity prevailed among us. The law of the Lord
written in our hearts would have laid us always under the obligation of strict obedience to it, independent of any promises which the Gospel holds forth. We never were, nor ever shall be, free from this obligation; but how far we are to look for a reward for our obedience, it would well become us to consider. There is a short but very apt parable to this purpose to be found in the Gospel of St. Luke, which, though it may not perhaps strike you at the first hearing, yet I shall not despair of proving to you that it is greatly connected with what I have been saying. "And the
Apostle said unto the Lord, increase our "faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith "as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say