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effects that follow. Allow me to shew you two characters that agree with you in the scriptures, and consider them with attention. The one is the prodigal son, as recorded in the 15th chapter of St. Luke; the other is Ephraim, who represents all the elect of God; read Jer. xxxi. 18—20. Both these were led to repentance unto life by the manifestation of the goodness of God to them in pardoning them freely; and the Lord's work upon their souls is a parallel to that which he has performed upon yours.
When the Almighty is pleased to bring a sinner down into the horrible pit, such a one could never be raised to hope, without a free promise of pardon to sinners being revealed and applied. Where there is no promise there can be no hope. The devils that fell are for ever excluded from all hope of recovery, because there is no promise made to them. And, was there no promise made to sinners, they could never be raised to hope neither; but, as there is the promise of pardon and salvation for them in Christ, so, when the promises are revealed and applied to them, then hope springs up; and, when the lovingkindness of God to them in Christ is discovered, and they find the impressions of his love upon their souls, then they are brought to believe in the love of God to them; but where no promise is revealed, there can be no foundation for hope; and where the lovingkindness of God in Christ Jesus is not manifested, such can never believe that he has a
love to them: it is impossible; for we have such a feeling sense of our sipfulness and unworthiness, and appear so far from God by wicked works, when we are convinced of sin, righteousness, and judgment, by the Spirit of God, that, like the publican in the temple, we should never dare to look God in the face and call hico Father, was not the Holy Ghost to work faith in our hearts to believe in his everlasting love, and to shed it abroad in our hearts, bearing his witness to our adoption and sonship. And this invaluable gift and blessing come to us according the eternal purpose and pre-appointment of God, and not for any cause out of himself; as it is written, “ Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace," Eph. i. 5, 6. Again; “ And because ye are sons (by election and predestination), God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father," Gal. iv. 6.
David came up out of the horrible pit just in the same manner as you did. Before he was raised to hope he was brought to resignation and submission to God's will, as he says, “I waited patiently for the Lord, and he inclined unto me and heard my cry.” When he lay there a promise was revealed to him, for he says, “ Fulfil thy word to thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.” As hope upon God's word of promise wrought, so he began to rise; and, as Christ in
the promise was revealed, so faith of deliverance sprung up, and he was kept watching, waiting, and looking out for it: “ Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, () thou that dwellest in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden upon the hand of her mistress, so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until he have mercy upon us,” Psalm cxxiii. 1, 2. Then his desires went out after him; “ Lord, all my desire is before thee,” Psalm xxxviii. 9. And, as his desires went out, so prayer also kept constantly going up; “ Prayer also shall be made for him continually," Psalm lxxii. 15. , Then faith laid hold of and brought him into the heart, and he obtained the pardon of his sin ; “ I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living,” Psalm xxvii. 13. “Blessed is lie whose transgression is forgiven, whose siu is covered; Blessed is the man unto whoin the Lord imputeth not iniquity,” Psalm xxxii. 1, 2. When pardon was obtained, then he was delivered from the pit, and of this deliverance lie gives God the glory; “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay,” (and remember, the clay means our vature, and the mire of that clay is the corruption and sin of our nature, in which David sunk and stuck fast, being detained in the pit by his sin, “and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” This rock means Christ; and his feet being set upon this rock, means that his faith or confidence was fixed in Christ. When he was thus by faith founded upon this rock, then his goings were established. Instead of walking in infidelity, he walked in faith; instead of sin, he walked in pardon ; instead of bondage, he walked in liberty; instead of the curse, he walked in the blessing of life; instead of wrath, he walked in God's love; and so, when brought to believe in Christ, his goings were sweetly established; and, when thus established, then the Lord put a new song in his mouth, even praise unto our God. It was a new song, because this was his first deliverance from guilt and wrath; and it was a song of praise, because his salvation was free and unme. sited, and because the love of God in his heart was the root from whence it sprung; read Psalm xl. 1-3. Thus David was delivered just in the same way as we have been, and as all God's children are.
Your burden went off the right way, depend upon it, by the blessed and glorious effects that followed. Your heart was purified by faith in the Saviour's blood; peace flowed in upon it; all accusers were silenced as his perfect righteousness was put on; for the work of this is peace, and the effect of it quietness and assurance for ever. It delivers from all condemnation, and gives us a right and title to the kingdom of heaven. Whom God justifies, them he will also glorify; for at death there will be this order issued, “Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which
keepeth the truth may enter in,” Isai. xxvi. 2. This will do; this righteousness is all-sufficient; we want no other; for he was perfect God and perfect man in one person that wrought it out and brought it in; therefore it is everlastingly efficacious to deliver his children from all condenination, and to give them an abundant entrance into heaven at last.
In one part of your letter I must remark, that I cannot find that harmony I could wish. We agree in heart, I am sure; but I find a difficulty in getting at your meaning. After admiring the pardoning love of God towards you in Christ Jesus, and setting forth his perfection, and that nothing can be added to his happiness, nor taken from it, by any thing done by us, then you proceed thus; “ As God is strictly just, without a full recompense for the same, as Christ took upon him that nature that sinned in the garden, he became his people's brother and kinsman according to the flesh; he was in them, and they in him; then his righteousness became their righteousnes, and their sins became his sins. When the law found him clothed in flesh, it demanded perfect obedience, and Christ fulfilled its demands, and died upon the cross, and God saw the travail of his soul and was satisfied; and Christ said, “ It is finished;" so that every soul who has not an interest in Christ must die eternally, and those that have must live eternally.
“I am far from believing that Christ was in the