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ignorance of foolish men,” and made religion respectable in the eyes of the most ungodly.
Let me proceed then in the next place to say, “ Follow his faith." What his faith was, you well know, Cbrist was the one foundation of all his hopes. He desired “to be found in Christ, not having his own righteousness, but that which is by the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” And as he trusted in no other for his own salvation, so he preached no other amongst you.
He had “determined, like St. Paul, to know nothing amongst you but Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Every discourse he preached, tended immediately or re. motely to glorify Christ amongst you: if he preached the law, it was that, as a schoolmaster, it might lead you to Christ: if he insisted upon obedience, it was, that you might “ glorify Christ by your bodies and your spirits which are Christ's.” In short, Christ was, as well in his ministrations as in the inspired writings, “the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the ļast." Were he preaching to you at this moment, I am persuaded he would have no other theme; yea, if to the end of the world he were continued to preach unto you, you would hear of nothing but Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. It was this which made his mi. nistry so acceptable unto you: it was this which God rendered useful to the conversion and consolation of mul. titudes amongst you. By the faith of Christ he lived, and in the faith of Christ he died. Almost the last words be uttered were these, “Weep not for me; I am very happy, I DIE IN THE FAITH OF THE LORD JESUS." I have been anticipated in one remarkable circumstance which I had intended to mention to you; and I am un. willing to omit it now, because there may be some here who were not present this morning. Indeed it is so applicable to my subject, and so illustrative of the character of your dear pastor, that I may well be excused if I re. peat what you have already heard. That blessed man, though he possessed a very considerable share of human learning, valued no book in comparison of the Scriptures: when therefore he found his dissolution approaching, he desired his dear partner to read a portion of the word of God: she immediately read to him, first the 23d Psalm, and afterwards the 8th chapter of Proverbs. In the last verse but one of that chapter, she came to these words; “Whoso findeth me, findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.” Immediately; without waiting for her to conclude the chapter, he cried, “Stop, stop; now shut up the book; that is enough for me.” Blessed man! he had sweetly experienced the truth of those words; he had found life in Christ Jesús; he had obtained favour of the Lord; and he knew that he was going to dwell with his Lord for ever. Such was his faith. He held fast Christ as his “ wisdom, his righteousness, his sanctification, and his complete redemption.” He made “Christ his all, and in all.” But while he trusted in Christ alone for his justification before God, no man living ever more forcibly inculcated the necessity of good works, or, I may truly add, practised them with more delight. He was also a firm friend to the established church, and inculcated on all occasions submission to the constituted authorities of this kingdom. He considered obedience to the powers that be, as an essential part of his duty to God: he looked -upon earthly governors as ministers ordained of God; and, inculcated obedience to them as a duty, “not merely for wrath, but also for conscience sake.” As then ye have ' been followers of his faith and practice while living, so be ye imitators of him now that he is withdrawn from you: “ be ve followers of him, as he was of Christ." And be careful not to be carried about with divers and strange doctrines,” either in religion or politics; but "hold fast that ye have received, that no man take your crown.” If there be any here, who have never yet been “partakers of the like precious faith with him," that I might this day prevail with them to “ become obedient to the faith!” My dear brethren, you will assuredly find, that the only means of holiness in life, or of peace in death, or of glory in eternity, is, the knowledge of Christ: “there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we can be saved” from sin and misery in this world, or from everlasting destruction in the world to come, no other name, I say, but the name of Jesus Christ. I must therefore entreat you now to reflect on those things, which hitherto ye have heard without effect; and I pray God,
that the seed, which has lain buried in the earth, may spring up speedily, and bring forth fruit an hundred fold.
I add now in the last place, “Consider the end of your departed minister's conversation.” You have heard how peaceful and resigned he was in the prospect of death, and what an assured and glorious hope of immortality he enjoyed. “ Mark the perfect man,” says David, “and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace:" this you have seen verified in him. But carry your thoughts a little further: follow him within the vail: behold hiin united to that blessed assembly of saints and angels: see him freed from the bondage of corruption, arrayed in the unspotted robe of his Redeemer's righte. ousness, crowned with a royal diadem, seated on a throne of glory, tuning his golden harp, and with a voice as loud and as melodious as any saint in heaven, singing, " Salvation to God and to the Lamb." Is there so much as one of you that can think of this, and not exclaim, “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!” Let the thought of these things, my brethren, encourage you to persevere: the conflict cannot be very long, but how glorious the triumph! Con. sider this, I beseech you; that you “may fight the good fight of faith, and quit yourselves like men.” Go on, “ strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus;” and doubt not, but that you shall find the grace of Christ as sufficient for you, as it has been for him; and that what Christ has been to others in former ages, he will be to you, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.
