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unction, according to the measure bestowed, till they reach the place of their destination in heaven.
The clear view and experience of this matter, confirmed and sealed by the Spirit of grace, afford an inestimable and invincible consolation to the soul. To know Christ, to be anointed by him, to be found in him, to live upon him, to receive continual supplies of strength, wisdom, love and righteousness from him, and to have the proof and demonstration of this, arising to the conscience and appearing in the life, forms such a conjunction of evidence as amounts to that full assurance of faith, hope, and understanding, which is the privilege, and must be the pursuit, of the children of God. It is this, which has animated many a heart under all the persecution and outrage of the world, and softened many a sick and dying bed, when nothing else could afford consolation. How often hath it been seen, that, while nature has been sinking, and the outward man, with his faculties, has lost all his strength; with an admirable vigor of joy the soul hath been enabled to rise,' to exult, to triumph, to look forward into, and even to taste, the very nature and enjoyments of another world! These instances have not only often occurred, but may occur again and again; and perhaps may be found even in thee, O believer, who readest with longing concern any thing, which relates to the faithfulness of thy Lord, or to thy fellowship with him. Fear not; the promise is sure to all the seed, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee; and whether the joy come to thee before death or not, thou wilt surely go to it in the next moment afterwards. Thou shalt then have, not only the fulness of joy, but the duration of it for ever. : moral,- in the business of salvation; and can never let go this proud and rotten principle of his corrupt and deluded heart, till divine power hath swept away both this and every other refuge of lies from within him. If he cannot, out of some reverence to the bible, go the length of Sadducees and Pelagians, and deny all manner of predestination; he will at least halve the matter with the Pharisees and Semi-arminians, and contend for a strong conjunction with it of man's own free-will and power. What a malicious indignation was stirred up in the hearts of the Jews, when our Lord preached the entire sovereignty of God, in passing by the widows of Israel, and selecting a Gentile widow of Tyre or Sidon ; in rejecting the Israelitish lepers, and preferring such an one as Naaman the SYRIAN? Their souls seemed on fire by this declaration; and, being filled with bloody wrath, they attempted to destroy the Redeemer. And the heart of man is the same to this day: no one truth affects it with more enmity or bitterness. The writer of these lines freely owns, that he himself once hated it with a perfect hatred, and blasphemed it, by word and pen, with all his might. But God vouchsafed mercy, and so triumphed over the ignorance and unbelief of his mind, as to render that, which once was his scorn, one of the sweetest and most substantial grounds of all his peace.
And O what a scene shall then be presented to the expanded faculties of the soul, newly released from the house of clay; what a burst of glory fall upon the spirit of a Christian, on his abundant entrance into the heavenly kingdom! It will be more than springing from a cold dark dungeon into the warm meridian day. The hand of God, which covered Moses, can then alone bear up the saint, though full of vigor by deliverance from sin, and alone enable him to sustain the exceeding and eternal weight of bliss and brightness, of which, as an heir come to age, he enters at once into the full possession. A gracious man, in the circumstance we call dying, felt such an anticipation of this unutterable blessedness, that, with some of the last efforts of his sinking voice, he could not help crying out; “O my God! O that joy! when shall I be with thee!"* Reader, may something like this be thy dying testimony to the truth and sweetness of Jesus's salvation, that others may be edified by the remembrance of thee, and be preparing to follow thee; whilst thou shalt be singing, in a higher world, as thou canst not sing here, the honor, the love, the mercy, the praise, of thy gracious Lord and God Redeemer!
See Burriam's Pious Memorials, p. 111, second edition.
I HERE is scarce any one truth more manifest in the scriptures than this, that God hath an elect or chosen people, taken and redeemed from the world, and ordained through Christ to everlasting life and glory. It is declared, and continually declared, in word and deed, in doctrine and example, by the testimony of patriarchs, prophets, and apostles, of Christ and of God, and by the concurrent effect and experience of its reality in the
hearts of believers from age to age, who have known * and rejoiced in his precious salvation. And yet, because
of its opposition to the pride and blind conceit of fallen nature, no one truth is more offensive in itself, or more detested by those, who know not the plague of their own hearts, and who therefore scan all things by the line of a dark and corrupted reason. The self-sufficient spirit of the natural man cannot endure or submit to a truth, though it be God's own positive truth, which proposes to strip him of all his own consequence, and to lay him as a wretched, worthless, helpless, sinner in the dust of contrition and self-abhorrence. This “ affronts his reason,” affronts his dignity, affronts his nature, affronts all that is in him or belongs to him. He will struggle hard for a little, if but a little, portion, some little understanding, some little ability, natural at least if not
This choice of God results from his own will; and the exercise of it superinduces, with a bland volition, the will of man. Of his own will (says the apostle) begat he us, &c. His children, respecting their spiritual or new birth, are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh,
nor of the will of man, but of God. And this will of God proceeds not according to the worth or excellency, either present or foreseen, in man; because nothing of this kind can be really in him, till God shall have been pleased to place it there: and therefore Christ says, I thank thee, ( Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes, poor simple ones either found such or made such; and he gives no other reason or rule for this conduct but one, which ought to silence all the rash forwardness and presumption of man ; Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight. Thus said Jehovah himself to Moses; I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. To this may be added the words of the apostle; Ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise ; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world, to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things which are; that no flesh should glory in his presence. It is manifest, then, from these two or three texts, out of a thousand which might be quoted, that there is a people chosen to salvation out of the mass of mankind, (for, if all are redeemed, there can be no possible choice or election of any) and that all the causes of it are in God's free love and mercy on the one hand, and in his justice and holy judgement on the other, They, who will presume to go beyond or