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tion he fell away. He renounced his faith i Again he looked to the grace of Christ, and he found it all-sufficient. Behold him chained to the stake, as the wind disperses at intervals the volumes of fire and smoke in which he is enveloped. Behold his undaunted demeanour: his face full of peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, as it were the face of an angel. Behold him stretching forth into the flames the hand which had signed the recantation; and surveying with a stedfast eye the flesh wasting from the sinews, bone dropping away from bone. Hear him exclaiming with exulting fervor; "This hand offended: "this hand shall suffer, this unworthy hand." Contemplate this spectacle; this insensibility to pain, this sacred fortitude, this substantial repentance, this complete subjugation of nature and its besetting sin: and say whether this is not the triumph of grace, whether this is not the finger of God.

2. The grace of Christ is sufficient to enable his servants to perform efficaciously unto his glory the undertakings, with which he entrusts them.

This is the word of the Lord: Not by might

nor by power; but by My Spirit, faith the Lord

of hosts. Without pie, faith our Saviour, ye

- can do nothing. Herein is my Father glorified^


that ye bear much fruit {ni). Look to the display which the Scriptures spread before you of the perfections of God; and you will immediately be convinced, that such a Being will in no instance require from his creatures any one act of7obedience, which they are not thoroughly enabled to perform: and that no instance of service, however difficult, cau be required from the weakest of his creatures, to which he cannot render that weakest of his creatures equal. Look to the examples which the sacred writings exhibit of the efficacy of divine grace, in strengthening holy men of old to execute every undertaking, to which God, for the manifestation of his glory, was pleased to call them: and your conscience will proclaim to you that if, at any hour, and under any circumstances, you fail to discharge the duties, trying as they may be, of the situation in which; the Lord who appointeth your lot shall have placed you; it is not because the grace of Christ is not all-sufficient: it -is because you ask it not, or ask it amiss, or refuse to employ it when bestowed. When Moses was commanded to return after an absence of forty years into Egypt, and to declare his commission to the king and to {he Israelites; his feeble

{rn) Zcch. iv. 6. John, sv. 5. 8.

ness ness and his infirmities overwhelmed him with despondence.. Who am I, he replied, that I Jhould go unto Pharaoh; and that I Jhould bring the children of Israel out of Egypt? 0 my Lord! I am ?:ot eloquent: I am flow of speech and of a flow tongue. BeholdI I am of uncircumcised lips; and how f hallPharaoh hearken unto me? The children of .srael will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice. What was the reply of the Almighty? Certainly, I will be with thee. Who hath made man's mouth: or who maketh the dumb, or the deaf, or the feeing, or the blind f Have not I, the Lord? I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt fay. See, I have made thee a God unto Pharaoh. The children of Israel shall hearken unto thy voice («). Were not these promises fulfilled to the uttermost? Was not God with Moses? Did not Pharaoh tremble auhis presence? Did not the Israelites believe him ? Were they not delivered from Egyptian bondage by his hand? Additional testimonies crowd upon you. Look to the example of the apostle, whose words we are applying to our edification. Look to the support which he received from divine grace under that very thorn in the flesh, to which they allude. Hear his own expres

(n) Exod. iii. II, 12. 18. iv. 1. 10—12. vi. 30. vii.i.

8 sions


sions in the verses immediately subsequent to the text. / take pleasure in infirmities for Christ's fake: for when I am weak, then am I firong. In nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing. 'Truly the signs of an apoflle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and "wonders, and mighty deeds {p). Hear his language on the fame subject to the Galatians. My temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not nor rejected: but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. I bear you record that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out jour own eyes and have given them unto me (p). Did not the grace of Christ here prove itself all-sufficient? Did it not prove itself all-sufficient, when it enabled the apostles, twelve obscure and helpless individuals, destitute of human attainments, of human strength, so successfully to preach Christianity, a religion equally odious to the Jews and to the Gentiles; that in the face of universal opposition, it speedily numbered thousands and tens of thousands under its banners in almost every region of the known world? Did it not prove it self all-sufficient, when it enabled the seed of the gospel, though planted in a barren and degenerated soil; though to

(o) 2 Cor. xii. io—12. (/;) Gal. iv. 14, 15.

appearance appearance inconsiderable as a grain of mustard feed, the smdlleji of all herbs; so speedily to bring forth to millions the peaceable fruits of righteousness: so speedily to assume the form of that mighty tree whose branches shall overspread the earth? Ye know in all your hearts, and in all your fouls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things^ which the Lord your God spake concerning you. All are come to pctfs-unto you: and not one thing hath failed thereof (q). Judge from the past to. the suture. Know that He, who has hitherto proved himself true, will prove himself a God of truth for ever. He offers his grace for your acceptance. He pronounces his grace all-sufficient. Be assured that, whatsoever ye do, his grace is ready to enable you to do it to the glory of God, that God may in all things be glorified through Jesus Christ (r).

3. The grace of Christ is sufficient to give comfort .under afflictions, and to convert them into means of improvement in faith and holiness,

Whom the Lord loveth, he chqsteneth; and

scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. It is

good for me that I have been afjlicted. Before

I was affliclcd I went aflray; but now have I

(?) Joihua, xxiii. 14. (r) 1 Cor. x. 31. 1 Pet. iv. 11.


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