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ground to be occupied. Now enter devil from some part or other; our into your own hearts individually. If I shame is exposed to others before we had the universe before me this morn-are conscious of it. ing, I would challenge any one to In addition to this consider, First, contradict the position I am laying If I could preach like an angel, or better down. It is a very forcible one-may than all the augels of heaven, my serGod write it on our hearts ; unless we mon would not reach your heart. The are preparing ourselves to meet the best instruction, the eloquence of God Lord, we are arming ourselves to fight himself, cannot reach the human heart against him. Oh, may the Lord teach --no, not the heart of his own child, us this truth, and teach us to make a without the influence of his Holy wise and holy use of it.
Spirit. Pray earnestly, then, for the Thirdly, I would observe, There is a influence of the Divine Spirit. He is great provision, a most wonderful pre-infinite, and he only can teach you to paration for it. God has been en-approach God as you ought. Some gaged from eternity to prepare it. | individuals are so much under the in. Surely, my brethren, it is not much fluence of good sense, that they not that we should give him the little time only say and do what is right, but we have here below. God has loved they time things admirably. They will us from eternity, God had from eter- not only say a good thing, but say it nity prepared the sacrifice to be a feast at the moment it ought to be said, for man. This preparation, this pro- and we are very much pleased. This vision likewise is to last to eternity: is just the way with God. I am merely and when he invites us to meet him at using this as an illustration. Thus it his board, he invites us to receive at is that the Divine Spirit, the Spirit of his hand, fully and freely, what he has the Father and the Son, can give us prepared and provided for us.
this spiritual discernment, that can Lastly, There is another reason why lead us under the influence of proper we should prepare ourselves-We feelings into the presence of the Alhave a very great work before us. We mighty. There will be a reverence have more to achieve than Wellington which no one can rightly estimate : ever had when he faced the enemies the individual will be conscious that of his country in Europe. We have he is going into the presence of an the world, the flesh, and the devil, to infinitely holy, infinitely just, and at fight against-we have every evil pro- the same time, infinitely merciful God. pensity that can possibly live within It is the province of the Divine Spirit the human bosom--we have all evils, to keep us from all extremes, to show external and internal. We must fight us that path which the vulture's eye these, and conquer them all. It is has never yet seen; and to enable us, true, indeed, that God must teach our at the same time, in the strength of hands to war, and our fingers to fight. God to tread it. I may preach to you It is equally true, that he must have the truth, but unless I am under the our own services in our own salva- influence of the Divine Spirit, I should tion. “Work out your own salva- be talking a language to you which I tion with fear and trembling; for it do not understand myself. It is pos. is God that worketh in you to willsible indeed to teach others, and to be and to do." It is a great blessing that damned one's-self. I sometimes think an individual should have his eye per- of a celebrated mathematician in Campetually fixed on his principles—that bridge, who taught Optics remarkably he should live as though his eye was well, though he was blind. Pray for perpetually in the centre of his heart, all ministers—they are harbingers in and kept there. This is a great bless the armies of the living God. The ing, and God only can enable us to do sharpshooters of hell mark them out. it. It is a lamentable thing, that others They occupy an honourable post, it read us more accurately than we read is true; but it has often been observed, ourselves. Now, if we do justice to that the “post of honour is the post ourselves, we must certainly be much of danger.” If they say or do any better acquainted with self than any thing wrong, ten thousand tongues other person can be ; but we some immediately follow them in censure times forget ourselves, and out flies the and in reproach. Pray for them, my
brethren, because whatever good they | thus approaching God? There is no possess, whatever good they impart, other way. is given them of God. Nothing is consider, moreover, your own spitheir own, but their imperfections; and ritual wants and necessities. This will this they are most ready to acknow- have the effect of humblingus. It is not ledge.
