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love and purity puts the treasure of moral chaos into which the powers his grace, not into narrow and pol of the mind were sunk; to revive the lated vessels, but into those which obliterated characters of the divine that grace has previously expanded law which were formerly engraven and sanctified, although vessels of upon the heart by the finger of God; earth, for “ without holiness no man to re-kindle the holy fire of love, shall see the Lord.”

which used to burn upon the altar Thus judging of the Election of of the affections; to awaken the slumthese pious strangers, not by looking bering energies of the conscience into the divine decrees, wbich is the from the sleep of death; to change province of no man, but by their being the tone and alter the current of * converted and sanctified,the only the thoughts; to transform the will method by which we can “ make our from rebellion to obedience ; and so calling and election sure;” he pro- to renovate the conduct and the conceeds in the text to show how this versation as to present to the church grace is displayed in the develop- and to the world “a new creation," ment of its infinitely merciful deter- a sinner saved by grace and conminations. This is to be judged of verted to a saint, a lion transformed by its effects, and which appears in to a lamb, an enemy changed into a THE REGENERATION OF THE MIND— friend, a thoughtless, careless, hearer THE IMPLANTATION OF HOPE—AND THE

into “

a doer of the word.” GIFT OF HEAVEN.

And this great regenerating act of I. Here, The Great ETERNAL IS the Almighty Spirit of God is the RECOGNIZED AND ADORED AS THE AU- more remarkable, if you reflect that THOR OF OUR REGENERATION; who by it is generally effected in the most the same creative energy with which gentle and silent manner, and somehe formed the universe and made times by the instrumentality of an man from the dust of the ground, and agent so young-so weak—so devoid by the same almighty power and in- of great mental energies — so unconfinite wisdom with which he gar- scious of the benefit which he is the nished the heavens, raises us from

means of imparting, that not the least the ruins of the fall,- lights again expectation was awakened of good the lamp of spiritual illumination issuing from so mean a source. Not which sin had extinguished — “re-only, however, is this treasure great models all the carnal mind, and beyond comparison, which is to enmoulds the man afresh.”

rich the soul through all eternity ; That was an amazing transaction but it is often sent by the most humin which the Great Creator, from a ble messenger that the excellency of mere fragment of earth, produced the power may be of God and not of such a complex structure as the body, us, that the Gift and the Giver may so“ fearfully and wonderfully made,” not be eclipsed by the importance of and united to it an intelligent, holy, the communicator. Witness the comhappy, and immortal soul, formed of parative insignificance of the little the breath of the Deity. But, if pos- Hebrew captive maid, in effecting the sible, it is a still greater act to renew supposed conversion of Naaman the that soul when “dead in trespasses Syrian; and the fishermen of Galilee, and sins.” To subdue its native depra- who brought about the ultimate convity. To dethrone, “the spirit which version of the world. But whoever are works in the children of disobedi- the persons benefitted, and whatever ence;” to restore order out of the be the means employed, “it is Gop that worketh all in all.” He is as forms you that it was his abundant much the author of our spiritual as mercy.That mercy which is great of our natural life. He prepares the unto the heavens, and thereby rises mind, like the soil, for the reception far above the mountains of our guilt. of the good seed of the word. He ap- That mercy which delights in selectpoints the time, the place, and all ing objects the most unworthy as the circumstances of our regeneration. the recipients of its munificent faHe gives the ability, and the inclina- vours, and in performing wonders, tion to believe, to the saving of the and in dispensing gifts the most exsoul. For “we are his workmanship pensive and magnificent. That mercy created in Christ Jesus unto good which “raises the poor out of the works.” “He begetteth, and we are dust (of spiritual degradation) and begotten of him, and, are born, not of lifteth the needy out of the dunghill blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor | (sad picture of man in his fallen state) of the will of man, but of God;" for of to set him among princes,” even him, and by him, and through him are among the sons and daughters of the all things, to whom be glory for ever Lord God Almighty, who are made and ever.” O then, my dear friends, in kings and priests unto God and the whatever way, in whatever place you Father.” You are aware, my dear have been “ born again,” whether hearers, that great offences require the change according to its experi- great mercies ; here you see how mental demonstrations has been gra- liberally they have been bestowed dual or sudden—whether brought by the God of love without money about by the terrors of law and of and without price, who hath not dealt conscience, or by the instructions and with us after our sins, nor rewarded us attractions of the Gospel, let Him according to our iniquities; but whose have the glory “who devizeth means pleasure it is that “where sin has that his banished ones may not be ex- abounded, grace should much more pelled from him,” and “who divides to abound.” Thus, instead of being left all men severally as he will.” By this to perish, we are “ begotten again” mighty change are you emancipated to newness of life. from the chains and fetters, from the II. Let us now consider, The state captivity and imprisonment of sin and of mind with which this great regeneSatan. By this are you rescued from rating act of the Father of mercies ineternal death and destruction. By vests us—with “ A LIVELY HOPE.” this is the efficacy of Christ's atone- This is the beneficent object conment applied and enjoyed as “ the templated in our recovery from the blood of sprinkling." By this are you ruins of the fall. For this eternal love brought into the family of God, hav- made its provisions, and selected its ing the spirit of adoption, and are guests. For this, the fountain of prepared for worshipping in spirit mercy was opened—and the chanand in truth, with the peaceful assur- nel of mercy was formed-and the ance that your fellowship is with the abundant river of the water of life Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. flowed into our desert world. To imAnd it is this alone which makes you part this hope, the Son of God be“meet to be the partakers of the in- came a Saviour—and the Spirit of heritance of the saints in light.” God became a Sanctifier-and the

