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Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the
blood of Jesus, &c. let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith: having our hearts sprinkled (with the blood of Christ, by which he once entered into the Holy Place, having obtained eternul redemption for us, and purged our concsiences from dead works, to serve the living God) from an evil conscience, and our bo
dies wash with pure water. Heb. x. 19-22. CHRIST has for ever purged our sins by himself; “ for by one offer
ing he hath perfected for ever them that are sanetified." Chap. x. 14 ; and to this sprinkling of the blood of Christ, all believers, even the weakest, are to come, in order to receive the forgiveness of sins ; and the blood is said to be sprinkled, to show the need of its application to the conscience by the Holy Spirit. In this purple fountain the believer daily washes: it is his element and life. Thus he“ lives by the faith of the Son of God, who also loved him,” always applying his ransom to his soul, and pleading his merits before his heaveuly Father, which keeps his conscience pure and easy.
They find access at ev'ry hour
To God within the veil;
And joys that never fail.
O happy soul ! O glorious state
Of ever-flowing grace !
And see his holy face.
That which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath
showed it unto them. Rom. i. 19.
There are some things declared and enjoined in the Gospel, which
have their foundation in the law and light of nature; such are all the moral duties which are taught therein ; these, the remaining light of nature, though obscurely, yet does teach and contirm. The apostle, speaking of mankind in general, says, “ That which ma be known of God is manifest in them;" the essential properties of God rendering our moral duty to him necessary, are known by the light of nature; and by the same light are men able to make a judgment of their actions, whether they be good or evil. Rom. ii. 14, 15. The same law and light, which discover these things, do also enjoin their observance. Thus it is with all men before the preaching of the Gospel to them.The Gospel adds two things to the minds of men. 1. It directs us to a right performance of these things, from a right principle, by a right rule, and to a right end, so that they, and we in them, may obtain acceptance with God. Hereby it gives them a new nature, and turns moral duties into evangelical obedience. 2. By a communication of that Spirit, which is joined to its dispensation, it supplies us with strength for their performance in the manner it directs.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or dis
tress, or persecution, or fumine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword ? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him
that loved us. Rom. viii. 35, 37. Stars shine brightest in the darkest night; torches are better for
beating ; grapes come not to the proof till they come to the press; spices smell best when bruised ; young trees root the faster for shaking; gold looks brighter for scouring; juniper smells sweetest in the fire; the palm-tree proves the better for pressing; chamomile, the more you tread it, the more you spread it. Such is the condition of all God's children ; they are then most triumphant when most tempted ; most glorious when most afflicted; most in favour of God, when least in man's and least in their own; as their conflicts, so their conquests ; as their tribulations, so their triumphs ; true salamanders, that live best in the furnace of persecution; so that heavy afflictions are the best benefactors to heavenly affections; and where afflictions hang heaviest, corruptions hang loosest; and grace, that is hid in nature, as sweet water in rose-leaves, is then most fragrant when the fire of affliction is put under to distil it out.
My life, and all its comforts too,
Then if men seorn and Satan roar,
Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away; for lo, the winter is pust, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our lunid, &c. Arise, my love, my fuir one, and come awody.
O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, &c. Song ii. 10–14. O Lord, how often has it been winter with me, but thou hast always
quickened me again! Grant that by these experiences I may be so used to thy ways, as always to expeet the best from thee in every thing, and to have only this one care, namely, how I may please thee as thy bride and dove, and be accepted through thee with thy Father! Let my faith be so strengthened by all thy various dealings with me, that at last I may have boldness, and find complete rest in thy wounds, my crucified Saviour, where there is room for the greatest of sinners, even for me!
The voice of my beloved sounds
The Jewish win'try state is gone,
Be not conformed to this world. Rom. xii. 2. And love not the world,
neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. And the world pusseth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth for
1 John ii. 15, 17. READER, Whose will dost thou do? Examine thyself. Perhaps thou think
est to love the world; and to do its will cannot be a great sin, because miny reputed honest men and good Christians do tlie same. Nay, but for thy soul's sake consider what the Scripiure says, If thou “lovest the world, the love of the Father is not in theo ;” and without this love of the Father, thou hast no faith; and being destitute of faithi, thou bast no Christ, and consequently no life and salvation. Consider further, whether thou dost not love the world above either God or thy own soul? Hast thou not more than a hundred thoughts about the world for one of God, or of thy soul? And dost thou not talk a hundred times more about the world than about God or thy soul? And is not thy pursuit continually after the world, to the neglect of God and thy soul? Why, then, the world is thine idol; thou lovest not God, and art murdering thy own soul. Alas! what a piteous case thou art in ! -The Lord have mercy on thee! I send the things of earth away;
Lord, I adore thy matchless grace, Away, ye tempters of the mind,
That warn’d me from the deep abyss; False as the smooth deceitful sea,
That drew me from those treach'rous seas, And empty as the whistling wind.
And bade me seek superior bliss. Your streams were floating me along, Now to the shining realms above Down to the gulf of black despair;
I stretch my hands and glance my eyes ; And whilst I listen'd to your song,
O for the pinions of a dove,