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I am* content to abate the rigor of the old terms: I shall not stand upon satisfaction at your hands; I have received a ransom, and do only expect your acceptance;d I shall not insist upon perfection.et Walk before me, and be upright; and sincerity shall carry the crown. Yea, both the faith and obedience that I require of you, are mine own gifts.s
I require you to accept of my Son by believing; but I will give you a hand, to take him,h and to submit to and obey him: but I must and will guide your hand to write after him, and cause you to walk in my statutes. I will take you by the arms, and teach you to go;k I will order your steps. Yea, those things will I accept of you§ as the condition of life, which, viewed in the strictness of my justice,|| would deserve eternal death.m Grace! grace! Amen.
b Rom. iv. 4, 6. c Luke vii. 42. d Rev. xxii. 17. 1 Tim. ii. 6. e 1 John i. 8, 9. f Gen. xvii. 1. Psalm xcvii. 11. g Eph. ii. 8. h Phil. i. 29. John vi. 65. i Ezek. xxxvi. 27. k Hos. xi. 3, 4. 1 Psalm xxxvii. 23, 31. m Eph. iii. 8. 1 Thess. iii. 10. Heb. v. 9. Eccles. vii. 20.
Mr. Ryland's edition has in the text-"I do not treat you according the rigor," &c.
† Mr. Ryland has a note in this place in these words, "that is, As the ground of acceptance and the matter of justification."
Mr. Ryland's text here is, " and godly sincerity shall be approved by me."
§ Mr. Ryland's text is, "as the graces and actions of a religious life, which," &c.
Mr. Ryland's text is, "and as mixed with sin, would."
The Voice of the Redeemed after the Proclamation.
AMEN! Hallelujah! Be it to thy servants according to thy word! But who are we, and what is our father's house, that thou hast brought us hitherto? And now, O Lord God, what shall thy servants say unto thee? For we are silenced with wonder, and must sit down in astonishment; for we cannot utter the least of thy praises. What meaneth the height of this strange love? And whence is this unto us, that the Lord of heaven and earth should condescend to enter into covenant with dust? We are not worthy to be as the handmaids, to wash the feet of the servants of our Lord; how much less to be thy sons and heirs, and to be made partakers of all these blessed liberties and privileges which thou hast settled upon us! But for thy goodness' sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things. Even so, Father, because it seemed good in thy sight.
Wherefore thou art great, O God, for there is none like thee; neither is there any God besides thee. And what nation on earth is like thy people, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for
a 2 Sam. vii. 18. to the end.
them great things and terrible; for thou hast confirmed them to thyself, to be a people unto thee for ever; and thou, Lord, art become their God.
Wonder, O heavens, and be moved, O earth, at this great thing! For behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people; and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. Be astonished, for the infinite breach is made up; the offender is received, and God and man reconciled; and a covenant of peace entered, and heaven and earth are all agreed upon the terms, and have struck their hands, and sealed the inden
tures. O happy conclusion! O blessed conjunction!
Rejoice, O angels; shout, O seraphims; O all ye friends of the bridegroom, prepare an epithafamium ;* be ready with the marriage-song. Lo, here is the wonder of wonders; for Jehovah hath betrothed himself for ever to his hopeless captives, and owns the marriage before all the world; and is become one with us, and we with him. He hath bequeathed to us the precious things of the heaven above, and the precious things of the earth beneath, with the fulness thereof, and hath kept back nothing from us.
And now, O Lord, thou art that God, and thy words be true; and thou hast promised this good
a Rev. xxi. 4.
*A song or odo composed or sung in honor of the marriage of any one.
ness to thy servants, and has left us nothing to ask at thy hands, but what thou hast already freely granted. Only the word which thou hast spoken concerning thy servants, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said; and let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, "The Lord of hosts, he is the God of Israel." Amen, Hallelujah.
A Soliloquy, representing the believer's triumph in God's Covenant, and the various conflicts and glorious conquests of faith over unbelief.
The Soul taketh hold on God's covenant.
YEA, hath God said, "I will be a God unto thee?" Is it true indeed? Will the Lord be mine? Will he lay aside the controversy, and conclude a peace? Will he receive the rebel to mercy, and open his doors to his prodigal? I will surely go unto my Father: I will take unto me words, and bow myself before his footstool; and say, "O Lord, I have heard thy words, and do here lay
a 2 Sam. vii. 25, 28
hold on thy covenant;a I accept the kindness of God, and will adventure myself upon thy fidelity, and trust my whole happiness, here and hereaf ter, upon these thy promises."
Farewell, deceitful world! Get thee under my feet. Too long have I feared thy vain threats; too long have I been deluded with thy flattering promises. Canst thou promise me or deny me such things as God hath covenanted to give me? I know thou canst not; and therefore I renounce thee for ever from being the object of my faith or fear. No longer will I lean to this weak reed, no longer will I trust to this broken idol, Avoid,* Satan, with thy tempting baits. In vain dost thou dress the harlot in her paint and bravery, and tell me, "All this will I give thee "b† Canst thou show me such a crown, such a kingdom, as God hath promised to settle upon me? or that which will balance the loss of an infinite God, who here gives himself unto me? Away, deceitful lusts and pleasures, get you hence! I have
a Isa. lvi. 4. b Matt. iv. 8, 9.
*"Avoid,"-An old acceptation of the word, signifying,
† One of the devices that Satan uses to draw souls from holy duties, and to keep them from religious services, is by presenting the world in such a dress as to insuare the soul and steal upon its affections-he represents the world to them in its beauty and its bravery. The beauty of the world soils a Christian more than the strength-the flattering sunshine more than the driving storm. In times of storm and tempest we keep our garments close about us.