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Fourth Sunday After Easter.

Fourth Sunday After Easter.

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Published by glennpease
BY REGINALD HEBER, M.A.


St. James, i. 21.

Wherefore lay apart all Jilthiness and superfluity of naughti-
ness, and receive ivith meekness the engrafted word, which
is able to save your souls.
BY REGINALD HEBER, M.A.


St. James, i. 21.

Wherefore lay apart all Jilthiness and superfluity of naughti-
ness, and receive ivith meekness the engrafted word, which
is able to save your souls.

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Published by: glennpease on Mar 11, 2014
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FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER.BY REGINALD HEBER, M.A.St. James, i. 21. Wherefore lay apart all Jilthiness and superfluity of naughti-ness, and receive ivith meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. In the verses, which go before my text, and which, together with that text, have been read to you as the Epistle for this morning's service, St. James had been establishing the fact of our total dependance on God ; the perfect freedom of His grace, in the work of redemption ; and the holiness of heart and life, which it was the object of that grace to produce in us. He then lays down, as a necessary consequence of these doctrines, certain practical rules for forwarding in ourselves the work of God's Spirit ; for the avoiding of every thing, whereby its course might be grieved, or hindered ; and for working out our own salvation, by the diligent use of
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those means, which the Almighty has, in His mercy, afforded to us. FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER. 301 " Every good gift, " he begins by assuring us, — " every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above ; and cometh down from the Father of lights ; with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." These expressions are, by the greater part of learned men, supposed to be intended as an answer to some strange and grievous errors, which, in the time of St. James, were very common, among both Jews and Hea-then. As if a man's good or evil fortune in the world, and even the general character of his passions, temper, and disposition, were owing to certain effects of the stars ; which shone, at his birth, or at those times, when he undertook whatever business he was engaged in. And it is in opposition to this foolish doctrine, that St. James begins by ascribing every good and
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every perfect gift whatever, not to these crea-tures of God, which His hand has formed, and which shine but by His decree, — but to God Himself, the Father of these and of every other light ; who does not, like these stars, move from one side of Heaven to the other ; sometimes eclipsed, sometimes setting, sometimes rising : — but " with whom is no variableness, or shadow of turning y" and on whose perfect love, un-changeable will, and Almighty and everlasting power we can, therefore, depend with entire and thankful confidence. " Of His own will," St. James continues, this great and good God 302 SERMON XXV. " begat us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures." Here it is to be first observed, that, as the act of becoming a Christian by baptism and by the Holy Ghost, is, in Scripture, uniformly de-scribed as being born again ; so the act, whereby
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