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It cannot be supposed, that to people of this description GOD should extend his mercy, If a fond father among men should do every thing in his power to make his son happy, and should receive, in return, only insult and disobedience, can we suppose that he would continue his kindness to so graceless a child ? Certainly not. Such must be the case between mankind and their Maker. He has made every provision for the salvation and glory of his children here below, by sending Jesus CHRIST to save them from their sins, and to reconcile them to himself; but if, instead of putting away from them those sins for which Christ suffered, they continue to cleave unto them; if “ they love “ darkness better than light," and will not “ have this man to reign over them,” but rather give heed unto the devil than the Saviour, they must lose the benefit of his salvation, and perish everlastingly. They will be lost, not because GOD decreed that they should be lost, but because they wilfully throw away their souls: so true is that remark made by the inspired writer, that the destruction of men is from them« selves." On the other hand, they who " believe in the LORD Jesus CHRIST,” and
keep his sayings;" who feel the want of a Saviour, and perceive the unspeakable
value of salvation ; who know that nothing is too precious to be given in exchange for the soul; and are willing and anxious to fulfil the conditions of saving it, by obeying the commandment; they, I say, are the believers, whose religion will carry them to heaven. They are “ the elect,” “ the cho“ sen” of God," the people” of Christ, whose sins he came to take away. To them all his promises are sealed, and all his merits applicable. They, like Mary, “ have cho “sen the good part, and it shall not be “ taken away from them.”
But let us, in the third place, consider the danger and folly of those, who will not fulfil the conditions, on which salvation through CHRIST is to be obtained. We cannot look into the New Testament without being con. vinced that people of this description are in the inost terrible situation !
" Be not de“ ceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever “a man soweth, that also shall he reap. As thomercy offered to us in Jesus Christ is beyond all price, so must the punishment of despising it be beyond all description terrible. Can you believe, my brethren, that your blessed Saviour would have left the bosom of his Father in heaven; bave taken the forın of man ; passed a life of sorrow and labour upon earth; and suffered a cruel and dreadful death; had he not known, that mankind without a Redeemer would be in the most deplorable condition ? No! When he gave his life a sacrifice for sin, he foresaw, that unless he made that atonement, the whole posterity of Adam would have suffered such punishment, as “ eye hath “ not seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived."
But surely if men, without a Redeemer, would have been in this wretched state; those persons must be still liable to it, who despise that Redeemer, refuse to listen to his words, or to take his yoke upon them. The servant or labourer, you know, who refuses to perform his master.'s lawful commands, is immediately discharged, and returns to the state of want in which he was before he had employment. So is it with mankind at large, with respect to salvation. All have the free offer of being saved from that wrath of God, which hung over them in consequence of the sin of Adam; all of them have a call to salvation through the mediation of that JESUS, who came “ to save his people from their «sins;" all of them have the promise of . everlasting happiness, on the condition of faith and obedience. But if they wickedly sefuse this offer, turn a deaf ear to this call, and despise this promise ; if they will not
hear and obey the gospel; they will be ex.
ing of the heart;" the profession of faith,
one that nameth the name of Christ s should depart from iniquity.” They
ought to remember, that it is not enough for them to say they believe in JESUS CHRIST; but that they must“ keep his sayings,” it they would be saved from their sins by him. They should practise, as well as profess; and live like disciples of CHRIST, as well as say that they are of his religion. If, instead of thus keeping the commandment, they go on in a course of carelessness, wickedness, or worldly-mindedness; if they neglect the means of grace, the ordinances of God; the keeping of his sạbbath, the preaching and hearing of his word, and the administration of his sacrament; if they confess that they are sinners, and yet refuse to part with their sins ; if they be so engaged with the vanities or business of this world, as to forget that there is another after it ;-they may then assure themselves that they are not among the number of those whom Jesus came to save ; and that at the last great day, when they shall plead his atonement in their favour, he will answer them with this reproof, “ I know you not ; depart from me, “all ye workers of iniquity.”