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trust in him for sufficient grace, and for a perfect result. When standing, trust him for upholding grace; and trust, too, for grace to rise again, when fallen; for though pénitent and ashamed, we must never despair. For the gift of the Holy Spirit, especially, be ye sure to confide in Jesus. The Spirit, indeed, is expressly promised to faith, John vii. 39. and xv. 26. He hath received gifts, the most excellent and the most suitable for men, even for men that had rebelled. Surely they were given him to enrich poor sinners withal; and it is their duty to trust in Christ for grace, and all grace, and never to suspend the exercise of trust.
Alas! that so many have never yet begun it! No wonder they walk unsteadfastly, make little progress, and so often stumble and fall, who attempt the wilderness alone, or lean only on an arm of flesh, instead of going up through the wilderness of time, leaning on the everlasting arm of a Saviour, beloved, and relied on for guidance, comfort, and defence!
But is it not enough to trust in God? or is the Father not proposed to us as the object of our undivided confidence? It is not, my friends, to diminish your confidence in God, that we exhort you to rely upon the Son; but rather to confirm it, by showing its true grounds and warrant. If a sinful creature shall presume on access to the majesty of the eternal, sin-hating Jehovah, without a mediator, it is a self-confidence worthy of all rebuke. The King Immortal has committed to the Son all authority and power in the kingdom of heaven, and no man can come unto the Father but by him ; nor can any trust in the Father acceptably without trusting in the Son. He and the Father are one. In the economy of redemption, the Son, in our nature, transacts betwixt God and his people ; and we can have no direct transaction with the Father but through the mediation of the Son. To attempt it, is to subvert the established order of grace. It is the Father's will, that we come to Jesus in all our need, and trust in him for every gift; and thus we come to God in warranted confidence, and grateful acknowledgment, for that he hath blessed us in him with all spiritual blessings and heavenly things; being “ well-pleased with us for his righteousness' sake.” The Father is honoured and glorified in those who trust in the Son; and he who refuses to exercise that trust, has heard the Gospel in vain. What does the confession of its truth profit him ? Will it lead a man to salvation who stops short of Christ? No; the Gospel shows salvation, but that salvation is in Christ, and to him the distrustful will not come. And it will be the everlasting condemnation of many, that in him they trusted not, after that they had heard the word of truth, the Gospel of our salvation.
We conclude with a few remarks on the condition of those who trust in Christ.
1. They are safe; which is a great thing. For he in whom they have believed, is able to keep that which they commit unto him; and it is not presumption to be persuaded that he will deliver them from every evil work, and preserve them unto his heavenly kingdon; for, holding fast their begun confidence in Christ, it will be unto them according to their faith. Well may they trust the Saviour for his grace! If we, evil as we are, would not willingly suffer but a little bird, that, to escape its ravenous enemy, had betaken itself to our bosom for safety in its distress ;-if we would defend. it, just because it confided itself to our protection, how much less will Jesus forsake a distressed soul that has fled to him for refuge? We are told by travellers, that the most predatory tribes of the Arabian deserts have yet that respect to the claims of confidence, that if the hapless wanderer can reach
a tent, and put himself under the owner's protection, his life and property are secure. If confidence thus disarm the cruellest of men, and procure friendship, shall it be thought that the Son of God, so replete with tender mercy, who wept over the calamities of his murderers, and died for his enemies; how shall it be thought that such an one will ever give up a soul that trusts in him to final anguish ? No: “ Thou, blessed Lord, thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon thee, because he trusteth in thee.” Not because of the sinner's merits, but because of his trust, will he be preserved. • Though he slay me,” said one, " yet will I trust in him.” But fear not, ye who have come, to put your trust under the shadow of a Saviour's power and grace. For if sincere in this, “ neither death, nor life, nor things present, nor things to come, shall separate you from his love." “ In whom also after that ye believed,” says the Apostle, " ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Thus, the soul having got to Christ by a decided exercise of faith, the Holy Spirit impresses on its state and character the seal of inviolability, and it is safe.
There may then be seen on it, in the most legible characters of grace, this inscription, “Kept by the power of God unto salvation.”
2. Besides a persuasion of safety, they that trust in Christ enjoy an exalted happiness and rest, of which the legal Pharisee and the careless sinner are alike unconscious. If you say, that trust in Christ is not essential to my salvation, I feel at least that it is necessary to my comfort; for where could I find rest to my soul without that stay? O this delightful outgoing of the soul to Christ in the exercise of trust, amid the privations and the manifold evils of time, soothes, cheers, elevates, and supports! Is there any sorrow that it will not sweeten, or any bereavement that it will not teach us to endure ? No: while in the body, we cannot be insensible to pain, nor indifferent to the reverses and vicissitudes of so mutable a state. But “ shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword, separate us from the love of Christ?” We trust not. And in that trust we rejoice-we triumph; “ we look not at the things which are seen and temporal; we rejoice in hope of the glory that is to be revealed.” But why so assured of it? asks some one. We have nothing to say but this, We trust in Christ for it-Christ