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a recipient of the grace of God, and he is my brother. Show me the individual who is really taught of the Spirit of God, according to the Word of God, and who reflects the likeness of the Son of God before the Church and the world, and I will hail him as one of the fellow. citizens of the saints, and of the household of God. I thank God that I have nothing in my creed that will allow me to excommunicate, despise, or discard a heaven-born soul. All such are to have an eternity of blessedness beyond the grave, and heartily do I desire to be instrumental to the comfort, joy, and peace of all such while passing through this vale of tears.

May the God of heaven and of earth enable you so to try the spirits, and especially your own, as to come to these sweet conclusions, to know the truth, in all purity, to recognize the household of God as a family redeemed of God, to associate with them here, and before the throne to join with them in the eternal song: “To Him who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and made us kings and priests unto God; to Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

HYMN.

No. 306, GROVE CHAPEL HYMNS.

WHEN I with God and self retire,
And of my growth in grace inquire,
With grief and shame, in me I find,
But little of my Saviour's mind.
Holy and harmless Jesus stood,
In me I find there's nothing good :
Compassion in His count'nance shone,
My heart is still as hard as stone.
Zealous and stable was His mind,
Aspiring, humble, patient, kind;
When others cursed He would bless:
Lord, let me more thy mind possess.
With holy zeal and love Divine,
And humble patience such as thine,
My carnal, barren mind endow,
That like my Saviour I may grow.
Let the same mind that was in Thee,
Like the sun's rays reflect from me:
Till near Thy throne, on Thee I gaze,
Absorb'd in wonder, love, and praise.

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A Discourse,
Delivered in Grove Chapel, Camberwell, Sanday Morning, Aug. 27, 1848,

BY THE REV. JOSEPH IRONS.

" Now faith is the substance of things hoped for."—Hebrews xi. 1. APTER reading the full report of the worthies, which is contained in the chapter from which we have taken our text, and all of whom it is said, died in faith, I am ready to imagine that my hearers are filled with emulation that their faith may be like that of those worthies of old; and I am the more deeply concerned that an examination should go on amongst you, from the impression wrought on my mind in reading that portion of Scripture which gives so solemn a contrast between the Israelites and the Egyptians. The very same flood, over which and through which Israel passed with safety, and it is said, even dryshod, drowned the Egyptians. The former, in the account which is given of them, by faith passed through the Red Sea. The latter had no faith : they were heathens, and for want of faith they were drowned. The thought struck my mind with great force, whilst I read this, that there are multitudes who pass for Christians in the present day, whose religion will drown them in perdition, and they, themselves, turn out to be Egyptians after all. That thought struck me with great force; and you must bear with me if I deal honestly with you this morning upon the point, that there are not a few, in these days of profession, whose Christianity is as destitute of faith as was the experience of the Egyptians; and as surely as they essay to pass over the flood of death, they will be drowned, and perish eternally for want of that faith which is of the operation of God.

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There is yet another point of importance to be observed, before I enter immediately upon the subject that presses upon my mind, the necessity of investigation. It is, that there are so many spurious faiths in the present day, which have nothing saving in them, or only a shadow, and my text speaks of one that has substance. There is a prodigious amount of shadowy religion in the day in which we live, that has showy appearances, glittering forms, and something to attract attention, but nothing that we can touch ; for, like your own shadow, the faster you run to approach it, the more it recedes from you.

Oh! that my hearers may at last be found in possession of the substance. The Lord is pleased, sometimes, to favour me with some profitable moments of retirement to investigate this matter, and for forty-eight hours past, during which excruciating pains nearly prevented either my reading or thinking, I was led to this point, shall I possess faith, when I reach Jordan, to meet its chilly flood ? Shall I pass through the sea unhurt ? And I found that the faith which Jehovah has given me to possess more than these forty years, would bear the trial, and I lay down, and after awhile got a little composure, with this sweet assurance, that whether I awake in this world or in that which is to come, I know that my faith has honoured Christ, and that He has put an honour upon it. It is a substance. It is a reality. That sweet portion of the chapter, which I was led to pause over in our introductory reading, confirmed and extended this train of thought. Of Enoch, it is said, that “before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Oh that you may have the same testimony before your translation. Beloved, do not look for anything to please God in poor fallen nature ; for you will never find it there. The only way in which Enoch pleased God, was in the actings of his faith in God's Word, God's Son, and God's salvation. Now if you are brought to the same point, then the testimony shall be your's before the translation. And what a nice, easy thing that translation must be ! To stand acceptable before God, well-pleasing in His sight, accepted in His beloved Son, and only just to be translated in order to occupy and enjoy a better country: This constitutes the train of thought which I hope has somewhat profited my soul, though I confess when I awoke this morning, I despaired of being able to stand before you to day. I know not whether the sermon will be a long or a short one : that is all with my Master. Therefore I shall come at once to the statement I have read, and endeavour to lay before you, First, the fact of that statement--that faith is a substance. Then the inquiry will suggest itself, whether I possess that substance : Jehovah saith, “I will cause them that love me to inherit substance." Shall I inherit that substance? And then, thirdly, the wealth it realizes; for all believers are wealthy folks. They may have little or nothing of this world's goods; still they are all wealthy folks, for “God has chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, heirs of the kingdom.” Now I propose to invite your attention, briefly, to these three things this morning, praying the Holy Ghost to render them somewhat profitable to

souls. 1.- First of all, then, we notice the fact, that faith is a substance. I know this is not generally received, for such are the vague, carnal, Popish, Infidel notions that are abroad in the world, in the present day, that not a grace of the Holy Spirit is owned; and instead of faith being admitted to be a principle or grace, it is spoken of as nature's actings, and is sometimes said to consist, merely, in the credence of a revealed fact. An opposite party, however, makes faith to consist in a crouching, a cringing, and a conformity to a crafty priesthood. Now I have no such faith as either of these.

