« AnteriorContinuar »
therefore, who through the weakness of faith, * or the violence of temptation, find it difficult to lay hold on the promises which respect the pardon of sin, and the attaining life and sal. vation, should remember that the root and principle from whence the promises spring is not from any good within us, but wholly from grace without us--That from the beginning to the end of our salvation, nothing is primarily active but free grace. All the promises of God are made in Christ, and derive their cer. tainty and stability from him in whom they are made--not from us to whom they are made: they are all ratified with the same oath; and purchased by the same blood, and are, therefore, sure to all the seed, and it is neither the magnitude nor the multitude of our sins that precludes hope of forgiveness.
Turn, therefore, to Christ the strong hoid, thou prisoner of hope! Why sayest thou, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? 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 eag:es ; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint-The Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit-for a small moment have I forsaken thee ; but with great mercies will I gather thee.. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer
The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed ; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.? In patience, therefore, possess your soul: "For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarryFear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thy Maker is thy husband, the Lord of Hosts is his name ;
, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel ; the God of the whole earth shall he be called. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. · This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.'
Such are the declarations, and such the promises left on record to support the believer under the anxieties and temptations of the present life. Language more benign and gracious, more replete with sympathetick tenderness and inercy, with unbounded goodness and affection, cannot be easily selected : and were it not known that sin has a natural tendency to produce in the conscience terrour and distrust, it would not be hastily believed that the heart that had once realized the consolation of forgiveness, could again become the subject of doubt. The christian, however, should remember, that whatever be the degree of his guilt or his misery; however great and numerous his fears; however many and appa
rently insurmountable the obstacles that stand in the way of his future blessedness, he has indubitable evidence that he shall finally possess it. The almighty power and faithfulness of God stand pledged that nothing shall frustrate his hopes. He may say to his soul, in the midst of all the storms and vicissitudes of time,
• The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
I am yours, &c.
we angels sinn'd, and shall not man beware?
This is the seat of combat, not of resc;
THAT the Lord hath been to you, “as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds,' affords me unspeakable pleasure, and for which I devoutly join with you in grateful acknowledgments to the Father of mercies. With you it is no longer difficult to believe that, though weeping may endure for a night, jóy cometh in the morning; nor that chastening, though grievous for the present, nevertheless afterward yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby. Alas!