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majesty without one ray of mercy beaming from his throne : but when the divine Spirit appears his darkness is dispelled, a bleeding Saviour is exhibited to his view as an atonement for his sins, his load of guilt is now removed, he embraces Chritt as his covenant Redeemer, and goes on his way rejoicing.
This grace operates to exalt Christ and humble the finner, it tends to bring the once boasting Pharisee low at the foot of the cross, to renounce all dependence upon his own performances, and to view them as filthy rags. Every believing finner is led to fee Christ as a Saviour suitable for him, that there could be no other way of salvation but by Christ, that he muft be saved by him, or not at all. · Those who possess this grace can never fall into condemnation ; the sheep of Christ can “ never perish, nor can any pluck them out of his hands :* having loved his own which were in the world, he loves them to the end it and he who “ hath begun the good work will carry it on and complete it.” I This reflection is calculated to comfort and support us while in this vale of tears. The ele&t chosen people of God may and do frequently wander, but can never be lost. Surrounded as we are with temptations, it is a difficult task to keep clear of them. Dangers stand thick on every fide, and our enemies are waiting for our halting. God suffers his people sometimes to fall into sin, to remind them of the frailty of their nature. Peter is an eminent example of this truth, though foremost in his expressions of regard, (which no doubt were fincere) he was permitted to deny his Lord and Master, and that too, with oaths and curles; but God did not lcave Peter to perish: by this act he discovered to him the insufficiency of human ftrength, independent of himself, and this produced the desired effect; for when Chrift afterwards interrogated him, “ Lovelt thou me," we do not find him making frelh protestations, but appealing to Christ as to the fincerity of his affection-" Lord, thou knoweft all things, thou knowest that I love thee.”
Weak is the assertion of fome, that it is possible for the believing people of God to fall from grace. Were this true, Christ would not know his own sheep, their salvation would be a matter of uncertainty ; but it is a grand truth, which all the fophiftry of men can never overturn, that not one of those for whom Chrift died, not one of those who have re. ceived his grace, can ever fall into condemnation. Our * Joha, + John xiji. I. Phillip i. 6.
divine Mediator has his eye continually fixed upon his pea ple, he knows their frailties, their weakness, that they are but duft, he puts his fear into their hearts, that they may not eepart fiom him.
Nor does this truth operate in any manner against good works ; on the contrary, it will with all those who are favingly converted to God, act as an incentive thereto; and indeed, common reasoning will prove this the fact. I would atk, if the fovereign of an empire was to receive into his favour one who had proyed himself a rebel agaiost his throne, whether in return this would be any inducement for that perton to act the part of an ingrate, or a secret enemy, against the prince who had manifefted his favour so particularly tuwards him.- We should despise the wretch who could be capable of such baseness.
Let this be applied-We have been enemies to God, by nature, rejected his proffers of pardon and eternal life, and would not submit to his government and authority, already condemned by an holy and just law, doomed to endiels milery, and without hope in the world. Behold the kindnefs of God, he gives his only Son to rescue us from ruin ; and though we were his enemies, with love unparallelled he languishes, he expires on the crois, that we might live.
“ He funk beneath our heary woes,
" To raibe us to a throne." He liath made us partakers of his grace, adopted us inte his family, assured us of his everlasting love and affection, and made us heirs of eternal life.
And thall we grieve his holy Spirit ? Shall we dishonour him by our walk and conversation ? Delight to fin against hin, and live in opposition to his commands? It cannot be ; from the reflection that he has done so much for us, we ihail ftudy to glorify him, and promote his cause and intereft by eve;y pofsible means: through the aid of his holy Spirit, fou will be our greatest burden, and our first concern will be to live more like our divine Master.
We are saved by grace, through faith in Christ, to whom we are indebted for the whole of our salvation, our desire for which, is implanted in our hearts by the Spirit of God; having been made fensible of our lost estate, we are enabled to pray for faith to believe in Christ, and to lay hold on the hope set before us. . Finally, the importance of this grace to all is manifeft; if we are strangers to its divine operation our case is awful, we
have no remedy but this'; “ here we may heal our wounds, and wipe our forrows dry.” Here we have pardon freely offered to every repenting and returning finner, and the promise of an abundant entrance into the kingdom of happiness and glory.
How ought we to admire the author of this grace. When we were ready to perish, lo! the good Samaritan appears, he rescues us from impending ruin, releases us from the most dreadful lavery, and makes us partakers of his throne; and Thall man pretend to be an helper with the Omnipotent? Shall a worm of the earth ftrive with the Governor of the Universe! Let us renounce all claim to merit, and put the crown upon the head of Christ. Let us adore him who loved us from all eternity, who chose us for his people, called us in due time, who will finish the work he has begun, and complete it in glory. To Him be afcribed the praise of our talvation for ever. Amen. ,
Grace all the work ihall crown,
Thro' everlafing days:
THE SOUL IMMATERIAL AND IMMORTAL.
