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which his own hands had wrought, pronounced in infinite complacency that it was good, so may the Lord Jesus Christ, the Almighty Father of the new creation, pronounce that worthy which knows no author, and can acknowledge no agency short of Him, the author and the finisher of our faith, who is to the believer wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption. They shall walk with me in white.” Redeemed by my blood, sanctified by my grace, they are meet to inherit life and glory; the life and the glory of the saint on earth, who adorns his Maker's name; meet for the life and glory which yet remains to be revealed amidst the splendours of the future vision.

Brethren, I have been carried along in the present discourse further than I had intended; but as I proceed, the topics have grown in interest as they have grown in importance, and leave me little

opportunity to accomplish all that I had desired. I had intended to have closed in this discourse the consideration of the subject so far as it relates to Sardis; but justice to you, to my subject, and myself, forbids that I should lightly tread over the delightful promise with which this epistle concludes, and which itself contains enough for a full and profitable investigation. And besides all this, I most anxiously desire to leave the topic of the present discourse to an undivided place in such meditation as you may see fit to bestow upon it; and, as has been heretofore my practice, I will follow out what has now been said with a few plain, pungent, brief—yet, permit me to tell you, brethren—unutterably and inconceivably important practical suggestions.

1st. Brethren, answer to your hearts the question, Belong you to the few or to the many ?

Suppose you, my brethren, that there is any necessity for a learned or ingenious investigation of a point like this? No; it requires but the serious and sober examination which all have ability and all have time to bestow. Have you ever been brought to a proper estimate of your situation in the sight of God as sinners? Have you ever been brought to a realizing sense of your lost condition by nature ? Have you felt the need of a Saviour, and the absolute necessity of a personal application to the blood of atonement for the pardon of your sins? Have you ever experienced that godly sorrow which worketh repentance unto salvation not to be repented of? Have you ever devoted yourselves to the Lord in the bonds of an everlasting covenant never to be forgotten? Is the Lord Jesus Christ precious, and all that pertains to religion of the deepest interest ? Is it the paramount desire of your soul to be found in Christ, not having your own righteousness? Are you, with a proportioned zeal and earnestness, attending to the things which make for your everlasting peace; and have you set your affections on things above? Are you living to God, and presenting yourselves a living sacrifice ? In fine, have you experienced repentance, and faith, and love unfeigned, and do you glorify God in your body and spirits, which are his? If so, to those few you belong, and among the few you are numbered. If not, the language of St. Peter to Simon Magus is in every respect applicable to you“You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.” An eternity of weal or of wo hangs on the settlement of that one question; and it were folly for me to indulge you in the falseness of your hopes, by crying peace, peace, when there is no peace; and it were madness in you to remain in a state of self-deception, feeding on ashes, and sustained by the emptiness of a lie. Oh, brethren, settle this question; for if to the little flock is confined the promise of the kingdom, and if to the few who have kept their garments undefiled is confined the promise of a walk and intercourse with Christ in glory, what shall be the issue to those who belong not to the flock, and who are numbered with the multitudes who, as they live and die without God, must live and die without a hope which maketh not ashamed ?

2. Brethren beloved in the Lord, if there are any of you

enabled to entertain a good hope through grace,

you have experienced repentance and faith, and if you have a joy in believing which belongs only to the children of God; if you, as to the general tenor of your life and conversation, may, in the eye of the Omniscient, and with Gospel evidence to yourself, be remembered among the few who in these degenerate days have kept your garments undefiled; then lift up your heads, your redemption draweth nigh. But in the midst of all that may be cheering, take along the exhortation which will always profitably humble you and keep you ever at the foot of the cross, and ever the suppliants for continued supplies of grace and godliness. Who is it that maketh you to differ in spiritual things from the mass by whom you are surrounded? Who is it that hath given you to have your garments undefiled? To the rich bounty of God, to the dying love, to the perfect righteousness, to the never failing intercession of the Divine Redeemer, are you indebted, as well for your holy singularity, as for the holy hope

that

which is an anchor to your souls. “Not by might or by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.

'Tis from the love of God thro’ Christ,

That all your hopes below begin ;
His mercy saves your souls from death,

And washed you from your guilt and sin.

His Spirit, thro' the Saviour shed,

To you the living fire imparts ;
Removes your dross, and love divine

Enkindles in your stubborn hearts.

Thus raised from death ye live anew,

And freely justified by grace,
You hope in glory to appear,

And see your Father face to face.

Yes, now the burden of your song must be, and ever the burden of your song will remain, “not unto us, not unto us, but to thy name be the praise.” And now that the building is going on, and at last when it shall be completed in the glories and the happiness of heaven, the one great experience of your souls, your united theme, will be, “Grace, grace, the unspeakable riches of Christ.”

If this be so; if the flock of Christ be small; if there are but few that have not defiled their garments, methinks I hear the question scarcely audible, who, then, shall be saved? You, my friends, be you male or female, be you young or old; you,

if

you will but choose to lay hold on eternal life, and seize on the hope set before you in the Gospel. I answer to you, as Jesus the Saviour answered to one of old, when he said, Lord, are there few to be saved ? “Strive to enter in at the straight gate, for many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter in and shall not be able.” Not able! why? Is it because there is no

Saviour? The bleeding corse and the tree of Calvary answer that question in the negative. Is it because there is no agent to change and purify the heart? The offered grace of the Spirit answers that question in the negative. Is it because there are no opportunities? The sacred word of the high and lofty One, which lies before you in the written and the preached word, the privilege of prayer,

the unnumbered opportunities of

grace, all answer that question in the negative. Is it that there is no time? “Behold, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation." No, no, my friends. Why is the flock a little flock? Why are there few who keep themselves unshaken? Why are there few who enter in while many are not able? Hear it ye heavens above and thou earth beneath; hear it angels of heaven and hear it men of earth:

The Lord is in his holy temple—and when he speaks, let the voice of man be hushed, and let the ear of man be attentive, and let the heart of man be opened. “Ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life.”—“How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not.”—“Thou hast destroyed thyself, while in me was thy help."

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