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arrive at the end of grace (i.e. the improvement of his nature), who does not make use of the means. Whether the measure allotted us is little or much, we must not slight the benefit we might reap from it if well employed. No one in his senses will presume to lay claim to any share in the spirit of Christ, while he wilfully indulges any one habitual sin; for this would be to reconcile God and Belial.—The Apostle says (Rom. viii. 9), If any have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his: and in the 13th he proposes, as the condition of eternal life, that if we, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, we shall live. From all this we learn, that though there is no salvation but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, yet such means must be used by us as he has directed in his holy Gospel, that we may be securely shielded under the covenant of grace; or, in other words, that we may prove ourselves under its influence, and to have profited by it; and
but the blessing is equal on any terms; and were he to bestow it without requiring any fruits, what becomes of the nature of a covenant? Am I the less obliged to my
benefactor, because he bestows his bounty on a condition absolutely for my benefit, and of my employing it to my best interest and his pleasure? Can the favour be less free on that account, where there is no right to demand, or expect it? Surely not. If Christ maketh us free, we are free indeed; but it is no where said, or implied, in his word, that we are
free from obedience,
that can only be done by showing forth the work it is given us to effect; viz. “ to renounce “ the devil and all his works, the pomps and
vanities of this wicked world, and all the sinful “ lusts of the flesh.”
God grant this may be the continual study of all present, from this moment to the end of their lives; and by their perseverance in all godliness, that they may feel the blessed assurance that God is with them. Amen.
LECTURES ON THE CHURCH CATECHISM.
MATTHEW, XXVIII, 20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I
have commanded you. Having discoursed to you very largely, in my last Lecture, upon the first part of the general reply to the question, “What did your god
fathers and godmothers then for you ?" we come now to the second thing that our sureties promised at our baptism for us, or engaged that we should fulfil, when we came to riper years, and a capacity to take it upon ourselves; viz, " that we should believe all the articles of the “ Christian faith.” As many make this mere declaration all their lives, without giving any substantial proof of their faith in these several important articles, it will supply a profitable instruction, to enter fully into the examination of what these words imply.
The engagement here made by the sponsors, must immediately strike you as no less serious than necessary. At first view, indeed, it seems to burden them with an obligation not very easy to perform, at the same time that it appears positively requisite, that the party for whom they engaged should be thoroughly ac
quainted with every particular of Christian knowledge. But this seeming difficulty is removed from the sponsors, who cannot possibly answer for the capacity or inclination of infants, but do merely engage “ that they will see them
taught, as soon as they shall be able to learn, * what a solemn vow, promise, and profession “ they have made for them at their baptism.” This is all that can be reasonably expected from them, though it comprehends diligence on their part, to be assured that it is done, and inquiry occasionally, whether it be effectually done. Many, however, may not have the opportunity of any school learning, and it may in several cases be impracticable for the sureties to give them instruction in their own persons ; in which case, the Church provides a remedy (perhaps the only one that could be furnished, and which it is in the power of all classes of sponsors to apply); and that is, to “call upon them to hear sermons, or religious discourses in church, wherein they will have an opportunity of having the articles of their Christian faith explained to them; and where, likewise, if not their own particular fault, they will be assisted in completing the other provision they are chiefly enjoined in the baptismal service; viz. of“ being taught the Creed, “the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments," in the language of their own country; for, as