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expected in Judea, where he began his mi-Serm.
nistry. For this end he worked many il- VI.
lustrious miracles, the most proper and ef-
fectual

way for engaging the attention of dif-
affected and prejudic'd men to his doctrine,
and procuring it a fair hearing. The first
condition, then, of obtaining any benefit by
the gospel, must be, what the blessed author
declares, believing it, or believing in him.
Next, he requires repentance, or that men
convinc'd of their former fins, of the evil
of them, and the miseries to which they
are thereby rendered obnoxious, should break
them off with abhorrence and indignation,
and return to a better mind and to a better
course of life, bringing forth fruits meet for
amendment.' These are the true original
terms of christianity, fix'd by our Lord
Jesus Christ ; who, when he came preach-
ing the gospel of the kingdom of God, faid,
(that is, this was the substance of his preach-
ing) the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of
God is at hand; repent ye and believe the
gospel, Mark i. 14, 15.

But, when men became his profess’d subjects, embrac'd his religion, and entered into the kingdom of God, upon these terms, or into the christian state

the general

laws,

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Serm.laws, or rules of their obedience, were deVI. clared by him in his other discourses ; par

ticularly in his sermon on the mount, and and most clearly affertain’d by the example of his own life: and they appear to be no other than the moral law, the eternal and invariable law of nature, abridg'd in those moral, and perpetually binding precepts, which Mofes gave to the Israelites, containing that love, confidence, submission, and obedience we owe to the deity; and the mutual offices of righteousness and charity we are bound to perform to one another. · To this end the precepts of the law are vindicated from the defective and corrupt interpretations of the Jewish doctors, and a more strict purity and virtue, enjoin'd by Jesus Christ, than what was practis'd, or so much as understood by them. He exprefly declares to his hearers * except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye fall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven ; and all along, he uniformly pursues the same design throughout the whole course of his teaching ; constantly requiring of all his disciples, fincere holiness and conformity to the will of

God, * Matth. V. 20.

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God, as indispensably necessary to their ob-SERM.
taining his favour, and the reward of eternal VI.
life. He describes the future judgment with
great clearness and solemnity, and assures
us,

that sentences will then be pronounced
according to our works : the righteous, that
is, as he explains it, those who have abounded
in the fruits of charity and beneficence, shall
inherit the kingdom prepared for them be-
fore the foundations of the world, but the
wicked shall be adjudg’d to everlasting pu-
nishment.

If this be a true account of our Saviour's doctrine in the gospels, as I think it will plainly appear to every one who reads them, attentively to be, there can be no doubt concerning the terms of our acceptance with God, which he has fix'd. The conditions of our becoming the disciples of Christ are faith and repentance; to which, if we be sincere, the forgiveness of all our past fins is annexed; and the condition of our title to the final happiness Christ has promis'd to his disciples, is a perfevering stedfastnefs in obeying the immutable moral laws of God; or in practising the virtues of fobriety, godliness, justice and mercy.

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SERM. But, as I observed before, a controversy
VI. arising among christians, in the very infancy

of the christian state, about the necessity of
observing the Jewish law, occasion’d by the
high opinion which the Jews had of their
peculiar and distinguishing privileges, and
the excellence and perpetuity of the Mosaic
institutions ; the apostle Paul, to whom the
ministry of the uncircumsion, or preaching
christianity to the Gentiles, was especially
committed, enters into this debate ; and to
determine it rightly, so, as according to his
own expression, the truth of the gospel might
continue in the church, he wrote several of
his epistles. It is very evident, that he de-
cides against the pretences of the Jews, and
strenuously afferts the sufficiency of the
gospel itself, without the addition of the
law, which he pronounces unprofitable ;
earnestly exhorting christians to stand fast
in the liberty, wherewith Christ had made
them free, and not suffer themselves to be
again entangled in a yoke of bondage. To
this purpose he .expresses himself in fuch
terms, as tend to magnify the gospel, and
show the neccffity and usefulness of it ;

and
the insufficiency of the law to the great ends
of religion. I shall in this discourse endea-

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vour to explain his doctrine of justification SERM.
by grace, without works, and by faith, as in VI.
opposition to the law ; which two ap-
pear

from the text to have a necessary con-
nexion. Therefore it is of faith that it might
be by grace, to the end the promise might be
fure to all the feed, not to that only which is
of the law, but to that also which is of the faith
of Abraham.

In the first place, let us consider the meaning of this apostle's doctrine of justification by grace without works. That he teaches this is plain to any one who reads his epistles, Rom. iii. 24. having largely prov'd, that all men had finned and were corrupt, both Jews and Gentiles; that all had fallen short of the glory of God, and were concluded under wrath; he says, they are justified freely by grace, thro' the redemption that is in Christ Jefus. And in the 11th chapter, having discoursed of the rejection of the Jews, that is, the body of the nation for their disobedience to the gospel, he says, that as formerly, in the days of Elias, when there was a general de fection of the Israelites to idolatry, God reserved to himself seven thousand who did not bow the knee to the image of Baal ; fo

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