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according to godliness? It is the gift of God; it is of the operation of the Spirit; Jesus is the author and finisher of it. O! blessed Trinity in unity, three persons in one Divine Essence, undivided, immutable, self-existent, and eternal; grant unto me this invaluable, indispensable blessing. Without it, I cannot please thee. Without it, I cannot approach unto thee with acceptance. If in Christ, I shall be precious in thy sight, for his dear sake who lived and died for me. If out of Christ, I shall be viewed as a vessel of wrath, as fuel for the everlasting burning! Delay not, then, blessed Lord, delay not, to impart this precious gift of grace a justifying faith working by love. Speak the word only, and the blessing will descend. Work in me all the good pleasure of thy goodness, and the work of faith with power, that, going on from strength to strength, from conquering to conquer, I may rise superior to all my foes, glorify thee here in the beauty of holiness, and shine for ever as the sun in the kingdom of my Father.
III. ASPIRATIONS AFTER HOLINESS.
"With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments."-Psa. cxix. 10.
BLESSED Saviour! thou lover of my soul, give me grace to love thee. Never, oh! never let me forget what thou hast done for an unworthy sinner! me never forget thy bloody sweat, thy cross and passion, thy known and unknown agonies, when thou madest thy soul an offering for sin. Oh! that I had a heart to love thee with a supreme affection.
Come, blessed Spirit, shed abroad in my heart a Saviour's love, and that will kindle mine. Sit as a refiner's fire, as a purifier of silver, till the dross of sin be consumed, and thy holy image be reflected on my soul; yea, till I be made meet for the inheri
tance of the saints in light. Give me a hatred of sin; preserve me from the wiles of Satan; deliver me from the workings of pride; save me from a worldly spirit, from a carnal mind, from sensualised affections.
Oh! thou fountain of all spiritual life, quicken my dead soul to act with energy in the cause of truth; give me a thirsting after holiness; strengthen my faith in the Redeemer's righteousness; my reliance on his power; my confidence in his grace; my hope in his promises; my assurance in his love. Fill me with holy joy, tranquillity, and peace. Take what thou wilt of earth away, only give me thy Blessed Self, and then, through grace, I shall sing in the darkest seasons,-triumph in death, and shout hallelujah in glory.
Manifest thyself, Almighty Jesus, in these days of rebuke and blasphemy, when infidelity, popery, and anarchy are combining to overthrow thy church, that church, which thou hast purchased with thy blood, that "congregation of faithful men," however differing in name, whom thou hast chosen out of the world. Make bare thine arm as in the days of old. Stir up thy people to arm themselves for the combat, with the armour of thy providing for attack and defence ;—with the girdle of truth; the breastplate of righteousness; the shield of faith; the helmet of salvation; the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; and with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, that they may be able to withstand in the evil day, and be faithful even unto death.
Preserve me, gracious Saviour, from philosophy falsely so called; from that wisdom which is from beneath, the poison of the old serpent. Alas! how is thy glorious plan of redemption perverted by men of corrupt minds, destitute of the truth. Preserve me from that specious charity, which would embrace in its arms every error, every false doctrine, every heresy; and from that infidel liberality, that boasted freedom of sentiment, which delights to darken the
clearest truths, and would root out of the world, if it were possible, the saving knowledge of thy Divinity, thine Atonement, and Intercession.
Thou Son of God, one with the Father, God over all, blessed for evermore, give me grace to build all my hopes of heaven on Thee, and Thee alone; to plead nothing before the Throne of offended Justice but thy blood and righteousness; to acknowledge my sinfulness with deep contrition; to loathe myself in thy sight and my own; and to praise thee by a life of loving obedience, for all that thou hast done and suffered for me the chief of sinners. Give me grace to know my weakness, my worthlessness, my wretchedness, my danger. Impart unto me thy Holy Spirit, that I may apprehend thy saving merits; that I may taste that thou art gracious; and be filled with all joy and peace in believing.
