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obey, although no present strength is felt. Moses said, “Who am I?" God said, Certainly I will be with thee.” Again Moses said, “I am of slow speech.” God replied, “Go, and I will be with thy mouth.”* My text may fairly be made to say,
“ Your willing and your doing of God's good pleasure is God Himself working in you." Thus, even a Pharisee could see, that we fight against God when we persecute feeble men, if their counsel and their work be indeed of God and not of men.
God, the preserver of men, undertakes to preserve His servant's bodily life, if duty appears to threaten it.
Hence Paul, after having survived a pressure of trial, which he describes as “out of measure, above strength," put upon record this testimony :-“We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raiseth the dead: who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver; in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us.”+ And his last written declaration is to the same effect,
* Exod. iii. 11, 12; iv. 10, 12. + 2 Cor. i. 9, 10.
dated from Rome :- “ At my first answer, no man stood with me. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me. And the Lord shall deliver me from
evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."* And let God's servants in every age say “ Amen,” for God undertakes “ to perform all things for them."+
III. YOUR PART IS BOTH TO WILL AND TO DO.
Your part may be entrusted to you in two directions :
1. Agree that your work in relation to God's work should be secondary and dependent.
You should ACKNOWLEDGE your dependence upon God for the will and the power to work. Your refusal to acknowledge this cannot alter the truth of the matter. It is a poor reason for keeping God's wonderful work out of sight, that it is too mysterious. If you refuse to work out the regulations of my text, because of the mystery of your entire and continual dependence upon God, for the same reason you should not eat, you should not even breathe, because your breath is in His hand. But if
you * 2 Tim. iv. 16-18.
+ Ps. lvii. 2.
really feel what an Almighty deliverance the salvation of one soul is, can you suppose that your only dependence for salvation must be your own feelings, your own intellect, your own prudence ? Such a supposition would appear to be a darker and a more hopeless mystery than God Himself performing all things for you according to His gracious promise. Dependence upon God is the source and spring of all confidence.
Further, you should acknowledge your obligations to God. His first call upon you is not for present and future work, but for thankful. ness on account of the past. You became impressed with your sin and danger--you felt convictions of your own worthlessness and ruin painfully forced upon you by God's law. But soon convictions of Christ's trustworthiness, and of His offer of salvation to you, stole in upon you ; and these convictions showed themselves to have equal force with convictions of sin, because equally proved by God's word. Behold, a good work is begun! and God tells you that it was He who did it-that not yourself, but He directed your inquiries—that He gave you those new and solemn impressions
that He wrought in you those satisfying convictions. You are now to go on your way, raising up 'as the first testimony of your ransomed soul, Ebenezer, “ Hitherto the Lord hath helped me,” and resting your thankful dependence upon
the continuance of the same merciful and assuring help. He who began this good work — His own work
your own salvation, -He will complete it.
Besides dependence and obligation, you should acknowledge your responsibility to God. “ To whom much is given, of him much shall be required." You are responsible to God for your convictions and impressions as to saving truth and scriptural duty. Trifle not with any such convictions; God gives them, and at the very least you must search the Scriptures in order to satisfy yourselves concerning them. Do not endeavour to banish such impressions, for He, who alone can give, may withhold. If you despise or abuse them, you may drive them away, never to return; you may be unable to recover them at the very moment when without them you must fall and perish. And the danger is that the Spirit of God should leave you, so that in your folly you would
rejoice in the departure of religious impressions, and never have another wish for them. You are responsible for the knowledge which God gives you of His covenant engagement, and of all His promises--a knowledge which exposes you as inexcusable, if you are not working out your own salvation.
2. Enter upon your duty to God and man, as being your privilege.
Doing the will of God is the sum both of your salvation and of God's commandment. And we are told that “the end,” (or intended result) “ of God's commandment is charity," i.e. CHRISTIAN LOVE, “out of a pure heart and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned." This will of God is the never failing blessedness of the souls whom He saves; and therefore it is said, that when tongues cease, and prophecy fails, and knowledge vanishes away, Christian love never fails. Your own salvation does not shut you up to regard for yourself alone; it points you to God and to man, and to the end or sum of God's commandment, love to God and love to man. You are saved by God, therefore praise God.
You are saved, each saved soul being only one out of