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Tell a man to be holy--and how can he beyond the reach of disturbance-or, that compass such a performance, when his he can repose in him, as one friend reposes alone fellowship with holiness is a fellow-in another-or, that any liberal and geneship of despair? It is the atonement of the rous understanding can be established becross reconciling the holiness of the law-twixt them-the one party rejoicing over giver with the safety of the offender, that the other to do him good-the other findhath opened the way for a sanctifying in- ing that the truest gladness of his heart lies fluence into the sinner's heart, and he can in the impulse of a gratitude, by which it is take a kindred impression from the cha- awakened to the charms of a new moral racter of God now brought nigh, and now existence. Salvation by grace-salvation at peace with him. Separate the demand by free grace-salvation not of works, but from the doctrine, and you have either a according to the mercy of God-salvation system of righteousness that is impractica-l on such a footing is not more indispensable ble, or a barren orthodoxy. Bring the de- to the deliverance of our persons from the *mand and the doctrine together-and the hand of justice, than it is to the deliverance true disciple of Christ is able to do the one, of our hearts from the chill and the weight through the other strengthening him. The of ungodliness. Retain a single shred or motive is adequate to the movement; and fragment of legality with the Gospel, and the bidden obedience of the Gospel is not you raise a topic of distrust between man beyond the measure of his strength, just and God. You take away from the power because the doctrine of the Gospel is not of the Gospel to melt and to conciliate. For beyond the measure of his acceptance: this purpose, the freer it is, the better it is. The shield of faith, and the hope of salva- | That very peculiarity which so many dread tion, and the Word of God, and the girdle of as the germ of Antinomianism, is, in fact, truth-these are the armour that he has put the germ of a new spirit, and a new inclinaon; and with these the battle is won, and the tion against it. Along with the light of a eminence is reached, and the man stands on free Gospel, does there enter the love of the the vantage ground of a new field and a new Gospel, which in proportion as you impair prospect. The effect is great, but the cause the freeness, you are sure to chase away. is equal to it-and stupendous as this moral And never does the sinner find within himresurrection to the precepts of Christianity, self so mighty a moral transformation, as undoubtedly is, there is an element of when under the belief that he is saved by strength enough to give it being and con- grace, he feels constrained thereby to offer tinuance in the principles of Christianity. This heart a devoted thing, and to deny un
The object of the Gospel is both to pacisy godliness. the sinner's conscience, and to purify his To do any work in the best manner, you heart; and it is of importance to observe, would make use of the fittest tools for it. that what mars the one of these objects, And we trust, that what has been said may mars the other also. The best way of cast- serve in some degree, for the practical ing out an impure affection is to admit a guidance of those who would like to reach pure one; and by the love of what is good, the great moral achievement of our textto expel the love of what is evil. Thus it but feel that the tendencies and desires of is, that the freer the Gospel, the more sanc- Nature are too strong for them. We know tifying is the Gospel; and the more it is re- of no other way by which to keep the love ceived as a doctrine of grace, the more will of the world out of our heart, than to keep it be felt as a doctrine according to godli- in our hearts the love of God and no other ness. This is one of the secrets of the way by which to keep our hearts in the Christian life, that the more a man holds love of God, than building ourselves up on of God as a pensioner, the greater is the our most holy faith. That denial of the payment of service that he renders back world which is not possible to him that disagain. On the tenure of “ Do this and live," sents from the Gospel testimony, is possible, a spirit of fearfulness is sure to enter; and even as all things are possible to him that the jealousies of a legal bargain chase away believeth. To try this without faith, is to all confidence from the intercourse between work without the right tool or the right inGod and man; and the creature striving to strument. But faith worketh by love; and be square and even with his Creator, is, in the way of expelling from the heart the fact, pursuing all the while his own selfish-love that transgresseth the law, is to admit ness instead of God's glory; and with all into its receptacles the love which fulfilleth the conformities which he labours to ac- the law. complish, the soul of obedience is not there, Conceive a man to be standing on the the mind is not subject to the law of God, margin of this green world; and that, when nor indeed under such an economy ever he looked towards it, he saw abundance can be. It is only when, as in the Gospel, smiling upon every field, and all the blessacceptance is bestowed as a present, withings which earth can afford, scattered in out money and withiout price, that the se. I profusion throughout every family, and the curity which man feels in God is placed | light of the sun sweetly resting upon all the