enough to approach the Lord, and say, Secondly, Meditate on your naturally “ I am nothing”—I have a great deal lost estate. We are naturally as desti- of unworthiness, I am full of want, tute of spirituality as the Devil him- my wants are my only possessions, conself. Imitate holy David when he sidered exclusively in myself. The Di. traces sin to its source"I was shapen | vine Spirit does not lead any individual in sin, and in iniquity did my mother to the Lord's Supper while he remains conceive me.” This was the Lord's a stranger to his own unworthiness. method when he addressed the Israel- He opens his eyes to see himself-he ites—" Thy father was an Amorite, opens his heart to feel himself-he and thy mother an Hittite." He knows that God is infinitely holy, and wished his people to look back, to infinitely just; he makes him conconsider their mean origin. Some scious at the same time, that he is inindividuals tell us, we ought to repent finitely merciful. Our wants are so of the sin of Adam. I do not like this great and so numerous, that we stand in at all : I have no idea of any one re- need of every good ; we stand in need penting of any sin but what he has of every thing that God himself can committed himself. This I can very do for us. Do not shrink from this easily conceive, that every one who is important truth. This is eminently spiritually-minded, everyone who calculated to fill the soul with sobriety, knows his own sin, will mourn over to keep men totally free from levity, the fall of Adam. It is a correct feel and from a trifling spirit. If I were ing to weep when God is insulted, be asked what I stand in need of, I should the insulter whom he may.
immediately answer, I stand in need Connect with this, a review of the of every thing that God can give me whole of your past life. Call to re- | I stand in need of all that God can do membrance every sin you have com- for me. Of course, my brethren, I mitted; and perhaps there may be take the Saviour's work into considemany sins in your bosom, at the pre- ration. True religion will sift a man sent moment, very strong, and yet you through and through: it will fly may be strangers to them. Arm your- through the faculties of the soul, as selves, then, with the light, as well as mercury perforates the human frame. with the strength of God. Enter into | It is the leaven that comes from above the inmost recesses of your own bo- -it is put into the human heart by God soms. Pursue all your sins as a po- himself—it is living leaven. This life lice officer pursues a gang of thieves is the life of God. It must search and take them all. Do it as one who sift us thoroughly. It must and will makes the most diligent search, till no make us honest men-honest in the one is wanting; they must all be had, presence of the Almighty. “ Search and they must all he sent to prison, me, and try me," says David, “and that they may be tried and executed. see whether there is any wicked way Now we find, if we read Scripture at- in me, and lead me in the way evertentively, the most eminently holy lasting.” Here is again the voice of men thus engaged when they were God within the human heart. here upon earth. Listen to what holy Lastly, It is thus the believer is deJob says : he teaches us an invaluable livered from self-deceit and hypocrisy. lesson-pay attention to it. “How It is thus that he is made conscious he many are mine iniquities and sins : is not under the influence of deceit and make me to know my transgressions hypocrisy : that is, that they do not and sins." This is, if I may so speak, lord it in his bosom. It is true, there the voice of God within the human is hypocrisy and deceit in the bosom heart. Do we know this? The truths of the believer ; but he knows these that are now flowing from my lips put enemies, and is fighting against them. our principles to the test. Are we This is the difference-though hypo
crisy and deceit are lurking in his approach it in gratitude likewise to that heart, yet he is not a hypocrite, a self- | Holy Spirit, who has taught me to deceiver. I remember hearing a very prize the Saviour above all other pereminently pious man say, “Yousmile so sons, and above all other things. He sweetly." "Hold your tongue,” said I, renders a reason for the “hope that is in “ you do not know how to abuse me : | him.” He says, I approach the Lord's if you knew what was in my heart, table to renew my covenant with God, your expressions are took weak a great determined, no longer in my own resodeal; you cannot paint me: if you lution, but in his strength, to devote want to see me in all my deformity, let myself entirely to his service that is me paint myself—I do not want such my object. It is true, I am compassed a dauber as you are to murder my pic- with imperfections-it is true, my initure.” The man was astonished, and quities are more in number than the at the same time ashamed of himself. hairs of my head-it is true, sin blends
In the hundred and nineteeth Psalm itself with every thing I do-it is we see what individuals who live nigh equally true, I am opposing this sin, unto the Lord are engaged in. What and that God is within me, oppossweet aspirations there are in that ing it likewise. I am conscious I shall Psalm! We see David flying on the not come into condemnation—it is for wings of faith and love, leaving earth given. How do you know it is forand all its trumpery; he seems to soar given? Because it is subdued. We in the neighbourhood of the sun; yet cannot feel that sin is forgiven except after all how does he conclude? “ Seek in its being subdued by the hand of thy servant; I am gone astray like a God; and it is forgiven that it may be sheep that is lost.” He was a man, as subdued. He will assign another I told you before, who had his eye reason why he approaches the Lord's fixed in his heart. His conduct must table-to be assured of his interest in have been admired by all who knew Christ. Have you always known this? him. He was eminently imbued with “ No, but I have kept it in view." Do the spirit of piety; yet he said, “Seek you know now that you are interested thy servant.” May God give us this in the Lord Jesus Christ ? “ Yes I do." religion, a religion that will make us But what is your assurance? It is the all radicals—that is the religion we assurance of hope. “For I know want-a religion that reaches the root whom I have believed, and I am perof every principle-a religion that suaded that he is able to keep that sometimes does what one tooth does which I have committed to his hands." with another, in the mouth of a young Do not imagine, that there is in real person; the tooth that grows pushes assurance any presumption-quite the out the other. So divine grace grows reverse. The assurance of hope is out every evil principle, in the strength full of humility; it humbles the beand love of God.
