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6 any of the truths of God, I greatly distrust the “ reality of my own consent and compliance « with his will.” Do you then really give credit to all the truths of God respecting your own "loft condition, and the only way of deliverance from it. May the Lord himself increase your faith ; for if it be so indeed, you are happy and fafe. These truths, these alone, are the sure foundation of hope. I am afraid we have all too strong a tendency to look for some encouraging qualification in ourselves, on which we might more securely rest. What is faith? Is it any more than receiving the record which God hath given of his Son, believing the testimony of the amen, the true and faithful witness? Is not your peace and reconciliation with God, and the fanctification of your natures; expressly provided for in the all-fufficiency of Christ, and to him you are affured that you must be indebted for both ? What standeth in the way of your comfort then, but either that you do not give credit to the promise he hath made, or that you are not willing that he should do it for you? and this I acknowledge is both unbelief and impenitence. Le
sosirii Complain therefore no more, that you are afraid of yourselves, whilft yet you pretend to have the highest esteem of the blessings of redemption; on the contrary, say unto God,
in a thankful frame of spirit, “ Glory to God in “ the highest, on earth peace, and good-will to"s wards men. I praise thee for this message of “ peace. I think I see, in some measure, its “ necesity, truth and beauty. I see it, I trust « to such a degree, that it is the sole foundation “ of my hope. I renounce every other claim ; " nay, I abhor the thoughts of any other claim : “ Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss, “ for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ « Jesus my Lord, for whom. I have suffered the “ loss of all things, and do count them but dung « that I may win Christ, and be found in him, « not having mine own righteousness, which « is of the law, but that which is through the « faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of “ God by faith *. It grieves me, that there “.is fuch a backwardness in me to give glory to " thy name, and to be indebted to the riches of “thy grace. Subdue my obstinacy, and rule “ by thine own power. Lord, I believe, help " thou mine unbelief.
SECT. VI. How the believer recovers peace of conscience. " W E have now seen in what way the believer
is reconciled to God, and delivered from condemnation. It will not be improper however Phil, ni, 8.
allo also to consider how he recovers peace of con, science, and how his heart and life are governed in his after walk. This will serve more fully to illustrate the influence and operation of the truths of the gospel. There is even a necessity for dos ing fo on two different accounts: 1. That, as has been shewn above at considerable length, every true penitent is deeply and inwardly senfible of the evil of sin in itself. He is not merely afraid of wrath, but sees the impurity and pollution of his own heart. Suppofing therefore, will the intelligent reader say, this great diftinction thoroughly established, his relief is but half accomplished. There may be no more condemnation for him in the law of God, for the breach of which satisfaction has been made and accepted ; but he is only so much the more liable to the condemnation of his own conscience. He must still suffer the reproaches and challenges of his own mind, which make so great a part of the misery of a guilty state.
This receives additional strength, from a fecond consideration, that as he is justified by faith, he hath peace only through the blood of Chrift. This is not from himself, and may be thought to leave bim, so to speak, in point of state and character, in point of pollution and defilement, just as before ; nay, the extraordinary, unsolicited, undeserved grace of God, may be thought to in
creare crease his self-condemnation, and set the malignity of his rebellion in the strongest light. And indeed so far this is true, that the free grace of God was intended, and does serve to produce a growing humiliation of mind and self-abasement, as well as an admiration of the love of God in Christ Jesus. As the tenderness of a parent is an image which God hath very frequently, made use of, to fhadow forth his own infinite, compassion, I will borrow from it an illustration of the two remarks just now made. Suppose any child has offended a parent by a gross instance of undutiful behaviour, for which he hath been severely reproved, and for some time kept at a distance : if the parent forgives him, and receives him again into his favour, does not his being thus freed from the fear of suffering, leave full room for his concern at the offence? And does not a sense of his father's love melt his heart more for having grieved such a parent, than any terror upon his mind for the punishment of the crime? He is immediately covered with confusion; and if there be in him any spark of ingenuity, he is no sooner forgiven of his father, than the tide of his affections returns back with full force, and he can hardly forgive himself.
But notwithstanding this, as Christ by his sufferings and death delivered us from the wrath to come, so by the shedding of his precious blood,
the heart is also, as the scripture expresses it, sprinkled from an evil conscience. On this important subject, which leads us to the great principles of the spiritual life, the following particulars are recommended to the serious attention of the reader.
1. Through Jesus Christ, and the whole of his undertaking as Mediator of the new covenant, the glory and honour of God is most admirably promoted, and a perfect reparation made to his holy law which had been broken. This must needs be highly pleasing to every convinced finner. As the justice of God is thereby satisfied, fo confcience, which is God's vicegerent, and as it were pleads his cause, is satisfied by the same means. The ground of a finner's dissatisfaction with himself, is the dishonour done to God. Must it not therefore please and satisfy him to see this dishonour fo perfectly removed, and so much of the divine glory shining in the work of redemption. All the divine perfections appear there with distinguished lustre ; and must not this be highly refreshing to the pardoned criminal ? The very holiness and justice of God, which before were terrible to him, are now amiable. He also contemplates and adores the divine wisdom, as it is to be seen in the cross of Christ. We are told, that even the celestial hosts have new discoveries of the wisdom of God in this great de