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sense of the word; for saving faith is a principle of holy obedience; and a Faith without works is expressly declared to be dead, as the body is dead when without the spirit*. The christian well knows, that it was the great design of his Lord's appearance and sufferings in the flesh, that he Might bring us to Godt, that he might Save his people from their sins‡, and purify them to himself, as a peculiar people, zealous of good works§. And how reasonable is this part of the scheme! "Could I," says he, "have desired, that it should have been otherwise! that the holy Jesus should have been the minister of sin? that he, whose great business it was to honour the law of God, should have dissolved our obligations to it, and have given a licence to his followers to continue the Servants of corruption||, even while they call him their Lord? Or could I ask it, or even so much as wish it, that he should distinguish me from others, by a dispensation of that kind? Unreasonable and detestable thought! Lord, I desire not, I understand not a salvation, of which holiness shall not be an essential part. And though I well know, that many precepts of thy gospel are sublime, and difficult; and that they may be justly represented, by Cutting off a right hand, and plucking out a right eye¶; yet through thy grace I can say, I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right, and I hate every false way**. Blessed Jesus, thou art more welcome to my soul, as Made of God unto me, sanctification, as well as Righteousness and redemption↑↑. Give me thy spirit to lead me, and I will follow with pleasure; draw me, and I will run after thee in the way which thou thyself hast traced; for thou who knowest all things, knowest that it is the desire of my soul, to be conformed to thee in holiness now, as well as in glory hereafter." I shall only add,
5. Coming to God by Christ does farther express, "a continual care to maintain a proper regard to him, in the whole course of our walking with God."
He is not considered, only as a Mediator to introduce us at first into the divine presence, and so to settle a correspondence, to be carried on afterwards without any farther use of him; but as that blessed and important person, Through whom we have continually access by one spirit unto the Fathert‡. "Lord," does the christian often say, not merely as a language learned
* Jam. ii. 26.
§ Tit. ii. 14.
Psal. cxix. 128.
+1 Pet. iii. 18.
++ 1 Cor. i. 30.
+ Mat. i. 21.
Mat. v. 29, 30.
from others, but as expressive of what he feels in his own soul, "thou art indeed my life. How should the branches grow, but by sap derived from the root? How should the members act, but by influences communicated from the head? Teach me by thy grace to say with thine holy apostle, I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me*. And may I ever be found in the number of those, who, regarding thee, as the living stone, are by union with thee, As lively stones, builded up together for an habitation of God through the spirit†! Thus let me pass through The wilderness of life, leaning on thee as the beloved of my soul‡; and when I have finished my pilgrimage, may I lay down my weary head, in thy gentle faithful bosom, dying as I have lived, in the exercise of faith, and commending My spirit into thine hands!”This is the character of those who come unto God by Christ; and in these respects may they say, with the beloved disciple, Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ§.
I shall not enter on a laboured argument to prove that these particulars are comprehended in the words which the text uses, to describe those who are interested in the gospel salvation. It is a formality, which may well be spared, to those who consider the natural import of the phrase, and the general tenor of the word of God; and the scriptures which I have introduced under each head, will easily furnish out matter of proof, to those who are capable of judging of a more abstruse kind of argument than I here think it proper to enter upon.
I should rather chuse to dilate on the practical improvements, which might naturally arise from this branch of my discourse; and address myself to you in such exhortations as these:
-Let us adore the divine goodness, that such a salvation is offered to us, in so reasonable, so easy, and so gracious a way :Let us examine by the hints which have now been proposed, whether we are in the number of those who are interested in it:Let those who are convinced that they are not, be persuaded seriously to reflect on their present circumstances:-Let those who are alarmed with a sense of their present danger, be persuaded, in the strength of divine grace, to come unto God through Christ:Let those who are sincerely desirous to do it, be encouraged to pursue so wise and necessary a purpose: And let those who have been enabled to comply with the ex
Gal. ii, 20. +1 Pet. ii. 4, 6. Eph. ii. 22. Cant. viii. 5. § 1 John, i. 3.
