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our Salvation-knows the full meaning of them ; and that they all imply what he calls his glory: Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold
It is enough that he knows, and that we shall know, although as yet eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. These are all terms, however, inviting him to conquer, whom the King delighteth to honour: and, therefore, let us conceive never so highly, no idea that we can entertain can ever come near to the glory of the crown which God hath promised.
Brethren! it is by conflict and by conquest, as you see, that a Christian is conformed to his Lord and Head. EVEN AS, says he-Even As I
EVEN AS overcame, so must you; for a Christian fights for his life. “ Tell me not,” will he say, “ of the difficulties which may stand in my way! Will God fight for me? Will he enable me to overcome? Is he faithful? Is he to be trusted ? Sin and Satan have held me captive; but they have only sunk me, and would have sunk me to the depths of hell: but my Master-my example stands before me: he went forth through trial and conflict: he fought the good fight of faith, and we, his disciples, are following him.” -- Brethren! whatever short roads to heaven may be invented by sects and parties, Ancient Chris
tianity, the good old way, is the way of the cross —the way of contest and of conquest. This is a faithful saying—some may arise in the Church who will contradict this—but, whatever they say, This is a faithful saying: If we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: if we suffer, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us.
Should any one say, “Oh, that this was not so true as it is! And yet it seems so pláin, that I cannot deny it. I would escape this conflict: I would not weather these trials : I would not pass through the fire and the water, in my way to the kingdom”—I ask, my brother! are not you like the soldier who should say, “ Oh, that I might be a soldier, but never fight? Oh, that I might eat the king's bread, and wear his clothes, but never fight his battles ?” Is this a SOLDIER?
My Dear Hearers, let us abide by the truth. Nothing else will support us.
bow to the truth, but it will not bow to us: if we stand by it, it will stand by us. And the truth is, that our posts, as Christians, are posts of honour and of danger: and if there had not been something to strive with, the Apostle had not said, Stand fast! quit you like men ! nor would another have said, Blessed is the man that endureth temptation. I say
not these things to alarm or to discourage you. Nay, I say, Fear not any consequences, if you are honest and in earnest. Fearfulness, as
425 well as presumption, is a temptation. In that dreadful catalogue, given in the twenty-first chapter, of those who shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone-terrible as that list is-among them stand the fearful !
Remember, then, that, if we are called to trial, Christ is no unconcerned spectator. St. Paul prayed to him in his contest, but he said, “ My grace is sufficient--my strength is made perfect in weakness. Fear not a thorn in the flesh. Fear not the buffetings of Satan. This is the way of safety--the consecrated way—the work of Christ's soldiers : and my soldiers shall ever hear my voice, saying, My grace is sufficient : but, still, the decree has gone forth; that it is by conflict and conquest, that a Christian is conformed to his Head, and obtains the crown of glory.”
“I meet,” says the Christian-I am now speaking the language of a faithful soldier of Christ, millions of whom have passed over the stage of life, and have entered the rest which remains for God's soldiers, have fought the fight of faith, finished the course, and received the crown“ I meet,” says such an one, “ with many sharp conflicts—hard battles I know-I find that religion will cost me something: but Oh how small the cost, in comparison with what I must pay
if I do not overcome !-If I do not conquer,
I must be conquered: and I know the dreadful consequences of being conquered by such an enemy as
Satan. Tell me not, therefore, what I have to fight with, and to fight through; for, in the strength of Christ, I shall win the day! When the battle is over, I shall reign with him! I shall see his face! I shall join the hundred and forty and four thousand followers of the Lamb! He will say to me, when all is over, Well done! I shall enter into the joy of the Lord! I shall stand among them, which came out of great tribulation, and washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb!”
God grant that you and I may set our seals to this testimony! and, if we have been mingling with the world in search of our satisfactions, that we may now arise, and trim our lamps, and stand ready to meet the bridegroom! Amen!
HOUSE OF MOURNING.
IN THE DAY OF ADVERSITY CONSIDER. Eccl, vii, 14.
Many are the sayings of the Wise,