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place for a prepared people.” It is this prepared state of the heart, that our Lord meant by the new birth. It is this righteousness spoken of in the text which prepares the soul for the company, and for the scenes and services of heaven. It is a change wrought by the Holy Ghost in the heart of every individual whom the Lord receives into his own kingdom ; and which change makes the person a new creature, so different to what he was before in all the feelings and desires, in all the aims, and hopes, and fears of the soul, that he is like a person really born over again, and possessed of a heart of flesh, instead of the heart of stone he formerly carried in his bosom. And being thus sanctified, cleansed, and renewed after the image of Christ Jesus, he is fitted for the kingdom of heaven.

This great and wonderful change is the business or work of life. It goes on progressively; it grows, it increases, it deepens in the soul of the child of God; and as new, holy, and heavenly feelings and affections rise up and increase within away; and

him, so do his old, sinful, and devilish feelings and dispositions die wherever a soul is thus experiencing this work of grace, he daily longs and desires, hungers and thirsts after more and more of it. Let us now enquire a little more particularly,

First, What is meant by hungering and thirsting after righteousness?

Second, Glance at the happiness of such as do so.

First, then, to hunger and thirst after righteousness, is to feel a strong, an earnest, an abiding desire or craving of mind for sanctification or holiness. It is to feel a great desire for conformity to the image of Christ Jesus ; it is to feel a great desire for that mind and disposition, for those feelings of heavenly affection which were in our blessed Lord. It is to feel more and more earnestly to be delivered from the power and influence of all sinful, unholy dispositions and practices; it is fervently to desire “ to put off the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and to

put on the new man, which, after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness.” It is really and earnestly to desire all the holy tempers, words, thoughts, and works which the best of good men, through the rich, regenerating grace of God, have ever attained to, or which man is capable of attaining; it is earnestly to long that we may be sanctified in body, soul, and spirit; that we may abound in the fruits of the Spirit, which are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, and such like. That the inmost thoughts of the heart may continually be cleansed by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Nor is it merely desiring that such may be our experience; but it is using all the means in our power to obtain this state of mind and heart. It is the Lord who alone works this righteousness in the soul; but men are commanded to use the means which he has appointed for its attainment, and to such as do so, he promises the blessing. Now, the means to be used are waiting on the


Lord in public worship, when in our power, and especially seeking his presence and grace in private supplication and prayer. “ In every thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God; and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. iv. 6, 7. Prayer, then, is the grand means appointed by God; and the

promise is as clear and positive, as it is rich in abundance. And be it remembered, that this praying on all occasions does not require that you should have time and opportunity to get alone, and to kneel down and make supplication with many words of the lips; this can only be done now and then. But the prayer that will bring down a blessing is the silent, or inward prayer of the soul, which, through grace, the seaman can offer up when he is aloft, or on deck, alike when at the helm, or on a topsail-yard, in a boat, or on board. If the soul really longs to be what Jesus would have it to


be, it can and will occasionally lift up its thoughts to heaven, and thus make its longings, and its hungerings, and thirstings known to him who heareth in secret; “ Lord, preserve me from every known sin, and from every hidden snare and danger.” Lord, keep me from every temptation.” Close my eyes, lest they behold vanity.” “Shut


heart against the entrance of evil thoughts.” « Close my ears against polluting, vile, and blasphemous words.” • Keep me at a distance from bad men and bad books, from filthy conversation, and from every thing that would ruffle my temper, throw me off my guard, or lead me to say or to do any thing that would wound thy Spirit, and bring guilt and distress on my own mind.” This, I say, must be, and this will be the practice of him who hungers and thirsts after righteousness. He will pray on all occasions, and he will watch as well as pray. He will labour to avoid every ensnaring place and person, so far as possible ; and when duty and unavoidable circumstances bring him where

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