pleasant habitations, and the joys of humanits sounds of sweeter melody; and he cleady companionship brightening many a happy saw, that there, a purer beauty rested upon circle of society-conceive this to be the every field, and a more heart-felt joy spread general character of the scene upon one itself among all the families; and he could side of his contemplation; and that on the discern there a peace, and a piety, and a other, beyond the verge of the goodly benevolence, which put a moral gladness planet on which he was situated, he could into every bosom, and united the whole sodescry nothing but a dark and fathomless ciety in one rejoicing sympathy with each unknown. Think you that he would bid a other, and with the beneficent Father of voluntary adieu to all the brightness and them all.—Could he further see, that pain all the beauty that were before him upon and mortality were there unknown; and earth, and commit himself to the frightful above all, that signals of welcome were solitude away from it. Would he leave its hung out, and an avenue of communication peopled dwelling places, and become a soli- was made for him-perceive you not, that tary wanderer through the fields of non- what was before the wilderness, would be entity? If space offered him nothing but a come the land of invitation; and that now wilderness, would he for it abandon the the world would be the wilderness? What homebred scenes of life and of cheerfulness unpeopled space could not do, can be done that lay so near, and exerted such a power by space teeming with beatific scenes, and of urgency to detain him? Would not he beatific society. And let the existing teneling to the regions of sense, and of life, and dencies of the heart be what they may 10 of society ?-and shrinking away from the the scene that is near and visible around us, desolation that was beyond it, would not he still is another stood revealed to the prosbe glad to keep his firm footing on the ter-pect of man, either through the channel of ritory of this world, and to take shelter under faith, or through the channel of his sensesthe silver canopy that was stretched over it? then, without violence done to the consti
But if, during the time of his contempla- tution of his moral nature, may he die unto tion, some happy island of the blest had the present world, and live to the lovelier floated by; and there had burst upon his world that stands in the distance away senses the light of its surpassing glories, and l from it.
The sure Warrant of a Believer's Hope.
“For if, when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son : much more, being
reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."-Romans v. 10.
St. Paul, who, by the way, is by far the mode of reasoning in common discourse. most argumentative of all the Apostles- If a neighbour be bound to sympathise with and who, from being the most successful of the distresses of an unfortunate family, how them all, proves that argument is both a much more, when that neighbour is a relegitimate and a powerful weapon in the lative? If I obtained an offer of friendship work of making Christians, sometimes un- from a man in difficulties, how much more dertakes to reason upon one set of premises, may I count upon it should he now be and then to demonstrate how much more translated into a state of sufficiency and valid and irresistible is the conclusion which ease? If, in the very heat of our quarrel, he tries to establish, when he is in actual and under the discouragement of all my propossession of another and more favourable voking insolence towards him, my enemy set of premises. . In this way a great addi-forbear the vengeance which he had the tional strength is made to accrue to his ar-1 power to inflict, how much more, should gument--and the how much more with the quarrel be made up, and I have been which he finishes, causes it to come with long in terms of reconciliation with him, greater power and assurance upon his rea- may I feel myself secure from the effects ders--and it is this which gives him the of his indignation ? Such also is the arguadvantage of what is well known, both in ment of my text. There is one state of matlaw and in logic, under the phrase of argu-ters in which God sets forth a demonstramentum a fortiore, or, an argument which tion of friendship to the world, and this is affirms a thing to be true in adverse and compared with the present and actual state unpromising circumstances, and therefore of matters, more favourable than the former, far more worthy of being held true in like-land from which, therefore, the friendship lier circumstances. It is quite a familiar, of God may be still more surely inferred,
and still more firmly confided in. But it worshippers—had they, whose conscience will be further seen, that in this short sen- was a law unto themselves, just acted and tence of the Apostle, there lies a compound followed on as they might under the guidargument which admits of being separated ance of its compunctious visitations- had into distinct parts. There is a reference there been any thing like the forth-going made to a two-fold state of matters, which, of a general desire, however faint, towards by being resolved into its two particulars, that unknown Being, the sense and impresbrings out two accessions of strength to the sion of whom were never wholly obliteconclusion of our Apostle, which are inde- rated-then it might have been less decisive pendent of each other. He, in fact, holds of God's will for reconciliation, that he gave forth a double claim upon our understand way to these returning demonstrations on ing, and we propose to view successively the part of his alienated creatures, and the two particulars of which it is made up. reared a pathway of communication by
There is first, then, a comparison made which sinners may draw nigh unto God. between one state of matters, and another But for God to have done this very thing, state of matters which obtain in our earth, when these sinners were persisting in the and there is at the same time a comparison full spirit and determination of their unholy made between one state of matters, and warfare-for him to have done so, when inanother state of matters which obtain in stead of any returning loyalty rising up to heaven-and from each of these there may him like the incense of a sweet-smelling be educed an argument for strengthening savour, the exhalations of idolatry and vice the assurance of every Christian, in that blackened the whole canopy of heaven, salvation which the Gospel has made known and ascended in a smoke of abomination to us.
