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Beautiful scripture instance of humble, yet persisting im. portunity, in the woman of Canaan, who met with many repulsés, confessed the justice of every thing that made against her, and yet continued to urge her plea. Neither is there any difference between the way in which she fup. plicated of the Saviour a cure for her distressed daughter, and the way in which an awakened finner will implore from the fame Saviour more necessary relief to an afflicted conscience. “And behold a woman of Canaan came out " of the same coasts, and cried unto him, faying, Have
mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David, my daughter " is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her, " not a word. And his disciples came and befought him, saying, Send her away, for the crieth after us.
But he 6 answered and said, I am not sent but unto the loft sheep“ of the house of Israel. Then came fne and worshipped
him, saying, Lord help me. But he answered and said, " It is not meet to take the children's bread and cast it to “ dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord, yet the dogs eat of " the crumbs which fall from their master's table. Then
Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is " thy faith : be it unto thee even as thou wilt."* I shall conclude with mentioning an instance of a similać charac
, great profligate, and afterwards became a great penitent. He composed a little piece of poetry after his conversion, the leading sentiment of which was what I have recom. mended above, and in his own language was to the fol, lowing purpose : Great God, thy judgments are full of
righteousness, thou takest pleature in the exercise of és
mercy; but I have sinned to fuch a height, that justice “ demands my destruction, and mercy itself seems to fo“ licit my perdition. Difdain my tears, strike the blow, is and execute thy judgment. I am willing to submit, and " adore, even in perishing, the equity of thy proceedure. · But on what place will the stroke fall, that is not tover. " ed with the blood of Christ ?"
SEĆ T. V.
Acceptance of salvation through the cross of Christ.
HÈ next great step in a finner's chanige is a discove through Jesus Christ
. This is the last and finishing step of the glorious work. When this is attained, the change is compleated, the new nature is fully formed in all it's parts. The spiritual feed is implanted, and hath takeni root; and it will arrive by degrees, in every vessel of mer: cy, to that measure of maturity and strength, that it pleaseth God each shall possess before he be carried hence,
It is eafy to fee, that conviction of fin which hath been before illustrated, prepares and paves the way for a discovery and acceptance of salvation by Christ.
Before conviation of fin, or when conviction is but imperfect, the gof pél of Christ, and particularly the doctrine of the cross, almost constantly appears to be foolifhness. Or if, as fometimes happens, education and example prompts the finner to speak with some degree of reverence of the name; character, and undertaking of a Saviour, there is no dif? tinct perception of the meaning, nor any inward relish of the sweetnefs of the falutarý truths. But those who have beenwounded in their fpirits, and grieved in their "minds,” begin to perceive their unspeakable importance and value. That mystery which was hid from ages and generations, beginstoopen upon the soul in its luftreand glory: The helpless and hopeless state of the finner makes him earnestly and anxiously enquire, whether there is any way to éscape, whether there is any door of mercy or of hope He says, with the awakened and trembling jailor, “What “ müst I do to be saved ? Innumerable evils have com" passed me about, mine iniquities have taken hold upon
mě, so that I am not able to look up; they are more “ than the hairs of mine head, therefore my heart faileth
I have no excuse to offer, for any shelter to fly " to: the works, the word, and the providence of God,
by Pfal. xl. 12.
" seem all to be up in arms against me, and have inclosed “ me as an enemy to him. O how fearful a thing is it to “ fall into the hands of the living God! Who shall dwell “ with devouring fire? Who shall dwell with everlasting “ burnings? Is there no prospect of relief? Is there na “ balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Wonder“ ful has been my past blindness! I have awakened as out “ of a dream, and find myself hastening fast to the pit of
destruction. What would I not do, what would I not
give for good ground to believe that my guilt were taken “ away, and my peace made with God?"
