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blishing-by engaging the gratitude, and goodwill, and affection of His disciples, on the side of it. That spiritual excellence which man could not find of himself, wherewith to purchase heaventhe Saviour finds for him, and spreads it out in goodly adornment upon his person, so as to prepare him for heaven. What the first husband would have exacted as a price, the other lays on as a preparation; and the very duties that were required by the unrelenting taskmaster, but not rendered to him-are also required by the kind and friendly benefactor, who at the same time gives both a hand of strength and a heart of alacrity for all His services.

The difference between the two cases, is somewhat like that which obtains between a family establishment, and an establishment of hirelings. Every workman in the one is under a law of sobriety and good conduct, which, if he violate, he will forfeit his situation. But, if instead of a servant he is a son, it is not on any bargain of that kind, that he is understood to retain the place of security and maintenance, that he enjoys under the roof of his father. Yet, though sobriety and good conduct are not laid upon him in the way of legalism-who does not see, that the whole drift and policy of the patriarchal government under which he sits, are on the side of all that is virtuous and amiable, and praiseworthy on the part of its members? Who does not see, that the desire of a father may still, without any legal economy of do

and live, be most earnestly set on all that is good and all that is graceful in the morality of his children? And while the thought never enters his bosom of any thing else, than that he should aid and sustain and advance them to the uttermostyet, next to the desire that they should live, is it the most earnest desire of his heart that they should live and do-do all that can purify or embellish their own character, do all that is honourable to the name they wear. And thus are we under Christ as our second husband, or under the new family government of heaven-no longer servants but relatives-admitted to all the privileges of life, under the paternal and protecting roof of Him, whose children we are in Christ Jesus. Still the conduct that as servants would not have been tolerated, as sons we are warned and chastised against; and the conduct that as servants would have been legally rewarded, as sons is most lovingly recommended to our strenuous and unceasing observation. And our heavenly Father loveth righteousness in us, and hateth iniquity in us; and that very law which He before enforced on the penalty of our eternal exclusion from His presence, He now engages us to choose and to follow as the eternal characteristic of all His family: And our business now is to put ourselves in training for the joys and the exercises of this great spiritual household; and for this purpose to cleave unto Christ as the Lord our Sanctifier-to betake ourselves to the aids of His grace, and resign our whole wills

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to the influence of that gratitude, which should lead us to love and to imitate and to obey Him. Thus shall we bring forth fruit unto God-even those fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ unto His praise and unto His glory.

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LECTURE XXXIX.

ROMANS, vii, 5, 6.

"For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held: that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter."

THERE is a twofold change which takes place, at the moment of a believer's transition into the peace and privileges of the gospel. He in the first place passes into a new condition, as it respects his legal relationship with God; and he in the second place passes into a new character, as it respects the feelings and principles by which he comes to be actuated. You know what his relationship to God is, under the first economy in which he is situated. The moral Governor of our world ordained a law of rectitude, and authoritatively bound it on the observation of our species. That law has in every individual case been violated; and it were giving up the very conception of a moral government, for us to delude ourselves with the imagination, that a certain penalty shall not follow in the train of an offence, or that condemnation shall not follow in the train of disobedience. This in fact were stripping the jurisprudence of Heaven of its sanctions, and so reducing the divine administration to a nullity; and this is the perpetual tendency of those who

have not yet been arrested by the awful realities of the question. They hurry themselves away from the contemplation of God's inviolable majesty, and uncompromising truth; and, in the pleasing dream of His tenderness for the infirmities of His erring children, would they lull themselves into a sweet oblivion of the alone elements, on which hinges the fate of their eternity. It is indeed most true, that God has all of the love and the compassion and the amiable kindness wherewith they have invested Him; and the gospel of Jesus Christ is the very development of these attributes-the very expression of a longing and affectionate Father after His strayed children, for the purpose of recalling them; but at the same time of recalling them in that one way, that shall illustrate the entire character and perfection of the Godhead. It is a dispensation of mercy free to all-only of mercy through the medium of righteousness-not of a mercy which dethrones the law, but of a mercy which magnifies that law and makes it honourable -not of such an indulgence as would pour contempt on the face of the Divinity, but such an indulgence as pours a deep and awful consecration over it. We sit under the economy of grace, but of grace in conjunction with holiness; and the overtures of reconciliation-coming to us as they do through the channel of a mysterious atonement, and an unchangeable priesthood, and a mediatorship sealed with the blood of an everlasting covenant-come to us, if I may so express it, through

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