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fancy, to the very last, that they are getting better and better, when there is but a step between them and death. O, believe the divine testimony. The word of God is true, and shews you your true condition; and while it points out your danger, kindly directs you to the true remedy. The infatuation of many persons on this point is truly lamentable. If their bodies be disordered in the slightest degree, they are sensible of it, and perhaps greatly alarmed; but their minds are so blinded, their consciences are so stupified, and they are so de luded by the tempter, that they will not believe, nor bear to be told of, their sickness and danger. May God enlighten your minds, soften your hearts, and fix upon your consciences such a deep and lasting conviction of your malady, that you may in good earnest cry, “God be merciful to me a sinner!”
But, doubtless, I speak to others who are convinced of their disease, and such are apt to be deject. ed, and tempted to despair. The deceiver says, There is no help for you in God; your case is peculiar; there never was one so bad, and it is in vain for you to look for recovery : But observe, Jesus is mighty_almighty to save. Mark the words ! “ Able to save to the uttermost”-to the uttermost : and surely your case is not beyond the uttermost. You may object that sin greatly “ abounds :” True; but grace shall “much more abound;" and remember, that the Saviour is as willing as he is able to save. Recollect the cures he wrought upon earth. Numerous were the applications made to him, and, sometimes, rather unseasonably ; but he never rejected them; he healed all who applied to him. May I not say, then, “ Arise, for the Master calleth thee.” You may say, He does not call me by name. Yes, he does : for is not your name Sinner? That is the name by which you are called ; he calls you as Sinners. 'Christ declared that he came “to call, not the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” that “he came to seek and to save that which was lost.” Now this is your condition. He knows it is, and he has made you feel it ; you are therefore the very persons he came on purpose to heal. But, you are deeply dejected and broken hearted. This is your character; well, “ he healeth the broken in heart and bindeth up their wounds." Psalm cxlvii. 3. Yea, when he first ofened his commission, and declared the design of his coming into the world, this was declared to be one of the offices he came to perform " to bind up the broken hearted, and to heal their wounds.” Why then should you despair ? Can you doubt the virtue of the remedy ? or the love of the physician ? or the sincerity of his offers ? Be no more faithless, but believing. Take the remedy ; believe its efficacy, and give him glory.
Some of you have received a cure. Gratefully acknowledge it to the glory of his name. You are not like some, mentioned in this chapter, who were prohibited from telling any man of it. No, you are commanded to blaze it abroad, and let the fame of Jesus be every where known. “ Call, then upon your soul, and all that is within you, to bless his holy name, who forgiveth all thy iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases, who hath redeemed thy life from destruction, and crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercy.” Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, who have been thus graciously restored from the dreadful disease of sin. “O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.” It is generally necessary for a person recovering from disease to be very cautious, for fear of a relapse. You live in a contagious world : you live in an hospital, where all are diseased. Shun the dangers which surround you, and avoid even the appearance of evil. Study to preserve your spiritual health. Let him whose cure has been effected remember this"Watch and pray, lest thou enter into temptation.”
Finally, let us look forward with joyful hope to that happy world where sin is not known, or known only by recollection ; where no inhabitant shall say, “ I am sick,” but where every one may and will say, I was sick, nigh unto death," but the Lord had mercy on me, and healed me ; now to my glorious Healer, even to the Lamb in the midst of the throne, be glory and honour, world without end.
FOLLOWING THE LORD FULLY.
Numbers xiv. 24. But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit
with him, and hath followed me fully, hiin will I bring into the land, whereinto he went, and his seed shall possess it.
IT was well said by the prophet Elijah, to the I people of Israel, when they “ halted between two opinions,” “ If the Lord be God, follow him ; but, if Baal, then follow him;" and thus may we say to persons who are lukewarm and irresolute in matters of religion, If the religion of the gospel be true and divine, then profess and practise it with all your hearts; but, if you can prove it to be false, then abandon it altogether. We meet with many people, who are so far convinced of the necessity of being religious, that they pay some little, cold, occasional, external regard to it, while their hearts are evidently attached to sin and to the world; but there are few, we fear, comparatively very few indeed, who are like Caleb, one of the princes of Israel, whose high commendation we have in the text, that he followed the Lord fully; and great was the honour that God put upon him for so doing.
When the children of Israel had left Egypt a few months, and had advanced towards the borders of the promised land, they desired Moses to send spies into it, to enquire whether its inhabitants were few or many, strong or weak ; whether they VOL. III.
dwelt in tents or in fortified cities, and whether the land was fertile or barren.--This motion arose entirely from their unbelief. God, who had brought them out of Egypt by a series of miracles, had re. peatedly declared that the land flowed with milk and honey; and he had assured them, by solemn promises, that he would put them into possession of it: what need then was there for these enquiries ? But God, to punish them for their unbelief, permitted the experiment to be made ; and what was the result? Ten out of the twelve deputed surveyors, returned and reported that the land was indeed admirably good, and they produced fine specimens of its excellent fruits ; but, said they, the people are very numerous, strong, and warlike; they dwell in highly walled and well fortified cities ; and many of the soldiers are so gigantic in stature, that we seemed in their sight but mere grasshoppers. This evil report augmented their previous fears; and, forgetting the power and the promise of God, they mutinied, and determined to appoint a captain, in opposition to Moses, and go back again to Egypt and to slavery. Caleb and Joshua, who were faithful to God, in vain attempted to appease the people, by assuring them that warlike as the nations were, God, the only defence of nations, had forsaken them, that Jehovah was with Israel, and that they should assuredly prevail. God, who is more displeased with unbelief than with any other crime, then declared in his wrath, that these rebels should never behold the country they had despised that their carcases should perish in the wilderness—but, that their chil. dren, headed by Joshua and his faithful friend, should joyfully possess the promised land. “My servant Caleb," says the text, “because he had an. other spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, will I bring into the land whereinto he went, and his seed shall possess it.” . .
Doubtless these things are written for our admonition. The fate of the rebellious Israelites, loudly. bids us “fear, lest a promise being left us of enter