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immense distance still appears, and great difficulties are to be surmounted, before he gains the summit, and obtains that complete happiness after which he aspires; “ forgestiny," says the apostle, " the things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” The way to heaven is all rising ground, and we make the greatest advances by looking upwards.

By this time, methinks, you will all be inquiring, and solicitous to know, what way you are in. Is it the way of holiness or of sin? of life or of death? If it be the way that you were always in, then you may be sure it is the wrong way; and the same may be said if it is the way of the multitude. If it is the way of ignorance or error, formality or hypocrisy, these, though more specious, are altogether as dangerous as the way of downright wickedness and open protaneness: but if it is the way of life, bless your Guide, seek to him for continual direction and assistance, mourn that you walk not more carefully and circumspectly, and look to the end of your journey, when the ransomed of the Lord shall return.

SERMON XVII.

THE HEAVENLY CALLING.

RevelATION XVII. 14.

Called.

Here we have the companions of Christ, when he goes forth as a mighty conqueror, to trample his enemies under his feet, and break with his iron rod those who will not submit to his royal sceptre. They are chosen, called, and faithful. How full and comprehensive these three words! How beautiful also in the order and connexion ! 1. Chosen. For God's electing love, and not the merit of man, is the fruitful source of all the good that he bestows upon him people bere, or designs for them hereafter, 2. Called." As the saints are chosen, so they are called in Chris fexus, and as their election, so their vocation is the fruit of free and breeg ik

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immense distance still appears, and great difficulties are to be surmounted, before he gains the summit, and obtains that complete happiness after which he aspires; getting,” says the apostle, " the things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” The way to heaven is all rising ground, and we make the greatest advances by looking upwards.

By this time, methinks, you will all be inquiring, and solicitous to know, what way you are in.

Is it the way of holiness or of sin? of life or of death? If it be the way that you were always in, then you may be sure it is the wrong way; and the same may be said if it is the way of the multitude. If it is the way of ignorance or error, formality or hypocrisy, these, though more specious, are altogether as dangerous as the way of downright wickedness and open profaneness: but if it is the way of life, bless your Guide, seek to him for continual direction and assistance, mourn that you walk not more carefully and circumspectly, and look to the end of your journey, when the ransomed of the Lord shall return.

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void of offence both towards God and towards man; be sincere in his disposition, and unblameable in his conversation. It is the second of these characters that I am now to explain ;—" called.” The change wrought by Divine grace upon the heart of a sinner is variously represented in Scripture as a creation, resurrection, renovation, new birth, and here as a calling; and it may with great propriety be expressed by the latter to intimate,

1. That we are entirely passive in it. It is God's work, and his alone. It is an impropriety, even in natural things, to say, that a man calls himself. As this work is under the direction of God's sovereign pleasure, so it is brought about by his almighty power. Thus, when in a certain place he had described the cheerfulness and unanimity with which his people should submit to his government, and resign themselves up to his disposal, God says, “ One shall say, I am the Lord's;" and adds, “ who, as I, shall call ?" implying, others may attempt it, but none can do it effectually but myself. The word may be the instrument, but God is the author of this call; “ whereunto," says the apostle, “ God called you by our gospel.”

2. It may intimate the ease with which it is performed. What more easy way of effecting a thing than by calling ? Thus God acted in the morning of creation : "Let there be light,” said he, “and there was light;" and thus he acts in the morning of conversion. He shows his sovereignty, and yet deals with us as rational creatures. This is beautifully expressed in the Book of Ezekiel : “ When I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thiee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.” The word of God, in the letter of it, may pass by a sinner an hundred, nay, a thousand times, and leave him as unmoved and unrenewed as he was before ; but if God once pass by in the word, the work is done; every high imagination is cast down, and all opposition falls before him.

3. It intimates the great difference between the former and the present state of the person called. A call certainly

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