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and probably to others befide him. "If ye know these things happy are ye, if ye do them."
BUT we are chiefly concerned at home-to know our own state. Do we do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God? If thefe are found upon us, happy are we; but if any of them are habitually wanting to us, we "are yet in our fins, and the wrath of God abideth on us."
Ir any are difpofed to inquire with Balak, Wherewith fhall I come before the Lord, and bow myfelf before the high God? Let them attend to the anfwer given by Balaam-if we add, reliance on divine grace in Chrift, no better answer can be given.
How far those of old were let into the gospel way of falvation we know not. Balaam expreffed the temper of a child of God. Whoever poffeffed that temper relied on divine mercy, while endeavoring to fulfil all righteoufnefs. Such would refer themselves to divine grace; and furely God would not be wanting to them. He might lead them by a way which they understood not; " but would bring them to their defired haven, and unto God their exceeding joy. Their labor would not be in vain in the Lord."
DEPENDENCE on divine mercy is ftill our duty. Though favored with gofpel light, many things are yet hidden from us. Let us therefore do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God, and he will guide us through the darkness, and bring us to the rest which he hath prepared for those who love and ferve, and truft him here. For these
there is no commutation. Knowledge the most perfect; faith the moft miraculous; and facrifices the moft coftly, would all be of no avail. God hath fhewn us what is good, and what he requires." May we hear and obey. Amen.
Confessing Chrift an indispensable Duty.
2 TIMOTHY ii. 12.
-If we deny him, he also will deny us. THIS is predicated of Chrift; and looks for ward to the day when all mankind will ftand be. fore him as their judge.
DENYING Chrift is here declared to be a mortal fin. Those found guilty of it will hear that fentence Depart ye curfed !" But this is to be understood only of a perfevering denial of him. Those who turn by a timely repentance, will find mercy. This is true of every fin. But repentance may be too late. It must antecede death, or it will be of no avail. The day of grace termi. nates with life. From that period man ceases to be a probationer, and his ftate is unalterably fixed.
WHEN the offers of pardon and peace are fent abroad, fome will not hear. Who will receive, and who reject the grace of life, is to us unknown. Our expectations are often difappointed. Some
come to Chrift, of whom we had little hope; others cannot be perfuaded, of whom our hopes were ftrong. We have only to "preach Christ; warning every man, and teaching every man," and muft leave the event.
SOME live where the found of gofpel grace is not heard. We are made to differ from them. "To us is the word of this falvation fent." But this doth not fecure falvation to us. We must hear and obey. "If we neglect fo great falvation, we shall not escape."
AMONG the indifpenfable requirements of the gofpel, is that of confeffing Chrift. Himself hath determined it. "Whofoever fhall confefs me be fore men, him will I confefs before my Father which is in heaven; but whofoever fhall deny me before men, him will I deny before my Father which is in heaven."*
WHETHER the apostle had this declaration of our Savior's in his eye; or it was revealed to him by the holy Spirit, we are not informed; but his language in the text is exprefs to the fame purpose-If we deny him, he alfo will deny us.
THESE declarations have a particular reference to the duty of appearing openly to be Chrift's difciples; efpecially in times of perfecution, when Chriftian's are expofed to fufferings and death for his fake. Even in fuch times, confeffing Chrift is a condition of being confeffed by him. If we think this a hard requirement, and refufe compli ance, we fhall have no part in him.
*Matthew x. 32.
WHAT are we then to understand by confeffing and denying Chrift.
CONSIDERING one of these may fuffice. The text regards the latter. To this we will therefore turn our attention.
CHRIST may be denied in words; or in works; or by a perverfion of the gospel, caufing it to become another gofpel. We will treat of each, briefly. I. CHRIST may be denied in words.
As" with the mouth confeffion is made to fal vation," fo with the mouth we may "deny the Lord who bought us." This is done by those who deny that Jefus is the Chrift. Thus he was denied
by the Jews, among whom he was born, and paffed the days of his earthly refidence.
THAT people had many peculiar advantages for knowing Chrift, and many special evidences of "To them were committed the oracles of God." They had the prophets who teftified of Chrift. To them did he appeal, and by them call on the Jews to try his claims to the Messias fhip- Search the fcriptures; they are they which testify of me." That people alfo witneffed his miracles," which were fuch as no man could do except God were with him." They witneffed the wonders which attended his birth-thofe which attended, and followed his death-many of that hation, who had feen his crucifixion, and the fold. ier's fpear pierce his heart while he hung on the cross, saw him alive after his paffion; and a fufficient number, moftly, if not wholly Jews, witneffed his afcention. Yet as a people they rejected