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ry wide, even as far as the whole immuni ties, rights, and privileges of the children of God do. Very different this from what goes under this name among the men of the world, and which they are so madly fond on, but when well looked into, is found little better than what the sacred historian mentions as the unhappiness of old Ifrael when there was no king, viz. liberty to do what was right in their own eyes, while, at the same time, they continue in the very worst kind of bondage without regret, and even with pleasure; bound under sin and death, Naves to the baseft lufts and vilest pleasures, and shamefully captivated and carried along by the course of the world, and the spirit that works in the children of disobedience. It is not for nothing that the Apostle states the Chriftian's freedom and liberty in deliverance froin the law and its cursing power ; for there is the root of all our bondage. The sting of death is fin; by that it kills; but. the strength of fin, or what gives sin its dominion and killing power, is the law. Whenever therefore one is delivered from the power of the law, and brought under the measures of grace, the strength of fin is
gone, and it can no longer maintain its dominion, Rom. vi. 14.
The horrible nature of this bondage, and the horror it creates where-ever it is perceived and felt, the excellency of that liberty which Christ the Son of God gives, with that joy unspeakable and full of glory which attends it, and especially the prodigious price the purchase cost him, must be allowed motives strong enough to engage every man who has sense enough to know what he is about, to exert his utmost activity for obtaining it, and to stand firm in the possession of it, that he do not on any temptation, or for any price, let it slip: and that cannot be done without having done all to stand, Eph. vi. 13.; nor that without putting on the whole armour of God, as we are directed, yers. 14. et seqq. God himself has graciously provided complete armour; he has done more; he has made a full provifion of grace in his blessed Son: he has not only permitted us to come, but has invited, nay, and commanded us, to come boldly, and assured us of finding what is abundantly sufficient for the weakest and most worthless of Adam's finful race; e
nough to make the very weakest able to do all things, Phil. iv. 13. And can any thing be more absurd than to look for more, unless it be to look for it any where else? · But there is something greatly worfe than absurdity and folly in those who are thus abundantly provided, when they turn aside to the law. There is something very solemn and peremptory in the certification the Apostle gives the Galatians, ♡ 2. et fegg, Behold, I Paul say unto you; I Paul, Christ's apostle and ambassador to you, (and what I say is the fame as if Christ himself faid fo in his own proper person), That if you are circumcised, Christ Jhall profit you nothing : The most dreadful denunciation that can possibly be made to creatures in our circumstances, creatures dead in trespasses and sins. Had we never had any further intimation of the mind of God, we must have concluded, that there was no way of being delivered but by the almighty power of God; nor any hope of that, but by absolutely free and unmerited mercy. But when he has opened such a door of hope as he has done, in sending his own beloved Son, with all the fullness of eternal
life in his hand, to be the Saviour of the
11070, Christ Mould profit them nothing; and they would be in the same case as if he had not come at all, or done any thing to redeem them from the curse, not of the law of Moses, which they were never under, but of that original law which brought Adam and all his posterity under fin and death.
But still it may be faid, Tho' it must be allowed that circumcision, and all other legal observances, were superfluous, and therefore useless to them; yet how comes circum. cision particularly to have such a dreadful tendency? To this it might be answered, That circumcision, and the other ritual observances of the Jewish law, were figures for the time then present, and were never designed to continue longer than the promised seed should come; then they expired of course, and were no longer the ordinances of God. The outward circumcifion became the concision, a mere mangling of the flesh; and the true circumcision was that of the heart, of the Spirit, and not of the letter. If those then who were not bound by the law of Moses, should subinit to the external circumcision, it must have been at least a constructive de