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consciousness of having broken the pure law of a holy God might justly produce. It is also far from encouraging licentiousness, because the faith, which carries with it remission of sins, is always accompanied with repentance, and is itself exercised in relying on the grace and power of Jesus Christ to deliver us from those motions of sin in our members, the strength of which is previously felt and deplored.
The consequence is, that a person, who has arrived at this point in the paths of true religion, cannot possibly halt there, and be at ease for what is it, that has brought him thus far He has felt the He has felt the malignity and
odiousness of sin, and repented of it. He has discovered, that the law of God is altogether holy and just and good; and he confides in the promise of the saviour to enable him eventually to conform to it and shall he now turn back from the course he has begun? That would imply, that his repentance was insincere, and his faith consequently unwarranted. On the contrary, having entered upon a career of resistance to
sin, and having met with an almighty auxiliary, he will have every encouragement to proceed, until he shall obtain the victory through him, which strengtheneth him. In fact he, which hath begun a good work in him, will not fail to perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Having begun by pardoning his iniquity, he will further enable him to subdue it. Having first justified him freely by the imputation of his own righteousness, he will next sanctify him gradually by the communication of his own spirit. But into this second branch of the christian life, the work of sanctification by the holy spirit, it is my intention to enter in the evening.
In the mean time let me put this question to your consciences! Are your minds set upon righteousness, O ye congregation? If not, you want the very first element in religious sincerity and practice. But, if they be, then am I authorized to preach unto you Jesus Christ, as that only saviour, in whom you may safely confide: for to him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
1 Corinthians iii. 16, 17.
Know ye not, that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy for the temple of God is holy; which temple ye are.
THERE are two leading graces, which may be said to comprehend all, that is essential to the life of a christian, while he remains in this scene of his pilgrimage; and they are first justification, and secondly sanctification. The first of these was the subject of our discussion this morning. The second remains for our examination now. The two together form the whole of that life of the inner man, or of that life of Christ in the soul, to adopt the
scriptural description of it, by which a christian is distinguished from a worldling. The un' righteous,' (says saint Paul in the sixth chapter of this epistle)' shall not inherit the kingdom ' of God.' And such,' (he adds, addressing himself to his Corinthian readers) were some
' of you. But ye are washed.' This expression, which is a plain allusion to the ordinance of baptism, conveys the generic description of their change; which is immediately branched out into two particulars, as follows. • But ye are sanctified. But ye are justified.' And then still more particularly, Ye are justified
in the name of the lord, Jesus.
'sanctified by the spirit of our God.'
It must be observed then, brethren, before we proceed further, that the ideas, which these two words are intended to convey, are essentially different from each other and it is of the greatest consequence, that you should
form distinct and accurate notions of each of them, if you would know correctly, what is that way of God, in which you are required to walk with consistency and circumspection.
I will therefore, to avoid all confusion upon
a subject of such moment to us, recapitulate very shortly and simply the conclusions, to which we came in the morning on the nature of justification, before I attempt to explain to you in the next place the scriptural doctrine of sanctification.
First then it was argued, brethren, that justification in the scriptural sense of that word is an acquittal. Hence to a righteous person it conveys an acknowledgment of his righteousness, to a sinner a remission of his sins: and, since we all stand in this last condition, forasmuch as we all, like sheep, have gone astray, have all broken the holy law of our maker, have all sinned, and come short of the glory of God, therefore this latter is the sense of the word, in which it is constantly used in the new testament: and this benefit, a complete, free, and absolute remission of all sins, that are past, however many, and however grievous, was shewn to be the portion of all, who truly believe, who repose a steady faith and sure confidence in the lord, Jesus: for to him give all the prophets, to him give all the apostles witness, that through his name,