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Does this agitate you? The writer of these pages takes no pleasure in exciting needless alarm. But how can he raise the unhallowed cry, Peace, Peace, when the Eternal God saith There is no peace? How can he raise the unhallowed cry, when every note of the syren song would only lull the hypocrite into a. more death-like security, and every sentence prove the blow to sink him deeper into the eternal pit? Poor, self-deceived man! who vainly imaginest that thou art in the way to heaven, while thou art in the way to hell, rather than, amuse thee with tame, smooth, pretty things, O that I could raise a. voice that would make thee stremble, even in the grave” of trespasses and sins! Be entreated to dismiss thy deceptions; to give up thy delusive confidence. Cast not the an.. chor of hope upon a shore so yielding that the final blast will break its hold. However: hard the struggle, despair of mercy without being washed in the blood of Jesus Cherish not a delusion which the King of terrors . will tear from thy heart!
But shall I presume that all my readers are hypocrites? No; many of them. I trust, are the dear people of God. Some of them may be weak in faith, and weak in hope. Beloved Christian, I would not lisp a syllable to rob thee of thy confidence. Though weak and trembling, there is every thing to encourage and strengthen thee. It cannot: discourage you to examine closely whether the foundation of your hope be firm; whether your confidence is built upon the sand, or
whether it rest on the Rock of Ages. Feeble Christians are called upon to mourn over their weakness. Their want of strength is their sin. Their graces may be well compared to the dimly smoaking flax." They emit little that warms and enlightens. Their love is cold; their joys barren and poor. God hides his face, and they are troubled. Tossed, like Peter, upon the tempestuous sea, they have hardly faith even to cry, Lord, save, or I perish! Still, they may rejoice. The Angel of the everlasting covenant lives. That precious covenant itself recognizes the heart-reviving principle, Redemption through the blood of Jesus,
forgiveness of sins according to the riches of this grace. Well then, believer, mayest thou rejoice, even in the midst of trembling.. What, though thou art bowed down under the weight of guilt; what though poor in spirit, filled with apprehension and almost hopeless; what, though thou art like the bruised reed-frailty itself still more frail, ready to fall by the gentlest breeze! “A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoaking flax shall he not quench." No, never. It shall not be broken, but supported cherished; yea, by a hand that is omnipotent, transplanted to the garden of the Lord, and flourish in the courts of our God. The Great Head will never disregard the feeblest members of His own body.
There is a peculiar adaptedness in the character of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the weakness and fears of His people. Early was He designated as one who should bear
our griefs, and carry our sorrows; commissioned to bind up the broken hearted, and to comfort all that mourn. The man Christ Jesus is touched with the feeling of our infirmities; He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are but dust. The Shepherd of Israel will gather the lambs in His arms, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. It is He that giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might, He increaseth strength.
O believers! that we all might learn to fasten our affections, to rivet our hopes, on the cross of Christ! Here is our comfort. We must think much, and make much of Christ. In Him, all fulness dwells. He, is the Captain of your salvation. He, is a fountain for your uncleanness, and a light for your way. It is He, that is of God made unto His people, wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and complete redemption, No matter how great your guilt; rest on Him, and He will be increasingly precious; precious in life, precious in death, precious for ever.
While your life is hid with Christ in God, however languid the throb, it shall never expire.
Come, then, lift up the hands that hang down, and confirm the feeble knees. The heavens and the earth shall sooner crumble into their native nothing, than the feeblest Lamb of the Shepherd's fold stumble and finaily fall. Loose thyself, therefore, froin the bands of thy neck, o captive daughter of Zion! If thou hast seasons of trial, be not
alarmed; if thou hast moments of despondency and weakness, be not dismayed. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, for thou shalt thrash the mountains and beat them small. Thy Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. He will strengthen thee; yea, He will help thee; yea, He will uphold thee by the right hand of
His righteousness. Say, is it not enough? Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!"
I close these Essays, then, by beseeching the reader to devote himself unreservedly to the Lord. “What! know ye not that ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price; wherefore glorify God in your souts and your bodies, which are His. Render unto God the things that are God's." What higher delight, what greater privilege can you enjoy, than to consecrate all that you are, and all that you possess, to God! Come then, and make a voluntary surrender of every thing to Him, and choose His service as your bighest delight.
Henceforth let it be your greatest care to honor the Lord, who has bought you. As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him-ROOTED and BUILT UP in Him and ESTABLISHED in the faith, AS YOU HAVE
TAUGHT, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Yes, blessed Redeemer! Other Lords besides Thee have had dominion over us; but by Thee only will we make mention of thy name. 0 Thou Eternal, Incarnate, God! I am thine-doubly thine-wholly thinc--thine for ever. AMEN.