hortation, be excited to peculiar thankfulness, and established in a cheerful hope of that salvation, which they are taught to expect. But that I may not be under a necessity of dispatching these important heads in a few hasty words, or of swelling this discourse to an immoderate bulk, I chuse to refer them to another opportunity, when I shall conclude what I have to offer from the text; nor would it have employed us so long, had it not contained a variety of very weighty and instructive matter. In the mean time, may the hints I have now been giving you, be so recollected and considered, as to prepare your hearts for what is farther to be spoken!
POWER AND GRACE OF CHRIST,
An Exhortation to Sinners to come unto God by Christ.
Heb. vii. 25.—Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost, that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make Intercession for them.
AT length, my friends, I am entering on the last discourse,
which I intend from these words. Our meditations upon them had been drawn to a close much sooner, had not many funeral discourses interrupted them; and you know, there were also others of that kind, which did not interrupt them, being preached on week-days. But it is surely most fit, that those awful providences, which for a while diverted our thoughts from this sub. ject, should now awaken our more diligent and lively attention to it. It is not for mortal creatures to trifle with these important truths of christianity, on which the life of their souls does so evidently depend: No, nor to rest in speculative views of them, while heart-application is neglected. The dying, and the dead, look upon these things in another manner; and we shall shortly be numbered amongst them: The Lord awaken us now so to hear the conclusion of the whole matter, as we shall then wish we had heard it! I have already endeavoured,
I. To shew you, what we are to understand by Christ's being able to save to the uttermost.
II. To prove that he is so.
III. To open the doctrine of his intercession, and to consider what an argument it is of his saving power. And then,
IV. I have considered the character of those, who shall be interested in this salvation, as described in the text by their coming to God by him.
Under each of the three former heads I have given you several reflections; and I am now to conclude with others which more immediately arise from the fourth, especially when taken
in connection with the foregoing. May each of yon know own concern in them; and may the blessed Spirit of God apply them to your souls with divine efficacy and success! suffer, beseech you, this word of exhortation to address you in these six particulars.
1. "Let us adore the divine goodness that such a salvation is offered us, in so reasonable, so easy, and so gracious a way."
Such a salvation in any method might have been joyfully welcome to us; and how much more in this! Let us call in our roving thoughts, and settle them for a while in this one point. Let us stand still and see this salvation of God. Sure when we consider our natural condition, in the view in which the gospel represents it; when we hear the law of God thundering out its curses against us; when we see his justice lifting up its sword to smite us, hell gaping to devour us, and its malicious fiends eying us as their surer prey, and impatient to begin our torment; in such a view it must have appeared a great favour, had God heard the cry of our anguish and despair, so far as to permit the rocks to fall upon us, and the mountains to cover us, though they had crushed us into atoms, and he had, at the same time, extinguished the thinking part of our nature and reduced it to its original nothing: O how gladly would millions, that were once the rich, the great, the learned, the victorious of the earth, meet such a fate as this; ard perhaps be more thankful for the destruction of their beings, than they ever were for any of its enjoyments? But we hear of being saved.of being saved to the uttermost ;-hear of it, not merely as a favour conferred on others, but as an offer proposed to us; as a scheme, not merely deliberated upon, or intended, but in a great measure already effected; and our eyes are directed to the regions of complete and eternal glory, as an abode purchased and prepared for such worthless and guilty creatures as we. "Blessed God! did our appointed way to it lie, not only through a wilderness of thorns, but through a sea of fire, how gladly might we accept the proposals? If the scheme had been to raise us to this heavenly paradise, after the severest course of penance on earth; or even after we had tasted of the cup of thy wrath in hell, and suffered all but the despair of those doleful regions, for a long succession of years, or of ages: Surely we must then have received the news of such a distant deliverance on our knees, and have mingled thy praises with those groans and tears,