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all the most important transactions of life are suffered to depend on its accuracy, surely the testimony of God is greater-is more indisputably certain. Surely God knoweth all things, can neither mistake nor be imposed upon, is in himself essential truth, and will in no respect deceive his creatures. Shall we not then receive his record? Shall we not dismiss at once the vain phantasies of a corrupt imagination, and bow with reverence to this authoritative record of mercy?
And yet men are practically and in their hearts rejecting this testimony of God every day! They flatter themselves, after all, that there is life elsewhere than in Christ! They go on in folly and impenitence, and still hope to enter heaven. They trust in their own works and deservings, and disdain to receive the gift of free mercy. Satan persuades them, as he did our first parents, that they shall not surely die. They believe the current notions of the world around them; but they do not credit the truth of God himself. They form a false estimate of the nature of religion; and judge by far too favourably of themselves. In the mean time, they never humbly study the Scripture, nor implicitly receive its testimony, nor implore the teaching of the Holy Spirit. And thus, sinking from depth to depth in guilt, they come
at last to mock God, and make him A LIAR—a consideration startling in the extreme! A condition awful beyond conception! What! shall man dare to contradict his Maker, a servant his Lord, a sinner his Judge, a finite ignorant creature his infinitely wise Creator, a condemned and lost criminal his gracious Deliverer! What madness and what presumption is this! What ingratitude, as well as folly! Shall not I visit for these things? saith the Lord; shall not my soul be avenged on such a transgressor as this?
Repent then, sinner, of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. Bow thy understanding to divine instruction. Receive the word which is sent to guide thee to heaven. Too long hast thou hesitated; too long hast thou listened to the sophisms of a vain and wicked world; too long hast thou lived without faith. Now attend to the solemn attestation of God. Embrace with avidity that infinitely important doctrine, which is the sum of the Bible -the doctrine of Christ crucified. Examine the momentous point, whether you have, or have not, the Son of God. Be assured there is no life but in him. Go, prostrate yourself at the feet of that Saviour whom you have so long despised; receive his words; welcome his atonement; implore his grace and Spirit; lay hold of
eternal life; venture on his promise. So shalt thou find life, and obtain favour of the Lord. Then shall the same testimony, which it was necessary to employ to convince you of your sins, become the source of your consolation and the foundation of your hope. The record of God, and that alone, will then sustain your trembling faith. The witnesses in heaven and in earth will then be necessary to save you from despair. The gift of eternal life will appear to you so astonishing, that you will only be encouraged to believe by considering the most solemn and repeated assurances, which God has vouchsafed to afford you. To credit the promise of eternal life in Christ Jesus, is indeed to a penitent, who sees something of the evil of sin and the corruption of his nature, an effort to be supported only by the irrefragable testimony of a divine witness. On no other testimony can the anxious penitent rely. But this witness shall never fail you. You shall find this testimony of God to be sure. You shall obtain pardon and righteousness through the infinite merits of Christ; you shall be brought to a life of faith, obedience, and communion by the indwelling of his Spirit; you shall have the foretaste of that eternal life which he has purchased for all believers, in the secret witness of your conscience, in the joys of faith, the anticipations of hope, and "the mysterious com
merce of the Holy Spirit with your heart:"* and you shall at length come to the full possession of eternal life itself, the gift of the same Saviour, who died for you that he might wash you from sins in his blood, and prepare your
and fit you for his immediate presence and glory.
* Bishop Horsley.
THE GRACE OF GOD IN PARDONING SIN.
MICAH VII. 18-20.
Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.
THERE is scarcely any thing in religion more difficult than deeply to feel our sins and mourn for them, and yet to believe firmly in the readiness of God to forgive them. When the penitent discovers the number and aggravation of his offences, and remembers the authority and majesty of the God whom he has provoked, he is usually prone to yield to despondency, and to consider the pardon of them as impossible. To