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to raise us from infancy to manhood. Now, though religion requires time to obtain it, to be established in it, and to practise it; yet our growth is not to be measured by a number of years, but by the exercise of our faith in the Lord Jesus, who is the fulfiller of the promises, and in whom they are all yea and amen. “ According to thy faith, (not length of time) so be it done unto thee,” is his language to such as seek him with their whole heart.

These promises, however great the blessings may be which they hold forth, are to be considered as free gifts; and so liberal is the Lord in his favours, that the more enlarged our desires after his fulness are, the more graciously are we received. He delights in pouring the sacred effusions of his grace into the thirsty soul, and in bestowing his benefits according to the depths of his infinite mercy.

I have known many who have received the opinion, that the work of holiness is merely gradual ; but I do not remember meeting with one who professed to have attained entire sanctification, or that God had cleansed their hearts and bore testimony to the truth of his own work in that way.

If it be objected that their humility kept them from speaking of it, lest it should have the appearance of boasting, I confess I do not see the excellency of hiding the righteousness of God in their hearts. The acknowledgment and profession of it would, in my opinion, (if the instantaneous purifying of the heart is unscriptural) be a powerful objection to the doctrine; and is the more necessary, when such a cloud of witnesses declare that God baptized their souls with sacred fire, and cleansed them as in a moment.

When we were justified freely by the grace of God, we may remember that we received a measure of sanctification at the same time ; and how did we receive it? Was it not in the same instant in which we obtained pardon? Was it not by faith, and was not the one as instantaneous as the other? Just in the same manner we should expect the greater blessing; and we shall receive the end of our faith, this full deliverance—this glorious rest; and join the numerous wit. nesses of an instantaneous salvation, ascribing nothing to ourselves, but giving all the glory to whom it is due.

The Lord who made heaven and earth by his creating word, and said, “Let there be light, and there was light,” is able to effect this change in those who desire it, with equal ease and speed. Oh that the Lord may suddenly come to the temple of our hearts, and make them his everlasting habitation !


Those who are led closely to meditate upon this subject, will soon feel, that unless they enjoy the sacred treasures of holiness, whatever other gifts they possess, they will be poor after all. Pure love, that image of God in man, and the only thing that can unite us to him, is the prize of our bigh calling. “God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” By this union with him our love is made perfect; and by knowing and proving this, as he is so are we in this world. Every believer, therefore, should be determined to wait at the throne of grace, till he is “endued with power from on high,” enabled to believe with the heart unto full salvation, and fully embrace the whole will of God.

When we begin earnestly to desire this blessed state, we must take great care not to enter into a train of false reasoning with our deceitful adversary the devil. If we must reason, let it be with him who says, “Come let us reason together, and though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow;” that is, though our souls are ever so deeply stained, they shall be purified and made free from all their stains. "If we reason with him it will tend greatly to our comfort and advantage, because it will teach us to keep hold of the promises; otherwise it never will. It is a common temptation to those who see their need of this salvation, that if they receive it, they are so circumstanced, that they will not be able to retain it.

But such should not forget, that if a sparrow fall not to

the ground without the notice of our heavenly Father, and if the hairs of our head are all numbered by him, he is perfectly acquainted with our situation; and all is by the appointment, and under the superintendence of his wise and unerring providence. If this be admitted, then we may rest assured that, whatever appearances may be against it, where we are placed by him will, upon the whole. if rightly improved, cause us to be more holy and useful, and bring greater glory to God, than if we were placed in any other situation. The poor widow who offered her two mites, did more in his sight, who knows the heart, than the richest offerer, with all his abundance. He that offers himself, and all he has to God, in the way that he requires, does all he can; and it is reasonable to conclude, that he who does not do this in his present circumstances, is not likely to do it, supposing things were to change; as every change would bring with it its peculiar temptations.

And with regard to not retaining what we receive, we have only to live by faith in him“ who ever liveth to make intercession for us,” and we shall be so far from losing what we receive, that we shall be made to increase with all the increase of God, and be followers of him as dear children.

Another temptation is, that we have been too unfaithful to expect so great a favour.

A view of past unfaithfulness is indeed discouraging; and those who are sensible of their great unprofitableness, may, if they consult their feelings, say, 'Is it possible that those who have received so much in vain, or to so little purpose, should be entrusted with still greater grace' However, though this ought to humble us to the dust, we ought not to be diverted from our purpose of living more to the glory of God, because that is the way to prevent such unfaithfulness in future, and to make us more fruitful in every good word and work. Such as are thus exercised would do well to remember that our salvation is not of works, but of grace, through faith; so that while we bewail our sins and weak.

nesses, we must still confide in God, who abides faithful, to fulfil his word.

Some believers are tempted to think that they never were converted.

This is the case with those who, when they form resolutions of greater seriousness of behaviour, more diligence and spirituality in the means of grace, more care in improving their minds, and in redeeming their time, &c. and expecting greater joy and consolation, are disappointed to find themselves beset with apparently increasing insensibility of heart, wandering thoughts, dulness, and perhaps irritability, and other feelings painful to the christian. But this is no proof that they are in a worse state; it proves indeed a fuller discovery of indwelling sin, which has probably been given in answer to prayer. How common it is for persons thirsting for this grace to say, “Lord shew me what I am! Let me know the worst of myself. I would abhor myself before thee. Let me see my vileness.' Their prayers are answer. ed: they see theniselves loathsome as the leper, and as though for their vileness the Lord regards them not; yet he will appear in their behalf; and they that trust in bim, and sincerely request him to take possession of their hearts, he will cleanse and make them his continued abode—his holy, living temples.

Some are tempted that such a state of grace is impossible to be obtained in this world.

The carnal mind is not subject to the law of love, and hence worldly-minded men, to keep themselves from fulfilling it, commonly say, "There is no living without sin;' and where any degree of carnality remains in the regenerate, they are in danger of imbibing the same sentiments—looking with a suspicious eye on those who have “clean escaped from such as live in error.” They may be too ready to receive groundless reports, prejudicial to their character; be apt to censure their faith as presumptuous; and misconstrue some of their most innocent actions, as inconsistent with their profession. They may also, by looking too much at the external appearance, conclude that they differ nothing from others, and may even be offended at their experience and endeavours to promote holiness.

That some persons professing this salvation have mistaken its nature, and, by not producing its proper fruit, have given rise to such prejudices and suspicions, cannot be denied; and that from a variety of causes, some who have a less degree of religion, may appear to greater advantage than those who are fully devoted to God, is equally true; but it must be allowed that those who walk in the light, as God is in the light, and prove personally that the blood of Christ cleanseth them from all sin, must differ from those that have not so attained ; and if we have an opportunity of examining their characters, and do it candidly, we shall find that such live more in the spirit of prayer than others, are more dead to the world, bave a greater feeling for human misery, and much greater love to souls ; that they are stronger in faith, more resolute in the cause truth, and possess in general clearer experience of divine things, and greater happiness than those who live in an inferior dispensation. However, whether this difference be as great as is here supposed or not, nothing can be more certain than that God requires us to love him with all our hearts and souls; and he would never command us to perform impossibilities.

Another temptation goes to persuade us that we had better not seek this experience, and much less profess it, there will be so much expected from us.

That hypocrites should find it necessary to guard every point, is naturally to be expected, for fear of detection ; but that the christian, who is under the sweet influences of truth, should be actuated by such motives, is unworthy of him, and indeed he carefully shuns it. At first sight it seems plausible enough that we should from a principle of humility keep our more precious experiences to ourselves; but when we are exhorted to rejoice in being persecuted for righte


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