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النشر الإلكتروني

CONTENTS.

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This sin includes opposition to Christ and his cause-arises

from hatred-committed in opposition to knowledgeac-
companied with blasphemies, and is exasperated by admo-
nition. But when a desire is cherished for the Divine fa-
vour, it is no proof that this sin has been committed be-
cause convictions have been resisted—evil thoughts haunt
us-blasphemous words have been uttered—religion has

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On the want of the Assurance of Salvation.

Assurance not inseparable from a state of grace, otherwise

the essence of faith would consist in a belief of our own

salvation—the agency of the Spirit would be unnecessary

to maintain our peace-temptation could not destroy our

hope-the desponding would be under condemnation-

and the confident and presumptuous would be safe. That

assurance is attainable is evident from Christ's love to his

people from the change which they undergo at regener-

through Christ. Those conscious of no cause for this dis-

tress, must recall the former instances of God's favour. If

they cannot take encouragement from past experience,

they are exhorted to look into the present state of their

heart.

. 170

CHAPTER XI.

On Temporal Afliction.
Affliction is not always the effect of the Divine displeasure,

nor reserved for the irreligious. It prevents and cures sin
-promotes conformity to the image of Christ-discovers
the excellence of the promises-enhances the value of

CHAPTER I.

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF RELIGIOUS JOY.

“Let pure devotion in my heart

For ever dwell, thou God of love;
And light and heavenly peace impart,
Sweet earnests of the joys above."

Man is born to trouble, and Christians are not exempted from the ordinary calamities and sorrows of humanity. Many are the afflictions of the righteous. Though their hopes are high, and they know that, when they reach their home, they shall find their inheritance to be invaluable and immense; while they are in the house of their pilgrimage, they experience much to disturb their peace, and to exercise their faith, fortitude, and patience. Their faculties are limited and feeble; their graces are imperfect; their understandings are only partially enlightened; their hearts are deceitful; their bodies are frail; they are placed in a wicked and ensnaring world; surrounded with manifold temptations; and exposed to severe and complicated trials. They cannot always do the things that they ought, nor even the things that they would. When they would do good, evil is present with them: they feel a law in their members warring against the law in their minds; and are burdened with a body of sin and death.

Though, therefore, it is the duty of all who are reconciled unto God by the death of his Son, to be strong in the Lord, to glory in his love, to rejoice alway; there are seasons when this joy becomes unattainable, and when their souls are filled with distress and anguish. Is it possible, or proper, to rejoice when God forsakes them, and

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