Sermon 1.
The Perfection of the Law; or, No Hope in Legal Obedience

"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul:

The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart:

The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever:

The judgments of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold:

Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Moreover by them is thy servant warned:

And in keeping of them there is great reward."

Psalm 19:7-11.

The first of the Psalms strikes the key-note of the whole collection. There we learn that the hidden beauty of the Holy Scriptures can be discovered only by meditation; meditation, so constant and so close that it becomes microscopic, as when we look through magnifying glasses at some minute but beautiful object. This psalm, also, so frequently read, is perhaps as little understood as almost any passage in the Word of God. It is a parable, to which are appended both an interpretation and an application. Careful examination reveals three parts, that evidently have a close relation to one another. There is, first, a description of the heavens, the firmament, with its peculiar glories. There is, secondly, the description of the law of God, or the Scriptures of the Old Testament; and there is, third, a personal meditation upon the subject, accompanied with a personal application of it to the writer's experience and need.

It will most honour God, if we follow the train of thought which the Spirit has thus indicated, for power always flows in the channels which the Spirit Himself has prepared in the Word of God.

That there is evidently an intimate connection between the first and the second parts, appears from their peculiar and similar structure. In English versification, we recognize the correspondence of related poetical passages, by the similarity of their verbal structure; not only does one thought run through one verse, and its companion through another; but one set of words, in one line, bears close correspondence with a similar set in another line. There is a rhyme and a rhythm of words which make up our poetical stanzas, or the sections of our great epic poems. When the Hebrew seer constructed a poem, he depended not on a rhyme or rhythm of words, but of thoughts; he constructed the parts in parallels which corresponded with each other. The companion phrases, or sentences, corresponded, each for each, and were called parallels, because, like parallel lines, which run in the same direction, they bore a peculiar and uniform relation to each other. If this Psalm be examined, it will be found that there are ten things which are said about the heavens. Then there are ten things said about the law of God; and the rule of poetic parallels demands that there should be a relation between these two sections, and their minor members. Let us examine into this mutual relationship.

First, what is said of the heavens? Five things: (1) They declare God's glory; (2) they show God's handiwork; (3) day and day speak together; (4) night and night hold converse; (5) there is a universal witness, a worldwide testimony. Then five more things are said as to the sun, the principal glory of the heavens. (1) He has his tabernacle in the heavens; (2) he is like a bridegroom that emerges from a bridal chamber; (3) he is like a giant that runs a great race with rapidity; (4) he makes a worldwide circuit; and (5) he reaches with his light and heat and life-giving beams all things on the surface of the earth.

In order to discover the beautiful correspondence between this tribute to the sunlit skies, and what is said of the law of God, we should examine still more minutely into this surpassing description of the heavens and the heavenly bodies. "The heavens declare the glory of God:" their brightness and their brilliance are the expressions of Him who is light and glory, supreme and eternal. They show His handiwork; as the dome of St. Peter's or St. Paul's shows the handiwork of Michael Angelo or Sir Christopher Wren, they show God's handiwork. The golden balls that He rolls along the floor of heaven—what a testimony they furnish to God's power and wisdom and greatness. And then the days are represented as speaking together, holding converse one with another; one day discourses with another with regard to the wonders of God. And the nights are represented as holding similar converse for purposes of mutual instruction, one night becoming the instructor of another, and different nights holding a divine dialogue together upon the mysteries which their darkness and their glory alike represent. And then, when we come to the sun, what a magnificent description! In these heavens, God has set for the sun a tabernacle, a tent, a dwelling-place. The pavilion of the sun is represented by the clouds and the darkness; and his rising is the emerging of a bridegroom, who lifts the curtain of his bridal chamber, and emerges thence in the glory and beauty of his bridal attire. He goes forth like a giant to run a race. Once in every twenty-four hours, as the earth moves on its axis, the sun accomplishes its apparent circuit, moving with tremendous rapidity through the heavens, and coming back to the point of starting; and so he completes the worldwide circuit. He rose in the east this morning; he is setting in the west to-night; but he will as surely rise in the east to-morrow morning, coming forth again, and throwing aside the curtains of his pavilion of darkness and cloud, like another giant, to begin another giant's race round the whole world. And, as in such a giant career as this the whole human race might be represented as standing and looking on his marvellous majesty, the splendour of his chariot, and the speed of his celestial steeds, so, as the sun goes round the earth, every part of the earth is illumined by his beams, and nothing is hid from the light and the heat thereof. If that can be surpassed, or even equalled, in any uninspired poem, where shall such competitor or parallel be found? There is nothing like it, outside of the Word of God, for splendid imagery, for poetic conception, for minute and exquisite elaboration.

