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apprehend-the exchange of the righteousness and strength,” now, scriptural term of salvation, faith, as then, is the grand point to be for that of prayer. Sinners are ex. argued with every unconverted perhorted to pray for pardon, instead son. Many, I firmly believe, of to believe to the saving of their would gladly be brought into the souls; thereby invalidating the ad- glorious liberty of the children of mirable provision made in the di- God, could they only be made to vine wisdom for the exclusion of apprehend faith in Christ to be the boasting, “ it is of faith that it simple principle that it really is ; might be by grace." Let it not be and that upon believing they would said, that these are merely verbal not be called upon to contend criticisms, that accuracy in these alone with difficulties and enemies, things is unimportant. Accurate which obscurely understood and ideas can only be excited by means seen from a distance, they are conof correspondent language, and to scious will be too much for their the importance of the things them- single arm; but that in Christ, a selves, the whole strain of the ar

source of strength is unfolded to gumentative parts of Scripture bears them commensurate with their uttestimony. St. Paul, in his Epistle most need *. to the Romans, Galatians, and

M. B. Hebrews, expends the main force of his powerful reasoning on these The latter part of this paper is not two points, the sufficiency of the very clear, and there arc soine expressions one offering of Christ for justifica- which we either misunderstand, or which

do not exactly coincide with our views. tion, and the freeness with which

The former part is especially recommended the gift is offered to the sinner's ac- to the serious attention of our clerical ceptance.

6. In the Lord have I readers.


ESSAY VI.-OUR WANDERINGS VISITED ON CHRIST. Isaiah, liii. 6.- All we, like sheep, lay, or cause to meet on him the

have gone astray; we have turned iniquity of us all.” every one to his own way; and “ All we, like sheep, have gone the Lord hath laid on him the astray.” Sheep are prone to go iniquity of us all.

astray, and so are we. Sheep are THERE is no truth more neces- silly creatures, they will leave the sary to be known, and felt in the good pasture for the barren wilderheart, than that of our turning away ness: so it is with man. Sheep, from God: nor is there any method when going astray, are exposed to of representing it more clearly and many dangers: in Judea, they beautifully, than by the comparison were liable to be devoured by of the Prophet, viz. that of lost wild beasts; nay, sometimes beasts sheep. It exactly suits our case, of prey would attack them even and is well adopted in our General when under the shepherd's care ; Confession, when we are taught to “Thy servant (said David to Saul) say, “We have erred and strayed kept his father's sheep; and there from thy ways like lost sheep.” At came a lion and a bear, and took a the same time, it is equally im- lamb out of the flock;” and if it portant to know the way in which was so when the shepherd was at we may return to God. This way hand to rescue his sheep, how is in and through our Lord Jesus much greater danger would they Christ; and in order that the wan- be exposed to, when wandering dering sheep might be recovered to from the fold? In like manner, ali his fold, the Lord was pleased to we as sheep going astray, are ex

as a

posed to many and great dangers. But further, we have all gone Satan, our spiritual adversary, is astray actually in ourselves; and going about continually,

that wilfully and willingly, as Adam roaring lion, seeking whom he may did of old. Since we came to devour.” (1 Pet. v. 8.) The mi- know good and evil, to be capable serable condition of these wander- of distinguishing between what is ing sheep is thus described by the right and wrong, how often have Prophet: “ They were scattered we chosen the evil, and refused the because there is no shepherd; and good, preferred our own ways to they became meat to all the beasts the ways of God! 6. We have of the field, when they were scat- turned every one to his own way.” tered. My sheep wandered through Some have gone into the paths of all the mountains, and upon every gross and open sin ; others have high hill: yea, my flock was scat- wandered amidst the briers and tered upon all the face of the earth, thorns of a worldly mind; others, and none did search or seek after again, are following the vain and them.”

foolish pleasures of this life, unAnother point of resemblance mindful of God and of the world between stray sheep and sin- to come; and some are walking in ners is, that they cannot of them- the paths of self-righteousness. selves find the way back. So it But all, one as well as another, is with us: if left to ourselves are by nature out of the right way; we shall only wander farther from and in all the wanderings of these God; and unless Jesus, the great lost sheep, each one has consulted and good Shepherd, search us out, his own inclination, without regard we shall be lost for ever. But it to God's word, and, as the Prophet will not be so with Christ's sheep, expresses it, “turned every one to “ For thus saith the Lord God; his own way.” Behold, I, even I, will both search Fallen man being in this deplormy sheep, and seek them out. As able situation, and utterly unable a shepherd seeketh out his flock in to find the way back to God, the the day that he is among his sheep Lord himself, of his own free

mercy that are scattered; so will I seek and grace, hath opened a new and out my sheep, and will deliver them living way to bring back his wanout of all places, where they have dering sheep, by laying upon Jesus been scattered in the cloudy and his dear Son " the iniquity of us dark day."

