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to cleanse our hearts from the presence and pollution of sin, of those sins, particularly, which reside in, and continue in the heart. This is the purgation intended in our text. This is the test of purgation enjoined upon us.
It is to be noticed, that it goes beyond the mere control of our actions. It adds a farther duty, the purifying of our thoughts and affections. Nothing can be more certain, than that it was the design of our Saviour, in the passage here referred to, to direct the attention of his disciples to the heart, to that which is within a man, in contradistinction to that which is external. Now he, who only strives so control his outward action, but lets his thoughts and passions indulge themselves without check or restraint, does not intend to that which is within him, in contradistinction to that which is external. Secondly, the instances, which our Saviour has given, though, like all instances in Scripture, and, to say the truth, in all ancient writings, they be specimens and illustrations of his meaning, as to the kind and nature of the duties, or the vices which he had in view, rather than complete catalogues, including all such duties or vices by name, so that no other but what are this named and specified were intended : though this qualified way of understanding the enumerations be right, yet even this enumeration itself shews, that our Saviour's lesson went beyond the mere external action. Not only are adulte. ries and fornications mentioned, but evil thoughts and lasciviousness; not only murders, but an evil eve: not only thefts, but covetousness or covetings. Thus by laying the axe to the root, not by lopping off the branches, but by laying the axe to the root, our Saviour fixed the only rule, which can ever produce good morals.
Merely controlling the actions, without govern. ing the thoughts and affections, will not do. In point of fact it is never successful. It is certainly At a compliance with our Saviour's command
OF THE STATE AFTER DEATH. 18 the dead. “If re then be risen with Christ, sterk these things, that are above, where Christ sitteth the right hand of God; set your affections on tings above, not on things of the earth; for se are dead, and your life isħid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shell ye also appear with him in glory. In this was is the resaparison carried on; and what is the practical esbrotation which it suggests? "Mortify there cresorun mezabers which are upon the earth, fornication, unelemnes, evil concupiscence, and covetousness?" which is an equivalent exhorta. tion, and drawn from the same premises as that of the text; "purify yourselves, even as he is pure."
The Seriptures then teach, that we are to make ourselves like Christ upon earth, that we may be come like bårn in heaven, and this likeness is to
RITY OF THE HEART, &c.
St. John meant in the text by puries. an that hath this hope in hiin puri. even as he, namely Christ himself, is a doctrine and lesson of the New ot once, but repeatedly inculcated, e to resemble Christ in his glorified t resemble him in his human state. rt, and a most significant part of this the resemblance must consist in pu
especially from those sins which ach to the heart. It is by St. Paul us: “If we be dead with Christ, we
e shall also live with him ;" dead vhat can that mean, for the apostle e who had not yet undergone natu- explains: “Reckon yourselves to in;" that, you hear, is the death he hat is dead, is freed from sin;" that -n exposition of his own words; and
e sense of the words in his thoughts, ve be dead with Christ, we believe, Iso live with him.” Again; still me sense in view, and no other have been planted together in the death, we shall be also in the like. crection
onee more, but still'ob. ne sense, “ we are buried with him
o death; our old man is crucified Le burden of the whole passage is, to resemble what Christ is in heavsemble what he was upon earth: emblance must consis usting off of our sins. The expresa tle are very strong; " that the boe destroyed. Let not sin reign -; obey it not in the lusts thereof; ractices, but in its desires. « Sin ominion over you." pistle, that to the Colossians, St. n emancipation from sin, as a vue the dead, like as Christ rose from
Now there are a class of Christians, and I am reads to allow, real Christians, to whom this all. waition of the text is peculiarly necessary
They are not those, who set aside religion, they are not those, who disregard the will of their Maker, but they are those, who endeavour to obey him partially, and in this way: finding it an easier thing to do good than to espel their'sins, espe. cially those, which eleare to their hearts, their afections or their imaginations, they set their en. deavours more towards beneficence than purity, You say we ought not to speak disparagingly of
doing good; by no means; but we afirm, that it I is not the whole of our duty, nor the most diffi
cult part of it; in particular, it is not that part of ity which is insisted upon in the text, and in those other scriptures, that have been mentioned. The test, enjoining the imitation of Christ upon earth in order that we may become like him in heaven, does not say, do good even as he went about do
