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shall not be able to carry any thing hour, to a separation, an everlasting with him; naked he came into the separation from the darling of your world, and naked he must leave it. eyes ; you are hastening every mo' Providence may permit him to en- ment to a place, where you can injoy his idols while in this life; but dulge none of your predominating whenever death comes, there must lusts, where you can enjoy none of be an everlasting separation. After your pleasures, where the sources his departure, his riches will be no. of your present comforts and of thing to hiin, nothing as to any your present chief happiness, will benefit to be derived from them: be everlastingly dried up. O! what but it would be well for him, if they a sad reverse will this be! what a were to be so in every other res. woful change! what a heart-rendpect; this, alas ! will not be the ing deprivation! Is it possible to case; for they will rise up in judg- prevent such a misfortune? Is it ment against him, they will be the possible to avoid such a calamity ? cause of his eternal misery, they No, if you continue to choose and wil sink him down to the nether love unlawful objects; God's demost hell. 0! what folly do cree is against it; His justice demankind manifest, in choosing pe- mands such a visitation for such a rishing and destructive objects for crime. The only way to prevent a their attachment, in preferring a separation from the chief object of fading idol to a never-ending God ! your love, from the chief source of May we all be delivered from such your happiness, is to choose the madness as this.
right and lawful object, to choose A desire for the honour which and love him supremely, who is the cometh from men is a lust to wbich only source of true, real, and submany are also slaves. They seek stantial happiness, who is an inexto please their fellow-creatures haustible fountain of bliss and conrather than the Creator and Lord solation, the ever-blessed God. of all. They love the praise of men Hear what is said in the latter part more than the praise of God. They of the text. Amidst all the perishalso pursue what will very soon able things with which we are survanish away; they serve that which rounded, there is one who is to abide cannot be long gratified; they fol. for ever in the full enjoyment of the low after a perishable object, a objects of his delight. And who shadow, a mere nothing, what has this is, we are informed by these no existence but in the ever-chang- words : He that doeth the will of ing fancies of men, an object alto. God abideth for ever. gether unworthy of an immortal Is it not desirable to abide for creature like man.
ever? Is it not desirable to posIndeed every thing in this world sess a source of joy, of comfort, which men are apt to desire and of pleasure, and of happiness, pursue, is of a fading and vanishing wbich is never to fail, but which nature; it passeth away. The long- flows not only during life, but est possession that we can have of throughout eternity ? Is it not them is the extent of the present desirable to have an object for our life. If therefore you have laid up love and attachment, so great and your treasure on earth, if your heart 80 glorious as for ever to excite is in the world, fixed on any object admiration and praise, so lovely and more than on God, if your affec. 80 gracious as to communicate for tions are set on things below, you ever an increased abundance of have chosen for your God that pleasure and delight ? Is it not which passeth away, you are draw. desirable to possess enjoyments, ing nearer and nearer every year, which no chances nor changes can every month, every day, and every take away, which nothing in this world nor in that which is to come dom from all these evils, and in · can either maror destroy; of which possession of pleasures and delights, neither man nor devils, nor life nor the measure and degree of wbich death, can deprive us; is it not desi- it has never entered into the heart rable to possess enjoyments of this of man to conceive. What a dekind? Do you not covet them, are lightful and enrapturing view is you not more anxious for them this of every one that doeth the than for any thing else ? are you will of God! And surely, if there not willing to give up all for such be any thing of which we have ever enjoyments? And are you desirous heard that is calculated to excite in of knowing how they are to be us a desire to do it, it must be this, obtained ? The text informs you. it must be a desire to do the will of
You must do the will of God, and God, to be His obedient children. all these things shall be yours. And But is this a duty which we through if you do the will of God, not only grace have performed, and a privithese things shall be yours, but then lege of which we have availed ouralso you will be able to look on all selves? To enable you to ascertain the perishable and changing things this questiou, I shall specify shortly around you with comparative indif- what it is to do the will of God. ference; you will be able to reflect The will of God is what He has on a world which passeth away, on revealed ;--that which He has rethe shortness of life and on the quired of man and commanded him vanity of worldly pleasures, with to do. This may be comprised in profit and advantage, with feelings the following particulars. of praise and gratitude, unmixed 1. It is God's will that a sinner with sorrow or regret. If you do should repent : this is his command, the will of God, your removal from and becomes thereby man's indisa world which passeth away, were pensable duty. God has expressed it to happen before the end of this this to be His will by the Prophets year, would be no loss to you, but of old, by the forerunner of our an everlasting gain; you would Saviour, by our Saviour