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by uniting us to Christ, makes us partakers of Christ, and thus, the elect of God. God has been what He now
is, and unto
Eternity, He will be the same. The elect of God therefore are the same character for ever. "Wherefore brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure."
3. Herein is a marvellous thing, that man should make sure his election of God. But is it not so, that in order to every effect and change in man, God and man must work as one? God is the Author and the Finisher of faith; but in order thereto man must himself believe, and continue steadfast in the faith. God gives to man the Spirit of obedience, and yet, in order to have this Spirit, he must himself obey. The motion of God's Spirit in the heart is the soul of all Virtue; and yet man must himself practise and cultivate Virtue, otherwise he will have no Virtue. Divine Knowledge is from "the unction of the Holy One;" but man must himself love knowledge and seek after it as for hid treasure, or he will not be the subject of the unction. Jesus must lay the hand of His Holy Humanity upon our lusts and passions in order to subdue them unto Himself; yet must we ourselves carefully and prayerfully exercise self
lord over us.
control, or our old man, and not Christ, will be Patience is the work of the Lamb of God in us, and yet we must fight against our own impatience, or "the Patience of Christ" will never be wrought in us. Brotherly-love is the Love of Christ in us, towards the members of His Body; but we must ourselves fight against self-love or it will never be supplanted by Brotherly-love. "Love is of God;" and yet we must abandon ourselves to Love, and die into Love, and wish above all things to be created anew by Love and inspired by Love; otherwise we shall never be the organs of Love. It is then indeed true that we must "give diligence to make our calling and election sure.”
4. The subject is really simple :-In Adam we are dead, in Christ we are made alive unto Eternal Life. To be in Christ is to be elect: not in Christ, not elect. Who are in Christ? all those who wish to be and who strive to be. If all those can read, who have, themselves by their own patient perseverance, acquired the art of reading; and if only those cannot read who have not been at the pains to learn, can the latter complain that God has not given them the art of reading? If those have the prospect of a Harvest, who have done their part to secure it; and if those have no
such prospect, who have neither ploughed nor sown, can the latter reflect on God that He has done more for their neighbours than for them? Did a soul ever yet use all diligence "to win Christ and to be found in Him," and come short of the election of God?
Do not all the elect come to Christ, and walk by one rule? Col. iii. 12-15. Can any one walk according to this rule and not be elect? And can any one be hindered from coming to Christ and walking by this rule, except by his own will. The non-elect then will be able to complain only of themselves, that they had no will to do what the elect did, that they might be elect. The choice of God is as unchangeable as His own Being and Character. He cannot choose what is contrary, or hostile to His own nature: He cannot but choose what is like Himself. He has chosen us therefore in Christ; and wherefore? "that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." For if we are "in Christ" we shall become so; but if we are not in Christ we cannot become so. What remains then but to say: "Whosoever will, let him take the water of Life freely." Those who will not, will have no ground of complaint against Christ; but His complaint against them, already stands written "Ye will not come to Me that ye might
have Life." "You might have Life." There is no holding back with God: His Son is universal Lifegiver. And whoever receives the Life of Christ, receives the motive and tendency to every virtue, possible in earth or heaven.
THE END OF FAITH.
IX. It is undeniable that the Apostle submits the golden chain of Faith, as the rule by which we may make our election sure, declaring: "If ye do these things ye shall never fall; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." True faith initiates man into the kingdom of Heaven, invests him with its power, and makes him an associate of innumerable angels, and the departed spirits of just men. He is compassed about with his invisible friends, who take an intense interest in the fight and victory of his faith. If there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth," with what enthusiasm must they regard the heroes of faith How the world watches, honors and rewards its heroes! But much more the kingdom of Heaven watches, and will honor and reward its heroes. The heroism of faith is of an incomparably
higher character than the heroism of animal spirits and muscles. The martial hero is helped by his passions and senses; but the heroes of faith in spite of the opposition of their own senses and passions. The heroes of faith are the calm masters of three worlds,-namely, of their own nature, of the sensible world, and of the invisible world of fallen spirits. Without doubt a glorious reception awaits them into their own kingdom, and amongst their own kindred. We talk about the honors of worldly heroes; but to see men honored we must wait till we see how Heaven will honor those who have fought the good fight of faith. Their royal virtues are the princely chain which hangs from their neck. The inwrought majesty of their character is an everlasting crown upon their heads. Their meek but brave purity, acquired in a world of corruption, and in an unclean and a deceitful heart; their self-conquest, by self-abasement; their Divine Patience, prayed into their souls when their whole being was, at the very time, struggling and heaving to break out into impatience; their Godliness begotten in them by the Holy Ghost through their own willing death unto sin; above all, their glorious Love obtained through the subjugation of self-love: these are their honors, and for these they shall also be