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carelessness, and never get nearer to God. This is not only sin, but it is sin of the very worst kind. I wish

you

felt it so. And if you have felt it, I wish you

and I felt it still more. St. Paul then describes several other kinds of sin; particularly, lying, swearing and cruelty. What common sins these are! Even little children very soon are guilty of lying; and grown-up people think it no harm to lie, when they want to hide a fault, or to serve an end. Many, also, are ready enough to cheat, if they can get their living by it. Yet, most certainly, lying and cheating are sins that will ruin the soul for ever. The devil is the father of lies; and all liars, without exception, unless they repent, will have their portion with him, in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone.-Swearing is also a very common sin. There are many persons who hardly ever utter a sentence without an oath. -Cruelty, too, is a far more common sin than many suspect. When you see little children tormenting fies, or when you see grown-up people cruel to their beasts, you forget, perhaps, that this is the very temper of the devil. There are, indeed, few murderers; but, oh! how many are there, that have this evil spirit in their hearts. How many rail and fight, and would kill, if they dared! Remember, “ He that hateth his brother, is a murderer.”

But what a picture is this that I see of my fellow-creatures, when St. Paul says, “ Destruction and misery are in their ways.” There is no telling what wretchedness there is in the world; and all produced by sin. Take the example of London, or any great town or village in the country: what drunkenness! what open profligacy! what sabbath-breaking! what tempting of one another to sin ! what sinning with a high hand, working all uncleanness with greediness ! what crowds attending play-houses, and fairs and shows; but never going to a place of worship! It is a shame even to speak of the sins committed by men and women, day after day. Shocking to think, that many get their living only by sin! Sin is their trade;-and a miserable livelihood it is: they do not live out half their days: they waste, and pine away, diseased and deserted; till in a short time they come to death's door. Indeed, those who seem the happiest sinners, are still miserable beings: they have no peace, no fear of God, no hope of heaven.

And now let me affectionately, but earnestly, ask of you, “ Is not sin the disease of your soul ?” I would not touch the wound, if I did not know that it may be healed. But there is a Physician, our Blessed Saviour, Jesus Christ, who is able to heal the very worst. As many as come to Him with faith, and touch Him, shall be perfectly cured. Only, I leave with you this short question, in His

Wilt thou be made whole ?

name

66

PRAYER

O Lord, most holy, just and good ! we bow down before thee, confessing ourselves to be vile

earth, and miserable sinners. From the crown of the head to the sole of the foot, there is no soundness in us. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint. O our God! when we look

upon

ourselves as we are in thy sight, we are constrained to lay our hand upon our mouth, and cry, Unclean, unclean! And wilt thou, O Lord! look upon such an one? Wilt thou have pity upon a dying worm, that has dared to rebel against thy holy will ?

We do not come before thee, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies in Christ Jesus. We come by that new and living way, which he hath prepared for us : for the sake of what he suffered on the cross, grant to us remission of sins that are past; accept us graciously, and love us freely. We would come in faith, nothing doubting. Let thy grace be as much magnified in our salvation, as thy justice was in freely delivering thy Son to die for our sins. We plead His righteousness—his alone. O cast us not away from thy presence ! take not thy Holy Spirit from us ! But bestow on us all grace : lead us into all truth: stir us up to work out our salvation with fear and trembling: make us to abound in every fruit of the Spirit; and evermore receive us in thy well-beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord !

XXV.

SALVATION, ONLY BY FAITH IN CHRIST.

ROMANS iii. 20-26. Therefore by the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the Law is the knowledge of sin.

But now the righteousness of God without the Law is mani. fested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets ;

Even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe : for there is no difference :

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God ;

Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God ;

To declare, I say, at this time, His righteousness ; that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. The more we know of the holiness of God, the more we shall feel our own sinfulness. And the more we feel our own sinfulness, the more we shall see how helpless we are; altogether unable to save ourselves by our own righteousness.

Naturally, however, men know very little of the holiness of God. He has, therefore, given us a law, by which we may understand how holy He is. You know the Law of the Ten Commandments.

It would be well, also, for us to read the Fifth Chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel. There we shall see, that the Law of God touches the heart, as well as our outward actions : the thought of foolishness is sin. Our Saviour tells us, that a wanton look has the guilt of adultery; and, that an angry, revengeful thought, lodging in our bosom, is the spirit of murder. Who then can tell, how oft he has offended ? or who can hope to be saved by his own righteousness? In some things, our lives have been full of sin; and, in all things, our hearts have been ready to conceive iniquity: so that there is none righteous, no, not one.

There is no real difference among men in this : all have sinned. Some, it is true, sin more grossly and openly than others; but who can see all the iniquity of his heart? Therefore it is very dangerous for us to compare ourselves with others, and so try to escape condemnation, by thinking that we are not quite so bad as some others are. We should compare ourselves, not with one another, but with the holy Law of God. By that Law is the knowledge of sin. Then we shall, every one of us, be ready to cry out, “ I am the chief of sinners!” We shall all feel that we “ have fallen short of the glory of God.” We shall confess, that we deserve nothing but hell, and that we are altogether unfit for the kingdom of heaven.

But, blessed be God! there is a way appointed, by which sinners may be reconciled, and accepted into favour with our Heavenly Father. This way (and it is the only way) is through the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus has done and suffered enough for sinners, to make them, vile and sinful as they are, righteous in the sight of God. This is called, their Justification before God: and,

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