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Galatians ii. 20.

I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.

THE christian life has been shewn to begin in justification, or the remission of sins, to be continued in sanctification, or the renewal of the mind in holiness, and to be compleated in glorification, or the full attainment of the righteousness and the reward of Heaven. Nevertheless it has been shewn at large, that this sanctifying process is not carried on within us without much resistance. It is encountered by natural corruption, that enemy within us, by the temptations of the devil, who assails us from without, and by the delusions of the world, which beset us on every side: and some

of the particular dangers, to which the life of a christian is exposed, were set before you in the morning. It was shewn, that we are continually coming short of duty, and too often transgressing it, and that thus God is provoked every day even by those, who habitually serve him; and, should he be provoked to abandon them for a time to their own resources, the best of them is sure to fall into sin, and dishonor the holy faith, which he professes. Such are the dangers, which surround him. Such reason has he to pass all the time of his sojourning in fear.

I come now, brethren, to consider on the other hand the means, by which under the lord's blessing a christian is carried safe through these trying dangers, delivered eventually from every evil work, and preserved unto his heavenly kingdom. May his grace be with you all, and his holy spirit lead you on to glory!

First the true way to avoid the dangers, to which a christian is hourly exposed, is to maintain a close communion with God. It is


only by neglecting this privilege, that a renewed christian is betrayed into wilful sin. Smaller errors must and will be committed every hour, so long as we carry about with us this body of sin and death: and yet even these would be in great measure obviated, if we lived habitually nearer to God. could Abraham, or Job, or David, or Solomon, or Hezekiah, or Peter have been betrayed into their several offences, while they were exercising holy affections towards their covenant God? No. He, that is for us, is greater than he, that is against us; and the holy spirit in the heart of a christian is more powerful than the world, the flesh, or the devil, or than all their forces united. Of this we may have some evidence, when we come to observe the conduct of martyrs in circumstances of severe persecution. What I wish now to remark is, that, if we would obtain the whole value of this almighty auxiliary, we must seek to be led by him at all times, and without reserve. We must be able to say with saint Paul- I live,

yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.' We must live by faith, and that not partially or in mea

sure, but so, that Christ and his spirit may be the real agent, and ourselves his instruments and members. We must yield ourselves unto God, as those, that are alive from the dead, and our members, as instruments of righteousness, unto God. We must recollect continually the great end of our calling, and the means, through which alone that end can be accomplished; and, bearing ever in mind the price, which has been paid for us, and the help, which is offered to us, we must live on the principles we have been taught, and use them, as our motives and guides and rules of action. For this purpose we must keep a strict watch over ourselves, and, whenever we perceive ourselves to be carried away by the stream and current of nature, which is ever setting in the wrong direction, we must hasten to confess it before God, seeking grace from his fulness, to stem the tide of error, and praying for the spirit, which was in Christ Jesus, to lead us back to the father. This is the way to avail ourselves of the privileges of the gospel; and the more we follow it, the more sensible shall we be of the power and

grace of the saviour; the greater influence will the doctrines of the gospel have over our hearts and conduct; and the more nearly shall we realize the pattern of the apostle, who, having surrendered his will entirely to the will of his master, was enabled to say—'I am 'crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.'

The success of this course must however entirely depend on our adhering closely to the fundamental doctrine of redemption by the cross of the saviour. Other foundation can no man lay; and, till this foundation is well laid, the doctrine of spiritual influence has no place. Therefore, to bring us to this foundation, and to keep us there, the two sacraments of baptism and the lord's supper were instituted, of which I will now say a few words, in reference to their place and usefulness in the life of a christian.

The sacraments (I said) bring us to the foundation, and keep us there. Baptism does the first for us, and the lord's supper does the other. No man can be admitted into the christian church without an emblematical de

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