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years, standing on the brink of eternity, What is there within us, or without us, on which a sinnner can rest in a dying hour?' If it be a holy life, there is no peace for me. Taking the law of God for my rule, I find that Backslider is my name; yet peace I have found, and on the best security; this blessed Bible is my charter. I have searched it with diligence and prayer, and my mind is confirmed in the following truths:-That the whole world is become guilty before God, and is under his wrath and curse on that account. This is our state; a miserable state it is, and as hopeless as miserable, for any thing we can do for ourselves. But I read in this Bible to the full amount of the following conclusions-that in the counsel of the mysterious triune Jehovah, Jesus Christ, the second person of the incomprehensible Trinity, was sanctified, or set apart, to become the Saviour of law-condemned sinners, to take their nature upon him, and to comply with the whole of the requisitions of the eternal immutable law of God, to become in every sense their Surety. Man is a rebel; it is put to his account a penalty is incurred; he, as their Surety, is made liable. Are they again to be made heirs of eternal life? Perfect obedience is the condition, and of him, as their Surety, it is demanded. All this being fulfilled, sinners are become his property-he has paid their debts, fulfilled their duties, and merited for them eternal life, all in their own nature, as their Head and Representative: so that believers are complete in him. This is the righteousness of God, wrought out by Jesus Christ, in his own person, God-man, as their Surety. To this nothing of the believer's is to be added-with this nothing of his mixed; it is for ever perfect; entirely distinct from that holiness of heart and life which is wrought in him, in consequence of this. It is the believer's by pure imputation.
God has declared himself well pleased with this righteousness, and that, being himself reconciled, he is in Christ Jesus reconciling sinners to him. Hence all the invitations scattered thick in the Old and New Testament, not only to the penitent, weary, and heavy-laden, but to the stout-hearted, the backslider, to them that are wearying themselves in their own way. "Ho! every one that thirsteth; whosoever will, let him come, and take of the water of life freely." Hence all the promises annexed to believing, accepting, receiving, trusting, resting: Christ the Saviour is the object-the gift of God to sinners for all the above purposes. The Lord has convinced me that I have nothing in myself, on which I can rest; my conscience echoes to his word in all that it asserts of my nature and my state but this Saviour is provided for sinners exactly of this description. I am invited to put in my claim, I believe the record, I rest my salvation on his word; God giveth to me eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Jesus calls me to look unto him, and be saved; I do look unto him, and I am saved. He assures me that those who come unto him shall never be cast out; I do go to him, and commit my sinful soul to his keeping; I shall not be cast out. As many as receive the gift of his Son, receive at the same time power to become the children of God; I do receive his gift, and lay claim to his promise. He is my reconciled Father, and I am his adopted child; and he hath sent his Spirit into my heart, by which I can say, Abba, Father. I have, my dear James, taken this method of laying before you the grounds of my own hope, because I think it the most simple method, and containing at the same time my counsel to you to lay hold on the same hope. The warrant is given us in God's own word, as sinners, without respect to fruit or any works of ours. I can, if
necessary, give you chapter and verse, to the full amount; but you have those about you who can give it you by little and little, as your weak state can bear it. This Gift is held out to the sinner's acceptance in many places of the word of God, and becomes the sinner's in the moment of believing. Provision is made by the same covenant for his sanctification; but that makes no part of justifying righteousness. Christ is made of God unto him Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and complete Redemption. Try, my precious young friend, to lay hold on this hope, and enter into the rest provided for the believer here. Stretch forth "the withered hand," the Lord himself will give you strength. Commit your precious soul into his hands, and rest assured that he will perfect all that concerns you-work all his work in you-carry you safely through the Jordan of death, and put you in possession of the inheritance he has purchased for you. That all this shall be, is the prayer and firm hope of
Your affectionate friend,
TO MRS. J. W~.
J-, did not the dove, my dear, get into the ark? Yes, Noah put out his hand, and pulled her in: both are types of Christ. He is the Ark of safety from the flood of wrath that must overwhelm unbelievers.
I know not, my dear, the amount of that over which you mourn with so much agony; I know not even if it be sinful, except in the circumstance; you are conscious of
sincerity, and you do not now wish to draw back. We can, my dear, do nothing in our own strength; no, not so much as think a good thought. To make any resolution without dependance on God for strength to perform, is sinful to make any vow without a consciousness of our weakness and dependance on God for strength to perform, is an aggravation of the evil. I suppose my J. has sinned: what then? "If any man say he has no sin, he deceives himself, and the truth is not in him." And if you suppose that your sin in this is greater than many other sins, with their aggravations, you judge wrong. I think that any one deliberate sin wilfully committed, with the knowledge that it is sin, is greater than yours in such circumstances. You are bound by your vow, and God will enable you to perform it. Turn, my dear, to the 2d chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, where Peter preaches to the very murderers of our blessed Saviour, and charges the guilt upon them: verse 22d, and again in verse 26th, "Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that this same Jesus whom ye crucified, God hath made both Lord and Christ and when they heard this they were pricked in their hearts." Read on, my dear: Peter exhorts even them to repent, and be baptized in the name of Christ, for the remission of sins. I make no doubt but many have made vows in a rash manner; but, so far as I know, you have vowed only to serve the Lord: this you are bound to do, with or without a vow; and if the Lord make this vow the means of keeping you watchful, and humble, and firm, in avoiding what you have vowed against, it will, by his overruling Spirit, prove a blessing. You do not know where to look for comfort!' To Jesus, my dear; not to yourself, not to any creature. "Look unto me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there
is none else." Isaiah xlv. 22. "O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thy help." Hosea xiii. 9, and chapter xiv. Take a view, my dear, of the character of God in his dealing with his perverse Israel, after they had made the molten calf, and otherwise sinned grievously against God. He, at the intercession of Moses, forgave their sin, and proclaimed that wonderful name which to this day is the encouragement of convinced sinners, and mine in particular. Exodus xxxiv. 5. And the Lord passed by him, (Moses,) and proclaimed, "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin." And how can God do this, whose law is, as himself, immutable; and who adds, "that he will by no means clear the guilty?" Look now to the 53d chapter of Isaiah, where will find your you Redeemer standing in your room and stead. In the 30th chapter is another amazing display of God's forgiveness. The Prophet begins the chapter with, "Woe to the rebellious children;" and lays grievous things to their charge, till you come to the 18th verse, where he says, "Therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious to you; therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment; blessed are all they that wait for him." Once more look at the proclamation, Jeremiah iii. 12. God has provided a Sacrifice of sufficient value to atone for our most aggravated transgressions; and a righteousness answerable to the utmost extent of his holy law. Both are made over to the sinner by free gift. 2 Cor. v. 21. "He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him;" he, our Surety, having fulfilled all righteousness for us, as our Surety and Representative.