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in Christ, do not too readily persuade yourself that you are really adopted into the family of God, though these marks often precede that great privilege, and are thankfully to be received ; but wait in humble expectation till the Spirit of truth shall assure you of the change, and testify with your spirit that you are a child of God. In the mean time give yourself to prayer; attend the ordinances in continual expectation of the blessing, as the watchman waiteth for the morning; and especially exercise faith in those promises which are made to the penitent, till you prove the faithfulness of God in your own experience.

GROUNDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT.

1. The promises.—These are great and numerous, and in Christ they are all yea and amen to all that believe. If you lend a willing ear, and receive the words which have proceeded from the Divine lips, you may rest assured that they will be fulfilled in you, to your salvation and the praise of his mercy. Consider him as speaking to you in the following heart-reviving language: "Behold I am mighty, and despise not any. I have heard the voice of thy weeping, I will receive thy prayer. I am a refuge for the oppressed in times of trouble. They that know my name will put their trust in me; for I have not forsaken them that seek me. The expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever. I hear the desire of the humble, and will deal bountifully with them. My words are pure words, as silver is tried in a furnace of earth, and purified seven times. I will shew thee the path of life, and my marvellous loving-kindnesses. I will save by my right hand them that put their trust in me, from them which rise up against them. I will light thy candle : 1, the Lord thy God, will enlighten thy darkness. I have not despised and abhorred the affliction of the amicted; for my tender mercies have been ever of old. I will teach sinners in the way. Be of good courage, and I will strengthen thy heart; for my anger endureth but for a moment; in my favour is life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. I will compass thee about with songs of deliverance. I will guide thee with mine eye. I am nigh to them that are of a broken heart; and save such as be of a contrite spirit; they shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of my house, and I will give them to drink of the river of my pleasures. Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. My sacrifices are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart I will not despise. Cast thy burden upon me, and I will sustain thee. It is thy infirmity to ask, Will the Lord cast off for ever? And will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? Doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious ? Hath he in anger shut up his tender mercy ?-I am good, and ready to forgive, full of compassion, and plenteous in mercy to all that call upon me, and the set time to favour thee is come. Thy soul bath melted for heaviness, but I will strengthen thee according to my word; and in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee ; though thou wast angry with me, thy anger is turned away, and thou comfortest me. I wait that I may be gracious unto thee : I will be a hiding place to thee from the wind, and a covert from the tempest: as rivers of water in a dry place, and as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. I am thy Judge, thy Law-giver, and thy King. I will save thee. I feed my flock like a shepherd; I gather the lambs with my arm, and carry them in my bosom ; I give power to the faint; and to them that have no might, I increase strength. I, even I am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for my own sake, and will not remember thy sins. I will give thee beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heavinessthat I may be glorified. The Sun of Righteousness shall arise upon thee. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Ask, and it shall be given thee; seek, and thou shalt find; knock, and it shall be opened unto thee. A bruised reed will I not break; and smoking flax will I not quench --and in my name shall the Gentiles trust. All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer believing, ye shall receive.”

By these promises and declarations, selected from many others of a similar nature, you may read that the Lord's thoughts concerning you are thoughts of peace, and not of evil; and it may be added, that there is scarcely a character amongst men, expressive of tenderness, affability, vigilance, munificence, generosity, and fidelity, but he has assumed the same for your encouragement and consolation.

