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Thus faith and hope getting hold of both ends of the promise, they carry it safely ALL away.
Faith looks to Christ as dead, buried, and ascended; and hope to his second coming. Faith looks to him for justification, hope for glory.
Faith fights for doctrine, hope for a reward; faith for what is in the Bible, hope for what is in heaven.
Faith purifies the heart from bad principles, hope from bad manners. 2 Peter, 3:11, 14
Faith sets hope at work, hope sets patience at work. Faith says to hope, Look for what is promised ; hope says to faith, So I do, and will wait for it too.
Faith looks through the word of God in Christ; hope looks through faith, beyond the world, to glory. Thus faith saves, and thus hope saves.
Faith saves by laying hold of God by Christ; hope saves by prevailing with the soul to suffer all troubles, afflictions, and adversities that it meets with betwixt this and the world to come, for the sake thereof. Take the matter in this plain similitude :
There was a king that adopted such a one to be his child, and clothed him with the attire of the children of the king, and promised him that if he would fight his father's battles and walk in his father's ways, he should at last share in his father's kingdom. He has received the adoption and the king's robe, but not yet his part in the king. dom; but now, hope of a share in that will make him fight the king's battles, and also tread the king's paths. Yea, and though he should meet with many things that have a tendency to deter him from so doing, yet thoughts of the interest promised in the kingdom, and hopes to enjoy it, will make him cut his way through those difficulties, and so save him from the ruin that those obstructions would bring upon him, and will, in conclusion, usher him into a personal possession and enjoyment of that inheritance.
Hope has a thick skin, and will endure many a blow; it will put on patience as á vestment, it will wade through
a sea of blood, it will endure all things if it be of the right kind, for the joy that is set before it. Hence patience is called “patience of hope," because it is hope that makes the soul exercise patience and long-suffering under the cross, until the time comes to enjoy the crown.
Learn of Abraham not to faint, stumble, or doubt, at the sight of your own weakness ; for if you do, hope will stay below, and creak in the wheels as it goes, because it will want the oil of faith.
HOPE. Hope is the grace that relieves the soul when dark and weary. Hope calls upon the soul not to forget how far it is arrived in its progress towards heaven. Hope will point and show it the gate afar off; and therefore it is called the hope of salvation.
True hope, in the right exercise of it upon God, makes no stumble at weakness or darkness, but rather worketh up the soul to some comfort by these. Thus Abraham's hope wrought by his weakness.' And as for the dark, it is its element to act in that, “For hope which is seen is not hope.”
Hope is a head-grace and governing. There are several lusts in the soul that cannot be mastered, if hope be not in exercise-especially if the soul be in great and sore trials. There is peevishness and impatience, there is fear and despair, there is doubting and misconstruing of God's present hand; and all these become masters, if hope be not stirring; nor can any grace besides put a stop to their tumultuous raging in the soul. But now, hope in God makes them all hush, takes away the occasion of their working, and lays the soul at the foot of God.
PATIENCE “ And he stayed yet other seven days.". This staying shows us that he exercised patience, waiting God's leisure till the flood should be taken away. This grace, therefore, has yet seven days' work to do, before he obtained
further testimony that the waters were decreasing. O this staying work is hard work. Alas, sometimes patience is accompanied with so much heat and feverishness, that every hour seems seven until the end of the trial, and the blessing promised be possessed by the waiting soul. It may be, Noah inight not be altogether herein a stranger. I am sure the psalmist was not, in that he often under affliction cries, But how long, O Lord; for ever? Make haste. 0 Lord, how long ?
LOVE. Love is the very quintessence of all the graces of the gospel
FEAR. It seems to me as if this grace of fear was the darling grace,
that God sets his heart upon at the highest rate. As it were, he embraces and lays in his bosom the man that hath and grows strong in this grace of the fear of God.
This grace of fear is the softest and most tender of God's honor of all the graces. It is that tender, sensible, and trembling grace, that keepeth the soul upon its continual watch. To keep a good watch is, you know, a wonderful safety to a place that is in continual danger because of the enemy. Why, this is the grace that setteth the watch, and that keepeth the watchman awake: ,
A man cannot watch as he should, if he be destitute of fear: let him be confident, and he sleeps; he unadvisedly lets into the garrison those that should not come there.
This fear of the Lord is the pulse of the soul; and as life;
some pulses beat stronger, some weaker, so is this grace of fear in the soul. They that beat best are a sign of best
but they that beat worst, show that life is present. As long as the pulse beats, we count not that the man is dead, though weak; and this fear, where is, preserves to everlasting life. Pulses there are also that are intermitting ; to wit, such as have their times of beating for a little, a little time to stop, and beat again : true, these are dangerous pulses, which, nevertheless, are a sign of life. This fear of God also is sometimes like this intermitting pulse; there are times when it forbears to work, and then it works again.. David had an intermitting pulse; Peter had an intermitting pulse, as also many other of the saints of God. I call that an intermitting pulse, with reference to the fear we speak of, when there is some obstruction by the workings of corruption in the soul: I say, some obstruction from and hinderance of the continual motion of this fear of God; yet none of these—though they are various, and some of them signs of weakness--are signs of death, but life. “I will put my fear in their heart, and they shall not depart from me.”
Where the fear of the Lord and sin are, it will be with the soul as it was with Israel when Amri and Tibni strove to reign among them both at once. One of them must be put to death, they cannot live together. Sin must down, for the fear of the Lord begetteth in the soul a hatred against it, an abhorrence of it; therefore sin must die, that is, as to the affections and lusts of it.
Thy heart shall fear and be enlarged”-enlarged towards God, enlarged to his ways, enlarged to his holy people, enlarged in love after the salvation of others. Indeed, when this fear of God is wanting, though the profession be never so famous, the heart is shut up and straitened, and nothing is done in that princely free spirit, which is called “the spirit of the fear of the Lord,” but with grudging, legally, or with desire of vain glory. Psa. 51:12; Isa. 11:2.
If a king will keep a town secure to himself, let him be sure to man sufficiently the main fort thereof. If he have twenty thousand men well armed, if they lie scattered here and there, the town may be taken for all that ; but if the main fort be well manned, then the town is
What if a man had all the parts, yea, all the arts of men and angels, that will not keep the heart to God..
But when the heart, this principal fort, is possessed with the fear of God, then he is safe, not else.
O they are a sweet couple, to wit, a Christian conversation coupled with fear.
Your great, ranting, swaggering roysters, that are ignorant of the nature of this fear of God, count it a poor, sneaking, pitiful, cowardly spirit in men to fear and tremble before the Lord. But whoso looks back to jails and gibbets, to the sword and the burning stake, shall see in the martyrs there the most mighty and invincible spirit that has been in the world.
This grace of fear can make the man that in many other things is not capable of serving God, serve him better than those that have all else without it. Poor Christian man, thou hast scarce been able to do any thing for God all thy days, but only to fear the Lord.
Thou art no preacher, and so canst not do him service that way: thou art no rich man, and so canst not do him service with outward substance: thou art no wise man, and so canst not do any thing that
way; but here is thy mercy, thou fearest God. Though thou canst not preach, thou canst fear God.