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nothing more than an airy speculation, and that the religion of Jesus is of no effect towards reforming the hearts and lives of its professors.
3dly, I shall only add, that we are bound to live in the manner I described by the strictest ties of justice and equity.
are not your own,” faith our Apostle, 1 Cor. vi. 19, 20. “ for ye are bought with a price.”
From whence he draws this practical inference, “ Therefore glorify God “ in your body, and in your spirit, which
are God's." As creatures who derived their being from God, we are bound to love him with all our heart, and to serve him to the utmost extent of the powers
he hath given us.
But his redeeming grace brings us under a new and still more endearing obligation to his service. When we had destroyed ourselves, and lay exposed to all the dreadful effects of his righteous displeasure, having no eye to pity, a id no hand that could help us, then did he pity us, and his own arm brought salvation. He ifsued forth the gracious command, “ Deliver " them from going down to the pit, for I
És have found a ransom.' And in the fulnefs of time our Lord Jesus Christ, “the 6 Lamb flain” in decree “ from the foun. " dation of the world," appeared in our nature ; and with the infinite price of his own precious blood redeemed us from the hand of justice, and parchased for us complete and everlasting falvation. And now, with what face can we decline his service, or refuse subjection to any of his laws ? It is purely by his merit that we live at all : and shall we reckon it grievous to walk by his direction? Surely nothing can appear more just and equitable, than that he who bought us should possets us, and that the ranfomed should be entirely devoted to their Redeemer.
Let these considerations prevail with us to live unto him, who “ died, and rose, and “ revived, that he might be Lord both of 66 the dead and living." And while we look up to him for that divine aid, which he hath not only encouraged us to ask, but commanded us to expect, let us go forward in his strength, making mention of his righ
teousness, teousness, even of his only; that when we die, we may fall asleep in that Jesus, unto whom we now live, and commit our bodies to the dust, in the assured hope of a glorious resurrection; when that promise shall be fulfilled in its largest extent, “ If
any man serve me, let him follow me; " and where I am, there shall also my fervant “ be. If any man serve me, him will my e Father honour.” Amen.
S E R M ON
1 PETER V. 7
Casting all your care upon him, for be caret)
XHORTATIONS of this kind, which
frequently occur in the sacred Scrips tures, represent our holy religion in the most amiable light. It appears, in all respects, suited to our present necessities, and friendly to our highest, our most important interests. How deplorable would be the state of men upon earth, were they left to struggle in their own strength with the trials and sufferings to which they are continually exposed ? In prosperity, when the mind is vigorous and undisturbed, Reafon may discover a variety of arguments for bearing affliction with patience and fortitude ; and may even suggest some topics of consolation, which in the distant view of adversity, seem to promise a season able and effectual relief; but these are rather specious than folid i and when brought to the test, have always been complained of as feeble and unavailing. The best of them are those which lead our thoughts upwards to the Supreme Disposer of all events, the wife and righteous Governor of the world. But as it is impossible for a creature, conscious of guilt, to separate the idea of punishment from suffering, it is not easy to conceive how the mere persuasion, that our sufferings proceed from one who is incapable of doing wrong, should yield us any comfort, unless we were assured, that while he punisheth our sins, he is at the same time willing to be reconciled to us ; nay, that the correction itself is the fruit of his love, and graciously intended for the cure of our souls. But here Reason, unaslisted, is unable to move one step upon firm ground; and though it could, yet as the mind itself is too commonly unhinged and broken by adversity, any aid that depended upon a process of reasoning would come by far too low to our relief.