liever in exact proportion as it exalts In conclusion, Figure to yourself an him. His language is, “I know that individual under the influence of truth | he has loved me, and that he has under the influence of the Divine Spirit. given himself for me he has forgiven We are never under the influence of me my sins-he has taught me to the truth of God, otherwise than as we love him, and to delight in serving are under the influence of the Spirit of him, and to hate every thing that is God. The truth is in itself worse than opposed to his holy will." This is a dead letter-it is a damning letter, I the experience of the individual who ought to have said, in itself. I would has in his bosom the assurance of suppose an individual under the in- / hope. Ask him another reason. He fluence of the Divine Spirit approach- approaches to eat and to drink the ing the table of the Lord ; and if he flesh and blood of the Son of Man : in were asked what he had in view, he other words, to receive of his fulness, would immediately say, I approach it and grace for grace, every moment, till in love and gratitude to that God who he has bidden an eternal farewell to sent his Son to die for me, and to re- the things of time and sense, to every deem me from the wrath to come. I thing that is offensive to the living approach it in gratitude to that Saviour God. Eating and drinking the flesh who gave his life a ransom for me. Il and blood of the Son of Man evidently involves this a reception of all , tainty-there is no peradventure. If the blessings that are treasured up thus I wait upon God in the exercise in him in the exercise of faith-righte- of faith, he will give me every thing ousness that justifies from every that is good for me; he will give me charge, and strength that strengthens every thing that is best for me. Yes, for all the sufferings and for all the he will give me, to-morrow, or even trials the believer has to pass through. to-day, the sun, moon, and stars, if He comes to be blessed with every they would do me real good. God spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus our takes away many things from his Lord. The promise of God was to family, as a mother does with her this effect when the church was in its child who has found a knife and infancy. We have the promise at the fork : they pass very near his eyes, present time. “In all places where I his mouth, and his nose; and what have recorded my name, I will come does she do? She takes them away unto thee, and I will bless thee." from his hands. Thus the Lord does When we thus approach God by faith, with us; and we shall learn hereafter, he certainly will bless us. He has as I have often told you before, that promised it, and heaven and earth God is often acting wisely in taking may pass away, but his words nust away what we consider to be necesall be fulfilled. It is not an uncer- sary.
AT FITZROY CHAPEL, FITZROY SQUARE, Nov. 7, 1830.
Ezekiel, xvi. 62, 63." And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt
know that I am the LORD : that thou mayst remember and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the LORD God.”