But now, when we come to read what is said here of the law, or Word of God, we trace the most accurate and beautiful suggestion of correspondence; so that we recognize this poetic description of the heavens as a parable, the interpretation of which is the law of the Lord, the Holy Scriptures inspired by Almighty God. The Holy Scriptures declare the moral glory of God, as the heavens declare His natural glory, and with brighter beams they testify to the light and splendour of His character and of His dealings. They show God's handiwork, in the structure of this marvellous Bible. The foundations of it are laid in the first five books which we call the Pentateuch. Then over them are arranged the pillars of history and the arches of prophecy; and all of these overspread as by a dome, with the glory of the revelation of the coming future. What is this but a building erected by God, and manifesting the handiwork of a divine architect?

And then, as the days talk with the days, so the truths of the Word of God mutually speak one to another, and discourse together upon the divine attributes. One book answers to another through the ages, and is interpreted by another. The prophets all agree, though they saw not each other's faces, and could have had no possible meeting or mutual conference; and, as the nights hold converse together and mutually instruct each other, so the very mysteries of God, the darker and deeper truths of the Holy Scripture, illuminated here and there as by some marvellous out-gleaming of a star of prophecy or of God's declared purpose—what are these mysteries but the counterparts of the nights which, glorified by stars, are speaking one to another the language of sympathy and mutual instruction?

And then, as the sun goes round the earth, and has its everlasting witness to give to all parts of the earth, the Scriptures witness to man as man, the earth over. They do not shine on America, or on England, or on Protestant Prussia, alone: they shine on Pagan and Papal lands, on heathen lands and Mahometan peoples; and, wherever you will find a man, black or white, or of whatever hue or colour, whatever his condition, low or high, or whatever his grade, cultivated or ignorant, or whatever the measure of his intelligence, be he high up in morality or deep down in depravity, this precious Word of God has a message for him wherever he is, and an uplifting power, a power to make him a man in Christ, and a fruitful tree of righteousness planted by the rivers of water, bringing forth fruit in his season.

And now, as the sun is the main object in the firmament, before whose presence the moon grows pale and the stars entirely disappear, this firmament of the Word of God has in it a Sun, whose glory is so intense, that everything else, even the lights of prophecy, grow dim and pale when this Sun of righteousness appears. His abiding place is in the Word of God, and, wherever you touch the Word of God with discriminating eye, you shall see that Jesus Christ is there. As the sun in the morning throws aside the curtain of his pavilion of darkness, and comes forth like a bridegroom, so the Heavenly Bridegroom emerges in the Scripture from the deep darkness of a world's midnight. The first glimpse we get of His face is in the dawning of prophecy, in the opening up of prediction, as in the 3rd of Genesis: "The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head." And then as you go on through the various periods of prophecy, and the curtains are thrown wider and wider, the person of the Messiah comes forth more and more prominently, more and more unmistakably, until His whole figure is revealed in the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, when the man of sorrows stands before us, His hands and His feet and His side pierced for us, His back bearing the scourging of His enemies for our sake, smitten, afflicted, grieved, oppressed, down-trodden, yet, although the man of sorrows, still being God's Messiah, "glorious in His apparel, travelling in the greatness of His strength, mighty to save." He starts on the race of the ages like a giant, and you may follow him through that race, from Genesis to Revelation. His footsteps, bloody as they are with the sorrows of the cross, have left their scarlet mark on every page of Holy Scripture. You shall find Him in the histories, in the prophecies, in the poems, in the Gospels, in the Acts of the Apostles, in the Epistles of the New Testament, until you get your last glimpse of Him, when He. says, "I come quickly," and the Church, in its love and longing, responds, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." And so He has a worldwide testimony in the Holy Scripture, and a worldwide office to fulfil as the Messiah of men; and wherever the fall has gone, and wherever sin has left its curse, and whereever the trail of the serpent has passed over human joys and pleasures, Jesus Christ comes to redeem man, to redeem even the earth itself from the curse of the thorns and the thistles, and to bring redemption to the whole creation of God. He is the light and the love, and the life of the world, as the sun is the light and the heat and the life of all nature. More than this, we may follow the glorious analogy still further; for as we turn from the sun-setting back toward the sun-rising, so we turn from the ascending Christ, and look toward the new daydawn for His re-appearing! Thus the 19th Psalm contains first a description of the sun and sky, a parable, of which the second part is the divine interpretation.

