This effect has, in every age, been manifested in the lives of God's people

St. Paul, the great champion of the faith, was inferior to none in holiness

And the contradictory objections, now urged against the preachers and professors of the gospel, afford a strong testimony in their favour-] APPLICATION. 1. To ministers

[They who preach the gospel, ought, above all, to experience its power

If they do not, their condemnation will be greatly aggravated

Let us then examine whether we have truly, and indeed believed

And let us comply with that solemn, but encouraging injunction:-) APPLICATION. 2. To Christians in general

[Baptism does not supercede, but increase our obligation to believer

However humiliating it be to seek salvation in another, we must submit?

The decree in the text is irreversible, and shall be executed in its season-1

u 2 Cor. xii. 11.

1 Pet. iii. 21. and Rom. vi. 4.

*1 Tim. iv. 16.
z Rom. x. 3.

Mark xvi. 15, 16.



Observations on the Gospel Message.* I. JESUS CHRIST has plainly revealed to us the

terms of salvation

(God has sent various messages to our guilty world

Sometimes he has used the ministry of men, and sometimes of angels

But in the text he speaks to us by his only Sona


• M. CLAUDE'S TOPICS, which are here illustrated and referred to, are subjoined for the convenience of the Reader: See page 941. The words in Italics mark the precise idea that illustrates the particular Topic referred to.

* Heb. i. 1.






His words contain a command, a promise, and a threatening

The duty he enjoins imports a simple reliance upon Christ

Yet is it such a reliance as includes a penitent obediential frame

To faith thus exercised is annexed a promise of eternal life

To the want of it, a threatening of eternal death
Not that this was a new method of salvation

It had been made known in types and prophecies from the beginning

But it was revealed by Christ with more abundant light and evidence-] II. Those he prescribed are honourable to God

and suitable to man

[Any other method of salvation would have sety the divine perfections, as it were, at variance

Justice required satisfaction for our breaches of God's law

Truth demanded the execution of the penalty which the law denounced

Holiness forbad any things unclean to enter into heaven

But Christ has borne the penalty, and satisfied divine justice,

And by faith we are interested in all that he has done and sufferedd

Thus mercy may be exercised in consistency with truth and justice

And every perfection of the Deity be glorified in our salvation

Surely such a plan was worthy of an all-wise God

Nor could any other have been so suitable for fallen man

What could we have hoped for from our obedience to the law?

We are utterly incapable of fulfilling its strict demands

Yet, if we could do this in future, it would avail us nothing, unless we could also expiate the guilt of our past transgressions

But by believing in Christ we obtain a perfect righteousness

And are made spotless in the sight of God himself



b Acts ii. 38.
e Rom. iii. 22.

d Acts xiii. 39.

c John viii. 24.
f Eph. v. 27.




Nor are there any so good but they need this

this? remedy

Nor any so vile but they may be saved by it-] III. All attempts to substitute any other will be

vain [Many are the refuges to which men flee, in a season of conviction

They substitute their own repentance, reformation, &c. in the place of faith

But Christ is the only foundation of a sinner's hope-

The very offer of a Saviour supposes that we are lost--.

Nor need this gospel have been published, if men could have saved themselves-

Can we suppose that Christ would have purchased this salvation at the price of his own blood, if men could have been saved without him?-

Or that, when he delivered so peremptory a message, he intended to leave men at liberty to substitute any plans of their own devising?-

Or that he will violate his own declarations to favour us!--.

We may be sure that, whether we approve it or not, his counsel shall stand-

What he delivered with such authority he will certainly fulfil-

What he so solemnly pronounced at the very hour of his ascension, he will infallably execute at his second coming

What he had then authority to publish he will hereafter have power to enforceIV. To embrace them will be to secure ever.

lasting happiness

[The promise of eternal life is unequivocally made to faith

As soon as we believe in Christ, all our sins are forgiven_

And we have a title to a heavenly inheritancek

Nor shall we be deprived of the blessing on account either of the weakness of our faith or the greatness of our conflicts




& 1 Cor. ii. II. i Acts x. 43.

h Acts xvi. SI. k Rom. viii. 17.





The person who is most strong in faith will have most comfort in his way

But the weakest believer shall not lose his reward'.
His faith indeed will be tried by many conflics

But he who has been the author of it will also be
the finisher"-]
V. To reject them will be to involve ourselves

in everlasting misery [The gospel is the brightest display of God's wisdom and goodnesso—

And his intention in it is, to deliver men from destruction

But while it is a mean of life to some, it will prove an occasion of death to othersp—

We may err, and that materially, in some things, and yet be saved at last!

But if we reject or adulterate the gospel, we must perish"

Nor should this be thought "an hard saying."

We have ruined ourselves by manifold transgressions

Nor can we possibly restore ourselves to the divine favour

But God has provided an adequate remedy for us

The rejection of that cannot but aggravate our guilt

Well therefore may it aggravate our condemnation also— .

He never offered such mercy to the fallen angels
Nor had he been unjust if he had withheld it from





But it pleased him to deliver up his Son for us

Shall he not then punish the despisers of his mercy!

Surely his patience shall at last give way to wrath

And compassionate invitations be turned into indignant reproofst

Nor shall the damned themselves deny the equity of his procedure"-]

' In the text, respect is had, not to the strength but to the reality of our faith.

m 1 Tim. vi. 12. 1 Heb. xii. 2. 0 1 Cor. ii. 7. P 2 Cor. ji. 15, 16. 91 Cor. iii. 15. r Gal. i. 8, 9. • Heb. iii. 9, 11. Compare John vii. 37. with Matt. xxv. u Matt. xxii. 12.

26, 30, 41.

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VI. To spread the knowledge of them should

be the labour and ambition of all Christians [The benevolence and dignity of our Saviour, while giving this last commission, are equally worthy our notice and admiration

XX. In obedience to his command the apostles went forth into all the world

And delivered their message at the peril of their lives

To them are we indebted for all the light we enjoy

And is not their message still as interesting as ever!-- .

It is not still the Christian minister's warrant and XXV. directory?-

Is it not the believer's chief solace and support?
Yes, the Saviour's voice is still sounding in our ears-- XV.
Should we then regard it with indifference?--

Should we imitate those who took away the key of knowledge? -- .

Or those who forbade the apostles to speak to the gentiles?y-

XVIII Let us rather labour to spread the joyful sound-

And to diffuse the blessings of salvation through heathen lands

Nor ever rest till that glorious promise be accom plished?--]

* Luke xi. 52.

y 1 Thess. ii, 16.

z Isai. xi. 9.

Mark xyi. 15, 16.


I. There will be an awful difference between the states

of different men in the day of judgment It cannot be that the same portion should be reserved for all

[God, as our Lawgiver, must manifest a regard to his own law

And, as our King, must distinguish between his faithful and rebellious subjects

But there is no sufficient difference put between them in this world

a Eccl. ix. 2.


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