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reconciled Father with a good conscience. Yea, Lord, this is my heart's desire. I would walk with thee day by day in perfect peace. O! dény me not the request of my lips. Glory be to thy free love, that through Jesus I am suffered to have access into thy presence, and am commanded to come with boldness into the holiest of all. Lo, I come before thee, holy Father, to plead the bloodshedding, and the righteousness of thy dear Son; and I hope my plea will be admitted, through the intercession of the high-priest of the house of God. O! look, thou God of peace, upon the face of thy Beloved. See me in him. I desire to be found in him. And for his sake let the faithful witness for thy, love in Jesus abide with me, that in hearing and reading thy word, in prayer and meditation, he may increase my faith in thee and love to thee.
O God, the Holy Ghost! I beseech thee to: make practical upon my heart what thou hast revealed in scripture of the Father's love. Deliver me from guilt and condemnation by the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus. Apply it
effectually-apply it continually. Help me to believe with more comfort in my conscience, and with more steadfastness in my walk, that his blood cleanseth from all sin. O blessed Spirit, carry on thy work in my soul. Lead me from faith to faith, that I may at all times have freedom to enter within the veil to a reconciled God and Father, and may be able to maintain peace with him, against doubts and fears; against corruptions and enemies. O teach me to draw near to him with a true heart, steadfastly persuaded of his love, and in full assurance of faith. This is thy gracious office : O fulfil it in me, that my heart may be sprinkled from an evil conscience, and my body washed with pure water. Let me find grace sufficient for me, for Jesus' sake; to whom, with thee, O Father, and the eternal Spirit, three persons in one Jehovah, be equal honour and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
The believer in his heart cleaves to God, and
walks with him in love.
This depends entirely upon a good conscience. There can be no love of God, unless there be first peace with God. No convinced sinner can love him, until he believes him to be reconciled. While guilt remains in the conscience, enmity will keep its place in the heart: for so long as he looks upon his sins unpardoned, and God the just avenger of them, he must consider him as a jealous God, and a consuming fire. In this view, there is every thing that can increase his guilty fears. And while these defile the conscience, instead of walking with God, he would run away from him, and like the first offenders, he would foolishly try to hide himself from the presence of God.
But when the Holy Spirit has discovered the way of peace, and has enabled the sinner to find peace, being pardoned and justified through faith in Christ Jesus, then he looks
upon God in another light. He can view him, according as he has proclaimed himself -the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin. Under this endearing character, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is revealed in scripture. Thus would he be considered in the covenant of grace--related in the nearest bond of affection to all his children. He is their Father, the Father of mercies ; freely loving, freely forgiving, freely accepting them in the beloved. The holy Spirit convinces them of it, and sheds the Father's love to them abroad in their hearts; the sense of which sweetly inclines them to love bim again. Love begets love. God has put on the tender bowels of an ever-loving parent, and he gives them the affection of dutiful children. They love him, because he first loved them. Then it is the delight of their souls to cultivate and improve this love on their part, and it becomes their heaven upon earth to walk with their God in. the ways wherein he has appointed to meet them, to love them, and to bless them.
The main point, then, in the christian walk, is to know how to maintain peace in the conscience : because this is a powerful motive upon which the believer first sets out, and it is the great spring which keeps him going on. While his conscience continues pure and undefiled, and the peace of God rules in it, all is well. He does not stop ; he does not halt in the way. But when guilt enters, unbelief certainly follows close after it; and then there is a fresh controversy in the court of conscience. Many doubts arise, and afford matter for strife and debate. The sense of peace is not only disturbed, but is also for a time destroyed by such suspicions as these
.“ Am I freely pardoned ?-Is God fully reconciled to me? Is he still my loving Father? I fear not. I have done so and so.— He is certainly displeased with me; and, therefore, I dare not approach him as I used to do, with love and confidence.” This is an evil conscience. It is not purged from dead works ; because guilt is still in it: and this