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IN this text it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit to convey a

chief truth of religion in a few words. It is this circumstance


which makes it especially impressive; for the truth itself is
declared in one form or other in every part of Scripture. It is told
us again and again, that to make sinful creatures holy was the
great end which our Lord had in view in taking upon Him our
nature, and thus none but the holy will be accepted for His sake
at the last day. The whole history of redemption, the covenant of
mercy in all its parts and provisions, attests the necessity of
holiness in order to salvation; as indeed even our natural
conscience bears witness also. But in the text what is elsewhere
implied in history, and enjoined by precept, is stated doctrinally,
as a momentous and necessary fact, the result of some awful
irreversible law in the nature of things, and the inscrutable
determination of the Divine Will.
Now some one may ask, "Why is it that holiness is a necessary
qualification for our being received into heaven? why is it that
the Bible enjoins upon us so strictly to love, fear, and obey God,
to be just, honest, meek, pure in heart, forgiving, heavenlyminded, self-denying, humble, and resigned? Man is confessedly
weak and corrupt; why then is he enjoined to be so religious, so
unearthly? why is he required to become 'a new creature'? Since
he is by nature what he is, would it not be an act of greater
mercy in God to save him altogether without this holiness, which
it is so difficult, yet so necessary for him to possess?".