and unchangeable as his nature : it must not, it cannot be attempered or brought down to our capacities; neither can the penalty be evaded; for the God of truth has said, has sworn, that 'the soul that sinneth shall die,' Ezek. xviii. 4. Here, then, we must receive a sentence of death in ourselves,' 2 Cor. i. 9. Here,

every mouth must be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God,' Rom. iji. 19. Here we must say, with the apostle, • Therefore, by the deeds of the law, there shall be no flesh justified in his sight,' Gal. ii. 16: 'for by the law is the knowledge of sin,' Rom. iii. 20. O that we could all sincerely say so; that we were brought to this, to feel and confess our lost, undone estate, and our utter inability to save ourselves! then, with joy, should I proceed to what I have had in my eye all along. For with what view have I said so much upon so disagreeable a subject? Why have I attempted to lay open some of the depths of the heart, but tlrat I might more fully illustrate the wonderful grace and goodness of God, vouchsafed to us in the Gospel; and, at the same time, show the utter impossibility, not of being saved at all, but of finding salvation in any other way than that which God has appointed? For, behold ! "God has so loved the world,' John iii. that he sent his Son to accomplish that for us " which the law could not do through the weakness of our flesh,' Rom. viii. Jesus Christ performed perfect obedience to the law of God in our behalf; he died, and satisfied the penalty due to our sins; he arose from the grave as our representative; he is entered into heaven as our fore-runner.

· He has received gifts for men, even for the rebellious,' Psalm lxviii. He is 'exalted' on high to 'bestow repentance and remission of sins,' Acts v. on all that seek to him. He has established his ordinances for this purpose : he has commanded his people not to neglect assembling themselves together.' He has charged his ministers, at such seasons, to declare first the guilty, deplorable condition of mankind, and then to proclaim the glad tidings of salvation, 'by faith which is in him.' He has promised to be with them in this work to the end of the world. He has promised that where his word is faithfully preached he will accompany it with a spirit and power' that shall bear down all opposition. He has promised, that while we are speaking to the ear, he will, by his secret influence, apply it to the heart, and open it to receive and embrace the truth spoken, às in the case of Lydia. Who would venture to preach a doctrinc so unpalatable to the carnal mind, as Jesus Christ, and him crucified? Who would undertake so ungrateful a task, as to depreciate that noble creature, man, and arraign him publicly of insensibility, ingratitude, pride, and deceit, were it not that we have first a command, and that at our peril, to speak plain; and second

ly, a promise that we shall not speak in vain ? Not that we can expect to be universally received: the time is come, when many will not endure sound doctrine,'? Tim. iv. 3. but some there will be, whom God is pleased to save by the foolishness of preaching, so called. Some such I would hope are in this assembly. To such I say, think not to satisfy the divine justice by any poor performances of your own; think not to cleanse or expiate the evil of your hearts by any of your own inventions; but behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,' John i. 29. He died, that you may live : he lives, that you may live for ever. Put, therefore, your trust in the Lord; for with him is plenteous redemption. His sufferings and death are a complete, final propitiation for sin. He is able to save to the uttermost;' and he is as willing as he is able. It was this brought him down from heaven; for this he emptied himself of all glory, and submitted to all indignity. His humiliation expiates our pride; his perfect love atones for our ingratitude ; his exquisite tenderness pleads for our insensibility. Only believe ; commit your cause to him by faith and prayer. As a Priest, he shall make atonement for your sins, and present your persons and your services acceptable before God. As a Prophet, he shall instruct you in the true wisdom, which maketh wise to salvation; he shall not only cause you to know his commandments, but to love them too: he shall write them in your hearts. As a King, he shall evermore mightily defend you against all your enemies. He shall enable you to withstand temptations, to support difficulties, to break through all opposition. He shall supply you with every thing you need, for this life or a better, out of the unsearchable

He shall strengthen you to overcome all things; to endure to the end : and then he shall give you a place in his kingdom ; a seat near his throne ; a crown of life ; a crown of glory; incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away,

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riches of his grace.




1 Tim.i, 15.

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came

into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

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Though the apostle Paul has wrote largely and happily upon every branch of Christian doctrine and practice; and, with respect to his writings, as well as his preaching, could justly assert, that he had not shunned to declare the whole counsel of God;' yet there are two points which seem to have been (if I may so speak) his favourite topics, which he most frequently repeats, most copiously insists on, and takes every occasion of introducing. The one is to display the honours, power, and faithfulness of the Lord Jesus Christ; the other to make known the great things God had done for his own soul. How his heart was filled and fired with the first of these is evident from almost

every chapter of his epistles. When he speaks of that mystery of godliness, God manifested in the flesh, and the exceeding grace and love declared to a lost world through him, the utmost powers of language fall short of his purpose. With a noble freedom he soars beyond the little bounds of criticism; and, finding the most expressive words too weak and faint for his ideas, he forms and compounds new ones, heaps one hyperbole upon another ; yet, after his most laboured essays to do justice to his subject, he often breaks off in a manner that shows he was far from being satisfied with all he could say. This reflection is most obvious to those who can read him in the original : but no disadvantages of a translation can wholly confine that inimitable ardour with which he seems to pour his whole soul into his words, when he is speaking of his Lord and Saviour. And he who can read the first chapters of his epistles to the Ephesians, Colossians, and Hebrews, the second to the Philippians, or many similar passages, with indifference, must be, I say, not merely a person of small devotion, but of little taste and sensibility.

