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4. The method in which salvation is applied, secures holiness to the subject of it. The blessings of salvation are applied by the Holy Spirit. The mode of application is a part of the scheme. 6 According to his mercy he saves us, by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost." The incipient work of that Spirit, is “ to convince of sin." Its complete work, is to “turn us from all iniquity." Not only does the sinner receive full pardon and deliverance from hell ; but he is born of God, so that he cannot willingly commit sin. He has a new heart put within him, so that he hates sin as the enemy of God, the curse of the earth, and the procurer of eternal death.

If his will remained unchanged, he would still be the servant of unrighteousness. But his will is renovated. He chooses holiness. His inclination is toward God. If he does evil, it is "the evil he would not." As Christ, in preparing salvation, did not destroy the law, but magnified it in the sight of heaven and earth; so the man who is saved by Christ delights in the law, and has his spirit moulded in conformity to it. God puts his law in his mind, and writes it in his heart. God enthrones himself in his heart. He has a principle of holiness that binds him to the eternal throne. He has a disposition, which, when delivered from remaining corruption, fits him for the habitation of perfect righteousness. His purpose and his heart are against sin. How could a scheme be better adapted to secure the renovation of man ? How could the soul be inspired with a deeper devotion to the service of Heaven? What could present stronger attractions to the centre of light and purity? What else could thus make us "die unto sin and live unto righteousness ?"

5. Salvation by grace powerfully urges to holy obedience, on the principle of gratitude. This is the doctrine of Christ. “ To whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” Great favors received awaken a deep sense of obligation to the benefactor. Look at the first emotions of the convert. His heart is alive with gratitude to God. The blessing of heaven, which he has received, appeals to his inmost soul with astonishing power. He breathes forth with an earnest spirit, “ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?" Here he is touched with motives that never lose their force. They are revived with new energy, whenever he reads the story of a Saviour's sufferings, and “ looks unto the rock whence he was hewn, and the hole of the pit whence he was digged." His gratitude is awakened by a favor which infinite love only could bestow. His salvation is not owing to himself.

He had nothing to merit it. The curse of a broken law rested on him.

He lay slumbering, when destruction was hastening to seize him. Here grace reached him, opened his eyes, and delivered him from the yawning pit. No human arm could bring help. No angelic


might could roll away the curse and burst his chains. Entreaties of friendship and love, motives of three worlds, rolling time and a hastening eternity, could not move him. But he heard the voice of Almighty grace. This broke his stubborn heart, and brought him to the feet of Jesus. Such was his deliverance. Hence obligations arise and press upon him with the weight of infinite love. He feels that all his powers are not too much to give in return. Go, ask the humble, pardoned soul, if it is not so. Go, ask some praying, faithful disciple, if gratitude to his Redeemer does not inspire him in the service. Ask the multitude of saints on earth, if they cannot adopt the language of the Apostle, " The love of Christ constraineth us, that we should not henceforth live unto ourselves, but unto him who died for us, and rose again.” Ask the ransomed company who now sing in glory, if this principle of devotion does not reign in heaven. Listen to their anthem—“Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever."

That the Gospel scheme of salvation leads to holiness, is evident,

6. From the lives of Christians. Here we must at last come to see what effect religion has upon the character. We appeal to the lives of the true followers of Jesus. They are epistles for Christ, known and read of all men. Here it is manifest that the principles of the Gospel embraced in the heart, are fitted to produce a holy life. Those that love God are the best men that live on the earth. Humility and meekness, those lovely traits of character, always accompany true piety. As they were characteristics of Christ, they are also of his disciples. Such are willing to esteem others better than themselves. It is their principle of action to forgive their enemies. Is not the real Christian the man who conquers the spirit of revenge under injury, and of malice towards them who cast reproach upon his name? Does he not feel it his province to endure patiently for “righteousness' sake ?" This was the spirit of the primitive disciples. This was the temper of Paul. This same temper has been manifested by a host of christian worthies, who have had their names cast out as evil, and meekly resigned their bodies to the gibbet or the stake. Grace gives to the character the stamp of true excellence.

Christians are also eminently men of prayer. A follower of Christ was never known to live a prayerless life. Communion with Heaven is the strength and consolation of his heart. His spirit is attuned to fellowship with God. This is his holy employment, until he mounts to the scene of universal praise.

Christians are the most benevolent men. They love to do good. They are co-workers with God in the salvation of men. Every great effort to meliorate the condition of man, is the fruit of Christian zeal and love. Are the friends of Christ the last to feel for the woes of humanity, and the crying wants of a world? Are their hearts the last to break? Who first stretches out the "melting hand of charity ?" Where is the spring-head of the streams of mercy, that are now flowing in full tide over this land and the world? Whose voice is raised in loudest notes, in behalf of a perishing world ? Who compose the sinew of every heaven-devised enterprise for man's welfare, in time and eternity? Whose heart leaps for joy at every new precursor of the resurrection of a world from spiritual death? Who says, my property is the Lord's, and I devote it to his service? Who says, my life is his, and all its energies shall be consecrated to him, until the last pulse shall beat? Who is ready to sacrifice domestic happiness, kindred and country, and waste beneath a torrid sun, to save undying souls ? Religion has this honor in her devoted friends. The graves of Swartz, and Martyn, and Newell, will answer these questions. There is a loud response in the prayers, benevolence and self-denials of holy men at home; as well as in the consecration of every thing to the welfare of benighted heathen.

