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and guilty creature. Enlightened, awakened, and convinced by Thy power, may I seek the salvation which is in Christ Jesus. Grant that I may truly receive Him as He is set forth in the Scriptures, and be thus made a partaker of all the blessings of that redemption which is in Him. Remove far from me all ignorance, pride, and unbelief. Let me no longer live a stranger to Him by whose name I am called. Let it henceforth be the first desire of my soul to know Him, and to be united to Him. O that He may be manifested to me as He is not to the world; and that I may
love Him, glory in Him, and follow Him. No longer let me hold views and cherish hopes which are contrary to the Gospel. No longer let me listen to the .world, or lean to my own understanding. But do Thou, O gracious God, visit me with Thy mercy, and lead me to the true and saving knowledge of Christ, that I may be His both here and for evermore,
Incline Thine ear to my prayer, and answer my petition, according to Thy great goodness, for the sake of the same Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord. Amen.
From Heaven He to His own a Comforter will send, The promise of the Father, who shall dwell His Spirit within them ; and the law of faith, Working through love upon their hearts shall write, To guide them in all truth, and also arm With spiritual armour, able to resist Satan's assaults, and quench his fiery darts ; What man can do against them, not afraid, Though to the death.”-Milton.
“ Whose image and super tion dost thou bear ? God's image, by which He knows His own, is Holiness stamped upon them. God doth, as it were, strike a tally, when He sanctifies any soul : He communicates His holiness to it ; and, in that, His image and similitude : nor will He own that person, in the last day, who cannot produce this tessera, this tally, and prove himself to be God's by his conformity unto Him." -Bp. Hopkins.
REDEMPTION implies the twofold fact of our guilt and of our depravity; and it is the remedy which God has graciously provided for the removal of these evils and their consequences, and for our reinstatement in true blessedness. With respect to our inherent corruption, the Holy Spirit, the only Sanctifier, is the blessed Agent to whom we are to look for deliverance from it, and for the attainment of holiness,
If I could speak of the wisdom, ability, and virtue of man, and assure him that he could purify himself, and adorn himself with all the charms of real goodness, I might be accounted a pleasing instructor, and be heard by many persons with great delight. But what would you say, if you heard me assure a paralytic that he had strength to walk, run, and labour ; that he was a healthy and powerful man ; and that his disease and weakness were a mere fancy? You would say, that I spoke very absurdly. But it would be equally absurd, if I were to tell you, that
you are possessors of natural inherent power, by which you can make yourselves pure in the sight of the Holy God. While I thus deny the existence of any
inherent power in man of sanctifying efficacy, I do not reduce him to the state of an inert or passive being. He has power to make himself virtuous : but natural virtue is not true holiness. also to seek, to ask for, a transforming agency from above: and it is, I conceive, on his seeking this, or his neglecting to seek it, that his salvation, or his ruin depends. He is peculiarly--a creature of duty, though in himself a lost and helpless creature. In such a state has grace put him.
Sin is not a slight affection, a cutaneous disorder, but a deep and inveterate disease, pervading
He has power the whole man; body, soul, and spirit. Again, the fine veil of human virtue and amiableness is not true holiness : for true holiness is the result of a renovation of our whole nature by that Almighty Spirit who moved on the face of the chaotic elements at the creation, and who gave order, life, beauty, and magnificence to the world.
Nor, in speaking thus, do I degrade man. I merely state a fact. Man possesses the faculties of an intelligent and accountable being : and when I consider these, in connexion with his Christian privileges, with Baptism, Confirmation, and the Means of grace, I maintain, that they will render him awfully guilty if he do not act as such a being ought to act. But with all our faculties and privileges, we can be made holy only by the Spirit of God, from whom proceeds all that constitutes real piety in the soul. We as much need His operations to sanctify us, as we need the sacrifice of Christ to atone for our sins. Accordingly, the salvation which the Gospel reveals is, Justification by faith in a crucified Saviour, and Sanctification by the Holy Spirit.
But as men forget Christ, in reference to pardon and to the favour of God, so do they forget the Holy Spirit, in reference to the renewal of their souls after the image of God. "O God the Holy Ghost, have mercy upon us miserable sinners"—is a petition frequently uttered by the lips of many. I would ask Is it a petition that is deeply felt by the soul ? Does it express the earnest desire of the heart? If Christians so knew themselves, and the nature of true piety, as to pray earnestly for the new-creating energy from above, they would never think highly of themselves, or boast of their various abilities. Truly devout souls are humble souls : and humble souls never speak highly of themselves.
Man is not now what he was originally : his faculties are the same, but they are not in the same moral state. On this subject I have spoken in the eighth chapter. Suffice it, then, to say here, that the current of our thoughts and affections run in almost every channel, except the right one. We fix upon almost any object, rather than upon that which deserves our esteem and love. Let any one use but a moderate degree of faithful introspection, and he will have ample proof of this melancholy fact. Will you compare man to a temple ? The temple is in ruins. Do you compare him to a plant ? The plant is blighted. Do you compare him to a king? His crown has lost its bright gems, his robe is marred and torn, and his sceptre is broken. Examine your views : and how erroneous are they! Examine your thoughts and imaginations; and how full are they of vanity! Examine your affections and taste; and how earthly are these! Without adverting to any act of gross sin, you have here abundant evidence of your depravity.