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consideration of predestination and our election in Christ is full of pleasant and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh and their earthly members, and drawing up their minds to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of everlasting salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doeth fervently kindle their love towards God.”

IV. Now in the fourth place we are dealt with in the moral discipline of God, the whole world equally. They who have the blessed assurance of everlasting salvation are addressed according to their moral nature, to their fears and hopes, to their instincts and desires, quite as much as those who are still outside the veil of Christ's unchangeable mercy. This is the great wisdom of God, that while he meets our frailty, and keeps us safe, he meets our feebleness and makes us strong, he meets our whole nature so as to discipline and exercise us. We find in the 3rd chapter of the Epistle to the Collossians, where the Apostle speaking of the manner in which Christ deals with his church, says in the 23rd to the 25th verses,

Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as unto the Lord and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done, and there is no respect of persons." We receive the reward of the inheritance that which is not earned by us; that which is not purchased by us, but that which we have by inheritance, by being born to it, being the sons of God. “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruit of his creatures ;” and yet

is a way

we so receive the reward of the inheritance as not to be negligent in our moral nature: “he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done, and there is no respect of persons.” In the same way in the 6th chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians, the Apostle says in the 8th verse, “Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free." If therefore we have that faith of God's elect which enables us to enter within the veil, and see our names written upon the precious breastplate of our Great High Priest that has passed into the heavens; we have also the need of God's elect to have our fears addressed, and our hopes addressed, to be assured of this, that whatever be the end we know that the way

of moral discipline, that if we sin we shall suffer for it; that if we walk in the way of holiness we shall be blessed in it; that if we keep close to Christ, Christ will keep close to us; that if we wander from Christ, Christ will let us know that it is an evil and a bitter thing that we have wandered from him; that he meets us with the discipline of his all wise dealings, making us to feel the bitterness of sin, and to suffer the consequences of our self-will; and that while he is thus dealing with us in his moral exercise of his attributes, he is keeping us in the unchangeable power of his love, he is dealing somewhat like one who would have a wayward child to deal with, and who would like but too well to walk in his own ways.

A wise care-taker of that child, would in order to train it for better things for the future permit him to go to a certain length in his own way, that while he would not be entirely ruined, he would learn lessons of self-rejection instead of his foolish, childish, self dependance. And so it is our great parent deals

us.

with us, allowing us to learn from our follies, and from our wanderings, and from our foolish self will, to learn our own weakness, our own ignorance, our own sin, that in this way we may learn to keep closely to him who has promised to supply all our need according to the riches of his Divine glory.

Brethren, we have these two feelings to keep before

Let it be our prayer that we may be enabled to do so. If you have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before you, there is an anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast, in which it is no presumption but most blessed faith to say, “I know in whom I have believed, that he will keep that which I have committed to him until that day.” If you have that most blessed faith and hope, keep before your minds also the means of grace as well as the hope of glory. Remember that every talent committed to you is a providential trust from God; that every opportunity of coming to the house of prayer is that which you may make use of for blessing, or you may neglect for judgment; that every opportunity of coming to the Lord's table is a divine gift presented to you to receive Christ in the strengthening and the refreshing of your souls; or a solemn dealing to see what is your moral state. Are you really hungering, are you really thirsty, after more of that heavenly food, for more of the knowledge of the power, and the love of Christ Jesus ?

And if there be those who are suffering the consequence of their sins, and yet have not laid hold upon that blessed faith ; remember the tender mercies of God, how more than willing he is that his children should come back to him,-how tenderly he pleads with them, “Why will

ye die ?”—How sweetly he says to their hearts only acknowledge thine iniquity, how thou hast trans

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gressed against the Lord, and I will be a father unto you, and will receive you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters saith the Lord Almighty. Are you suffering under the chastening hand of Christ ? the Apostle addressed those in the Corinthians who were thus suffering; as you will find in the 11th chapter of the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, in the 31st and 32nd verses, For if we would judge ourselves we should not be judged. But when we are judged we are chastened of the Lord that we should not be condemned with the world.” Even if some were sick and some were dead, under the judgment of God it was not that they should be condemned with the world, but that they should be chastened of the Lord that they might be partakers of his holiness. Oh, how blessed a thing it would be for your souls if you were each able to keep these dealings of God ever present with you, to keep his moral dealings in view, so as to walk watchfully, prayerfully, humbly, and keep his unchangeable promises and sworn covenant in view, as an anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil !

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