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fulfilling of the laws and conditions required of men by this covenant (or the observing the precepts of the Gospel, which are the testimonies or witnesses of God's will and of man's duty) fully evinces the spiritual effect of the Gospel terms; for what saith the Psalmist? (xxv. 10 :) All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies; that is, fulfil the agreement most graciously established between them, and thereby give testimony or witness to it.
And here you must notice, my brethren, that the Gospel covenant is called new, in that it differs in substance from God's original covenant with Abraham; for therein Christ was promised, and his death and sufferings set forth in shadows or signs of the legal sacri
for all that have ever been saved, must have been saved through the efficacy of Christ's death: and thus Abraham is said to have had his belief or faith in God accounted to him for righteousness ; the pure meaning of which is, that he looked to the promise of a Saviour, and he gave proof of his faith by proceeding to offer up his ONLY son, whom he had received as a pledge of God's power and promise ; and though he should be cut off, he knew and believed, that God's promise could not fail, and accordingly testified his faith by bis obedience to the command. And that salvation is the peculiar privilege of the church of Christ, is
evident from the Apostle's words (Acts, iv. 12), that there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved, but only that of Jesus Christ. So that this covenant, strictly speaking, is only new, in respect to its being renewed or confirmed afresh by the blood and actual sufferings of Christ; and in respect to its being freed from the rites or ceremonies wherewith it was administered of old; and also as it contains a more full and clear revelation of the mysteries of religion, attended by a larger measure of the gifts and graces of the Spirit, never to wax old or to be abolished.
The next inquiry of consequence that concerns us here, is by whom, or through whom, forgiveness is to be sought. It is expressly told us in St. Mark's Gospel (ii. 7), that no one hath power to forgive sins but God only. He alone is the person affronted and dishonoured by our sins; of him, therefore, it must be sought, through Jesus Christ, for he is the MEDIATOR.—Now, a mediator is one who goes between two parties, and entreats or intercedes with the most powerful, for the weaker and offending side. A mediator, therefore, must have interest with one side to prevail, and influence over the other, to cause him to submit, or. reconciliation could never take place. With both these qualities, our blessed Redeemer and Intercessor is eminently provided. 1. He
is the only Son of his Father's love, to whose hands he hath intrusted all things; the express image of his person, full of grace and truth ; and both able and willing to communicate such a measure of his grace or help, to all who call upon him faithfully, as will qualify them to pay respect to the terms of the new covenant, of which he is the only Mediator, to make peace between God and man.
I should now proceed to enlarge upon the nature of repentance, as the indispensable sign of our pardon and acceptance, and which would regularly introduce the further examination of what remains for your instruction on this very important subject; but as this would carry us too far at one time, and perhaps weary your attention, I shall defer it to a future opportunity (there being abundant matter for another Lecture on so essential an article of our faith).That it may please God to bless the improvement of what hath now been most sincerely and affectionately proposed for
your instruction and serious consideration, let us all humbly pray, giving thanks to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for every degree of grace and power, by which we are enabled to edify one another, and to glorify the name of Jesus Christ, who, by his death, hath obtained forgiveness of sins,
grace to walk in newness of life; to whom be all praise, for ever and ever. Amen.
ACTS, XIlI. 38. Be it known unto you therefore, men and bre
thren, that through this man is preached unto
you the forgiveness of sins. I CONCLUDED my
last Lecture on the tenth article of our Creed at that part which presented the consideration of the grand and positive condition of our obtaining final remission of our sins, viz. repentance. Time not allowing me then to enter fully upon it, and to dwell on the several necessary particulars this important subject suggests for our comfort and improvement, I mean now to renew it, and to enlarge upon the nature of repentance, according to my promise at the close of my last Discourse.
Now, this saving grace, wrought in the soul by the Spirit of God, and procured for us by the merits of Christ (for repentance is the GIFT of God), in the common acceptation of the word, implies a regret and remorse in the mind, that arises after having done something that ought not to have been done. The bare sorrow for sin, pro
ceeding from fear of the punishment threatened and belonging to it, is not repentance; for even the base Judas had this kind of sorrow, when he considered the desperate wickedness of his action; and so may every man that is to suffer for his crimes : but this is derived from a mere selfish principle. A repentance that does not flow from sorrow at having offended Godthat does not produce grief and humility before God on account of it, not only because of the condemnation to which the transgressor is exposed, but chiefly because the best of Beings is dishonoured his laws broken and the soul defiled by it: any thing short of this, I say, is not repentance in the true evangelical sense of the word; it is rather (to speak in the phrase of Scripture) a repentance to be repented of. On the contrary, genuine repentance, as a condition (or test) of the forgiveness of sin through the favour and merits of Jesus Christ, is a condemnation of ourselves, arising from a deep sense of our ingratitude to God, through the slackness of our bounden love towards him; and it is ever attended with a thorough hatred of our sinful courses, and a fixed resolution to forsake them. The whole tenour of the Gospel warrants the necessity of such a repentance, and assures us that this is the only true and saving sense of it: its effects are a renewal of mind, and reformation of life. The Apostle exhorts