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could enlighten them, they would act, but they will not be enlightened. The secret is, they were born in a dark, misty, and debilitating atmosphere, and they choose to live and die in the same. Let some good man who knows and loves the truth, go into one corner of such a society, and there be active and faithful a few years, till the Christians know what they were born again for, and that corner of the Church shall be, from that time, worth all the rest, in any labors to which God shall call his people.

I know not but that we have here one, and that not a very inefficient cause, why so many ministers have been quarrelled away from their people, immediately after some great revival. The faithful and laborious servant of God had gathered into the Church a multitute of converts, and expected much from them, but had not prepared them to be useful; and when at length he urged them to bring forth fruits meet for repentance, they contended with him. If any should consider this a bold suggestion then I hope they will make a happier one, and take away this reproach from the Churches. I cannot believe, that a revival of religion, effected by the Spirit of God, under a distinguishing gospel, will tend to unsettle its ministry. But I can easily believe, that one who knows and loves the truth, may hold it back in a time of awakening, to the incalculable injury of those who are born again, and at the risk of his own sudden removal from his flock. He is afraid to give them strong meat, and feeds them with what he terms milk, but which proves to be poison, and they wither under it, and he is punished for administering it. Thus is fulfilled that inspired adage, “He that will save his life shall lose it ; but he that will lose his life, for my sake, and the gospel, the same shall save it."

Finally, let me say to lost men, haste your escape to Jesus Christ. You stand in imminent danger of perdition every moment. Your ruin is nearer, and your guilt, far greater, than you ever conceived. That sinner that has been the most afraid, has never been half enough afraid, of the wrath of God. It burns to the lowest hell, and when you fall beneath it, your courage will all be gone in a moment. “Can thine heart endure, or can thine hand be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee ?"

You see what the terms are, and God will never alter them, on which you can be accepted of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are the best, and the only terms that could be offered. They secure the honor of the Divine law, the glory of Christ, and the eternal life of the sinner. They are humbling terms, and to reach the case they must be.

Now will you stand quarrelling with the truth till you perish ? Is this the right course for a sinner! You thus harden your heart, and sear your conscience, and provoke your doom. “Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.” May God bless his own truth, and make it a fire and hammer to break in pieces the flinty rock. Amen.

SERMON LXI.

SALVATION MADE SURE.

JOHN VII. 37. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Perhaps of all the excuses that men have offered, as designed to account for their impenitence, none has in it more infidelity or more impudence, than that which fastens their ruin upon the purposes of God. If he has any decree respecting their future state, no matter whether he has resolved they shall die or live, no matter whether his decree deprives them of agency or not—if there is any such decree they resolve to leave the whole matter with him, and to give the concerns of the soul no attention. Hence many who have believed the doctrine have still felt that it should be seldom or never exhibited before ungodly men lest it should keep them away from Christ.

Against a sentiment like this I feel it my duty for one to enter my strong and decided protest. And for the following reasons :

In the first place it is a doctrine as plainly revealed in the Bible as any other, and the Bible is a revelation of the mind of God to sinners, hence God must have known that the doctrine has not the tendency that men have attributed to it. He would not have revealed a doctrine, whose tendency would be to thwart the purposes

of his mercy.

In the second place I believe it a doctrine calculated above most others to awaken sinners. It exhibits the depravity of the heart in its most glaring colors. God will compel some to come in because all are unwilling, and because that but for this interference of his mercy all must be lost.

In the third place it exalts the Lord. Let the gospel scheme be such as men would have it, and God would make no calculations respecting the magnitude of his kingdom. Christ would not be able to know whether he should see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied or not. But God has done himself honor in fixing eternally the boundaries of his kingdom.

Finally, it is to the minister of Christ and the people of God generally their only source of hope that a preached gospel will have its desired effect. No one would be willing to go out and preach the gospel to men totally depraved unless the unalterable purpose

and promise of God secured success. The atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only foundation of hope to a perishing sinner. Hence the Savior represented himself as the bread of God that cometh down from heaven and giveth life to the world. And he added, he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But said he to those about him, “Ye also have seen me and believed not."

But our Lord assures them that if they would not believe on him and follow him, still he should not be without disciples. There were some whose faith in him, and whose perseverance to eternal life were made sure. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me: and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” Let us now give this text a candid and prayerful examination. We may sometimes suppose ourselves interested in evading the force of Scripture, but our true interest demands that we endeavor to understand it as God intended it should be understood. I can. not wish, nor can any other man who will feel and act rationally, that this text or any other should be made to speak a language which the Spirit of inspiration did not intend to teach. The text naturally divides itself, and opens to the mind three leading thoughts.

I. Some of our race God the Father gives to God the Son
II. All these shall infallibly come to him.
III. None that come to him shall be rejected, or cast out.

1. Some of our race are given of the Father to the Son. It reads, you will remember, “All that the Father giveth me shall com to me: and he that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

If the New Testament had not made us familiar with this lan guage, it would seem strange that one person in the Godhead should present to another that to which the other had an equal right with himself. But in the economy of redemption each person acts a part somewhat distinct. Christ as Mediator acts an inferior part, is delegated and rewarded by the Father. What then are we to understand by the Father giving some of our race to the Lord Jesus Christ? There is a passage very much like this in the 10th chapter of this same gospel. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto

me, is

them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave

them greater than all; and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.” We read again in the 17th chapter, “That he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” Again, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me, out of the world: thine they were and thou gavest them me." Again, “I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me.” Again, “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me.”

I think these quotations, without proceeding farther, show clearly that the word giveth, in the text, has the same meaning as given, in the text which I have quoted. The meaning then is, that in some wondrous transaction between the Father and the Son, a part of our race was given to Christ, to be in some peculiar sense his property. Nor do I see how any honest man, who is willing to let the Scripture explain itself, can come to any other conclu. sion.

A writer of the Episcopal communion,* for whom I love to express my high respect, gives us this explanation : “All whom the Father had given to him, in his foreknowledge and choice of them, and by the covenant of redemption made with him as their surety, would come to him.” Another for whom I feel a similar respect, says: “All that the Father has graciously chosen to himself, and whom he giveth to me in consequence of a peculiar covenant, to be sanctified and saved by me, will certainly at length come unto

Permit me to quote another no less respectable. He says: "From the gratuitous election in Christ by the Father, flows the gift of faith, which eternal life necessarily follows. Therefore, faith in Christ is a certain testimony of our election, and consequently of our future glorification.”

Thus are we, by the covenant testimony of Scripture, and by the advice of able and pious commentators, driven to the conclu. sion, that a part of our race are given to Christ previously to their conversion, and are his in a sense in which the residue are not his. And if one other text may add its testimony, we shall learn that they were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, that they should be holy and without blame before him, in love.

If any should persist in denying this doctrine, it will be recol. lected that the texts I have quoted, are but a few of the many that go to establish the same point. And I know not what explanation

me.'

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