2. His tender compassion. If you were capable of knowing all the offences that have been committed against God, you would indeed be constrained to acknowledge the infinitude of his mercy; and if you knew all the instances of his fatherly pity to such as have humbled themselves before him, you would declare that he delights in the exercise of unbounded goodness. The scripture records several instances of his divine clemency towards great offenders, as in the cases of Adam, David, Manasseh, &c.; but these are comparatively few in number, when we consider the change produced in the hearts of sinners by his word and Spirit in the successive ages of the world. It is not necessary, however, to go farther than yourself to prove the greatness of his mercy. Consider the benefits heaped upon you from your birth to the present moment. Have you wanted any manner of thing that is truly good? Have you not had food to eat and raiment to wear ? Have you not been safely brought through numerous difficulties and dangers ? Have you not escaped death when you seemed to be at its very gates? If, as some have calculated, there are about thirty millions of deaths annually among the human race, how thick and fast have the fatal arrows flown around you! Yet, hav, ing obtained help of God, you continue to this hour? Is it not also a great mercy that your lot has been cast in a land where the gospel is clearly and fully preached—where its power is both declared and experienced ? Is it not of the Lord's compassion that you are not given up to the hard-ness of your heart, and suffered to follow your own inven

tions? If you have felt a piercing sense of your sins, it is to prepare you for pardon, and it springs from the mercy of your God and Saviour. He is now waiting to be gracious, and ready to receive you, that you may be satisfied with the richness of his house, and drink of his pleasures as out of the river. Look at the tenderness and affection of parents towards their offspring, and inquire who planted and preserves it there? Is it not from the Father of mercies, and the God of all consolation ? And if these drops produce such delightful and excellent effects, what must be the infinite and eternal source from whence they spring ? Take courage from these considerations. The Sun of Righteousness will speedily rise upon your soul with healing in his wings, and your sins shall be as far removed from you, as the east is from the west. Look up, for the day of your redemption draweth nigh.

3. His faithfulness." He abideth faithful, (said the apostle) he cannot deny himself.” Whatever gracious words have proceeded from his lips will all of them be fulfilled in their season; and he will fulfil in you all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power. You may rest assured that as you seek you shall find. It cannot possibly be otherwise. Did God in strict justice require a perfect satisfaction for your sins; and was it not paid in the dreadful sufferings and meritorious death of your Lord and Saviour ? His resurrection from the dead, and ascension to

the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the hea. vens," loudly declare the acceptance of his active and pas. sive righteousness; and that he has obtained eternal redemption for us. And can it be that you should be refused the benefit of his atonement, and spurned from his feet in seeking to avail yourself of his kind invitations? It cannot be. The attribute of justice, which you so much dread, is now in your favour, and demands for you the accomplishment of all the promises which are given to månkind in Christ Jesas. It requires that you should feel the effectoal workings of almighty power, that by the change prow

duced in you, Jesus should see of the travail of his soul, and." be satisfied; and that you should taste his grace, and glorify your God. Who then, or what, can keep you from the enjoyment of his favour, for whose sake you are willing to leave whatever is contrary to his will! If justice ceases from making its demands upon you, and even requires that, you should be blest, of what can you be afraid? The right hand of the Lord has the pre-eminence, and will confound your enemies, and cast your sins into the sea of oblivion, to be found no more. Lift up, then, your eyes to the everlasting hills, from whence your help cometh ; and you shall proelaim, “This is my God, I have waited for him, and he is become my righteousness; I have trusted in him, and am not confounded ; I can set to my seal that he is true : yea, I prove that his faithfulness is as the strong mountains, and that his truth abideth for ever.

4. God's grucious dealings with others.--The means made use of in the wisdom of God, through succeeding ages, to enlighten mankind, have been successful in producing the conversion of myriads of souls, both in this and other nations. We have especially beheld in our days the goodness of God, in raising up hosts of witnesses, to declare his power and willingness to save, and they are still increasing. In all probability you have known some of these, and have seen in them “the wonders of redeeming grace.” Here then cast the anchor of your steadfast hope, and say, if others, sunk in sin and misery like myself, have, through Divine goodness, been delivered, so may I. If many who probably had no more to recommend themselves to God than I have, have, by drawing near to him, obtained mercy, so may I. If he graciously received them for the Mediator's sake, he will, if I come to him in the same way, also graciously receive me. If they were encouraged by his kind invitations, and ven. tured their souls upon the word of promise, so may 1; and as fully expect to succeed as they did. If it was not presumption in them, thus to come, it is none in me. If they were received to the glory of God, through believing in

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