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ready done, or promised to do for his people. And "the words of God are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. He is the rock, his work is perfect, and all his ways are judgment; a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he." Have not those, then, good cause to rejoice, who have such an ample charter put into their hands by the King of kings, a charter investing them with a full and unalterable right to every necessary blessing, even to all the unsearchable riches of Christ. In the
4th place, Rejoice that the life which is begun in you is an immortal principle that can never be extinguished. Ye are born again by the Spirit of God; and ye are kept by his mighty power, through faith unto salvation. United as you are to Christ, by a living faith, ye can never perish. His charge to preserve you, is as strict and binding as his charge to redeem and renew you at first. Ye were given unto him from eternity by his heavenly Father, and will he not keep those whom the Father hath committed to him? Hear his own words: "All that the Father hath given me shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I will in nowise cast out." Christ formed in the heart of a true believer, resembles, in some measure, Christ incarnate in the world. The divine nature may be obscured for a season; it may, and probably will, have its season of humiliation :
but though it may seem to die, yet it shall have its resurrection likewise, and afterwards its ascension into glory. This it was that enabled Paul to say, "I therefore run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air." Perseverance is not only the duty, but the privilege also of all who set themselves in good earnest to travel for heaven. And though the law of God obliges them, and their new nature inclines them, to work out, their own salvation with fear and trembling, yet they have a far better security for their success than any efforts of their own. Omnipotence is their guardian; "the eternal God is their refuge, and underneath them his everlasting arms."
My brethren, time and strength would fail me, were I to attempt enumerating all the sources of joy which belong to the redeemed of the Lord. I trust, that in your own frequent meditation you revolve them, and that in your frequent addresses to the throne of grace, you commemorate them with thankful hearts before the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Do you not then express the joy and gratitude of your souls, for the benefit of your Redeemer's example, for the promised aids of his Spirit, for the assurance of his intercession, for the gracious appointment of him as the Judge of the world, for the access you now have by him to the throne of grace, for the means of communion with the Father of your
spirits, and the pleasing fellowship of those who are travelling with you in the same road to the Zion above. Leaving these, then, to be revolved in your own minds, I will now only exhort you, in the
5th and last place, To rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. "Fear not, little flock," said the blessed Jesus," for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Ere long your trials and sufferings shall come to an end, and your light afflictions, which are but for a moment, shall be followed by an exceeding great and eternal weight of glory. At present we come from scenes of anxiety and vexation to keep our solemn feasts; and our wedding garments are stained with the pollution, or torn with the briars through which we travel. Even amidst our most sublime delights, we are conscious of a certain blank in our feelings, which reminds us that this is not our rest; but in the presence of God there is fulness of joy, and at his right hand are plea. sures for evermore. The poor afflicted broken spirit, which now breathes in trouble as in its daily air, and scarcely knows any other rule for computing the periods of time, than by the revolutions of sorrows and disappointments, shall then be tuned to the high praises of God; and its love to him, who is the Lord of love, shall feel no bounds, and fear no end. O how the unveiled glory of God will then brighten many a face VOL. III. E e
which is now darkened with grief, and stained with tears, and daily wears the hue of melancholy! There is not a sorrowful countenance in all the courts of Zion's King; their doubts and fears have dropt off with the veil of mortality, and sorrow and sighing have fled far away. Lift up your heads, then, ye that travel towards the heavenly Zion, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. It is not more certain that the sun doth shine in the firmament, than that ye shall live for ever in the heavenly Jerusalem, and join in the innumerable company about the throne, in the everlasting praise of your God and Redecmer. Then shall you understand the happiness of believers, and know better than I can tell you, what God did for your souls, when he called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
Rejoice then in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice. Let it appear, by the serenity of your countenance, and the alacrity of your steps, that your salvation is already begun, and that though the fulness of your joys be reserved for another world, yet even in this you can remark, with a satisfaction unknown to the mere sons of earth, how sweet is the face of nature, how delicious are the fruits of the field. "Go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God now accepteth your work." Amen.
HEBREWS V. 12.
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of GOD; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
THE apostle having, at the 10th verse, compared, in general terms, the priesthood of Jesus with that of Melchisedek, finds himself obliged to break off the argument, not from any defect of his own knowledge, but from the dulness of those to whom he wrote. Their minds were not as yet prepared for such sublime instruction, and that not owing to any natural infirmity, but merely to their neglect or misimprovement of the best advantages. "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat." Accordingly, he