CCCCL. PUTTING OFF THE OLD MAN, AND PUTTING
ON THE NEW.
Eph. iv. 22-24. That ye put off
, concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your minds; and that ye put on the new man, which af. ter God is ereated in righteousness and true holiness.
CHRISTIANITY is universally professed amongst usBut many know little more of it than the name-They,
who are in some measure acquainted with its principles, have, for the most part, learned it only from books and human instruction. But there are some who have learned it, as it were, froni Christ himself—Their understandings have been opened, and their hearts instructed by his good Spirit— These are said to “have heard Christ, and to have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus”._ These may be distinguished from the others by the effects of their knowledge-While the speculative Christian remains willingly ignorant of true holiness, the truly en. lightened man labours to attain the highest measure of it that he can—This St. Paul represents as the infallible consequence of divine teaching—And his declarations respecting it set forth the sum and substance of a Christian's duty 1. Put off the old man
*There are many terms peculiar to the holy scriptures which need to be explained- Those in the text are of the greatest importance
“ The old man” is that principle of sin which actuates the unregenerate man
[It is a natural principle-As a man consists of a soul with many faculties, and a body with many members, so does this principle, though but one, consist of many parts: pride, unbelief, &c. &c. constitute that body of sin, which is here denominated “the old man”-And it is called “ old,” because it is coeval with our existence, and is derived from our first parents, after whose fallen image we were made-It is a corrupt principle-It is expressly called so in the text--All its inward" lustings” and desires are vitiated, and invariably discover themselves by the external fruits of a vain " tion”-It is also a “deceitful” principle, continually representing good as evil, and evil as good—It constantly disappoints our expectations, making that to appear a source of happiness which never yet terminated in any thing but misery-] This it is our duty to be "putting off";
[It is indeed no easy matter to effect this work-Yet in dependence on God's aid we may, and must, accomplish it We must suppress its actings--It will break forth, if not resisted, into all manner of evil"-But we must fight against it,
b See the following context.
and “bring it into subjection"-Our eternal life and salyation depend on our “mortifying the deeds of the body" : Not contented with a partial victory, we must check its desires -A weight that may be easily stopped when beginning to roll, will prove irresistible when it is running down a steep declivity -We must check evil in its first rising, if we would not be overpowered by it-None can tell how far he shall go when once he begins to fall-We must therefore "crucify the filesh with its affections and lusts"e-To do this effectually, we must guard against its deceits-We should examine our motives and principles of action-Sin is deceitful; the heart also is.deceitful; and Satan helps forward our deceptions—That which is very specious in its outward appearance, is often most odious to the heart-searching God- We must therefore bring every thing to the touchstone of God's word-We must “prove all things, and hold fast that which is good”f—]
But we must not be satisfied with resisting sin-We must II. Put on the new man
“The new man” is that principle which actuates the godly
[It consists of many parts, as well as the evil principleHumility, faith, love, &c. are among its most characteristic features-It is divine in its origin-It belongs to no man naturally; but is “new”-It is the gift of God, the work of his good Spirit-It is “created” within us, and is as truly the workmanship of God, as the universe itself is-All who possess it are said to be “God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus únto good works”. It is moreover holy in its operations-All its motions and tendencies are holy-It works to transform us "after God's image”- It leads to an unreserved obedience to both tables of the law-It directs to “righteousness” towards man, and “holiness” towards God-Nor will it be satisfied with any semblance of religion however, specious-It labours uniforinly to bring us to the experience of "true" holiness both in heart and life-] This it is our duty to be putting on
[As the prodigal was not merely pardoned, but clothed in robes suitable to his pew condition, so are the children of God to be adorned with virtues suited to the relation which they bear to their heavenly Father-We must be “renewed, not in our outward actions only, but “in the spirit of our minds”-The great spring of action within us must be chang
ci Cor. ix. 27. Fi'ihess. v. 21.
e Gal. v. 24.
d Rom. viii. 13.