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rupt principles. It is not enough to be pardoned, we must be released from their dominion, we must be created anew; all title to Heaven lies in the atoning death of Jesus Christ, but God has connected with this a meetness for heaven, and a possession of the dispositions which are consonant to the Divine will. When Paul addresses the Corinthians, after adverting to what they had been, he gives us this view—“ And such were some of you:
but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.?" 1 Cor. vi. 11. It is not merely justification that cancels our guilt which we require, but we require also the cleansing and purification of our nature, so as to fit us for that state to which God will raise us; and the blood of Jesus Christ, which rescues from the guilt of sin, is that also in virtue of which we are rescued from its power and dominion.
. In vain have we lived until now, unless we have received heaven's rich provision, a new heart, a right spirit—“From all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you ; 'a new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”---Ezekiel xxxvi. 25, 26. This is the operation of the Holy Spirit the sanctifier, that Being of whom when we were taught our catechism, we were instructed to say, that he is “ the sanctifier of all the elect people of God.” If you are not sanctified, you are not one of the elect people of God; you have neither part nor lot in the matter; you have no reason to expect that you will ever be admitted into glory. As this is then indeed, one of the most important things that our hand findeth to do, surely we should supplicate the influence of the Holy Spirit the sanctifier. It is delightful to read how God speaks of his gifts, how richly, how freely he bestoweth, “ If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in Heaven give good things to them that ask him ? Matt. vii. ll.
If God were to say to any one of us, ask, and I will give you the greatest wealth ever enjoyed-ask, and I will grant you the greatest joy ever experienced—ask, and I will make you the greatest of the great, and the noblest of the noble;—it would be of no value to you, if he gave you not the gift of the Holy Spirit; He would promise nothing in comparison of what he has here promised. For what is the
than all these, inasmuch, as the soul is preeminent in value above the body, and eternity immense in duration beyond time. He says, I will give my Holy Spirit to them that ask me. If ever we stand before God's bar, and have neglected the Spirit, have lived without seeking it, and died without receiving it, this declaration will fix a deeper, deadlier pang consciences, that will be enough to make us miserable for ever. I might have had this promise fulfilled God intreated me-God besought me-God supplicated me--but I burst through mercy—I burst through justice-despised the one, and defied the other-and have finally brought down vengeance upon my head. Surely then, if we are under the influence of corrupt principles, the first, last, chief, only thing to do, is to supplicate, and pray for the influence of his Holy Spirit, that we may be sanctified and purified by his power.
I can merely allude to a few other things that our hand findeth to do—as soon as ever a man is anxious about his own soul, he becomes interested about those of others. Those nearest to him, those dearest in his afflictions will be the first—the father, the mother, when they know their own soul's value, will be anxious for their children's salvation.
member to have heard, but lately, at a public meeting in the country, a gentleman make an observation on this subject. “I have many children said he, but I would rather that they should go into the world without wealth, without acquirements, with accomplishments, than that they should be ignorant of this one thing, the value of the soul.” This was a Christian parent's wish; he would rather have his child see his own corruption, and pray for God's grace, than possess all other things beside—no display of talent or attraction, or manner, nothing that could promise rank or wealth, could stand in competition with their praying, “God be merciful to me a sinner.”
Should not then the hand of those that know the gospel's inestimable value find this to do? to make it recommendable to their children, their friends, their connexions, to expound it to the whole world—to send the light of the truth of the gospel to every land. This our hands should do this we should do with all our might. There is no time to be lost, because no time is to be accounted certain, however, many presume on the future and neglect the present—thus we miscalculate. Now.alone is the accepted time; now only is the day to seek the salvation either of others
God's grace not only before our friends and relations, but before all nations. For all nations, equally with all individuals, stand in need of it, and God who in his wisdom and his mercy found the only remedy, has in his expansive benevolence destined that the whole earth should be filled with his glory.
I feel it unnecessary to remind you, that an interesting portion of our life has just endedanother year has begun-look back-have we lived as accountable and immortal creatures ? Have we been seeking pardon from God, and perfection in holiness? if not, it has been passed to little purpose—the year has been a blank at least-no, it has all its guilt and criminality marked in the book of God. Have we been concerned about our own souls and those of others? If not, let us now “seek the Lord while he may be found ;" let us now seek to “ make our calling and election sure;” and may that gracious Spirit, “from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed,” impress with saving efficacy on our minds, the words of the text-“ Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might;-for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave-whither thou goest.”