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not always wise; neither do the aged understand judgment."
This is not for the great and wise, who think they see, and have enough, but for the poor in spirit, who are sensible of their defects, and breathing after that spiritual food, which alone can nourish to everlasting life. It must not be supposed, that the path here described is that by which others must exactly walk, as the dealings of our Heavenly Father are widely diversified towards different individuals ; but at the same time, we must be made sensible, that we are all to become as little children, renewed in the spirit of our minds, having our hearts purified and made clean, before we can enter into that kingdom of holiness and peace, where those only who having in Christ died unto sin, and risen again unto a life of purity, and whose robes are washed in the blood of the Lamb, can be as the Angels in the Resurrection, rejoicing in the light, and life, and hope of everlasting felicity
Therefore to the young particularly do I address myself, leaving these efforts in the hands of Him, who alone can water and bless the seeds which are sown.
« See the sole bliss heav'n could on all bestow! “ Which who but feels can taste, but thinks can know; “ Yet poor with fortune, and with learning blind, « The bad must miss; the good untaught will find; “ Slave to no sect, who takes no private road, “ But looks through nature up to nature's God; “ Pursues that chain which links th’ immense design, " Joins heav'n and earth, and mortal and divine; " Sees that no being any bliss can know, 66 But touches some above and some below; “ Learns, from this union of the rising whole, “ The first, last purpose of the human soul; “ And knows where Faith, Law, Morals, all began, “ All end, in love of God, and love of man. “ For him alone, Hope leads from goal to goal, “ And opens still and opens on his soul; “ Till lengthen’d on to Faith, and unconfined,
the bliss that fills up all the mind : “ He sees why nature plants in man alone
Hope of kuown bliss, and Faith in bliss unknown: “ That virtue only makes our bliss below; “ And all our knowledge is, ourselves to know.”
SHEWING THE NECESSITY OF IT TO OBTAIN
TRUE PEACE; CONVICTION THE FIRST
THE Almighty, by the prophet Ezekiel
, has declared, “Behold all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine;” (a) therefore all are capable of salvation; otherwise the words of our Saviour had not been spoken to Nicodemus; “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he can
(a) Ezek. 18. 4.
not see the kingdom of God.” (b) These words are equally applicable to us, whether high or low, rich or poor; whether a doctor, a master of Israel, a learned scholar, a person of great abilities in other things ; we may have read long in the scriptures of truth, and have heard much weighty counsel and instruction; but ah! it perhaps may be, all the work is to do within still.
Let us then preach this sermon of our Holy Redeemer's to our own soul: "unless I be born again, I cannot enter into heaven." Born again! what is that? Was ever such a thing done upon me? Was ever I cast into the pangs of a new birth? tinued I in those pangs until Christ Jesus was formed in me? Are old things done away, and all things now become new? Are the old desires, the old conversation, quite abandoned and left?
Are my principles new? My aims and ends new? My
(6) John, 3. 3.