· sin entered into the world, and death by sin; " and so death passed upon all men, in that all " have sinned.” The holy image of God was also effaced, and from that time man was naturally incapable of spiritual felicity, dead in sin, and pronc to every kind of evil.

When the root of our race thus fell, all the branches fell with him, and became mortal and sinful; from the heart of fallen men evil thoughts, words, and works, continually proceed: and the natural effect of their crimes unites with the righteous indignation of God, in rendering this life a scene of labour and sorrow: and as, “it is appoint“ed to all men once to die, and after death the

judgment;" still more terrible miseries may justly be dreaded in a future world. A criminal may

suffer many things previous to his trial and condemnation; but his principal punishment follows afterwards. And as the human soul is subject to sinful passions, corresponding to the diseases of the body: we not only must inevitably be exposed to condemnation at the tribunal of God; but we also carry in our lapsed nature the seeds of misery and destruction.

We have, however, another view given us, in the sacred oracles, of our actual condition, still more suited “to stop every mouth, and to bring "in all the world guilty before God.”—We are doubtless, as reasonable creatures, accountable to our supreme Governor and Judge, for every part of our conduct; and his holy law is the rule, by which every disposition, word, and action must be tried. Now, who does not feel, that he hath ini many instances violated the reasonable and righteous commandments of God? Who hath not heard that "cursed is every one, that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do “ them?"

Thus.“ the scripture hath concluded all under " sin:” and it was not without cause, I hope not without meaning, that we this morning added, after each of the commandments, Lord, have

mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep ó this law.'

The man, who carefully compares his past and present conduct with this most strict and spiritual standard, will soon find his own conscience bring in a verdict against him: “ And if our hearts “ condemn us, God is greater than our hearts, " and knoweth all things." No repentance or amendment can compensate for past offences; because we cannot in any instance exceed our present duty; and our debt increases in proportion as we still fall short of perfect obedience. Nor can we estimate the intrinsick evil of our sins against the infinite majesty of heaven, or the punishment we deserve for our ungrateful rebellion.

When we attempt to frame our conduct by the koly law of God, we feel a surprizing reluctance and backwardness to this most reasonable service, and a strong propensity to disobedience. "Evil dispositions, though common to all, are in some exceedingly strengthened by habit; and rendered ungovernable by peculiar temptations. Such men, therefore, as have serious thoughts and form good purposes, commonly find their resolutions enervated, and their endeavours baffled: and after some fruitless efforts, they return to their former course of life; unless relieved by the gospel of Christ.

When these things are seriously considered, the condition of mankind appears truly deplorable. Related to God and an eternal world; exposed to death and a future judgment; already guilty of many heinous crimes, and propense to increase the number; liable to final condemnation, and “ vessels of “ wrath fitted to destruction;" what can anyone do, to rescue or ransom himself or his brother from the awful sentence already published by the Judge,

Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared " for the devil and his angels?" It is in vain to reason and dispute against facts, and the sure testimony of scripture: “Who art thou that repliest . " against God? Shall not the Judge of all the “ earth do right? Shall mortal man be more just “ than God? Shall a man be more pure than “ his Maker?'"

1 Job iv. 17.

Let us rather submit to his righteousness, and seek that relief which his gospel proposes to us. The Lord, against whom we have rebelled, hatlı revealed himself to us, as “merciful and gracious,

forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin;" and hath made way for the exercise of his boundless mercy, in harinony

in harinony with infinite justice and holiness, in the person, redemption, and mediation of his beloved Son. And the divine Saviour, having made a complete atonement for sin, brought in everlasting righteousness, and triumphed over all our enemies, now reigneth Lord of all worlds, and is “able to save to the uttermost all them that

come to God by him; seeing he ever liveth to “ make intercession for them." The proposal of mercy

« without money and without price,” to the chief of sinners; the pressing invitations, and persuasions, withi which God doth by his ministers beseech us to be reconciled to him; the actual pardon and complete justification of every true believer; the gift of the Holy Spirit to renew and sanctify our souls; the exceeding great and precious promises, privileges, and engagements of the new covenant; and the present comfort and future inheritance of the Lord's adopted children, might be particularly insisted on, in discussing the subject. These are in all respects good news, glad tidings, most needful for us, suited to our case, sufficient for our happiness, springing from love unspeakable, and terminating in the everlasting salvation and glory of all, who obtain an interest in them. This is the gospel of Christ; the most rejoicing report, that ever reached the ears of mortal man. Little indeed has been said on such a subject: yet that little may serve to introduce an attempt,

and grace,

II. To shew, that this gospel, when rightly understood and truly believed, will produce a correspondent conduct and conversation.

This will appear, if we consider the information given us, on the most interesting subjects, and such as are most intimately connected with our judgment and practice. “That God, who “commanded the light to shine out of darkness, “ hath shined in our hearts, to give us the light of “ the knowledge of his glory in the face of Jesus “ Christ.” The discoveries made to us in the gospel, concerning the mysteries of the Godhead and the harmony of the divine perfections, are suited to excite our highest admiration, adoration, and love; and to make us exclaim,

great is his goodness! how great is his beauty!' And hence we must perceive, that God is worthy of all possible love, worship, confidence, and obedience; that happiness consists in his favour; that his image is beauty and excellency, and his service perfect freedom.

The views which the gospel of Clirist gives us of

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