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to be justified and accepted of God, to possess an undisputed title to heaven, and “the peace which passeth all understanding,” as an undoubted assurance of the Divine favour?
These blessings you may have, the moment you make application to Christ for them.
You will not, therefore, by any further distrust, dishonour the faithfulness of Jesus, your only Saviour, who longs for your deliverance. Can you doubt this? Then, finally, see what he has done to convince
of his desire to save you. Did he not submit to shame, and reproach, and the most dishonourable and cruel death, to redeem you? Did he not sustain the whole weight of his Father's indignation, that you might escape it? And would he have endured all this so freely, if he did not mean to extend mercy to you and every humble supplicant ?
Once more; we entreat you to dismiss your fears, and honour both the ability and the willingness of Christ to bless you. His benevolence, his voluntary mediation, his offices, his unceasing kindness to his Church, his invitations to sinners, all concur to reprove your hesitation, and to excite you to repose an unbounded confidence in His readiness to help you.
Come, then, and adventure into the presence of Christ, the King of Zion! and say, “ If I perish, I perish”;" but it shall be by trusting in his promise to save sinners:--and then he will hold out the sceptre of his grace, that you may touch it, and live for ever*: yea, he will assure you of his royal favour, and cause you to rejoice in his salvation evermore. “And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be Esther iv. 16.
• ib. v. 1-3.
gracious unto you; and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgınent : blessed are all they that wait for him. He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry: when he shall hear it, he will answer thee b.”
* Isaiah xxx. 18, 19.
ON WALKING AND MAINTAINING COMMUNION WITH GOD.
for God took him.
that He who hath begun a good work in the heart of a believer will perform it until the day of Jesus Christa.” Indeed, we may reasonably indulge this expectation, because “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance b.” For since “the mercy of the Lord endureth for ever, he will perfect that which concerneth his people, and not forsake the work of his own hands
The work of grace, even in its most incipient state, is Divine. It is the germ or seed of a heavenly life begun in the soul, which, like an incorruptible
Phil. i. 6. » Rom. xi, 29. < Psalm cxxxviii. 8.
principle, liveth and abideth for everd. The influences of the Holy Ghost on the mind are likened to “a well of water springing up unto everlasting life.”
Reader, are you able to trace the commencement of so happy a work on your own mind? If you feel any good emotions or holy desires arising within you, attribute them not to nature, but to Divine Grace, which alone maketh you to differ, both from your former self, and from the wicked world around you.
“ What hast thou, in this respect, that thou didst not receive"?” Is your heart softened and humbled for your past unworthiness, and made willing to confide in the atonement of Christ for salvation ? is your mind renewed ? are your" affections set on things above?" and do you feel ardently desirous to glorify the Lord, who hath redeemed you? Then give God all the praise ; for He has performed a Divine work on your heart, which none but an Omnipotent Agent could effect. And you
have abundant reason to rejoice, for grace in the soul is glory begun; and, if improved by a religious life, it will most certainly conduct its possessors to everlasting bliss .
1. With respect to every difficulty and trial which the Christian life, on which you have entered, will present, you may take up the challenge of the Prophet, and say,
“'Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain : and he shall bring forth the head-stone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it"!"
Does Satan attack you with his fiery darts, and with his lying and wicked suggestions ? Think it • 1 Pet. i. 23. e John iv. 14.
1 Cor. iv. 7. * Rev. iii. 21.
Zech. iv. 7.
not strange if he should thus harass you with his temptations, as long as you live in this state of probation. Be not afraid, however, of his malignant hatred, nor of the cunning which he may employ in his assaults against you; for it is promised, that God shall “bruise him shortly under your feet.”
Does the world oppose and deride you? “Marvel not at this? It treated your Divine Master so before you'; and He encourages you to perseverance in such conflicts, by the victory which he has obtained over it, and by the promise of Divine help, through which you also will be enabled to conquer it:—“In the world ye shall have tribulation : but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper ; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment, thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord.”
Do the remains of corrupt nature rebel against the right ways of the Lord ? By the assistance of the Sacred Spirit, which will be vouchsafed unto you, your depraved appetites will be checked, and kept in due subjectiono; so that “sin shall not have dominion over youP; but you shall " have
fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”
The promises which are scattered throughout the Sacred Pages are all adapted to comfort and establish you.
Are you terrified at a view of your spiritual foes, lest they should destroy you? The Word of God ensures your protection :-“ Fear not ; I am thy i Rom. xvi. 20. * 1 John iii. 13. John xv. 18-22. John xvi. 33. · Isa. liv. 17. o Rom, viii. 13-17. P Rom. vi. 14.
ib. vi. 22.
shield, and thy exceeding great reward"." Do your spirits sink beneath the weight of your afflictions ? The word of the Lord has provided a cordial to sustain them :-“Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will hear thee; and thou shalt glorify meo."
Do you require Almighty aid to rescue you from imminent danger ? Scripture assures you that God is at hand to succour and deliver you :“ Fear thou not; for I ain with thee : be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee ; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the righthand of my righteousness."
“ When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee : when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned ; neither shall the flame kindle
Are you desirous to make progress in the road to heaven? You are encouraged to expect constant supplies of grace to carry you forward in the way that leadeth to life, so long as you are diligent in the use of appointed means:-“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their spiritual strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint *." “Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness : for they shall be filled y.” afraid of poverty and want? God engages that “bread shall be given you, and your water shall be sure’.” Do you sometimes fear, lest you should not endure unto the end, “but make shipwreck of the faith, and of a good conscience®?” So long as you
1. .' Isa. xli. 10-15.
* Psalm 1.15. & xci. 14-16.