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ON THE OFFICES OF CHRIST.
'T is from the treasures of his word
Bright image of the Father's face,
The King of kings, the Lord most High,
Where grace can neither melt nor move
But when for works of peace
With tender pity in his heart
At length the Judge his throne ascends,
THE REBEL'S RETURN TO GOD.
When with my mind devoutly prest,
Would past offences trace ;
The power of changing Grace.
This tongue, with blasphemies defiled,
In heavenly league agree.
Should ever lead to thee!
These eyes, that once abused their sight,
And weep a silent flood:
In pure redeeming blood.
When round the festive board;
And press to hear thy word. Thus thou art served in every part: 0, wouldst thou more transform my heart,
The drossy mass refine, That grace might nature's strength control, And a new creature-body, soul
Be, Lord, for ever thine.
BY THE REV. BENJAMIN B. SMITH, D. D.,
RECTOR OF CHRIST CHURCH, LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY.
Romans viii. 32.—" He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how
shall he not, with him, also freely give us all things ?".
If ever intelligent and sensitive creatures were placed in a condition to need a hope above them, to strengthen their hearts in the day of trouble, we, dwellers in the dust, find ourselves in that condition. Children, in their utter ignorance, and total blindness to the future, do not more need the provident care and watchful kindness of a father, than we need the guidance of a reconciled God. Widows, in the extremity of their helplessness and dependence, are not more worthy objects of compassion than all of us are every moment of our lives. And shipwrecked mariners need not strain their eyes more to look out for help from the land, or tax their energies more to grasp the floating fragments of a wreck, than we to look up to the hills "from whence cometh our help," and to cleave to the promises of God in Christ Jesus. Take man, in his very best estate, when his mind is keen to discern and his energies mighty to execute, the best and wisest plans of worldly aggrandizement -- and yet, man at his very “best estate is altogether vanity." What can be do for the best interests even of those who are dearest to his heart, or most dependent on his care? How can he avert from them, or from himself, the most desolating and terrible afflictions? How can he save his own life from destruction, or provide a ransom for his own soul ?
world of mankind as we find them—who are not struggling, like a shipwrecked mariner, for life, and amongst the broken fragments of his ruined prospects, his lost comforts, his dying friends, his expiring hopes? If there is no power above us, we are infinitely worse off than the beasts that perish! If there be no foothold for our hopes in a better and brighter world, happy had it been for us if we had never been born. If the pilot of the vessel and the ruler of the storm be not our friend, willing and able to stand by and succor us, better had it been if we had never launched forth on the ocean of life; most happy if we had long since been overwhelmed by its storms! Who is there that does not feel the need of a friend stronger than man; of fields of happiness brighter than earth displays; of hopes, stronger and surer than any which life affords? Who is there but would give worlds for that to trust in, which neither time, nor accident, nor human malice, nor death itself could, in the slightest degree, affect--far less destroy ?
It is the glory of the true religion, that it not only furnishes this anchorage ground, not only provides exceeding great and precious promises, but also inclines and teaches the heart to rely upon them. It enables, nay, constrains the sincere believer to look for his strength and consolatian to the care of the Father of the Universe; to the love and compassion of the Almighty Savior, and to the grace and help of the Holy Ghost. Thus faith, in all times of need, becomes reliance, trust, confidence. The eternal and unchangeable world seems like a reality: new freshness and power are imparted to the blessed promises. In the solitude of the closet; in the solemnities of public worship; in the hour of impending calamity, at the moment of utter desolation and misery, this confidence in God is
an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast.” It entereth into that within the vail, whither the forerunner hath for us entered. And the heart which hath this hope is comforted; all its anxieties are assuaged; all its fears are gone; all its troubles are removed, and the blessed promise is proved to be true—“ Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is staid on thee, because he trusteth in thee.".
When we reflect upon the greatness of the privilege of reposing all our cares upon Gon, and then think of our own utter unworthi
ness and nothingness, the question naturally occurs, Will God fulfil these promises in the case of such guilty creatures as we are ? Are these great and precious promises for us? Have we any reasonable ground for hope, that in the time of our utmost need we shall find them true, and realize their divine support?
This is precisely the subject to which it is my purpose to call your attention at the present time. Numberless are the grounds of encouragement for putting our trust in God; we shall have time to enumerate but a few; and shall therefore attempt to select the strongest.
1. It is no slight ground that we are shut up to this one only hope ; for if, in the time of anxiety, in the day of adversity, and in the hour of death, the LORD of Heaven and earth either cannot, or will not help us, who can, or who will ? And as, on the other hand, this thought imparts to all our applications to Him, the energy of despair; so, on the other, it awakens the liveliest hope, inasmuch as no man can bring himself to believe that God hath formed him with unfailing resources of hope within, only that he may be forever disappointed.
2. The attributes of infinite power and boundless mercy which, we are taught to believe, reside in the LORD our God, in their utmost perfection, afford the most abundant encouragement for us to put our trust in him. No situation can be beset with such difficulties that His wisdom cannot easily devise a way for our escape: none can be threatened with such dangers, or oppressed with such positive calamities, but that his power and mercy can, if he pleases, bring instant relief. The attributes of JEHOVAH, are to the souls of the faithful, like a munition of rocks.
3. But, blessed be God, my brethren, we have a more sure word of promise, to which you will do well to give heed. To certain classes and descriptions of persons, He hath engaged, by an oath, that he would give them whatever they ask, in a certain name, and in a particular way. He hath expressly covenanted to give them far more than they are able to ask, or even to think. He hath sworn by Himself, that their “ light afflictions, which are but for a moment, shall work out for them a far more ecceeding and eternal weight of glory”—nay, that “all things shall work