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took, when he said, “I will run the way of Thy commandments, when Thou shalt enlarge my heart?” In growing holiness—in heavenly desires that, flame-like, shoot upward to the skies—in godly resolutions that aim at, if they do not always attain, a lofty mark—“in the lust of the flesh,” and the “pride of life,” nailed to a cross where, if not yet dead, they are dying daily— in holy sorrows that, like a summer cloud, while they discharge their burden in tears, are spanned by a bow of hope—in longings that aspire after a purer state and a better land—in these things have you at once the pledge of heaven and the meetness for it? If so, “this is the Lord's doing ; it is marvelous in our eyes.” As delightful as marvelous! What joy, what peace should it impart to the hearts of those who, feeling themselves less than the least of God's mercies, unworthy of a crust of bread or of a cup of water, hail in these the bright tokens of a blood-bought crown—that coming event which casts its shadow before But if, without this meetness, you are indulging the hope that, when you die, you will succeed to the inheritance—ah! how shall the event, the dreadful reality, undeceive you! Ponder these words, I pray you, “Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord,” “Without are dogs,” “There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.” Let no man delude himself; or believe that cunning devil, who—unlike the ugly toad that, seated squat by the ear of Eve, filled her troubled mind with horrid dreams—hovers over him in the form of a benignant angel, charming away his fears with “peace, peace, when there is no peace.” Believe me, that the only proof that God has chosen us is, that we have chosen him. The distinguishing mark of heirs is some degree of meetness for the heirship. In saints, the spirit is willing even when the flesh is weak; the body lags behind the soul; the affections outrun the feet; and the desires of those who are bound for heaven, are often far on the road before themselves. By these signs thou mayest know thyself. Can you stand that touchstone? Ere autumn has tinted the woodlands, or the cornfields are falling to the reaper's song, or hoary hill-tops, like gray hairs on an aged head, give warning of winter's approach, I have seen tie swallow's brood pruning their feathers, and putting their long wings to the proof; and, though they might return to their nests in the window-eaves, or alight again on the house-tops, they darted away in the direction of sunny lands. Thus they showed that they were birds bound for a foreign clime, and that the period of their migration from the scene of their birth was nigh at hand. Grace also has its prognostics. They are infallible as those of nature. So, when the soul, filled with longings to be gone, is often darting away to glory, and, soaring upward, rises on the wings of faith, till this great world, from her sublime elevation, looks a little thing, God's people know that they have the earnest of the Spirit. These are the pledges of heaven—a sure sign that their “redemption draweth nigh.” Such devout feelings afford the most blessed evidence that, with Christ by the helm, and “the wind,” that “bloweth where it listeth,” in our swelling sails, we are drawing nigh to the land that is afar off; even as the reeds, and leaves, and fruits that float upon the briny waves, as the birds of strange and gorgeous plumage that fly round his ship and alight upon its yards, as the sweet-scented
odors which the wind wafts out to sea, assure the weary mariner that, ere long, he shall drop his anchor, and end his voyage in the desired haven.
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness.-ColossIANs i. 13.
THE stories of subterranean caves, where brilliant diamonds, thickly studding vaulted roof and fretted walls, supply the place of lamps, are fancies—childhood's fairy-tales. Incredible as it may appear to ignorance, on whose admiring eyes it flashes rays of light, science proves that the diamond is formed of the very same matter as common, dull, black coal. It boasts no native light; and dark in the darkness as the mud or rock where it lies imbedded, it shines if with a beautiful, yet with a borrowed splendor. How meet an emblem of the jewels that adorn the Saviour's crown
Besides, like many a gem of man and woman kind, the diamond is of humble origin. Its native state is mean. It lies buried in the deep bowels of the earth; and in that condition is almost as unfit to form a graceful ornament, as the stones that pave our highways, as the rudest pebble which ocean, in her play, rolls upon the beach. Unlike many other crystals, it is foul, encrusted with dirt, and inelegant in form—flashing with none of that matchless lustre which makes it afterwards appear more like a fragment struck from star or sun, than a product of this dull, cold world. That it may glow, and sparkle, and burn with many-colored fires, and change into a thing of beauty, it has to
undergo a rough, and, had it our sensibilities of nerve and life, a painful process. The lapidary receives it from the miner; nor, till he has ground the stone on his flying wheel, and polished it with its own dust, does it pass into the hands of the jeweller to be set in a golden crown, or become the brightest ornament of female loveliness. Through a corresponding preparation Christ's saints have to go. Are you saved ? you have to be sanctified. Are you redeemed ? you have to be renewed. You are polluted, and require to be purified; and, as all know who have experienced it, at a great cost of pail, and self-denial, sin has to be eradicated—utterly destroyed ; in respect of its dominant power, cast out. This fulfils the prayer, “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly;” and for this, as forming that meetness for the inheritance, which was the subject of my last address, the saints are now either offering up prayer on earth, or, better far, praise and thanks in heaven. But as the gem, ere it is polished, must be brought from the mine and its naturally base condition, so, ere those whom Christ has redeemed with his blood can be sanctified by his Spirit, they must be called and converted ; they must be brought into a new condition; or, in the words of my text, “delivered from the power of darkness,” and “translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son.” This, which is the subject before us now, calls our attention to the greatest of all changes. I say the greatest one even greater than the marvelous transition which takes place at the instant of death—from dying struggles to the glories of the skies. Because, while heaven is the day of which grace is the dawn; the rich, ripe, fruit of which grace is the lovely flower; the inner shrine of that most glorious temple to which grace forms the approach and outer court