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then the superadded grace of the Spirit of Christ opportunely bestowed, turns the hitherto doubtful day. The warrior is rcnewed for the fight; the battle is carried; the victory is won.
It is thus thilt by the aid of mutual prayer and the efficient operation of the Spirit of Christ, the Christian derives protit from affliction, joy from tribulations, hope from trouble, and life from death. It is thus that the control of our gracious Father over events which are without us, combined with the holy operations of his blessed Spirit within us, carry us forward on our journey through this world to heaven. Providence thus concurs with grace; the external circumstance with the inward disposition; the man is fitted for the burden, and the strength for thc exigency. What would ruin the soul, if left to its own weakness, tends to its salvation under the control of Almighty power. What would otherwise overthrow our faith, now confirms it; what would separate us from God, unites us to him. Events acquire a new character, and turn to a new end. Mutual prayer is the medium of connection between alllictions and the supply of the Holy Ghost, by which they are sanctified: it binds us to God and cach other; it is an instrument of obtaining all our mercics, and a channel for conveying to us every grace.
If such, then, be the ineffable mercy of God to the true Christian, we may obscrve in conclusion,
1st. That all events may be expected to turn to the condemnation of the ungodly. For if we are not first interested by faith in the redemption of Christ Jesus, it is impossible that the afflictions we meet with, can promote the enjoyment of final salvation. The work not being begun, it obviously cannot be carried forward. Nor indeed are unconverted persons as yet entitled to those promiscs, by which our gracious Saviour engages to order all his providences to the eternal good of those that love bim. Till a man repents and believes the Gospel, ail is against him-The law of God, the holiness of God, the truth of God, the word of God, and the very creatures of God. In fact, impenitent sinners are “ of the works of the law,” and “under the curse.” The Divine “ wrath abidcth on them; God is angry with them every day." They almost invariably cmploy the incidents and troubles of life for their own ruin, by the corruption of their hearts and the disorder of their passions. The afflictions which were designed by the Almighty to bring them to consideration and repentance, they abuse to their destruction. There is such a poison in sin, that it changes the nature of events, and infuscs cvil into every thing with which it is mingled. The blessings of Providencehealth, talents, learning, beauty, riches, influence, success, authority, are all wasted and perverted. Even the means of grace -the Sabbath, the Bible, the prayers of the church, the preaching of the Gospel, the sacraments, are turned to the purposes of mere formality, or self-righteousness. This indeed must almost necessarily be the case with one whose “heart is deceitful above things and desperately wicked;" one who lives without serious prayer either for himself or others; who has never implored the aid of the Holy Spirit to sanctify and bless a single circumstance of his life; who is a captive of sin and Satan, the sport of folly and passion, the enemy of God and goodness. Every thing must turn to the injury of such a person. “His judgment now of a long time lingercth not, and his damnation slumbereth not.”The anger of God is upon him in the city and in the field; in bis basket and in his store; in the fruit of his body and the fruit of his land; the increase of his kine and the flocks of bis sheep; when he cometh in and when he gocth out."
Awake, then, I besecch you, my fellow-sinner, to the awful realities of your state. This, and infinitely worse than this, is your present condition. Yet there is hope; yet there is a Saviour; and, blessed be his name, “now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.” The circumstances by which you are surrounded, cannot indced in your present state, turn to your final salvation, in the sense in which we have been considering it; but they may
“turn to your salvation" as to the first reception of that great blessing in the pardon of your sins and the conversion of your heart to God. If you are alllicted, let the afflictions which oppress you have this effect. Let them remind your fearful guilt, let them determine you to seek for justification through the merits of Christ. Raise a prayer to heaven for the illumination and graces, and influence of the Holy Ghost. Perhaps this is the very moment for hopesul impression. Perhaps you are already beginning to reflect on the goodness of God which you have abused, and on his chastisements which you have slighted. You look around you. You see the world mouldering away-you feel the misery of a life of sin-you are called by some peculiar disappointment to solitude and consideration. Avail yourself, then,
of the opportunity. Let these events “ turn to your salvation.”
" Lose not the benefits of them by a criminal delay. Make no further excuses. Pray to God for the Spirit of Jesus Christ to aid your feeble efforts; for he will not reject your prayer, but will give you all needful grace. Only begin; only be in carnest;
; only set out for heaven. God will never be wanting to you.** The Spirit and the bride say, Come; and let him that heareth
Come; and let him that is athirst, coine; and whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.”
