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the author and giver of that blessing, -is not the faith which the gospel proposes as the condition of salvation. “ True faith,” says Luther, “ can no more fail to produce good works, than the sun can cease to give light.” And again, “ good works do not make the good man; but the good man performs good works.” And an apostle has declared,
Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” (James ii. 17, 24.)
To those among my hearers who have already been, and more especially to those who expect hereafter to be, called to exhibit the doctrine of salvation to their fellow-men, let me humbly but earnestly say, Preach this inestimable doctrine in its genuine simplicity, with its truth undisguised, and its glory unshrouded. Preach it in its integrity, holding up Christ as the sanctifier of the heart, no less than as the sacrifice for sin. Preach it, moreover, in the spirit of meekness and love ; and this, above all, in reference to those who differ in opinion from yourselves. Remember that faith is not merely belief; and that many a man who is mistaken in judgment, may yet, by divine grace, be right and upright in heart. In one word, preach the cross of the Redeemer, with faithfulness before God,—with fearlessness before man,--and with love—with honest and zealous, but forbearing and generous Love before the whole universe. And thus, by the blessing of its almighty Author, you will preach it with power. .
I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,” said a holy apostle, “for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.”. (Rom. i. 16.)
And let us all seek for the continuance and increase, or, if need be, for the beginning, of true christian faith, in our own souls. Faith, like our daily bread, is the gift of God; and faith, like our daily bread, let us seek from God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not.
6. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation ?” (Heb. ii. 3.)“ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. xi. 28.)
MAN'S RUIN; AND THE BLESSINGS OF REDEMPTION.
GENESIS ii. 16.
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying,
Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
This command, as we all know, was disobeyed; and thus it came to pass that as “ by one man sin entered into the world,” so also“ in Adam all die.”
Hence, therefore, it concerns us to know, and to lay to heart, the meaning and extent of the divine denunciation concerning the consequences of transgression. Let us now enter upon a serious examination of this solemn and important
subject. Let us ask, what is the nature and extent of that awful curse, to which our forefathers and ourselves have become subject by the breach of God's holy law? How must we interpret that warning, “ Thou shalt die,” if we consider it aright in connexion with all that we know concerning the nature of God, the condition of man, the relation of the creature to the Creator, and the actual experience of our sinful race?
May God give us grace so to meditate upon this solemn subject that we may be made serious and humble by a perception of our misery and our danger; and may also be filled with love, and with a spirit of cheerful submission, to that blessed Saviour who has redeemed us from the curse !
I. Let it be remarked, in the first place, that the very breach of God's law, the mere act of departing from his command, involves in itself the unhappiness of the offender. This results from the condition of man, and his relation to the divine Lawgiver. Man cannot be happy, if he does not obey the Most High. God is, with regard to all created spirits, what the sun is as the centre of a planetary system. Let those intelligent beings preserve their love and allegiance to the Supreme, and they remain in the region of perfection, and harmony, and bliss : but let them rebel against their Creator, and they are like a planet, if you can imagine such a thing, starting from its orbit, and losing itself in darkness and disorder. It was thus with Adam. As long as he preserved his innocence, his soul was the image of God, just as a planet in the heavens is a small, but brilliant, image of the sun that shines
upon it; but, no sooner had he disobeyed, than his soul sunk in darkness, the image of God was lost, man's glory and his happiness together had departed. And thus, to the present moment, the very breach of God's holy law involves within itself unhappiness and loss. While you sin against Him who made you, you deform and degrade your own self; you bring decrepitude upon your soul, and throw darkness and a snare round its noblest powers; you dry up those living springs of happiness which have been placed within
you, destined as they were, by the Giver of all good gifts, to rise up, to refresh, and to gladden you through the countless ages of eternity.
Look, for one moment, at the soul of man in its alienation from the living God, and what do you discover ? There is a darkened understand