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love what once they hated, and hate what once they loved? Can they become pure, pious, spiritual, humble, zealous followers of the Lamb ? Can they be induced to resist the claims of self-interest, and endure the scorvful smile, the harsh insults, and the cruel mockings of gay companions and displeased relations? Yes. All this has been done, and may be done again. What! if it be impossible with men ? All things are possible with God. “He who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God.” 2 Cor. iv. 6. And the gospel, attended by the energy of the Holy Spirit, i casts down imaginations (or reasonings ) and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and brings into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Cor. x. 5.
“ But," it may be asked by a penitent sinner, “ can an offender so guilty and vile be pardoned, and received into the divine favour? Can crimes like mine be blotted out, and remembered no more ?" Yes. The Son of man when on earth had power to forgive sins : nor has he less power in heaven; he has power to give eternal life to all who are given to him ; and as he never rejected a penitent sinner when he lived among men, neither will he now; for “ he is exalted to give repentance to Israel and remission of sins,” and he has graciously said, “ Him that cometh unto ine I will in nowise cast out."
One exertion more of divine power let us contemplate. When Moses saw a bush on fire, and yet it was not consumed, he turned aside to behold it with admiration. In that burning bush he beheld the emblem of Israel afflicted in Egypt, yet not destroyed; and we may perceive in it an emblem of a true Christian “kept by the power of God, through faith to salvation." And what but the power of God is sufficient for this purpose? If you consider what a dangerous world we live in, where iniquity abounds,where prosperity presents a thousand snares, and adversity a thousand temptations ; when you remember that Satan," like a roaring lion, goeth about secking whom he may devour:" and, above all, when you recollect that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked," you will rejoice to think that the great and good shepherd of the flock hath said of his sheep, "I give unto them eternal life ; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” In that almighty hand the believer is safe ; "he is able to keep us from falling;” to “keep what we have committed to his care;" to support us under all the trials of life; to comfort our souls in the article of death; and to complete the whole redemption at the last daywhen he shall change our vile body, that it may
be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working, whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” Phil. iii. 21.
What then shall we say to these things ? What use shall we make of our meditations on the almighty power of God? Let him be adored ; let him be fear. ed ; let him be trusted.
Let him be adored. He, and he alone, is the proper object of religious worship. Observe and admire his power wherever you see it ; and where can you look without seeing it? Wisdom and power among men command our respect; we reverence the wise and the mighty; and shall we not reverence and adore Him, who is infinite in wisdom and almighty in power? We admire the princes of this world, mortal as they are, who command numerous armies, govern extensive empires, conquer powerful enemies, and preserve their own people in peace; should we not then admire and adore the Lord of Hosts, who rules among the armies of heaven, and over the inhabitants of the earth ; whose wisdom none can fathom, whose power none can résist? Yes, “ Him shall you worship, and to him shall you do sacri
hell : yea,
fice.” Adore and praise him, and say, with the heavenly worshippers who bow before his throne, and cast their crowns at his feet,“ Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are, and were created.” Rev. iv. 11.
Let this Almighty God be feared. Fear not man, who can do nothing but as permitted. “Fear not man,” said our Saviour, “but I will forwarn you whom you shall fear, fear him who, after he hath killed the body, can cast both body and soul into
say unto you, fear him.” O the folly and madness that possesses the hearts of men, who dare rebel against him, break his commandments, abuse his goodness, defy his anger, and neglect his salvation! The almighty power of God renders the thoughts of his being our enemy insupportably terrible. He who has revealed his wrath against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men," is able, at any time, and by any means, to execute his threatenings; for “he is strong that executeth his word.” If he is pleased to give commission to thunders and lightenings, to storms and tempests, to earthquakes or plagues, floods and fires, to destroy his enemies, who can stay his hand," or restrain his power? Ah! “ who ever hardened his heart against him and prospered ?” “ Consider this, then, ye that forget God, lest he tear you to pieces, and there be none to deliver.” “Set not the briars and thorns against him in battle, lest he go through them, and burn them together; but take hold of his strength, and make peace with him.” Say, poor sinner, “ Can thine heart endure, and thine hands be strong, when he shall deal with thee?" or, “Is there any that can deliver out of his hand ?” Be wise now therefore ; be instructed. Submit at once ; and seek his pardoning mercy through Christ, “lest you perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.” But, finally,
“ Blessed are they that put their trust in him.” Yes, “ trust in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.” What cannot he do, who is almighty? “Is any thing too hard for the Lord ?" Imitate the faith of Abraham, who could confide in the power of God, when probabilities were all against him, “ being fully persuaded that what he had promised, he was able also to per. form.” Thus the noble confessors in Daniel's time were courageous for Jehovah, being assured that the God whom they served was able to preserve them, even in Nebuchadnezzar's furnace. Our faith should bear some proportion to the object of it. How inconsistent is a strong God and weak faith! When our Saviour was about to exert his miraculous power in healing, he proposed this question, “ Believest thou that I am able to do this ?” So should we ask ourselves when we desire any thing from God. Do I believe that God is able to fulfil my request? Faith will be feeble, and prayer will be lifeless, if the power of God be forgotten; and be encouraged by reflecting that the exercise of almighty power is entrusted to the hands of Jesus Christ. He has "all power in heaven and in earth ;" he is therefore « able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by him." His blood is so efficacious, that it can cleanse from the utmost possible degree of guilt; his grace so powerful, that it can rescue from the utmost power of sin; he can save to the utmost extent of our wishes and capacities, to the utmost period of life ; yea, he can and will continue to bless his poople to the most distant ages of eternity. Be not, therefore, afraid to trust him. Venture on him; he is the rock of ages. Cast your souls, your sins, your burdens on the Saviour. “Trust in him at all times, ye people.” “What time you are afraid, trust in him.“Seek unto God, and to God commit your cause ; for he doeth great things, and unsearchable; marvellous things without number."
Job. v. 8, 9. “In every thing, by prayer and supplication, make known your requests unto him, encouraged by this declaration, “ He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us." Unto him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."