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"holinefs, without which no man fhall fee the Lord." -And again-"" God will render to every man according to his deeds; to them, who by patient " continuance in well-doing, feek for glory, and honour, and immortality, eternal life; but unto "them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and "wrath, tribulation and anguish upon every foul of man that doeth evil; of the Jew firft, and alfo "of the Gentile; but glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good; to the Jew first, "and also to the Gentile; for there is no respect of perfons with God."
Thus, however directly the gofpel condemns that proud felf-confidence in our own righteousness, which claims as a reward due to our own merits, that divine acceptance, which human imperfection could not obtain, but from the gracious condefcenfion, and pardoning love of God-however ftrongly it warns us against that prefumption, which relies on our feeble strength, unfupported by divine aid, yet, never does it feparate true faith from pure morality, or permit men to suppose they will be exalted to fanctity and to heaven, independent of any effort of their own. Chrif tian faith is a moft extenfive principle, including in its nature and effects, the whole of moral virtue; for the gospel precepts evidently require, that we
m Rom. ii. 6.
fhould love God with all our heart, and our neighbour as ourselves; that we should labour to be perfect, as he is perfect-finally, ""whatsoever things "are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, what"foever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, we are commanded to think on and to "practice these things."-Thus is the morality of the gofpel entirely free from that enthusiastic pride, which, elated with its fupernatural fanctity, ftoops not to the controul of reafon; and utterly remote from that enthusiastic extravagance, which, hurried away by spiritual raptures and extacies, fpurns the feelings of nature, and the restraints of decorum. No; the gofpel guards the dignity of religion, by engaging in its fupport, truth and justice, order and propriety.
A ftill further proof that the gofpel fyftem is totally undebased by any mixture of fanaticifm, feems to be found in this, that it commands men to try all pretences to inspiration, by precisely thofe criterions to which enthufiafm would not appeal; not only by the connection of the propofed fyftem, with previously admitted revelation, and the proofs of supernatural power, which its first teachers produced; criterions, the truth and soberness of which we have
n Phil. iv. 8. Vid. alfo Gal. v. 19—24.
before difcuffed, but alfo by the practical tendency of the doctrines, which are proposed on this alledged divine authority, and by the good conduct and virtue of the teachers themselves. By these criterions, did our Lord and his apostles demand, that they should themselves be judged; and by the same did they inftruct their followers to judge of others."° Beware, fays our Lord, of falfe prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye fhall know them by "their fruits; a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good "fruit. Wherefore, by their fruits fhall ye know "them."—And again, appealing to the spotless purity of his own exalted character, " Which of you, fays he, convinceth me of fin? and if I fpeak the << truth, why do ye not believe ?" ye not believe ?" With fimilar confidence does the apoftle of the Gentiles appeal to the Theffalonians, for the purity of his conduct; "Ye
are witneffes, and God alfo, how holily, and justly, and unblameably, we behaved ourselves among you that believe." And when he is defcribing that grand apoftacy, which in latter times fhould corrupt the Chriftian church, he defcribes it, not only as coming, "with the working of Satan, "with figns and lying wonders," but alfo, " with "all deceiveableness of unrighteousness in them that
"perifh, because they received not the love of the "truth, that they might be faved; and for this cause, "God shall send them a strong delufion, that they " should believe a lie, that they all might be con"demned who believed not the truth, but had plea
fure in unrighteoufnefs."-Thus perpetually does the wisdom which is from above difplay purity and rectitude, as the effential principles which directed the lives and the precepts of the first teachers of our holy faith,
Another distinguishing character of enthusiasts is, their proneness to believe they have already attained the fummit of moral perfection, and a full fecurity of divine approbation, fo that further improvement is impoffible, and even further vigilance unneceffary; for to fuch excefs has fanaticifm carried its extravagance, that weak and depraved mortals have dared to presume they were exalted fo high above their fellow men, by the immediate hand of heaven, as to be incapable of deviating into error, or finking into guilt. Very oppofite to this is the humble, but foulexalting morality of the gospel of Christ, which, on the one hand, forbids the most wicked, finners to despair, and animates them to reform, by the heartreviving affurance," that if they will repent and turn "to their God, he will abundantly pardon," through the mediation of that Chrift," who came into the "world to fave finners;" while on the other, it inculcates humility and self-abasement on all the fons of men, declaring,
declaring, that "there is none righteous, no, not "one"-holding out a fpotlefs model, which we should perpetually labour to imitate; still however convinced, that in this state of trial and discipline we must never cease to advance, with humble caution and vigilant felf-government, confcious we are still frail unprofitable fervants.-How admirably does St. Paul exemplify this calm and humble frame of mind, even at the period when he was gifted with every apoftolic power, employing his every faculty for the glory of God, and the falvation of man, and was prepared to feal his teftimony to the gofpel of Chrift, even with his blood. If fuch a man were an enthufiaft, would he not, in fuch circumftances feel, and loudly proclaim himself the chief favourite of his God, purified from all moral imperfection, and fecure from fall?-Not fo the apostle" what things "were gain to me, thofe I counted lofs for Chrift; "yea, doubtless, and I count all things but lofs for "the excellency of the knowledge of Chrift Jefus
my Lord, if by any means I might attain to the "refurrection of the dead; not as though I had "already attained, or were already perfect; but this "one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto thofe things "which are before, I prefs toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jefus ;"
* Phil. iii. 7, 11, &c.