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thou little child, that hast found thyself hopeless and helpless as an infant, that art come to the everlasting Father, and hast cast all thy cares upon him, thy sins are forgiven thee for his name's sake. Say they are many, great, aggravated; sins of a scarlet dye, and red as crimson; yet they are purged away for his name's sake. As a thick cloud they hung black and threatening over thee, and kept from thee the light of heaven; but now they are blotted out, as a cloud which the wind hath carried away, and thy God remembereth them not, as if they were cast into the depths of the sea. For there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit." To thee there is no condemnation, for thou walkest after the spirit, thou art spiritually-minded, led by the spirit. No condemnation, by reason of thy past sins and present infirmities; the wrath of God removed, the accusations of Satan unheard, the sentence of death remitted. Blessed man "whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered!" Blessed man, "unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity!" O join the song of the prophet, and say, "Sing, O ye heavens; for the Lord hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains: O forest, and every tree therein; for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.”
2. The adoption of a child. Thou, who wert sometimes far off, art made nigh by the blood of Jesus, become a child of God by faith in Jesus Christ: no longer now" a stranger and a foreigner, but a
fellow-citizen with the saints, and of the household For as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God." And thou dost receive him, as the Christ, the Son of the living God; cordially receive him, as thy Prince and Saviour. Father.
Know then, God condescends to be thy Stagger not at so great a thing, as though it were too high for thee: it is Jesus gives thee this glorious power and privilege. Himself saith, "Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God."
You cannot deny the relation, without denying Jesus to be the Son of God, seeing he evidently calls you his brother. So God had said, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sous and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." See, to what an honour thou art advanced, thou son of the dust, thou sinful worm, thou once heir of hell, to be the child of the Lord Almighty! And as a And as a child, he doth and will treat thee;"like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth thee;" he "will spare thee as a man spareth his own son that serveth him;" he will correct thee in love, " even as a father the son in whom he delighteth." Go to, ye children of princes, be ashamed of your honours, the servant of Christ is the son of the high God. He will not stoop to your dignity, in exchange for his own. He hath a Father in heaven, to whom he can come with boldness, whom he can securely depend, a Father al
mighty and most merciful.
"Behold what manner
of love the Father hath bestowed should be called the sons of God."
3. A new and child-like disposition of soul. have escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust," to be "partaker of a divine nature,” to walk with God as a dear child, are blessings which cannot be valued by the children of this world; which cannot be valued, as they deserve, by the children of light. What, is it nothing to you, ye believers, that, once dead in trespasses and sins, sin hath now no longer dominion over you? That alienated from the life of God, as ye naturally are, yea, possessed by that carnal mind which is enmity against God, ye now find yourselves" renewed in the spirit of your minds," changed into the image of the Lord, and that "from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord?" That "ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father;" not a slave-like, but a child-like disposition towards God, the seal of your adoption, the "earnest of our inheritance?" Reflecting upon what you were, and what you are, and what lies before you, are these things nothing to you? Let your thankful hearts be witness. True, you have sold all to buy Christ, but what have ye gained already? Ye cannot repent of, ye cannot but rejoice with joy unspeakable, in the purchase ye have made!
4. The daily care of the Redeemer. loved his own, he loved them unto the end." to death only? Did death quench his love? ascended up on high to receive gifts for men, to ap
pear in the presence of God for us." His love for his people will never end; "neither pray I for these alone (his then disciples) but for them also which shall believe in me through their word." This is his continual intercession for us. Read in his history the tender concern he felt towards his followers; and in your hourly needs, he bears the like love to you. Say, thou believing soul, why, chargeable with so many sins and so much unworthiness, do not the terrors of a guilty conscience follow and dismay thee? Why, though altogether weak, and still inclined to evil as thou art, do not sin and Satan every hour get advantage of thee? Whence is it, that amidst all the temptations which a beguiling world presents continually to thy eyes and heart, thou art not seduced from "the hope set before thee?" How comes it, that thy trials are so proportioned to thy strength, that thou always findest a way to escape? Who provides for thee those awakening instructive providences and means, thou daily dost meet with? And who, at the same time, those secret and suitable suggestions thou perceivest to rise within thee? Sit down at the close of the day, and review what hath past in it, what thou hast gone through, how thou hast been protected, supported, blessed; and thy very soul will be filled with admiration of that loving care, which the great Head of the church exercises towards thee; thy heart will grow big with thankfulness and praise; thou wilt be wanting some pious friend, with whom to communicate the overflowings of thy joy, to "declare what the Lord hath done for thy soul."
5. A delightful fellowship with the faithful. speak not of the various ways wherein the true members of Christ do communicate to and with one another, nor of that excellent charity which enlarges all their hearts, and inspires them with all readiness to this communion; but I speak of the delight that accompanies it. The rest of the world having no common head, nor satisfying hope, live hateful unto, and hating one another. O the uncomfortable state, where hatred, variance, emulation, strife, and envy, rage in every breast! But the company of the faithful live together in "love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness." For why, all their interests are one, their enemies, their warfare, their dangers, their fears, their hope, their head, their spirit, their crown, their kingdom, one: all alike "members of Christ, children of God, and heirs of the promises." With such as these thou livest, since thou hast known the Lord Jesus; partaker of their faithful admonitions, tender consolations, and affectionate prayers. And didst thou ever know before, what society, what friendship was? Now thou canst truly say, "All my delight is with the saints that are in the earth." "Behold how good and joyful a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."
6. A thankful enjoyment of all God's creatures. It is written, when God had finished the creation of the heavens and the earth, that he " saw every thing that he had made, and behold it was very good." In like manner, since a new life hath been breathed into thy soul, thou seest all the creatures