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tre of righteousness, an inheritance incorruptible " and undefiled, and that fadeth not away." He gives us a life, not of a few years amidst the sweets of a Canaan, as to the Israelites of old, nor of an eternity in a low and earthly paradise, as to our first parents in the beginning of things; but a life altogether without comparison, without end as to its duration, without measure as to its rich abundance, without bounds as to its glory, without example or similitude as to its bliss, without interruption of its joys and delights; a life altogether such as that of God himself- for like him, we shall have heaven for our habitation, angels, the sons of light, for our companions, immortality for our clothing, glory for our crown, the possession of all things for our inheritance, "when we shall come unto mount Sion, and unto "the city of the living God, the heavenly Jeru"salem, and to an innumerable company of "angels; to the general assembly and church of "the first born, which are written in heaven, and "to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just "men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator " of the new covenant. In the presence of God "there is fulness of joy, at his right hand there "are pleasures for evermore." May he bless the word which has now been spoken. Amen,

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SERMON XXIV,

2 CORINTHIANS, vii. 1.

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse our selves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

THE PROMISES OF GOD, AN INCITEMENT TO HOLINESS,

BLESSED are the pure in heart," saith our Lord, "for they shall see God;" and the Psalmist's character of the true worshipper of God, and of the proper inhabitant of Zion, is," he that "hath clean hands and a pure heart:" and whoever aspires at the glorious relations contained in the promises mentioned in my text, must, in order thereto," cleanse himself from all filthiness "of flesh and spirit." In discoursing from this subject, I propose,

I. To open up the nature of these promises.

II. To explain the qualification necessary for receiving them, or what we are to understand by being "cleansed from all filthiness of the "flesh and spirit."

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III. By way of improvement, to shew the influence the hope of the promises should have upon our minds. I am,

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First, To open up the nature of the promises referred to in the text. The first which occurs is that made to the chosen people of God of old, in case of obedience, recorded in Leviticus, "I will walk among you, and will be your God, "and ye shall be my people *." When we look back to the first period of this world, and take a survey of our grand parent in all the dignity of wisdom and innocence, qualified for the enjoyment, and actually enjoying the friendly, the gracious presence and converse of his Maker, with what humble rapture must our hearts burn within us, to view our nature in so glorious, so elevated a condition; to view God himself, the greatest and the best of beings, condescending to the lowness of his own creature, vouchsafing to be his guardian, his companion, his guide, his friend. Again, when we observe the fatal change that soon took place, and view that same Almighty Being become the enemy and the judge of his guilty creature, what dismal prospects present themselves to us, what gloomy reflections crowd upon the mind; we behold ourselves fallen * Lev, xxvi. 12.

from a heaven of bliss to an abyss of woe, till we are again raised by the glorious hope of restoration to that blissful state by the promise here addressed, not to one tribe or nation, but to all who with us are partakers of this heavenly calling, and have the gracious offers of peace, pardon, and reconciliation proclaimed in their ears. The import of this promise then is, "I will walk among you, I will be a wall round. "about you, that no enemy shall dare to ap

proach you, and the glory in the midst of you, no plague shall come nigh you, nor any evil "befal you. I will walk among you as your "guide, your teacher and instructor, to point ❝out the way wherein you ought to walk, to "make my path plain before your face. I will "be among you as your exceeding great reward, abundantly supplying all your wants, and re"lieving you from all distresses. I will walk among you as your inspector and judge, to encourage you in the practice of duty, and to ❝ deter you from acting contrary thereto. And "I will be your God, your God as at the begin

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ning, your merciful creator, your almighty "friend, your never-failing support, your saviour "and deliverer. Fear thou not, therefore, for I "am with thee; be not dismayed for I am thy "God: I will strengthen thee, yea I will help

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“thee, yea I will uphold thee by the right-hand "of my righteousness: and ye shall be my people, my people as at the beginning, my favour"ite creatures, my beloved children, my purchased, my ransomed, my chosen ones; nay, I "will dwell in you, take up my abode with you, "not for a day, not for a short visit only; but no "length of time, not eternity itself, shall be able "to make a separation; neither death, nor life, "nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor "things present, nor things to come, nor height, "nor depth, nor any other creature, shall ever << separate you from my love."

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The other promise, upon which I design chiefly to dwell at present, is that referred to by the apostle as contained in the book of the prophet Jeremiah*: "I will be a father to you, and ye shall "be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Al"mighty. Behold, what manner of love hath "the father bestowed upon us, that we should be "called the sons of God." The glory, the happiness of such a relation, what language can express, what heart conceive? This promise contains the three following particulars; 1. Fatherly affection; 2. Fatherly care; 3. Fatherly pity and compassion.

* Jer. xxxi. 9.

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