But what induced the blessed God means of grace were instituted, and thus to beget us from a death in sin to the Gospel is preached — " that we a life of righteousness? The text in- through patience and comfort of the

Scriptures might have hope.” And 0, 1 straining “ to live not to ourselves what an invaluable blessing—what a but to him that died for us and rose desirable acquisition is it. So useful again--urging us not to be weary in in our Christian conflict as a helmet well-doing, but rather to endure as to cover our head in the day of battle. seeing him who is invisible.” So serviceable amid the storms and bil- Much, however, as we value and lows of life, as “an anchor to the soul welcome this glowing state of mind, both sure and steadfast.” And espe- and revere and adore the source cially is this grace important to us if whence it originates, viz. the Founyou survey the property which the text tain of Mercy, we must not forget ascribes to it-a “lively hope.” And the channel through which that mercy is it not so ? Reflect on its origin—its flows, and by which this hope of the residence-its influence-its tendency Gospel and of glory is obtained. It --its consummation, and you will per- is not the covenant of works—that ceive that life is visible in all its un- was broken down and destroyed by the foldings. It originates with the living fall. But mercy sweetly rolls from God; it dwells in living souls ; it is the fountain, bearing hope upon its productive of living joys; it centres placid bosom, through the channel of and is consummated in eternal life. the covenant of grace--through the Hence it stands forth in a pleasing manger of Bethlehem — where the and prominent distinction from every Saviour was born-through the garother feeling of the kind which is not den of Gethsemane, where he ago-' thus spiritual and divine—from the nized-across the summit of Calvary hope of the hypocrite which obtains on which he was crucified — and nothing but disappointment and shame through the tomb of Joseph, where when God taketh away his soul. From he triumphed over death, and rose the hope of the self-righteous Pha- again for the justification of his risee which the Scripture compares to people. Yes, my friends, it is only the spider's web, a flimsy fabric made by the incarnation, the sufferings, the of his own materials and of his own death, and resurrection of our blessed weaving; or from the hope of the Lord and Saviour that grace could Worldling, which, having no founda- come unto us. No other channel was tion to rest upon," is as the giving up deep enough or broad enough. And of the Ghost. Instead of this, the as the text makes particular mention expectation of the Believer, which is of the latter of the Redeemer's mediafixed upon the immoveable covenant torial transactions, namely, his Reand holy word of the blessed God- surrection, it is proper to state the and the finished work of the Saviour, relation which that great event bears is full of life and peace. Yes, amidst to our regeneration and our hope. It all the vicissitudes of the world and was the pledge and the pattern of the all the engagements of religion, it former, and the source and the en-' is inspiring and cheering—support couragement of the latter of these ing and comforting- enlivening and communications. Our Lord's exit strengthening. It is this which puts from the tomb was the public assurenergy into our exertions — which ance that his mediation was finished adds fervour to all our devotions, 1-that his sacrifice was accepted-that which imparts sincerity to all our his spirit would now descend to reservices and sacrifices—which adds new the souls of men,

as he garthe elastic spring of perseverance to nished the heavens.” Without the all our activity and benevolence, con- resurrection of Christ, we should have



no regenerating grace, and, conse- - the inheritance of the saints in
quently, no hope-“our faith would light."
be vain, and we should be yet in our Now mark its properties and its
sins as the Apostle affirms.” He there- security, and you will instantly dis-
fore, having been delivered for our of- cover its grand superiority to every
fences, was raised again for our justifi-thing here below.
cation ; and thus his rising became the It is “ incorruptible.The ravages
pledge of our conversion. Is it not of time can never touch it. The vicis-
also the pattern of our resurrection situdes of life can never affect it.
from death in sin to the life of righte- There will be no more pain—no more

