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that the same condemnation impends in the case of one transgression as in that of many. Consequently, if he has offended only in one point, he is a transgressor; and from the guilt of that one transgression the law could no more release him than from ten thousand. Therefore, he still needs, after all he has done or can do, a Redeemer from sin and guilt: he must still be a debtor to sovereign grace, or perish in his vain effort to obtain life by the law. It were surely, therefore, better at once to renounce self-dependence, and say,
" I quit the hopes I held before,
To trust the merits of thy Son.” It is certain, from the whole tenor of the gospel, that the salvation of sinners must be of God's pure, undeserved mercy, and through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. If there had been bility of a sinner's restoring and saving himself, “ if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily (justifying righteousness should have been by the law;'* but then there would have been no need for the work of Christ. But if these things are so, does not the self-sufficient need conversion ? For what is he trying ? It is for salvation. But if he strives till the day of death, or if that were deferred till the day of doom-if he strives to renew his heart and save his soul by the power of the law of God, he will strive in vain, and worse than in vain-it will but
aggravation of his guilt ; because he has turned away from free grace to strict justice; has renounced Christ's righteousness for his own; and has preferred the chance of saving himself by his own efforts to the infallible certainty of the divine promise.
* Gal. iii, 21.
BECAUSE all men must have to do with the world while in it, some men will have to do with nothing else. Our present business is with that numerous class whose heart is in the world, or who have the world in their heart. It is certain from Holy Scripture that all those who are seeking their portion in this life need conversion. And, alas, how vast is the multitude! What pity, what tender concern, what unwearied assiduity to convince them, should their imminent danger excite in all who understand true religion ! These lines may meet the eye of some worldlings who may attempt to evade their force, or their point, by disclaiming the character of worldlings. They may not be of this class or that; but the question is, do they not love the world, that is, supremely love and prefer it, in some of its forms, before their salvation, their interest in the eternal world, their God and their Saviour? Reader, here be kind to yourself, and practise no self-deception. Did
ever take as much delight in your Bible as in some earthly object? Did you ever do as much to enjoy salvation as you have done to enjoy pleasure in worldly scenes ? Did you ever sacrifice as much to obtain the knowledge of salvation as you have to please yourself and others with earthly things? Have you not manifested a stronger bias to the things that are seen and temporal than to those that are unseen and eternal ? You may not be a worldling in the sense of money-getting, or in the way
fame and ambition, or fashion or gay amusements. You may not be a frequenter of theatres, or horse-races, or card-tables. You may not seek companions at the inn parlour, nor with Sabbathbreakers, nor at the fashionable watering-place, nor at the ball-room. Yet you may be a worldling. You may frequent a place of worship, and yet
be a worldling. Your friends and acquaintances may be the choicest of religious people, and yet you may be a worldling. Your life may be in the element of the world. Your chief pleasures may arise even from things innocent and lawful. Your portion may be nothing better than an earthly inheritance, or merely the hope of gaining one. And if so, you need conversion. How much more, if your conscience clearly convicts you of loving something in this world more than
any thing or any being out of this world! You know who it is that says, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me: and he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.'
"** The same authority decides the case of all who come under the denomination of worldly: “ If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”+
The glorious and gracious Being who says, in the passage quoted above from Mait. x. 37, " He that loveth father or mother, son or daughter, more than me, is not worthy of me," has a supreme right to your heart; but the world you so intensely love has none. The language which he has there * Matt. X. 37, 38.
ti John ii. 15, 16.
employed exclusively befits the mouth of God, and I trust you feel involuntarily, and without any argument or illustration, that it becomes him alone, who has a right to say, “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength."* He alone can judge the state of your heart, whether you are not now among the unhappy class to whom he says, “I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.”'t It must, therefore, be a situation of no common peril to fall under his displeasure, and to feel in one's own conscience that the sentence of the apostle Paul cleaves to us: - If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema" (accursed) - Maran-atha," (the Lord cometh.) !
Poor votary of the world, in some or in any its forms! what have you to say to all this? Let me suppose you summoned to appear
and answer to the claim of your Saviour. What answer would you make? What answer could
make ? Could it be that of Peter, “ Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee's-Could you say that ? No: your conscience testifies, your life shows, that you have loved a very different object. In the light of the divine presence, the truth must appear and be confessed. It is certain, then, that every worldly-minded person, in whatever form he has shown his love of the world, would be obliged to make this confession :“Lord, if I must judge only by my past life, I fear [ have shown no love to thee, but, on the contrary, have loved what thou hatest, and hated what thou lovest.” Perhaps, some would even
Mark xii. 30. † John v. 42. #1 Cor. xvi. 22. § John xxi. 17
be ready to think, if not to say, that they really had no wish to love Jesus Christ; they see nothing to engage
their affections either in him, or his religion. Oh that such could be persuaded to reflect upon the fearful alternative of not loving Jesus Christ, and of not being loved by him! Oh that such would pause before they proceed further to act out their dislike of Christ and his religion ! Oh that they would anticipate the situation in which they will be placed when the Judge shall stand before their door; and when it is quite certain they would gladly renounce every other object, and every other pleasure, for the delight which the assurance of his favour would impart ! But if such delay till conversion is impossible, they will have cause through eternal ages to deplore the folly that blinded them to the love of Christ and the love of their own souls ; and induced them to prefer the love of the world, or the love of sin, or the love of some poor, frail fellowcreature, which, in the end, has left them disappointed, dissatisfied and lost. Immortal man or woman! why will you
incur this fearful, this tremendous fate? Why, for the sake of this wretched world, or any thing in it, will
you incur the anathema of your Creator and Saviour? Does any uncertainty attach to the issue of such a life as you are leading? Is it not clear that your heart is hostile to Christ, or, at least, that it is not enraptured with his love ? and if SO,
the issue is not doubtful; you must perish, unless you change. The decree of Heaven is before your eyes.
The tender and compassionate Saviour, the greatest Lover of souls, says you are not worthy of him; he disclaims you ; he leaves you, as you have left him, to love the world, and