« VorigeDoorgaan »
up. And now the day of life is far · spent, the night of death is at hand, and at such an hour as thou thinkest not, the messenger will be commiffioned to fetch thee away, that thou mayest give an account of the use thou haft made of the time and talents allotted thee, in order to thy sánctifi. cation. And if not sanctified, a miserable account wilt thou give! How certain is thy death! How uncertain the time when! Perhaps even this night thy soul will be demanded ! and doft thou trife still ?
9. Penetrated with a sense of these truths, let me exhort thee, Up, and be doing. Convinced of its great excellency, its absolute and immediate néceffity, let thy whole heart long for Sanctification! Let all that is within thee pant and gasp after this refreshing grace! Let thy famished and ftarving foul insatiably hunger and thirft for this righteousness, this bread and water of life! Let thy desires after it be fervent, constant, and in
creasing; and be not satisfied till thou “ awake . up after his likeness.”_ Remernbering that this
holiness is the gift of God, that he alone can work it in thee, let thy desire be to him, and thy expectation from him. “Lift up thine eyes to the hills, from whence thy help cometh ; thy help cometh from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”. Only he can create thy foul anew; and he is both able and willing to do it. Nay, he hath infallibly promised this blessing to all who ask it. " By prayer and fupplication, therefore, make thy request known unto God.” And be in earnest; do not trifle with God. If Sanctification be indeed fo valuable and necessary, and if God, be faithful to his word, and have indeed promised, it; then let thy prayers for it be fervent and persevere ing; ask, seek, knock. Repeat and urge thy ree
queft again and again. Be importunate in prayer, take no denial, say,
"I will not let thee go without thy blessing ;
“ Confirm thy promis'd grace.” And “ believe thou shall have the petitions that thou askelt; " and be assured « thou shalt have them." - 10. In the mean time, consider to whom thou art indebted for this fanctification, who it is that hath purchased it for thee. Consider him, who “ gave himself for thee, that he might redeem thee from all iniquity, and purify thee from all pollu. tion of flesh and spirit.” Remember he is “ made 'of God unto thee Sanctification.” If the Father fan&ify thee, it is for his Son's fake, and in conformity to his Son's image ; yea, and it is only by faith in his Son that thou canst obtain the blessing. Convinced of this, and of thy entire finfulness, deep guilt, and utter helpleffness, come to the Father for this grace, thro' the Són, confiding only in him for audience and fuccess. Make what he hath done and suffered thy only plea ; renounce all confidence in 'thy own wisdom, righteousness, and strength'; trust in him alone ; and be satisfied “ he is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him." Absolutely rely upon his infalli. blei word of promise : « Whatsoever ye shall alk in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son : If ye ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” · Perseveringly wait its accomplishment, and it Mall be done unto thee according to thy faith.
"il. Only observe, “ If the blessing tarry, wait for it. It will surely come, and will not tarry long." Follow the Pfalmift's example; " I waited patiently upon the Lord, " (or rather, 1999p 10p, In waiting I waited, that is, I waited carnestly and diligently,) and “he inclined unto me and heard my cry." Wait thou for the Lord. Expect the answer of thy prayers, as the watchman expecteth the morning light; and that at all times, and in all places. God has not confined himself to any time or place : expect him therefore continually: and with that earnestness which becometh a foul continually on the brink of death and judgment.' " Watch thou, for thou neither knoweft the day nor the hour when the Son of Man cometh."' Watch for fanctification ; watch for Christ's coming; watch against fin. Remember where thou art, in the wilderness, not in Canaan; in an enemy's country, not in Paradise ; in the field of battle, not reaping the spoils of victory: 'Wherefore, be fóber, be vigilant. 'Awake, and keep a good look-out: Stand on thy guard : Put on the whole armour of God : Resist the Devil : Shun temptation, and “ strive against sin tho' it be unto blood.” Conscientiously use all the means of grace, and look thro' all to the merits of Christ and the Spirit of God, on which alone thy hopes must be founded.
12. Once more. Amidst all this ftrife and agony, “ poffefs thy soul in patience.” Endea. vour after a calm, composed, and peaceful ftate of heart. Let thy mind be “ stayed on the Lord," and he will « keep thee in perfect peace," and that peace thou wilt find wonderfully helpful in promoting thy fan&tification. It was probably with a view to this com posure and serenity of mind so friendly to divine inspiration, that the Prophets
ber where's.coming ; Mat for fanctifica
of old sometimes made use of music, when they expected any extraordinary influences of the Holy Spirit *. They seem to have intended hereby, the calming of their passions, and the introducing into their souls an heavenly peace and tranquillity, that the mild and gentle Spirit of the Holy One, might delight to visit and dwell with them. And surely we are never better disposed for further visi. tations, discoveries, and operations from that same Spirit, for more intimate union with the Father and the Son thro' him, than when we are calm, settled, and peaceful. Then our fouls wait for him as the thirsty land for the falling showers. Then, “ as the eyes of a maiden are unto the hands of her mistress, so are our eyes unto the Lord, till he have mercy upon us." Then the dew of heaven distills upon our branches, yea, he 6 sends a gracious rain upon his inheritance, and refreshes it when it is weary." Thus « in quietness and in rest are we saved." Let it be thy care, therefore, to resist every temptation to inquietude, care, and anxiety.
1 What profit can'ft thou gain
“ By felf.consuming care ?
“ Attends the foftest prayer.”
Stand still, and see the falvation of God," and yet, « Agonize to enter in at the strait gate." Join the agony of desire to the peace of dependance, and the patience of hope. May God help thee to re. concile these, and all will be well: « The God of Peace himself will fanctify thee wholly, and the whole of thee, the fpirit, and soul, and body, ... ..*, Kings iii. 15. . . is.
will be preserved blameless 'to his heavenly king. dom. Faithful is he that calleth thee, who also will do it.”
" I reft upon thy word,
« The promise is for me ;
“ Shall surely come from thee:
“ Nor from my hope remove,
“ Into thy perfect love."
13. I must not conclude these discourses without addressing a few words to those, who profess to have attained this Sanctification.--Ist, See that your profession be founded on truth: Take care that you do not deceive yourself. Remember, if you are indeed Janétified in the sense that has been explained, you think less of yourself than ever you did in all your life. Your understanding is so enlightened in the knowledge of God and of your. self, you have such clear views of God's incom. prehensible greatness and your own exceeding littleness, of his infinite wisdom and your extreme folly, of his almighty power and your amazing weakness, of his unspotted purity and your great defilement, of his inflexible justice and your notorious guilt and desert of eternal misery ;-and above all, you have such a discovery of the bound. less mercy and love of God to loft finners in ge. neral, and to yourself in particular, and of your utter unworthiness in all respects, and how far you come short of paying the debt of gratitude due to him for such goodness ;-that you are afhamed, confounded, and as it were brought to nothing before his glorious Majesty, crying out from the bottom of your heart, « Who can stand before