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temptations to do it. He will be displeased with himself, but not with the law. He will not dislike the law, though he should have occasion to say, with Paul, “ the commandment which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death; for sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.” With Paul, the believer can still add, " wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, just, and good." The believer's language is, Whatever becomes of me, the law is good; I do not wish one item of it changed.
Fourth. The believer shows his approbation of the whole revealed will of God concerning the holiness required of man, by dissatisfaction with want of full conformity to it. is : “ O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes.” However strong his assurance of an interest in Christ, he is not satisfied with any want of conformity to the law of God. It is the likeness of the Saviour which satisfies; “I shall be satisfied, when I awake with thy likeness.” Now, unless you can thus approve of the whole revelation of the will of God concerning duty, you have not saving faith.
III. A third mark of saving faith is, that Christ appears precious to the soul: “Unto
you therefore which believe, he is precious." Faith exalts Christ, and places him on the throne of the mind and affections. Now, reader, how is it with you? Is Christ precious to you? Do you wish him to be precious to others ? Parents, children, husbands, wives, do you endeavour to commend Christ to one another? Do you prize the means of grace which Christ has appointed? Can ordinances satisfy you without a discovery of Christ in them by faith? Can you go from the house of God as great strangers to Christ as you entered it, and be satisfied with yourself? Do you resolutely and willingly part with every thing which comes in competition with Christ? When brought into such a condition as to be compelled to offend Christ or the world, which would
do? Can other things satisfy you without Christ? Is Christ more precious to you than every thing else? If not, he is not precious to you; he is not yours; you have not saving faith.
Other marks of faith might be given, but I omit them, and ask three questions, which I wish the reader to lay seriously to heart. Let conscience give the answer, as in presence of the Searcher of all hearts.
First. Are you satisfied with Christ Jesus
himself? Do you see any loveliness in his person, or is he to you void of form or comeli
Second. Do you renounce your own wisdom, righteousness, and strength, and venture your all upon the wisdom, righteousness, and strength of Christ?
Third. Is it your pleasure to take the yoke of Christ upon you ? Do you think his yoke easy and his burden light?
Answer these questions in the light of eternity. The day is coming when the secrets of all hearts will be laid open; and surely it is the part of wisdom to know your case before it shall be too late to apply the offered remedy. Many have thought themselves believers, and have afterwards found their mistake. Do not think, then, that you have not need “to try yourselves,” and “prove your own selves," and to "give all diligence to make your calling and election sure. How awful will be
mistake, if you do not find it till your final doom be fixed in the world of wo.
SECTION IV. Address to unbelievers.—To unbelievers belong all the openly vicious, all profane swearers, all drunkards, liars, all the unclean, all whoremongers, fornicators, adul
terers, Sabbath-breakers, all grossly ignorant and self-righteous sinners, all habitual neglecters of duties, secret, private, or public ; and, in short, all who do not approve of God's plan of saving sinners, all who do not approve of the whole law of God, and all to whom Christ is not precious. I entreat such to listen to a few things, on their sin, their danger, and their duty.
First. I begin with the sin of the unbeliever. I shall notice only a few of the ingredients of the sin of unbelief. Murder, incest, theft, adultery, and other similar crimes, we view with abhorrence; he who is guilty of them we regard as a monster of iniquity. But unbelief goes a step farther than these crimes; or rather, we might call it the prolific fountain of all sin. It is trampling on the authority of God in that command, which is given with peculiar emphasis, as the first and indispensable command of the Gospel, to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. And this is his commandment, “ that we should believe on the name of his son Jesus Christ." But unbelief treats this command with contempt.
Unbelief also charges God with falsehood. • He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself; he that believeth not God hath made him a liar, be
cause he believeth not the record which God gave of his Son.” Surely unbelief cannot be a small thing. Unbelief imputes folly to the only wise God, and that in the most signal instance of his wisdom. All the treasures of infinite wisdom, of which we have ever had any
exhibition, are employed in the plan of salvation. Here is manifold wisdom-wisdom in a mystery, into which the angels desire to look. But unbelief rejects it all, thus treating the riches of redeeming love as a trifle, not worthy to be attended to, or even believed. Unbelief goes farther than this; it charges God with a defect in goodness, and tramples on his love, mercy, and grace. 6. The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious," is the aspect under which the Lord appears in the Gospel. The Gospel is the glass in which the goodness of God is most strikingly seen; but unbelief would dash that glass in pieces, and thus obliterate the name by which the Lord most delights to be known. Like faithful Abraham, the believer gives all glory to God; the unbeliever takes it all away. Unbelievers, who hear the Gospel,
crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” The unbeliever “ hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the cove