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safe, we may become so unsettled in our notions as to make shipwreck of our faith.
“Another thing must be mentioned here, as a source of danger to young professors of serious religion; and that is, marriage with the unconverted, The word of God is expressed in this matter, as you will see, 2 Cor. vi.The partner for life should not merely not be a heathen, but one who is the temple of the living God, one who is truly godly and devout: but it is not easy to submit our will to God in this particular; it is not easy to prefer piety to beauty ; to account riches, rank, and accomplishments as nothing in comparison with sound conversion ; though perhaps there never was yet an instance in which a person who chose to marry not in the Lord, has not suffered either in his spiritual or temporal comforts; (and what we say of one sex is applicable to the other;) either his religion declines, or his domestic happiness is ruined. This is the alternative; it is just such as we might expect, and experience proves it to be so.
“Our time does not allow us to enlarge on this or any other cause of danger in the Divine life—we can but hint at them; we are in perils from without, from within, from the world, from error of doctrine, and carelessness of practice. Perhaps some of you may be tempted to become critics in doctrine—to sit in judgment on preachers—to be of the number of those who have not simplicity of mind to take what is really substantial in what they hear; but are fond of reviling the ministers of God's word, because they do not hear them pronounce their Shibboleth. Such is our danger from pride.
“From the same cause, namely, pride, we may think, that after doing much for God we are privileged to take our rest; that after running our race a good while we may sit down : such was the case of this very church, that St. Paul was addressing. “I have somewhat against thee (says Christ to the Ephesian church) because thou hast left thy first love.' posite to pride in form and expression, is despondency, doubting of the love of God, of his willingness to save: this habit of mind is exceedingly dangerous; • Take heed (says St. Paul), lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.' Brethren, there are giants enough to oppose your entrance into Canaan, you need not invent phantoms to scare you. Do not turn aside from observing your real danger, in order to look for creatures of the imagination. Follow not the Galatian into bondage, for God offers you the spirit of adoption ! Be not content to be servants when you may be sons ! But stand fast in the liberty, wherewith Christ makes you free, and be not entangled with the yoke of bondage.
Alas ! what innumerable dangers beset us all around! All around they arise; and though once and again each foe has been vanquished by us, yet they advance with renewed strength and recommence the assault. It is difficult to human nature to continue patient in well-doing, to be diligently and steadily pursuing a good purpose through constant opposition; and to have self-will broken and subdued, in order to be perfectly obedient to God's will, is such a painful, disheartening work, that there are few who are not tired of it; for to the last, the spirit will lust against the flesh, and the flesh against the spirit; and if at times there be no storm of conflicting principles, often there comes a dead calm in its stead—a calm in which we are left without a motive, having no fear of hell nor esire of heaven!
"But the dangers we have enumerated are increased tenfold by the devil. • We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against spiritual wickedness in high places.' Alas! we are struggling against a whole host of skilful, experienced, mighty enemies, who
are ever contriving how they may involve us in their ruin. The devil, “ as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.' God grant, my brethren, that you and I may escape safely through this and every
other difficulty. We know of no other way of safety but that which we are,
II. In the second place, to point out to you: 'God and the word of his grace.' The grace of God is our only security. By the grace of God, we mean not that occasional aid, which some suppose may be given to every one, but that continual supply, that necessary aid given us at present, as under a covenant of grace with God. This is the peculiarity of the Gospel plan : it cannot be the case with any other system. If man were under a covenant of works, and convinced from his birth, he must stand in his own strength, it would be a contradiction to suppose grace necessary. He is placed upon this supposition in a certain situation, with certain powers, which God has made suitable for that state ; and accordingly as he shall act, such shall be his reward ; if additional strength were necessary, then he was not in a fair state of trial before. Grace, then, or Divine aid, has nothing to do with a covenant of works; and if people will still be so perverse as to put themselves under that covenant by seeking acceptance for their works, they thereby entirely exclude themselves from Divine assistance: if they expect it, they entirely mistake the Scriptures, and take that which does not belong to them; if they will not take the Gospel, and be saved as sinners, they must be dealt with accordingly, and stand in their own strength. Natural infirmity lays no claim upon God; nor will it ever induce Him to assist man; but under the new dispensation of grace things are far otherwise. Whoever will close with the proposals made by God, through Christ, and from a desire to serve God, come to Him, and acknowledge his own insufficiency, for that purpose supplicate aid, that man is instantly placed in a new situation as respects his soul, for he will now never fall away. He would, if left to himself, sin as before, and certainly perish ; but he will never fall away, because God will not suffer it; he will not be suffered to sin unto death. I need be able to produce strong Scriptural proofs for a doctrine so offensive to many, but a truth glorious and consolatory in the highest degree to those who can receive it. Turn, therefore, to Jer. xxiii. 40; you will see it described : • I will make an everlasting covenant with you (referring to the Gospel), and will not turn away from you to do you good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they may not depart from me.' Christ, speaking of his sheep, says, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hands.' So also, St. Paul, in Ephesians, expresses his coincidence: 'He that has begun this good work you, will