himself, abide for ever, death could not de- and under the ministration of the prive you of the source of your Spirit, by the Apostles. Under peace and happiness, and you would every dispensation, this is explicitly be so far from losing your enjoy- required, commanded, and enforced. ments, that they would be incon- To do God's will in this respect is ceivably increased, and would be on not to put on sackcloth and ashes, the increase for ever and ever. If but to feel an inward sorrow and this event were to happen, you deep contrition. Repentance is not would have to spend the next new the expression of the lips, but an year's day, not in the congregation inward feeling of shame, of comof sinners, but among the assem- punction, and of regret, for our sinbly of saints made perfect,—not in fulness and pollutions, for our dea corruptible body, hindered, op- parture from God and rebellion pressed, and resisted by your natu- against Him. And it is not what ral corruption, but free from every is peculiar to our first return to incumbrance, exempt from every God, but it is our constant work. sin and pollution, not at a distance As we sin daily, we must repent from your Lord and Saviour, not daily. A sense of our daily and living by faith, but brought near to hourly transgressions and shortsee Him as He is and be like Him; comings should humble us daily not labouring under the troubles, before God, and make us beg for afflictions, and disappointments of the participation of His mercy this tempting, tormenting, and fad- through Christ Jesus. ing world, but enjoying a full free 2. It is God's will that we believe in His Son. Believe in the upon ; but the essence of every Lord Jesus Christ is the great thing that is required is included in command of the Gospel. This, the idea of Repentance toward God, our Saviour himself declares, is the and faith toward our Lord Jesus work of God, That ye believe on Him Christ. Such was the substance of whom he hath sent, John vi. 29. And St. Paul's preaching; to possess that we should not doubt but that them is to possess the marrow of this is a duty incumbent on all, we religion : they will lead us necesare expressly told by St. John, that sarily to the performance of every this is His commandment, that we other part of God's will, to love, should believe on the name of His fear, and obey Him, to love one Son Jesus Christ, 1 John iii, 23. A another as fellow-creatures, and compliance with this commandment, fellow-christians, and to promote you must know, is attended with each other's present and future. self-denial, and self-abhorrence, and welfare. with a conviction of our own entire Now if we through grace do the inability to help ourselves. He will of God, if we repent, believe, that believes in Christ Jesus is one and consequently love God and keep that sees himself in the same con his commandments, we are in a dition with the prodigal son, when safe state, though in a changeable he said, I perish ; or with the jailor, and perishing world, We may be when he asked, What must I do to weak in ourselves, and exposed to be saved ? To believe in Christ storms and tempests, to the wiles Jesus is not a blind and stupid re- and temptations of the devil, to the liance upon Him; but it is to flee constant and secret opposition of to Him for refuge, for life, for salva- our own evil nature, to the allure. tion; it is the earnest application ments and enticements of the world, of a condemned criminal for par- to the scoffs and taunts of wicked don ; it is the grasping of a man men, we may be exposed to all ready to sink on any thing on these evils, and to some of them which he can lay hold; it is the every one of us is in some measure willing and the entire dependance exposed, but yet we are in a safe of one convinced of his lost condi- state, we need fear no changes, we tion on a Saviour who is all-suffi- need fear no events; no, if the cient to save. Except we believe world were to pass away with great somewhat in this manner, we can- noise, if the elements were to melt not possibly consider ourselves as with fervent heat, if the earth and doing the will of God. Whatever all its works were to be burned up, we do in any other respect, without we have no occasion to be afraid, doing this part of His will, it can we are safe, we shall abide for be of no avail : indeed, without ever, we shall live throughout the faith in Christ we can do no part of ages of eternity in the full enGod's will aright, we can do no- joyment of ineffable delight and thing acceptable in his sight. happiness. This subject might be enlarged
LINES WRITTEN IN KESWICK CHURCH YARD.
Though lakes and mountains firm for ages stand,
A CONSTANT Reader.
ON JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH AND WORKS.
An Extract from Diodati's Commentary on the second chapter of the Epistle
of St. James, relating to JUSTIFICATION.
JAMES II. 20. That Faith.] Jamestion of a sinner in general, but to speaks not here of the true Faith, the particular one of a hypocrite, but of a vulgar and common know who, rending asunder these two ledge of God, which doth no more inseparable parts, sheweth that join a man umto God, than the look- he hath neither the one nor the ing upon the sun raiseth him to other. heaven---without works, namely, Ver. 22. Seest thou how Faith.] That Faith which doth not produce Namely, that he had the two essenthis effect which is proper, perpe- tial parts that make up a true Betual and inseparable from a true liever, which are the benefit of the and lively Faith—is dead ; Hav. Son, and the work of the Holy ing no power to produce the true Ghost, which are as inseparable effect of righteousness and spiritual one from the other as those two life, it is but a shadow and false re- persons of the Holy Trinity. Rom. semblance of Faith, and as it were, viii. 9. à root dead in the earth.
