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nature, good education, good society or acquaintance, a powerful ministry, or the workings of natural conscience, as possibly it may, and does not spring forth from such a fixed, well-founded resolution, it is short of sincerity. Whatever the blades be, they have no root, and will certainly wither away.
2. In particular actions, when they are done in simplicity and singleness of heart unto the Lordwhen, whatever sinful mixtures there may sometimes be of carnal motives, that may have an influence to bring them about, yet the great poise that moves the wheels, the swaying motive that brings us on, is God, and our respect to his will and honor.
Now for this also the Lord undertakes, promising not only assistance, but success-sufficient grace, and efficacious grace: “I will cause them to walk in my statutes, and they shall keep my judgments and do them.” I will not only teach them my statutes; I will not only incline their hearts to my testimonies; I will not only strengthen them for my work; but I will cause them to walk in my statutes. The event shall be sure, they shall keep my judgments and do them; my word shall fail, my promises be of none effect, let me be accounted unfaithful, if I do not make them faithful to me.
AN ENDURING COVENANT.
“I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good ; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.” Jer. 32:40.
The promise of eternal life is made to those who endure to the end : “He that endureth unto the end shall be saved.” Overcome, and reign. “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." Rev. 2:10. "If thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.” 1 Chron. 28:9. “If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." Heb. 10:38. Christians, beware of apostasy, beware of presumption; pass the time of your sojourning here in fear. Let it not be said of you, Ye did run well. He runs well, that does not give up, that sits not down on this side the goal. “So run that ye may obtain." There are also promises of enduring. The covenant of God is an everlasting covenant. “He hath commanded his covenant for ever." Psalm 111:9.
There are two things in the forementioned scripture, Jer. 32:40, secured to believers.
God will not depart from them. "I will not turn away from them.” God is with me, but I fear I shall provoke him away: I shall weary him out by my sins, and drive him from me. No, saith the Lord, I will not turn away from them, to do them good ; I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
They shall not depart from him. It is true, the Lord will be with me; but it is only while I am with him: if I depart, he will depart; if I forsake him, he will cast me off for ever. Here is my great fear, that I shall turn away from him; there is in me an evil heart of unbelief, that is ever departing from the living God. O this false and fickle heart, I dare not trust it for an hour. My corruptions are strong, my temptations are many, every day brings its temptations; and I am in great fear, that by one means or other, one day or other, I shall fall before them, and depart from the living God. No, says God, fear not, thou shalt not depart: “I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me." They shall be kept by my almighty power, " through faith unto salvation.” My grace shall be with them, and my grace shall be sufficient for them, and shall preserve them to my heavenly kingdom.
As there is that within and without an impenitent sinner to keep him from Christ, so there is that within and without a true Christian to lead him to Christ.
Impenitent sinners have that within them which draws them away. Corrupt nature, the power of unmortified lust, this it is that bears the sway in their hearts; and however, for the time, the stream may be somewhat turned out of its course, or bayed
up-however, by the impetus of some external motives or arguments, or the impulses of an awakened conscience, or some sudden heat of affection, they are carried on after and in some fair compliance with the Lord Jesus ; yet, when the barrier is removed, when the external force is spent, conscience laid to sleep, the heat of affection allayed, which is often almost as soon out as in, their very natures will bring them back to their old course. What is it that pulls a stone or a lump of clay down again, that is thrown into the air? Why, when the power by which they were forced up is spent, their nature, their inherent gravity, will bring them down to their place. Sinners need no other weights to pull them down to this earth than their earthly hearts.
And there is one without them that will draw them back. Satan the god of this world, whose they are and whom they serve, may indulge them with so much liberty for their religion as is consistent with their captive state, and as may secure them the more under his dominion-for hypocrites are often the faster to Satan for being so near to Christ—and the very religion they have is but the devil's snare, by which he holds them back from religion; yet, lest by venturing them too far, they should be lost to him at last, he that first tempted them so near to Christ, hypocrites are often beholden to the devil for the religion they have—will quickly tempt them back again.
And so on the other side, there are the like reasons why saints stay not away from Christ. There
is that within them which will bring them back. The grace of God within them will bring them home. The grace of God is now their nature. Sinners while walking with Christ, and saints while wandering from Christ, are both under a force—they are carried against the stream; when the winds go down that carried them on, they will return to their course. The grace of God is the seed of God: “He that is born of God sinneth not,” that is, not unto death; “the seed of God remaineth in him.” The seed of God is immortal seed; it may languish and be ready to die, but it shall not die, it shall recover.
There is also one above them who will bring them back, though he suffer them for a time to wander from the way. “Of those whom thou hast given me, I have lost none." He hath lost none, and he will lose none. He sends a word of commandment after them: “Return, O backsliding children; for I am married unto you.” Jer. 3:14. Whither are you running? Whom are you following after ? Come back from your lovers, return to your husband. I am married to you, and we may not part.
After the word of command, he sends a word of promise: “I will heal your backslidings.” Jer. 3:22. Return from your backslidings, and I will heal them. I will forgive your backslidings, and I will cure you of your backsliding heart. All the breaches they have made shall be made up; I will pass by all that you have done, and be reconciled to you. If you will turn, return and I will receive you. And this word of promise is a word of power. I will bring you to