carry it on, and perform it to the day of Jesus Christ.' The reason of this is laid open more fully in other parts. It appears that God regards believers as united to Him in his Son, as one with Him ; and, therefore his love to you does not change, for Christ is continually making intercession for you ; and his intercession, founded upon his merits and death, is always prevalent. This is the idea of St. Paul, when he says, “Who is he that condemneth the believer ? it is Christ that died; yea rather that is risen again ; who also sitteth at the right hand of God, making intercession for us. In the view of these things you may hear St. Paul challenging heaven and earth to destroy the believer, 'Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Let not these things be thought to countenance Antinomian heresy. God forbid ! Let my tongue rather cleave to the roof my mouth, than I should thus
build up the kingdom of satan, which it is my business, through life, to pull down : bút this we say, when a man gives himself up to be saved in God's appointed way,—then God himself takes the business of man's salvation; he takes upon himself the management of the whole affair. He gives his Holy Spirit to sanctify; that is, he gives him an external agent to carry on the work of grace within him. He does not leave him to depend upon mén's will or doings, which would be nugatory, but 'works in him both to will and to do of his good pleasure.' Have we, then, nothing to do? Are we to sit still, and be the passive subjects of God's operations on the soul? • The just shall live by faith. We have some thing to do which requires more strength, pains, and watchfulness, than the most laborious work; and that is, to live by faith! It has pleased God, that in Christ should all fulness dwell, the fulness of grace, and the unmeasurable fulness of the Spirit. He, as Mediator, has a repository, the storehouse of all spiritual blessings. That grace whereby God preserves his people, he tells them is to be found in Christ; and from Him only are we to obtain it by the prayer of faith. Without me,' says Christ, ' you can do nothing.' He is ‘of God, made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption ;' which shews that we have none of ourselves, but find all these things in him. Now, the hidden life of a believer, consists chiefly in a growing practical conviction of this truth; his desire is to depend less and less on his own person, and to rest in simplicity on that of his Lord. He goes, as it were, out of himself, in order to take hold of the strength of another. David's words shew him to be such a one as this : “My soul is even as a weaned child.' And St. Paul, speaking of himself, observes, ' I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live is by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.' 'I am the vine,' says our Lord, 'ye are the branches :' we are not, therefore, trees having fruit and stamina of our own, but we are only branches drawing sap from another root; and so the church is represented as coming up from the wilderness, leaning on her Beloved. Now, when St. Paul recommended this people to God and the word of his grace, he intimated thus much : yet in his wishes and prayers for them, he commended them to the care of a gracious covenant-keeping God, and as well recommended them to a life of faith and dependance on that grace, This is the way of life. “We are kept,' as St. Peter says, ' by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation.' This salvation is described in the text, and will shew you,
" III. In the last place : That it is the happy issue of preservation from danger.
“We shall be built up, and receive our inheritance among all them who are sanctified. Oh the happy conclusion of all our fears and dangers ! The time will come when those who have sown in tears,' brethren, shall reap in joy ; those who have gone forth bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with joy, bringing their sheaves with them. We have, dearly beloved, life on earth : the work begins when the soul is brought to the true foundation, which is Christ Jesus; and then we go on daily edified by the grace of God, who blesses the various ordinances to our souls. Probably our outward man may decline whilst this work is going on, but the inward man is renewed day by day. Our light afflictions which are but for a moment, work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.' When we have attained to the measure of grace assigned for us, completely built up, God will give us an inheritance among all them that are sanctified. There we shall take our place in the mansions of our God; there we shall ascend to those abodes prepared for us in the realms of glory; and we shall then sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God, and join the general assembly of the church of the First-born, whose names are written in heaven, even the spirits of just men made perfect. They are now all sanctified; once they were like us, unholy, but now they are sanctified, that is, made holy. They have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb; therefore are they before the throne of our God, and serve him day and night in his holy temple. Our dangers were theirs, and our security is theirs— our joy shall be equal to theirs. Like them we shall wear the amaran. thine crown like them we shall wave the palm of victory! We shall șing with them the song of the Lamb, “Salvation to our God who sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. There we shall meet with none but those who are sanctified: they will have no more sin; therefore we shall have no more to suffer from the unkindness or treachery of men, but with the nations of them that are saved still we shall walk in harmony and love! With sin all the consequences of sin will disappear, therefore God shall wipe all tears from our eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor sighing, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away, and all things are become new! Oh, glorious day! when we shall ascend to that divine assembly of the souls whose faith and patience we are now following; when we shall see those of whom we have read and heard, -patriarchs, apostles, martyrs, saints, all who are sanctified, and have taken their seats before God. There we shall be in the midst of them who are in the presence of God and of the Lamb !
