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might be less confident, perhaps, of their holy tendency; but when the doctrine is applied to a heart experienced through the teachings of the Holy Ghost, results of a very high and sacred nature are to be seen. Animated as well as comforted, the believer is made vigorous to undertake or to meet whatever comes in the way of duty, and keeping the eye of faith upon the end which God has in view, the intervening events are received as the way by which that purpose of love is to be wrought. In this strain the suffering and labouring disciple is addressed, - 1 Cor. xv. 57, 58 ; " Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” Observation of the church will confirm the fact; we have seen in all ages her resolute, arduous, and buoyant course ; we have heard her confident and exulting strain. She has looked forth fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners, deriving her confidence from the counsels of God, and waging her war as beneath the standard of the Captain of Salvation. Individuals of the mystical body possess the same privilege, and when apprehending the doctrine under consideration, they are strong to tread the perilous way, and bold to meet the resisting foe. Holy arguments arise within whereby to silence the fears of nature, and to stir up the actings of faith. What a powerful motive is possessed by such an one, when he can say in answer to his accusers or to his tempter, but-I am predestinated to holiness—I am predestinated to victory-I am predestinated to tread upon Satan, to put off my body of death, to reach a glorious inheritance. “I know that my Redeemer liveth :” that “there is laid up for me a crown.” . Our own interest in such consolation should be a subject of serious and grateful meditation. If, as believers, we have embraced the Lord, we have laid hold upon all that he is made unto his people. And, tracing back our past experience, we shall be able, by looking into what the Lord has wrought, to anticipate with more lively affection, what in faithfulness he will still do. The doctrines of grace form so many links of one great chain, and when received in their holy connection, prove a chain of love, wherewith we are bound to him who first loved us. An examination of them separately, and
then in the whole, will be establishing to knowledge and to peace, and will assuredly prove constraining likewise to sanctity of life and conversation. All Jehovah's ways are holy, and all his redeemed inheritance in the elect must be holy. “I have chosen you (said our Lord) and ordained you that you should bring forth much fruit.". The fruit is seen believers appear as the invigorated branches of the Living Vine, and the predestinating will of God is glorified by the richness, fragrance, and profit of the heirs of its grace.
It will be found enriching to our souls to turn to this subject with a lowly prayerful heart, asking the Holy Ghost to be our teacher, and abiding by the Scriptures as our rule. The doctrine will not be stripped of its mysterious character, but it will appear in its glory, as giving supreme honour to the unchangeable and omnipotent Jehovah, and as opening for the church a reviving, animating stream, which flows from the bosom of the Eternal One, through the channel of the redemption in Christ; and wherever it yields its waters in the Spirit's grace, producing the aspect of a bed of flowers, or a garden lively in health, and fruitful. An abuse of the doctrine may indeed be made by men of ungodly minds
but this is their sin; the truth remains, and remains as a holy consolation for sanctified souls, in a holy Lord.
May we unite the subjects we have passed through, and in spirit be able to appropriate the covenant life.
VI.-THE NEW BIRTH.
The truths already exhibited may have been sufficient to assure us, that in the Church of Jehovah salvation is prepared for sinful men, in the person and work of a Great Deliverer ; and that salvation is the sure inheritance of a people whom the Lord loveth as his own chosen portion. The divine purposes, however, whilst unchanging, and freely expressed to sinners, are holy in all their operation; and individuals partaking of the privileges described, are therefore brought into a peculiar existence under that regenerating power, styled in the Scripture, a new creation, or new birth. This supernatural change of state and character is essentially necessary in every point of view. The divine will towards the elect, the divine glory to be displayed in them, the glorious dignity prepared for them, all require that they should