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that whereas death is rendered to the sinner on the footing of wages that are due to him, eternal life is rendered to the believer on the footing of a gift that is simply and freely bestowed upon him.


But mark in the first place-that the circumstance of heaven being a gift, does not supersede the necessity that there is for holiness going before it. It may take away from the merit of holiness but it does not take away from the need of holiness. The man who comes to the marriage-feast must have on the marriage-garment; though it is not the simple act of putting on that garment, which entitles him to a seat among the guests. His title there is simply the invitation that he has gotten; and yet it is quite indispensable that he comes suitably arrayed. He may not be able even to purchase the requisite vestments; and should these too have to be provided for him-should even the very dress in which he comes have to be given to him, as well as the entertainment that is set before him after he does come-It may both be true, that without the dress he could not have been admitted; and also, that, poor and defenceless outcast as he was, he owes nothing whatever to himself that all had to be given; and he, ere he could partake of that feast by which heaven is represented in the New Testament, had to be clothed by another's wealth as well as regaled by another's bounty.

Now this is just the way in which the everlasting life, that none can obtain without being holy, is

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nevertheless a gift. It is of grace and not at all of works. It is all of grace from the first to the last-for the very holiness is given; and while of all sin it may be said that it is our own, because drawn away to it of our own lusts and enticedof holiness it may be said that it is not of ourselves, but that good and perfect gift which cometh down from above.

And as eternal life being a gift, does not supersede the need of holiness-so holiness being a gift, does not supersede the need that there is for your own stirring, and your own painstaking, and all the diligence both of your performances and your prayers. Still the progress is just as has already been set forth to you, from such small doings as you are able for at the first, to your growth in grace and in holiness afterward. And yet, even for the small doings, an influence from on high must have been made to rest upon you. It is by power from heaven that the work is begun; and it is by power from the same quarter that the work is carried forward, even unto perfection. In other words you cannot pray too early. Turn me and I shall be turned, may be a most pertinent and a most availing cry even at the outset of your conversion. You cannot too soon mix up dependence upon more grace, with diligence in the use of all the grace that has already been imparted. When you do whatever your hand findeth to do, you are only stirring up the gift that is in you; and if faithful in turning to account all that you

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do have, and watchful and prayerful for more, it is thus, that, from the more rude and literal services which you are enabled to render at the outset of your new obedience, you are conducted to the higher attainments of the spiritual character, and have your fruit unto an ever-advancing holiAnd Christ is all in all throughout this


entire process.
He purchased the inheritance, and
He makes you meet for it. He has gon
He has gone to prepare
a place for you there, and He prepares you here
for the place. It is through Him that the Spirit is
given in answer to your prayers; and while nothing
more true than that you must have the fruit of
holiness ere you can have eternal life, it is just as
true that eternal life, both in its preparations and
in its rewards, is the gift of God through Jesus
Christ our Lord.



ROMANS, vii, 1-4.

"Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth: but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."

THE apostle, in these verses, bethinks him of another illustration, on the subject of the new and the holy life that is incumbent on a believer-and one more addressed to his Jewish, even as the former was to his Gentile disciples. In the verses that we have already tried to expound in your hearing, he illustrates the transference that takes place at conversion, from the service of sin to the service of righteousness-by the transference of a bond-slave now made free from his old master, but whose services are still due to the present and the lawful superior under whom he now stands enrolled. The apostle then, at the commencement of this chapter, turns him to those who know the law, and

deduces from the obligations which attach to marriage, the same result which he had done before from the obligations which attach to servitudethat is, an abandonment on the part of the believer of those doings which have their fruit unto death, and a new service which has its fruit unto holiness; or, as it is termed in this passage, its 'fruit unto God.'

The attentive reader will perceive, that there is a certain cast of obscurity over the whole of this passage; and arising from the apparent want of an entire and sustained analogy, between the illustration and the thing to be illustrated. It is true that the obligations of marriage are annulled by the death of either of the parties; but then he only supposes the death of one of the parties, and that is the husband. Now the case to be elucidated by this supposition, is that of the now dissolved relationship which there is between the law and him who was the subject of the law. The law is evidently the husband in this relationship, and the subject is as evidently the wife. So that, to make good the resemblance-the law should be conceived dead, and the subject alive, and at liberty for being transferred into another relationship than that which he formerly occupied. Yet, in reading the first verse, one would suppose-that it was on the expiry of life by the subject, and not on the expiry of life by the law, that the connection between them was to be broken up and dissolved. It is true that the translation might have run thus,

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