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dependence. These are the affections which should glow in the breast of every believer who hopes to "hold the beginning of his confidence stedfast unto the end ;"—and to urge upon you, my brethren, the duty of cultivating these affections is the object of this discourse.
1. First, then, it is the duty of Christians to look unto Jesus, as the Author and Finisher of their faith, with a spirit of confidential trust.—If he manages the work of redemption in all its vast and momentous extent; if from that remote moment in eternity, when he pledged himself to leave the bosom of the Father, and pour out his blood on Calvary for the remission of sin, to that glorious consummation of his mediatorial character, when, all things having been subdued unto him, he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, that God may be all in all; if during the lapse of these long and eventful
his hand has wielded, and shall still wield, the sceptre of the kingdom of grace, then is that kingdom safe, nor shall even the gates of hell prevail against it. Let not, then, the weakest disciple of Christ give place, for one moment, to doubt or despondency. Let bim remember who that Saviour is in whom he hath trusted. He is the Friend of sinners. Full of compassion toward a world lying in wickedness, anxious to rescue every sincere penitent from the tremendous curse of the law, He condescended himself to feel this curse, and to drink, to its dregs, that mysterious
cup of wrath, the very anticipation of which so agonized his soul, that his human nature almost shrunk beneath the torture, and found a temporary relief only in a sweat of blood. Yes, my brethren, the garden of Gethsemane, with its midnight scene of anguish ; the hall of Pilate, with its cruel scourges, and mocking crown of thorns; the bill of Calvary, with its torturing cross and reviling persecutors; these testify with a language, forcible, honest, and affecting as the last accents of the dying, that Jesus is the Friend of sinners. Never, therefore, has he deserted, never will he desert, his mediatorial work ; never has he forsaken, never will he forsake, the most timid, disciple, who sincerely trusts in him. Consider then, my brethren, the love which Christ bears to all his followers : a love strong as death, which many waters cannot quench, nor floods drown : and let it constrain you, by a sweet and irresistible necessity, continually to look unto him with a spirit of confidential trust. Consider too, that, as Mediator between God and man, he is invested with all dominion in heaven, and earth, and hell ; and that he shall rule till he hath put all enemies under his feet. Consider, that in his Divine nature, he is the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person, upholding all things by the word of his power ; nay, that he is " the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” As therefore, on the one hand, what he hath done for sinners is a pledge that his love toward all who trust in him will never suffer abatement
or diminution ; so, on the other, what he is in his own exalted and Divine character affords the most convincing proof, that if infinite knowledge, and wisdom, and power, can secure the accomplishment of a purpose, then is the kingdom of grace safe ; then shall none of Christ's true disciples perish, nor shall any pluck them out of his hand. “Be strong, therefore," my brethren," in the Lord, and in the power of his might ;" and let the Divine majesty and dominion of Jesus, as well as the unwavering constancy of his love, lead you continually to look unto Him with a spirit of confidential trust.
II. Look unto him, also, with a spirit of humble docility.-- If He has risen upon our benighted earth, the glorious Sun of Righteousness, with healing in his wings; if His beams alone could dispel the cheerless midnight of moral ignorance which brooded over all the Gentile world ; if the rays of His truth are still necessary to illuminate the dark places of our understanding, and to pour upon the soul the refreshing light of “the knowledge of the glory of God, as it shines in the face of Jesus Christ;" then ought we no longer to direct our course toward futurity by the wandering stars of human philosophy falsely so called, nor pursue, as guides in the path of duty, the deceptive meteors of our own proud and erring reason.
We have a sure word of prophecy; whereunto we do well that we take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn and the day-star arise in our
hearts." God, who at sundry times and in divers manners, spake in times past unto the fathers by the Prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son." Jesus Christ hath given us the words of eternal life; and if He is thus the Source of all Divine truth; if he is the medium through which Jehovah hath disclosed to us all that we know. of bis will and our duty, all that we know of the pardon of sin and of acceptance with God, all that we know of an immortality beyond the grave, all that we know of a final judgment, all that we know of the joys of heaven and the terrors of hell ; then most meekly should we sit at the feet of Jesus, and imbibe the lessons of wisdom from his lips. Prize, then, ye who profess to be his disciples, the oracles of Divine Truth which he has placed in your hands, on the pages of which he lives over again, as it were, his life of humiliation and suffering, speaks to you again as never man spake, and “ before your eyes is evidently set forth crucified among you.” Listen to his voice ; receive with meekness his ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls ; lean not to your own understandings ; look continually to Jesus Christ, as your Instructor, and Pattern, and Guide, with a spirit of humble docility.
III. Again; Look unto Jesus, my brethren, as the Author and Finisher of your faith, with a spirit of cordial dependence.-Our Saviour hath done so much in the affair of our salvation, that we are
often led to think he hath not done all; and that something is left for us to perform, which will entitle us to at least a small share of credit at the bar of God. But this is to forget, that we were by nature the children of wrath ;" that we were dead in trespasses and sins ; that God hath quickened. us together with Christ; that “by grace we are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God;" that“ we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” It is to forget, that we cannot go on to “ work out our salvation with fear and trembling," unless “ God work in us, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” It is to forget, that all those. wonderful events which our Saviour accomplished before the doctrines of the Cross could be promulgated; nay, that Divine Truth itself, clad, as it is, with all that is terrible in the justice and attractive in the mercy of God, will produce no effect upon the obduracy of the sinner's heart, without the accompanying energy of the Holy Spirit. No, my brethren; Jesus Christ claims to himself the entire honour of our redemption. He died to procure that Holy Comforter which first convinces of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, and draws the rebellious to the foot of the Cross. And he now lives, having passed into the heavens, to intercede continually before the throne of God, for those influences of the Spirit, without which even his own disciples would go back and walk no more with