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given them, their water shall be secutions, or other dreaded catassure;" "verily they shall be fed;"trophe can hurt or should alarm "their Father knoweth what things him: for he is safe, and shall be they have need of," and "a little, guided, supported, and guarded in which the righteous hath, is better all places and circumstances till the than the riches of many wicked appointed period of his pilgrimage men" (Psalm xxiii. 1; xxxiv. 8-arrive; and then he will be convey10; xxxvii; lxxxiv. 11; Matt. vi. ed home to his Father's house, in 24-34; Phil. iv. 6, 7; 1 Pet. v. the best way which infinite Wisdom 7) It is, therefore, the privilege and everlasting Love can devise. and duty of every believer, to "cast Thus "godliness is profitable for all his cares and burthens upon the all things, having the promise of the Lord," ,"" to take no anxious care for life that now is and of that which is the morrow;" to rest satisfied that to come," (Job v. 19-27; Psalm "the Lord will provide,” as "he xci; Rom. viii. 28; 1 Cor. iii. 21 hath promised that he will never-23; 1 Tim, iv. 8). leave him or forsake him." "Having V. Communion with God is the food and raiment, we ought to be believer's privilege. We "have therewith content," and to go on boldness to enter into the holiest with the duty of our station without through the blood of Jesus," and to any more solicitude, than the child come to the throne of grace, that feels, who, when learning his lesson, we I may obtain mercy, and find or obeying the command of his pa- help in every time of need" (Heb. rents, cheerfully leaves them to pro-iv. 16; x. 19-22). We are directvide him food and raiment, and does ed to ask what we will, and assured not encumber his mind with cares that it shall be given us, "for the of this kind. prayer of the upright is the Lord's Indeed the believer is allowed delight" (Prov. xv. 8; Mark xi. 24; and required to expect a peculiar Luke xi. 5-13; John xiv. 13, 14: providential interposition in all xv.7-16; xvi. 23, 24; James i. 5; things: he is instructed that not a 1 John iii. 21, 22; v. 14, 15). So. sparrow falls to the ground without that we may come, with humble the appointment of his Father, and confidence, into the immediate prethat "the very hairs of his head are sence of our reconciled Father, upon all numbered." He should consi- a mercy-seat, whenever we will; der the place of his abode as deter-we may present whatever petitions mined and guarded by the Lord; our wants and circumstances sugand that all the holy angels are gest; we may multiply, repeat, and ministering spirits sent forth to enforce them with all importunity minister to his good: that he lies and earnestness; we may urge down and rises up, goes out and every plea, and use all freedom; comes in, under this special protec- we may be assured of a cordial weltion; that no enemies can assault, come in so doing; and we may conno calamity befall, no danger so fidently expect, that all our petitions much as alarm him, except by the will be answered and exceeded, in appointment or permission of his that sense and way which must conAlmighty Father, who "makes a duce to our real good (Eph. iii. 20). hedge about him, and all that he Thus we speak to our gracious God, has," (Job i. 10; ii. 3-7.) So in prayers, supplications, praises, that no famines, earthquakes, pesti-and thanksgivings, notwithstanding lences, fires, wars, massacres, per- that we are "but sinful dust and

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ashes" (Gen. xviii. 23-33): and" and to know the blessings that our condescending Father speaks are freely given him of God” (John to us by his word, counselling, warn- xvi. 15, 16; 1 Cor. ii. 11, 12; Eph. ing, instructing, encouraging, or re- i. 17, 18). He assists the memory proving us; and thus showing us in recollecting the words of the the way in which we should walk, Saviour; and he invigorates faith, and the thing that we should do; he causes hope to abound, enlivens the evinces his regard to us by answer- mind with love and gratitude, and ing our prayers, and manifesting his thus communicates a satisfying and care of us in numerous instances; he sanctifying joy, the earnest and discovers his glorious perfections pledge of heavenly felicity. This and gracious presence with us, and counterbalances all outward trials, causes his goodness to pass before dissipates sorrow, fortifies the soul us ;" and he gives us, sometimes against temptation, reconciles it to even in deep affliction, "a peace of suffering and self-denial, and aniGod, which passeth all understand-mates it for every service. It is ing, keeping our hearts and minds the privilege of the believer excluby Christ Jesus." For truly our sively to experience, relish, and value fellowship" is with the Father and such joys; and to distinguish them the Son," whatever men may think from the joy of the hypocrite, which or say of such pretensions: and this springs from ignorance, pride, and happy experience essentially differs presumption: we are therefore exfrom the unscriptural presumption horted " to rejoice in the Lord of enthusiasts and hypocrites; always ;" and all our enfeebling dethough strangers to such joy do jection and sorrow result from our and will confound them together living below our privilege, and (1 John i. 3). Thus the believer, coming short of our duty in this as having returned to God, walks with well as in other respects. Especi him in his ordinances, command-ally we forfeit and mar this joy, ments, and providential dispensa- when we grieve the Spirit by our tions; tastes his love in every com- misconduct, or quench his holy influfort, submits to his wise and fatherly ences by cleaving to the world, or correction in every cross, and deems by inexpedient self-indulgence; so it his privilege to refer every thing that the apostle exhorts Christians, to his will and glory: and the Lord" not to be drunk with wine, wherein walks with him as his companion, is excess," (from which others seek guard, and guide through life; is exhilaration), "but to be filled with with him in the valley of the shadow the Spirit" (Eph. iv. 30; v. 18). of death, and then takes him home to his more immediate presence (Gen. v. 24).