3 good: but it says, " purify yourselves even 35 e is pure? So saith 8t. John; “Mortify the teeds of the body, let not sin rein in you, die with Christ Wato sin, be bantised unto Jesus
lead. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek e things, that are above, where Christ sitteth he right hand of God; set your affections on gs above, not on things of the earth; for ye dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. en Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then I ye also appear with him in glory.” In this
is the comparison carried on; and what is the ctical exhortation which it suggests ? “ Mortify refore your members which are upon the earth, nication, uncleanness, evil concupiscence, and etousness :” which is an equivalent exhortan, and drawn from the same premises as that of
text; " purify yourselves, even as he is pure." The Scriptures then teach, that we are to make irselves like Christ upon earth, that we may beme like him in heaven, and this likeness is to nsist in purity. Now there are a class of Christians, and, I am ady to allow, real Christians, to whom this adonition of the text is peculiarly necessary. They are not those, who set aside religion, they e not those, who disregard the will of their Maer, but they are those, who endeavour to obey im partially, and in this way: finding it an easir thing to do good than to expel their sins, especially those, which cleave to their hearts, their affections or their imaginations, they set their endeavours more towards beneficence than purity. You say we ought not to speak disparagingly of doing good; by no means; but we affirm, that it is not the whole of our duty, nor the most difficult part of it; in particular, it is not that part of it, which is insisted upon in the text, and in those other scriptures, that have been mentioned. The text, enjoining the imitation of Christ upon earth in order that we may become like him in heaven, does not say, do good even as he went about doing good : but it says, “ purify yourselves even as he is pure." So saith St. John; “ Mortify the deeds of the body, let not sin reign in you, with Christ umto'sin, be baptised unto!
STE FOR DEVOTION.
te with him in his humiliation; and cipation consists in divesting our. e sins, of the heart especially, and
ether they break out into action or - inconsistent with that purity, of - us an example, and to the attainervation of which purity, we are
enjoined to direct our first, strong ost sincere endeavours.
SERMON VI. ASTE FOR DEVOTION. r cometh, and now is, when the rs shall worship the Father in spirit for the Father seeketh such to wor..
is a spirit; and they that worship -ship him in spirit and in truth.
d relish for religious exercise, or is one of the marks and tokens, by judge, whether our heart be right - not. God is unquestionably an ob- to every creature, which he has of devotion; consequently, our
wards him, unless they nal frame. It cannot be disputed, thor and Giver of all things, upon
whose mercy, we depend for el nave, and for every thing we look e in the thoughts and affections of tures. “Through thee have I been since I was born : thou art he, that
took me from my mother's womb: my praise shall be always of thee." If there be such things as first sentiments towards God, these words of the Psalmist express them. That devotion to God is a duty, stands upon the same proof as that God exists. But devotion is an act of the mind strictly. In a certain sense, duty to a fellow-creature may be discharged, if the outward act be performed, because the benefit to him depends upon the act. Not so with devotion. It is altogether the operation of the mind. God is a spirit, and must be wor. shipped in spirit, that is, in mind and thought. The devotion of the mind may be, will be, ought to be testified and accompanied by outward performances and expressions: but, without the mind going along with it, no form, no solemnity can avail, as a service to God.-Thequestion is, whether their mind, and thoughts, and affections accompany the mode, which men adopt or not. I do not say, that modes of worship are indifferent things; for certainly one mode may be more rational, more edifying, more pure than another ; but they are indifferent in comparison with the question, whether the heart attend the worship, or be estranged from it.
These two points then being true; first, that devotion is a duty; secondly, that the heart must participate to make any thing we do devotion : it follows, that the heart cannot be right toward God, unless it be possessed with a taste and relish for his service, and for what relates to it.
Men may, and many undoubtedly do, attend upon acts of religious worship, and even from religious motives, yet, at the same time, without this taste and relish, of which we are speaking. Religion has no savour for them. I do not allude to the case of those, who attend upon the public worship of the church, or of their communion, from compliance with custom, merely out of regard to station, for example's sake merely, from habit merely, still less to the case of those, who have particular wordly views for so doing