Now, having these introductory thoughts to aid our closer study of this Psalm, let us notice the ten things here said about the word of God.

"The law of the Lord is perfect;

The testimony of the Lord is sure;

The statutes of the Lord are right;

The commandment of the Lord is pure;

The fear of the Lord"—what produces such holy fear,—"is clean;

The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous;

More to be desired than gold;

Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Moreover by them is thy servant warned;

In keeping of them there is great reward."

Ten particulars. The six names here given to the word of God are the same six names that are spread through that 119th Psalm, which is, like the 19th, a splendid tribute or monument to the glory of the Holy Scripture, but surpasses even this companion Psalm. These six names are law, testimony, statutes, commandment, fear (what produces fear), and judgments. Studied more closely, it suggests that law and testimony have a close relation, as also have statutes and commandments, and fear and judgments. There is here even a deeper and profounder suggestion than possibly has ever struck many a reader—namely, that as law has three main features or departments, first, common law,—principles or precepts upon which all specific statutes are based,—then statute law, or the commandments and precepts themselves, built up on the basis of common law,—and then legal sanctions, of reward and penalty, which sustain both common and statute law, giving the law authority, certainty of execution, and glory in the eyes of men, so these three things are distinctly referred to in this inspired poem. Law and testimony concern the common law. Law is the one word of the six, most general and covering the largest meaning. Testimony is another name very wide in its application, for it is God's witness to men concerning His will and His character. Statutes, however, represent specific precepts; and so do commandments. But, when we come to consider that which in the law produces fear in the subject, and overawes by its judgments or irreversible decisions, we at once think of the sanctions which sustain the whole fabric of law and rule, as we have already been reminded of common law and statute law.

These distinctions are too important to be grasped in a moment. Let us understand what common law and what statute law are. Beneath every commandment or statute issued by any civilized or enlightened nation, there is a basis of so-called common law; that is the common basal principle on which all laws are predicated and established. In the Word of God the common law has two great principles which characterize and regulate it: first, what is right in itself, and secondly, what is good for man. Those are the two great principles of common law. They are recognized, both of them, in the Holy Scripture. For instance, when Moses spoke to the people and gave them God's statutes and commandments, what did he say when he bade them obey? What was the great motive which he put before them? He said, "For it is your life:" that is to say, "This body of commandments is based upon a deeper principle. It is not simply an expression of God's will, but back of God's will is God's love, God's benevolence, God's kindness to man. He wants to promote man's true life; to make every man like a tree planted by the rivers of water, rooting itself down where the sources of moisture lie, reaching up and spreading itself out towards the heavens, the sunshine, the atmosphere, the dew, and the rain, and bearing abundant fruit. And so He gave this law, not to satisfy the arbitrary will of a great tyrannical governor, but to satisfy the loving and the longing heart of a Father toward His children. 'It is for your life.' It is the best thing for you to keep the commandments of Almighty God." And then Paul says, in the 6th chapter of Ephesians, "Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." There you have the other principle of common law—what is right in itself, as well as what is best for the subject. Those are the principles on which all common law is based; and if there be any statute law in any truly great nation which can be shown to interfere with common law, any statute law that can be proven to be not right in itself, or not best for the interests of the people, the intelligence and virtue of the nation would be prompt to abolish that statute, for no precept not in accordance with common law can long be promulgated and enforced.

Now, what about the sanctions of law? We need these sanctions, as appears so soon as we understand their purpose and object. What are sanctions? They are what sustain law. They are two-fold: the reward of righteousness, and the punishment of disobedience. Both are equally necessary to support law and government; and they are equally beautiful and lovely and desirable in themselves, and both of them reflect equal glory upon God as governor.

