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and peace, are at present withheld. 2d But, to those who persevere in devout and spatient obedience they are, in the ordinary course of Providence, extended at last. Sometimes also, persons, who are earnest in their desires and efforts to be religious, adopterroneous opinions on somebranches of religion. Perhaps, unable, in common with the rest of mankind, metaphy: fically to delineate the mode, in which the fore, knowledge of God maybe consistent with the contingent salvation of man, they virtually pronounce them irreconcilable; and having thus adventured to limit the power of Omnipotence, they conceive that their lot has been absolutely and irrevocably pre-ordained from everlastings that by the sovereign and unconditional decres of the Almighty they have been created purposely to be placed, according to his fiat, in the realms of eternal bliss, or to be consigned to never-ending woe; and that, until death fhall remove the veil, which conceals their appointed mansion, it must ever remain a doubt, a doubt loaded with torture and dismay, whether to them heaven be not inaccessible, and hell inevitable. Perhaps they no less erroneously conclude that the attainment of justifying faith, and the conversion of the heart by the regenerating operation of the Holy Spirit, are events distinctly manifested

to the believer by inward and supernatural impressions: and not having experienced in their own bosoms the sensible tokens of acceptatice, they infer that they are unredeemed from the penal consequences of guilt, unfamétified by the purifying influence of divitie grace, aliensfroin God, children of damnation. Sometisfies men of piety restrićt themselves to partial views of religion. Perhaps they nearly confine their meditation to their own guilt;" without" sufficiently raising their thoughts to the atonement and the intercession of Christ. Perhaps they dwell almost exclufively on their own weakness and corruption: and thus think too little of the sanctifying, the universal, and the all-subduing aid of the Holy Ghost. Perhaps they fix their minds so intently on doctrines, as to pay too little regard to the regulation of their hearts: or, while they are anxious in the performance of good works, are too little careful to render them as fruits of faith. Now so far as you misapprehend the nature of religion, you will necessarily fall short of its genuine comforts." But it is well if the failure of complete consolation in the ways of religion, of which you complain, be not owing to another and a more general cause. . It is well if it be not owing to this circumstance, that * , G g 2 you

ybttai6 no|J entirely religibu^ -Youjtanjpofir ftss 'thd cornlbrts of religion only- in proportion as you are religious. If-evil inclinations still resiinie afe intervals their original dominion Oveiry&ar heart: if the remain* of unsubdued paffions agitate your breast: they will Entail then* natural consequences, solicitude and anguuiu Charge not then your want of inwafd -peace on religion: charge- ifc c© your own deficiency in religion. In proportio© as you are sinful you must expect the wages of sin. Be thoroughly religious; that you may have perse5t peace.

Comfort ye, comfort ye' my people', faith your God {f). Shall not those in every congregation, who are indeed the people of God, be exhorted humbly to take unto themselves, while they continue stedfast in faith and holiness, the consolations which their God has provided for them? Fear not ye, who have set your hearts ofli salvation through Christ. Fear not ye ; for ye seek Jesus which was crucified. Fear not ye: for your Redeemer hveth. Fear npt ye: for ye have an Almighty Protector. Fear not ye; for he hath promised to strengthen you with might adequate to your trials. Fear not ye: for ye

(r) Isaiah, xl. i.

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you are not entirely religious. You can pos. sess the comforts of religion only in proportion as you are religious. If evil inclinations still resume at intervals their original dominion over your heart: if the remains of unsubdued passions agitate your breast: they will entail their natural consequences, solicitude and anguish, Charge not then yours want of inward peace on religion: charge it on your own deficiency in religion. In proportion as you are finful you must exped the wages of fin. Bethoroughly religious; that you may have perfe&# peace.

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God (r). Shall not those in every congregation, who are indeed the people of God, be exhorted humbly to take unto themselves, while they continue stedfast in faith and holiness, the consolations which their God has provided for them 2 Fear not ye, who have set your hearts on salvation through Christ. Fear not ye; for ye seek jesus which was crucifted. Fear not ye: for your Redeemer liveth. Fear not ye: for ye have an Almighty Protećtor. Fear not ye; for he hath promised to strengthen you with might adequate to your trials. Fear not ye: for ye

- (r) lsaiah, xl. 1. t - - - 9 as C

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