" of eternal life.”—Their religion resembles a river, which still continues to flow, though sometimes with a fuller current, and at others with a diminished stream: while that of the hypocrite resembles a land-flood, now impetuously deluging the field, and then wholly disappearing. But to those, who thus “ patiently continue in well-doing,” and to them only, will the righteous Judge at last assign the eternal inheritance. “ He that continueth “ to end shall be saved.”

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We need not enlarge on the reverse of this character. "Unto them that are contentious, and “ do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness; " indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish,

upon every soul of man that doeth evil.” Such persons, instead of believing the gospel, and in humble repentance embracing the promised salyation, contend against it, “ contradicting and “ blaspheming.” They dispute against the strictness of the divine law or justice, and the sentence denounced against transgressors. They oppose their own reasonings again the express testimony of God, in respect of the mysteries of redemption ; and venture to charge him foolishly, as if they were more wise and righteous than He. --Being thus “contentious, they “ do not obey the truth;” they will not submit to God, repent of sin, believe in Christ, separate from the world, or walk in newness of life, F

" they obey unrighteousness:" sin, in one form or other, has dominion over them; and their unbelief is the effect of a depraved heart and a rebellious will, which it tends reciprocally to confirm and render more desperate. To all these the righteous Judge will recompense "indignation and “ wrath, tribulation and anguish;” not regarding their outward privileges or distinctions, but deciding impartially according to their works : for, “there is no respect of persons with God.” Let us then,

II. Compare this statement with several other important scriptures, which may serve to elucidate and confirm it.

It is the uniform declaration of the sacred writers, that all men shall be judged according to their works: yet it is equally evident that faith, or unbelief, determines a man's state in the sight of God, as justified, or as under condemnation. “ He that “ believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he " that believeth not shall be damned.” • Verily,

verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, 6 and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemna

tion, but is passed from death unto life.” “ that believeth not is condemned already: be

cause he hath not believed in the name of the

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"only begotten Son of God." The same instruction is implied in the apostle's vision. “The books “ were opened: and another book was opened, which s is the book of life; and the dead were judged out " of those things, which were written in the books "according to their works; and whosoever was

not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire. 2"

The prophet, having shewn that the ways of the Lord are equal, was led to state the characters of the righteous and the wicked; and then he adds, “When the wicked man turneth away from his 6 wickedness, and doeth that which is lawful and

right, he shall save his soul alive ;---repent and “ turn from all your transgressions, so iniquity " shall not be your ruin.3" The true penitent therefore will not be condemned, when judged according to his deeds; which he must be, if the solemn process should be conducted according to the strictness of the law, without reference to the grace of the gospel, to which all these invitations and promises belong.

The atoning sacrifices of the Mosaick law, which typified the redemption of Christ, were offered upon mount Zion : and David, enquiring who should ascend and worship with acceptance on that holy hill, draws a character, which entirely accords with that given of a true believer in the newTestament.” Alark, xvi. 16. John, iii. 18. v. 24. 2 Rev, xx. 12-15.

3 Ezekiel xviii, 27-30.

4 Ps, xv,

Thus he shews us, which of the professors of true religion will stand accepted in the day of judgment: but this hath nothing to do with such as openly neglect or oppose revealed truth, or refuse the salvation of the gospel.

In perfect harmony with these scriptures, our Lord describes his true disciples, “ Whosoever “shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, “ the same is my brother, my sister, and my mo“ther.” “Blessed are they that hear the word of God " and keep it.'” This word or will of God doubtless has peculiar relation to Christ, and the voice from heaven, “ This is my beloved Son, in whom “I am well pleased, hear ye him:” and a moral or pharisaical decency of conduct most essentially differs from the obedience of faith. “He that “ believeth not God hath made him a liar, because “ he believeth not the record that God gave of his « Son. And this is the record, that God hath

given to us eternal life, and this life is in his “Son; he that hath the Son hath life, and he " that hath not the Son of God hath not life,2 " The unbeliever, therefore, whatever his moral character may be, so far from doing the will of God, disobeys his express command, and deliberately affronts his veracity,

Our Lord closed his sermon on the mount with this remarkable

passage. Not every one that saith

* Matt. xii, 49, 50, Luke, xi. 28.

2 1 John, v, 10-12,

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“ unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the king“dom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of

my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name cast out “ devils ? and in thy naine done many

wonderful “works ? and then will I profess unto them, I ne“ ver knew you, depart from me ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these

sayof mine and doeth them, I will liken him 66 unto a wise man, which built his house upon a “rock; and the rain descended, and the floods

came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that “ house and it fell not; for it was founded upon a “rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not, shall be likened “ unto a foolish man, which built his house upon “ the sand; and the rains descended and the floods

came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that “ house and it fell, and great was the fall of it'.' This passage evidently refers to the day of judgment; but it mentions none except those who call Christ Lord, come to him, and hear his sayings. His professed disciples therefore are exclusively intended; and living faith is described as distinguishable from dead faith by its holy fruits. Disobedient professors of Christianity will be condemned as hypocrites, or wicked and slothful ser

Matt, vii. 21---27. Luke, vi. 46-49.

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