Thus we are said to be disease-no more bereavement - no
“risen with Christ, and seeking those more death ; sorrow and sighing will
things which are above," coming forth be done for ever away. Then our pray-
from darkness to light-from insepsi- ing days, and our waiting days, and
bility to sensation--from coldness to our watching days, and our days of
the warmth of spiritual life,—from warfare and toil will be over and ter-
inactivity to energy-from earth to minate in the unruffled calm of ever-
heaven. Thus hope springs up with lasting peace.
all the pleasurable bloom and fruit- It is the residence of the “in-
fulness of holy life, immediately from corruptible God.” It is the glory of
the regeneration of the soul through the incorruptible crown." It is the
"the abundant mercy of God;" and abode of immortal and holy spirits ;
originally from “ the resurrection of “ for the trumpet shall sound, and the
Jesus Christ from the dead.”

dead shall be raised incorruptible, and III. Intimately connected with this we shall be changed; for this corruptruly desirable state of mind is our tible must put on incorruption, and title to eternal life, here significantly this mortal must put on immortality.” termed "AN INHERITANCE WHICH IS Then the child of God, who has been INCORRUPTIBLE, UNDEFILED, AND THAT born of “the incorruptible seed of FADETH NOT AWAY WHICH IS RE- the word,” will have reached his SERVED IN HEAVEN FOR YOU.”

father's house, where there are many This is to be your final attainment, mansions. The Christian traveller to and arises out of the connection in Zion will have reached the city of the which you stand with the Father of living God and the heavenly Jerusamercies--for“ if children, then heirs, lem. The pious warrior, having been heirs of God, and joint-heirs with faithful unto death, will receive the Jesus Christ.” Heaven is thus to be crown of life: the weather-beaten viewed as the family domain of the mariner, after having completed the household of faith, as our future home, eventful voyage of life, will enter the after finishing the journey of life-as fair haven of peace, and land in safety: our Canaan of everlasting rest, on and the weary pilgrim, having finished completing the toils of the wilderness, his course, will wave his palm and cry, stretching beyond death's cold flood“Thanks be to God, who giveth us the with all the celestial glory of a land victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” flowing with milk and honey, and in- The inheritance is undefiled. It vested with every sublime and holy has never been polluted by sio-never attraction—as “the land of promise— injured by the fall--never blighted by as the better country—the rest which the curse--into which nothing that is remains for the people of God—the polluted, or tends to pollute, can enter paradise of God without a tempter a prepared place for a prepared

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people; it is a world of light with- Ah! my brethren, you may well out a shade-of day without a night-sigh and exclaimof joy without a sigh, a sorrow, or a tear—a world of peace without in

“ This world all is a fleeting show,

For man's delusion giv'n; terruption or satiety—a world vast in extent and filled with inhabitants The smiles of joy, the tears of woe,

Deceitful shine-deceitful flow, without an unholy passion, without an

There's nothing true but heav'n." envious look, without an improper desire, without a misplaced thought,

But come, take down your harp word, or action: each, holy and happy from the willow-adjust its neglected in himself, will heighten and partici- strings-look upward—mark the conpate the happiness of the whole family trast, and sing: in heaven.

It fadeth not away. Oh how supe- “There fragrant flowers immortal bloom, rior is this, to earthly possessions and And joys supreme are given ; enjoyments, which so soon wax old There rays divine disperse the gloom, and decay and perish with the using. Beyond the confines of the tomb Where are the former generations of Appears the bliss of heaven.” men, some of whom were so eminent for their researches and attainments And to render this incorruptible, in the arts, in science, in literature, undefiled, and unfading inheritance in religion; who were giants in in- the more superior, you are reminded tellect, and the benefactors of their of its security: “it is reserved for youspecies; who were the fathers of the by the love and faithfulness of God, age in which they lived--and public whose promises are all yea and amen. blessings to the country which gave In proportion to the value which we them birth—whose praise is in our attach to an object is our anxiety for churches—or whose names are handed its safety. Witness the Roman seal and down to posterity encircled with a the military guard which were placed halo of glory: where are they? In to secure the body of Christ. Your the cold grave, faded away like “ the inheritance, my friends, is safe. It is grass, which to-day is, and to-morrow your Father's good pleasure to give is cast into the oven.” Where, too, you the kingdom, therefore fear not. are the cities, the nations, the empires And your departed Saviour has gone of antiquity, once so splendid and to prepare that place for you, and magnificent, and to which their foun- will come again and receive you to ders or admirers affixed the epithet- himself, that “where he is you may eternal? They, too, are no more, be also." Nay, what is the world? What are Here, then, we learn in the first we who now inbabit it? What is place, from what has been said, how yonder canopy above us, the sun, the much the God of all grace has done moon, the stars, the universe? As to according to his abundant mercy,", the world, “the fashion of it passeth to inspire our gratitude. Let us give away.” As to ourselves, “we all do him the glory due to his name. Let fade as a leaf.” And those material us exclaim, “I will bless the Lord at heavens shall wax old as doth a gar- all times, his praise shall continually ment, and as a vesture shall they be be in my mouth. My soul shall make changed by him who will make “new her boast in the Lord, the humble heavens and a new earth, wherein shall hear thereof and be glad.” This dwelleth righteousness.”

is the animated language of the Apos

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