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spirit and life unto their souls? They expect his presence to enable them to mix faith with what they hear, and then they grow thereby. What is their keeping the Lord's day? Is it not to express their belief of his being risen, and entered into his rest, and of their having, by believing, entered into rest also, and therefore they wait upon Christ in the ordinances to keep them, until he bring them to his eternal sabbath, to that rest which remaineth for the people of God. What is their attendance upon the Lord's supper? Is it not the communion of the blood of Christ, and the communion of the body of Christ, a real partaking by faith of his broken body, and of his precious blood shedding, and of all the benefits of his passion ? In these and all other ways of God's appointment, they expect Christ's presence, and therefore they go to them with gladness of heart to meet him. He is the dear Object of their love, and he grows more lovely by every day's experience. They taste and see more how gracious he is, and therefore to converse with him in prayer, and to be in his company

in the ordinances, becomes more sweet and delightful to them. . Oh! what happy moments do they therein spend ! All the great, rich, and pleasant things in the world are less than nothing compared to this joy. Communion with Christ is heaven begun; and by faith they enjoy it, and nothing can rob them of it but sin; which makes them careful in their life and conversation to please their gracious Lord. They depend upon him to teach them his will, and to give them strength to perform it, that they may walk before him in all well-pleasing. Whatever is opposite to his will they dread, because it would deprive them of their greatest blessing, even communion with their best and bosom Friend. Sin viewed in this light, is blacker and viler than all the devils in hell. The love of Christ shews sin in its exceeding sinfulness, and faith working by love to Christ gains daily victory over it. He who has the love of Christ in his heart will be thereby sweetly constrained to fight against, and powerfully enabled to

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conquer sin, so that it cannot separate him from his beloved Saviour, nay, it shall make him live in closer and nearer connexion. The motions of sin within, and temptations without, to which he is continually liable, will shew him the necessity of living in a settled dependence upon the grace and strength of the Captain of his salvation, who will lead him on conquering and to conquer, until he make him at last more than conqueror.

The same faith, working by love, has gained the hearts and affections of believers over to the interest of holiness, and the commandments now cease to be griev

Love to Christ, who is perfect righteousness and holiness, cannot consist with the hatred of either; nay, they are renewed after his image in both, and renewed in knowledge, that they might know his precious image, and renewed in heart, that they might love it; therefore being thus created anew in Christ Jesus, they will certainly, in the inner-man, delight in righteousness and true holiness. He has shed his love abroad in their hearts, has won them to himself, and now nothing is dearer to them than that everlasting righteousness by which he justifies them, and that true holiness, of which they are become partakers in him, which they evidence by a holy walk, and in which he will present them holy and unblameable and unrebukeable before the Father. Thus he has perfectly secured the interest of holiness and the glory of the most holy God; for they are his workmanship, created unto good works, to love them, to do them, to walk in them as the way to the kingdom, and they live by faith upon Christ's strength for will and power to do them, and upon his intercession for the acceptance of them, laying them all upon the golden altar that sanctifieth the gifts. Thus their whole dependence is upon Christ. He is all, and in all of their Christian walk. To him they look for every thing needful, to enable them to glorify God in their lives, and to shew forth the virtues of him that hath called them; on his grace they rely, that their conversation may be as becometh the gospel of Christ, and that