VII. It is the believer's privilege "to be kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation" VI. The believer experiences (1 Pet. i. 5). The actual comfort the consolations of the Holy Spirit of this privilege must indeed dein proportion to his faith, simplicity, pend on our scriptural evidence, diligence, and watchfulness. This that we are true believers; as others holy Comforter (who dwells in every can only persevere in ungodliness believer as in a temple that he hath or hypocrisy whilst one, therefore, consecrated to himself) irradiates doubts whether he be indeed regethe mind by his sacred influences, nerate, he cannot take the comfort to see the things that belong to the of God's promises; for he cannot person, love, and salvation of Christ, know that they belong to him: and

whatever tends to bring his charac-present; so that they are more than ter into suspicion must proportiona-conquerors over every enemy, being bly interrupt his confidence, which enriched by their assaults; that is only intended to encourage the death is their friend, and his dreadvaliant soldier, when strenuously ed stroke proves their greatest gain resisting his enemies, against the (Rom. viii. 28-31; 1 Cor. xv. 55 fear of being finally overcome by -58); and that the everlasting them. Christ, however, declares, God is their portion, and their allthat "his sheep shall never perish, sufficient and all-satisfying felicity. and none shall pluck them out of But here silent contemplation his hand;" and that "the water he best becomes us; and with this we giveth shall be in them a well of will close these remarks, on a subwater, springing up unto everlast-ject that is nearly inexhaustible. ing life; "for it is the Father's Enough has been said to show, that good pleasure to give them the king-true wisdom consists in leaving, dom" (Luke xii. 32; John iv. 14; venturing, or suffering any thing to x. 27-30). The apostle assures secure such advantages; and in us, that "nothing shall ever separ- giving diligence to possess the assuate believers from the love of God rance that they belong to us: that, in Christ" (Rom. viii. 35-39). if we lived up to our privileges, The Lord hath made with them an the joy of the Lord would be our everlasting covenant, and hath en-strength for every service; and our gaged, that "he will not turn away cheerfulness and conscientiousness from them to do them good; and would concur in adorning the docthat he will put his fear into their trine of God our Saviour: and that hearts, that they shall not depart our dejections arise not from our from him" (1 Sam. xxiii. 5; Jer. religion, but from our want of more xxxii. 38-40; Ps. ciii. 17; Isa. faith, hope, love, and all those things liv. 9, 10, 17): and this covenant in which true godliness consists. he hath ratified with an oath, for the strong consolation of the heirs of promise; even the oath which he sware to Abraham, that in blessing On the Dispositions and Character he would bless him, notwithstanding peculiar to the True Believer. all possible obstructions and objec- WHEN our Lord concluded his pations (Heb. vi. 15-18). Indeed, thetic exhortations to his disconsobelievers "being chosen in Christ late disciples, just before his crucibefore the foundation of the world, fixion, by a comprehensive prayer and quickened by his grace when for them, he made this one of his dead in sin ;" it might reasonably be petitions to the Father in their beexpected, that the same sovereign half, "Sanctify them by thy truth; and everlasting mercy would influ- thy word is truth" (John xvii. 17); ence him to keep them to complete and the Scriptures always represent salvation, by strength proportioned divine truth as the seed in the beto their trials and temptations. liever's heart of every holy dispoWe might mention as separate pri-sition; the graft, which "makes vileges the assurance that all things the tree good, and its fruit good;" work together for good to them that and the mould, into which the soul love God, and combine to promote is cast, and from which it receives their everlasting advantage, how-its form and exact impression, as ever painful or humiliating for the the metal is fashioned by the


