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view as the grand end and aim of all our investigations of the scriptures. Under another head several considerations were mentioned of a character suited to invite to such investigations. But the great reason why we should search the scriptures, as has been pointed out, is, that they are the record of salvation—that they testify of Him who must be the foundation of all our hopes, that lɔok beyond the grave. They disclose truths in relation to our guilt and the expiation ; our disease and the remedy, which must be known, and felt, and obeyed, before we can be saved. The text recognizes these considerations, and suggests two or three principal points to which our search of the scriptures should be especially directed.

The first is eternal life. The doctrine of immortality is peculiar to the bible. Excepting so far as some vestiges of revealed truth have reached, amidst the darkness of the heathen world, the immortality of the human soul has been an object rather of solicitous desire, than of confident expectation. The scriptures alone present this great truth in a clear and unquestionable light. All the leading doctrines they contain, and all the great provisions for human welfare which they reveal, continually refer to this truth, as the single one that gives importance and value to them all. But in regard to the future destination of man, the scriptures do not stop at the simple annunciation, that an eternal range of being stretches before him beyond the grave. This immortality may be an ETERNAL LIFE of glory, honor, and peace ; or a deathless death of shame, contempt, indignation, and wrath. Now the scriptures describe the nature of this ETERNAL LIFE; they contain the instrument that ensures its possession to penitent believers ; they point out the only path that infallibly conducts to it; and they disclose the only ground upon which the hopes of it can rest. To these things they who would SEARCH THE SCRIPTUREs need to give their earnest heed. My hearers believe the scriptures. IN THEM, YE THINK YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.

In some way or other, it is probable, each one of us is expecting heaven by means of the scriptures. But such expectation will

prove vain and fatal, if we do not search them for this very end. If we do not search for and experience something of the nature of ETERNAL LIFE now, our attention to the word of life, will leave us subject to eternal death.

Another object to which the mind should be earnestly turned in searching the scriptures, is He, who is the way and the truth, and the life. THEY ARE THEY WHICH TESTIFY of Christ. He is the grand subject of the bible. His person, offices, and work, invite attention on almost every page

It was the Old Testament which in the text is said to TESTIFY OF CHRIST. The spirit of Christ in the prophets testified beforehand of him. In the New Testament he is more exclusively the subject. But we may study the bible, and yet not be led to the Saviour. Unless with a strong conviction of our necessities as sinners, we come to the bible to find a Saviour from sin, and resolve to persevere in the search until our souls rest upon him, we do not come with the object in view which should fill our minds and affect our hearts. If we do not come to find, and follow in the way to heaven, our examination will do us no essential good. And yet in this way we ought ever to come-in this way we can come—and in this way actually coming, we may confidently expect to find

—for it is life eternal to know Christto confide in the record, that God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; he that hath not the Son hath not life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Finally, we should SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES for that sanctification through the truth, which is requisite to the enjoyment of ETERNAL LIFE. Without holiness we cannot enjoy God. The scriptures are the great instrument of making us so. We cannot become holy with

ETERNAL LIFE

out them.

And yet we may search them, and not be sanctified. In order that they may be instrumental of this effect on ourselves, we must desire it—we must receive cordially the great peculiar truths they contain —we must apply them in all their naked power to our souls—we must obey them in the high spiritual demands they embrace. Without these ends in view, and these objects desired, we shall search the record of salvation in vain.

And why, my beloved hearers, will you not thus attend to the inspired volume? It is as necessary as your salvation. You can give it the requisite attention. None of you can urge want of sufficient leisure as a reason for neglect. None of you can plead want of ability as an apology for neglect. None of you are too young or too old, too rich or too poor, too wise or too ignorant, to give the scriptures the earnest attention they merit and claim. But remember that you must search them for ETERNAL LIFE, and not merely to gratify taste or curiosity-not to arm yourselves with weapons for religious controversy --not from the bare promptings of habit—not for the alone sake of quieting the upbraidings of conscience; but search them that you may become wise unto salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. If you will not henceforth search them thus, you will plainly declare that you will not come to Christ that ye might have life.

SERMON II.

Character of the Unrenewed.

ROMANS VIII.7.

THE CARNAL MIND IS ENMITY AGAINST GOD.

It has been remarked, as the result of long observation, that the progress of our knowledge of the native human character, is little else than a series of new discoveries of its moral defects. This, doubtless, is true, when that character is contemplated solely in reference to the low and varying standard of moral virtue which exclusively prevails, where the lofty and immutable requisitions of a spiritual religion are neither recognized nor felt. To these discoveries are chiefly owing the most painful disappointments, with which the life of man abounds. They who are just starting in their earthly course, are incessantly met with disclosures of selfishness, duplicity, and cold indifference, where their glowing anticipation had represented to them only a disinterested, ingenuous, and fervent friendship. And it would be difficult to find an individual, that has nearly measured the ordinary limits of human life, however he may be accustomed to speculate on the abstract question relative to the nature and degree of human depravity, who would hesitate to admit

, that his long experience has been, not with the virtues, but with the evils of the heart of man. And if we view our species in the light of those penal enactments, which have ever been multiplying in all civilized communities, to meet the fresh developements of moral depravation in crimes of new and diversified forms, we shall be constrained to admit, that we gain little new knowledge of human nature, that is not occupied with its vitiated qualities. But the progress of our knowledge by such means, is necessarily slow, and can never lead to any thing like a full discovery of the deep and universal corruption of the natural heart. It brings us to survey some of the streams which proceed from the impure fountain, not to search into and analyze the elements of that fountain. To such a thorough acquaintance with the native moral temper of the human mind, we can be led only by the light which beams from the word of God. He that teacheth man knowledge, shall he not know ?

What are the inherent elements of man's character, is revealed in scripture, not only in the faithful history there given of him through a long succession of ages, but in the nature of the demands which the Searcher of hearts there makes upon him, and in the express statements it contains in relation to this subject. No other history of our race so impressively discloses the true nature, the strong actings, and the ruinous tendencies of the heart which is in man. The commands of Heaven there addressed to him, are adapted to a state of great degeneracy, of disastrous alienation, of guilt, of wretchedness, and of ruin. But scripture abounds with statements announcing in the plainest terms, that such is the native moral condition of our whole species. The text is a specimen of these statements. The carnal mind is enmity against God.

In this brief sentence it is stated that man is depraved, and that his depravity consists in a state of mind actually opposed to God. Without the inspired record, it has been seen, some progress can be made in the knowledge of what is in the heart of man; but revelation alone introduces us into an acquaintance with the circumstance, which constitutes the essence of the evil.

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