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of the Lord, who shall return and come to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads; haying passed through your tribulation, you shall see it no more; you shall obtain joy, and gladness; and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

SERMON VIII.

As ye

COLOSSIANS ii, 6. have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk

ye

in him.

THE

He way in which a Christian believer must walk in his passage through this world to the next, is a way which we are by no means apt to observe, or disposed to adhere to. It is new and unique in its nature, it cannot be identified with any other; in consequence of which, the wise who would walk in it, must begin where the foolish do, and proceed step by step in ground constantly new; seeing nothing which past experience had made familiar to them. It requires moreover, such vigilance and attention; such spiritual and elevated affections; such exercise of the inward faculties; and withal, such simplicity, that we are too ignorant, too indolent, and too proud to discover this Christian sanctification, and then to keep in it. Hence the saints and brethren at Colosse, though well spoken of upon the whole for

way of

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their faith in Christ Jesus and their love in the Spirit, needed an exhortation on that head. They had been corrupted in some degree, or were in danger of becoming so by the introduction of outward observances, or human methods of sanctification, instead of the simple way of living by faith in Christ. · Their learned heathen neighbors, drawing them into disputes on some difficult points, might make them ashamed of Christ crucified; or more probably, teachers newly converted from heathenism, might through their imperfect views of the glory of the gospel, attempt to garnish their doctrine with maxims and sentiments concerning morality, such as were most in vogue among the heathen literati at the time. There are certain men who, because they possess somewhat more learning than others, think, when they become converts to the gospel, that they are great acquisitions to the cause. They officiously extend the shield of their learning over their more unlearned brethren, and try to prove where others believe: but while they think they promote the cause, they generally spoil what they touch. Therefore they are thus cautioned: -Beware lest any man spoil you, through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Every part of true religion may be learnt new from the Bible. The word of God, though it lends aid to other books, receives it from none.

Similar caution was added re

specting those teachers among them that Judaized, or added Jewish observances to Christianity, with the desire of making their obedience complete. Ye are complete in him, they are told. Let no man therefore judge or condemn you in meat or drink, or in respect of a holy day. Let no man agitate your minds by charging you with neglects in these external observances. They were once necessary, but these are a shadow of things to come, but the body is Christ: therefore penances, fasts, and austerities, which are so valuable in the sight of the heathens, and form so large a part of corrupt christianity, are now done away. These were the prohibitions given them. The command and positive rule laid down for their consistent walk, and effectual sanctification, is to be seen in the text: As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.

Here are two important sentences--one discovering the beginning, the other the progress of the christian life; one the gate, the other the way in which it opens. The beginning of all true religion is, receiving Christ Jesus. Not merely receiving his baptism or his name, but the Lord himself. The receiving of Christ is essential-where Christ is not found our religion is only a name.

Is it asked what is meant by receiving Christ? It is to receive him as God's unspeakable gift; provided by the love of the Father, before the foundation of the world, and bestowed freely on us sinful men without regard to our deserts; it is to receive

him as our atoning sacrifice and justifying righteousness-cordially accepting him as of God, made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption-coming to him as the foundation laid by God-believing in him as the appointed Savior—and making him the ground of our hope of acceptance with God, to the exclusion of all other hopes. It is also, to receive him as our Lord. Whose commands alone are to be obeyed. This may be the chief import of the words; for they may be translated: As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus to be your Lord, so walk ye in him. Where the reception is real, or the faith genuine, there will accompany it humility, love, devotedness: therefore to say we receive Christ Jesus the Lord, is to say, that we receive him with the consciousness that we are sinners, perishing under the wrath of God; as a dying man receives the last medicine that restores his life, or as a drowning man seizes the kind hand that saves him. With like joy and love we receive God the Savior, and gratitude consecrates to him the rest of life. This is the beginning of our new course towards heaven; the stretching of our wings towards the skies and thrice happy are ye children of God, who have become such through Christ Jesus. It is our continuance in this way, that we are to consider from this text. As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye

in him. To walk in Christ is:

1. To continue to apply his blood, for the cleansing of our consciences from guilt

. It is a

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