O, my soul! spread thy wants before the Lord, who is ever more ready to hear than thou art to pray. Lord hear my prayer, give hear to the voice of my supplication. I want to feel a greater delight in God. I want to look up to God, as my covenant God in Christ. I want a greater freedom of access to Him through the Son of his love. I want a more vigorous faith; a more spiritual understanding; a greater ardency of affection. My mind is dark; my spiritual feelings are benumbed; I seem to myself cold and lifeless! Lord quicken me according to thy word. I see many around me who live only to Thee. Many hearts are burning with love to Christ, and zeal for the salvation of perishing millions. I behold glorious Societies flourishing in our land. Like so many trees of life, they spread their fruitful boughs over the earth, while their leaves are for the healing of the nations. O, how awful! to be dark, in the midst of light;-cold in the midst of holy fire;-dead in the midst of life! Lord grant this blessing, grant that the fire of love may ever be burning on the altar of my heart, and never go out. O! what a precious gift is a new heart. This is the new covenant gift :
"A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you." What a gracious command: My son, give me thine heart.”
Blessed Lord, through thine abounding grace in Christ Jesus, grant this request of my lips. want a penitent heart-a heart deeply humbled on account of sin. The sight of a crucified Jesus can melt my frozen heart, and cause the tear of penitence to flow, as water from the smitten rock. I want a believing heart, a heart filled with lively faith, and clear views of the power and grace of Christ; a faith, which can draw the healing virtue from the great Physician. O! the blessed power of faith, which can make the Saviour's merits mine, and place my sins on him! What joy, what peace, what sweet assurance does this economy of grace impart to the believing soul! I want a loving heart. God is love, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
"Happy the heart where graces reign,
And love inspires the breast."
O! that my heart were the abode of holy love; the Spirit thus witnessing with my spirit, that I am a child of God. How I long to feel the purifying influence of this heavenly grace, which assimilates the believer to the saints in glory. I want an obedient heart, the heart of a child, whereby, with filial confidence, I can cry-Abba, Father. As love is the spring of all holy obedience, so obedience is the truest test of love. All profession is vain without obedience to the will of God. The Redeemer's character was marked by obedience to his Father's will. His active obedience, and passive sufferings, proved his entire submission as man to the will of God; while, by his obedience unto death, he wrought out a righteousness to justify my guilty soul and to save me from death eternal. O, miracle of grace! the wonder of angels,-and the everlasting song of the redeemed. I want a thankful heart, a heart to praise my God with unceasing praise. A thankful heart is
a tuneful heart. Its melody is sweet in the ear of Eternal Love. It is a good thing to be thankful. The joy of the Lord is our strength. Humility will help forward the work of praise, while love will strike the chords of celestial harmony. This I indeed want -one of the richest gifts of grace, a penitent-believing-loving-obedient-thankful heart. For this will I never cease to pray, knowing that this is the will of God, even my sanctification.
Without the blessings flowing from the covenant of grace, through the precious blood of Christ, the greatest monarch, though surrounded by grandeur, is poor; and possessing these blessings, his poorest subject, though encompassed with misery, is truly rich. This truth our blessed Lord has taught us in the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.
The blessings of the New Covenant are beyond all earthly price. Nothing could purchase them but the blood of Christ; none can bestow them but the Friend of sinners, through the indwelling of his Holy Spirit. Lord look upon me in Christ, as a member of his mystical body, then will my soul be filled with thy goodness. In myself, I am nothing but sin and misery. In Christ, I have holiness and happiness, yea, all things and abound; wisdom for my ignorance, righteousness for my guilt, sanctification for my pollution, redemption for my thraldom. Oh! delay not, blessed Saviour, to shower down upon me, the abundance of thy grace. Thy work is salvation; let mine be praise. Thou knowest my heart, which, though hard and deceitful by nature, can be transformed by grace. Make me holy as thou art holy. If I be not a partaker of the divine nature (2 Pet. i. 4.) in all thy communicable perfections of love and mercy, faithfulness and truth, righteousness and holiness, I can never enjoy thy beatific presence in the realms of light. There, all is holiness, and there, all is happiness. Sin, which blighted the earthly, cannot blight the heavenly paradise. There, the tree of life for ever bears its celestial fruit; no