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3. Loving His will rather than our own. Matt. 6—10, and
7--21. 4. Loving our neighbour as onrselves, and doing unto him
as we would he should do unto us. Mark, 21—31. I, John, 4–7. Matt, 7-12.
Hence the necessity of christian self-denial, Luke, 2-23. mortification, Rom. 8–13. and crucifixion of the corrupt nature, Gal. 5--24. Rom. 6–6. that we may not be ruled by the love of self, but by the love of God and man.
Mortification of any sin must be by a supply of grace; of ourselves we cannot do it.
This grace is the purchase of a Saviour's sufferings, and can only be received by faith in him. Tit. 2–14. John, 7–38, 39. By union with Christ, His Holy Spirit flows into the soul. John, 15-4, 5.
“The good Samaritan," edited by the Rev. Richard Greaves. p. 32, No. 3. Vol. I, 1830.
PAGE 18. This subject has been more fully carried out, in consequence of a remark made by the Editor of “The British Critic, and Quarterly Theological Review,” who was pleased to notice the former edition of this serinon. He calls this passage "a monstrous and shocking absurdity.". And adds ; “how can he dare to say that one who does good from natural benevolence, and relieves distress at great personal inconvenience, is not less guilty in the sight of God than a deliberate and malicious murderer ? If this be merely the slang of a party, it is downright nonsense, and demands pity rather than contempt; if it be anything else, it is gross wickedness."
I fear there are many, besides our Critic, who are equally ignorant of the nature of sin, and its infinite guilt. There is a oneness in sin, and one sinful act contracts a guilt which cannot be increased, as far as regards the salvation of the sinner, or his justification in the sight of God. This is proved by the axiom, that every thing finite bears the same proportion to infinity; and is seen in the consequence of our first parents' single act of disobedience. Yet, far be it from me to assert, that there are no degrees of guilt comparatively considered with regard to man, Or, that there are no degrees of future punishment. There are degrees of guilt in the subject of sin, but not as regards the object against whom sin is committed. And, according to the order of means established by God, the future punishment of the wicked will be proportional to the degree of subjective guilt. But, while the Scriptures declare that every man will be judged according to his works; they at the same time teach us, that "by grace are ye saved, through faith ; and that, not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works lest any man should boast.” Salvation, then, is by grace, but judgment by works. In considering, however, this last point of doctrine, we must not forget, that the best works of the natural man are sinful in the sight of God, however imposing may be their outward form. And, at the day of judgment, they will rise up to condensn the unbeliever. Phil. iii. 4..9. Perhaps the “British Critic," when he attacked this passage, was not aware that he was writing against the 13th Article of our Church, to which I beg to refer him. The virtuous and moral conduct of the natural man promotes his temporal welfare and happiness ; but it does not in the least degree tend to justify him in the sight of God. In this respect, gross sins and selfish benevolence are the same.
I would also answer the Reviewer's remarks on my definition of acceptable prayer, by referring him to Rom. viii, 27, and Eph. ii. 18.
Some years after writing the preceding Sermon, I met with the following extract from Dr. Sumner's “Apostolical Preaching," which bears directly on the subject of the animadversions before mentioned. “This is the real distinction between heathen morality and christian practice, that one is followed without any notion of obedience to God as a moral governor, the other keeps the intention of pleasing Him perpetually in view, and renders the whole life as it were an act of religion : the one, therefore, is rewardable by the world, or the conscience, or whatever principle inspired it : the other has God for its object, and the end everlasting life."
“The enforcement of this point is indispensable; since the approbation of the world is on the
whole, though by no means universally, in favour of virtue: since the testimony of conscience always rewards; since there are benevolent affections in human nature, which make certain virtuous actions pleasing to the doer, the christian needs to be frequently reminded, that these are not the motives by which his actions are to be guided or sanctioned. A dutiful obedience to Christ is his reasonable service. For this purpose was he redeemed, that he might be one of a peculiar people, adoruing the doctrine of their Saviour in all things. It is not enough for him, that what he does may be conformable to the will of God; but he therefore does it, because it is the will of God."
AMOS vi, 1.
“Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust
in the mountain of Samaria.”
In the morning, I endeavoured to unveil the deceit and delusion of the heart of the false professor, by bringing his thoughts, words and actions, to the test of the ruling principle of self ; and I would now contrast the state of the child of God, by showing that his thoughts, words and actions, are governed by the ruling motive of charity, however strongly the natural principle of self may strive against the inward operation of the Holy Ghost.