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SERM. they are read by the minister, and saying XI.
* Amen' aloud at the conclusion. You will likewise do well in observing the di. rections of your prayer-books, when you are to stand or kneel, and in complying exactly with them, as it shews decency of behaviour, and Christian submission to the orders of your superiors. To conclude, come as frequently to church, and behave, when you are here, with that reverence and devotion, which, when the tremendous hour of death approaches, and much more at the awful day of judgment, you will most sincerely and árdently wish that you had done! Now to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be ascribed all might, majesty, and dominion, now and for ever. Amen.
CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR AND KING.
St. John iii. 16.
God so loved the world, that he gave bis
only-begotten son, that whosoever believeth
lasting life. When the Almighty first created man, SERM.
XII. he endued him with a capacity of knowing his duty, and with a strong inclination to practise it: in defiance, however, of this knowledge, and in contradiction to this inclination, Adam fell from his obedience, and, by his transgression, brought, not only on himself, but also on his posterity, misery and death, Wickedness, which was
SERM. thus introduced into the world, increased XII.
so dreadfully within the space of seventeen hundred years, that God was provoked to overwhelm the earth with a flood of waters, and to destroy all flesh. One family only, which had remained unpolluted amidst the general contagion of vice, was preserved, and from that was the world afterwards peopled. We find, however, as the descendants of Noah multiplied and spread themselves upon the earth, that, notwithstanding this dreadful example of God's vengeance on the wicked (the remembrance of which could not possibly have been soon done away) they, within a short time, began to degenerate, they forgot entirely the true God, and immersed themselves in all manner of iniquity. With the Jews, indeed, by particular revelations from heaven, and the immediate superintendance of the Al. mighty, the true knowledge of him was retained; but even they frequently turned
aside to idoltry, and were, in their moral SERM.
XII. conduct, desperately abandoned; while all the other nations of the earth paid their devotions to stocks and stones, or to men wicked and frail as themselves, and were so far from conforming themselves to the obligations of virtue, that they were deplorably ignorant in what it consisted.
This was the state of things, when it pleased God" to send his only begotten son • into the world, to the end that all that be• lieve in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life.” Considering the great and manifold provocations which God had received, it might have been expected that he would have sent his son upon a far different errand, to take vengeance on such a rebellious race, to punish and to extirpate; but, no! Jesus Christ was sent to instruct and to save, to inform us of our duty, and to redeem our immortal souls; in other words, to be our Saviour and our King. It VOL. II.
SERM. is under these two characters then that we XII,
will consider the Sun of the Almighty.
You will observe in the text, that it is not said absolutely that all should have everlasting life through the son of God, but that all that believe in him; the promise of salvation and immortality is limited to be. lievers; there is a condition annexed to it, -the believing in him through whom it is offered-which implies, that if we do not believe in him, we shall not be in the number of those who shall partake of the benefits of his coming
It becomes then a matter of importance, to inquire what believing in Jesus is. To believe in Jesus, is to be thoroughly persuaded that he is the only-begotten son of God, that he is the brightness of his father's glory, and the express image of his person ; that he was sent into the world by God, and that the end of his appearance was to make known the will of heaven, and