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The one is the faith of the Infidel; the other is the faith of heathenism. And they neither of them have any substance. I want a faith that will manifest itself as having substance.

Bear with me while I dwell a little on this negative side. I have seen it printed, or I could scarcely have believed it, that faith is nothing more than the eredence of a revealed fact. But we know that Infidels and devils have that sort of faith ; for Infidels credit thousands of revealed facts, and cannot deny them as matters of fact, yet they have no faith after all. On the contrary, there are millions in this commonly called Christian empire, whose faith consists in a blind cringing, as I have termed it, to a carnal priesthood, as if their priests were able to save them. This is proverbial amongst Pagans, Papists, and Puseyites. They are a trio, and we will rank them all together. The chief point required in the faith of the populace is, that they do just what the priest says, that they believe what he says, that they attend to what he requires, that they pay what he demands. A pretty sort of faith this! I confess that I would rather reject and trample under foot the very name of religion, than be duped with such a faith as that. It has no substance. When was it ever known that one of those carnal priests administered eorsolation to the poor dying sinner? Never, in a single instance! He may have succeeded in blinding the eyes, but never in imparting gospel comfort. As to the mere credence of things; why "the devils believe, and tremble!" So that on both sides, I war against the caroalizing what God has made to be spiritual, and insist that that faith which is a substance, is a grace of the Holy Spirit. And if I am to be told that devils have the grace of the Holy Spirit, then I shall not know what to believe afterwards. But it is a grace of the Holy Spirit sent down from on high—it is a glorious reality—a principle deathless in itself--a principle invincble in its actings—a principle all-victorious in its warfares ma principle extensive in its claims and in its enjoyments, and a principle that honours its Author, and imparts solid peace and comfort to its possessor. You recollect the statement in the 5th of Romans, in which the apostle says, “ Therefore being justified," alluding to the justification which closed the account in the preceding chapter, he was raised again for our justification," "Therefore being justified, by faith, we have peace with God.” That is the proper reading, if the correct punctuation is adopted. “Therefore, being justified, by faith we have peace with God.” Now there is the substance; a bringing of peace into the soul, and the holy presence and enjoyment of God. And I know nothing of faith if it will not do that. Faith is a substance which no unregenerated character can possess. When the Son of Man cometh, will He sind faith on the earth? Faith is a substance; and they who are taken up with shadows and vanities do not know the value of it. They cannot value it. They cannot possess it. Faith is a substance worth more than all the miser's stores, than all the monarch's revenue, than all the wealth of India. Faith is a substance that can never be frittered away. Paith is a substance that can never be lessened. It grows; it becomes strong; it can never be demolished or destroyed. It overcomes all the world, repels all the devils in hell, and lays hold on eternal life. It is a substance, it is a reality, I repeat. But, most

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probably, you will better understand what I mean by this substance of faith, if I lead your attention to its origin and its object.

Its origin. It grows not in nature's garden. It is not the produce of the schools. It is not hereditary from father to son. It is far above that. Like every good gift, and every perfect gift, it cometh down from the Father of Lights. Now here I want for a moment steadily to invite your attention to that gloomy mistake, which very many, even good men, fall into, by confounding the principle with the actings of the principle. Hence you perceive, they look not at its origin; and therefore, you hear them speaking of a duty-faith, and of believing as if it were faith. I cannot understand the common sense, I cannot see the plain English, of such a mode of treating things, as to put the practice for the principle ; to put the actions for the power that performs them. And yet this is very common amongst divines in the present day; and so tenacious are they about arguing faith to be a duty, that they speak of the word itself, as if it was a verb instead of a substantive. I can understand what believing is, as an act; but I cannot understand what faith is, as an act. I can understand, also, what faith is, as a principle. To illustrate it. Faith is a hand. Believing, is laying hold of an object. Faith is an eye. The eye is still the eye, even if the eye-lids are closed, and it looks not at anything. Looking is the act of believing—the act of that principle-of that eye. I want this principle to be clearly understood by my hearers, that they may not fall into those bogs and quagmires, that are everlastingly surrounding us, concerning the duty of faith, and I know not what besides. I can understand what faith is, as the life of the soul; but it is quite another thing for that life to be put forth into actings. I can understand what faith is, when spoken of as feet, “We are to walk by faith.” And you cannot walk without feet. Walking, therefore, is believing. Therefore we walk by faith; but walking is not faith itself; it is merely the actings of faith. You will permit this critical disquisition on the word, because so many heresies and mistakes have arisen in the Church for want of this distinction. This faith is a substance, a grace implanted in the soul of man; and all we read of laying hold of eternal life, and looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, and running in the way of His commands, and walking by faith, I understand to be believing, the actings of that faith, which is a principle from above, a life from God, a grace of the Holy Ghost implanted in the soul.

But we pause a moment longer over this point, just to ask a question. before we come to the personal inquiry, under the second head of our discourse, as to whether what they call

their believing is the effort of nature, the effort of education, the effort of the reasoning powers, or whether it is the putting forth of a Divine principle. Now here, beloved, lies the point upon which a mistake will be fatal. You will assuredly be drowned as the Egyptians were, and in perdition too, if you have no better believing than what arises from the use of arguments, from mere skill, from mere education. They will not do for saving purposes. Therefore I want you to come to the point as to your believing, when you sometimes say, "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord," and so on. Now suppose I pause at that very statement, and ask you what sort of believing is it in Jesus Christ? Is it merely an acknowledgment that He did live and die for sin; that He really did obey the law, and suffer the vengeance of justice; that he was dead and rose again, and is

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