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throne in the believing heart. Are you enjoying, Christian reader, peace with God? You know the value of the blessing, and the source whence it is derived. Is the reader destitute of it? Is his own conscience his bitter enemy? Does he dislike that which God has commanded ; and fear that which He has threatened ? If such a person be not determined in his enmity against God and himself, surely he will rejoice to hear that God is • the Author of peace, and Lover of concord. As God delights in the happiness of His rational creatures, He is willing to be at peace with them. What proofs has He not given, that He is the 6 Lover of concord ?'. The truth of it is written as with a sun-beam in the death of Jesus, and in the promise of His Spirit. 0! what an argument for faith does this title of our God afford! If He loves concord, with what assurance may I return to him confessing my sins, and casting myself at His feet! That He is “the lover of concord' appears from the character of those who are begotten again by His Spirit. For His children resemble their infinitely gracious parent. Every feature of the renewed mind, of the new creature in Christ Jesus,' is a transcript made by the Spirit of grace from the original perfection of the Divine nature. And is not a Spirit of love and concord one of the chief graces of the Christian charac


ter? The beam of light, which descends from the sun, is not more truly of the same quality with that glorious orb ; the drop of water, which is severed from the ocean, is not more truly of the same matter with the mass, with which it had been blended, than the spirit of forgiveness, peace, concord, and love, which more or less reigns in the bosom of every child of God, is an emanation from the Divine fulness. • God is • love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in • God, and God in him. Is he then, whom grace hath created anew after the Divine likeness, earnestly solicitous that those with whom he once associated in rebellion, shouhl return to their offended Maker, and find mercy ? God, who is the author and giver of that solicitude, must be infinitely more compassionate. The question then, which remains to be answered by the corscience of each individual, is, are you desirous of peace with God ?

Consider how hypocritical is the use, which you make of this prayer, if your heart be not truly desirous of possessing and maintaining peace with God.

This peace can only be derived from the knowledge of God. For • in the knowledge of Him • standeth our eternal life,' of which present peace is the earnest and foretaste. Those, therefore, who believe their own prayers, will ardently desire this knowledge of God ; and be solicitous in inquiring, what it is, and how it is to be obtained. That it is more than a cold assent to the Being and Providence of God, is plain from this consideration ; that there are great multitudes of persons, who allow Flis existence and profess a belief in his providence, and yet enjoy no fellowship with Him on earth, nor cultivate any lively hope of the pleasures which are at His right hand for ever more.

Such a conviction as this will leave us in all the horrors of a fallen state ; for the very devils believe and tremble. When eternal life is annexed to an acquaintance with God, such a knowledge of Him must indisputably be intended, as He has revealed in his word. All the mistakes which, are made about religion, originate in ignorance of the true character of God. Hence it is, that the careless sinner pursues quietly · the way of his heart, and yet dreams of impunity ; though he lives in the neglect of the great salvation, and the habitual practice of sin. Did he verily know God, he could not satisfy himself with such silly apologies, as • that many are worse • than himself;' or that his natural appetites are • strong, and that there is no harm in their un• bounded gratification.'* Were not his mind destitute of all acquaintance with the perfections of the Godhead; he would be afraid to postpone the work of repentance to a future day. From the same fruitful source of error arises also the blunder of the Pharisaic formalist, who fancies that the law of God may be satisfied with a partial, instead of a perfect obedience: or, that Christ came into the world to introduce a remedial law; and that by the merit of obedience thereto man is to be justified and saved ; that he must do what he can for himself, and leave the remainder to Christ; in consequence of which, man has a right to glory in his own righteousness, so far as it is supposed to extend ; although the plan of redemption in Christ Jesus is so laid by infinite wisdom, that no flesh shall be permitted to glory in his presence.*

* Ps. xciv. 1---11.

Did he know the holiness and justness of the Divine nature, he would discover his own helplessness ; and he would plainly perceive, that the scheme of a remedial law is blasphemy against God, since it represents Him as enjoining and approving that, which is imperfect and consequently sinful.

It is not the doctrines of grace, but this wretched system of modern Divinity, which makes God the author and approver of sin. So soon as a man becomes acquainted with God, he instantly discovers the necessity of justification by the obedience of Christ, and regeneration by His spirit ; and the propriety of a state of total self-renunciation, and intire dependence on Christ alone.

* 1 Cor. i. 29.

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Returning from this short digression, it will be proper for us to inquire, wherein this knowledge of God consists, which is here connected with eternal life. God has revealed in His word the perfections of His nature, so far as it is necessary for us to be acquainted with them : and in the incarnation, life, and death of Jesus, we have a picture of the ever blessed God drawn to the life. For Jesus is the image of the invisi• ble God,' so that whosoever hath seen him hath

seen the Father.' God then is revealed in scripture as a being of infinite Holiness. He dwelleth in the height of His sanctuary, at the remotest distance from all possibility of pollution. What striking ideas of the purity of the Divine nature are conveyed to the mind by the awful ceremonies, that were enjoined to the Israelites, when the most High descended to promulgate His sacred law on Mount Sinai !* Surely we may conclude from the thunderings, and lightnings, and earthquake; from the trepidation of Moses and the horror of his people ; that the Lord our God • is holy,' yea, glorious in holiness. In the character and life of Jesus also, we have an open exemplification of this attribute. For He was a lamb without blemish and without spot. He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.

* See Exod. xix. 10, &c. Comp. Hebr. xii. 18, &c.

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