they may adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things; and they find in him a sufficiency of grace, yea, they can do all things, and suffer all things through Christ strengthening them. Whatever difficulties they meet with in the way of duty, leaning upon their Beloved, he carries them through all-Whatever temptations, I will be with thee, says he, in the hour of temptation, look unto me, and thou shalt be saved -Whatever enemies, Fear them not, says he, for I am with thee, be not dismayed, for I am thy God, I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousnessWhatever sorrows, Your sorrows, says he, shall be turned into joy, and your joy no man taketh from you— Whatever sickness, I will strengthen thee upon the bed of languishing, and I will make all thy bed in thy sick. ness-Whatever poverty, I will be a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress- Whatever persecution, Blessed are ye, says he, who are persecuted for righteousness sake, I pronounce you, I will make you, blessed. Thus Christ is with them, and none of the evils or miseries of life can separate them from him. He keeps them safe, and carries them through all their trials by his mighty power, and they, trusting in him, find that he makes all things work together for their good. What a blessed life is this ! Surely there is none like it : for the life of faith is glory begun. The privileges, the happiness of it, are greater than can be described. The strongest believers upon earth may daily know more, and may experience far more of the comfort of walking by faith, because as they grow more established in it, they will be receiving more power over sin, and will walk nearer to God. Having but one object to look unto and to live upon for all things: here they will be quietly settled. What can so effectually keep them from being tossed to and fro, as to have all fulness treasured

up

for their use in Christ, and to be brought to a fixed dependence upon his fulness, and to live upon it for all things belonging to life

and godliness ? Hereby sweet peace will be established within, and there will be a regular walk in the outward conversation. The whole man will experience what the Lord has promised to his redeemed people. “I “ will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, in a “ straight way, wherein they shall not stumble." He leads them by his Spirit, and causes them to walk the rivers of waters, where there are aburdant stream's of grace continually flowing, and he guides them in a straight way, that they shall not stumble or err therein ; but shall be kept happily to the end of their course, and shall finish it to their everlasting joy. And

This is another inestimable privilege of believers. Christ has engaged to keep them unto the end; and having begun a good work in them, he has promised never to leave it until it be finished. What a strengthening is this to their faith, and what a glory does it put upon the whole life of faith, that it is a life which cannot perish? Believers have in them the immortal seed of eternal life. This is the crown of all: for how will this bear them up under crosses, support them in troubles, carry them on in their warfare against the flesh, the devil, and the world, and make them defy all dangers, yea death itself, since they are assured, from the mouth of God their Saviour, that none shall pluck them out of his hands. They do not trust themselves,

any dependence upon grace received, but they rely upon the faithfulness and power of Jesus, who has given them abundant evidence that he will water them with his grace every moment, and hold them up by his strength, and they shall be safe. How confident were believers of this in the Old Testament? One of them who had attained this assurance of faith, says, “ Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the “ days of my life;" and he, with many others who had obtained like precious faith with him declare,-" This “ is our God for ever, he will be our guide even unto “ death ;” They were sure he would be their God, and would follow them with mercy, and guide them, and do

or have

them good in life and death. To the same purpose our Lord has promised believers, “My sheep hear my “ voice, and I know them, and they follow me, and I

give unto them eternal life, and they shall never

perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand.” How confidently did he trust in Christ for the fulfilling of this blessed promise, who said, “I am fully pero suaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor “ principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor

things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other “ creature shall be able to separate us from the love of “ God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Oh! sweet words of comfort : how happy was Paul in this assurance of faith? It is thy privilege, believer, as well as his. Thou hast the same promises that he had, the same God to fulfil them, and thy faith ought to be growing until thou be assured that no creature, not all the powers on earth, nor the gates of hell, can separate thee from Christ. They may as soon get into heaven, and cut off Christ's right hand, which is impossible, as to cut off one of the members of Christ's mystical body

If thou art ready to say, I see clearly how I should glorify my dear Lord, and how happy I should be, if my faith was but like Paul's in this point, but I am so weak and liable to fall, and mine enemies so numerous and mighty, that I sometimes fear I shall never be able to hold out unto the end. Because thou art such, therefore the Lord has given thee his promise, that he will hold thee up, and thou shalt be safe. And this promise is part of the covenant, which is ordered in all things,

Look at that, and not at thyself. Consider the Messenger of the covenant, in whom it is all ordered, and by whom it is sure. When thy unfaithfulness would discourage thee, think of his faithfulness. Let thy weakness remind thee of his strength. If indeed he leave thee a single moment thou wilt fall: but he has promised, I will never leave thee. If the number and strength of thine enemies make thee fear least thou shouldest one day perish by the hand of Saul, he says

and sure.

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