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Apostle awaken my solicitude, and lead me to Thee for faith, to persevere under every discouragement; for hope, to animate my soul amidst every conflict; for love, to urge me forwards with unceasing energy, through every opposition from the world, the flesh, and the devil. Blessed Jesus! thyself the promised gift, and the promiser of eternal blessings, give me Thyself, and then, with thee, I shall inherit all things.
Sweet is the promise of thy grace,
So freely made to me;
When shall I end my earthly course,
Firm as a rock thy promise stands ;
The precept and the promise, Lord,
That in the volume of thy grace,
Without the promise,-all is dark;
O! may I love thy precepts more,
Till I shall reach the world of bliss,
There will the riches of thy grace,
Be like a boundless sea;
The Promise, and the Promiser,
VI.—THE FALL OF MAN, AND HIS RECOVERY BY
“O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.”— Hosea xiii. 9.
GOD is the Almighty Sovereign of the universe. He made all things by the word of his power; and for his pleasure they are and were created. Contem
plating the Sovereignty of Jehovah, Solomon declared, "Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it; and God doeth it, that man should fear before him." Nebuchadnezzar, when humbled under the mighty hand of God, confessed: "Whose dominion is an everlasting dominion." "All the inhabitants
of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, what doest thou? Let all the earth, then, keep silence before Him. Let all the world stand in awe of Him who hath said: My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.
Those angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, God hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day, without one single ray of hope, or promise of forgiveness. Who dare deny their righteous condemnation, their just punishment,— torments without mitigation, anguish without end? Their expulsion from heaven was not an act of arbitrary power. They sinned-therefore God spared them not, but cast them down to hell-into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Man, created in the image of God, fell from his state of holiness and happiness, through the
deceitful wiles of the old serpent, Satan, the adversary of God and man. By the righteous judgment of Jehovah he was doomed to die. "Dust thou
art, and unto dust shalt thou return." None of the children of Adam have been exempted from this sentence, for "Death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned;" none, but Enoch and Elijah, who were translated, that they should not see death, as types of the ascending Saviour. The Lord of life and glory, bowed his head, and died. His precious body was laid in the tomb, but death could not hold him; He saw no corruption; He burst the barrier of the grave, and rose triumphant, the Victor of death and hell. He is the resurrection and the life; whosoever believeth in him, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever believeth in him shall never die. Oh! glorious revelation of grace and mercy.
The moment our unhappy parents eat of the forbidden fruit, thus rebelling against the Sovereignty of Jehovah who had a right to command, while it was their duty and happiness to obey, they became spiritually dead. The Spirit of God forsook them; the image of God departed from them. Thus left of God, Šatan made them his prey, and filled them with all unrighteousness. They were lost to every holy disposition, to all heavenly joy. They became the willing slaves of every sinful affection, of every hateful and hurtful lust. Such is man by nature. Such is the effect of the fall. Grace alone can counteract the evil, and produce a new creation. Do we find mankind, at this moment, different from the awful picture drawn by the pencil of Truth: "God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually,"* "*"evil from his youth."+ Is not the world still filled with Cains, and Nimrods, yea, with giants in iniquity? Ah! then let not pride deny the + Gen. viii. 21.
*Gen. vi. 5.
solemn truth, that we are shapen in iniquity, and conceived in sin; that we drink in iniquity like water, and have turned every one to his own way. O my soul, with deepest self-abasement acknowledge the justice of that sentence: "Thou shalt surely die.”
The moment Adam sinned, he not only became a dying creature, "dying, thou shalt die;" he not only lost the image of his Creator, but he was every moment liable to eternal death. Nothing but the breath he drew, formed the barrier, slender indeed! between time and eternity, between earth and hell!
Angels sinned and fell to rise no more. Man sinned and fell, but oh! to grace how great a debtor, daily, I am constrained to be! the hand of mercy was stretched out, the voice of mercy was heard in sweetest accents:—the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head. From that moment a door of hope was opened; a ray of consolation beamed on the souls of our fallen parents. "The seed of the woman was the Gospel sound-the glad tiding of great joy-the source of hope and peace.
the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons, and because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." Thus writes the great Apostle to the Gentiles, when expatiating on the love and faithfulness of God.
Be deeply humbled, O my soul, while contemplating the Sovereignty of God. Let every unhallowed feeling be subdued, while looking into the deep profound.
In strictest justice, the Almighty_might have left the whole human race to perish. He was therefore under no obligation to save any. The prohibition in Paradise was clear, the sentence definite : "Ye shall not eat of it, lest ye die." Our first parents did eat and died. Adam, being the federal head of the human race, all his posterity fell in him.
"In Adam all die," all, to the end of time. Thus, in strict justice, God is bound to save none; for all have sinned, and come short of his glory. But God is pleased to save some, therefore their salvation must be all of grace. None can claim this mercy as a right; all may sue for it as a free gift, through Jesus Christ. The offer of salvation is as extensive as the human race. The seed of the woman, the adorable Jesus, when he had wrought out a full redemption for us, commanded his Apostles just before his ascension into heaven, to go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature; assuring all the fallen sons and daughters of Adam, that whosoever believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved, but that whosoever believeth not, shall be damned. Thus mercy and judgment, life and death, heaven and hell, were to be set forth by a preached Gospel, to animate the hopes and awaken the fears of the sons of men.
All men have not faith, therefore all men will not be saved; they reject the counsel of God against themselves; they refuse his offers of mercy; they will not accept Christ as their Saviour; they will not submit to him as their king: therefore, if they perish, they perish justly, and in the day of judgment they shall stand before the Lord of glory, speechless and self-condemned. Are any saved? it is through the grace of God-through the love of a dying Saviour, through the operation of the Holy Spirit producing faith in their hearts to lay hold of, and delight in, the ever precious Jesus.
Hast thou received this gift of grace, a saving faith in the adorable Redeemer? Then, cease not, O my soul, to extol the Giver of such distinguishing mercy. Why should the Sovereign of the universe deign to visit thee? Why should he pour this oil of grace, this unction from the Holy One, on thee? Why convert thee into a vessel of mercy fitted for the Master's use, while thousands around thee are vessels of wrath, fitted to destruction, through their