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no doubt, is their expectation. You see what haste our clergy are in, when a man is put into prison for murder. Their object is to induce the murderer to repent, so that he may not be doomed to hell hereafter. And they seldom fail of success. And when the man dies, they say he was forgiven! This is an awful doctrine; for this man did just as they say they would do, if they believed in no eternal death!
My friendly hearers, the moment we become conscious of having done wrong, we are “dead in trespasses and sing.” We should clearly understand this doctrine. Teach it to your children, and the lesson will be invaluable to them. But so long as they are taught that they can be happy while doing wrong, they will walk in disobedience. The doctrine of truth, that misery is the immediate attendant on transgression, is the only safe doctrine for man. Be careful then, under all circumstances, and do not be deceived, when temptation says, “Ye shall not surely die." I humbly ask you to remember what the speaker has told you this evening--that you will certainly die in the day of transgression.
"But," inquires the hearer," you say Christ came into the world to save the world; and if every sin receives a just reward, what benefit does Christ con
upon us?” My friends, Jesus could be of no benefit to us, if his ministry and mediation had been designed to save us from being punished for sin! What benefit would it be to children to be saved from parental reproof and correction? It would be an evil. It is necessary to correct them, when they do wrong. In this view, punishment is a blessing. Did our Saviour come to save us from blessings?
As Christians, as Universalists, we deny that he has ever exercised any dispensation of punishment over us, which was not necessary and profitable.
What, then, did Christ come to save us from, if not from eternal death?-Suppose the doctrine of eternal death was in the Bible-do you think that Christ would come to save us from it? Look at this subject. God makes a hell in the invisible world, in which to torment sinful man. Would that same God send a Saviour into this world to save sinful man from going there? No, no, my hearers; that C would be building up with one hand, and pulling down with the other.
What, then, did Christ come for? We believe what the angel himself says, for he was a minister sent from God out of heaven. When the birth of the Saviour was announced, the angel said to Joseph, “Thou shalt call his name Jesus,” that is, a Saviour. Lim A Saviour from what? From the punishment of sin? No. From hell? No. “For he shall save his people from their sins," not from the punishment of sin, if they are sinners. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world," not the punishment of the sin of the world. The salvation designed for man, is a salvation from all desire to commit sin. So long as men commit sin, so long they will be punished. But the moment they are saved from sin, they are saved from the death of sin.' And this is the salvation of the Redeemer. Look to Jesus as your Saviour froin sin. But how will he save you? I answer,—by commending his Father's love to you. He is the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person, If you are acquainted with him, you are acquainted
with the love of our Father in heaven. Look unto Jesus--for through him, the divine favour was manifested to a sinful world. In him you may behold a Saviour whom you can both admire and love. And, my friends, you will discover that all his precepts and commandments are love, peace, joy and comfort; and if you obey them, you can say as David said, "in keeping them, there is great reward.” Whoever understands and knows the truth, the truth will make him free. Whoever is acquainted with Jesus Christ, and with his spirit and power, will love and obey him, and thus be saved from sin. This is the salvation of the gospel; it is deliverance from sin itself. Be not deceived; be not deluded. Do not believe in any salvation that will save you from being punished, if you do wrong. Do not believe in any other salvation than that which saves you from sin, and which will bring you into the path of obedience; for this is the only peaceful and happy path in which mankind can walk.
"Well,” says the hearer, “this is good doctrinebut it does not go beyond the confines of this world mit does not touch the world to come.”. What do the Scriptures say? The gift of God is eternal life." We believe that our heavenly Father has constituted us in Christ, heirs of immortality, and eternal life. We have this by inheritance. We have peace, joy and consolation, by obedience, in the present tense. We have life and immortality by the free gift of God. How did you obtain your present existence? It was solely the gift of God. So also will be the life and immortality brought to light
in the Gospel
I desire you to understand these subjects, and be careful not to bring them into confusion. You see one part of the community bringing forth good works, and another part who are not thus engaged. But let me inform you that you need good works for your comfort in this world, as much as you need business to procure you sustenance. You do not attend to business because you expect any thing hereafter for it; but because your present necessities require it. - Just as imperatively do your present * necessities require that you should do right. And better would it be to go without bread for the support of your bodies, than to be without that wholesome food which is freely dispensed to every one who obeys the commandments of God.
I humbly submit these remarks to your attention, and I beseech you to reason and reflect coolly upon them; and I hope that, by making a practieal application of them, you may reduce them to a solidity, which will remain with you, and enable you to avoid temptation and sin. Listen, listen attentively, to the monitions and commands of your heavenly Parent, and obey them; and great will be your. consolation and peace,
Delivered in the Lombard Street Church, Friday Evening,
November 14, 1834.
GROWTH IN KNOWLEDGE AND GRACE.
grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ."-2 PETER iii. 1.8..
Having been honoured with an invitation from the “Young Men's Universalist Institute” in this place, to deliver a lecture before them this evening, I have selected the passage just read in your hearing, as being appropriate to the occasion-believing it will lead to some inquiries and remarks, which may, if duly considered, contribute to the promotion of the great end and object of the institution.
The language of the text, supposes that there is such a thing as growing in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And it is a remark worthy of particular notice, that the human mind is so constituted that it rarely remains long stationary; and this is the case in every stage of life. If we are not acquiring knowledge, we shall be likely to be losing it. If we are not increasing in
grace, we shall be likely to be decreasing in it. If we are not engaged in the laudable enterprise of acquiring useful knowledge, it is more than probable we shall be engaged in acquiring that which is worse. than useless.