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followers of them who through faith and patience do now inherit the promises.-Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.-And let your path resemble that of the just-a shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil-having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breast-plate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseve
These few passages of Scripture, which speak to us directly as soldiers and travellers, who, under the conduct and tuition of the great Captain of Salvation, must force their way to the Zion above, fully express the meaning of my first exhortation; and as they are not my words, but the words of the living and true God, the divine
authority with which they are marked, must necessarily imply our obligation to obey them, and consequently give a greater weight to my present address than any arguments that I could possibly devise. Let me therefore once more repeat the exhortation, and call upon you to make progress in your Christian course. Let your present attainments, instead of satisfying you, only incite your zeal and ambition to rise still higher in the excellencies of the divine life. Carry ever in your minds, that the design of the solemn and instrumental duties of religion is to beget and strengthen those principles and habits of goodness in your souls, by which they will be gradually ripened for the life of heaven. Stir up your faith to behold him who is invisible, that you may walk before him in the light of the living, having no other anxiety but to do what he commands; no other ambition but to enjoy his favour now, and to receive his approbation at last. Let your meditation on those sufferings of the Redeemer, which ye have been shewing forth to-day, instruct you what you are to expect in the present life, and how you ought to behave under all its trials and afflictions. Do not flatter yourselves with the prospect of uninterrupted ease, and unclouded enjoyment; but consider him who endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, when at any time ye are weary or faint if your minds; and study to know him in the power of his resur
rection, and in the fellowship of his sufferings, Exercise being made conformable to his death. yourselves daily in mortifying the deeds of the body; in crucifying the flesh, with its affections and lusts; and in opposing your inclinations as often as they oppose your duty. Thus labouring to be examples of patience, meekness, contentment, and to come behind in no good thing to which you are called; go on in the strength of the Lord, making mention of his righteousness, even of his only: "And may the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work, to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
Having thus exhorted you to continue your progress in the good ways of God, let me now exhort you, in the
II. place, To rejoice as you go on.
After all the comfortable topics that have been suggested to your meditation in the solemn service in which we have been engaged, it should be almost unnecessary to recal to your minds any of those copious sources of joy which belong to the redeemed of the Lord. Yet lest there should be some mind so dark, some apprehension so slow,
as to be at a loss in discovering its own comforts; I will mention, in their order, a few of those that are most obvious and solid, and best fitted to fill the mind with peace and joy in believing. In the 1st place, then, If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious, (and to those only who have had this experience do I speak), then rejoice that ye have passed from death to life, and that there is now no condemnation for them who are in Christ Jesus. Rejoice in that distinguishing grace which hath plucked you as brands from the burning, which hath brought up your soul from the grave, which hath kept you alive, that ye should not go down into the pit. Look around among your fellow-creatures, and behold the mul titudes who walk in the broad way that leadeth to destruction, who go on headstrong and blindfold in the paths of folly, until their eyes are opened in the everlasting burnings. Then consider your own better choice and safer condition, and rejoice in that mercy which found you, when you were wandering from peace and happiness, which arrested you in your mad career, and brought you back to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. In the
2d place, Rejoice that you have not only passed from death to life, but are also advanced to the dearest and most intimate relation to all the Persons of the ever blessed Godhead. By your new birth, ye are become the sons of God, mem
bers of Christ, and temples for the Holy Ghost. And what an overflowing source of consolation is this? Can there be any cause of fear or disquietude to those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High, and abide under the shadow of the Almighty? Can they want any good thing, of whom God hath taken the charge as his peculiar property, and for whom he provides as for his own? Is not his wisdom sufficient to guide you through all the perplexing paths of life? Is not his power sufficient to support you under every danger and difficulty? Is not his goodness sufficient to bestow on you all things richly to enjoy ? In what shape, then, can any real evil assail you; or what imperfection can there be in your prospects of felicity? In the
3d place, Rejoice that God hath made with you an everlasting covenant, well ordered in all things and sure. He hath not only assured you, in ge neral, of his good will and gracious purposes on your behalf; but hath also given you a variety of exceeding great and precious promises, so that there can be no possible exigence in your situation, in which you may not find a suitable and abundant relief, in these gracious assurances of a faithful God.
Were I to descend to particulars, it would be necessary for me to repeat the greater part of this sacred book, every page of which contains some reviving declaration of what God hath al