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felf-abasement, he beholds them washed away by the blood of the Lamb of God, who was facrificed for the transgressions of the whole world. In that sacrifice he has learned that he has himself an interest:in that sacrifice he finds pardon and peace. He is no longer alienated from God, at enmity with the Almighty Sovereign of earth and heaven. He contemplates his Creator with filial affection; delights in his holiness; loves his commandments. - He hears as addressed to himself the voice of God speaking in His revealed word: Thy fins and tbine iniquities I remember no more. I will be to thee a Father; and thou shalt be to me a Son. Be thou faithful unto deatb; and I will give thee a crown of life (l). The burthen is removed from his foul; and he goeth on his way rejoicing. He feels springing up within his breast the genuine confolations of the gospel. He feels that the fruit of the Spirit is joy and peace. He is filled with all joy and peace in believing (c). Every token of grateful obedience which he is enabled to render to his Redeemer, overspreads his heart with gladness. Every devout aspiration which he directs to the throne of grace, diffuses holy peace over his soul. He is a subject of the
2 Cor. vi. 18. Rev. . 10.
(5) Hebr. viii. 12. (c) Gal. v. 22.
Rom. XV. 13
Prince of Peace, an heir of God through Christ, reconciled unto the Father by the blood of the Son. As he advances in religion, he advances in happiness. Heturns his eye backward on the days, when he was comparatively unacquainted with religion ; and exclaims in the language of holy writ; I had heard of her by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye feeth her (d). Her ways are ways of pleasantness : and all her paths are peace.
2. The religious man is delivered from immoderate fear of falling away from God under future temptations. He knows that even unto the bed of death his faith and his obedience will be exercised by temptation. He knows his own weakness, his own corruption. He knows that, if he holds not fast that which he hath, another shall take his crown. He knows that, if he abandons his Saviour, his name shall be blotted out of the book of life (e). He knows, for his God hath pronounced the warning, that he is to pass the time of his sojourning here in fear; that happy is the man that feareth always (f). He fears for himself. But his fear is not an overwhelming terror. It is a fear which excludes
(d) Job, xlii. 5.
(e) Rev. iii. 5. il. (f) 1 Pet. i. 17. Prov. xxviii. 14.
all dependence on his own strength. It is a fear which produces humility, caution, vigilance, meditation, and prayer. But it is not a fear which brings anguish: it is not a fear' which urges to despondence. Why? Because he looks up to Him who is mighty to save; to Him who has promised to save alỊ who fly to Him for succour. He looks to the Lord his Sanctifier ; to the covenanted assistance of the Spirit of God. That he may obtain support from above; he' neglects not the exertions, which the Scripture, his unerring rule, pronounces to be necessary on his part. While he prays that God would not lead him into temptation; he abstains from needlessly plunging himself into scenes of trial. While he solicits from the bounty of God the true riches ; he negle&s not the talent with which he is entrusted. He is circumfpect, watchful, sober-minded. He confiders his ways, that he may turn aside his foot from evil. He is zealous to employ to the uttermost the strength which he has received in promoting the glory of the Giver. Hence he applies with devout confidence to Him, who has engaged to bestow His Holy Spirit on all that ask Him. He lifts up his heart to God in the inspired language of the Psalmist: Lord! I am thy servant : forsake
not the work of thine own hand. Leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my falvation ! Caft me not away from Tby presence, and take not Tby Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation : and uphold me with Tby free Spirit (g). In the words of inspirátion he reads the answer of his God. My grace is sufficient for thee. I am with thee always. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Because thou fearest me, I have bearkened and beard it: and thou malt be mine; and I will spare thee as a man spareth his own fon that servetb bim. Thou therefore, My fun, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus (b).
3. The religious man is delivered from corroding anxieties as to the events which may befal him during the residue of his life. He has fet his affections on things above, not on things on the earth. His treasure is in heaven: and there also is his heart. Having food and raiment, he is therewith content. On earth he is but a fojourner and a pilgrim: and he perceives that it needs not to be an object of serious concern whether the road along which he travels be somewhat more or less smooth, whether he meets with somewhat more or fewer accommodations his
(8) Pfalm xxvii. 9. li. 11, 12. cxxxviii. $.
(b) 2 Cor. xii. 9. Matth. xxviii20. Hebr. xiii. s. Mal. iii. 16, 17. 2 Tim. 1.
journey. He shall soon reach the end, his everlasting home, his everlasting rest. To that home, to that rest, he steadily looks forward: and repines not at the difficulties of the
way. And why should he repine? What if he be overtaken by calamity? What if he be laid on the bed of sickness? Cannot Omnipotence remove calamity? Cannot Omnipotence restore health? The eyes of the Lord run to and fro tbroughout the whole earth to few bimself strong in behalf of them, whose heart is perfect towards Him (i). But what if his affliction be continued ? Knoweth he not that all things shall work together for good in the end to them who love God! He feels that he can humbly say with Peter; Lord! Thou knowejt all things : Thou knowest that ! love Thee. He feels that he loves God, and is comforted. But what if he should experience the severest, the least retrievable, of worldly deprivations; the loss of dear and pious friends? Has God provided no balm for that wound? Cannot God provide for him other friends, who may fill in some measure, if not entirely, the void in his heart which death has made ? And the pious friends whom he has lost, has he lost them for ever? He has lost them but for a mo-ment. They are but gone a little before him, (i) 2 Chron. xvi. 9.