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But although he may have had this, whether in his infancy or in his adult age, yet if he do not believe with a right faith, “he Thall be damned," or condemned, as the original word is. Indeed, as St. Jwhn testifies *, he is “ condemned already." Not receiving the Gospel, as to the Truths, Privileges, and Precepts of it, with a “ faith working by love,” he remains in that state of ignorance and fin, of depravity and weakness, in which all are by nature ; having contracted an increaled guilt, and being, of course, exposed to greater punishment, for rejecting the grace of God offered in the Gospel. " For this," adds the same Apostle in the next verse, " is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, becaufe their deeds are evil.” And, living and dying in this state, he cannot escape condemnation at the Day of Judgment. For, on the one hand, being in a state of spiritual darkness and death, he has neither title to, nor meetness for the vision and enjoyment of God in glory; and, on the other hand, having rejected the means of illumination, justification, and renovation, afforded him in the Gospel, he has merited, and from a holy and just God, must meet with condemnation and misery, proportioned to his guilt. For, « if the word spoken by Angels," viz. the Law delivered on Sinai by the ministry of Angels, “ was stedfast, and every transgression and act of disobedience, received a just recompence of reward, how shall we escape if we neglect fo great salvation which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by those that heard him; God also bearing witness, both with signs and wonders, and divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?"
“ Examine yourselves," therefore, my brethren, «« whether ye be in the faith, prove your own selves, know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you," in all his offices and characters, as your light and life, your wisdom, righteousness, fanctification and redemption, “ except ye be reprobates ?" See that you do not deceive yourfelves in a matter of such moment, a matter on which your everlasting salvation depends; and take care you do not reft, till that Gospel, which has
come to you in word, come also in power, and in much assurance," and you find your mind en. lightened by its truths, your heart enriched and comforted with its privileges, and your life regulated by, and conformed to its precepts. Thus will you find it the Power of God to your salvation from sin here, and from all its consequences hereafter.
And as to us, my brethren, who are employed in the dispensation of this Gospel of the Grace of God, let us examine ourselves narrowly, as to our Call to, and Qualifications for the important office in which we are engaged ; and when we are satisfied, in some measure, as to these, let us make it our care to execute our trust faithfully. « Let us study to Thew ourselves approved unto God, workmen that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Let us make ourselves thoroughly acquainted with the Gospel of Christ, with respect to all the doctrines, promises, and commands of it; and let us take care, that we inculcate every part of it, keeping back from our people nothing that would be profitable to them.
Like the great Apostle of the Gentiles, while we instruct them publicly, and from house to house , let us especially testify “repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ,” with the genuine fruit thereof, universal holiness of heart and life. Of these things, let us take care to be ourselves living witnesses; that speaking from experience, we may speak with demonstration of the Spirit and of power. Let us recommend our doctrine by our practice, and while we serve the Lord with all humility of mind, and fimplicity of heart, let us be examples to believers, in conversation, in behaviour, in love, in faith, in purity; and let us “ take heed to ourselves," as well as to the fundry flocks "over which the Holy Ghost hath made us overseers, to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his. own blood." In order hereto, let us " give diligent attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine ; and follow after godliness, righteousness, faith, hope, love, patience, meekness." Let us “ watch in all things, endure amictions, do the work of Evangelists, and make full proof of our ministry." Let us “ meditate on these things, and give ourselves wholly to them, that our profiting may appear unto all." In fine, “Let us take heed to ourselves, and to our doctrine," and continue so to do, for in this way, “ we shall both save ourselves, and those that hear us."
NATURE AND DESIGN
GOSPEL OF CHRIST,
Consequences of not being properly acquainted with it.
At the NEW-CHAPEL, in LOWGATE, HULL,
Dec. 30, 1787.
2 CORINTHIANS, iii. 3, 4. « But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them.
" that are lost." I.
Moment's reflection upon the preceding
verses, with which this passage of Scripture is closely connected, will cast much light upon it, and assist us to understand its purport. The Apoftle, in the foregoing chapter, having drawn a comparison between the Gospel and the Law, the Christian and Mosaic economy, and sewn the fuperiority of the former to the latter, proceeds, in the beginning of this chapter, to speak of the conduct of himself and his fellow apostles, who were entrusted with the dispensation of this Gospel.
2. Seeing then, (says he), we have received this ministry, a ministry so superior to that wherewith Mofes was entrusted, more excellent in its nature and more beneficial in its effects, transforming all who receive it into the image of God; as we have obtained mercy to be accounted faithful, as God has