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.tfftk On the I)titf*fope>i}y.rangifygioursclves
f.£ tdnjrfrtatkmsof she wbrW, the flesh- arid thd.h;devil,''the*'adversaries of God and^cf^rriy^ W. foitfv If sensual appetite, if the love' of ^veasei«ifa thirst for'honour, or riches,'or( *K power:? if joy, or sorrow, or hope, or fear; M^©r.aAyi earthly allurement, prevail upon rrt^ . ** to abandon my post: I am no longer\o"ri *lbtlte side of the Lord; I am a traitor to him. 5 Mistake part with his enemies ; I forfeftfthat ** crown of glory, which my gracious'' God^ ** has prepared' for me'-if 1 faithfully: serve *.« .himuioto the end; and I plunge rnysefr" **; intotiie pit of everlasting destruction:" ';- 1 .-jlf^your^heart be at length stedfast with the: L-ordy: you wili seize with delight every opportunity which he affords you of contributing -to win others to his kingdom. The' commiffion with which the Levites I were charged &y Moses against their sinful counv trymen was a ministry of vengeance. Thus faith the Lord God of Israel: Put every man his sword by his side; and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the cams, and fas every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. Consecrate yourselves to-day to the Lord, even every man upon his son and upon his brother (sj. Very different is the commission with which God charges you respecting those who are
.. V' (f) Exod. xxxii. 27—29.
not on his side. He charges you with' a commission of love, with a ministry of rec6n* citation. To you he fays; Let your light so Jhine before men, that- they may see your good worts, and glorify your Father who- it [in heaven. Follow after the thing? 'which make for peace; and things wherewith one may edify anather\g). Give to religion the full effect of your example; of your influence, of your recommendation. Shew that you assign to religion the first place in your heart from' a decided conviction that the first place is its due ; and that, where it does not hold that place,, happiness will never take up her abode. Let others be won to the love of God by discerning the blessed effects of that love upon yourself. Let them perceive that iiv consequence of having set your heart upon God, you are become more humble, more gentle, more tender, more kind, more bountiful, more amiable, more happy. Let them perceive that your conversation is in heaven; that you feel yourself, and feel yourself without regret, a stranger and pilgrim upon earth; that you are not disquieted like the men of the present worldj by distracting cares and conflicting passions; but that you are waiting in patient and cheerful serenity, under
(g) Mat;, v. 16 Rcm. xiv. 19.
6 every every dispensation of providence, fpr the blessed hope which is set before you, the glorious appearing of the great God and o#r Saviour Jesus Christ. If these fruits of holiness, if this peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, shine forth in your conduct; verily there will he thole among the wicked, who will smite their breasts and will lay; "Happy is the "man that feareth the Lord. The fear of "the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and "to depart from evil is understanding. J"have left the paths of righteousness, to walk "in the ways of darkness, I .have rejoiced "itQ.do evil; and have delighted in the fro-",wardness of the wicked, I have forsaken ** the guide of my youth, and forgotten the "covenant of my God, But I will fiy to "the Redeemer who is mighty to save. I ** will seek the Spirit of grace and of sup"plication. I will go and say unto my "Father; Father! I have sinned against thee, "I will turn unto the Lord, for he will have "mercy upon me; and to my God, for he "will abundantly pardon. The ways of re"ligion are the ways of pleasantness; and all **" her paths are peace 1" .;' .'*
. Stand forth then, ye who are on the side of the Lord: stand forth to save your own fouls and the fouls of others. Children of
the faith of Abraham; heirs of the promises of God! Be ye stedfast, be vigilant, and fear not. You serve a Master, who will never forsake his people. You serve an unchangeable Father, who will abundantly perform his covenant. You serve Him who liveth for ever and ever, King of kings and Lord of lords; Him who has all power in earth and in heaven, in time and in eternity; Him in whose hand is mercy, and glory, and blessedness, and everlasting salvation. What shall prove capable of shaking your love to God and your Redeemer? Are you tempted by the riches of this world? Shall the poor and perishable and unsatisfactory treasures of the present life induce you to renounce an inheritance incorruptible, undented, that fadeth not away, laid up in heaven for the righteous? Are you solicited by sinful pleasures? Will you renounce, for the guilty indulgences of a moment, that fulness of joy which is at the right hand of the Omnipotent for evermore? Are you moved by corrupt customs, pr by the scoffs and ridicule of the wicked? Will you seek honour from man rather than from God? Will you not confess Christ upon earth, that he may confess you before his Father, and the holy angels, at the day pf judgement? Children of the Most High!
keek keep yourselves from idols (h). Stand fast in the Lord, and in the power of his "might. Sensible of your own utter weakness, take unto yourselves the whole armour of God. Of yourselves you can do nothing: but through the all-sufficient Grace of Christ you can become more than conquerors. Set your faces as a rock against sin, which encompasses you every instant. You have made your choice: you have taken the side of the Lord: cleave with simplicity and iingleness of heart unto Him. Be not deterred, be not enticed, from your holy resolution by a world, whose friendship ,is enmity against the sovereign to whom you have vowed your allegiance. The world cannot love you, because you are not of the world. Will you temporise in your conduct? Will you compromise your princi^ pies? Come out from amottg them, and be ye separate^ faith the Lord; and touch not the tfo-> clean thing. And I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you: and ye so allbe my font and daughters, faith the Lord Almighty (i). ib) i Jehn, v. at. (i) z Cor. vi. 17,18.