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open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Holy Spirit, through the gospel, conform me to Jesus! I ask not to be wealthy, famous among men, or to be indulged with the pleasures of time; but I do ask, and ask right earnestly to be conformed to the image of Christ; for I do con. fess, that the only great attainment is conformity to Christ.
The only substantial thing is real religion. Satan knows this, and therefore he has invented many false ones. The religion of human nature is a poor thing; it is light, evanescent, a mere form. But the religion of God is solid, substantial, and abiding. It has its seat in the heart, it rules the affections, and it controls the whole man. It brings us to God, makes us one with God, and stamps upon us the likeness of God. True religion is devout, but not gloomy; moral, but at the same time evangelical ; heavenly, and yet a blessing in the world. There is no rock on which the soul can rest, no pillow on which the soul can repose, no fountain at which the soul can drink and be satisfied, but real religion. Everything short of this is fleeting, fading, and unsatisfactory. Oh, for the religion of the heart! That religion which brings peace to the conscience, rest to the troubled spirit, and joy to the sorrowful soul. That religion which informs the intellect, renews the heart, and transforms the life. Holy Spirit, it is thine to make man religious, thou only canst take away the heart of stone, and give the heart of flesh ; let it please thee to renew me in the spirit of my mind, to adorn me with all thy gifts and graces, and make me resemble my beloved Lord! i Reader, what think you? Do you think that the only dignified being on earth is a christian ? that the only grand pursuit is eternal life ? that the only great attainment is conformity to Christ? and that the only substantial thing is real religion? If so, do you possess them? Are you a christian ? Is eternal life the grand object of your daily pursuit ? Have you attained in any measure to conformity to Christ? Have you pure and undefiled religion? If not, or if there is any doubt upon the point, can you rest satisfied ?-satisfied without certainty P
Saviour of sinners, deign to shine
JOB'S INQUIRY. “How many are mine iniquities and sins P”—JOB xiii. 23.
What a solemn question for a sinner to ask ! Who can answer it? You have lived-how many years, months, weeks, days, or hours, without sin? Alas, who of us can say, I have lived one waking hour without sin ? We have sinned every day, every hour, every minute. From our hearts, as from a cor. rupt fountain, nothing but sin and corruption have proceeded. We have sinned in public and in private, at home and abroad, while awake and even when asleep, our very dreams have been defiled with sin. What hosts of evil thoughts. What a multitude of improper words. What a company of sinful actions. Even a slight examination shows the number to be all but infinite." “How many are mine iniquities P" Who can number them? Who can give me the correct account? Yet, however numerous they may be, they are all registered. Every item is in God's book of remembrance. The follies of childhood, the sins of youth, the crimes of manhood, are all recorded. What a solemn thought! All my sins are before God.
He knows the nature, the number, and the aggravation, of all my transgressions. Every thought, word, or deed, whether against man or God, all lie naked and open before his eye. How, then, can I face him? How can I with any confidence appear before him P
"My sins must be very numerous, and every one of them deserves punishment. If God is to punish me for every one of them, and according to the just desert of the whole of them, what will be my doom? To what place shall I be banished? With what scor, pions shall I be chastised? By what agents will my just punishment be inflicted? O hell, what must be thy horrors! O damna, tion, what dost thou include! Hell is the only place in God's universe where adequate punishment can be inflicted. Damnation is the terrible word that represents the due desert of my sin. But what is hell P Who, who can correctly represent it? What is damnation? Who can describe the woe, the dread, the pain, the agony, the terrific tor, ments, represented by that word ? Oh, my sins, my pleasant sins, my cherished sins, my sins with which I have trifled, and at which I have sometimes laughed, ye deserve an eternity of punishment, in the most horrid place, among the most degraded creatures, in all God's universe!
My sins, if not visited on me, require an infinite atonement. God's justice must be satisfied, before my punishment can be re, mitted. What can satisfy the stern, impar. tial, unbending justice of the Infinite ? Who, who can make atonement for sins so numberless as mine, so aggravated as mine? Could all the inhabitants of earth? Alas, each one requires an atonement equally with myself. Could all the hosts of heaven Nay, if they had love enough, they could not do, or suffer, that which would merit my re. lease. In vain I look around this sinful world. In vain I look even to heaven itself, if I look beneath God's glorious throne. There is one, and one only, that can make an atonement for my sins. Jesus, Jesus, Je, sus only can expiate my guilt. He has taken my nature. He has become my representa. tive. He submitted to have all my guilt transferred to himself, and all my sins plac, ed to his own account. He stood before the bar of justice for me. He was condemned to suffer instead of me. He bore the pun, ishment of my transgressions in the garden, and on the tree. He blotted out my sins with his own blood. He paid the price of my ransom with his own life. He discharg. ed the entire debt. He met the whole de mand. Gethsemane and Calvary alone can tell what my sins deserve. Precious Lord Jesus, thou didst suffer my desert, thou didst die in my stead! Thou wast delivered over to justice, to be punished for my offences: