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life is secured to those who, by patient continuance in welldoing, seek for glory, honour, and immortality."*"The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God." "Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord." The Son of God, being made perfect through sufferings, hath "become the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him."§

Conversion and sanctification, therefore, are unequivocally required of all men by the gospel; or, which is the same thing, in the present view, by the books containing the revelation of the mind and will of God.

But, assuredly, the unstable and changeable purposes, the alternation in practice between good and evil, which I have submitted to your consideration, do not amount to this conversion and sanctification. The denial of all ungodliness and every worldly lust, is something more than the mere acknowledgment of transgression. "To break off your sins by repentance," is something more than that self-accusation in which a sincere heart may not participate; something more even than that inward agitation which the sincerity of a moment may produce, (if, indeed, there can be such a principle admitted in the science of religion as the sincerity of a moment,) but which it does not support or perpetuate. There are such things as "fruits meet for repentance." There are such things as "works worthy of repentance." These are only manifested in steadfast purposes-unmoveable deport-ment—abounding godliness. Does the man who professes to be sensible of his sins, and sorry for them, and who yet returns to the commission of them; who lives sometimes religiously, and at other times negligently; to-day crucifying the flesh, to-morrow giving a loose to desire; does he bring forth fruits meet for repentance? Does he perform works worthy of repentance? "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature," says our apostle; but is that man renewed, in whom ancient impurities remain unmortified? In whom early principles of evil are suffered to maintain so firm a


Romans, ii. 7. †1 Cor. vi. 9. Hebrews, xii. 14. § Hebrews, v. 9.

footing, as from time to time to allure him back into the oblique ways of error? "Ye have not so learned Christ," my brethren, "if so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus; that ye put off concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt, according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which, after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness;"* righteousness-not transient resolutions, or occasional acts, but rooted and continued habits; true holinessnot intermitted devotion of the heart-not a perpetual vacillation in obedience, but abiding and progressive sanctification. "Whosoever abideth in God, sinneth not," writes St. John: that is, hath no habit of sin; "whosoever sinneth,”, habitually, "hath not seen him, neither known him. Let no man deceive you; he that doeth righteousness is righteous." Who else can be righteous but he, the tenour of whose life is upright, virtuous, and pious? In the ordinary commerce of mankind, who is it that you denominate kind and merciful? He whose general demeanour is disobliging; he who only now and then relents from the purposes of severity, cruelty, or revenge; he whose common rule of action is a gloomy spirit, from which forbearance is a rare exception? No-you call him kind, in whose heart and life the soft affections and the benevolent graces predominate. You call him merciful whose charàcter is cast into the mould of tenderness and benignity, clemency and sympathy; who is not accustomed to avenge himself; who, if angry impulses carry him, at times, beyond those limits of long-suffering moderation which he has prescribed to himself, is the first to condemn his fault, and sets a fresh and more rigid guard upon his spirit. Is it possible, then, that you can admit that man's claim to the praise of righteousness, whose conformity to the law of God, and the precepts of religion, is no more than temporary or occasional? Whose repentance, like the triumphing * Eph. iv. 20.-24. † 1 John, ii. 6. 7.

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of the wicked, is but short-like the joy of the hypocrite, but for a moment? Who reforms, again to be vitiatedwho is reclaimed, again to be lost?

If conversion and sanctification are unequivocally required of all men; if the unchangeable and unstable purposes, the alternation in practice between good and evil, which I have submitted to your consideration, do not amount to this conversion and sanctification; and if it be an undeniable position, that God will receive none into the joys of his heavenly presence who do not walk with persevering step in the ways of his appointment; then is your condition, O! ye irresolute, wavering, halting, temporizing Christians, enveloped in dangers inexpressible. "God hath appointed a day wherein he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained." "Every secret thing shall be brought to light;" and tried, "whether it be good, or whether it be evil." The great Judge will render to every man according to his deeds; unto them that do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness; unto every soul of man that doeth evil," and persists impenitently in iniquity, how often soever he may put on the forms of goodness; "indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish."* But unto whom, I pray you, will he "render" the award of eternal life?" of "glory, honour, and peace?" To the virtuous; you will say; to the upright; to the benevolent; to the charitable; to the penitent sinner; to the sanctified believer. Be it so. But who are these? Not they whose only claim to notice may be a few splendid actions proceeding from equivocal motives. Not they whose repentance leaves them unholy; or whose faith receives no perfection from their works. But they who turn not aside from the holy commandment; they who faint not, neither are wearied; they who endure unto the end; they who run well, with minds undiverted, and an activity not to be hindered, the race set before them; they who "seek immortality by patient continuance in well doing."

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Banish, my brethren, banish the hope that an extraneous righteouness shall save him whose own soul remains unrighteous. Banish the hope that any unregenerated spirit, may find its way into a holy Heaven. The thing is impossible. I am not impairing the merits of the Redeemer. God deliver me from this sin! If I do not misapprehend the doctrine which I preach, I magnify these precious merits. They save and they save to the uttermost. They save from sin; but they do not save in sin. It is the glory of the Redeemer, that whom he justifies, he also sanctifies; whom he frees from the penalties of transgression, he also makes holy. If, then, you have any regard for your eternal safety, indulge no hope from the righteousness of Christ, independently of the effects which it produces in your own conversion and spiritual improvement. If it be written, there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus," I charge you to remember what follows; "who walk not after. the flesh, but after the spirit."* No man, indeed, can be truly in Christ, whose life is carnal, whose character is not spiritualized. If you are truly in Christ, "you are created anew unto good works." If you are truly in Christ, you are ingrafted into a living and inspiring Saviour; you are become members of a body of which he is the head; and the life that is in him, animates you. This, my brethren, is the root of evangelical holiness. This is the gospel. Receive it; and you will be thoroughly furnished unto every good word and work. Receive it; and you will pursue your course without any formidable molestation, and, through the grace that shall be in you, persevere unto the end-and be saved. AMEN.

Romans, viii. 1.




"Ye did run well; who did hinder you,

obey the truth?"

that ye

should not

In addressing you lately from these words, my brethren, I traced the sources of the fault implied in them; and exposed the springs of man's instability in that which is good. I have demonstrated that an obedience defective and fluctuating, will not be crowned with the divine acceptance.

My business, at present, is to administer a few words of advice towards the rectification of this evil; and then to conclude the whole of what shall have been said, by a direct and practical address.

In the first place.-I am to administer a few words of advice towards the rectifying the dangerous error of an unstable and mutable obedience.

As the principles, elements, and seeds of this error have been ascertained, it is obvious, that if you would avoid it, you must direct your primary endeavours against these; you must shun with scrupulous assiduity every thing that has a tendency to generate this fickle and moveable conduct. Bestow a deeper attention on the subject of religious and mor al duty.* Reflect more profoundly, and with a greater measure of seriousness, upon the nature and extent of a re

* See Sermon 23.

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