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which all mankind are included. Behold, and admire; and, while admiring, let us long to be made partakers of the same influence, to inspire us with a desire to shew forth the Lord's strength and power by virtue of its operation in us, and through us, which I conceive to be the only way in which it can be shewn: and fully persuaded I am, that the inspired records are mercifully granted to us, for the purpose of setting forth to us the power of divine grace on the minds of the faithful in ages past; and of thereby impressing us with a sense of the necessity we are under, of feeling a portion of the same spirit and power which operated in and through these holy men; and by the operation thereof, having our minds quickened to know our own state and condition, which is by nature alienated from God by wicked works. Under a sense thereof, we shall see the need we have of a Saviour, and flee for refuge to the hope set before us.
Here is the use of all means; and when the means answer the end for which they are given us, they bring us to the knowledge of him who inspired the holy men to write those holy oracles, which display to our view a glimpse of his majesty, by whom all things were created, and by whom they subsist.
I long that every man who reads the Bible may understand what he readeth, and then there would
3 Heb. vi. 18.
be an end of unprofitable contention, seeing that 6h the end of the commandment is charity, out of a pure heart, and faith unfeigned.”
And now, ye superficial Christians, I feel my mind drawn a little towards you, who are ready to cloke yourselves on all occasions under the failings of David, and to think that your sins are not greater than some which he committed; herein I have seen, that the subtle serpent hath beguiled many, and lulled their senses to sleep in carnal security. Therefore it would be well for all such to attend to the sound of the gospel trumpet, “ i Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light;" and be well assured, that when this light shall enlighten your darkness, kall the hidden things of Esau will be sought out, and all the unsound counsels of the heart will be made manifest. When this quick powerful word comes close home, it will divide asunder the joints and marrow of all unsound religion, and shake all false heavenly hopes to the ground. Then no more measuring nor weighing, and endeavouring to balance yourselves with David, unless you have also witnessed his conviction and contrition; and then there may be some resemblance between your state and his, in proportion as your minds are quickened to behold with the eye of faith, the great mercy and long-suffering of God towards you, and his lifting you up again
Tim. i. 5.
Eph. v. 14.
* Obad. i. 6.
when you have fallen as David did; and the sensibility of his healing hand is impressed on your minds, as it was on his : you will no more make David's sins a cloak for yours, but you will be bowed in thanksgiving to him, 'who hath holpen both David and you, in remembrance of his mercy.
I long to see the day that our reading may be effectual, our singing, praying, and praising, effectual; that all of us may have a right sense in all we say
and do, and that none of us may sit down any
imitation. For, as sure as ever the prophet David and the other holy penmen were inspired by the Holy Spirit, so sure, “ " a measure of the same Holy Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”
And if we once believe that we have such a heavenly guest within us, it will teach us, as it taught David, “ " that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Now let me appeal to you people of what is called the Church of England :-do you believe that a measure of this Holy Spirit is in you not? If you say, No, how do you reconcile this with, " Take not thy Holy Spirit from us." I wish you to look at what you say, and endeavour to be consistent; for be assured, “o the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, changeth not:” his truth is as unchangeable as himself, and he
you, or do
"Luke i, 54.
m 1 Cor. xii. 7.
still loves truth in the inward parts. David has borne testimony to this truth, and in faith adds, when addressing the Most High, “P In the inward part shalt thou teach me to know wisdom.” Then he proceeds, “ Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean ;' alluding to the blood of sprinkling, practised in the service of the Jewish church, under the law, which typified that great propitiatory sacrifice of the blood of Christ, who, ' by the sacrifice of himself once for all, put an end to all types and shadows, and obtained eternal redemption for all who receive and follow him as "the captain of their salvation, and was made perfect through suffering. And I believe, as our high and holy Head was made perfect through suffering, in that body of flesh, so every member of the church must partake, in some degree, of the same suffering, before he is fitted to receive of the consolation : 'he must bear about in the body, the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made mani. fest in his mortal flesh.
I long to see this more conspicuous amongst us, my dear fellow professors of the Christian name, without regard to any party. Oh! that we were all more earnest to“ present our bodies a living sacrifice before all men, holy, acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service," and that we were less conformable to this world: this can only be done by the renewing of the mind; and I am fully persuaded that the Lord would not withhold this renewing from us, if we were to seek it, under a sense of the want of it, as his servant David did, when he said, “ u Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow; cause me to hear joy and gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.”
• Ibid. ii. 10.
p Psalm li. 6.
. Heb. x. 10.
Now here we may perceive something of the feelings of David, under the preparing hand of his God; and in thus perceiving may examine ourselves, whether we have ever been broken to pieces, like David, under a sense of our sins. Behold his quick feelings, like the breaking of bones; and behold the source to which he looked for healing and consolation. His quickened soul was made sensible that the Lord's hand had broken him, and that he alone could bind him up. What a blessing are these sacred records to those who are seeking 'the way to Sion, with their faces thi- . therward! they see the holy way-marks, in which the footsteps of the flock have gone before them; and in many places they have left us, in a few words, the whole process of regeneration, as we may, I conceive, gather from the passages I have here alluded to; as it first conveys to us David's faith in God, and that she believed him to be a rewarder of them that diligently seek him; and likewise, that he was one of these diligent seekers,
u Psalm li. 7.
* Heb. i. 6.