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in us the hope of glory! “ Whoso putteth his trust in the Lord, shall be safe.” “ Whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.” “He that hath believed, hath entered into his rest.” He has not, it may be, and cannot possibly have, when he begins to trust, much spiritual knowledge, or much gracious experience; but he confides in Christ for every case, and “out of his fulness he receives, and grace for grace;" which, while it sensibly augments his enjoyment, operates powerfully to his renovation. This leads us,
Finally, to remark, that as an instrument of holy living, we have nothing comparable to trust in Christ. To carry our difficulties of duty to Christ, is to have them taken away. Trust will remove mountains of hinderance to sanctification. When weary and heavy laden, exhausted and faint, we are ready to sink into dejection, by reason of our temptations, burdens, and obstacles; we remember the love and power of Christ; we renew a livelier exercise of trust; and, through Christ strengthening us, we mount up on wings as eagles, surmounting difficulties and impeding cares. When sin contends for dominion over us, and the flesh would have us brought under the bondage of corruption, and we feel a great want of adequate force to repel enemies, who, alas !!
have gained much ground within us, of which we cannot dispossess them; yet we do not despair. We look unto the Captain of our salvation; we cry to him for help ; we are confident that he will make us more than conquerors, through his love. This animates our courage to resist the foe. Jesus gives us strength according to our day; and the strongest lusts, passions, and habits of sin, yield to his all-subduing grace.
But may we not trust in Christ, without giving up our inordinate passions and our lusts? may we not continue in sin, and live in carelessness and self-indulgence, just as we lived before; still, however, trusting in Christ for ultimate salvation? We answer, “ If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die.” If ye continue in sin, to profess to trust in Christ is a mockery. We do not say, that ye must be holy before trusting in him; but we do say, that ye must trust in him for boliness, and for victory over sin. A trust which does not bring home the Holy Spirit to sanctify the heart, is a thing of nought. And much as we have pressed it upon all men to trust in Christ, we must say, in conclusion, that if salvation from sin, and conformity in holiness to Christ, enter not into the reasons of your trust, who hath required it at your hands?
THE WAY OF PROGRESS.
CANT. I. 4.
“ Draw me; we will run after thee." THERE are some who regard religion as a thing in which the livelier affections of the heart have little concern, and into which they cannot be introduced, without debasing the service of the Almighty ; whom they bid us worship with reason, indeed, in the clearest, coolest exercise, but with the higher affections of the soul suppressed and dormant. Now, the service of our God is truly a reasonable service, and calls the best faculties of reason into exercise but to exclude the affections from it were not good, and would certainly prove a great defect.
The rude and ignorant heathen, who worship stocks and stones, and gods of a similar description, that neither live nor
move, nor can in the least degree benefit those that serve them; the votaries of such inanimate gods, may worship them without animation, without affection; for in such objects of worship, what is there to excite animation or desire ? In the gods of heathen mythology there is neither attribute of moral grandeur to impress veneration, nor character of worth to attract moral esteem. But in the glorious Being whom we serve, there is everything that can awaken a salutary fear, and every thing to engage a most fervent love; there is a lustre of eternal glory to excite in us the devoutest admiration ; together with a display of goodness toward his other creatures, and towards ourselves, so constant, and so immeasurable, as is calculated to raise in us the liveliest emotions of gratitude, and call forth the purest expressions of praise. And shall we approach such a Being without fear, without love, without admiration, without gratitude, without praise, rising from a warm heart, like a flame from the altar of incense ? That were unreasonable indeed!
We have a Saviour, too, who hath loved us, and given himself for us, and hath redeemed us unto God by his blood; and
shall we lay our affections asleep in the stillness of a cold heart; or, with an eye of insensibility, look on a Saviour,-a divine Saviour, dying for our offences ? This also were contrary to reason !
No! whatever the men of hard, dry, systematic orthodoxy may dispute ; whose religion has not a breath of affection to indicate vitality ; and whatever the carnal wisdom of this world may aver, who carry their affections to other gods than our Lord, we firmly hold, that a religion which excludes the affections, is not of God, and cannot teach to serve God acceptably. And so far is it from being true that the affections ought not to mingle in religion, that religion is perfect, in proportion as good affections are brought into devout operation. If we take our estimate of religion from the commandment, the commandment requires us to love God with all our hearts. In heaven, the pure and perfect spirits that surround the throne of God and of the Lamb, are exhibited to us, in the discoveries of revelation, in transports of adoring fervour, such as angelic natures can only reach. Surely the religion of heaven is not imperfect! On earth, too, we learn from the Scriptures, that they who in