With what eagerness and earnestness, hitherto unknown, does the finner now enquire after the way to life? With what solicitude does he “ go forth by the footsteps of the “ flock, and feed beside the shepherds tents.” The fabbaths, and ordinances, and word of God, are now quite different things from what they were before. No more waste of that facred time in business or in play. No more serenity of heart, because he had been regularly and conftantly at church, but an astonishing view of the fins of his holy things; careless, formal, heartless worship. He cries out with the Pfalmift, “Lord, if thou shouldst mark “ iniquity, who shall stand.” No more indifferent, nothful, disdainful hearing the word. No more critical hearing the word, that he may commend the ability, or deride the weakness of the preacher. With what concern does he hang upon the sacred message, to see if there be any thing! upon which he can lay hold? He then hears that “God is “ in Christ, reconciling the world to himself.” The very news of salvation, the bare mention of pardon, is now a joyful sound. It rouses his attention, it awakens his curiosity, and he sets himself to weigh and ponder the important intimation. . He hears that “God so loved the
world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoe“ ver believeth in him should not perish, but have ever
lasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world “ to condemn the world, but that the world through him "might be saved. * Is there then,” says he, “lope of
* John iii, 16, 17.
mercy with God, whom I have so long forgotten, and so
greatly offended ? hath he indeed loved a guilty world? “ hath he loved them in so amazing a manner, as to fend * }iis only begotten Son to save them from destruction ? " How great is the giver, how wonderful the gift, and show undeserving the objects of his love ?" Here perhaps a difficulty may occur.
“ It may be to," says the soul; “but are all the children of Adam the ob
jects of divine love? Shall every finner be partaker of * divine mercy ? Surely not. How then are they distin
guished ? Perhaps he intends only to save a few of the “ least unworthy, and to glorify his justice and severity “ in the condemnation of the most eminently guilty. ** What then haveal reason to expect ? None, none, none “ of any rank fo criminal as I. I have sinned early, and . “ I have finned long. I have finned against the clearest “ light and knowledge. I have finned against innumera“ ble mercies. I have finned againft the threatenings of “ God's word, the rebukes of his providence, the checks “ of my own conscience, and the unwearied pains and di.
ligence of ministers and parents. I have burst every “ bənd, and torn in pieces every restraining tie.” How many gracious promises present themselves immediately to extinguish this fear? “ Come now, and let us reason to"gether, faith the Lord; though your fins be as scarlet, " they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like “ crimfon, they shall be as wool; if ve be willing and
obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.*“ Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out. 6 Wherefore also he is able to fave them to the uttermoft * that come unto God by hinr.1 And the Spirit and the < bride fay come ; and let him that heareth fay come ; " and let him that is athirst come; and whosoever will, let “ him take the water of life feely:"il To these promises may be added many fcripture examples of first-rate finners, saved by the power of God, that none may despair. An idolatrous Manasseh, an unrighteous and opprellive publican Zaccheus, an unclean Mary Magdalene, and
• II. i., 18, 19. † Jolin vi. 37. Heb. vii. 25. ll Rev. xxii. 17. a persecuting Paul. Then is the foul brought to acknow.' ledge and adore the matchless love of God; to repeat and adopt the words of the apostle Paul; « This is a
faithful “ saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus"
came into the world to save unners, of whom I am: « chief.”
The finner, in such a îtuation, is wholly employed in alternately viewing his own deplorable character and state on the one hand, and the fufficiency and efficacy of the remedy on the other. As these take their turns in his.mind, his hope rises or falls. Perhaps when he again reflects on the infinite number and heinous nature of his offences; when he considers the holiness and purity of God's nature and law, he is ready to bring all into question, and to say, " How can these things be? Is it poflible that all this guilt
can be passed by, is it possibly that it can be forgiven and forgotten by a holy God? Is he not of purer eyes
than to behold iniquity? Is it not said, that evil cannot “ dwell with him? That sinners shall not stand in his pre“ fence? How then can I presume to approach him? 1, “ who have been so daring and obstinate a , rebel? What
reception can I expect to meet with but, Bind him “ hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into “utter darkness; there shall be weeping and gnathing of “ teeth."*
To remove this distrust, and allure his heart before God, he is informed of the foundation of his hope, that salvation comes by a Mediator. He undertook our cause, he purchased redemption by his precious blood. Hear him saying in the councils of the Most high, “ Sacrifice “ and offering thou didît not defire; mine ears haft thou “ opened. Burnt-offering and sin-offering haft thou not. “ required. Then said I, Lo, I come, in the volume of “ the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O.:: “my ;
God; yea, thy law, is within my heart.”+ Hear... also in what manner he executed this gracious purpose. :? “ He was wounded for our tranfgrefsions, he was bruised " for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was