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at all; they in a manner exclude it, or, at least, adopt only so much of it as suits their convenience. Others, while they acknowledge the indispensableness of believing, consider faith as no more than a bare mental assent; they are of opinion, that if they subdue their reason to the demands of revealed truth, nothing more is required of them; and soothe themselves with the notion that this docility of the judgment may be substituted for love and obedience, and will of itself suffice to secure their salvation. Thus, the former disregard the necessity of faith; the latter deny its efficacy. To the first class we shall make it appear, that faith alone can procure justification; to the second we will demonstrate, what are the true characteristics of a justifying faith. Such is the design of this discourse.

I. Since God is a being of infinite holiness, we cannot “ HAVE PEACE” with him; there can be “no fellowship” between him and us, except either through justice and innocence, or by pardon and repentance. But the justice

and innocence here required differ widely from that worldly uprightness, which is sufficient, in the intercourse of society, to obtain for a man an honorable reputation, Men's powers are weak and limited; the idea which they form to themselves of moral excellence partakes of the imperfectness of their conceptions and the narrowness of their judgments: they are able to judge, besides, of the external conduct only; and even of that their knowledge is imperfect; their decisions regard one side only of our lives, and that the side which we prepare, if I may so express myself, for show and ostentation. Faults long committed they pass lightly over; and into the estimates of human opinion only the evidence of the present, or of a very recent period is admitted.

Far otherwise the Supreme Judge: The duties of infancy, of youth, of maturity, of old age; the duties of health and of sickness; those which proceed from the various relations of citizen, father, child, wife, brother, friend, neighbour, master, servant; duties which relate to piety, to justice, to charity, to sincerity, to

chastity, to temperance; actions public and private; inclinations, desires, thoughts, nay even words,—the foolish and unweighed expressions which we inconsiderately let fall, as if they melted into the idle air ;~ all these will form the materials of the Almighty's decision. He does not rest satisfied with the observation of the surface, but looks into the motives of actions; of which the most splendid, if human passions be the principle in which they originated, are in his eyes as nothing, or perhaps even partake of the nature of sin. We delude ourselves respecting our faults, ten thousand ways: He beholds them as they are. Our corrupt nature overlooks them; before Him they stand naked, and are hateful in proportion to his holiness. We commit them almost without observation ; He weighs them in his balance: we forget them, we banish them from our remembrance; He remembers them, and inscribes them upon the records of eternity.

Alas! when I think upon these truths, it seems to me that all nature becomes our accuser, and that every emotion of our souls rises

up in judgment against us. “ If thou, Lord,” exclaimed the Psalmist, when oppressed by a similar feeling, “ if thou shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand ?” • How should a man be just with God?” asked Job; “if He will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.” There is none righteous,” declares St. Paul ; ' no, not one.”. Where, then, is that presumptuous mortal, who, relying upon his own righteousness, shall dare, , without shrinking, to approach the judgmentseat of the Most Holy? Be assured, that, extravagant as the pride of man is, there is far more of thoughtlessness than pride, in those whom we see animated by this daring spirit. Let them but examine their own hearts; let them listen to that voice which even now speaks from their conscience; and, struck with fear and confusion, they will confess, that man's salvation can be obtained by divine grace alone. .

But, you will, perhaps, ask, are we not entitled to expect that grace, and the pardon which is consequent upon it, through the mercy of our God?

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My Brethren, we could have no assurance on this head, unless He himself vouchsafed to afford it to us.

In the administration of his providence, justice has her claims, no less than mercy. God himself must speak; it is from him that we must learn not only the mode selected by him for reconciling those claims, and for effecting our reunion with himself, but also the condition upon which this benefit is conceded.

And he has spoken. That mode is the sacrifice offered upon the cross by the great Mediator, the Son of God: that condition is, that we apply to this merciful Redeemer,-it is Faith. Look into the Gospel; there you will find, on every page, that man is justified, not by the merit of works, but by faith; that he is justified, not as human tribunals justify, but after a mode of justification peculiar to infinite goodness. He is not found innocent, but he is restored to the privileges of innocence. What is required of him, is this : that, feeling his own insufficiency, he fix his hope upon Him who dies for the sons of men; that he look to

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