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cation for past offences which gave us heart to begin, being equally applicable to present disabilities and errors, gives us heart to carry on.

We do not reach the commanded, it is true, but we do never satisfy ourselves with having done the best. We are alive to the things which are still before, and strive to reach them. Our im-. perfections make us humble and meek and fervent in prayer; and could no more be wanted than our attainments, which make us conscious of the love of God and the resemblance of Christ. But these imperfections do not hang in heavy arrears upon conscience, but pass away through the mercy of our God in Christ, and as they recur they draw us near to Christ through the sense of weakness and forlornness without him. So that the evil and the good, the attainment and the failure, come in for their share in cultivating our completeness in the stature of Christ.

In fine, the dispensation of the Gospel answereth to man's condition, as heart doth to heart, or face to face. It is a stimulus to our advancement; it rallies us when driven back, and breathes hope in the most perilous extremes. But, though it be a refuge in disconfiture, it is no encouragement to shuntheencounter. That forgiveness of God through Christ, which is its watchword, is not yielded, save to a spirit that truly sighs after it; none of these consolations of grace and mercy come to any who are not occupied to their utmost with the sincerest desire after holiness. No one can calculate on this acceptance into favour, or this remission of his daily sins, who is not occupying his faculties and his means with Christian efforts, strengthened and sustained by Christian hopes and Christian aids. The moment he ceases to make head after his captain's orders he loseth of his captain's favour,, and if he come not under obedience he inherits double disgrace in the end.So that the spiritual man is held to obedience by his affections, his interests, his desires, his hopes, his fears, his every faculty and power ;-than which nothing more can be made of any creature perfect or imperfect.

Now as to those who hold out against this constitution of grace and justice and mercy, refusing to shelter themselves beneath law and gospel, the two wings of his love, with which the Lord of Hosts overshadoweth the tabernacles of men, (though this is not the time to speak of judgment) we cannot close without asking them what defence they can set up for themselves at all? They admire not the purity of the law, else they would long to reach as near to it as possible through the means of the Gospel; they fear not its undischarged demands, else they would flee to the cross of Christ for a ransom; they are not accessible to affection, else Christ's charities would attract them; they are not grateful for favours, else Christ's unspeakable gifts would ingratiate him with their souls; they care not for the favour of God, else they would revere his overtures; they are not afraid of judgment, else they would provide against its issues. Heaven they affect not; hell they dread not. The compass of God's promises containeth

no attraction; the scope of his power createth no awe; the magnitude of his threatenings engen-dereth no terror. The past hath no sticking remorses, the womb of the future no fearful presentiments. The present world gloweth before them in all the glory of the New Jerusalem; time filleth their minds like the immensity of eternity; the favour of the world stands then in the stead of God's. Some form of creation is their idol, some condition of earth their heaven.

Men who have thus stood out against the overtures of God, and steeled their hearts to the noble and engaging sentiments of the Gospel, have made free choice of the fatal consequences, and have themselves alone to blame. They cannot dispute God's right to place us under government, nor that the constitution of government, under which he hath placed us, is well devised to please every good feeling and to uphold every good interest. In rejecting it, therefore, they stand condemned at the bar of every good feeling which refused to listen to: his voice, and of every good interest which refused to be built up by his power. And, if it should

in the progress of this inquiry, that God denudes their future being of those good feelings which would not hear his voice, and ships them far away from those good interests which would not be upheld by his power, can they have the boldness to complain? Why, the whole matter is before them! They can take or reject; and if they coolly reject, they must stand to the consequences of their choice.

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No legislator ever pledged himself to make laws which no one would break : neither does God. The legislator makes the best he can devise, and assigns to the breaking of them suitable punishments : so doth God. A culprit may curse the Jaw, but the law seizeth him notwithstanding: so doth God. This is universally held just, wise, and the greatest mercy upon the whole: why' should not God have the same verdict of our mind ? For no code was ever constructed on such: principles of mercy and forgiveness as his, or took such pains to captivate its subjects to obedience.. But have our verdict, or not have it, God careth not. He hath prepared a constitution upon which all men may be justified before all created intelligences,' and

which they may be condemned before all created intelligences; upon which he can justify himself to himself, and to the nobler orders of creation, and even to man's own conscience, reprobate and sunken though it be. That is all, and there needeth no more upon this head of our argument.

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OF JUDGMENT TO COME.

PART IV.

THE GOOD EFFECTS OF THE ABOVE CONSTITUTION, BOTH

UPON THE INDIVIDUAL AND UPON POLITICAL SOCIETY.

God is not wanting in his care of that constitution under which he hath placed the world ; but accompanies the acceptance and obedience thereof with all the rewards which the soul of man is capable of tasting in this sublunary state.

Being turned to contemplate those pictures of purity which the law contains, we forget all meaner things, and are delivered by degrees from the vulgar fears and ordinary measures under which we were formerly in bondage. The guardianship of human laws and the eye of man, the laugh of the world and the world's frown, to which we are such slaves, lose their power in proportion as conscience, which is the eye of the mind, comes to take the oversight of our affairs. A liberty, a self-mastery, an independence upon the opinions of others, and a mind ever conscious of a right intention, come instead of artifice and cunning and plodding adherence to customary rules. And this self-guidance is hindered from degenerating into self-conceit or self-willedness, by the constant superiority of the law. of God, which is, as it were, the

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