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strong holds. Further, we are hereby assured, that the price of our redemption is fully paid by Christ ; (Rom. iv. 25,) he having been delivered for our offences, and raised for our justification. By his death, we know he suffered for sin; by his resurrection, we are equally certain that the sins for which he suffered were not his own. Had not all men been sinners, he had not died, therefore he is said to have died for ALL; had he been a sinner, he had not risen again. Lastly, herein is the strength of our hope, here is the pledge or earnest of our faith, that as Christ was raised from the dead, so shall our mortal bodies be quickened also, by the Spirit of God that dwelleth in us. (viii. 11.) For, as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive. And, in this last view of the power of Christ's resurrection, we are not only to consider the justification of our persons at the general resurrection, but how far we have obtained, through his grace, to be planted in the likeness of his death here ; that is, that we have died to sin in the body, that we may rise to the life of righteousness, which is the only valuable sense in which we can be planted in the likeness of his resurrection ; for this is an everlasting truth, and which should dwell in all our minds, that to whom we yield ourselves servants to obey, his we are whom we obey. Nor can we ever be mistaken whether it
is unto sin, or obedience. The faith in Christ's resurrection, my brethren, must work effectually in our lives; for it is no less a powerful principle to purify our souls, than it is a sure sign of the revival of our bodies. For, when we were dead in sins, God quickened us together with Christ; and as Christ was raised from the dead, by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life. To continue in the grave of sin, while Christ is risen to procure for us grace and power to renew our carnal mind, would be to deserve the angel's rebuke, Why seek ye the living among the dead? To walk in wilful, habitual sin, is either to deny that sin is death, or that Christ is risen from the dead to give us life. Let not any Christian bury him, that is, be backward to apply for his help, who rose from death that he might live. Awake then, all
that sleep (who are dead in your sins), arise from the deadly slumbers of your fallen nature, and Christ shall give you life. Let us impress this truth deep in our hearts, my brethren, that there must be a spiritual resurrection of the soul, before there can be a comfortable resurrection of the body. O, let us labour so to live, through the gifts of Christ's blessed Spirit, that ours prove not the resurrection to damnation! May we be found among the blessed and holy, who have part in
the first resurrection, on whom the second death hath no power!
In short, great is the mystery of godliness ; God made manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached to the Gentiles, believed on in the world—received up into glory..
The necessity of a Redeemer, and his condescending love and mercy, is here fully proved without controversy. Without his atonement, and mediation, and intercession, what must become of the best Christians that ever yet lived, that ever can live? Holy titles do not make holy men. If, indeed, we have our fruit in holiness, we do show that Christ, our first fruits, hath profited us; but still we must observe, that the more we abound in grace, the greater need have we to pray that we may continue in it; the greater need have we of support and strength, lest our very virtues prove snares to us. That subtle enemy who seeks every opportunity to ruin us, will find it more difficult to conquer the humble sinner than the proud saint; we must therefore confess and forsake our sins, and God will be gracious and just to his promise, and forgive us our sins. Alas! unless we do this, what will become of us? for who is pure in God's sight? Who could stand before him if he was extreme to mark what is amiss? Unless we have faith in the blood of Christ, unless we believe in his resurrection, and the sure ef
fects of it, how can the most perfect be justified ? What assurance can we have of any salvation ? Even did not our conscience condemn us, God is greater, and knoweth all things. Must not all plead guilty before such a Judge? Let us but truly examine ourselves, and we shall soon be terrified from trusting in our own righteousness to any inherent or personal good qualities independent of the grace of God, to any pretensions to favour, but through the merits and mediation of Christ. If our hands have never done violence to our fellow-creature, have our thoughts never inclined to wish him out of the
And we know, God will prove the thoughts of our hearts. Though we had never offended with our tongue, yet how often have we sinned, by uncharitable, injurious, and false opinions of our neighbour? For all these we are liable to condemnation. Supposing we were wholly clear of the transgressions which, on the contrary, we must acknowledge we daily and hourly comunit; yet even in the good things we do, what a wretched mixture of imperfection is discoverable! If God did not, in his infinite mercy, consider the sincerity and good design, more than the purity of our actions, even the principle of faith in that mercy by which we, trembling, trust to qualify our deeds, what would be our fate? If we withdraw the usual motives which often influence our very choicest
deeds, such as our own interest, our pleasure in pleasing others—our fond partialities—our wish to be respected, and try them by the principle of pure sincerity, and love to God; how poor will they appear !-how unequal to merit favour! But let us weigh our very holiest actions. Most certainly we are never better affected towards God, than when we PRAY ; yet even then, how are we apt to wander from the blessed work! what vain, wicked thoughts, do frequently disturb us! how ready are we sometimes to yield to them! how little reverence do we discover in our behaviour to the high Majesty we are addressing! how slender is the concern for our misery! how small our sense of his tender mercy, in allowing us such a privilege.' Are we not often as slow to begin the task, and as hasty to make an end, as though, in saying Call upon me, God had assigned us a grievous burden? Well, my brethren, who can deny these sorrowful truths? Doth not the confession prove, that there is none that doeth good, no, not one? Thus, then, must we lament our delinquencies ; thus must we accuse, thus must we condemn ourselves : and then, confessing our great unworthiness, and leaning upon God's mercy, through Christ, we shall plainly perceive the value of a Saviour, and that without him there could have been no reconciliation. To finish this strict inquiry into our insuffic