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us, that they have heard with their ears of her fame and renown. It is then in dying to all things, and in being truly lost to their concerns, to pass on forward into God, and exist only in Him, that we attain to some knowledge of the true wisdom. Oh how little are her ways known, and her dealings with her most chosen servants ! Scarce do we discover any thing thereof, but surprised at the dissimilitude betwixt the truth we thus discover, and our former ideas of it, we cry out with St. Paul, Oh the depth of the knowledge and wisdom of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out. He judgeth not of things as men do, who call good evil and evil good, and account that as righteousness which is abominable in his sight, and which according to the Prophet, he regards no more than filthy rags. He will enter into strict judgment with these Self-righteous, and they shall, like the Pharisees, be rather subjects of his wrath, than objects of his love, or inheritors of his rewards; doth not Christ himself assure us, that “except our righteousness exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees we shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” And which of us even approach them in righteousness: or if we live in the practice of virtues, though much inferior to theirs, are we not tenfold more ostentatious ? who is not pleased to behold himself righteous in his own eyes, and in the eyes of others? or who is it doubts that such righteousness is sufficient to please God? yet we may see the indignation of our Lord, and his fore-runner, manifested against such. He who was the perfect pattern of tenderness and meekness, yet such as flowed from the depth of the heart, and not that affected meekness, which under the form of a God intended, and for which purpose I am willing to sacrifice all things, being fully persuaded of his designs towards you, as well for the sanctification of others, as yourself.

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But let me assure you, this is not attained, save through pain, weariness, and labour; and a path that will wonderfully disappoint your expectations; however, provided you be fully convinced, that it is on the NOTHING in man that God establishes his greatest works, you will be in part guarded against disappointment or surprize. It should seem, as though he destroyed that he might build; for when he is about to rear his sacred temple in us, he first totally razes that vain and pompous edifice, which human art and power had erected, and from its horrible ruins, a new structure is formed, by his power only.

Oh that you could comprehend the depth of this mystery, and conceive the secrets of the conduct of God, revealed to Babes, but hid from the wise and great of this world, who think themselves the Lord's counsellors, and capable of investigating his procedures, and suppose they have attained that divine wisdom hidden from the eyes of all living, in Self, and in their own works, and kept close from the fowls of the air; from those, who by a lively genius and elevated faculties mount up to heaven, and think to comprehend the height and depth and length and breadth of God.

This divine wisdom is unknown, even to those who pass in the world for persons extraordinary in illumination and knowledge. To whom then is she known, and who can tell us any tiding's concerning hier? Destruction and Death assure

us,

us, that they have heard with their ears of her fame and renown. It is then in dying to all things, and in being truly lost to their concerns, to pass on forward into God, and exist only in Him, that we attain to some knowledge of the true wisdom. Oh how little are her ways known, and her dealings with her most chosen servants ! Scarce do we discover any thing thereof, but surprised at the dissimilitude betwixt the truth we thus discover, and our former ideas of it, we cry out with St. Paul, Oh the depth of the knowledge and wisdom of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out. He judgeth not of things as men do, who call good evil and evil good, and account that as righteousness which is abominable in his sight, and which according to the Prophet, he regards no more than filthy rags. He will enter into strict judgment with these Self-righteous, and they shall, like the Pharisees, be rather subjects of his wrath, than objects of his love, or inheritors of his rewards; doth not Christ himself assure us, that “ except our righteousness exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees we shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” And which of us even approach them in righteousness: or if we live in the practice of virtues, though much inferior to theirs, are we not tenfold more ostentatious ? who is not pleased to behold himself righteous in his o eyes, and in the eyes of others? or who is it doubts that such righteousness is sufficient to please God? yet we may see the indignation of our Lord, and his fore-runner, manifested against such. He who was the perfect pattern of tenderness and meekness, yet such as flowed from the depth of the heart, and not that affected meekness, which under the form of a dove, hides the hawk's heart: He appears severe only to these self-righteous, and publicly dishonoured them : in what strange colours does he represent them, while he beholds the poor sinner with mercy, compassion and love, and declares that for them only he was come, that it was the sick who needed the physician; and though the Saviour of Israel, he only came to save the lost Sheep of the House of Israel.

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O THOU Source of Love! thou dost indeed seem so jealous of the salvation thou hast purchased, that thou dost prefer the sinner to the righteous ! the poor sinner beholds himself vile and wretched, is in a manner constrained to detest himself; and finding his state so horrible, casts himself in his desperation into the arms of his Saviour, and plunges with faith into the sacred bath of his Blood, and comes forth “ white as wool :" Then confounded at the review of his disordered state, and overflowing with love for him, who having alone the power, had also the compassion to save him--the excess of his love is proportioned to the enormity of his crimes; and the fulness of gratitude, to the extent of the debt remitted. Whilst the self-righteous relying on the many good works he imagines to have performed, seems to hold salvation in his own hand, and considers Heaven as a just reward of his merits. In the bitterness of zeal he exclaims against all sinners, and represents the gates of mercy as barred to them, and heaven as a place to which they have no pretensions. What need have such self-righteous of a Saviour? they are already burdened with the load of their own merits. Oh how long will they bear the flattering load, whilst sinners divested of every

thing,

thing, fly rapidly on the wings of faith and love into their Saviour's arms, who freely bestows on them that which he has infinitely merited.

How full of self-love are the former, and how void of the love of God? they esteem and admire themselves in their works of righteousness, which they suppose the cause of their happiness. These works are no sooner exposed to the Sun of Righteousness, than it discovers all to be so full of impurity and baseness, that it frets them to the heart; meanwhile the poor sinner, Magdalene is pardoned, because she loves much, and her faith and love are accepted as righteousness. The divine Paul who so well understood these great truths, and so fully investigated them, assures us that the faith of Abraham was imputed to him for righteousness! This is truly beautiful: for it is certain all that holy Patriarch's actions were strictly righteous; yet not seeing them as such and being void of the love of them, and divested of selfishness, his faith was founded on the salvation to come by Christ. He hoped in him even against hope itself, and this was imputed to him for righteousness

, (Rom. iv. 18, and 22.) a pure, simple and genuine righteousness, merited by Christ, and not a righteousness wrought by himself, and regarded as of himself.

You may imagine this a digression wide of the subject I at first proposed : but it leads insensibly to it, and shews, that God accomplishes his works either in converted sinners, whose past iniquities serve as a counterpoise to their elevation; or in persons whose self-rightequsness he destroys, by totally over-throwing

the

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