This should be said with emphasis, because most people do not see matters in this light. They turn toward the love of God, but turn away from His wrath. Men justify His rewards, but feel an aversion as to His penalties. They seem to think that rewards make God attractive, but that punishments make Him repulsive! We like to talk about His mercy, but we do not like to talk about His judgments. But mercy and judgment are equally beautiful in God, equally necessary to God, equally essential to His law. Suppose you build an arch. You put beneath it two massive pillars. Each pillar is equally necessary to support the arch. If you take away the right-hand pillar, the arch comes down, as surely as when you take away the left-hand pillar. Now, reward for righteousness and punishment for sin are the two colossal pillars which the arch of God's law spans, and upon which His government rests; and both are necessary to support that arch, upon which is built the whole structure of the government of God throughout His moral universe; and, if you take away the retribution of evil, you as surely break down that government, and overthrow the arch, as though you took away the rewards of righteousness. Christian disciples ought therefore to learn to magnify the sanctions of Almighty God. It is sometimes said that the Old Testament is vindictive, but the New Testament is merciful. I utterly deny the distinction. The Old Testament is full of mercy and full of wrath, and the New Testament is full of mercy and full of wrath; and when God said to His ancient people that, if they would obey, they should be prosperous even in temporal things, He simply meant to make temporal prosperity the type or the prophecy of spiritual prosperity, as much as to say, "It is impossible to serve God without getting the smile and the favour of God; and it is impossible to sin against Him without receiving punishment and retribution for sin." What would be thought of a judge who, having the power of life and death, should show himself favourable, lenient, indulgent, to offenders who resisted the whole power and authority of the law? No such judge would be allowed to disgrace, on the bench, any enlightened, law-abiding community. We all know perfectly well that it is the man who, in the execution of law, will show absolutely no favour, who will acquit the innocent and condemn the guilty, who helps to preserve the whole fabric of society from overthrow and ruin. And it is the glory of God that He is not insipidly and irresolutely amiable. His love is not at the expense of His justice. His mercy is not in conflict with His judgments. The sanctions of reward and penalty unite to hold up His throne, and those sanctions are equally sacred in His eyes, and equally to be maintained. As surely as you obey He will smile upon you; as surely as you disobey, He will frown upon you. If you conform to the law of God, prosperity will attend you; and if you disobey the law of God, adversity will be your portion. A great truth it is that is revealed in this Psalm; not only the law and the testimony, accordant with right and with goodness, but the precepts and the statutes all based on and conformed to the principles of the common law; and then above, beneath, around all the rest, the preserving, sustaining sanctions of a sure retribution of evil, and a sure reward of righteousness. God's abhorrence of wrongdoing is as certain as His complacence toward goodness.

Thus the lofty morality and righteousness of this Word of God leaves nothing whatever to be desired in it as a code of law. It regulates the whole character and life of any obedient subject. There are three relations which need to be adjusted in this world. One is the relation between man and God; one is the relation between man and man; and one is the relation between man and himself; and every one of these, this precious Holy Scripture adjusts, regulates, and perfects.

Take, for instance, the relation of man to God. Man has sinned. Man has come short of the glory of God, God in justice and in truth must visit punishment upon the unrepenting rebel. This Word of God interposes, and declares to us that, if there be repentance toward God, faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, and an obedient will in place of a rebellious one, there is a provision made by which the punishment of sin shall be visited—has, in fact, been visited, so that the sanction of penalty is maintained, and that the fearful stroke of God's outraged government shall not fall on your head as a destroying power. There is an adjustment of the relations between God and man, in this, that God can be just and can yet justify the ungodly. He does not smile on sin. He frowns on sin, only the frown falls on your Substitute and mine, Jesus Christ the righteous; and the smile that Christ alone deserves is reflected on you and me in Christ. God looks at us, not as we are, but as we are in Him. And then God does not leave us simply justified: He creates in us what is called an affinity for Himself. Affinity is attraction founded on likeness. "Birds of a feather flock together" by animal affinity. Filings of steel or iron are attracted to the magnet by metallic affinity. Certain substances combine chemically because they have chemical affinity. God creates in the forgiven soul an affinity toward Himself, which answers to His love, answers to His drawing of the soul; and so we are not simply justified by repentance and faith, but we are sanctified. We have a new nature, a new heart, a new longing, and so we come to know what never could have been known by us otherwise. And the highest liberty is found in obedience to God. We once looked upon His law as a means of restraint and restriction, as putting fetters on our hands and feet, as encircling us by a prison wall, so that we could go only a certain distance without coming up against the stone barrier of prohibition. But the true disciple finds in this affinity toward God, this holy sympathy with the God-like, a delight in doing God's will, so that if he were left entirely free,—if the law were abolished so far as he is concerned, he would do exactly what God commands, because the new life runs in the same direction with God's life, and there is an inward sympathy with the Redeemer and Lord.

