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unto Jesus, the Author and the Finisher of our faith; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame."

Self-denial, under the discipline of the Holy Ghost, is indispensably necessary to the establishment of the soul in good habits. When we are prepared to abandon what God prohibits, when we renounce our most darling sins and pleasures in obedience to his command, and when we strive "to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord," he will in crease us with spiritual gifts; he will make our path like that of the just, which is as a shining light, "that shineth more and more unto the perfect day PP."


We should feel prompted to cherish this Christian virtue, in order that God may favour us with manifestations of his kindness. His spirit will not inhabit that heart, nor afford it glimpses of his love in ordinances, which is careless about overcoming its wrong propensities. We are admonished, therefore, not to grieve, nor to quench the Holy Spirit," who is provoked to withdraw from them that walk disorderly. Further, how can we so effectually demonstrate our sincerity to others, as by practising those lessons of self-restraint which our holy faith suggests? To shew that we really ❝ are partakers of a Divine nature,” it is incumbent on us "to crucify the lusts and affections of the flesh," to be dead to the world', and to bring our bodies into subjection to our rational souls".

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We need not be surprised that such high qualifications should be judged necessary for a Christian, when we reflect upon the purity of the Divine nature, or the sanctity of the place into which the righteous ? Heb. xii. 1, 2. PP Prov. iv. 18. ↑ Gal. v. 24. rib. vi. 14. "1 Cor. ix. 24-27.

shall be admitted, after death. It ought rather to astonish us, that any unsanctified person should ever seriously entertain a hope of enjoying God in Paradise, when he affirms, "There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie."

4. Self-denial of sinful gratifications cannot be dispensed with, if we would secure the joys of heaven. "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord." This declaration stands as the firm decree of God, which no circumstance can reverse. How, then, can this qualification for the celestial state be obtained, if we do not habituate ourselves every day to fresh acts of self-renunciation! Can the drunkard, the sensualist, the unchaste person, relish the sublime enjoyments of angels? Can they feel any pleasure in the holy worship of Heaven? Can they, who have taken no pains to resemble God, be fit to abide in his presence for ever? Can the man who gives the reins to his depraved passions, whose mind is debased by familiarity with gross carnal delights, derive any satisfaction from spiritual things, for which he has no taste, and to which he affixes no value? Light cannot be more opposite to darkness, nor evil to good, than the condition in which unsanctified men are found, is to that self-denying spirit which is requisite to fit them for everlasting blessedness.

Nor let the nominal Christian deceive himself with a hope of entering into "the rest which remaineth for the people of God," so long as he conforms to the fashions and guilty maxims and practices of "the world which lieth in wickedness," and is more concerned to avoid "the offence of the cross"," and "Gal. v. 11. .

• Rev. xxi. 27. 'Heb. xii. 14.

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escape the taunts of the irreligious and profane, than to please God, by "obeying, from the heart, that form of doctrine which hath been delivered unto us." Such a compliant temper is a decided mark of insincerity; and will assuredly cause that solemn denunciation to be pronounced over them that offend in this manner: "So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth **."

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5. Let us examine ourselves touching this point, which is to determine "whose we are, and whom we serve." Do you, then, "take up the cross, deny yourselves, and follow Christ?" Are you in the habit of checking the ebullitions of passion, anger, revenge, and resentment? Do you oppose, by watchfulness and prayer, the pride, ambition, avarice, vanity, conceit, carnal self-love, and self-righteousness, which spring up in your bosoms? Do you carry on a perpetual warfare against every sin, whether of the flesh or spirit? Does it grieve you to perceive the stubbornness of your evil nature; with what difficulty it is kept from gaining the ascendancy over the better desires of the mind; and how often, baffled by the enemy, and by your own inconstancy, you have fallen from your most stedfast purposes, and thus have brought guilt on your consciences? Do you endeavour to abound in all the fruits of righteousness? Are you anxious to be conformed to the mind of God, and to yield him a hearty unreserved; obedience? Are you uneasy at the thought, that you do not love him more and serve him better?

If these desires and feelings actuate and govern your souls, there are, indeed, the strongest grounds Rom. vi. 17. ** ib. iii. 16.

for indulging a hope, that, having begun "to serve the Lord with all humility of mind," you will persevere in well-doing, and be blessed in your deed.

But if you manifest no concern to regulate your affections and "set them on things above," no wish to bring your appetites and passions into subjection to the Word of God, oh, how awful is your state, amidst all the pretensions which you make of attachment to Christ! Whilst you "call him Lord, Lord, you do not the things which he commands you"; and, therefore, if you reform not, he will give you your "portion with hypocrites and unbelievers"."

Oh, renounce a cold system of religion, which costs you no "denial of all ungodliness and worldly lusts," no giving up of your own inclinations to the will of God; and make a complete surrender of yourselves to his service! Such a line of conduct “will bring a man peace at the last," because it is the surest step to attain that blessing.

6. But let the vassals of iniquity reflect how much they lose now, and will forfeit for ever, by submitting to the dominion of Satan, "and yielding their members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sina." Is it nothing to be deprived of heaven, and to be cast down to hell, into the doleful regions of despair? Is it, then, for momentary pleasures, falsely so called, that you refuse to taste the joys of Paradise, and will consent to dwell with everlasting burnings?

On the other hand, the people of God, who walk in the path of self-denial and holy obedience, pos-, sess every advantage, both in time and in eternity. Whilst they live, no guilt harasses their minds;

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because they are pardoned, for Christ's sake. When they approach the hour of death, no forebodings of a dreadful hereafter torment them. But hope fills their souls; and carries them forward with a prosperous gale, towards their heavenly destination, where, at the appointed time, they arrive, to "enter into the joy of their Lord."

What conquest, then, is more desirable, or more glorious in its nature and effects, than to overcome our corrupt propensities, and lead them captive in the chains of Grace? This victory, which the Spirit of Righteousness enables us to gain, exalts our souls, and assimilates them to the nature of the blessed God.

Will not you, who are strangers to the power of sanctifying Grace, supplicate the Holy Ghost to assist you in the necessary work of subduing your iniquities, and of "glorifying God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's"?"

h 1 Cor. vi. 20.



1 Cor. x. 16. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? THIS Sacrament is of the highest importance in the Christian systém; and therefore it deserves particular attention. When a person gives hopeful evidence that he is a partaker of " the inward and spiritual grace," of "the outward visible sign in baptism," even a "death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness," he should come forward to make a profession of his faith in Christ for Salva

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