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(Eph. iii. 14, 15.) And this almighty act once done, was done for ever. It was God the Son who, by his incommunicable work of salvation, redeemed the church from all iniquity: and this once done, was done for ever. (Heb. x. 10-14.) (Heb. x. 10-14.) And it was, and is, God the Holy Ghost by the "washing of regeneration," who gives spiritual life to every individual of the church and this once done, is done for ever. Oh! what vast mercy is there in all those divine acts of Jehovah, in his trinity of persons! And what a vast act of sovereign grace is that, which by the washing of regeneration gives a capability to the soul, which before was dead in trespasses and sins, to have holy communion and fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ! Well might the apostle in the contemplation cry out, "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift." (2 Cor. ix. 15.)

And what is the result of the whole matter, as it relates personally to you, and to me, and the whole body of Christ's church? Who among you can with humble hope look up, and bless God for this unspeakable mercy? And in your earnestness of discovery to know this great work, whether God hath wrought it in your soul; do not overlook the slenderest proofs because you cannot immediately discern greater. Remember, it is not what you conceive of divine working, but the Lord's estimate of divine things. There cannot be one single act of spiritual life wrought by a soul that is unregenerate, for he is "dead in trespasses and sins." Hence, if there be in you the desires of spiritual life, this becomes a testimony that you possess it. Are you in any measure or degree acquainted with the plague of your own heart? Is the warfare begun in you of your spirit battling with your flesh? (Gal. v. 17.) And if you are not so far advanced in the life of God in the soul, to call Jesus your own; still, can you say it is the desire of your

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heart so to do? These are very strong symptoms of life. And where such things are, as they never were learnt, or can be learnt, in nature's school; there are pleasing hopes, that by the washing of regeneration they have been learnt of Christ: and Paul tells the church, that "he was confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in them, will perform it until the day of Christ." (Phil. i. 6.)

But what inference is to be drawn from this subject, for the encouragement of such among you (if any here) who know nothing at present of the new birth; and are fearful that they have not been the objects of this distinguishing grace, in coming under "the washing of regeneration?" Many, yea, very many considerations are to be found, in the Scriptures of truth, to hold forth patience and hope. Wherefore is it you attend the means of grace? Is there not some secret, predisposing cause within, which inclines your heart to this? heart to this? Do you not sometimes feel the rising desire to say with the church; "Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, were thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon?". (Song i. 7.) And what are these breathings of the soul but the acts of the new life? Moreover, in the principle of our new birth in grace, precisely the same as in our original birth of nature, we are alike passive in both: no merit nor preparation on our part contributing an atom toward it. The Lord saith, "I am found of them that sought me not." (Isa. lxv. 1.) Oh! what numbers in the Scripture history are there recorded in proof: Zaccheus, Matthew, the woman of Samaria, and the multitudes which are now in glory, who will one day appear to shew that it is " by grace we are saved, through faith; and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God."

And under this branch of the subject, there is one most blessed and striking particularity which. I would

most affectionately recommend to the notice of the younger part of our congregation; namely, that this glorious act of God in "the washing of regeneration" is not limited to age, no more than it is to deservings. For as in the Adam-fall transgression, our birth in nature brings us all into the misery and corruption of our lost estate; so when God quickens a soul into this newness of life in Christ, our birth in grace being already given us in Christ, may be, and not unfrequently is from the earliest period of our being on the earth. And the cause is plain. The new birth, or regeneration, is on the spirit, and not the body, (John iii. 6.) that continues unaltered and the same: and hence the unceasing warfare between them when the soul is quickened, and which ends not but with life. (Rom. vii. 19. &c.) Let the younger part of our audience therefore consider, that as the mighty change wrought by regeneration is wholly spiritual, and limited to the spirit, the veriest child in nature may be made an early receiver of grace. Nay, Jeremiah was sanctified in soul before he came forth into the life of the body. (Jer. i. 1.) And John the Baptist "was filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother's womb.” (Luke i. 15.) And this explains to us those sacred Scriptures. "And there shall be no more thence (that is, in the church of Christ,) an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old, but the sinner, (on whom no washing of regeneration hath been given) being an hundred years old shall be cursed.” (Isa. lxv. 20.)

What shall I say more? Only from man to turn to God. Lord! we wait for thy loving-kindness in the midst of thy temple. Pour upon thy redeemed before thee, the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; that we "may come up from the washing, like the flock that is shorn, every one bearing twins, and none barren among them." Amen.

VOL. IV.

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THE

DIFFERENCE OF SICKNESS

BETWEEN

HIM THAT IS IN THE UNRENEWED STATE

OF NATURE,

AND

HIM THAT IS CALLED BY SOVEREIGN GRACE.

BEING THE SUBSTANCE OF AN ADDRESS, DELIVERED IN THE CHURCH

OF CHARLES, PLYMOUTH, ON THE LORD'S DAY, EASTER

MORNING, MARCH 25, 1826, AFTER A CONFINEMENT

BY SICKNESS OF THREE MONTHS.

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"I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee!"-Exod. xv. 26.

"That ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel."-Exod. xi. 7.

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