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considerations in his case; and on the other hand, an absolute fitness between his demerit and the eternal misery connected with it. The sufferings of a fellow creature excite our compassion, often because they have arisen from casualty, or have been occasioned by the misconduct of others; but there is nothing resembling this in the case of mankind before God. They only eat of the fruit of their own way, and are filled with their own devices. There was no desire in man for obtaining mercy, for the state of bis mind is thus expressed, dead in trespasses and sins: insensible, ignorant, and unconcerned whether God even made a revelation of himself or no. Man was, however, not so inanimate but he could be active in sin: his life is a life spent in sin. Was it to be expected that the sovereign of the universe should be favorable to persons who added to the guilt of inactivity the provocation of active rebellion? Was God obliged to it on the score of his own happiness or glory? Must he not for ever dwell embosomed in repose, unchangeably happy in his own perfections, whether the universe of creatures continue as he created them, or choose to destroy their happiness by sin? Would'aught be subtracted from his glory if the world had perished? or rather, if it had so happened, while the earth with her guilty millions sank in the flame, would not the great archangels have praised God and said, Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name for thou only art holy. And could he not call forth another universe into being, with the same ease as he created this, if the mean and polluted earth had been consigned to its fate? Truly he could; then what name shall we give to that attribute of our God which moved him to commiserate and save? It is not goodness, but mercy. Goodness

may

be exercised towards the innocent, but mercy respects only the guilty—goodness is conformable to the established laws of the universe, and a well known and acknowledged attribute of God; but mercy, mercy like this, is a departure from regulated laws, in order to produce a phenomenon of love it is an interruption of natural consequences—it is a reversion of the Current of things, to bring forth to the world a miracle; or rather, it should be called goodness passing its usual limits; the excess, the exuberance, the overflowings of love-love prolonged and extended to a boundless infinity and eternity-love expanded to a breadth, and length, and depth, and height, which leave us unable to follow it!

It would be desirable to illustrate the nature of grace by adducing an instance of it among men, if such instances existed; but they do not: at least so as to afford an adequate representation of the grace of God in the recovery of the world. If a king, out of pure goodness of heart, and not from fear, or selfish motives, should give free pardon to a traitor who had sought his life, and not only go, but heap favors and honors upon him; and in order to this should

give one of his own family to be disgraced and executed in his place, this might perhaps, shadow forth faintly what God has done for us. For herein is to be seen the singularity of God's mercy, that whereas peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die, (and well is this premised with peradventure) God commendeth his love to us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. If from the general contemplation of the divineproceedings towards man, we descend to our individual experience of his grace upon our hearts, all of us, who have received it in truth, unanimously concur in this confession, It was because God is rich in mercy, that he quickened us together with Christ: for we may ask of ourselves, Did self, uncontrolled from above, ever make one movement towards God, and not always from him? Even when the shades of darkness began to disperse, and God, by means of our consciences, had a hold upon our fears, were we not still strongly reluctant to our duty? Why are we saved and others left to perish? Why are we distinguished from relatives similar to us in disposition from the world, equal to us in goodness-from the spirits in prison, inferior to us, many of them, in guilt? Shall we basely arrogate the praise that does not belong to us? Shall we take the glory from God and give it to ourselves? No, no; Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy and for thy truth's sake.* Speak not in thine heart, saying, for my righteousness the Lord hath brought me in to possess this land; not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess the land.* Who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive?+ You will not fail to acknowledge, brethren in Christ, that it is all of God. Only through the tender mercy of our God the day-spring from on high liath visited us. And observe how the rapid parenthesis of the Apostle in the text is interposed to confirm what is asserted in the beginning of the sentence, as if it were not sufficient to have said, that God who is rich in mercy, for his great love where with he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, he suddenly suspends his words and adds, by grace ye are saved. Whatever else I am about to say, remember this, that by grace ye are saved. If way of salvation enlarged upon, remember it comes to this, by grace are ye saved. If precepts are inculcated, or dangers laid open, or rewards promised, or trials experienced, let not this be forgotten, that by grace ye are saved -that though we be holy, even as the Apostles, we must join them in saying, We believe that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we must be saved, even as they, I the Gentiles; that we must be justified freely by his grace, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;& that being justified by his grace, we shall be made heirs, according to the hope of eternal life.

* Ps. civ, 1.

you hear the

Deut, ix, 5, 6:

† 1 Cor. iv, 7.

Acts xv, 7:

$ Rom. ii, 24:

If there are any who withhold their consent to this, they should beware of defeating according to their ability the final end which we said God proposed in the work of salvation, which is his own glory. He hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places, that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus.

If the kindness of God towards us is designed to display, as it is with peculiar glory, the exceeding riches of the grace of an unfathomable Deity through all the ages to come, even through all the ages of eternity, there must be something I should suppose, either inexplicably grand in the work of God itself, or something inconceivably desperate in the state of man, the subject of it, so as far to exceed the grasp of a created mind. God hath quickened us, says St. Paul: that is, you Ephesians (who were iniquitous even to a proverb, indeed like the heathen now, as bad as they could possibly be) and me a Jew, of irreproachable character (both equally needed conversion we see) be hath converted us both, that in after ages he might show to the world, first by my example, that there is not a heart so hardened in pride and seif-righteousness that the riches of God's grace cannot pardon and humble it. Hear his own confession, This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am the chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy,

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