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not; his belief is only a notion : it will do him no good.
Such the faith of most men, (James ii. 20.) yea, of all men by nature. You may drive a man to this faith : he cannot deny the Bible, but does not obey it.
But when the Holy Spirit works faith, then the heart is changed; the wrath of God then appears dreadful, his favour better than life, sin distasteful, holiness beautiful. Now, how will faith act upon him? See in the case of Noah, in the text, and in his history. (Genesis vi.)
Noah believed the revelation of God, though it seemed
1. Improbable : would God destroy His own work?
2. At a distance; one hundred and twenty years; seems an eternity.
3. People will mock me.
4. And if all the world is to be drowned,plenty of company.
5. People endeavouring by various ways to draw him off.
But, 1. Hath God said it?
2. Are not one hundred and twenty, and twice one hundred and twenty years, past already?
3. Mocking turned into envy, when the flood
4. Is a person less frightened in shipwreck, because all the crew perish? The danger mine in particular.
Now apply this part of the subject spiritually.
1. Improbable: but hath God said it? The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. (Psalm ix. 17.) And shall finite and fallen understandings judge of divine probabilities? Ah, trust not vain unscriptural reasonings against Scripture!
2. Age and death seem afar off. So, Luke xii. 19, 20. But suppose you could promise yourself age, and it were ever so long in coming : it will come, it must. And what matter then how distant?
3. Mockery? Choose, then, between that of man now, and of God hereafter. For hear the wisdom of God. (Prov. i. 24–27.) But ye
have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your fear cometh, &c.
4. Company? Yes, such as will enhance the soul's misery. (Matt. xxv. 41.) Parents with children, children with parents.
See the rich man. (Luke xvi. 27, 28.)
5. People persuade you to the contrary? But listen to God and bis people.
What then are we to do? What did Noah? Moved with fear, he would reason thus; “ It is an awful thing to be destroyed by the flood; but yet that is not the point of fear: a good man may be drowned; but this flood is the wrath of God.” Now then, reason in the same manner. fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Heb. x.31.) This is the fearful thing: hell, no hell without this.
It is a
In his fear, then, what did Noah do? Exactly what God commanded: he prepared an ark. Here he showed his faith in the warning of God;first, by doing something to avoid impending danger : faith led to works :-secondly, by doing exactly what God directed.
He might have raised objections : “ Is there no other way? This way is disagreeable, and insecure.” We hear of no such objections.
Hebrews XII. 14.-Holiness, without which no man shall see the
Plain declaration, excluding many from scriptural hope of heaven.
All are willing to admit that the holy shall see God; but yet many hope that without it they may see God.
1. What it is to see the Lord.
1. To see the Lord, is, to be in heaven: there the face of the Lord is no longer veiled.
Is there any thing for the bodily eye to see? Yes, we shall behold the glorified body of our Lord; of Him who hung upon the cross, who ascended into heaven ;-see the glory of Christ, the Lord of glory. The queen of Sheba found the reality beyond all her anticipation : so those
who enter into heaven.
Holiness a necessary qualification for the enjoyment of this glory.
2. Holiness is perfect conformity to the will of God. It is invariably the same thing, being a resemblance to an invariable standard. But is holiness required of sinful man? We are told that we are conceived in sin. Man is
far gone from original righteousness ;” as any parent will find, who aims at infusing into the mind of a child a hearty love of spiritual things. God does not require a holiness unattainable by man: He regards our difficulties, and infirmities. True Christian holiness, and holiness of heart and life, infusion of a holy principle, shows itself in daily fruits. Blessed are the pure in heart. Holiness of a feeble creature, a penitent, renewed sinner.
3. Whence comes holiness? The Holy Spirit is the giver : thence must we seek it. He “sanctifieth all the elect people of God.” We are said to be created in righteousness and true holiness: we are temples of the Holy Spirit; and then we are holy, when we become the dwelling of the Holy Ghost.
He leads us, by prayer, to seek of God in Christ the gift of a holy heart. Ask and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father, &c. Seek, then, the influence of the Holy Spirit in prayer. Cherish the desire of being holy. Do you feel desire of being more holy? This desire is the blessing of God. Remember, also, I am a companion of those that fear Thee. If in the way of duty you must meet the world, remember