all.” He not only sent his servants All we have gone astray origi- the prophets to call upon them to nally in Adam, and actually in return (for this alone would not have ourselves. When God made man, been sufficient); but, as a foundhe put him in his own fold, even in ation for their return, and as the Paradise. There he had every first step in bringing them back, thing that could make him happy, the Lord caused to meet on the and all his wants were supplied by head of Jesus all the iniquities of his the kind and liberal hand of his wandering sheep." The Lord hath Creator and Benefactor. But he laid on him the iniquities of us all.” went astray like a lost sheep, and The sinner's return to God is all his posterity fell in him. All in consequence of the Father's laywe the children of Adam are be- ing our sins upon the head of his come lost sheep through his going well-beloved and co-equal Son. astray; we are born out of the fold The Son of God consented also of God, and we have within us a that “this iniquity of us all” should corrupt and sinful nature derived be laid upon him; so that here from our first parent, which leads we see the wonderful love of both us continually to go astray from the Father and the Son to lost the paths of righteousness. and wandering sheep. Jesus con

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sented that our iniquities should be we belong to Christ as " his people laid upon him. Though he knew and the sheep of his pasture.” Nor that they were to fall upon

can we take any comfort from the an enemy, with force and violence; words of the Prophet, that “the to rush upon him as an overwhelm- Lord hath laid upon Jesus the iniing torrent; yet such was his love quity of us all;" for, if we live and to his lost sheep, that he willingly die wandering from God, we shall consented to it: " Then said I, Lo, surely have to bear our own guilt, I come.” (Ps. xl. 7.) Nor was and that for ever. But if any wanthe love of the Father less in lay- dering sheep is willing (through ing upon Jesus “ the iniquity of us divine grace) to return, and is askall.” For he was his dear Son, the ing the way back to the fold of Son of his love; he was in the bo- God, let him hear the words of the som of the Father, and the object inspired Prophet, “ The Lord hath of his most tender regard. Yet laid upon him the iniquity of us such was the Father's love to his all.” Let him come without delay, lost sheep, that rather than they and look to Jesus; and let him say should perish,“ he laid upon Jesus with the Psalmist, “ I have gone the iniquity of us all.” This was astray like a lost sheep; seek thy love that passeth knowledge, here servant,” and bring me back to thy was infinite compassion to perish- fold, O thou good Shepherd, who ing souls, and it proves that the gavest thy life for the sheep. value of the soul is great. If the Happy are they who are indeed guilt but of one unpardoned sin brought to the fold of Christ, to should be laid upon any soul of whom it may in truth be said, “Ye man, that soul must perish, for were as sheep going astray; but are “ the soul that sinneth it shall die."

now returned unto the Shepherd Sin, as a mortal enemy, strikes at and Bishop of your souls.” (1 Pet. the precious life; but what a hostii. 25.) Let them never forget what of these enemies fell upon Jesus the Lord has done in order to their when he “bare our sins in his own return to him, that he laid their sins body on the tree;" and fell upon upon their holy and innocent Sahim as so many enemies to take viour; and let them remember for away bis life! Yet he willingly what end they were brought back, submitted to die for sin, and the not to live as swine, but as the Father not only permitted it, but sheep of Christ; to hear his voice, stood himself as an enemy, or ra

and follow him in newness of life, ther a righteous inexorable Let them come out and be sepajudge, to inflict the penalty of his rate from the ungodly, for the broken law, and thus to make a Lord Jesus will soon come as the way for wandering sinners to return great shepherd of his flock to make to God.

an everlasting separation between But are we brought back to God, his sheep and the goats, driving or still wandering from him? The these away into everlasting punishonly proof that we can have of our ment, but receiving his flock into being Christ's sheep is, in being those heavenly pastures where brought back to his fold. If we “ they shall hunger no more, neiare still wandering from God in un- ther thirst any more; neither shall repented sin, or in a worldly, the sun light upon them, nor any careless, or self-righteous course of heat. For the Lamb, which is life; if at this moment we are in the midst of the throne, shall

turning every one to his own feed them, and shall lead them way," whilst we have no heart to unto living fountains of waters; return to God, we cannot without and God shall wipe away all tears deceiving ourselves suppose that from their eyes." (Rev. vii. 16, 17.)



NEW YEAR'S SERMON. HAGGAL, i. 5.-Now therefore thus indolent and covetous suggestions

saith the Lord of Hosts, Consi- of those who said, “ The time is der your ways.

