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admitted; still the inference, from what we have said, that endeavours to keep the law are useless, or not required, is denied. For we maintain not only the sublime spirituality of the divine law, but also that it is eternally in force ; that there is in it an eternal fitness, and that it will be the neverabrogated rule of right between the Creator and the creature, and between creatures circumstanced as we are ; that there is an inseparable connexion between obedience to it and human happiness; and, therefore, it is absurd to suppose it will ever cease to be requisite, or to be useful. The Saviour came not to destroy the law, but to confirm and fulfil the law; not only to save us from the penalty of the broken law, but also to restore our desire and ability to keep it. And here comes in the necessity of the Scripture doctrine of regeneration. To obey the spiritual law, “Ye must be born again;” if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold all things are become new. The man has a new belief and perception of eternal realities, new motives hence arise, new hopes, new dependencies, new antipathies, new pleasures. He is translated out of the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of God's dear Son; turned from darkness to light; from the power of Satan to God. To as many as believe the Gospel, Jesus gives the power to become the sons of God; he gives them the spirit of adoption, they look up to Jehovah and call him Father. Now then, there is no condemnation to them that are thus in Christ Jesus. But, be it observed, they must walk, not after the flesh, but after the spirit; must cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh, and also of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God; and must be on earth a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Thus fighting the good fight of faith, and laying hold on eternal life, they shall eventually finish their course with joy, and have an abundant entrance—that is, as under full sail, enter the haven of eternal purity, peace, and felicity. There the spiritual law of love shall still be their rule, and then their obedience to it will be perfect, and, partly from that very cause, their bliss will be complete.
These, my brethren, are I believe, the solemn and delightful truths of God's Holy Book; and say now, Do we make void the law? or, does our doctrine establish the law Is it not evident that that which magnifies the law is the Gospel And this Gospel, the Gospel of God our Saviour, is utterly unlike any other system of religion or morals in the world?. The Gospel never abandons the position, that the law is spiritual, and eternally binding, as a rule. And, it is only an ignorance of this truth, or a forgetfulness of it, or some false opinions concerning it, that allows the careless, carnal security, and lamentable indifference of so many persons, who are every hour, every moment, still liable to the awful penalty of heaven's violated law, because they will not come to Christ, that they may be saved.
The preacher had closed here, and were he to meet you weekly he would now have done. But, recollecting that most of us will never meet again, under similar circumstances, he is anxious that the discourse of this day, should not be considered as a piece of matter-of-course declamation; he solemnly and seriously requests that those not convinced, will “search the Scriptures, and see whether these things be so" or not; for, if true, their importance is greater than words can express, or mind conceive. Oh, how tremendously awful the penalty of the law Oh, how great a salvation to be redeemed from its curse, and restored to obedience to it, which is life and peace. This is happiness! this is heaven! Oh, that this may be the portion of us all. Look to Jesus! None but Christ, none but Christ | Let him be all our salvation, and all our desire. If we abide in him, we shall bring forth plentecusly the fruits of righteousness and holy living, which are to the praise and glory of God.
DELIVERED to two families in DR. Livingstone's House,
[Macao, in China, is a small island-like peninsula of a larger islet, in the bay which forms the entrance to Canton. The Chinese Government receives a ground-rent from the Portuguese residents, who are allowed a Government for the management of their own people, and forts for their own protection, but subject and open at all times to the Chinese authorities. Here the European Merchants, during the absence of their ships, retire from Canton, by the permission and the authority of the Chinese Government. The Portuguese have, in Macao, several Parish churches, and about fifty Ecclesiastics.
Here, during the summers of 1818 and 1819, in consequence of there being no Protestant Chaplain in the settlement, Dr. Morrison, felt constrained to deduct a few hours from his Chinese pursuits, and prepared Lectures for the Sabbath mornings, which were subsequently printed for distribution in the east.
In 1819 a Chaplain for the Honourable East India Company's Factory arrived in China, and Dr. Morrison discontinued his morning lecture. The following brief discourse was composed on a visit to Macao, during what is called the Canton season, when there was no public service at Macao.]
“O death, where is thy sting 2 O grave, where is thy victory 2"
The death of a human being presents to the eye of an observer a shocking spectacle, and most shocking, when the deceased has been an acquaintance, a dear friend, or a beloved relative. The first cessation of life darkens the brightest eye, that it can no longer see, and deafens the quickest ear, that it can no longer hear; and no bodily organ will any more convey our wishes to the spirit, which but a moment ago animated the now lifeless corpse. And but a few hours or days more, and the fairest form, although recently possessing all the health and vivacity of youth, becomes a mass of offensive putrefaction, which makes the most affectionate friend desire, as did Abraham, to have the remains of a late beloved object interred out of sight. There is nothing that our senses can discover, but what would lead to the supposition that death is the annihilation of our being. When we stand around the reopened grave, and seeing the dead remains cast up ; ask, Can these dry bones live and of that which formerly constituted the life of our friend, (the soul or the spirit,) our senses can discover nothing. If we invoke the dead, we get no response. If we mentally express our love and affection to the deceased, we cannot perceive that any ear listens; death seems, to the eye of sense, to be the destruction of our existence. The unaided reason of man has sometimes acquiesced in the evidence of the senses, and has compared death to the extinguishing of a flame, which ceases for ever; sometimes, however, reason has suggested the probability of a continued existence of the spirit, in a separate state, after the body has returned to dust; but the revelation of our blessed Saviour alone has “brought life and immortality to light.” His Gospel removes all doubts on the subject; and not only does it assure us that the separate spirit lives, but that the dead body too shall revive. They “that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting shame and contempt.” Our theme this day does not, however, lead us to speak of the awful eternity of the wicked, but of the hope of the righteous. For these there is prepared an eternally happy region, and happy society, in Sacred Scripture called “The kingdom of God.” There the Deity manifests the light of his countenance, and the glory of his perfections, so as to diffuse amongst the inhabitants of heaven, a felicity which is, to mortal man whilst on earth, utterly inconceivable; there, too, angelic beings, and the glorified spirits of just men made perfect, form a society, in comparison with which, not to say the unsubstantial pleasures of the gayest society on earth, but the society of the wisest and purest of human beings, is joyless. But “This I say, brethren, flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” Heaven is a state of existence and of happiness, of which the human body, as it is now constituted, is incapable. A chANGE, therefore, of the present mode of existence must take place; “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” Death is the commencement of that change; the resurrection is the consummation of it. “This corruptible must put on incorruption.” That death is the commencement of that change, is true of all those who shall quit this world before the last day—ere the morning of the day of judgment dawn; for the Christians that shall be found alive on that morning shall not die, but shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye; when the last trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. Of the nature of this change, I presume not to speak, nor do I now deem it needful to answer objections to the possibility of a resurrection. That God's power can effect a resurrection of human beings, few will deny; and God's word declares he will raise the dead. St. Paul compares the dead body interred in the earth, to seed sown in the ground; and in allusion to this idea, he says of the body, when dead—“It is sown in dishonour,” but, in reference to the resurrection, “It is raised in glory; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” The identity of the human being is preserved whilst the qualities of the body are changed. Dishonour is changed to honour; and the natural or material body to a spiritual body; and again the Scripture saith, this vile body shall be fashioned like unto Christ's glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself. Not only will the body D