I can appeal with safety to you. Do not real Christians have “ their fruit unto holiness ?" Are not these the men, who have been ready to give up this present world, with its gains and honors ?

Do you seek for men of integrity ? Are not piety and dishonesty utterly incompatible? What, in one word, of purity, love and faith, could be found on the earth, if the church of the Redeemer were blotted from existence? Tell me not then that sin is the fruit of salvation by Christ. Cast not such reproach on our holy religion. There is sin enough in the world, and sin enough in the church, but charge it not on the principles of the Gospel. It is only through this scheme, that omnipotent grace comes to eradicate sin from the soul, and transform it, so that it can sing in seraphic ardor and purity before the throne.

This subject furnishes lessons of practical instruction. It teaches,

1. That ungodly professors give no evidence of piety. They who possess

grace of God,

"are dead unto sin," and cannot “live any longer therein."

As "every tree is known by its fruit, and a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit,” the inference is plain, that an ungodly life bespeaks a heart destitute of piety. Christ is not the minister of sin. Grace is the enemy of ungodliness. What are your lives? Are you knowingly violating any of the commandments of God? Are you guilty of dishonesty or unfairness in trade, of withholding from others their due, of “grinding the faces of the poor,” of encouraging intemperance, sabbath breaking, or slander, or of exciting discord among brethren? These sins write an awful sentence against you. If you indulge in any of them, how can the power of sin have

been dislodged in your heart? You feel not the power of sanctifying grace. Your heart does not burn with gratitude to that Redeemer, who died for sinners. The great design of the scheme of salvation is not manifest in you. I would address the solemn interrogation to your hearts,-Has the Gospel become the power of God to your salvation? What testimony does your life exhibit that you have been "born again ?" Have you been brought to the feet of Jesus, in penitential sorrow for sin ? What evidence could you find this moment to cheer you in the day of death? You are trying to make “ fellowship between light and darkness, between Christ and Belial.” It cannot be.

Your profession is nothing, if sin is not forsaken. Instead of salvation from sin, you are yet in the “bonds of iniquity." There can be no grace within you. For if sin is yet predominant in the life, it also holds its supremacy in the heart. It has never yet been crushed. Corruption is yet alive in all its native vigor. Ungodly professors ! tremble before the throne of Him who abhorreth iniquity.

2. This subject presents to Christians the most powerful motives to cultivate holiness. You are urged to flee from sin. You are redeemed for this very end, that you may be sanctified, and cleansed, and shine before the Lord in the beauties of holiness. God met you by his grace to deliver you from sin. You have the cross ever before you, where your pardon was bought with groans, and pains, and dying strifes. Go to that cross, and learn your obligations. You are also bound to a holy heaven. Slumber not, then, in the midst of corruption. Tamper not with temptation. Cleave not to this earth with such a death grasp. Do not wrap your souls in the mantle of idleness.

Live as those redeemed by blood. Live as those allied to the throne of God; and shed on all around, the strong and convincing light of a holy character. You owe every thing to Christ. You resisted till his grace conquered. You were condemned, when Christ delivered you.

You were a wanderer in the broad way to death, when he found you and brought you to his fold. How do the cross and heaven teach you to live !

Seek to illustrate the appropriate tendency of the principles of the Gospel. Dishonor not your Master, by furnishing ground for the false imputation, that grace encourages censoriousness or any form of ungodliness. Instead of this, it challenges your every energy to the work of holy living. It summons you to the field of active benevolence. It lays all you have under contribution to the cause of Jesus. It calls you to spend this mortal life for God, until earth is exchanged for heaven.

3. The case of the sinner is alarming, until he repents. The Gospel proclaims salvation; but there is no salvation for a soul continuing in sin. "The Lord God is merciful and gracious”—but “will

grace and

by no means clear the guilty.Grace is free and ful. ; and pardon is offered “without money and without price.” But all this may be, and millions may rise from earth_to heaven, to praise throughout eternity the God of their salvation, while your souls sink in unutterable

With the proposals of mercy which Christ makes, he still declares your inevitable ruin, unless your sins are abandoned. In spite of abounding grace you will perish. Salvation is dispensed from a throne, with which you are at war while you continue impenitent. You will be treated as an enemy forever, unless you make peace. Justice will shine with eternal splendor, in consigning you to endless despair. It is the pleasure of God, that “the wicked forsake his way." • Turn from your evil ways, for why will you die ?" from your sins. Repent, and life is certain. Refuse to repent, and there is no alternative but death. If you would gain heaven, you must become holy. Divine authority and love pursue you with this unalterable claim. Remaining in sin, that love can never save you; but “the wrath to come” must be found " without mixture" on your guilty soul.


Break away

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