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they were poor, broken-hearted, blind, and bruised captives; and adore that blessed Deliverer, who stooped to enrich, to heal, and gladden their souls; who rescued them from the power of every enemy, and snatched them with a strong hand from all threatening dangers. Glory be to God on high, rises spontaneously from their hearts; and it ascends on high' more aceeptable than the most perfumed legal sacrifices or oblations.

Every favour, great and small, is received with thankfulness, which is the zest of life, and being improved to the glory of the giver, answers the end for which it is given. This is the sweetest melody in the ears of the Lord. This is the charming fruit of peace and contentment; and causes the soul while on earth to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, and enables it to join by anticipation the celestial chorus before it actually takes its place among the harmonious bands of heaven.

These new songs of grace entirely supersede those of vain and carnal mirth. The divine art of music, vocal and instrumental, has been, alas, too long “pressed to obey the devil.” Now, as far as possible, it is rescued from his vile service, and employed in that of its divine Author; and thus, what was so powerful an incentive to vice when misapplied, becomes, in the service of piety and virtue, a powerful-means of assisting the soul to oppose temptation ; enabling it more sweetly to acknowledge God in all things, and to go on its way rejoicing. Blessed be God !

Boldness in God's cause. The ignorance and impiety of the world have been such, that true religion has been considered as a useless, despicable, and even pernicious thing ; and those who have shewn themselves its friends and advocates have been looked upon as the scum and offscouring of all things; and hence it is, that many who have preferred the honour that comes from man, to that which comes from God, have been afraid and ashamed of religion. This fear of man bringeth a snare ; but when the pardon of sin is received, and the favour of God experienced, this criminal

fear is removed, and we become far more solicitous to meet with his approbation, than with the favour and esteem of

men.

They profess themselves religious before a sinful world.They do not make a profession out of ostentation, or affect preciseness, to attract the notice of others, much less to promote their secular interests ; their design is to glorify God, by shewing their attachment to his cause; to countenance what is acceptable to him; to shew themselves the disciples of a self-denying Master; to discover their disapproval of sin in general, and to recommend true piety to all around them. As such a conduct as this is opposed to the irreligious spirit of worldly men, they expect censure and ill-will from sạch; they look to be slighted and condemned as hypocrites or fools; and, were it not for the wholesome restraints of law, to be shamefully handled : yet this moves them not; they remember him who hath said, “Fear not them which kill the body, but him who, after he hath killed, can cast body and soul into hell :" for they well know if they should be ashamed of Christ, he will himself be ashamed of them when he appears in his glory to judge the world. Hence it is that they observe his sabbaths and attend his ordinances, that it may evidently appear to whom they belong. I do not wish to be understood as though this were the only motive that induces them to be found in them: but this may certain. ly be considered as one among others.

They are by this led to reprode sin in others. As they dare not spare sin in themselves, from its offensiveness to God, so neither can they forbear reproving it when it appears in those who come in their way. If they neglect to do this, they feel themselves reproved for the omission. There must, indeed, be prudence and kindness observed in reproving, for “our good must not be evil spoken of;” and no one can reprove sin in this way, without a consciousness that what he has done is acceptable to God. Even worldly men, if they know us as religious persons, expect it from us; and often think meanly of those who do it not. For the doing of this they have a scriptural warrant, “ Thou shalt not suffer sin in thy brother, thou shalt in any wise rebuke him." You may be ill-treated for thus doing your duty: but duty must not be neglected because we meet with unpleasant cir. cumstances in its perforniance. The more you are thus opposed, the more will the spirit of grace and glory rest upon you. Such as have been bold in the cause of sin, and have obtained mercy, have need to be thus bold in the cause of God. The baptist dared to act thus towards a king; and though that wretched man so ill requited him for his kind rebukes, who that reads the story would not rather take the lot of John than that of Herod ?

They are ready to recommend religion to others. The real worth of a thing arises from its utility, and having proved it useful, they earnestly wish to see all around them proving its beneficial effects. They are far from wishing to engross it to themselves. True piety is not shackled by such a selfish motive. It longs for all to partake of the great salvation; and hence they recommend it to all indiscriminately, friends or foes: their language is, “O taste and see that the Lord is gracious!" Nor is this confined to their own personal exertions, they zealously support the means adopted by others more advantageously situated, or who are deemed more capable of engaging in the same generous cause, knowing how acceptable such services are in the sight of God, and how much they are calculated to promote the happiness of men. To be bold in such a cause is infinitely better, and attended ultimately with more honour, than to be bold in any other cause whatever. This is true heroism, and such Joshuas' and Calebs' will not fail of their reward. They may sometimes be called to suffer; but this will only increase their worth, and cause a greater degree of glory to rest upon them for ever.

CHAP. IV.

ENCOURAGEMENTS TO PENITENTS.

Self-examination Form of Confession--Grounds of Encou

ragement.

HAVING proceeded thus far in the intended design of shewing the great need of our being reconciled to God through his beloved Son, and that preparation of heart requisite for receiving the atonement, I shall now endeavour to shew how it is actually received, and how those that believe are brought into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. As the fruits of genuine repentance have been already spoken of, there is the less need in this place to describe the character of the true penitent. He need only understand the moral disease of his nature, and his want of a cure, and then inquire if those fruits of penitency are found in him, and if they are, to rest assured that he is not far from the salvation of God. There is, indeed, a great variety of character to be noticed here, and, consequently, a great variety of views and sentiments; and it may be added, of difficulties and temptations. One has been religiously educated, while another has seen and known nothing of the matter. Here moral restraints bave produced correspondent effects; and there vice and immorality have had the complete ascendency. There are penitents young and old, rich and poor, noble and ignoble, some with minds highly cultivated by all the advantages of learning, and others but in a small degree removed from savage ignorance and barbarity, and such as are their characters, such in general are their situations in the scale of society, and such the diversity of their situations in life. On these accounts, there will be, in the nature of things, a va. riety of views; and this will be increased by the means employed by the wise and gracious Spirit of truth in their con

version. Now, though this be admitted, yet, strictly speaking, there is only the same way proposed to, and appointed for all, whatever their character may have been: all are guilty; and if saved, it must be by grace on God's part, and by faith on our's. To ascertain the true state of his mind, I shall present the reader with several heads of self-examination; slightly touch upon those fruits of true penitency already de. scribed; and then point out to the humbled mourner the scriptural way of entering into rest and peace of soul. It will be observed that these questions for self-examination are formed on the moral law, and are not intended to be a recapitulation of all the evils pointed out in the former part of this work, but merely to bring some of them to remembrance, and to raise such convictions in the mind as may lead to an immediate application to the blood of sprink. ling.”

SELF-EXAMINATION. First, Have I endeavoured to understand the spirituality and extent of the Divine Law? Have I ever been ready to acknowledge the authority of God as my Almighty Creator, Governor, and Judge? Has my heart always been grateful for the gift of his beloved Son, and my gracious Redeemer? Have I been obedient to the motions and influence of his Holy Spirit ? Have I loved, feared, and obeyed him as he requires ? Have I preferred no creature nor thing to him, and have I always sought his glory? Have I studied to please him according to his revealed will and word ? Or have I not lived in wilful ignorance, and in the shameful neglect of what scripture and reason have pointed out as my duty and obligation ? Have I not forgotten my compassionate and long-suffering God, and even wished and strove to forget him on many occasions? Have I not secretly desired that he might have no existence, or endeavoured to believe and persuade myself that he had none, and did not this arise from the love of sin, and the accusations of a polluted con science; and where I could not be theoretically atheistical,

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