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ROMANS V. 1.
Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through
our Lord Jesus Christ.
WHAT a consolatory declaration, My Brethren, to HAVE PEACE WITH GOD!" How sublime and affecting is the sense which these words convey! What happiness! To be permitted to regard the greatest and most perfect of beings in the light of a Father,--to be allowed to draw nigh unto him, and with calm confidence to repose upon his love,--to be allowed to calculate upon his protection,--to be allowed to apply to ourselves that affectionate language which, in Sacred Writ, he addresses to those that believe on him, and those glorious hopes which he holds out to them ;---where is the man in whose bosom thoughts such as these excite no emotion, or who is indifferent to so inestimable a privilege ? Peace, to the good man, is dear beyond every other blessing; he esteems it as the chief good, as the indispensable condition of all enjoyment; but, to “HAVE PEACE WITH GOD,” is to have it with one's self, with mankind, with all things that live, with the universe; it is to possess all things, to enjoy all things.
Christians! only the religion of Jesus Christ can secure to us this blessed peace. Every act of worship, by exalting and refining our affections, and by approximating us to the Deity, may
be said to be the means of our obtaining it: but it is here, at the Lord's table, that it is more peculiarly put within our reach, and that our being enabled to enjoy it is made certain.
Of what importance, then, is it, to ascertain by what means it may be secured! For, you must be sensible that so excellent a benefit cannot be bestowed but upon some condition, nor lavished indiscriminately upon such as would make no exertion to receive it worthily. There are certain dispositions indispensably necessary to its enjoyment; and those dispositions it is, which are to form the subject of our present discourse. Hear then, My Brethren, with attention and a teachable spirit, and may our meditations, by the divine blessing, prove beneficial to us all!
The dispositions required, in order to “ HAVE PEACE WITH GOD,”. may all be reduced to a single one, viz. Faith :—“ BEING JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD."
This is one of the fundamental truths of our religion. From our childhood we are made familiar with it; from childhood our ears are accustomed to the sacred word, Faith: yet, how rarely do men form any thing like a definite and just idea of its meaning and importance ! The greater number of Christians are divided, on this subject, between two erroneous conclusions. Some there are, who, self satisfied, and relying upon a certain character for integrity, and a certain staid moral deportment, deem themselves secure of salvation without any