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pencil will adventure a description of the spirit of adoption ? A Gabriel's stile could not give drapery to the portrait.
A Second blessing is comprised in the term Father itself How replete with sweetness, support and goodness ? It contains infinite stores of tenderness, compassion, benevolence, kindness and beneficerce. A father is every thing ; all provision, instruction, care, protection, direction and safety are expected from him. The love of our heavenly Father is an exuberant and ever flowing fountain of grace to all his children. Hearken to the declaration, the infusion of rapture : “ I will be a Father unto “ you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord « Almighty." What a field of contemplation opens to the view? God, a Father, able and ready to supply all wants, and gratify, every desire, how should this silence every anxious thought, turn away every disturbing molestation, 'and compose the whole soul into all the tranquility of consolation ? His children may firmly say, “ The Lord is our helper, we will not fear wkat man can do “ unto us." God, a Father, is a present help in every time of need. “ He is a sun and shield, and no good thing will he with6 hold from them that walk uprightly." Let the child of God, ever have his counsel in remembrance, “ Fear thou not for I am o with thee, he not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will “ strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee 6 with the rigat band of my righteousness.”
A Third blessing which the heavenly Father confers upon his children in the wilderness of this world, is the guardianship and service of the holy ar:gels. Their guidance, protection and coin. fort in life, and the manner of wafting their departed souls to glory, are priviledges and favors beyond our ken. “He shall “give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways; “ lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. They shall bear thee “ up in their hands. Are they not all ministering spirits to them “ that shall be heirs of glory?"
A Fourth blessing must be touched upon, comprehending more . than can be conceived, that is, their heirship to an eternal inheritance. Who can unfold this inheritance or their title to it? It is high as heaven, what can we say ? Immense as God, and as durable as eternity. All things are theirs. They are heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. In this blessing every idea is absorbed, and preacher and hearer must be lost together. Heirs of God, the inheritance infinite in every view. Co-heirs with the blessed Jesus, who has gone before like an elder brother to make preparation for their coming. Let the adopted children hear his precious words : “I go to prepare a place for you ; I will come “ again to receive you to myself, that where I am, there shall ye “ be also.”. They shall dwell in the same region, favoured with the same company, partake of the same enjoyments, and be freed from every species of misery. “There shall be no more death, 6 neither sorrow nor pain ;"no tears nor cause for them in that world.; the former things shall be passed away. But who can attempt the description of the length and breadth, the heigth and depth of the inheritance of the children of God. Glory, and honor, and praise to him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever. “Behold, what manner of love is this, “ the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called of the sons of God."
Two or three reflections shall conclude this lecture.,
The First reflection is, if we turn our thoughts back upon the subject, every hint that has been given, must awaken thoughts of astonishing admiration in the breast of every member of the family of heaven. And those who fear they are not members, and such as wish they were placed in this family, must admire also. God had an eternal Son of bis own, the darling co-equal of his bosom, and stood in no need of giving existence to cream tures, either superior or inferior for this purpose, much less the reclaiming and renovating of degenerated and rebel subjects. This fills heaven with wonder, and cannot fail to be marvelous in our eyes. When God had an only begotten Son, did he adopt Worms of the dust to be his children and co-heirs with him ? Yea, he displayed his Godhead in an infinitely lower stoop than this, to snatch brands from heh, and constitute them heirs of glory. Be astonished, Oye heavens, and let surprising wonder fill the hearts of all the inhabitants of the earth. Behold the love, the ineffable and admirable love of God.
Secondly, We cannot avoid reflecting upon the greatness of the change of sinners. They are changed in nature, and changed in relations. All the faculties of their souls receive a moral reformation ; their understandings spiritually illuminated; their wills renovated ; their consciences, judgments and affections altered, and they are brought into an exalted state of new relations. God, their father and husband-Jesus, their brother and friend_Angels, their guardians and protectors and all heaven their relatives. "Happy believers, happy converts, happy children of the most High! Truly, blessed are the people, whose God is their Father!
Thirdly, We should reflect, what is becoming the dignified character of this divine relation ? Are we put into the family and made the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, how circumspect, how pure, how holy ought we to be ? Our deportment should be honest, just, righteous, charitable, devotional, and abundant in every good work, that others may be induced to become the children of God, and glorify our Father who is in heaven.
Let us all be exhorted to be followers of God as dear children. Let the impenitent, unbelieving, and unadopted consider the glorious priviledges and blessings of the gospel spread before them. Here is life, immortality, happiness, and all that heart could rationally wish, freely offered. Can any considerate mind desire more than the gospel proposes? Can they desire a more
compleat freedom from sin and its consequences ; a more? perfect introduction into the favour, peace, and friendship of God, than the overtures made to the world ? Remember there semaineth no more sacrifice for sin. Wherefore, the sum of all exhortations is, “ Repent and be converted, that your sins may * be blotted out,” and that ye may be received as the sons os children of God, when the times of refreshment shall come.
THESSALONIANS IV. 3.
This is the will of God, even your sanctification.
SANCTIFICATION is a doctrine of high importance throughout the whole oracles of God. Without it no justification, no adoption, no works of righteousness, no salvation, no favor with God, or eternal life. Without it, all is lost in time and eternity ; no real comfort in this world, or happiness in the
The word sanctification, or to sanctify, is employed 10 express various ideas. It is used in a strange construction, when creatures are said to sanctify God. He has been often sanctified by them in scripture phrase, especially his power, justice and judginent. The Lord declares against the blasphemies of the wicked, “ That he will sanctify his name.” He will clear up the glory of his character, in all the vengeance he had manifested against his professing people. At the waters of Meribah he was sanctified by rebels. They were reduced to acknowledge his omnipotence, glory and clemency. When Jehovah is praised, bis Majesty acknowledged, and due worship paid unto him, then he is said to be sanctified by his crcatures. “ Sanctify the Lord of