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inutility, or at least of the want of manifest reasonableness and utility, cease to be brought against the legislature of heaven. Vain, presumptuous man must know why he should do this and that, and what is the use of doing it, before he will put hand to do it, though God commands him to do it.
11. Obedience involves submission. He that is obedient to God's preceptive will, will be also submissive to his providential will. The reasons of obedience and submission are the same. It is the Lord, therefore let him do, as well as command to be done what seemeth him good. “Thy will be done,” means “be thy purposes accomplished, as well as be thy commands obeyed.”
12. Sinlessness is not necessary to obedience to God. It is necessary to the perfection of obedience, but not to its reality ; but though actual and entire freedom from sin be not indispensable to the existence of the character we have been describing, yet the desire and prayer, and aim and effort, and struggle to be free from it, is.
I have told you what it is to obey God, and now what I have said I wish to be used for the two-fold purpose of conviction and examination.
My hearers you have not obeyed God. I bring this heavy charge against you. You have trampled upon the rights of Jehovah; you have disregarded an admitted and most sacred obligation ; you have not done what you confess you ought to have done; the law, holy, just and good, of the great and glorious God, your maker, master, parent and benefactor you have broken; nor once merely, but times liter
ally innumerable, and under circumstances the most aggravating, in opposition to motives the most constraining, under light the most brilliant, though admonished and threatened, though entreated and expostulated with, and dealt with in judgment and mercy both; nor have you disobeyed his law merely, but refused obedience to the Gospel of his grace. You see, you cannot help seeing, that you are sinners, and to how fearful an extent
in sin; and in the light of this same subject you may see the great evil of sin. It is, indeed, no trifle ; no light and ludicrous matter. I know mankind regard and treat it as such, but in this they manifest equal stupidity, as impiety. It is to trample on the most sacred obligations, to disregard the most holy claims, it is to offend and oppose the greatest and best of beings. Is that a trifle? It is rebellion against the most rightful of sovereigns, unnatural conduct towards the most affectionate and attentive of parents, and an ungrateful treating of the kindest of benefactors. Is that a trifle? Is it not a transcendant evil ? Ought it not deeply to affect him who has done it? It must, unless he be without heart. Let it then affect you, that you have done it; that you have disobeyed the great God, your God, to whom you are so entirely beholden and so largely indebted. Let it fill you with concern, shame and sorrow.
But I would have the subject used as a test of Christian character. The Christian has been reduced to the obedience of God. Now many of you profess to be Christians; and are you what you profess to be? Do you obey God, all his commands,
those which require abstinence and self-denial, as well as the others; and this out of regard to God; nor from a merely servile and mercenary regard; but from an affectionate and reverential regard of him, because you venerate and love him; obey him in your spirit and with your heart, loving him sincerely and supremely; do you obey him constantly. and unconditionally, as your supreme lawgiver; and is your obedience immediate and unquestioning, and accompanied with submission?
If you have not obeyed God hitherto, are you disposed to obey him now? Let us make trial of your disposition. “God now commandeth all men every where to repent;" if you would obey him, do this; repent; there is no duty prior to this: and how reasonable repentance is! It is to be sorry for having disobeyed God, and to do so no more.
Again : "this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his son Jesus Christ; do this, if you would obey him; and how reasonable this is; how necessary. Neither pardon, nor holiness, nor life, nor any blessing can be without it. Beware of doing one thing when God commands another.
This is the whole matter in controversy between God and sinners. It relates to his law; he claims obedience, and they will not concede it. You are parties in this controversy; it has been going on hitherto, waxing warmer, and the breach ever widening. Is it not time it was terminated ? Who hath contended against God and prospered? Let the potsherds contend with the potsherds of the earth, but woe to him who striveth with his Maker. Hast thou an
arm like his, or canst thou thunder like him? Can thine heart endure or thy hand be strong when he shall lay hold on vengeance? Who can stand before his indignation ?
The controversy can only be terminated in one way. He will not yield; you must; he cannot give up his laws; you must renounce your disobedience. Your repentance and submission will heal the breach and settle the controversy. Nothing else can.
Can you feel safe, while consciously living in disobedience to God?
Do you feel calm, in contemplating the prospect of certainly and speedily meeting him ? and of accounting to him?
It is wonderful all do not see their need of such a provision as that of the Gospel, and immediately avail themselves of it.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned.-Psalm li. 4.
THERE is no one who does not know, as instructed by his own experience, that there are two kinds of regret or repentance. We find them distinguished in the Bible as the sorrow of the world and the sorrow of God; and in that book are recorded notable examples of each. They differ in their nature as widely almost as they do in their tendencies and results, which are as dissimilar, as death and life. “ The sorrow of the world worketh death ;" while that of God is unto salvation and eternal life.
It is not my purpose now to call your attention to the several particulars which distinguish them. I mean to remark only on one peculiarity which distinguishes the repentance which is genuine from that which is spurious. The distinction to which I refer, has respect to the view which is taken of sin in the exercise of true repentance. All repentance implies a view and some sense of sin. Every one who repents, is convinced and confesses that he has sinned. But true evangelical repentance regards and feels sin as against God; and its confession is not merely “I have sinned,” but “I have sinned against the Lord;" and the emphasis is laid on the