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to which may be added, that in those, whose power of doing good, according to any mode, is small, the principle of benevolence will at least restrain them from doing harm. If the principle be subsisting in their hearts, it will have this operation at least. I ask therefore again, as I asked before, are we as solicitous to seize opportunies, to look out for and embrace occasions of doing good, as we are certainly solicitous to lay hold of opportunities of making advantage to ourselves, and to embrace all occasions of profit and selfinterest? Nay, is benevolence strong enough to hold our hand, when stretched out for mischief? is it always sufficient to make us consider what misery we are producing, whilst we are compassing a selfish end, or gratifying a lawless passion of our own? Do the two principles of benevolence and self-interest possess any degree of parallelism and equality in our hearts, and in our conduct? If they do, then, so far we come up tò our rule. Wherein they do not, as I said before, we fall below it. When not only the generality of mankind, but even those, who are endeavouring to do their duty, apply this standard to themselves; they are made to learn the humiliating lesson of their own deficiency. That such our deficiency should be overlooked, so as not to become the loss to us of happiness after death; that our poor, weak, humble endeavours to comply with our Saviour's rule should be received and not rejected; I say, if we hope for this, we must hope for it, not on the ground of congruity or desert, which it will not bear; but from the extreme benignity of a merciful God, and the availing mediation of a Re

deemer. You will observe, that I am still, and have been all along, speaking of sincere men, of those who are in earnest in their duty and in religion: and I say, upon the strength of what has been alleged, that even these persons, when they read in scripture of the riches of the goodness of God, of the powerful efficacy of the death of Christ, of his mediation and continual intercession, know and feel in their hearts, that they stand in need of them all.

In that remaining class of duties, which are called duties to ourselves, the observation, we have made upon the deficiency of our endeavours, applies with equal or with greater force. More is here wanted, than the mere command of our actions. The heart itself is to be regulated; the hardest thing in this world to manage. The affections and passions are to be kept in order; constant evil propensities are to be constantly opposed. I apprehend, that every sincere man is conscious how unable he is to fulfil this part of his duty, eyen to his own satisfaction: and if our conscience accuse us, "God is greater than our conscience, and knoweth all things." If we see our sad failings, He must. God forbid, that any thing I say, either upon this, or the other branches of our duty, should damp our endeavours. Let them be as vigorous, and as steadfast as they can. They will be so, if we are sincere; and without sincerity there is no hope: none whatever. But there will always be left enough, infinitely more than enough, to humble self-sufficiency.

Contemplate, then, what is placed before us: heaven. Understand what heaven is: a state of happiness after death, exceeding what, without experience, it is possible for us to conceive, and unlimited in duration. This is a reward, infinitely beyond any thing we can pretend to, as of right, as merited, as due. If some distinction between us and others, between the comparatively good and the bad, might be expected on these grounds, not such a reward as this, even were our services, I mean the services of sincere men, perfect. But such services as ours in truth are, such services as in fact we perform, so poor, so deficient, so broken, so mixed with alloy, so imperfect both in principle and execution, what have they to look for upon their own foundation? When, therefore, the scriptures speak to us of a Redeemer, a Mediator, an Intercessor for us; when they display and magnify the exceeding great mercies of God, as set forth in the salvation of man, according to any mode whatever, which he might be pleased to appoint, and therefore in that mode, which the gospel holds forth, they teach us no other doctrine than that, to which the actual deficiencies of our duty, and a just consciousness and acknowledgment of these deficiencies must naturally carry our own minds. What we feel in ourselves corresponds with what we read in scripture.

SERMON XX.

THE EFFICACY OF THE DEATH OF CHRIST CONSISTENT WITH THE NECESSITY OF A GOOD LIFE: THE ONE BEING THE CAUSE, THE OTHER THE CONDITION OF SALVATION.

ROMANS, vi. 1.

"What shall we say then? shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid."

THE same scriptures, which represent the death of Christ, as having that which belongs to the death of no other person, namely, an efficacy in procuring the salvation of man, are also constant and uniform in representing the necessity of our own endeavours, of our own good works for the same purpose. They go further. They foresaw that in stating and still more, when they went about to extol and magnify, the death of Christ, as instrumental to salvation, they were laying a foundation for the opinion, that men's own works, their own virtue, their personal endeavours were superseded and dispensed with. In proportion as the sacrifice of the death of Christ was effectual, in the same proportion were these less necessary: if the death of Christ was sufficient, if redemption was complete, then were these

not necessary at all. They foresaw that some would draw this consequence from their doctrine, and they provided against it. It is observable, that the same consequence might be deduced from the goodness of God in any way of representing it: not only in the particular and peculiar way, in which it is represented in the redemption of the world by Jesus Christ, but in any other way. St. Paul, for one, was sensible of this; and, therefore, when he speaks of the goodness of God, even in general terms, he takes care to point out the only true turn which ought to be given to it in our thoughts-"Despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance, and long-suffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” as if he had said,-With thee, I perceive, that the consideration of the goodness of God leads to the allowing of thyself in sin: this is not to know what that consideration ought in truth to lead to: it ought to lead thee to repentance, and to no other conclusion.

Again: When the Apostle had been speaking of the righteousness of God displayed by the wickedness of man; he was not unaware of the misconstruction, to which this representation was liable, and which it had, in fact, experienced: which misconstruction he states thus,-"We be slanderously reported, and some affirm, that we say, let us do evil that good may come." This insinuation, however, he regards as nothing less than an unfair and wilful perversion of his words, and of the words of other christian teachers: therefore he says concerning those, who did thus pervert them,

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