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not be encouraged to take the way so clearly pointed out to thee, that thou mayest find rest to thy soul? The Saviour stands waiting for thy answer. Wilt not thou then say, Come in, come Lord Jesus, come quickly? “And now, why tarriest thou, arise and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord?"

6. The church is enjoined to restore such as are penitent. Upright men, who walk with God, are often scandalized by the unsteady behaviour and misconduct of others, and are grieved especially, because the cause of their gracious Redeemer is hereby blasphemed by those who seek occasion to slander the pious. It is not then to be wondered at that there should be an unwillingness to receive again into their society those, who having been unsteady before, may be so again. Such are, however, required to do it, as we see in the case of the offending Corinthian, whom they, though not without apparent reluctance, had put from among them. It appears that they had carried themselves towards him with such a degree of severity, as exceedingly to distress him, which led the apostle to say, “Sufficient to such a man is this punishment. So that, contrariwise, ye ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him," 2 Cor. ii. 6–8. And in the epistle to the Galatians, vi, 1, he says, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, 'restore such a one in the spirit of meekness.” If then the Spirit of holiness has left these commands on record, that those who are appointed to manage the affairs of the church may thereby regulate their conduct in receiving such again among them who are desirous of it, and give evident marks of penitence and humiliation, we see his willingness to receive them again to himself; and every such penitent may take courage and derive consolation from this also. Once more, I would say, Put thy trust in him, and thou shalt not be confounded. As Noah stretched forth his hand, and took the dove into the ark again, which could find no resting.

place, because of the deep surrounding waters, so will thy Lord stretch forth his hand to thee, and after all thy wanderings receive thee to himself, and cause thee once more to rejoice in his salvation. When David confessed his sin, the Lord forgave him, and when bitter sorrows weighed down his soul, he caused his face in mercy to shine upon him. Jonah and Peter gave way in an evil hour of temptation, and greatly transgressed; they were, however, on their sincere repentance, restored; the one to his prophetic, and the other to his apostolic office in the church of God; and were made great blessings to mankind. So it is hoped that when you also are converted, you will strengthen your brethren. That receiving such astonishing proofs of his tender mercy and compassion, you may be deeply humbled before him all your days, and shew that mercy to all around you which has been so eminently displayed on the part of indulgent heaven to you. Remember your weakness, and confide in Christ as your only helper. Set him before you daily as the proper object of your faith, for pardon, spiritual, and eternal life; and, that you may never more give “place to the devil,” strive to yield up yourself and your all to God, according to his will; that is, aim at being entirely sanctified, and then when that fulness of the Spirit is imparted to you, you will be enabled to say, “ The prince of this world cometh, ud hath nothing in me.” To assist you in this matter, and also those who taste that the Lord is gracious, to be thus holy, I shall endeavour to present you with some observations upon it.

CHAP. IV.

ON SANCTIFICATION.

Sanctification recommended and described - Its absolute

necessity.

SANCTIFICATION.

The great love of God in calling us from this present evil world's to the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ,” demands the most lively gratitude, since it not only dissolves the charm which binds us to sensible objects, and their unsubstantial pleasures, but saves us from the service of unrighteousness, and all its train of punishments; from the stings of remorse, the upbraidings of conscience, and the dreadful horrors of endless perdition. This love justly demands our constant praise and admiration; and had we a thousand tongues, they ought to be employed in spreading the honour of his blessed name. This union with him produces that good which, as the world possesses it not, it can never bestow on its votaries; a good that is suitable and satisfactory to our immortal nature, and which supports and tranquillizes the mind amidst all the difficulties and storms of life. Oh, the folly and ingratitude of sinful men, in slighting so rich a favour, and substituting in its place a friendship with those .persons and things which are but for a moment, and leave the soul at last in misery and ruin! Such, therefore, as enjoy this inestimable benefit, and are saved from such reprehensible insensibility, should prize it highly, and beware not to “fall from their steadfastness," but aim to grow in grace and spiritual wisdom; minding continually the one thing needful,” and pressing forward to lay hold of all that for which they “ bave been apprehended of Christ Jesus."

As these that now possess the Divine favour, and rejoice in his salvation, prove that the service of their Lord is “perfect freedom;" as they are now possessed of real happiness,

519 and by persevering in his holy ways, will increase therein, till they are brought to enjoy it more perfectly in the realms of glory; as they are now brought out of darkness into marvellous light, and prove how much better the service of holiness is than that of sin, they should remember the apostolic advice, “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former desires in your igno. rance; but as he that hath called you is HOLY, so be ye HOLY in all manner of conversation:and that of another inspired writer also, who speaks much in the same way,

“I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service: And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed, by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God:” and they will see more perfectly than ever that the will of God is their complete and eternal salvation. Such words as these shew beyond all contradiction, that the whole life of a real christian should be a life of holiness, or sanctification, without which his sersices are unacceptable to God, and himself unprepared for his Redeemer's presence, and his glorious reward.

God, who is “glorious in holiness," will be served in the “ beauty of holiness, and it is of the utmost importance that this subject be well understood, that we may “serve him acceptably, with reverence and godly fear.” If we are purchased by the precious blood of Christ; if he died for us, that we might live to him, then, as being no longer our own, we should glorify him in our bodies and spirits which are his; and all our abilities, natural and acquired, with all our diversified talents, should be freely and fully employed in his holy and reasonable service. It surely is not sufficient to hear or read of this entire devotedness to God, and go no farther; the knowledge of a duty and the performance of it being widely different. It is indeed very desirable to have the “mystery of godliness' explained to us and enforced, with all the promised “fulness of God;" and we ought to regard it as a great favour, that the light and glory of the Lord are come, and are thus risen upon us, that we may arise under the influence of his healing rays, and shine, reflecting his glory in this benighted world, Isa. lx. 1.

This is, doubtless, the privilege of believers under the new covenant; for though the “law made nothing perfect, the bringing in of a better hope did.” We have in Christ a better Mediator; a better High Priest; a better sacrifice; better ordinances; a better law, that is, one more suitable for us; better promises, greater helps, and brighter prospects; and on these accounts, the gospel is called a “great salvation," as bringing a greater and more glorious deliver. ance than the Jewish covenant could produce. “The law was given by Moses, but Grace and TRUTH came by Jesus Christ,” and it is from his fulness we are entitled to receive, who believe in him, and “ grace for grace." To instance only in one thing, the gift of the Spirit. “Jesus stood and cried, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall FLOW RIVERS OF LIVING WATER:” which is afterwards explained of the pouring forth of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, not only of his miraculous powers, but of his ordinary influences, which, in the very nature of things, were always intended to be more extensively imparted than the others, especially as the reception and establishment of christianity in the world would less require them, or not at all. Now certainly a larger measure of the Spirit being given, a more perfect obedience will be required, and as this is the case with the church in general, so it is of each indi. vidual of which the true church is composed; that is, he expects that we should be conformed to his will in proportion to the means with which we are favoured. Since then the end of our being is to glorify God, (for be never created us to dishonour him) and we are enabled to do this in proportion as we receive of the unction from the Holy One, we see plainly, by the provision he has made for it, that he wills us to be entirely holy, “Be ye uoly, for I am holy.”

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