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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 infpiration? 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 reft. Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise 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 pafs a tolerably decent life, diversified with a regular sprinkling of religious observances. Will the grace of Christ share a divided em pire? Will the grace of Christ vouchsafe to occupy those out-skirts of the heart, which fin is content to relinquish, in order that it may enjoy in tranquiliity 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, fouls, and bodies, a living facrifice unto the Lord? Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar. re have brought that which is torn; and the lame, and the fick: thus ye have brought an offering. Should I accebt this of your hand; faith the Lord? Offer it now to thy governor. Will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person ; faith the Lord of hofts? Cursed be the deceiver, which facrificeth
ụnto the Lord a corrupt thing. For I am a great King, faith the Lord of hosts : and my name is dreadful. I have no pleasure in you, faith the Lord of koffs : neither will I accept an offering at your hand (2).
2. If you are already a true Christian ; fofter the good seed sown in your heart, that the divine planter may preserve it from being overwhelmed by surrounding tares, and may nourith it unto timely and plentiful maturity. Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Do you feel yourself difposed to be satisfied with your present attainments? 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 endearing intercourse, a more and more intimate connection. When your heart is warmly en. gaged in any pursuit ; you grudge the time which you are not able to devote to that ober 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. (1) Malachi, i. 7, 8. 10. 13, 14, .
. .: Why
Why is it not thus with your love to Christ? Why is it not thus with your pursuit of faith and holiness? Brethren, said St. Paul, I count not my self to have apprehended salvation. But this one thing I do: This is my great and unceasing object : forgetting those things which are bebind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (m). Are you farther advanced than the apostle? Though he did not deem himself to have apprehended falvation ; do you presuine that you are secure? If you disclaim the arrogant delusion ; if, representing yourself for a moment as a fellow-traveller with the apostle on the way that leadeth to life eternal, you behold him already at an immeasurable distance before you: Why is it that you imitate not his humility, his ardour, his perseverance? Why is it that, like unto him, you count not all things but loss, that you may win Christ ; if that by any means you may attain unto the resurreâion of the righteous (n)? The Holy Ghost, the Comforter, from whom alone, through the merits of the Lord Jesus, every Christian grace is to be derived, withdraws not his countenance from you, limits not his bounty towards you. (m) Philipp. jii. 13, 14. (n) Philipp. iii. 8. 11.
Has he enabled you to bring forth fruit thirtyfold? He offers to enable you to bring forth fixty and an hundred fold. Ask; and you Jhall receive. What shall you ask? Ask that you may be enabled to give all diligence, to add to your faith virtue ; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, gadliness ; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to bro.
therly kindness, charity. Ask that you may - give diligence to make your calling and election
sure. For if you do these things you fall never fall. For fo an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (6).
(0) 2 Pet. i. 5-7. 10, 11.