And how deeply his mind was impressed with the mercies he had received in his conversion and call, is equally conspicuous. He takes every occasion to aggrandize the goodness of God to

bimself; to exaggerate and deplore the guilt and misery of his former life, in which he once trusted; and to lament the small returns he was able to make for such blessings ; even when he could say, without boasting, that he had laboured more abundantly' than the most diligent and zealous of his fellowservants.

A powerful abiding sense of these two points upon the apostle's mind, have given rise to many sudden, lively, and beautiful digressions in the course of his writings. The context to the passage I have read is of this kind. Having incidentally spoken of the Gospel in the 11th verse, he is suddenly struck with the reflection of his own misery while ignorant of it, and the wonderful goodness of God, in affording him the knowledge of salvation, and honouring him, who was before a blasphemer, with a commission to publish the same glad tidings to others. This thought suspends his argument, and fills his heart and mouth with praise. And having acknowledged, that 'the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant' towards himself, he subjoins the words of the text for an encouragement to others; assuring us, that his case was not so peculiar, but that multitudes might be partakers with him in the same hope of mercy.

The words easily resolve into two parts :

First, A short, but comprehensive proposition, including the purport of the whole Gospel, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.'

Secondly, A commendation of this doctrine in a two-fold respect, ' as a faithful saying,' and as "worthy of all acceptation; each of these illustrated by the instance of himself; when he adds, of whom I am chief.'

I. The apostle well knew the different reception the Gospel would meet in the world ; that many poor, guilty souls, trembling under a sense of sin and unworthiness, would very hardly be persuaded that such sinners as they could be saved at all. To these he recommends it as 'a faithful saying,' founded upon the immutable counsel, promise, and oath of God, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; sinners in general ; ' the chief of sinners ;' such as he represents himself to have been. He knew, likewise, that many others, from a mistaken opinion of their own goodness, or a mistaken dependence on something of their own choosing, would be liable to undervalue this faithful saying. For the sake of these, he adds, it is worthy of all acceptation. None are so bad but the Gospel affords thein a ground of hope: none are so good as to have any just ground of hope without it. There was a time when St. Paul could have made a

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fair profession of himself likewise : he could say, 'circumcised on the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews, as to the law, a Pharisee, as to the righteousness which is by the law, blameless; Phil. iii. But he has been since taught to count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ;' and is content to style himself the chief of sinners.

Having thus attempted to show the design and meaning of the words, I propose something more at large,

to unfold the proposition, and point out some of those important and extensive truths it contains. I say, some of them ; for it is not possible that either men or angels can fully sound the depth of this one sentence,

that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.' I shall afterwards infer, and enforce the other part of the text, that it is indeed a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. And may He, who came into the world to procure salvation for sinners, and is now exalted on high to bestow it, accompany the whole with his promised blessing.

The tenor of the proposition readily suggests three inquiries. First, Who this person is, here spoken of, Jesus Christ ? Second, What is meant by the salvation he is said to have undertaken? Third, By what means he effected it ?

Let us, first, speak of this gracious, this wonderful person Jesus Christ. We already bear his name as professed Christians; and we speak of him as our Master, and our Lord : and so far we say well. But, as he has told us, many will call him Lord at the great day, to whom he will profess, I never knew you whence you are, depart :' so it is to be feared there are many now, that outwardly acknowledge him, who neither know whence he is, nor who he is. Though we have Moses and the prophets, the apostles and evangelists, continually with us ; though it is the immediate aim and intent of all their writings, in every history, promise, prophecy, type, ceremony, and law, to set him before our eyes; and though there is hardly an image in the material creation but is adopted by the Scriptures to shadow forth his excellency; ignorance of Jesus Christ, and what he has done for his people, is the great cause that religion appears so low and contemptible to some, and is found so tedious and burdensome by others. Let us, therefore, attend to the record God has given of his Son for I propose in this article to say little of my own, but to lay before you the express, powerful, indubitable testimony of Holy Scripture.

And here we are taught first, That Jesus Christ is God. The first words of St. John's Gospel are full to this point : In the beginning' (that is, at the commencement of time and things, when

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