ject to the law of God? And, although our old sins, which aforetime held us in subjection, may have been cast (like Pharaoh and his host) into the depths of the sea, are not new ones continually besetting us on our pilgrimage, (as the children of Edom and of Moab, and the Amalekites, and the nations generally of Canaan opposed the progress of the Israelites,) and, at the least, grievously harassing us by their attacks? Yea, our great Deliverer Himself took occasion to forewarn His disciples, “ in the world ye shall have tribulation.” (John xvi. 33.) Likewise, St. Paul was moved by what he saw and had experience of, to declare, “ We know that the whole creation groaneth " and travaileth in pain together until now; and “ not only they”-i. e. not only mankind in general, who had not then been called unto salvation through the gospel" but we ourselves, 166 which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even “ we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting “ for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of “ our body.” (Rom. viii. 22, 23.) With these passages for our authority, and remembering moreover, that the redemption of the body, to be accordingly waited for with groaning, cannot otherwise than by death be enjoyed, we may be strongly disposed by our natural infirmity to complain, that as to the present state, God has not hitherto wrought any adequate deliverance for His people. 1. Nevertheless, except the apostle were doomed to groan and wait in vain, or (to speak more explicitly) if there hath been provided elsewhere, beyond the grave, a blessed and an eternal dwelling-place, entirely free from all dangers and temptations, for those who will press resolutely toward the mark; if there be

a promised land of rest, after the wilderness - which we are at the present traversing, and if, when we were lying naturally fast bound in misery and iron, God mercifully regarded our captivity, and brake in sunder our bonds, and hath conducted us within a hopeful reach of it; in such case, though our paths were yet more difficult, our troubles more perplexing, and our perils more numerous than they really are, still to say—“Neither hast Thou delivered * Thy people at all,” were unwisely to reproach the God of our salvation. We may with truth remark, He has not perfectly delivered us; but He has given us a sufficient earnest of His inetention finally to do so. God has made us, not

indeed for the present possessors, but heirs - of His heavenly kingdom, and having brought

us forth into the right way thitherward, is daily - enabling us by His Holy Spirit to pursue it : in the which we should discern a satisfactory



pledge of His gracious will and purpose to confer on us at the last, if we prove not wanting to ourselves, a complete and an unchangeable redemption.

Wherefore, and to conclude with a practical exhortation on the foregoing remarks, let me adopt the words of the Apostle to the Hebrews: “ We desire,” he writes, “ that ye be not sloth

ful, but followers of them who through faith “ and patience inherit the promises ;" (Heb. vi. 12.) and in another place he writes" Cast “ not away therefore your confidence, which “ hath great recompence of reward.” (Heb. x. 35.). Consider yourselves, my brethren, to be indeed children and heirs of God, through Christ; and let the graces here spoken of rule continually in your hearts, until you shall have come by them to the rest and the inheritance, which the Lord your God giveth you. St. Jude reminds us, “ how that the Lord, having saved “ the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, after“ ward destroyed them that believed not;” (Jude 5.) likewise St. Paul mentions some among them, who, when they “ murmured, were de

stroyed of the destroyer.” (1 Cor. x. 10.) It is, in short, a fact no less true than awful, that, of the vast multitude who came out of Egypt by Moses, scarcely any were suffered to enter the promised land, because of their aggravated


impatience and unbelief. Be we admonished by their doom, to maintain the contrary dispositions in this house of our pilgrimage, throughout all time of our tribulation: let nothing disturb our trust in God, or incline us to cease from expecting and desiring His goodness, however long He may choose to delay the performance of it. And finally, whenever the troubles of this mortal state are suddenly enhanced without our fault, then let us conceive an expectation, that some more than answerable relief is surely at hand. As Pharaoh oppressed the Israelites most severely when he apprehended that they were about to leave his service, or be rescued from him by the Lord their God, so is Satan apt to have the greatest wrath when he knoweth that his time (of tyranny) is short: (Rev. xii. 12.) as the peril of the same people, when the Red Sea interrupted their flight, was immediately followed by their decided enlargement from captivity, so, when the overflowings of corruption are seeming most formidable, then is the time, if we will move onward with courage, to make the most triumphant progress : above all, when the last enemy shall be overtaking him, then may every one that is godly, and that hath patiently endured, exclaim, after the dying patriarch," I have “ waited for Thy salvation, O Lord,” (Gen. xlix. 18.) and go hence rejoicing in the hope, that he shall certainly find it to the very uttermost that he hath desired.



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