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be ashamed and confounded in the dust. Thou, even thou, wouldest still reject this bleeding love, if God himself had not first loved thee, and drawn thy affections through the sweetest, softest influence, to choose Him for thy portion, and seek thy all in Him. wondrous Love! O! love beyond degree! shed more and more of this love abroad in my heart. Give me more of thy blessed Spirit's grace and influence. Subdue my rebel lusts. Preserve me from the attacks of Satan, from self-sufficiency and pride. Keep me humble, watchful, and thankful; pure, meek, and holy. Defend me from the contagion of a wicked world, from the fear of man, from all dissimulation, hypocrisy, and deceit. Make me simple and sincere, upright and without guile before thee. Cause me to abound yet more and more in knowledge, faith, and love, till all my powers are perfected in glory.
Sin is the dishonour, the disease, the death of the soul. It brings, in this world, disgrace and condemnation; and in the next, shame and everlasting torment. O! how I long for entire sanctification. Blessed Jesus, thou alone canst wash away my crimson sin. Nothing but thy precious blood can remove the foul pollution. To thee I come, to the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness. Lord, plunge me beneath this sacred flood, that I may come out of it pure and clean.
O! Almighty Purifier, thou eternal Spirit of Holiness, sit upon my soul as a refiner's fire. Kindle a flame of love in my heart, that may burn to thy glory. Give me to see the preciousness of Jesus, his beauty and adorable perfections. Enable me to walk in his footsteps, to copy his example, to delight in his commandments. Root out of my heart all pride and worldly lust, and implant in their stead, humility and a heavenly mind. Give me a relish for spiritual employments, holy meditation, and fervent love. Faint, yet pursuing,' ""* was the state of Israel Judges viii. 4.
of old. I feel my spiritual weakness. How difficult it is to have the mind wholly fixed upon God. The clouds are not so shifting, nor the winds so fleeting, as my thoughts. I try to fix them upon heavenly things; for a few moments they seem to settle upon objects of eternal interest, and then they slide insensibly away, till starting as from a reverie, I am grieved to find, that my thoughts have wandered to the ends of the earth. O! the deceitfulness and instability of the heart!
Blessed Jesus, bind my heart to thy Cross with the cords of love. Let not the enemy allure my affections from thee, or fill my mind with vain imaginations. Let me be wholly taken up with thee. Enable me to keep eternity in view; to live and act as one who must shortly appear in thy presence. O blessed expectation to the true believer! Do I love thy appearing? Am I longing to behold thee without a veil between ? Then shall I be admitted into thy presence, where is fulness of joy. But, have I truly believed on the Son of God? Am I united by faith to the living Vine? Do I daily receive the vivifying sap, the grace of the Saviour, that I may bear the fruits of holiness? Has the Spirit sealed me unto the day of redemption?
Blessed Lord! make this sure to my soul by thy inward work of grace, and by my outward conformity to thy will. I wait upon thee. Thou hast promised to bless the waiting soul. Thy word is truth. Then I will trust and not be afraid, for Thou, Thou only, art my salvation.
"To will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not." What swarms, not only of wandering but of foolish thoughts crowd into the mind, when we want to be abstracted from the world and wrapt up in holy meditation. All this proves the depravity of the heart, and shows what corrupt creatures we must appear in the sight of God, when we appear so vile in our own.
What a blessing it is to know that this spiritual
malady may be healed; that Jesus came into the world to save the lost. All are sick unto death. are lost. But Jesus, the kind Physician, the good Shepherd, is come to raise the dead, and to restore the lost. Hasten, then, O sinner, to this adorable friend. He hath said, "Come unto me," yea, he hath given thee this blessed assurance, that him that cometh, he will in no wise cast out.* Why then, this backwardness to come to Jesus? He is the tenderest of Friends, the most ready of Benefactors. Let him not have to "Ye will not come to me, that ye in thy case, might have life."+
Ah! but he hath declared-"No man can come to me, except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him." And why canst thou not come ? It arises, not from any secret decree which foreordains thy destruction, and presents an impenetrable barrier to thine approach to the Saviour; but it springs altogether from thyself. Unbelief, pride, prejudice, the love of sin, and the love of the world, the fear of man, and carnal security, keep thee from closing in with the offers of salvation. In the day of judgment every mouth shall be stopped, and the whole world shall become guilty before God. No excuses will then be made, which now pacify the conscience. No pleas will then be put forward in arrest of judgment, which now lull the sinner to sleep on the lap of carnal security. All shall then acknowledge the justice of the sentence: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."§
Remember, O sinner, that the very circumstance of thy not being able to come of thyself to the gracious Saviour, proves thee to be a child of the Fall, and in a state of guilt and misery, since it arises solely from the rebelliousness of thy will, and the total alienation of thy heart from God. Beware, then, lest thou make this moral inability, which is the fruit of
* John vi. 37.
+ John v. 40.
John vi. 44.
the Fall, an excuse for keeping thee away from Christ. Rather say, I cannot, because I will not. My stubborn will, like a chain, binds me to sin and Satan, and nothing but almighty power can set me free. Under this deep conviction of thy lost and undone condition, cry fervently to the compassionate Saviour, that he would plead his precious blood in thy behalf before the eternal throne, that the Father of mercies may send the Holy Ghost into thy heart, to lead thee to the Cross; and there by uniting thee to the blessed Jesus, cause thee to triumph over the world, the flesh, and the devil, and to perfect holiness in the fear of God.
This is the way, the only way to obtain peace and purity, when pardon is sealed to the conscience by the Holy Ghost. Yes! when Jesus says, "Be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee," then the Comforter sheds abroad the love of God in the heart; a sweet peace is enjoyed in the soul, and purity reigns within. O! how happy is such a believer. Worlds cannot purchase his inestimable blessings. He beholds the treasures of earth as the dust beneath his feet, when he compares them with the love of his Saviour, and an assured hope of heaven.
Lord give me this willing heart to come to thee; this humble faith to receive thee; this holy love to rejoice in thee; this full assurance of hope that I shall reign with thee for ever. Then will my joy be full; I shall glory in tribulation, and daily experience the felicity of Paul, which his own words so feelingly express, "To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."*
Inward calmness I desir'd,
Hope, this pleasing dream, inspir'd,
* Phil. i. 21.
All my sins, before me spread,
More, I panted for repose,
Without Jesus,-far from peace,
Precious Saviour! heavenly Friend!
There, by precious blood divine,
Cancell'd by Eternal Love.
XXX.-MOURNING OVER SIN AND HATRED OF IT.
"I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long."-Psa. xxxviii. 6.
A LOVER of the world will perhaps say, If the effect of religion be to make me like a mourner bowed down with grief at the funeral of some beloved friend, let me escape it. Life is given us for enjoyment. Our natural appetites were formed to be gratified. Therefore, as the time is short, let us eat and drink for to-morrow we die.
All this might seem reasonable, did we die like the beasts that perish. But, even were this the case, formed as we are with minds capable of improvement, and living as we do under a DIVINE MORAL GOVERNMENT, where cause and effect are made to operate for