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vinced that passion governs him, with a power which he thinks he cannot control; and, therefore, giving himself up to its influence, he is ingulphed in all that makes man miserable here, and unfits him for the enjoyment of bliss in the world to come. Had this wretched being only seen how far his little sin might lead him; had he seen that no sin can be little in the sight of God, which leads to such direful effects, and all sin indulged in has this tendency, he would not have thought God a hard master, because he includes in his law the prohibition of an evil desire; he would have seen the wisdom and goodness of God in it, and have blessed him for it. But is the law indeed thus strict ? Are not venial sins passed by ? Not one.

Hear what God hath said on this subject.

Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. (Gal. iii. 10.) We may, perhaps, be asked, who, then, can be saved ? and we answer distinctly, that it never was the intention of God to give salvation to man by the law; and, being perfectly assured of this truth, it has been our earnest desire to destroy every vestige and shadow of a hope of eternal life, arising from so mistaken a view of the subject. And for proof that the law is not the way of salvation, we ask you to attend to the testimony of Scripture, where we are taught that the law entered that the offence might abound. (Rom. v. 20.) Who gave this law ? was it not God? And why was it given that offences might increase? Surely, no; but that the sense of offence existing might be deepened in the mind of the offender. Again ; we know that what things soever the law saith, (and who

is not under the law of conscience or of Moses ?) it saith to them who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God. Therefore, by the deeds of the law, there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Rom. iii. 19, 20.)

How is it possible to believe these to be the true say. ings of the living God, and yet cling to our obedience to the law as a ground of salvation ?



To the law and to the testimony : if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah viii. 20.)

At our last meeting, when we had this subject be. fore us, we think we had sufficient evidence that there is no hope of salvation by the law; and yet the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. (Rom. vii. 12.) It is holy, because it comes from the holy God, from whom nothing that is unholy can possi. bly proceed. It is just, for it requires nothing but what the Creator might reasonably demand from his crea. ture. It is good, for the observance of it, as we have seen, would produce a heaven upon earth. We may be asked, why, then, is it not the condition of salvation ? We answer ;


idea of salvation implies some immediate or impending evil ; and the very evil that it is necessary we should be saved from, is the sentence of that very law which we have broken ; for man is a fallen creature. Surely man is not in the image of God,

either mentally or morally, in which he was created. (Gen. i. 27.)

Under this view of the subject, how is it possible that the law, or obedience to it, should be the condition of salvation? As well might the condemned prisoner at the bar of man appeal to the criminal law which has sentenced him, for a justification.

What, then, is our hope? There is no hope for us but Christ crucified ; for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. (Acts iv. 12.) Thanks be to God for this hope; and thanks be to him, that it directs us to him who laid down his life for us. (1 John iii. 16.) In whom could we so reasonably trust, as in that Being of whom it is said, that all things were created by him, and for him. (Col. i. 16.) We find we have got into the testimonies of God rela. tive to our salvation ; but before we proceed further in this delightful subject, we will look at some passages of Scripture which refer both to the law and the Gos. pel. The first we ask your attention to is this : The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John i. 17.) What the law is, we have seen ; and what the grace, or favour, is, which we stand in need of, and earnestly desire, can be no less than an endless life of perfect blessedness. How can man give up the desire of natural life? and much more ; can he give up the desire of life beyond the grave ? and why does he desire life beyond the present state of being, but in the hope that it will be productive of good ? Nor can he be contented with this, if, after all, it must be embittered by the sad reflection that it will come to an end, and he become as though he had ne. ver been ? Nothing less can satisfy the mind than an endless life of blessedness; and we rejoice to hear the Saviour say, that whosoever liveth and believeth in him, shall never die. (John xi. 26.) The truth which is spo. ken of in connexion with this grace, we consider to be the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And if we are asked what is truth ? we answer, that in principle it is the knowledge of things as they are; and in practice, it is the per. formance of that which we have pledged ourselves to do. This, we think, will apply to the case before us ; for the infinite knowledge of God could not but see distinctly all that was, is, or would be ; and on the fall of our first parents, he pledged his truth that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. (Gen. iii. 15.) How truly is this promise of God fulfilled to us by the Redeemer taking upon him our flesh and blood, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Heb. ii. 14, 15.) Again ; Paul, preaching at Antioch, says, Be it known unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by him, all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. (Acts xiii. 38, 39.) Here the condemned sinner finds his deliverance, the forgiveness of his sins; and that not by an unholy con. tempt of the pure law of God, but by the meritorious death and resurrection of Christ. Again ; it is those who thus believe in Christ, who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification, (Rom. iv. 25,) and those only, who can have in them. selves the consolatory sense of their justification. And

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