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we engage. We never perform a duty, after which we are under no necessity of imploring forgiveness. For “all we (although baptized « and born again in Christ) yet offend in many

things; and if we say we have no sin, we “deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (Art. xv.) The grace of God must, moreover, follow us for the purpose of keeping the imparted principle of holiness alive, of strengthening and confirming it, and of exciting it to unremitted activity. This principle, as resident in the heart of man, is like a spark struck upon the bosom of the watry deep. The human soul is not, like tinder, adapted to receive, cherish, and spread it; but, like water opposed to fire, it is totally hostile to its existence. Omnipotence therefore, and that incessantly exerted, is necessary to its preservation and increase. To this we may add, that the grace of God is necessary to follow us even to the tribunal of God, that our persons and services may be accepted in the great day. God is merciful in rewarding any man according to his works. (Ps. Ixii. 12.) For no work of man can merit reward, but rather punishment. Grace must therefore bring forth the top-stone of human welfare, as well as lay its foundation.

We proceed to pray, in the third place, that “ the grace of God may make us continually “to be given to all good works.” In this petition we may consider-To what the Christian believer desires to be devoted What is the nature of the devotedness after which he pants -From whence he expects it-And the reason why he is so solicitous to obtain

Every true believer desires to be “ given, that is, devoted to the practice of “all good

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« works.” Now it is to be observed, that by

good works" we are to understand holy thoughts and words as well as actions. For mental prayer, in which no corporeal member is employed, and Godly conversation, in which no other member than the tongue is engaged, are good works. Christian duty comprehends the heart as well as the life; and claims the heart in the first place, as previously indispensable to the consecration of the life.

Any work, in order to be denominated good, must be good in its motive, in its rule, and in its end. The motive of every good work is love to God, because He first loved us. So that whatever we do without a grateful regard to God, how much soever of formal rectitude it may possess, is essentially evil. The rule of good works is the word of God; and whatever we do, if it be not done because God has commanded it, is materially defective. If we go no further than our fallen reason requires, the fashion of the world will justify, or even than mere morality dictates, we fall short of performing any good works. The end proposed by good works, and which constitutes the reason why Christian believers are so solicitous to obtain grace that they may be given to them, is manifold. Their primary and ultimate object, the alpha and omega proposed in them, is the glory of God. The mediate objects are our own advantage and the profit of our fellow-creatures. The glory of God must be paramount in our bosoms. The illustration of His Divine character, of His mercy, power, holiness, and truth, by our spirit and conduct, must be the governing scope of our souls. The planets roll in their several orbits for the purpose of reflecting the

radiance which they receive from the sun, and without which they would be opaque and useless. In a secondary view self-advantage is proposed by the awakened mind in its desire after devotedness to good works. For although a sinner is "justified by faith only, without the works of “ the law," yet the sincerity of that faith must be justified by good works both to ourselves and others, as St. James has declared; and thereby we are to demonstrate that we have not “received “ the grace of God in vain.” That we are passed from death unto life, must appear by the fruits which we produce. A creed and a profession will leave us comfortless without a corresponding practice. The practice of good works is necessary to promote our present happiness, and to increase in our souls a meetness for heaven. The good works of the saints are also important to the church of God. silence the objections of her adversaries, while they prove that piety is not hypocrisy, and that faith in Jesus is not productive of licentiousness, as ignorance supposes it to be. By good works . the members of the Christian community contribute to mutual edification, comfort, and fel. lowship; as in the human body, when every member fulfils its proper ossice, the welfare of the whole mechanic system is thereby promoted. But this is not all; for even the world that is without the pale of the church, is within the circle of Christian charity. The believer hath his eye on them who know not God, and are strangers to the gospel of peace. The believer's holy walk is calculated to pour a flood of conviction on the minds of the impenitent. A Godly life is an awakening, comforting, and instructive sermon, addressed to all who are

For they

radiance which they receive from the sun, and without which they would be opaque and useless. In a secondary view self-advantage is proposed by the awakened mind in its desire after devotedness to good works. For although a sinner is "justified by faith only, without the works of “ the law,” yet the sincerity of that faith must be justified by good works both to ourselves and others, as St. James has declared; and thereby we are to demonstrate that we have not received “ the grace of God in vain.” That we are passed from death unto life, must appear by the fruits which we produce. A creed and a profession will leave us comfortless without a corresponding practice. The practice of good works is

necessary to promote our present happiness, and to increase in our souls a meetness for heaven. The good works of the saints are also important to the church of God. silence the objections of her adversaries, while they prove that piety is not hypocrisy, and that faith in Jesus is not productive of licentiousness, as ignorance supposes it to be. By good works. the members of the Christian community contribute to mutual edification, comfort, and fellowship; as in the human body, when every member fulfils its proper office, the welfare of the whole mechanic system is thereby promoted. But this is not all; for even the world that is without the pale of the church, is within the circle of Christian charity. The believer hath his eye on them who know not God, and are strangers to the gospel of

The believer's holy walk is calculated to pour a flood of conviction on the minds of the impenitent. A Godly life is an awakening, comforting, and instructive sermon, addressed to all who are

peace.

For they

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