But allow me to point out,
2il, And finally, the security and happiness of the true Christian. We have seen that the effects of all events are just what God makes them to be. It is not, therefore, so much to outward circumstances that I would direct your attention, as to the inward temper of your heart. By “ prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” you can seek the beneficial usc of all occurrences. What then are your fears? What your discouragements? What your disappointments? Let me direct you to your tender and faithful Lord. Pour all your solicitude and anguish at his fect. Repose, like the beloved disciple, on his bosom. Though you are perplexed, and harassed, and dejected, though“ without are fightings, and within are fcars,” though Satan assault you with perturbation of spirit and fierce suggestions, as with fiery and poisoned arrows, though unreasonable and wicked men prevail for a time against you, though your own schemes have all failed, and you perceive no possibility of relief, yet sink not into despair. You cannot perhaps pray as you would wish for yourself; but your family, your friends, your ministers, the whole chuich are interceding for you. Your Saviour is all-wise and all-powerful. Your case cannot baffle His skill, or fail to receive his notice. He marks all your trials, , can send you in a subsidiary strength, a large supply of his Spirit. He can make even the wrath of man to praise Him, and the remainder of it he can restrain.” All nature is under His control. The deliverances which He wrought in a miraculous manner of old, he can repeat in the ordinary and secret process of his providence. Bright days shall return. The dark night shall usher in the morn. “Cast not, then, away your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.” Belicve your Redeemer's power? wait his pleasure; " He will never leave you nor forsake you. Be still, and know that he is God.” Imbibe the spirit of the
TENDENCY OF ALL EVENTS, TO THE TRUE CHRISTIAN.
Apostle, in the verses connected with the text. “Your earnest expectation and your hope" shall not be disappointed. You shall “in nothing be ashamed." "Be not,” then, “terrified with your
”' adversaries, which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. Christ shall be magnified in your body, whether by life or by death. For you to live shall be Christ, and to dic be gain.”
“ Blessed for ever and ever be that mother's child,” says the judicious Hooker, whose "faith bath inade him the child of God! The earth may shake, the pillars of the world may tremble under us, the countenance of the heaven may be appalled, the sun may lose his light, the moon her beauty, the stars their glory; but concerning the man that trusted in God, if the fire have proclaimed itself unable as much as to singe a bair of his head, if lions, bcasts ravenous by nature and keen with bunger, being set to devour, have, as it were, religiously adored the very flesh of the faithful man, what is there in the world that shall change his heart, overthrow' his faith, alter bis affection towards God, or the affection of God to him? If I be of this note, who shall make a separation between me and my God? •Shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No: I am persuaded that neither tribulation, nor anguish, nor persecution, nor laminc, nor nakedness, nor peril, nor sword, nor 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 so far prevail over mc. I know in whom I have believed;' I am not ignorant whose precious blood hath been shed for me: I have a Shepherd full of kindness, full of care, and full of power; unto him I commil myself; bis own finger hath engraven this sentence in the tables of my heart, Satan hath desired to winnow thec as wheat, but I have prayed that thy faith fail not. Therefore, the assurance of my hope I will labor to keep, as a jewel, unto the end; and by labor, through the gracious mediation of his prayer, I shall keep it."
By tho Rt. Rev. DANIEL WILSON, D. D.,
Bishop of Calcutta.
PSALM lxxvii. 10. I said, this is my infirmity; but I will remember the years of the right hand of
the Most lligh.
There are few cascs which require more compassion, and more wisdom in the treatment of them, than that of religious dejection. Religious mclancholy is the discase of piety, and must be treated as such, if we would hope to remove it. We must consider its symptoms, endeavor to trace out its causes, and then prescribe its
The Inspired writer of the Psalm from which the text is taken, appears to have been under its influence. He is bowed down under the pressure of affliction, he can discover no indications of God's former favor, he is filled with fearful apprehensions of his anger, with the utmost grief of mind, and with an anxiety bordering on despair; and lie finds no relief for his “infirmity,” until he “ remembers the years of the right hand of the Most High;” until calling to mind the mercy and loving-kindness of God which have been ever of old, he is again enabled to hope in him, and to rejoice in his salvation.
Let us, then, consider the symptoms, the cause, and the cure of religious dejection.