before him-for him to have done so at the Let us first look, then, to the two states very time that all flesh had corrupted its upon earth-and this may be done either ways, and when either with or without the with a reference to this world's history, or law of revelation, God saw that the wickedit may be done with a reference to the per-ness of man was great in the earth, and that sonal history of every one man who is now every imagination of the thoughts of his a believer.
heart was only evil continually--in these "That point of time in the series of ge- circumstances of deep and unalleviated proneral history at which reconciliation was vocation, and when God may have eased made, was when our Saviour said that it is him of his adversaries, by sweeping the finished, and gave up the ghost. God may whole of this moral nuisance away from be said to have then become reconciled to the face of the universe which it deformed the world, in as far as he was ready to enter for such a time to have been a time of love, into agreement with all who drew nigh in when majesty seemed to call for some sothe name of this great propitiation. Now | lemn vindication, but mercy could not let think of the state of matters upon earth, us go-surely, is through such a barrier beprevious to the time when reconciliation in tween God and the guilty, he, in the longthis view was entered upon. Think of the ings of his desire after them, forced a pathstrength of that moving principle in the way of reconciliation, he never will turn bosom of the Deity, which so inclined him himself away from any, who, cheered fortowards a world then lying in the depths of ward by his own intreaties, are walking ungodliness—and from one end to another upon that path. But if, when enemies, he of it, lifting the cry of rebellion against him. himself found out an approach by which There was no movement on the part of the he might beckon them to enter into peace world towards God-no returning sense of with him, how much more when they are allegiance towards him from whom they so approaching, will he meet them with the had revolted so deeply-no abatement of light of his countenance, and bless them that profligacy which so rioted at large over with the joys of his salvation. a wide scene of lawless, and thankless, and But this argument may be looked to in careless abandonment-no mitigation of that another way. Instead of fixing our regards foul and audacious insolence by which the upon that point in the general history of the throne of heaven was assailed ; and a spec- world, when the avenue was struck out betacle so full of offence to the unfallen was tween our species and their offended Lawheld forth, of a whole province in arms giver; and through the rent vail of a Saagainst the lawful Monarch of creation. viour's flesh, a free and consecrated way of Had the world thrown down its weapons access was opened for the guiltjest of them of disobedience—had a contrite and relent- all--let a believer in Christ fix his regards ing spirit gone previously forth among its upon that passage in his own personal hisgenerations-had the light which even then tory at which he was drawn in his desires glimmered in the veriest wilds of Pagan- and in his confidence to this great Mediator, ism, just up to the strength and degree of and entered upon the grace wherein he now its influence, told aright on the moral stands, and gave up his evil heart of unbesensibilities of the deluded and licentious lief, and made his transition out of dark
ness to the marvellous light of the Gospel. | world are now sleeping in profoundest leth-
his soul, and yet not to have received that I loathsome and polluted dwelling-places---if truth which is unto salvation--and it is pos- to get at his strayed children, he had thus sible for him to be actuated by a strong to find his way through all those elements general desire to be right, and yet to be of impiety and ungodliness, which are most walking among the elements of uncertain- abhorrent to the sanctity of his nature, think ty-and it is possible for him to be looking you, my brethren, think you that the God to that quarter whence the truths of the who made such an advancing movement Gospel are offered to his contemplation, and towards the men whose faces were utterly yet not to have attained the distinct or satis- away from him---is this a God who will fying perception of them-thoroughly en- turn his own face away from the man who gaged in the prosecution of his peace with is moving towards God, and earnestly seekGod, determinedly bent on this objeet as the ing after him, if