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in the fear of God.” Now I dare not do otherwise than believe, that this inspired apostle's words stand in full force, to prove, that these people had power to do what they are there invited to do; and I also believe it to be the duty of every minister of the gospel, to enforce the necessity of all Christians believing in the internal présence and power of the Spirit, by which alone they can cleanse themselves from all filthiness, and perfect holiness. It is a precious thing to know, that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost, and to keep in mind that we are not our own, but bought with a price. A right sense hereof induceth us to surrender ourselves to the government of him who paid the price for our redemption; and, by virtue thereof, a Christian is really enabled to glorify God both in body and spirit.
Let us, my dear fellow Christians, be serious on these important things. They are, as we all acknowledge, communicated to us by inspiration, and in such plain decisive terms, as leave no room to shift, or turn aside from the application. It must reach to the inmost soul of every one, who knows that its salvation is of more consequence than gaining the whole world. Superficial Christianity has drawn a veil over its glory; I long that we may all turn to the Lord, and have the veil taken away, that we may find that kingdom of God within, where his Spirit resides, kand pro
claims liberty to the captives; and that, like the apostle and his fellow believers, we may all have our eyes.opened, spiritually to behold the glory of the Lord, and thus beholding, may witness the being really changed from glory to glory, into the same image, by the Spirit of our God. Herein lies the Alpha and Omega of all religion: this restores what is lost by the fall; and blessed are they who come to be such established believers in Christ. They have a part in the first resurrection, and the second death hath no power over them. The Lord's own works praise him, in and through these, and they, his saints, bless him, and worship him in spirit and truth. Their lives and tongues proclaim his redeeming power, and their hearts are enlarged with fervent desire, that others may come and magnify the Lord with them.
These are the Christians I long to see fill all places of Worship, and shine in the world; and this is the religion I crave for all people, at home and abroad, to whom we distribute the holy records. I long that their minds may be attracted to him, of whom these records bear testimony, and by whose Spirit they were revealed; and then will he draw near to them, and open the Scriptures to them, and cause them to feel the evidence of the truths they contain.
I do expect, that the time is coming, when there will be living witnesses raised up among
"Rev. xx. 6.
those people, who have sat in darkness, with respect to the great and glorious truths recorded in the Scriptures, and who will be thought worthy to comprehend with clearness the mystery of godliness, and be led in the way thereof, by the Spirit and power which were communicated so fully in primitive times to true believers, and by which they overcame the world, the flesh, and the devil. These genuine converts will not be tossed about by human conceptions of the meaning of certain passages; they will be brought to the knowledge of the truth by reading the Scriptures. May the Lord bless them with a quick understanding, and impress their minds with his fear. May he cause his great and glorious name to be known, by his own omnipresent power throughout the whole earth, and cause war and strife to cease amongst all people who call themselves by his name. May he direct them to see eye to eye, and to love one another, through the prevalence of his love in them. For this is the Scripture language, “m-They shall all be taught of God;" and let us be assured, that he will teach us righteousness, and give power to do it. “He that doeth righteousness is righteous ;” that, as I conceive, implies, is governed by a righteous spirit: “ he that committeth sin is of the devil, for the devil sinneth from the beginning."
Here my dear brethren, lies the great source of good and evil actions, and consequently the
John vi. 45.
1 John iii, 7.
source of life and death. Well then, let us, whilst we are so free and zealous to convert the heathen, be also zealous to be ourselves truly converted; and for this purpose, let us take heed to our righteous spirit, which will teach us not to deal treacherously against the wife of our youth, but hold fast that which we have, that no man take
And now I am about to conclude, with love in my heart towards all the promoters of circulating the inspired records, praying that the contents of the blessed book may be revealed to the understandings of givers and receivers, and be brought home to the souls of every one of us with power. So may we know, by self-evident experience, what it is to be redeemed by the law of the Spirit of life, in Christ Jesus, from the law of sin and death; and not sit down in an assumed confidence of our safety, unless we are also confident, that we are debtors not to live after the flesh. “P For," saith the apostle to the believing Romans, “ if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die, but if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, then ye shall live.” Here lies our safety, to live in the Spirit, and to walk by its dictates. Let all of us who profess the faith of the gospel keep this apostolic doctrine in view, and live in desire of knowing the holy Scriptures, for the purpose of making us wise unto salvation, instead of seeking
to be wise in disputing. Let us study to be quiet, and do our own business; and whenever occasion requires, reprove, rebuke, and exhort with holy authority; and love one another with pure hearts fervently. This, my dear brethren, is the most striking evidence that Christ is our master, and we obedient servants, who keep his commandments.
I have now set before you what appears to me to be wanting among us, and what I conceive the Gospel enjoins to all true believers, without partiality to any particular profession; believing that a profession of the truth, in form and doctrine, is a good thing: but the Gospel salvation enjoins, that it should be held in righteousness. I am well aware, that with many professors the favourite topic is imputed righteousness. I am not about to argue the point, believing, like the apostle, that 9 Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness, and that it will be imputed to us, if we believe and walk in the steps of faithful Abraham. I much desire, that all of us were really sensible of the extent of the word believe, and felt the power, the joy, and peace that are communicated by believing; that, through the influence thereof, we may, with one mind and one mouth, glorify our Father which is in heaven. May it please him to manifest his truth more clearly to us all, and build us up for a habitation
• Janies ii. 23.