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But it is not so much with the piety or godliness of angels as with the godliness of men that I have to do at present; and while the godliness of man is essentially the same with that of angels, and of all holy creatures, we must not forget that, in the case of man, godliness must manifest itself in a peculiar manner—in a manner suited to man's peculiar circumstances as a sinful creature.

Men do not know God when they come into the world; and hence they come into the world destitute of that love to God which the knowledge of him begets.

When they begin to learn something about God, they then fear him indeed, but not with that affectionate fear of which we have spoken; for to that fear love is an essential ingredient. But they are destitute of love to God, because, as we have seen, they have no true knowledge of his character. Hence they are destitute of all disposition to acknowledge and obey, to reverence and serve him--destitute of all that is essential to godliness.

But this is not all. Men are not only naturally destitute of all right dispositions towards God, but their minds soon become imbued with wrong dispositions towards him. Having no knowledge of God or his will, when they come into the world, they know of no object more worthy of their supreme regard than themselves, and the gratification of their own corrupt desires, appetites, and passions; and this object they, therefore, seek to pursue without restraint. And when they come to acquire some

glimpses and glimmerings of knowledge about God, and his character, and will, and ways, they find that he is a very different kind of being from themselves; that his character and will and ways are contrary to their character and will and ways. Now, this leads them to fear God, but not with that fear with which an affectionate child regards its tender-hearted parent-not with the affectionate fear of reverential love; but with that fear with which a trembling slave regards his tyrannous master--with the fear of terror, the trembling fear of pain and punishment. This fear of God is quite destitute of love to God; nay, it is inconsistent with love to God, for "love casteth out" such "fear." While man thus fears God, self is still the object of his supreme love; and as he is therefore still bent on pursuing the gratification of self, in spite of the dread of punishment, this slavish fear of God grows into confirmed aversion of heart from God-enmity of heart against God; and hence it is that the apostle says, "the carnal mind" of man "is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."

Such is the state of man's affections towards God in his naturally depraved condition. Such, my young friends, is the state of your affections towards God, if you be still destitute of the power of godliness. Is it not so? Does not your conscience tell you Reflect for a little on the nature of your feelings; examine the workings of your heart, and you will find that the reason why it revolts

that it is so?

against God is because his character and will are opposed to the gratification of its selfish and sinful desires. You will thus find that you are, as the apostle says, "lovers of pleasure," or, in other words, lovers of self, more than lovers of God;" that you are, in fact, "haters of God;" your carnal mind being filled with enmity or hatred against him, because his holy character, and will, and law interfere with, and are opposed to, the gratification of your sinful selfishness.

Such, then, being the state of man's affections towards God, it is plain and evident that some peculiar means were indispensably necessary in order to restore to the soul of man the principle of godliness; and it is equally obvious, as has been already hinted, that that principle, when restored to the soul of man, must manifest itself in a peculiar manner-a manner suited to man's peculiar circumstances as a sinful creature. Now, blessed be God! he has provided the means necessary for this purpose, and has made them known to men, and available for men, through the Gospel of his Son, Christ Jesus. It is by means of that peculiar view of the character of God which he has presented to us in the gift and mission of his Son-in the person and work of Jesus Christ--that the principle of godliness is restored to the soul of sinful man. It is the wondrous exhibition of the infinite love of God, as therein displayed, that subdues the inveterate selfishness and enmity of the depraved mind of man, and leads him to love God in return. "In this was manifested the love of God

towards us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him." "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." "Herein is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his own Son to be the propitiation for our sins." "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” "But God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners"-" when we were enemies”"Christ died for us!" And therefore, says the apostle, "We love him, because he first loved us." The love of God, as herein displayed, so addresses itself to the very selfishness of our corrupt nature as to overcome and subdue it. When convinced of the existence of such love on God's part towards 66 us, even while we were yet sinners"-"love so amazing, so divine," we cannot but cease to regard God as our enemy, and view him henceforth as our best friend. And thus we are "reconciled to God by the death of his Son." The love of gratitude is kindled in our hearts towards God by the apprehension of God's love of benevolence towards us; and it compels us to "count the time past of our lives sufficient to have wrought the will of the flesh"-sufficient to have been spent in the service and gratification of self-and henceforth to consecrate ourselves as living sacrifices to the service and glory of God. "For the love of Christ constraineth us" thus to renounce and "deny ungodliness, and worldly lusts, and to live soberly,

righteously, and godly".

"because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they who live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again."

Such are the means provided by God for restoring the principle of godliness to the soul of sinful man; and in one of the passages just quoted, there is pointed out to us the manner in which these means become available for this end. It pleased God, in bestowing on man the unspeakable gift of his only begotten Son, to appoint that "whosoever believeth on him" should receive, as the free gift of his grace, the forgiveness of past sins, and should be made a partaker of his Holy Spirit, to enlighten his mind, to enliven his affections, to subdue the remaining power of sin in his heart, to regenerate and sanctify his whole nature, and transform him anew into the image of God; and to be to him also the witness-the pledge the first fruits of that everlasting life which God has appointed as the inheritance of all that believe, 2 Pet. i. 2—11; Tit. ii. 11—14.

Observe, then, my dear young friends, that in the case of guilty man, in your case as well as mine, godliness must first manifest itself in your coming with penitential reverence to the foot of the cross; humbly acknowledging him who hung thereon as the Son of God, the Saviour of the world; gratefully accepting, as the free gift of his grace, the forgiveness of all your sins; and meekly submitting to his authority as Lord of all:-and it must continue to

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