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priest of our profession will pronounce him clean. Wherever this faith is genuine, it will be productive of trust in the Redeemer, and the language of the soul will be like that of Habakkuk, Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls ; yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. If a Christian be tempted to depart from Christ, he will say with Peter, Lord, to whom shall I go? thou hast the words of eternal life: and I believe and am sure that thou art that Christ, the son of the living God. And where faith and hope are genuine, they are always accompanied by love to God and to all his commandments. But upon this grace I intend to be more particular ; because by works of love to God and our neighbour we glorify our heavenly Father in the sight of the world, and prove that we are neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. : 1. If we love God, the grand idol Self is dethroned, and God reigns in our souls Though sinful self-love and its brood of evils are constantly asking for admittance, they are denied it; and if they slip in unawares, they are turned out with detestation.
2. Meditation, prayer, and other religious duties, are not submitted to with reluctance, and merely as smaller evils; for God pours upon his people a spirit of prayer and supplication, and the most exalted happiness of the unconverted sinner will not bear to be compared with that joy and serenity which flow from reconciliation with God. Bibulus is afraid to neglect family prayer. If, therefore, he have spent the whole day in a tavern, he will call his children and servants to prayer at night, because he thinks none but wicked people neglect the worship of God in their families. But, Bibulus, if the love of Christ had any share in your devotion, there would be a greater uniformity in your conduct, and you would spend the day to his glory as well as the night.
3. If the love of the Supreme Being be our prevailing passion, we have imbibed the meek and humble spirit of his Son, who is the image of the invisible od. We are teachable, and childlike ; every thought is brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; we do not love gran. deur and magnificence, but condescend to men of low es. tate, and are content in the meanest station. We prefer that which our heavenly Father prefers, and are desirous that he should choose our portion for us. Clitus is zealous in his profession of religion ; but wherever he comes, he must have the pre-eminence : he can bear neither superior nor equal. This temper renders his Christianity doubt. ful; for he who does not possess the spirit of Christ, and who has not learned of him to be meek and lowly, is none of his.
4. Our God being just and holy, if we do not abhor every thing which is unjust, or unholy, we do not love him. How can any one love the divine character who does not endeavour to imitate it? We see an eminent instance of this love of justice and holiness in Joseph. There is none greater, said he to his mistress, in this house than 1; neither hath my master kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God? Neither does the Christian censure the conduct of the divine Being, because he has mercy on whom he will haye mercy; because he hardened the heart of Pharoah; nor because he chose Jacob in preference to Esau before either of them was born. The whole world could not persuąde him that the Judge of all the earth will not do that which is right. He is well as sựred, that if, to preserve his justice from being violated, he spared not his oyn Son, he will on no account do any thing contrary to the purity of his nature. ,,
5. The love of God will cause us to love those who bear his image, and in proportion as they appear to us to bear it. These, howeyer they may be despised by the world, we shall esteem the excellent of the earth. , And this love, where it is real, will not consist merely in an affection
which we feel for them, much less in courteous behaviour, or kind speeches; but, as we have opportunity, we shall minister to them of our substance, pray for and instruct them, or show our love to them in the best way we are able. A sinful self-love forms the basis of the character of every unregenerate man ; for if he is induced to give all his goods to feed the poor, selfishness is the only motive. But the Christian is animated by nubler principles. His supreme affection is placed upon that great Being, whose holiness and goodness are beyond all comprehension, and infinitely beyond all bounds. It is his habitual delight to be obedient to his commands, and he loves his image wherever he sees it impressed. This love to the servants of God is an essential part of the Christian character, and is that by which the sincerity of our faith will be tried at the grand assize. Christ will then say I was an hungered and ye gave me meat; not, My disciples were an hungered, and ye gave them meat.-The divine temper of love also shows itself, in meekly bearing and in mercifully forgiving injuries; for charity, or love, suffereth long for the sake of Christ, and yet is kind. Father, forgive them, said our suffering Saviour, for they know not what they do: and his martyr Stephen followed his example, crying out in his last moments, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.
6. If we love God, we shall prefcr his favour to every thing which the world holds up to our view ; yea, to life itself; and sin will consequently be accounted the greatest of evils, because it unavoidably tends to separate us from communion with him. Believers have sometimes been surprised into great sins. While they are in this wilderness, they carry a body of sin and death about with them; and the flesh, with its corrupt affections, lusteth against the spirit, or that new nature or mind which God hath given them. But sin is the object of their detestation ; and even those sins which the world entirely overlook will appear exceedingly sinful to them, because they are contrary to him whom their soul loveth. Unrenewed persons may dislike sin on several accounts; as because it hurts their
honour, or interest, or puts them in fear of condemnation : but they never hate it merely because God hates it, and because it is their meat and drink to do his will.
7. Love to God manifests itself in a childlike disposition. Because ye are sons, says Paul, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Adam, when he lost the divine image, lost the temper of a child, and fled from God as a slave flees froin his master. When we are adopted into God's family, then that child. like disposition returns, which is productive of the best consequence, no obedience being acceptable to him where it is wanting. Whoever therefore entertains a strong suspicion that he is not interested in the divine favour, may assure himself that his love to God is weak and languishing, if indeed it have any existence.
8. The knowledge of the true God always precedes the love of him. To love an unknown God is to love an idol of our own imagination. The true God has no bodily parts, but is the one pure eternal Mind, and can only be seen by us in his works. The works of creation are grand and magnificent, and would fill with amazement every r'ational being, were it not for that sottish stupidity which forms a part of original corruption ; and they as well as the works of providence, display the divine goodness, wisdom, and power. But the works of redemption by the Son, and of sanctification by the Spirit, so far surpass them, that the sun itself is eclipsed by their inore refulgent'splen- : dour. To be warmed and enlightened, to be fed and clothed, are great blessings, and call for gratitude to our Benefactor: but to be delivered from the wrath to come, and to be made partakers of eternal blessedness in the presence of God, are favours of such a nature, that no 'language can describe their worth. The heathen world, before the coming of Christ, are represented as lying in wickedness. Although they professed to know God, yet they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; that is, they did not love him. And the Jews who rejected the Messiah were trúly told by him, that the love of God was not in them.
"Believers who lived under the Old Testament dispensation possessed this divine knowledge. They looked forwards to the Messiah who was to come. Abraham rejoiced to see his day; añil he saw it, and was glad. David in spirit called him Lord. Isaiah 'saw his glory, and sprake of him. Indeed all the prophets wrote concerning him : for it is said, that beginning at Moses anıl all the prophets, he expounded into them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. But we live 'under a dispensation of superior liglit. To us the son of righteousness has arisen. He has assumed our nature ; God has dwelt with man upon the earth ; that eternal life which was with the Father has 'been manifested unto us; he has been preached to the Genlilés, believed on in the world, and received up into glory. We therefore certainly cannot expect eternal life, unless we know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent.
I have written a long letter, notwithstanding I am far "from having finished what I intended to say. I must defer what remains till I write again, which I hope the arrival of your sister from France will soon give me the pleasure of doing.
I continually pray for your whole family, and am, with sincere affection to yourself and to my niece,
My dear Miss Neville,
MY DEAR YOUNG FRIEND, YOUR sister is not arrived, 'nor have I yét received a letter from her, I'anxiously expect either one or the