Sin is the great obstacle which ob- , be reconciled, and know that we are tains to prevent the enjoyment of the restored to his favour. favour of God. The removal of sin is In these words you have a full dis. the removal of that obstacle ; and in play of the effect of God's pardoning the removal of that obstacle, way is mercy upon the soul of man. Here made for the overflowing of God's you see what it is to have the mani. mercy to us, which flows fully and festation of the love of God shed freely, like a stream both deep and abroad by the Holy Ghost in the heart smooth. Sin is the cause of all our of the true believer. Here you see evils—it poisons our peace-it mars what the pardon of sin operates, when all our comforts; and so long as it manifested to the conscience. Here remains in its guilt and in its pollution you see the wonderful work accomon our consciences, it continues to be plished in its influence upon the mind the source of perpetual disquietude. —what a complete renovation, what a
On this ground is argued the great complete reformation it works-how importance of seeking mercy at the it leads the character to lay itself low hand of God; inasmuch as God has in the dust of humiliation before God, been pleased to reveal, that mercy is under a deep sense and remembrance his darling attribute, that he keeps of his past unworthiness; and all the mercy for thousands, and that he does shame that has covered him from his not retain his anger for ever. and see-youth up, is leading him at once to ing that God is a merciful God, we admire, and at the same time to yinurge the necessity as well as the im- dicate, the ways of God unto himself. portance of seeking at his hands the The subject which we propose for enjoyment of that mercy, that we may our meditation is this the nature and
the effect of God's pardoning mercy | then by a prospect of the revelation upon our souls. And from hence we and the establishment of that covenant shall take occasion to urge the im- wherein he had pledged himself to portance of reaching after a personal appear on earth, and to take in his sense of it-not merely seeking at the own hand the great cause of fallen hand of God the pardon of our sins, man, and to raise him anew to a state but a sense and enjoyment of that far superior to, and more valuable pardon—that we may not only have than that which he had lost. Thereour sins blotted out, but that we may fore says the prophet Isaiah, “ Ho, know that God is pacified toward us every one that thirsteth, come ye to that we may know he has washed the waters, and he that hath no moaway our sins, and removed our shame; ney; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, because, if, through the mercy of God, come, buy wine and milk without we are led into a personal knowledge, money and without price. Incline and a scriptural enjoyment of this your ear and come unto me; hear, truth, Christ will then become dearer and your soul shall live ; and I will to our souls than thousands of gold make an everlasting covenant with you, and silver.
even the sure mercies of David.” We may remark, First, The way There is frequent mention of makin which God reveals his mercy~" 1 ing a covenant with the people of God, will establish my covenant with thee.” but here the Lord says he will make SECONDLY, The character in which he an everlasting covenant-and that is reveals himself-" They shall know the covenant which he speaks of in that I am the Lord." THIRDLY, The the words of the text-not according effects that are produced by this reve- to thy covenant,” but according to the lation of pardoning mercy-" That old covenant—that is, according to thou mayst remember, and be con- the everlasting covenant, which is founded, and never open thy mouth " ordered in all things and sure,” any more, because of thy shame, when which comprehends and reveals “the I am pacified toward thee for all that sure mercies of David.” “I will es. thou hast done, saith the Lord God." tablish my covenant with thee.” It
First, THE WAY IN Which GOD RE- | is the establishment of this covenant VEALS HIS PARDONING MERCY. “Ithat is the subject of the promise will establish my covenant with thee.” before us; it is the establishment of
The covenant of grace is the grand this covenant which is the point of repository of the redemption of man. | interest to us all-because it is It is the secret of God's tabernacle, by the establishment of this covewherein are hidden all the treasures of nant “ with thee,” that God imhis wisdom and his knowledge, as they parts to thee the knowledge of his are revealed in man's salvation. It pardoning love and mercy. This is is the grand secret of man's redemp- the act of personal ratification; it is tion, which comprehends all the items, thus that God ratifies his covenant all the particulars of Christ Jusus our with all his people, bringing home to Lord, in his person, his name, and all the soul the knowledge of the great the characters and offices he has ful- Author of it, who has entered into filled in the work of man's redemp covenant with his heavenly Father, tion-which holds up all the effects and in whom as members we are perof that work, all the fruits of that love, sonally interested. That is the act of all the blessings of that redemption, communication, and the Lord ratifies and withal tracing it in all its refined that act of communication with his ramifications to the covenant of grace. | children. Thus it is that he esta There are all the particular circum blishes his covenant with them. Is stances that refer to your case, to your not this the line of argument adopted history, to your sin, to your backslid by the Apostle Paul, when he is ing from God-all are held up in the preaching before the Christians at covenant of grace in the mind of God, Antioch ? “We declare unto you glad when he prepared for the redemption tidings, how that the promise which of the Church of Christ. You see it was made unto the fathers, God hath perpetually mentioned in the Old Tes- fulfilled the same unto us their chil. tament. God comforted his Church | dren”-a promise, you perceive, which