And then these Holy Scriptures adjust man's relation to man. Suppose your sin has involved your fellow man. You have injured him, robbed him, wronged him, slandered him, traduced him; you have done something iniquitous toward him. This Word of God comes in, and tells you not only to repent and confess your sin as one toward God, but to repent of your sin as one toward man. Not only so; but that you can never have peace with God, never have peace with yourself, unless you repair the injury that you have done. You have made a breach; you must heal that breach. You have struck a blow; you must atone for the blow. You have robbed; you must restore. You have wronged; you must undo the wrong. Reparation or restitution is the indispensable companion of repentance and obedience. God's law teaches you that there is to be no retaliation of injury inflicted on you; that, while it is manlike to return good for good, and evil for evil, and devil-like to return evil for good, it is God-like to return good for evil. And so you are to pray for your persecutors and oppressors, and traducers and slanderers, and to have pity on those who malign you and misrepresent you, and impute to you motives of which you have never been guilty, and which have never prompted your conduct.

What a wonderful morality this is which is taught us in the law of God, and how soon would wars and strifes, and contentions and dissensions cease, if, when men were wronged, they returned the wrong with generous and gracious treatment, and if every man who has injured his brother should hasten to make reparation and restitution for such wrong. The Bible teaches us even more than this. This holy morality holds up before us a new law of love. Love is benevolence. Benevolence is giving one's self; self-sacrifice for others; losing my life that others may find life; giving up my liberty that other men's liberty may be increased; denying myself extravagant and useless expenditure that the nakedness of the naked may be clothed, and the hunger and thirst of the needy be filled; mutual self-sacrifice for each other's sake.

And then, this law of God finally adjusts man's relation to himself. Man is a kind of double being. He can sit in judgment on himself. He can turn the mirror of reflection around, and look at his own image, and consider what manner of man he is, and improve and reform himself. He can see the wrong, and turn himself from the wrong by the aid of the grace of God.

Sin has broken up this little empire. It has put a usurper on the throne. Where conscience and reason should have taken their place, on their twin seat of empire, passion and lust have held the throne. Appetite, and ambition, and avarice, that should have been slaves, have become rulers. Now, what does God do when, by the lofty and holy morality of the Holy Scriptures, He restores this empire to its right condition? He casts down from this throne the usurper, sin, and He lifts conscience and reason—on whose necks the unholy lusts have placed their feet, from their prostration in the dust, puts the crown of empire on their brow, and sets them on the double seat of the little kingdom in man's heart; and then, over and above them all—for they are nothing, after all, but regents ruling in God's name—over them all is God Himself, controlling these twin sovereigns of our nature; while they hold in check the lower carnal propensities and evil desires, making all the faculties of mind and body subservient to their mission, which is to glorify and honour Jesus Christ as the Lord and Sovereign.

Such is the divine mission of the Law of God to every obedient soul.

We are now prepared to look at the concluding meditation and application of this psalm.

"Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous" (or outbreaking) "sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength" (or, as the original has, "O Lord, my rock"), "and my redeemer."