haply he may find him? highest interest he can possibly aspire after, This argument obtains great additional labouring after a settlement, and, under all force, when we look to the state of matters the agonies of a fierce internal war, seeking, in heaven at the time that we upon earth and toiling, and praying for his deliverance. were enemies, and compare it with the state It is at the point of time when faith en-of matters in heaven, now that we are acters the heart, that reconciliation is entered tually reconciled, or are beginning to enterupon-nor can we say of this man, that he tain the offers of reconciliation. Before the is yet a believer, or, that he has passed from work of our redemption, Jesus Christ was the condition of an enemy to that of a friend. in primeval glory-and though a place of And yet upon him the argument of the text mystery to us, it was a place of secure and should not be without its efficacy. It is ineffable enjoyment-insomuch, that the such an argument as may be employed not fondest prayer he could utter in the depths merely to confirm the faith which already of his humiliation, was to be taken back exists, but to help on to its forination that again to the ancient of days, and there to be faith which is struggling for an establish- restored to the glory which he had with ment in the heart of an inquirer.' It falls, him before the world was. It was from the no doubt, with fullest and most satisfying heights of celestial security and blessedness light upon the heart of a conscious be- that he looked with an eye of pity on our liever--and yet may it be addressed, and sinful habitation--it was from a scene where with pertinency too, to men under their first beings of a holy nature surrounded him, and earliest visitations of seriousness. For and the full homage of the Divinity was give me an acquaintance of whom I know rendered to him, and in the ecstacies of his nothing more than that his face is towards fellowship with God the Father, all was Zion--give me one arrested by a sense of peace, and purity, and excellence- it was guilt and of danger, and merely groping from this that he took his voluntary deparhis way to a place of enlargement-give ture, and went out on his errand to seek me a soul not in peace, but in perplexity, and to save us. And it was not the parade and in the midst of all those initial difficul- of an unreal suffering that he had to enties which beset the awakened sinner, erecounter; but a deep and a dreadful endurChrist shall give him light-give me a la ance-it was not a triumphant promenade bouring and heavy laden sinner, haunted through this lower world, made easy over by the reflection, as if by an arrow sticking all its obstacles by the energies of his God
fast, that the mighty question of his eter- head; but a conflict of toil and of strenuous· nity is yet unresolved. There are many Iness-it was not an egress from heaven on
fear amongst you to whom this tremendous a journey brightened through all its stages uncertainty gives no concern-but give me by the hope of a smooth and gentle return; one who has newly taken it up, and who, I but it was such an exile from heaven as in the minglings of doubt and despondency, made his ascent and his readmittance there has not found his way to any consolation the fruit of a hard won victory. We have and even with him may it be found, that nothing but the facts of revelation to guide the same reason which sirengthens the hope or to inform us, and yet from these we most of an advanced Christian, may well inspire assuredly gather, that the Saviour, in stepthe hope of him who has still his Christian-ping down from the elevation of his past ity to find, and thus cast a cheering and a eternity, incurred a substantial degradation comforting influence on the very infancy of |—that when he wrapped himself in the huhis progress. For if it was in behalf of a manity of our nature, he put on the whole careless world that the costly apparatus of of its infirmities and its sorrows-that for redemption was reared-if it was in the the joy which he renounced, he became full front and audacity of their most deter- acquainted with grief, and a grief, too, mined rebellion, that God laid the plan of commensurate to the whole burden of our reconciliation--if it was for the sake of men world's atonement-that the hidings of his sunk in the very depths of ungodliness, that Father's countenance were terrifying to his he constructed his overtures of peace, and soul--and when the offended justice of the sent forth his Son with them amongst our Godhead was laid upon his person, it re