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None but real Chriftians, exercifed in the fpiritual life, know the value or neceffity of the promifes of ftrength and affiftance contained in the fcriptures. The glory of their Redeemer's perfon, spoken of in fo magnificent terms, both in the Old Teftament and the New, is furveyed by them with the most exquifite delight. The power and efficacy of his adminiftration, is to them a fource of unspeakable comfort. Under him, as the Captain of their falvation, they "display "their banners," and go forth with undaunted courage to meet every oppofing enemy, believing that they fhall be " more than conquerors thro' "him that loved them." Among many others, fee the two following paffages: " O Zion, that ❝ bringest good tidings, get thee up into the "high mountain: O Jerufalem, that bringent "good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength:

lift it up, be not afraid: fay unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God. Behold, the Lord "God will come with ftrong hand, and his 66 arm fhall rule for him: behold, his reward is "with him, and his work before him. He fhall "feed his flock like a fhepherd; he fhall gather "the lambs with his arm, and carry them in "his boom, and fhall gently lead those that are "" with young *.-Fear thou not, for I am with "thee: be not difmayed, for I am thy God: * Ifa. xl. 9, 10, IT. M 3

" I will

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"I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, "yea, I will uphold thee with the right-hand of my righteoufnefs. Behold, all they that were "incenfed against thee, fhall be afhamed and "confounded: they fhall be as nothing, and "they that ftrive with thee, fhall perish. Thou "fhalt feek them, and fhalt not find them, even

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them that contended with thee: they that "war against thee, fhall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right-hand, faying unto thee, "Fear not, I will help thee *.

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SECT. VII.

How the Chriftian is governed in his daily converfation.

B

EFORE concluding this chapter, I fhall fpeak a few words of the principles by which a believer is governed in his after obedience. On this the reader may obferve, that a change in his whole character and conduct immediately and neceflarily takes place. The love of God is "fhed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghoft," and is the commanding principle of all his future actions. It conftantly difcovers its influence, except in so far as it is refifted and counteracted by the remaining ftruggles of that law in his members, which warreth against the law of

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* If, xli, 10, 11, 12, 13.

"God

"God in his mind." By the difcovery which he hath obtained of the real nature and infinite amiableness of God, his will is renewed; he approves the things that are excellent, and gets fuch an impreffion of the obligation of the law of -God, as cannot be afterwards effaced. So long however as he continues under a load of unforgiven guilt, and fees every perfection of God armed with terror against himself, there can be little elfe than flavish fear: but when he hears a gracious promife of pardon; when on examining the evidence his doubt and uncertainty is removed; when he fees the righteous ground on which this forgiveness is built, he lays hold of it as his own, and is united to God by unfeigned love. This love, though weak in its meafure, is, notwithstanding, perfect in its nature, and therefore powerful in its influence; being at once a love of esteem, of gratitude, and of defire.

The love of God is the first precept of the moral law, and the firft duty of every intelligent creature; but it is easy to fee, that unless our love is fixed upon the true God, it is fpurious and unprofitable and unless the true God is feen in "the face of Jefus Chrift," for any finner to love him is impoffible: but through the glorious gofpel, the new nature is effectually produced, and cannot be produced in any other way. It

is Chrift Jefus who reveals to us the true God,
the knowledge of whom we had lost.
"No
"man hash feen God at any time; the only
"begotten Son, which is in the bofom of the
"Father, he hath declared him *." It is he
who makes our peace with God, whom we had
offended by our tranfgreffions; for "being jufti-
"fied by faith, we have peace with God through
our Lord Jefus Chrift +." And it is he who
reconcileth our minds to God, by discovering his
mercy to us; fo that he might well fay of him-
felf, "I am the way, and the truth, and the
"life; no man cometh unto the Father but by
་ me t."

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I might easily fhew, that the love of God is the fource, the fum, and the perfection of holinefs. All other duties naturally flow from it; nay, all other duties are nothing else but the neceffary expreffions of it. But instead of entering into a particular detail, fuffer me only to obferve these two things; Firft, That a believer is under the conftant influence of gratitude to God; and, fecondly, That this includes in it, and will tainly produce, the moft fincere and fervent love to all his fellow-creatures.

; I. A believer is under the conftant influence of gratitude to God, and that not of a common kind. It is not merely thankfulness to a bounti

* John i. 18.

† Rom. v. I. ↑ John xiv. 6.

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ful and liberal benefactor, for mercies which have not been deferved, but a deep fenfe of obligation to a Saviour, who loved him, and washed him in his own blood from the guilt he had contracted; who faved him by his own death from the dreadful penalty which he had incurred. What the influence of this must be, we may gather from the words of the apoftle Paul," For "the love of Chrift conftraineth us, because we

thus judge, That if one died for all, then were "all dead; and that he died for all, that they "which live fhould not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, "and rofe again."

I cannot immediately drop this fubject, but intreat the reader to observe how deeply a fenfe of redeeming love must be engraven on the heart of every believer. On how many circumstances will he expatiate, which ferve to magnify the grace of God, and point out the force of his own obligations? The infinite greatness and glory of God, independent and all-fufficient, that he should have compaffion on the guilty finner, and fay," Deliver him from going down "into the pit; I have found a ransom." O, how piercing thofe rays of love, which could reach from the Godhead to man! To this he will never fail to add his own unworthiness his numerous, aggravated, repeated provocations. He never lofes fight of thofe fins which first com. M 5 pelled

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