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ings as pure gifts, to imply a denial of his own wisdom, power, and virtue, and to be a degradation of himself.
Perhaps, my young readers, you may think, because your lives are orderly and your characters pleasing, that you enjoy the divine favour, and that you need not receive any thing more from, or through Christ, than what you presume you have already received from Him. If this be the case, allow me to say with tenderness, but with great plainness of speech—you stand at present on awful ground as to God and eternity.-But I would here advance a few remarks.
First, If you would be true Christians, you must know God--not merely as being the Creator and Upholder of all things; not merely as the Being in whom you live, and move, and are ; not merely as the Benefactor, who, in His providence, pours His benefits upon you;-but you must know Him as the Holy God, to whom all iniquity is an abomination ; as the righteous Governor and Judge, who will not acquit the wicked who die in their sins. God is holy, righteous, a consuming fire. To remember His love and mercy, but to forget His holiness and justice, is not to remember áright Him with whom we have to do. “A God all mercy is a God unjust."
Secondly, If you would be true Christians, you must know yourselves. To know yourselves is to know, that you are corrupt, offending and guilty creatures. Compare yourselves, as to your heart and conduct, with the law of God, and then, notwithstanding your virtue and amiableness, you will find that your transgressions are numberless. You have done what you ought not to have done : you have left undone what you ought to have done : in a word, you have never spent a day, or even an hour, without offence, either by transgression or defect. My sins are before me—is the language of one who knows himself, and who rightly de means himself before God.
Thirdly, If you would be true Christians, you must know Christ. Your views of Him will be very defective, unless you are acquainted with the holiness and justice of God, and with the depravity and lost state of man. The momentous question is, How can man be just before God, so as to enjoy His favour here, and eternal happiness hereafter? How can sinful and guilty man rise up from his ruined state, and stand before God a pardoned, righteous, holy creature-an inheritor of blessedness? Will any one say that he can satisfy God, remove the various evils that belong to himself as a sinner, and secure heaven by wisdom, power, and expedients of his own ? Christ is the only Saviour. He, by His obedience even unto death, has done what man could not do, and procured those bless ings for him which he could obtain by no other offered Himself, the great atoning sacrifice for sin -He is the author of reconciliation—the Mediator between God and man, the fountain of all spiritual blessings.
Here it is that we learn Christ-we see Him to be the Saviour of lost sinners. He has
Fourthly, If you would be true Christians, you must receive Christ. There must be an entire renunciation of ourselves, a complete submission of the soul to Christ, a spiritual reception of Himto be saved and to be ruled by Him. God is holy and just: man is depraved and guilty : Christ is the Redeemer; the Prophet, Priest, and King of His people ; by whom all real believers, all who truly and spiritually receive Him, are justified, sanctified, instructed, governed, and preserved. Here is the simplicity of the Gospel. But mere ideas of these things are not sufficient. There must be spiritual transactions and operations. Christ is our Saviour when we receive Him, through grace, as our Saviour. “ As many as received him, to them he gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name : Which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Thus I briefly put before you-Salvation in and through Christ—in and through Him only, fully, and freely, so that every one who will, may come and obtain the inestimable blessing. Christ died for the sins of the whole world: but He will eventually be only the Saviour of those who truly
believe in Him; who receive Him, live by faith in Him, and live to Him in holiness and obedience.
Here I would intreat you to examine yourşelves. Let each ask himself,—“What do I know of Christ? What do I think of Him? How do I regard him ? What influence has my knowledge of Him on my heart and conduct ?”—You find that your views of our Saviour are superficial. You have not duly considered His redeeming work : you have not thought of becoming spiritually partakers of Him; of seeking spiritual blessings from Him, and of living to Him, according to His laws, and after His example. You know Christ as nominal Christians know Him ; but not spiritually, as He is known by true believers.
I speak plainly, not to accuse you, my young readers, but to call you to the close, deep, and faithful consideration of a matter which is of in= finite moment to you. Redemption is in Christ. You have heard this with “the hearing of the ear :" but you have not sought this redemption: it remains a remote and general, not a near and personal subject. Your religion, therefore, is profession, not operation; a notion, not a power. Such, methinks, you now own to be the case. Give the subject, then, the attention which it deserves : and let it be your earnest prayer, that you, by the agency of the Holy Spirit, may “know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent,which is life eternal."
“O Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life ; grant us perfectly to know Thy Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life; that following the steps of Thy holy apostles and faithful servants, we may stedfastly walk in the way that leadeth to eternal life; through the same Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord." Amen.
O Holy and Blessed God, when I meditate, as at present, on the spiritual condition of man, and on the things that belong to his eternal welfare, I am obliged to confess that I have hitherto little regarded them, and that I have lived in darkness, error, and delusion. Thou hast so loved the world, that Thou gavest Thy only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Such a gift is a proof of Thy unspeakable love ; nor is it less a proof of the lost state of man.
Suffer me not, I beseech Thee, to trifle any longer with sacred things ; to be careless and indifferent about them; or to abuse in any manner Thy mercy and goodness. Make me rightly acquainted with Thy adorable perfections; with Thy holiness and justice, as well as with Thy love and mercy. Make me rightly acquainted with Thy righteous law, and with my own nature and condition, as a corrupt