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are led to dispute either the freeness or the all sufficiency of the grace manifested in the gospel for the pardon of sin: painful concern, in reference to this subject, generally arises from a fear of their having no right to par. take of the distinguishing blessing. When this is the case, guilt holds the soul in bondage; unbelief obscures the first glimmerings of hope ; and it is precipitately concluded, that there is no ground on which to expect forgiveness. But, with regard to yourself, why this despondency? doubt neither the sufficiency nor the freeness of grace. That God who hath awakened and wounded the sleeping conscience, hath also directed to a physician acquainted with both the disease and theremedy; and who is not only able, but willing to present you faultless before the presence of his father with exceeding joy.
Why, then, do you judge it rather your duty to mourn than to believe; to feel the bitterness of sin, than to taste the sweetness of a promise; and to put away comfort lest it should check the overflowings of sorrow?'
To souls under spiritual convictions of sin, belong all the consolatory promises that enrich the oracles of truth. The united power of earth and hell can neither hinder their accomplishment, nor devest the soul of the right it has to the blessings they contain. What shall I then say to repress fear and encourage hope ? To this inquiry the language of truth answers*Comfort ye, comfort ye my people ; speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem ; cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplishe1, that her iniquity is pardoned ! Surely these are tidings suited to distress that must raise dejection from the dust, and inspire doubt with confidence ! Come, then, 'thou that art of a fearful heart, be strong;' this night of darkness is but a kind prelude to that lucid interval when Jesus, the sun of righteousness, shall arise, and be as the light of the morning when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds.
The soul, emerg'd from nature's night,
Shall view the dawning ray,
Bring in the welcome day:
Thy wounded breast shall prove;
Subdu'd by conqu’ring lover
Let not unbelief suggest that the enjoyment of this delightful season is impossible; for with Christ, the Almighty Saviour, all things are possible. His resplendent beams can penetrate the dark recesses of the heart, dispel the gloomy horrours of guilt, and usher in the glorious, the welcome day of gospel grace. Then 'fear not, thou shalt not be ashamed neither shalt thou be confounded: for thy Maker is thy husband, and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel.'
Your present dejection may perhaps induce you to reply, I wait for light, but behold obscurity ; for brightness, but walk in darkness.' Nevertheless, be not discouraged: the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God, thy glory.' He will display the infinite freeness of his grace, and revive your disconsolate spirit with the manifestation of your interest in his love. His lenient hand will apply to the wounded conscience the pardoning blood of Christ, who is the great physician that healeth all our diseases--that stills the surges of the mind. When he giveth
quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who can behold him? If he but say, Peace, be still, there shall be a
Having, therefore, such a gracious and almighty Redeemer, let me entreat you to flee to him for free pardon; for full redemption. Implore his omnipotent aid to banish every fear, to silence every doubt; and he will bring you off more than conqueror. The arms of his mercy are ever extended for the reception of sinners. He waits to be gracious. In him are safety and everlasting strength.' He is the eternal God : he is the sinner's refuge—the hiding place--a. sanctuary in the day of trouble.
Should you say, I am weak and helpless ; let me ask with the prophet, 'Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? He giveth power to the faint ; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and
the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles ; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.' Now, is it possi. ble to sink when upheld by. Omnipotence ? Can you faint under the benign influence of almighty succour? No, this is impossible: for thus saith the Lord, I am with thee; be not dismayed, I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.' Surely, words more animating and consolatory cannot be easily selected: they ensure safety in the most perilous situation, and support under the most pressing difficulties ; and were it not for such exceeding great and precious promises, the trembling sinner might sink under the weight of his guilt, and fall into absolute despair.
But the Lord, who is rich in mercy, hath given ample ground for consolation to the