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1. The religious man is delivered, and delivered by religion, from those causes of solicitude, terror, and affliction, which are the principal sources of the miseries of mankind* And he experiences helps and Consolations* to which, in proportion as men are not reli* gious, they are strangers.

These important truths wili appear manifest, if unfolded by a consideration in detail of some of the anxieties and fears, which re-v ligion, and religion only, removes: and of the corresponding assistances and com-i forts, which religion, and religion onlyj bestows.

1. The most grievous of all the distresses which weigh down the heart of man, is the fense of unpardoned guilt. The most terrible' of all the apprehensions which (hake the soul* is the dread of the vengeance of an offended God. JFrom this distress, from this apprehension, the religious man is set free. He looks up to God, through ^Christ, as to a reconciled Father. Being jus if ed by faith, he has peace with God through our Lord Jesus {a). He no longer feels the intolerable recollection of former sins depressing him into anguish and despair: but in the very moments when he looks back upon them with the profoundest (a) Rom. v. t,

F f a selfself-abasement, he beholds them washed away by the blood of the Lamb of God, who was sacrificed for the transgressions of the whole world. In that sacrifice he has learned that he has himself ah interest: in that sacrifice he sinds pardon and peace. He is no longer alienated from God, at enmity with the almighty Sovereign of earth and heaven. He contemplates his Creator with filial affection; delights in his holiness; loves his commandments. He hears as addressed to himself the voice of God speaking in His revealed word: thy fins and thine iniquities I remember no more. I will be to thee a Father; and thou Jhalt be to me a Son. Be thou faithful unto death; and I will give thee a crown of life {b). The burthen is removed from his foul; and he goeth on his way rejoicing. He feels springing up within his breast the genuine consolations of the gospel. He feels that the fruit of the Spirit is joy and peace. He infilled with all joy and peace in believing {c). Every token of grateful obedience which he is enabled to render to his Redeemer, overspreads his heart with gladness. Every devout aspiration which he directs to the throne of grace, diffuses holy peace over his foul. He is a subject of the

(b) Hebr. viii. tz. 2 Cor. vi. 18. Rev. ii. 10.
{e) Gal, v. 22. Rom. xv. 13,

Prince of peace, an heir of God through Christ, reconciled unto the Father by the blood of the Son. As he advances in religion, he advances in happiness. He turns his eye backward on the days, when he was comparatively unacquainted with religion; and exclaims in the language of holy writ; / had heard of her by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye feet b her {d). Her ways are •ways of pleasantness: and all her paths are peace.

2. The religious man is delivered from immoderate fear of falling away from God under future temptations. He knows that even unto the bed of death hie faith and his obedience will be exercised by temptation* He knows his own weakness, his own corruption. He knows that, if he holds not fast that which he hath, another shall take his crown. He knows that, if he abandons his Saviour, his name shall be blotted out of thebook of life {e\ He knows, for his God hath pronounced the warning, that he is to pass the time of his sojourning here in fear; that happy is the man that fear et h always (f). He fears for himself. But his fear is not an overwhelming terror. It is a fear which excludes

(*/) Job, xlii. 5. (e) Rev. iii. 5. II.

(f) I Peti. 17. Prov. xxviii. 14.

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all dependence on his own strength-. It is a fear which produces humility, caution, vi«* gilance, meditation, and prayer. But it is not a fear which brings anguish: it is not a fear which urges to despondence. Why? Because he looks up to Him who is mighty to save; to Him who has promised to save all who fly to Him for succour. He looks to the Lord his Sanctifier; to the covenanted assistance of the Spirit of God. That he may obtain support from above; he neglects not the exertions, which the Scripture, his unerring rule, pronounces to be necessary on his part. While he prays that God would not lead him into temptation; he abstains from needlessly plunging himself into scenes of trial. While he solicits from the bounty of God the true riches; he neglects not the talent with which he is entrusted. He is cirr cumspect, watchful, sober-minded. He con-. siders his ways, that he may turn aside his foot from evil. He is zealous to employ to the uttermost the strength wbiclv he has received in promoting the glory of the Giver. Hence he applies with devout confidence to Him, who has engaged to bestow His Holy Spirit on all that a(k Him. He lifts up his heart to God in the inspired language of the Psalmist; Lord! I am tby servant: forsake

4 not not the work of thine own hand. Leave me not, neither forsake me, 0 God of my salvation I Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Res ore unto me the joy of Thy salvation: and uphold me with Thy free Spirit (g). In the words of inspiration he reads the answer of his God. My grace is sufficient for thee. I am with thee always. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Because thou fearefi me, I have hearkened and heard it: and thou shalt be mine; and I will spare thee as a man fpareth his own son that ferveth him. Thou therefore, My son, be Jlrong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus [h).

3. The religious man is delivered from corroding anxietes as to the events which may befal him during the residue of his life, lie has set his affections on things above, not; on things on the earth. His treasure is in heaven: and there also is his heart. Having food and raiment, he is therewith content. On earth he is but a sojourner and a pilgrim; and he perceives that it needs not to be an object of serious concern whether the road along which he travels be somewhat more or less smooth, whether he meets with some* what more or fewer acommodations on his

(g) Psalm xxvil. 9 li. IT, 12. cxxxviii. 8. th) 2 Cor. xii. 9. Match, xxv'ui, 20. Hebr. xiii. ;. Mai. iii. 16, 17. 2 Tim. ii. I.

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