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look down with admiration and amazement! it is one which the apostate spirits, who have no hope of redemption, observe with dismay; and shall man alone--man, for whom this foundation was laid, and who is invited by God himself to behold and to trust in it, pay no regard to the invitation? What is this but deliberately to turn a deaf ear to his Maker? to despise the riches of his grace? to pour contempt upon salvation ? to make a mock of the unspeakable realities of an eternal state? to trample upon the cross of Christ? How different will these things appear, when God shall arise in his wrath! when that stone which was proposed to us for a foundation shall fall upon the careless sinner and grind him to powder. *
2. There are others who seem to be in earnest, and who believe themselves to be secure: and who are, nevertheless, building upon a wrong foundation.
Such are all those who rely upon their own righteousness; upon their attention to the means of grace; upon the estimation in which they are held by their associates; upon the discharge, as they deem it, of every social and public duty. It frequently happens that men place confidence in things of this sort, and then appeal to that confidence as a proof that all is right. But, my brethren, let us not forget that there is such a thing as a false peace; ; and it is very possible that we may be under a delusion on this head, till a future world shall convince us of our error. If it be true that Christ is the only foundation, it follows assuredly that whoever rests for salvation on any thing else, whether in whole or in part, than the pure mercy of God through faith in His Son, will at last be confounded. It is an awful symptom of a deceived heart and an unawakened conscience, to be contented and secure upon unscriptural grounds; to derive comfort from the unwarranted persuasion that it shall be well with us, when the hour is speedily approaching, which must subvert every vain imagination and dash to the ground the delusive fabric of our hopes. Be careful then to build upon the right foundation ; renouncing every plea in the sight of God, but that which he has kindly supplied and commanded you to adopt, the cross and passion of your Saviour. Let it not be your condemnation, as it was of the Scribes and Pharisees, that the stone which was appointed to be the head of the corner becomes a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence. * Such it will be to all who are unwilling to renounce their own righteousness, that they may accept the righteousness of Christ; to all who listen to the suggestions of an evil heart and are governed by the opinions of an evil world. Whatever sacrifice it may cost, let it be your determination to receive the truth in simplicity of spirit; to substitute, for your own wisdom, the wisdom from above; to know nothing in this respect but Jesus Christ and Him crucified : to stand with holy resolution upon this tried stone, as the only ground of present peace and of everlasting salvation.
* Matt. xxi. 44.
3. With regard to those who have thus built upon this sure foundation, I would observe in the last place, how ample is their security, and how blessed their lot! Let them only persevere and they shall not make haste ; they shall not be confounded : for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. We talk of the solidity of rocks, of the stability of mountains, of the firm foundations of the earth; but every thing which appears vast and mighty in the eye of man will crumble into ruins. The rocks shall be rent; the mountains shall be removed; the earth shall be consumed; the heavens themselves shall flee away; yet in the midst of that wreck and conflagration one building will still remain; the Church of God, with every living stone which belongs to it, will stand firm on its immoveable foundation, uninjured, inconsumeable. If ever the humble Christian is tempted to doubt of the security of them who believe in Christ and continue faithful to His words, let him remember the foundation upon which he is placed; if ever the timid disciple is inclined to tremble for the safety of the church, let him lift
* Rom. ix. 33.
his eyes to its Almighty Protector. It may be assailed on earth by the hostility of man, and the malignity of apostate spirits; but it is the building of God, and there is no arm which shall dismantle its towers, or tear up its bulwarks. It may be obscured by the darkness of this lower world, but there is a light which shines upon it from heaven, and which will never be extinguished.
That Saviour, by whom it is sanctified and