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the truth, and practise it in all my intentions, words, and conduct ?
Am I ready to forgive; knowing how mercy shines forth in the covenant of grace, and how much of divine mercy I stand in need every moment of
O that I could feel more of the sweet influence of those graces in my heart! Lord, pity a poor sinful worm of the earth. Let me not be destitute of this sure and certain evidence of belonging to thee, even that of bearing thy holy image. Fill me with love; make me holy in all manner of conversation ; just and true in all my ways; powerful in resisting evil; merciful to my offending brethren; and wise in all heavenly wisdom. Thus may my light shine before men to thy glory; till, by thy sovereign grace, I am admitted through the gates into the city, clothed with the righteousness of Jesus, and having the inward seal and witness of the Spirit, enabling me to exclaim, “ Abba, Father !" in the courts above.
Almighty God, to thee belong
Who can recount thy mercies o'er,
Here language fails, nor can express
Behold its length, its breadth survey,
And is this love held forth to me?
For me, a rebel worm, he died !
Almighty Jesus, make me thine;
0! clothe me in that beauteous dress,
XVII. ON THE NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY.
Christianity is a religion of love. It flowed from the eternal love of God the Father; was published in lines of blood on the cross of God the Son; and is graciously revealed to every contrite soul through the power of God the Holy Ghost.
Christianity breathes nothing but love to the penitent sinner. It wooes, it intreats, it invites all, without exception, to partake of its blessings and live. It holds forth the free mercy of God through Christ; and offers pardon and acceptance even to the vilest, who come unto Jesus, weary and heavy-laden, as the Saviour and friend of sinners.
Canst thou, O! my soul, refuse such an offer as this ? Canst thou reject so loving a Saviour ; so rich a tender of grace and mercy ? Blessed Jesus ! behold a wretched sinner at the foot of thy cross. Enable me to look unto thee alone for salvation. Draw me, and I will run after thee. O! may I daily live upon thee by faith, who art the true bread from heaven. Unite me to thyself, as the branch to the vine; the member to the head; and bring me in joyful triumph to thy celestial kingdom.
But what am I now asking? Blessings rich as heaven, and extensive as eternity. I am imploring blessings bought with blood-the blood of God incarnate! Amazing price! yet freely paid, to purchase heaven for me!
Christianity spreads happiness around her path. True happiness can only be found in a covenant God in Christ, who hath declared himself to be a just God and yet a Saviour, just and yet the justifier of all who believe in Jesus, yea, faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When we contemplate the great Jehovah in his essential character out of Christ, we behold every perfection in array against us, and demanding our everlasting punishment as rebel creatures. Infinite holiness and justice, truth and goodness, require that sin should be punished. Hence the Scriptures declare that our God is a consuming fire,” will in no wise clear the guilty."
But when we view God in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; when we behold the Eternal Word becoming flesh, and dwelling amongst us; when we see in the babe of Bethlehem, Emanuel, God with us; then hope revives, and leans with sweet delightful confidence on the rock of
love kindles into
a bright and ardent flame; faith contemplates with rapture the stupendous plan of mercy; while all our enraptured powers unite their efforts to adore the great Redeemer's name.
Lord, what is man, that thou art thus mindful of him; or the son of man, that thou so regardest him? 0! how wonderful is the love of God towards lost rebellious sinners.
6 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage ? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us ; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
The religion of Jesus is a religion of peace. The angels sang, “glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will towards men,” when they announced to the wondering shepherds, the glad tidings of the Saviour's birth. Wherever the power of the Gospel is felt, there joy and peace reign. - The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad; and the desert shall rejoice and blossom, as a rose. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice even with joy and singing."
Christianity displays the wisdom of God. “Hapру
then is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding; for the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her; and happy is every one that retaineth her."
Take then to thyself, O! mighty Saviour, thy great power; and reign over all the earth! Fulfil thy promise to thine ancient Israel, and to the benighted millions of the heathen world. Let Satan no longer maintain his empire in the human heart. Hurl him from his seat. Dislodge him from his citadel. Command him into the deep; for thou hast said, “ All Israel shall be saved. And “ the Lord shall be the king of the whole earth.”
Adorable Emanuel, Prince of peace, sovereign of souls! take away the veil from the heart of the
poor Jews, who have so long been “scattered and peeled;" " without a king, without a prince, without a sacrifice.” Hear the prayers of gentile Christians on their behalf, that they may look upon thee whom they have pierced, and mourn, till their sorrow, through thy forgiving grace, shall be turned into joy.
Open the eyes of the perishing heathen, that they may see the misery of their condition; the hard bondage under which they labour; the cruel tyrant whom they serve; and the awful doom which awaits them in another world.
O! do thou reveal to them, through the preaching of the Gospel, “thine agony and bloody sweat, thy cross and passion;" all the mysteries of Gethsemane and Calvary. Shew them the crown of glory which thou hast purchased; the kingdom which thou hast prepared; the inheritance incorruptible and undefiled; which is reserved for all who live a life of faith in thee. Endue them with strength to renounce their sins, and to burst the chains which bind their captive spirits. Shed abroad thy love in their hearts, and transform them into thy own most holy image.
And, O! thou loving Saviour, have mercy upon those thousands of nominal professors of the Gospel, who are by thee esteemed the worst of sinners.