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pleasing, being faithful in every good work, and
(Al Eph. i. 16—18. iii. 16—19. Philipp. I. 9.—11 Col. i.
blessings? Are they the blessings which St. Paul supplicated for his beloved converts? Do wishes and prayers for such blessings crowd upon your mind; not like ceremonial attendants on a procession, coldly preceding or coldly following that part of the train in which the object really interesting is stationed; not ranging themselves as formal accompaniments on eager and animated desires for learning, for reputation, for power, for advancement, for wealth: but prominent and fervid, as intent on blessings so satisfying the understanding, so pervading and occupying the heart, that no other acquisition appears like unto them; no other acquisition seems entitled even to a second place; no other acquisition, stationed by their side, merits any degree or shadow of comparison? To be spiritually-minded, is life and peace. To be spiritually-minded is to belong to the Lord Jesus.
Behold then in the tests which have been placed before you criterions amply sufficient to determine the question, whether you are Christ's or not. However that question be decided ; suffer, 1 beseech you, the word of txhurtation S(k),
(I) Heb. xiii. 2 2.
L 3 i. If 1. If you are not Christ's, what are your hopes? Do you flatter yourself that the Scriptures may prove not to be the word of inspiration? Or do you assume the promises of God as true, and regard his threatenings as empty terrors? Or do you imagine that when Christ from his throne of judgement consigns to predicted punishment every other despiser of his gospel, he will select you as an exception; that he will distinguish you by unexampled mercy, because you have dared to make his known disposition to mercy a plea to your conscience for habitual rebellion against his laws? Behold the thin and hollow ice, on which you propose to cross the gulph of everlasting destruction! If you recoil from the prospect, what are your purposes? Are you desirous of salvation? Are you willing to be taught of God, to be delivered by him from the bondage of Satan, and translated into the kingdom of his Son? Are you willing to receive the gift of Salvation as light after darkness, as life from the dead? Approach then with confidence the fountain of living waters; and take and drink of them freely. Approach to your Saviour, through whom alone can man have access to the Father. Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy
laden; laden ; and I will give you rest. Him that Cometh unto me, I will in no wife cast out. To you is this invitation directed: to you is this promise addressed. But, if you would come unto Christ effectually; come unto him faithfully. Come unto him with a surrender of your whole heart. Think not that it will be sufficient to abandon your grosser defilements. Think not that it is religion to pass a tolerably decent life, diversified with a regular sprinkling of religious observances. Will the grace of Christ share a divided empire? Will the grace of Christ vouchsafe to occupy those out-fkirts of the heart, which fist is content to relinquish, in order that it mayenjoy in tranquillity the favourite spots which it has fenced off for itself? Is this to become a new man? Is this to be born again of the Spirit? Is this to crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts? Is this to be Christ's? Is this to offer your whole spirits, souls, and bodies^ a living sacrifice unto the Lord? Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar. Ye have brought that which is torn, and the lame, aiid the sick: thus ye have brought an offering. Should I accent this of your hand; faith the Lord? Offer it now to thy governor. Will he be pleased with tbee, or accept thy person; faith the Lord of hosts? Cursed be the deceiver, which facr'ificetb L 4 unto
unto the Lord a corrupt thing. For Lam a great King, faith the Lord of hojis: and my name is dreadful. I have no pleasure in you, faith the Lord ofhofls; neither will I accept an offering at your hand (/).
2. If you are already a true Christian ; foster the good seed sown in your heart, that the d'rvine planter may preserve . it from being overwhelmed by surrounding tares, and may nourish, it unto timely and plentiful maturity. Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, Do you feel yourself disposed to be satisfied with your present attainr ments? And is not suspicion, is not alarm awakened in your bosom? With any person whom you cordially love, you are day by day desirous of cultivating a more and more enr dearing intercourse, a more and more intimate , connection. When your heart is warmly enr gaged in any puriuit; you grudge the time which you are not able to devote to that ohr ject: you are zealous and anxious in pushing onward towards the attainment of it: you note with pleasure every degree of approach towards it: you are filled with regret if you discover that during a period of some length you have not made any perceptible advances.
(/) Malachi, i. 7, 8. 10. 13, n,