Let us, with a spirit of awe, draw near and examine this divine meditation and application of these great truths. This law of God is His mirror, held up before us, to show us not only our outbreaking and presumptuous sins, but our secret sins; reflecting not only our faces and our forms, but our inward life, motive, desire; not only the adultery but the lust, not only the murderous blow but the hatred; the pride of spirit, as well as the boastful, ostentatious behaviour. This mirror takes out the heart of a man, shows him the inside of his own being, and compels him to confront himself, his past sins, and his present life of iniquity and coming short of the glory of God. I have seen in connection with medical study an instrument that is a combined lance and speculum or mirror; that is to say, while the mirror shows the disease, the lancet cuts out the tumour or the cancer. The law of God is a combined speculum or mirror, and lancet, or sharp two-edged blade. It shows me the cancer and it cuts the cancer out. It shows me, as in the placid water of the laver, whether there is filth on my person, and, like the waters of that laver, washes the filth away. It shows me myself, and it shows me my Saviour. What a wonderful Word of God this is that searches your open act and spoken word, and your silent thought, and that, like the sacrificial knife of the priest when he slew the bullock for the altar, cleaves at one blow to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart!

It is perfectly plain from our study of this psalm that there is no hope of salvation in the law of God; not the least; no hope of salvation in the law. There is hope in the Word of God, for the Word of God contains more than law; it presents Christ to us; but in the law of God as such there is no hope, for we are all transgressors, and its very perfection assures our condemnation. And when the psalmist has been thinking about the law, noticing how it searched him, how it opened up his innermost being, how it drove him into despondency and despair of self-help, what does he say? "O Lord, my rock and my redeemer." He does not say, "O law of God, my rock and my redeemer": for he knew that the law of God furnished no rock for a standing-place for his feet, and no redeemer for the salvation of his soul. But, having looked at the law, seen its lofty morality, seen how he never could come up to the grandeur of its standard, seen how his very sins challenged that law to punish his guilt, and how the very rewards of the law mocked him because he could never hope to deserve them—he turns to Jehovah, and he calls Him "my rock and my redeemer." What is the law of God? Nothing but sinking sand underneath the sinner's feet. No transgressor can ever take a position on the law of God for his justification. It may be a rock, but it is a rock from which he could only plunge down into everlasting despair, and whose very exaltation would make his fall the more terrible and destructive. No, the law never can be a rock of refuge to you; but Jesus Christ can. "Having access by faith into this grace wherein we stand." Notice that phrase, "grace wherein we stand." There is no standing-place before God, no standing-place for a sinner in judgment, until he finds it in Christ. He is the Rock of Ages, riven and cleft for me, to provide both a hiding-place and a standing-place; and, though every earthly thing should be dissolved; the stars lose their light, the moon her lustre, the sun cease to shine, the heavens be rolled together as a scroll, and the earth be consumed with fervent heat, so that the rocks melt, and the everlasting mountains bow before destruction—that Rock of Ages shall stand, like a petrified shaft of eternity, never to be dissolved, never to be wrecked even by the earthquakes that may wreck the world, never to be melted by the fires that consume the universe. And God is beckoning you up from the depths of your condemnation to the heights of this rock, that you may stand firm amid the chaos that is again to involve this cosmos, in order to make place for the new heavens and earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Yes, the law can never bring you redemption. Paul in the Epistle to the Galatians, says, "The law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ." The Greek word is "pedagogue." The pedagogue was a slave who conducted the children from their father's house to the house of their teacher. He would come in the morning, and knock at the door, and receive them from parental care, and lead them to him who was to instruct their ignorance. And so Paul says, "The law is our pedagogue, to lead us to Christ." The law comes and knocks at the door of the house of our bondage and rebellion, and says, "Are there any poor, penitent, believing sinners here who, despairing of any self-help, or any self-justification, want a free redemption in Christ Jesus?" Those who are willing to be led, the law conducts out of bondage and captivity and hopeless despair, to the house where the Great Teacher lives, knocks at the door of mercy, and introduces the poor, penitent sinner to Him who can satisfy all the needs and demands of a broken law, vindicate, justify, sanctify, save.

Dear friends, abandon for ever all hope of being justified, except in Christ. Such hope is a quicksand beneath your feet; this broken law can only be a destructive sword of God to consummate your perdition. Pray, "Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I!" Stand on the high place that God has given for such poor sinners as you and me; and may the law to-night be your schoolmaster to lead you to Him whose precious blood was freely given to atone for a broken law, and purchase for you salvation! Amen.