To the Editor of the Evangclical Magazine. REV, SIR, AS I was lately engaged in one of my morning walks,
my mind was led to reflect upon the following subject That there is frequently a meaning in words, which is : neither directly intended by the speaker, nor fully comprehended by the perfon :ddressed. The occasion that led to this reflection was as follows -- In the course of the preceding night, death had knocked at a rich person's gate, and bore away the inhabitant into that state, where all is finally fixed, for eternity. Two men were passing each other, one of which put the question, “ Wliat, is ------ dead? To which the other replied, “ Yes, she's gone." How customary is the remark! And yet, if closely attended to, what can it intimate, or what intend, but the separate existence, and, consequently, the foul's immortality. The body, though greatly changed as to its aspect, and deprived of its activity, was not gone ; it still occupied the same
space in the same dwelling. It is the soul, therefore, which properly constitutes the person. Though ablent, it still exifts; and though, it be no longer a resident in that body which it lately occupied, it exists in eternity; and shall continue to exist for ever. At the command of the great Father of spirits, it has now put off the body and is gone-But whether is it gone?--To appear before God to give an account of the deeds done in the body, and the principles by which it has been actuated to hear its character determined ; and its everlasting state fixed, beyond the possibility of an alteration:—It is gone, either to heaven; to join the Society of the blessed to sing with angels; or, with Pro. phets, Apostles, and all the church triumphant, to gaze upon the glorified Redeemer. Or, it is gone-to Hell ;-those mansions of darkness, misery and despair, where Justice is unveiled in all its glory, and Wrath displayed in all its terrors.
Some have remarked, that the very fight of a dead body, is in its nature almost sufficient to prove the soul's immortality. Even dear relatives then behold it, with sentiments of horror and distreis. They gaze with astonishment at the strange alteration effected ; and turn away from the disagreeable prospect with a kind of difguft. Even Abraham was contented to bury his once beloved Sarah out of his fight. Now, suppose the once animating spirit again re. ftored-Suppose that pale and ghaftly corpfe once more quickened--the band of death loosened-health glowing in the checksvigour sparkling in the eyes—the lips expresling surprize and affection---the whole reanimated with what pleasure would they gaze on it, and with what rapture embrace it. Horror would be removed ; and kin. dred fouls would once more enjoy each other, under the veil of Aeth. Soinething of this kind we may suppose were the sentiments, and the future endearments, between Lazarus and his fifters, after his restoration from the barriers of the grave. Thus, even death itself may preach immortality to man.
The above lints are submitted to your inspection and disposal, by
A constant reader of your valuable work,
gaze Wurn away Even A
. THE DISCOURAGEMENTS OF BELIEVERS, AND
CONSIDERATIONS AGAINST DESPAIR. TT is remarked by the sacred historians, in relation to the
children of Israel when travelling “ from Mount Hor, by the way of the Red Sea,” that, the foul of the people was mich discouraged because of the way.* These words have been literally fulfilled in the experience of believers in all ages of the christian church. "In the world” they are sure to meet with “ tribulation,” “ Without are fightings, within are fears." Anxieties, fears, and couragements, arise from different quarters. Sometines from carnal relations and connections. These but too often allure us from the path of duty, eninare our affections and impede our progrets. Or, perhaps, they violently oppose, and even • perfecuie : in many instances they have done to even unto death. f. At other tines the risings of inbred corruption produce no fmail pain in the mind of a believer, and he is led to excluim, " o wretched man that I am !” In one part of the way he is assaulted by Satan, in a series of Itrong temptations. Thele art argued and urged with infernal fubtilty. These are coloured and varnished over, and their mischievous tendency hardly diicerned till after the soul has been actually drawn afide. O! my foul, thou art not ignorant of these devices, tiere depths of Satan.” In another part of the way, the believer is atsaulted by sudden blafphemous thoughts : suggestions horrid as hell! There are like the “ fiery, flving Serpents," which ftung the Ifraelites; but against this dangerous malady, healing provifion was made, and the person who looked to the brazen terpent found immediate relief. Crois providences, whereby our wishes are thwarted, our expectations disappointed, and perhaps losses are sustained, often damp the ardour of our purfuit, and weigh down our spirits to the duft. In such trials the patience and piety of Job, Jacob, Joseph, and many others, have thone out with peculiar lustre, and though faint they have still pursued with growing strength. At other times painfuldefertions lead the chriftian pilgriin to cry out, “My God, my God, why haft thou forsaken me? I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is ever before me.” Distresses in the church prove grievously trying to a feeling mind. All christians are not “ kindly affectioned” towards each other;
• Numb: xxi. 4. † Luke xii. 51, 52, 53. . VOL. VII.