“In the prospect of these things, let me, before I close my subject and my ministry among you, adopt the affectionate benediction of St. Paul, and commend you (as I would from my heart) to God and the word of his grace. May God build you up, and give you an inheritance among all them who are sanctified !' Your time is but short in this world, yet among the vicissitudes of this mortal life, God only knows the trials and the dangers you have yet to pass through! I pray God that he may have you in his holy keeping. Dearest brethren, may the eternal God be your refuge; and underneath you the everlasting arms. Oh
He who alone knows your weakness, may the Lord Jesus himself carry you in his arms! As a kind shepherd may He guide you continually with his eye! May He bear you through the fire and water to a goodly heritage. And do you, brethren, abide in him. Hold fast the profession of your faith without wavering, for he is faithful who has promised; be not discouraged at the difficulty of the way, or the length of the journey; that better country which we are seeking shall amply reward your toil : therefore would I wholly commend you to God; hereafter I hope to be able to remember you at the Throne of Grace. I shall soon be far away—but neither time nor distance can prevent us from interceding for one another at the mercy-seat of God. Beloved, I beseech your prayers : I beseech you for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me! And as Paul, and Barnabas, and Silas were recommended to the grace of God by their churches, in the place whereunto they were sent, so do you remember me. Pray that I may be endued with wisdom and grace, to preach among Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; that I may be faithful unto death, and receive a crown of glory! Pray that the perishing heathens may hear the word of God, that they may hear the glad sound of the Gospel salvation, and arise from their misery and live. Oh, my beloved brethren, as well those I know among you as those who are unknown to me, I bid you a long farewell : hereafter we shall meet; if we are found in the Lord when we die, we shall.meet in happier regions! There we may renew our acquaintance, there through a long unwearied period of eternity, in the glorious scenes which await us beyond the grave, we may walk together
in the realms of light, of grace, of joy, and of love, for ever and ever! That this may be the case of every one of us, God of his infinite mercy grant.”
Such was the farewell discourse of this beloved youthful apostle, before setting out for that honoured scene of his labours, from which he was not permitted to return; being translated to his heavenly rest in the meridian of life, but mature in the fruits of righteousness, and having been the honoured instrument of making known to the heathen the unsearchable riches of Christ. His published works, and especially his Persian Testament, will not only perpetuate, but, by the influence of the Holy Spirit, extend unmeasurably his usefulness : by these he, being dead, yet speaketh. The following incident, which is nut recorded in his life by Mr. Sargent, and is probably unknown to our readers, illustrates so strikingly the powerful and permanent effects which by the Divine blessing attended his exertions in Persia, that we have much pleasure in relating it. The circumstance was mentioned several years ago, in the Asiatic Journal. The narrator states, that being some years before at an entertainment at the house of a Persian, at Shiraz, where many natives were present, much freedom of conversation was indulged; and poetry, philosophy, politics, and religion were occasionally introduced. Among the company was a Persian gentleman, named Mohammed Rahem, who was reserved and spoke but seldom; but the narrator was free in his remarks; and once in alluding to religious principles, expressed himself, as he acknowledges, with an unjustifiable levity. Mohammed Rahem, knowing him to be a professed Christian, fixed his eyes upon him, he says, with a "peculiar expression of surprise, regret, and reproof that struck him to the very soul.” His curiosity was in consequence greatly excited to know the character and history of this Persian; and on making inquiry he was promised an introduction to him. He visited Mohammed Rahem with a friend shortly after, and was received with great cordiality; but it was not till he made a second visit alone, that he became intimately acquainted with his views and feelings on religion. Mohammed Rahem had been educated for the priesthood of Mohammedanism, but had never entered the profession. The writer of the narrative, supposing him a confirmed Mahometan, introduced some arguments in favour of the Holy Scriptures. The Persian, however, made no reply. The writer then proceeds : “ Surprised at his silence, and at the hazard of being deemed importunate, I happened to suggest that, as no other concern was of so much importance to the human race as religion, and as only one faith could be the right one, the subject admitted not of being regarded as indifferent, though too many did so regard it. Do not you also esteem it so ?' asked the Persian. 'Certainly not,' I replied. “Then your indifference at the table of our friend Meeza Beeza, when the topic of religion was under consideration, was merely assumed, out of complaisance to Mussulmans, I presume.' I remembered the occasion to which he alluded, and owned that I had acted inconsistently, incautiously, and imprudently; but I disavowed in the most solemn manner, any premeditated design to contemn the religion I professed.' *I am heartily glad I was deceived,' he said ; ‘for sincerity in religion is our paramount duty. What we are, we should never be ashamed of appearing to be.' 'Are you a sincere Mussulman then?' I boldly asked. An internal struggled seemed for an instant to agitate his visage : at length he answered mildly, 'No.' “You are not a sceptic or free thinker?' 'No, indeed I am not.' What are you then ? Be sincere ; are you a Christian?' 'I am,' he replied.
“I should vainly endeavour to describe the astonishment which seized me at this declaration. The consideration that he could have no motive to deceive me in this disclosure, banished every sentiment but joy. I could