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judgments of our own minds, whether we have certain or demonstrative knowledge or not, are not sins of ignorance they are known sins, and utterly inexcusable ; and, when allowed, are presumptuous sins.

II. I proceed to consider, what is implied in being under the dominion of presumptuous sins : “Let them not have dominion over me."

The import of the petition of the psalmist appears to be this : Lord, suffer me not to fall into presumptuous sins ; or, if at any time I should fall into them, let me speedily rise again by repentance, and not give myself up to the habitual practice of them. Persons may, without doubt, fall into great and known sins they may sin presumptuously, as David did in the matter of Uriah, and yet rise again speedily by repentance, and not repeat them. They may not be in the habit, or under the dominion of presumptuous sins. Persons over whom presumptuous sins have dominion, are such as habitually and deliberately indulge the practice of known sins.

III. I proceed to show, that those who are under the dominion of presumptuous sins, are not the children of God, and do not enjoy his favor.

They are not free from the great transgression they are not held innocent or upright in the sight of God—they are not in a state of justification ; but the wrath of God abideth on them. All this is plainly implied in the text. The psalmist prayed, that presumptuous sins might not have dominion over him, adding, “so shall I be upright, and innocent from the great transgression.” Plainly implying, that an habitual or frequent practice of presumptuous sins, is inconsistent with being in a state of justification before God; yea, is a full evidence that we are not.

This is also according to what the apostle John taught, 1. John iii. 6. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not; that is, is not characteristically a sinners

Which certainly cannot be said of such as are under the dominion of presumptuous sins.-It is added, " Whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.” The idea the apostle meant to convey is not, that every one who is in Christ, or, in a state of justification is, strictly speaking, without sin ; or that the least sin'is inconsistent with being in Christ. This would be inconsistent with what the apostle elsewhere says, relative to our deceiving ourselves. If, says he, we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves: and, also, relative to the duty of confessing our sins, which supposes we have always occasion so to do. But in this place and elsewhere, when the apostle says, that those who are born of God and abide in Christ, do not sin, the meaning is that they are not sinners characteristically or habitually, and the heart as before. The original words, mory

auception, are very strong. They signify committing sin, as practisers, workers, or doers of it, of choice, like persons who make a trade of it. Hence Dr. Guyse thus paraphrases upon the place. Whosoever abides in Christ, by vital and inÄuential union and communion with him, as all true believers do, like fruitful branches in the vine, is not a doer or worker of iniquity, like other men. He doth not deliberately, habitually, or presumptuously sin. He that sinneth at this rate hath never seen him, never had any realizing view of him by faith, nor any saving acquaintance or communion with him. And thi is consistent with, and in support of the propostion we are considering, viz. that those, who are under the dominion of presumptuous sins, are not the children of God, or in a state of justification with him. -Hence the apostle says, v. 9. “ In this the children of God are manifested and the children of the devil.That is, although the children of God have daily sins and imperfections to lament before God; yet they do not habitually practise known sins. So that it follows, as a certain truth, and may be used as a

test, in forming an opinion of ourselves or others ; that whosoever is under the dominion of presumptuous sins, is not in a justified state-is not a child of God, but of the devil; and the wrath of God abideth on him. This is not only asserted in the scripture, but is most evident from reason. Certainly those, who daily practise presumptuous sins, can have no true love to the divine law; and if no true love to the law, no love to the divine character, or to the Saviour. , And, if no true love to Christ, then no true faith in him-no interest in his righteousness, and no justification.

Having thus attempted to show what is implied in sinning presumptuously-in being under the dominion of presumptuous sins; and the state and prospects of such, I shall close with a brief application.

1. From what has been said, have we not reason to conclude, that many more of the sins of mankind are presumptuous sins, than they are ready to think, or are willing to acknowledge ?

How ready are multitudes, both of professing Christians and others, who daily neglect or transgress the divine law, to plead in excuse, either first, that they do not know their practices to be sinful and displeasing to God; but considering their peculiar circumstances conclude they are not_or, secondly, that they do not allow themselves in them. "But can any, who feel so much of a conviction, that any particular action is sinful, that they wouid not practise it, were they expecting to be called immediately to the bar of God; can such, I say, be credited when they pretend that their sins are sins of ignorance ! Or, will a plea that they did not know such a course to be sinful be accepted at the bar of God!

2. How absurd is it, for those who live in the constant practice of known sins, to say, they do not allow sin in themselves?

How can a man, who neglects secret and family prayer-who neglects to perform deeds of charity, when he has this world's goods neglects his biblem public worship, and that constantly, how can such an one, I ask, plead that he does not allow sin ?

may be

3. From this subject we further learn, what is necessary to an acceptable and profitable attendance upon divine ordinances; particularly the ordinance of the Lord's supper. It is

necessary that we should be free from the great transgression—that we should be upright before God; or in a state of justification and favor. It is an orclinance of communion with God and the saints. But what communion hath Christ with Belial? What communion can those have with God or his people in that ordinance ? Or what benefit can they receive, who are children of Satan, and under the dominion of presumptuous sins? And it added, respecting such as are the children of God, being freed from the dominion of sin and Satan, that in order even to their attending on this ordinance with acceptance and profit, it is important and necessary, that they should be in an actual as well as habitual preparation.

It is a most holy ordinance, in which God comes down to meet and commune with his people. How careful ought they, therefore, to be, to seek a due preparation ? And, as they are guilty of innumerable imperfections and daily infirmities, they ought carefully to search and try their ways and their hearts, and to seek the holy Spirit to cleanse them from secret faults, and from all unrighteousness.

Finally. Let us, my brethren, examine ourselves this day, whether we do not live in the practice of presumptuous sins, and even suffer them to have dominion over us. Perhaps, the most present will flatter themselves, that however sinful and imperfect

they may be, yet they do not sin presumptuously they are not under the dominion of presumptuous sins.

But are there none present, who neglect the poor who neglect secret and family prayer, at least very often? Are there none who neglect their bibles who neglect public worship-none who instead of sanctifying the sabbath, spend much of it in sleep, or in idle conversation about worldly business and enquiring after news and such like practices ? In a word, do we not, my brethren, practise many things, and leave many things undone, which we ought not and should not, did we expect immediately to appear at the bar of God ? If so, it is in vain to pretend, that we do not practise known and presumptuous sins. It is of great importance to look critically into these things. Be not deceived, God will not be mocked. If we live in the practice of known sins, or neglect of known duty, our waiting upon God will not be acceptable to him, nor comforting to ourselves.

Let us, therefore, this day search and try ourselves, and realizing that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, let us not trust to it, nor lean to our own understandings ; but seek di. vine assistance to try and search us, and to discover to us every false way, and to lead us in the way everlasting And may we all adopt the prayer of the psalmist in the text and context, with which I shall conclude. Oh, who can understand his errors ? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins, let them not have dominion

So shall I be upright, and I shall be inno. cent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable unto thee, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.Amen.

over me.

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