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The Good Fruit of the Uncorrupt Tree.

prosperity; it is certain, whatever be his

professions of religion, or however punetual and fervent he may appear in the external discharge of its offices ; the genuine and vital principle of Christian piety is not working at his heart; he is not that sincere believer in the Gospel, which he would seem, nor the faithful servant of Christ, which he ought to be. There is something corrupt within, some hid. den attachment to this world, some abject submission to the carnal mind, which restrains the nobler efforts of the soul, which blights the opening blossoms of piety, and prevents the production of fruit meet for eternal life.

By this rule, then, my brethren, try and examine yourselves. Consider who is the corrupt tree signified in my text. It is he, in whose bosom pride, envy, or resentment has found a residence-he, who has deliberately wronged another,violated or neglected his civil or social duties—he, who through fondness for himself or indifference to others, disobeys the will of God, in obstructing or neglecting the interests of virtue, and the cause of human happiness-he, who has broken the laws, or resisted

the

The Good Fruit of the Uncorrupt Tree.

the constituted authorities--he, who has withheld his hands from deeds of charity, or closed his eyes on the condition of the indigent, the helpless, the afflicted, or the unfortunate-he, who by sloth, inactivity, or intemperance, has debased and impaired his intellect, or impoverished his stock of health and strengthhe, who by a haughty and supercilious deportment has given pain to the humble and righteous, and too highly esteeming himself, has depreciated those, who excelled him in virtue -he, who without sincere endeavours to renounce wickedness and do righteousness, reposes his hopes of pardon and salvation on the grace and mercy of God-he, who thinks to be saved by faith in the death and resurrection of Christ, without obedience to the moral law -he, who delays to review and reform his life, in the presumption that a death-bed repentance will avail to procure remission of his sins, and reconcile him to the Father of mercies he, who trusts in uncertain riches, and not in the living God-he, who either by wrong and perverse modes of thinking has so blinded bis understanding, that he cannot discern the

truth

The Good Fruit of the Uucorrupt Tree.

truth, or by vicious practices has so depraved his will, that he cannot follow it-he who supposes that obedience to the eternal and unchangeable law of God, may be commuted for any other performance whatever, either ritual or ceremonial, of abstinence or mortificationin short he who lives in settled contempt or violation of any virtue enjoined by the Gospel. -All these, although they should not suffer their respective failings to swell into the more flagrant, and atrocious habits or acts of vice, are corrupt trees, which bring not forth good fruit. — They are corrupt members of the Church of Christ; and if they do not, by prayer for the assistance and blessing of God to their own most faithful and strenuous endeavours, restore in themselves the unsound principle, whether it be of the understanding or of the heart; there is every reason to apprehend that, in the harvest of the world, they will be bound up with the tares, to be cast into the fire.

Impressed with a due sense of what

you

have now heard, my brethren, you will not, from

mere

The Good Fruit of the Uncorrupt Tree.

your mere profession as Christians, and some punctuality in the discharge of your devotional duties, conclude that you have done all that is required of you to work out your salvation. By the conduct of a man's life, by the motives that have actuated him, and the ends, to which his thoughts and efforts have been directed, can his true character be determined. It is only a lively and effectual faith in the being and attributes of God, in the example, the sufferings and atonement of Christ, producing in obedience to the whole law, an useful, righteous and holy life, that will

procure for us a residence in the mansions of eternal glory. Here is the uncorrupt tree with its good fruit.

Let this momentous truth be ever present to your minds, and daily influence your lives. Lay not to your souls the flattering unction that any thing, without obedience to God's immutable and everlasting law, will bring upon you h is benediction, in that day, when all hearts shall be revealed. If the Son of God suffered for you; you must be content to suffer what may be necessary to the putting away

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The Good Fruit of the Uncorrupt Tree.

of that sin, which made his suffering necessary. People do, indeed, strangely talk of the higher purposes of the Christian dispensation. But, , what purpose can be greater, and nobler, than the turning of mankind to righteousness, and restoring them to the lost likeness of their infinitely pure and holy Creator? Is He not represented as delighting above all things in the conversion of a sinner? Has not our Saviour declared that to be a matter of joy to the inhabitants of Heaven? For higher purposes ! What purpose can be higher ?—what purpose can be more felicitous to man, or more accordant with the goodness and glory of the eternal Creator, than to reclaim mankind to that obedience to Him, the fall from which was, and is, the cause of all that we suffer, or deplore? What can we conceive to be more important than the destruction of that, which was the cause of agony to the incarnate Son of God? Can any man having a just sense of the all-transcendent Majesty of Heaven, of the dishonour that is offered to the infinitely righteous, just, and perfect God, by every act of iniquity, suppose that even his own salvation

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