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artist's skill (Rom. vi. 17, original). principles continually present beWe are, therefore, sanctified by fore his mind, the greatness and faith (Acts xxvi. 18); and the majesty of God, and the compadoctrine of Christ dwells in the rative meanness of all creatures: regenerate soul, as an operative which cannot fail to abate his natransforming principle, producing a tural propensity to self-importance peculiar state of the judgment, dis- and self-exaltation, and to make positions, and affections, in propor- him feel himself to be as nothing tion to the degree in which it is before the infinite Creator. Havunderstood and believed. This may ing received his being, and all he is be called the Christian temper; it and possesses, from the hand of the is the exact counterpart of the Lord, and holding every thing in truths by which it is produced; it the most absolute dependence on discriminates the real believer from him, he cannot consistently glory, as all other men; and it constitutes though he had not received them. the standard of our proficiency He knows that every benefit lays in vital godliness, of "our growth him under obligation; that every in grace, and in the knowledge of talent demands a proportionable our Lord Jesus Christ." For a improvement; and that he must great part of the acquaintance of shortly be turned out of his stewmost of us with the truths of reve-ardship, and required to give an lation is merely notional: and if we account of it; and he is conscious, do not perceive the genuine nature that he has not made suitable reand tendency of the doctrines to turns to his Benefactor, or due imwhich we assent, they must fail to provement of his talents. This exert their transforming efficacy teaches him, that all those things upon our hearts; thus "knowledge of which he has been tempted to puffeth up," even when the things be proud, ought to cover him with known are evidently suited to pro- shame and increase his humility; duce the deepest humility, and for they have all proved occasions though they never fail to have this of additional transgressions, and effect, where they are received by call upon him to repent and deprea living faith as the nutriment and cate the wrath of his offended Bemedicine of the soul. It may there- nefactor. His principles also lead fore be proper to consider more him to compare his conduct with particularly those dispositions and the perfect law of God, and not affections of the mind, which con- with the examples and maxims of stitute the appropriate temper and this sinful world; and to condemn character of the true believer; ad- every deviation from that strict and verting, as we proceed, to those spiritual rule, even in thought or truths by which they are produced inclination, as sin, and as deserving and nourished; and endeavouring the Lord's displeasure and abhorto distinguish between the lament- rence; so that every part of his ed failures and imperfections of past and present behaviour suggests the upright, and the allowed and to him reasons for self-abasement; indulged evils of the mere hypo- for sin mixes with and defiles even crite or self-deceiver. his best duties; and he feels his

I. Humility may be considered need of repentance, of mercy, and as most essential to the Christian of the atoning blood in every action temper, and as radical to every of his life. He is deeply conother part of it. The believer's vinced, that it "is of the Lord's

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mercies he is not consumed;" all works: as he is more severe in
his hopes of acceptance and happi-judging himself, and candid in esti
ness spring from faith in the Lamb mating the conduct of his brethren;
of God, and his expiatory, sacrifice; so he is unavoidably led, in his best
and he receives every comfort, not hours, to "esteem others more
only as the gift of the Lord's boun-highly than himself, and in honour
ty, but as purchased by his Re- to prefer them;" thus he is dis-
deemer for a hell-deserving sinner; posed habitually to take the lowest
how then can he, who lives under place, instead of ambitiously aspir-
the influence of these principles, be ing to preeminence, which always
proud of his possessions or attain- results from the want of consistency
ments? He dare not venture even with evangelical principles. He is
to the mercy-seat of his forgiving also accustomed to entertain a deep
God, except in the name of his sense of his own ignorance, and
beloved Son; and he deems it a proneness to mistake; for his ex-
precious favour, that he may be al-perience and observation confirm
lowed thus to pray for mercy and the declarations of Scripture in this
salvation. Moreover, when he respect: hence originates a teach-
cannot but perceive that he differs able disposition, and a willingness
from ungodly men, and from him- to "receive the kingdom of God as
self in former years, he knows that a little child," and "to become a
this difference is the effect of a di- fool," in order to obtain true wis-
vine influence on his mind: so that dom. The most eminent saints
he sees abundant reason for thank- have therefore always most felt and
fulness on this account, but none for owned their want of wisdom, and
pride and self-complacency. Nay, been most ready to ask it of God
he is sensible that he hath been (James i. 5); and to inquire his
kept from the gross immoralities, will at every step, with the great-
through which numbers are made est simplicity and fervency. And
equally mischievous and wretched, though the well instructed believer
by a divine interposition, in various will not call any man master upon
ways restraining him from listening earth, but will bring every opinion
to temptation, or following the de- and counsel to the touchstone of
vices of his own heart: so that his God's word; yet he will be always
preservation from the most destruc- learning, even from his inferiors,
tive enormities is rather an occasion his enemies, or false accusers: be-
for gratitude than for self-prefer- ing glad of a little additional light
ence; whilst his misconduct in less on his path from any quarter.
scandalous instances seems to him And whilst he considers. the writ-
to be baser, when compared with ten word as the complete rule of
his advantages, than the crimes of truth and duty, and decidedly re-
the unhappy outcasts from human jects both the traditions of men,
and the effusions of enthusiasm ;

As he also frequently and care- he will ever feel his need of divine fully views himself in the glass of teaching to prepare his mind for the holy law, and compares his con- receiving and using the light of duct with the perfect example of revelation, whatever means he emChrist; as he attentively considers ploy in order to understand it; and his obligations and opportunities, he will continue a learner to the and examines strictly his motives, end of his days, which constitutes affections, thoughts, words, and his security against the artifices of

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