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Absalom kissed them, they forgot every thing but Absalom,
Now, should mankind institute the inquiry, "Who has done most for us, God or the clergy?” they would be surprised that they should ever have been so deluded as to suppose that God is their enemy. He has ever loved us. (Goodness and mercy have followed us all the days of our lives. No one will pretend that God ever wronged him no one should suppose that God has ever ceased to love him. The sun still shines on the good and evil--the rains still descend on the just and the unjust; and to these visible objects our Saviour referred, as proofs of the Creator's universal love.
My Christian friends, the man who can preach the love of God, will never have much to say about his own. How weak, how limited, is human love, when compared with the love of our Father in heaven! He loved the world, when the world was dead in sin. And before ministers of the gospel can rightfully lay claim to the hearts of the children of men, they must prove, not by words only, but by deeds, that their love is stronger than the love of God. Let them remember, that “Christ died for the ungodly,” and that in this the boundless love of heaven was commended to all mankind.
My desire is, that your hearts may never be stolen. "Son, give me thy heart.” Do not love any thing so well as you love your Creator. If there is no safety in Him, there surely can be no safety in man. Well did the Apostle say,
“ We preach not ourselves; but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants, for Jesus' sake." O that preachers
would imitate Paul's example! O that they would say less about their own love, and more about the love of Christ! "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they who live, should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again."
Delivered in the Callowhill street Church, Sunday evening,
November 9, 1834.
INFLUENCE OF DIVINE GRACE.
" What shall we say then ? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid: how shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”–Romans, vi. 1, 2,
It is evident from the mode of expression in the first member of our text, that the writer had allusion to something he had before said or written. His language is, “What shall we say then?” that is, if what I have stated, and attempted to prove, be granted, what inference shall we draw from such principles ? It is also evident, that the Apostle, when he wrote these words, was conscious that his opposers would start an objection to his doctrine; and that he intended to propose their objection in plain terms, and meet it directly by his reply. He well knew that he had laid down principles, in the argument which precedes our text, that would induce the enemies of the religion of Jesus to say, “ If that doctrine be true, we may live, and continue to live, in sin for according to your doctrine, grace will abound let us sin as we may.”
To place this subject in a proper light, we must refer to the preceding chapter, and there learn what the Apostle had said, of which his opposers would
make such a wicked use. The Apostle is there drawing, as it were, a parallel between the condition of mankind, as they stood in relation to Adam, and as they now stand in relation to Jesus Christ. And we clearly discover that the argument was designed to show, that as sin and condemnation had universally extended over the human race, as they stood in relation to the first man Adam; so grace, and justification by grace, through the righteousness of the Redeemer, was equally extensive. In the 18th verse of the 5th chapter, the Apostle brings his argument to a conclusion in these words: “ Therefore,”—(alluding to what he had already proved)—"Therefore, as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so, by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” My friends, will you be pleased to remember these words, and when you retire to your houses, turn to your Bibles, and read this chapter carefully, noticing the 18th verse particularly. I will now ask you this question: Do you believe
"T that any of the preachers of the present day, who 4 profess to preach Universal Salvation or any who have believed in that sentiment since the days of the Apostles, are able to state that doctrine in fewer words than the Apostle has stated it, in the text just recited ? Never were words fuller of meaning, or more easy to be understood. Mark the language -"EVEN SO"--not half-way, but entirely-"even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” Just as certainly as came the judgment upon all men unto condemnation, justification unto life came upon all men,
through the righteousness of Jesus Christ, by the free gift of God.
The Apostle was acquainted with the objection that the Jew would immediately bring against his argument. He knew that the Jew would say, “If this doctrine be true, what authority is there in the law ? 'For it is written, cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”» Well, the Apostle had by no means contradicted, but rather substantiated, this position. He said, “judgment came upon all men unto condemnation,' » « for that all have sinned." He meets the objection that the Jew would bring from the law, as follows: “Moreover, the law entered, that the offence might abound.” ever think of these words? We should naturally suppose that the law was made to prevent offences! “Moreover, the law entered, that the offence might abound.” Very remarkable words, indeed! What could the Apostle have meant ? He declares, that "where there is no law, there is no transgression." A man might do whatever his inclination proposed, and commit the vilest enormities—but they could not be called sin, where there was no law. The law was given that cognizance might be taken of sin, and that men might know that certain acts constituted transgression. For there could be no such thing as transgression or sin, unless there was a law. “Moreover, the law entered, that the offence might abound.” 66 But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.' Mark this—He says, have sinned,” and he also declares, “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound; that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign