Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

44 FIRST SERMON perfection. Adam wanting the grace of perseverance, fell from innocence itself. It is not sufficient for us that God prevent` and excite us to will, that he co- operate and assist us to work, except he continually follow and supply us with a residue of the Spirit, to perfect and finish what we set about. All our works are begun, continued, and ended in him. (5.) By grace our perseverance is crowned : for our best works could not endure the trial of justice, if God should enter into judgment with us. Grace enables us to work, and grace rewards us for working ; grace begins, and grace finishes both our faith and salvation. The work of holiness is nothing but grace, and the reward of holiness is nothing but grace for grace. Again : this teaches us how to know good from evil in ourselves. What we look on as good, we must see how we have derived it from God; the more re- course we have had unto God by prayer, and faith, and study of his will, in the procurement of it, the more goodness we shall find in it. A thing done may be good in the substance of the work, and yet evil in the manner of doing it ; as the substance of a vessel may be silver, but the use sordid. Jehu's zeal was rewarded as an act of justice, and it was punished too as an act of policy, for the perverse end. A thing which I see in the night may shine, and that shining proceed from nothing but rottenness. We must not measure ourselves by the matter of things done : for there may be a bad design in a good work. Doeg prays, and Herod hears, and hypocrites fast, and pharisees preach : but when we would know the goodness of our works, look to the fountain, whether they proceed from the Father of lights by the Spirit of * Go before.