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sins," might be " quickened” to the glorious hopes of pardon, holiness, and immortality. From a lively conviction then of thy guilt and misery, O my soul, must arise the virtue of evangelical faith. This conviction alone will awaken a sense of thy urgent need of a Saviour, and excite thy earnest desires for his
pardoning mercy and renovating grace.“ Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost." 6 The whole need not a physician, but they that are sick." Lost to the favour of God, and to every claim to his mercy, thou must acknowledge thyself to be, before thou wilt repose on the merits and power of him who is mighty to save. The taint of sin thou must deeply feel and deplore, before thou wilt have recourse to the purifying fountain opened in the Redeemer's blood. Thou must be earnestly desirous to be rescued from the condemnning bondage of sin, before thou wilt embrace the glorious Saviour offered to thee, under the symbols of the altar, in the satisfying fulness of his mercy and grace.
The faith which will vitally unite thee to thy Redeemer, and prove effectual to thy salvation, founded on a deep sense of thy guilt and nisery, must lead thee cordially, supremely, and joyfully, to rely on the all-sufficient merits of Christ for pardon, and on his all-powerful grace for complete redemption. God hath - set forth his Son to be propitiation for the sins of the world;" and it is his merciful declaration, that " whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but
should have everlasting life.” When, by the conviction of his guilt, condemnation, and misery, “every high and lofty imagination is brought down,” the sinner will be disposed humbly to submit to the plan which the wisdom and goodness of God have provided for his redemption. When his understanding is
enlightened to discern” the excellence and glory of the Saviour, and the divine mercy and grace which are shed around the eternal Son of the Father; when he views the fulness of peace and salvation in that divine Redeemer who invites “the weary and heavy laden to come unto him and receive rest”--the humble and contrite sinner will repose with cordial, supreme, and joyful affiance on him whom “God hath exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour, to dispense to the penitent pardon, grace, and everlasting redemption.
Disclaiming all presumptuous dependence on his own righteousness and strength, the reliance of the true believer on his Saviour is entire and supreme. In the merits and power of Jesus Christ he discerns his only refuge from the terrors of a violated law; the only means of his redemption from the dominion of sin; the only armour with which he can repel the assaults of his spiritual enemies; his only pledge of exaltation to the felicities of heaven. Evermore “ looking unto Jesus” for every spiritual blessing, he will, with supreme and grateful affection, adore and bless his Saviour, as “the author and finisher of his salvation."
To his Redeemer, rich in grace and mercy, he clings with faith lively and vigorous—a faith which, realizing the all-sufficiency of the atonement of Christ, the almighty power of his grace, and his infinite willingness to save, allays every apprehension, and inspires holy hope and triumph.
The reliance of the true believer in his Saviour, is also uniform and steadfast. Emphatically it may be said of him, that he “ lives by faith.” Faith is the animating principle which inspires and preserves his spiritual life-the fountain whence flow all his virtues and all his consolations.
But it is the consummation of the excellence of genuine faith, and it is its inseparable characteristic, that it “ works by love," that “ it purifies the heart," that it “ overcomes the world." Faith is, in the true believer, an active principle, which is ever inspiring him with the most ardent love to that God who has mercifully provided for him the means of redemption, and to that Saviour through whom alone he is redeemed from sin, and misery, and death, It is an invigorating principle, which is ever urging the true believer to testify, by the most exalted acts of obedience, the divine love which warms his heart; and to endeavour to advance, by the uniform service of his life, the honour and glory of his God and Saviour. It is a purifying principle which, by subduing the dominion of sin, removes sense of guilt from the conscience; which, by the impressing upon
the soul the holy image of God, restores her to the joys of her favour; which prepares us for the felicity of heaven, by forming in us those holy graces that yield on earth a foretaste of celestial joys. The true believer acknowledges the Saviour not only as the gracious High Priest, by whose atonement and intercession he is rescued from guilt and condemnation; but as the divine Prophet, who illumines the soul with celestial truth; and as the almighty King, who establishes in the heart the dominion of righteousness, and who claims the submissive homage of his people.
Behold now, my soul, the exalted characteristics of that faith, which alone is effectual to salvation. Founded on a lively sense of the guilt and condemnation in which, through sin, he is involved, it opens to the true penitent the mercy and grace of the Saviour, and excites him, disclaiming every other dependence, to rely with supreme, lively, and uniform confidence, on the merits and power of Christ, for pardon and salvation. An active and vigorous principle, it renews and purifies the heart; and excites the believer to aim at that universal obedience, by which alone he can glorify his Saviour, and prepare his soul for the fruition of the holy presence of his God.
This supreme, lively, and obedient faith in Christ, O my soul, is made, by the decree of God, thy Almighty Lawgiver and Judge, the indispensable condition of thy salvation. By this exalted principle alone canst thou testify
thy, generous sensibility to the infinite glory and love of thy Redeemer, or obtain the inestimable blessings of pardon, peace, and everlasting glory. It is this divine faith which, applying to the soul the Saviour's merits and grace, plucks from her the sting of guilt ; bursts the chains of sin; and finally bears the soul triumphant over death, in the robes of celestial righteousness, to the throne of her Redeemer and God.
Blest is thy state, O my soul, glorious thy destiny, if thou art animated by this exalted faith in the Son of God. To the pangs of conscience thou canst apply the pacifying merits of the Saviour's blood. To the phrensy of guilty passion thou canst oppose the conquering energies of his grace. Clad in a panoply of celestial power, thou shalt sustain, unhurt, the assaults of thy spiritual enemies. Death himself shall see his shafts fall harmless at thy feet, and behold thee, contemning his enraged efforts, enter on the felicities of an immortal kingdom. Glorious triumphs of Christian faith! O my soul, aim at obtaining the highest energies of this divine virtue. Cultivate a lively sense of thy degeneracy and guilt. Cherish glowing views of the mercy and power of Christ. Implore the quickening
grace to unite thee to thy Saviour, by a consoling, holy, and triumphant faith. Behold! seated on the throne of mercy erected on the altar, he now waits to bless thee with his love. Opening to the guilty sons of men