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Grace, whether you have not mocked God by befeeching him to incline hearts to "keep his laws," when you have continued perverfely, and wilfully, to break them? How will the drunkard with he had attended to exhortations to fobriety? How will the fwearer lament his curfes and imprecations? How will the profane abhor himself for his profaneness, when the word of God is delivering its teftimony against all the ungodly? If an human Judicature imprefs us with folemnity, what will be our misgivings of mind, and anxiety of heart, when we ftand before. the Throne of God, every one to answer for his improvement under the dispensation of the Gofpel? God Almighty give us all Grace to prepare for its approach, that we may be received, through the merits of Jefus Chrift, into his eternal kingdom!
HEBREWS XII. 15.
Looking diligently left any man fail of the Grace of God.
Y the death of Jefus Chrift upon the cross,
an atonement was made to God for the fins of the whole world. Our first parents, having forfeited his favor, involved us in guilt, and rendered us liable to punishment. But their posterity, not having actually finned, God was pleased to find out an expedient by which his displeasure might be removed, his justice be satisfied, and his mercy might triumph. He, in the union of the human, with the Divine nature, completed our redemption. Having then made a way for his anger to "efcape," and intending to deal with us as moral agents, he acquainted us with the glorious falvation purchased for us, and enjoined us, in the observance of it, to "walk worthy "of the vocation wherewith we are called." The ever-bleffed Gofpel, therefore, was reC 3 vealed
vealed to confirm our faith, to enlarge our hopes, and to animate our endevors. And if, either" by an evil heart of unbelief," an obftinate refusal of mercy, or a wilful tranfgreffion of its laws, we defeat its defign, and abufe its purpose, "there remains no more "facrifice for fin, but a certain fearful looking "for of judgment, and fiery indignation." This being the relative fituation between God and man, I fhall lay before you some of the motives to induce us to obey the Gospel :
After which I fhall earnestly exhort you all, "to follow after the things which make for your everlafting peace; looking diligently " left any man fail of the Grace of God,"
(1) So irretrievably were we loft by the tranfgreffion of our first parents, that there appeared to the eye of Omnifcience no other way of restoring us to a ftate of favor and happiness, than by his uniting in the perfon of Jefus Christ, our human, to his divine, nature. To fave man, God himself becomes man. Hence we fee of what value we are in his estimation: though but " finful dust and afhes," we are thought worthy of redemption by him who "breathed into us the breath of life."
(2) But having purchafed us to himself, that we might not fruftrate his purpose, and disappoint his hopes, no fooner do we come on the threshold of life than he enlifts us into his fervice; he adopts us into his family by "the regeneration of baptifm;" and through the feveral fucceffive periods of our being, "he vifits us and dwells in us," by the agency of his Holy Spirit. "We are made "temples of God, and habitations for him to "dwell in.". When we fall, he is at hand to fuccor us; when we defpond, he invigo rates us by his influence on our fouls. To encourage us to do well," he fuggefts, "fhalt "to "thou not be accepted?" To deter us from doing ill, he threatens, that "fin lieth at the "door." He fometimes "vifits us with con"folations from above;" he fometimes" takes "his Holy Spirit from us," that we may know ourfelyes, and feel our dependence equally on his Grace, for the fupport of the spiritual, as on his Providence, for the preservation of the natural, life.
(3) To this his fatherly concern, let me add his forbearance, when our fins call aloud for vengeance.