not come, the time that the Lord's The present season, my bre- house should be built;” hence thren, is by a large proportion of they neglected that important unprofessing Christians devoted espe- dertaking. In consequence of this cially to mirth and festivity; and neglect, they were visited with many deem themselves authorized providential judgments; they had to adopt or sanction a line of con- sown much, and reaped but little ; duct at this period, which they their most reasonable expectawould regard as at least inexpe- tions and calculations were disapdient, if not criminal, at another. pointed. Because the Lord's house But whatever may be the general lay waste, therefore the heaven feeling, there appears to me a over them was stayed from dew, somewhat which, as it were, says, and the earth was stayed from her Be serious.-We are hastening to fruit. Hence God called upon an eternal world. One year after them to consider their ways; to another is hurrying us on with an go up to the mountain, and bring incessant course to that state which wood, and build the house; and admits of no change of no altera- promised, that from the time they tion. If, indeed, we can say to complied with this direction he each succeeding period,

would graciously vouchsafe to bless Fast as ye bring the night of death

them. Ye bring eternal day,

How far, indeed, the present we may well rejoice; another por- pressure and distress under which tion of our pilgrimage is over; and many labour is to be regarded in now is our salvation nearer than the light of a divine judgment for when we believed: but if there is our past neglect and unfaithfulness, the least doubt of this happy issue we are not perhaps competent to if our lamps are not burning, and decide; but surely every trial we ourselves as those who wait for which we meet with, every cirthe coming of our Lord — if we cumstance which leads us for one hesitate to adopt the language of moment to conjecture that the Lord the Apostle, and say,

“ We know bath a controversy with us, should that if our earthly house of this excite us all to consider our ways: tabernacle were dissolved, we haye and we may well do this with rea building of God, a house not ference to three distinct periods ;made with hands, eternal in the the past, the present, and the future. heavens," it surely becomes us,

First, Consider your ways as to instead of eagerly joining in the the past.

What has been your amusements of the passing season, conduct hitherto ? What especially to attend to the solemn exhortation during the year which is now in my text, “ Now therefore thus closed ? Alas! during how large saith the Lord, Consider your a part of our time have we enways.”

tirely neglected that spiritual serThese words

spoken vice, and that devoted obediwith immediate reference to the ence, which Almighty God recase and circumstances of the quires at our hands! We have atJews. They had met with con- tended, indeed, outwardly at his siderable difficulties in rebuild- house, and, in the eyes of our feling the temple after their return low-creatures, have been employed from Babylon, and had there- in prayer and praise--in hearing fore been induced to listen to the the word read and preached; but


how often have our hearts been en- life has been but feeble, and we gaged with the world, and our ourselves, in comparison of many thoughts occupied on the veriest others, exceedingly unfruitful ? trifles, instead of the solemn ser- Have we, who profess to be the vice of the sanctuary! We have disciples of our Lord and Saviour professed, indeed, as the Jews of Jesus Christ, seriously attended to, old, an attachment to God's ser- and diligently improved, the written vice; but when the temple was to and preached word? The chabe built, when painful duties or racter of the righteous is, that his expensive sacrifices and services delight is in the law of the Lord, were to be rendered, have we not and that therein doth he meditate often shrunk from the divine re- day and night. The Bereans are quirements? Have we not often especially commended, in that they transgressed the divine law, and received the word with all readidone violence to the dictates ness of mind, and searched the of our consciences, as our present Scriptures daily whether those pleasure, interest, or reputation things were so. Has such been seemed to suggest? O! how many our conduct? Has there been in of us have, during the year that is us that continual reference to the past, neglected that great salvation word of God? that habitual comwhich is proclaimed to us through parison of the sermons we hear, the sacrifice of our Lord and with the unerring standard of saSaviour Jesus Christ? Instead of cred truth? that meditation in the coming as sinners unto him, and divine statutes which the Psalmist seeking pardon through his all- so often speaks of? that regular atoning merits-instead of striving perusal of them in our families and to work the work of God by be- our closets, which our lieving on Him whom he hath sent; sciences testify there ought to have how have we neglected and lost been? Has there been also in us sight of the only way of access a holy degree of regularity and to the Father through his sacrifice ? fervency in secret and family worInstead of seeking, by daily fer- ship? The great enemy of souls vent prayer, for pardon, accept- is continually endeavouring to draw ance, and grace, 0 how

many of us off from secret communion with us have risen

ир in the morning and God. And the calls of business, the lain down at night without seeking temptations of sloth or pleasure, for his mercy! Surely, if such has often prevail, if not to the entire been our conduct, to say nothing neglect of this important duty, yet of those grosser and more flagrant to the diminution of the time which sins to which many are enslaved, ought to be appropriated to it, or it becomes us with all seriousness to the introduction of a spirit of to consider our ways, that we may coldness and wandering, instead of repent and return to God before it that lively zeal and devotion with be too late.

which our petitions should be preIf, however, during the year that sented to the divine Majesty. Has is past, or during some preceding not this too often been the case with years, we have not been thus en- us? and have we not come to that tirely negligent of the things which service, which ought ever to be rebelong to our everlasting peace; is garded as a most delightful privithere not too much reason to fear, lege, with somewhat of the feeling that in various respects our faith of reluctance and backwardness and obedience have been exceed- with which we would approach a ingly partial and defective? that, if hard and unpleasant task? Have we have not been altogether dead we been devout and regular in fain trespasses and sins, our spiritual mily worship; in instructing our



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