Wrought.] Faith was not idle, Ver. 21. Was not.] Seeing that but did co-operate to the Works. it is the same Spirit that hath spo- Made perfect--Obtained its end ken by S. Paul and S. James, and and brought forth its fruit or effect, that S. Paul attributes Abraham's which is voluntary obedience. justification and that of all believers Ver. 23. Was fulfilled.] As, Gen. to Faith without works. Rom. ii. xv. 6, Faith in Abraham caused 20, 28, and iv, 2, 5, 6. Gal, ii. 16, him to embrace the promise of a and ii. 11. We must of necessity Son, which was a sign of God's distinguish the meaning of this word grace in Christ, so, Geni. xxii. 9, it JUSTIFY, which is used by S. Paul did finish up its sovereign act, in for absolving a mau as he is in his offering up again the Child to him, natural state, bound to the Law which it had received; a figure of and subject to damnation for his all the believer's good works, by sin; which God doeth by a rigid which they yield up to God by act of justice that requireth full obedience all that which they had satisfaction ; which, seeing he could received of Him by Faith. not get of man, Rom. viii. 2: he V er. 24. Not by Faith only.] hath received at Christ's hand (who Not by a bare and vain knowledge was the surety), imputed to man by of God. God's grace, and apprehended by Ver. 25. Rahab.] Under this pera lively faith; whereas S. James son S. James comprehends all those takes the same word for an approv- who were strangers to the Church, ing of a man in a benign and fa- and were ingrafted into it.---Justitherly judgment, as he is considered fied. Approved of by God as in the quality of God's child and truly a member of his people, not living in the covenant of grace, as only because she believed in God's having the two essential parts of promises, which he had made to that covenant joined together, Faith his people, to be true ; but, also, to receive God's grace and Christ's because she showed and put that benefit, and works to yield him the growing Faith in practice by an act duty of service and acknowledg- of charity and loyalty towards the ment; and this justification is no spies. Now it seems that S. James longer opposed to the condemna- doth join the example of Rahab
with that of Abraham, to show reason to us, he consequently does that there is no degree of Faith, not possess a sufficient reason, would neither bigh as Abraham's was, nor be to impute tyranny or folly to low and weak as Rahab's was, him. which may not,'or ought not, pro. A case in point occurs in Horace. duce good works.
(Serm. II. ii. 188.) A subject puts Ver. 26. So Faith.] Namely, . a question of this kind to a king. That Knowledge, separate from the The king simply answers, Rex sum. Spirit of Regeneration, which only The subject replies, Nil ultra quæro ean animate and vivify it, to take plebeius. The king condescends to kuld on Christ and his benefits, and add, Et æquam rem imperito. withal to produce the effects thereof Perhaps, however, if we were to in holy works.
look a little more closely into scripAccording to the foregoing state. tural statements of this kind, we ment of Diodati, it would appear should find that the grants of honthat S. Paul described the Justifi- our and mercy, and the judgments cation of an unjustified man; S. of wrath had reference to an anteJames described the Justification cedent state of probation iinmediof a justified man. Might we not ately preceding, and closed by the then properly call this second Jus- next following dispensation. tification DECLARATORY Justifica- They, for instance, who rejected tion ? Examples of such decla Christ in the Spirit, offering himratory expressions we have in self to faith only as their alone several parts of scripture. Our righteousness, had rejected him beLord was declared to be “ the Son fore in the flesh, as they had preof God with power.” Rom. i. 4. viously rejected John, and Moses. "Hypocrites were made manifest If the eye refuse a lower light, it to be hypocrites.” I. John ii. 19. In is blinded by an increase of light. both cases, that which was declared So much for private interpretaexisted as truly before as after it tation. The great question with was declared.
us ought to be, How we may be If there exist then any objection faithful as Ministers of the Gospel, to this mode of reconciling S. Paul and of the particular Church to and S. James, I should be glad to which we belong. As preachers of be informed of it; at present I find the gospel, we should never forget no other statement so satisfactory that a preacher is a Herald, (kmput) to my own mind.
aud that before all things he must I would further ask, whether in deliver his message precisely as he tracing up investigations of this received it. Even so Homer does kind to the fountain head, we ought not permit the Heralds of the Deity not to stop when we arrive, as we to alter one word in the messages necessarily must, at a question committed to them. In the next which can be answered only by the place, he must not attempt to exSovereign fount of mercy and plain any doubtful points, of the honour? That saving Faith is en- meaning of which he is not certain ; tirely the gift of God, I fully be- neither may he withhold the delivery lieve; but, as the gift is an act of of such declarations of Scripture, the royal fountain of honour and but must express them in the very mercy, it seems to myself, that to words of Scripture, without parask a reason, is to attempt to de- tiality or preference, as of Paul to throne God and take away from hin James, or of James to Paul. Perhaps a privilege which we consider essen the chief difficulty of scripture after tial even to human royalty. At all consists in its being tvo plain. the same time to argue that, because Neither are we permitted to soften the king does not see fit to give a or strengthen the manner in which JAN. 1828.