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him. Trust in him, therefore, at all times, for that energy of Divine grace which must ever be affecting your hearts to purify you from the remains of sin ; to guard you against the allurements of the world; to fortify you against the assaults of the adversary, and to ripen you for heaven. Feel your own weakness and insufficiency. Pray without ceasing, that Almighty God would grant you, cording to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith ; that ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.” Thus look unto Jesus, as the Author and Finisher of your faith, with a spirit of cordial dependence.
And now, my hearers, having attempted to discover what the duty is which our text enjoins, and what are the motives which urge us to a constant performance of it; it becomes us most seriously to inquire whether we do indeed thus look unto Jesus as the Author and Finisher of our faith, with a spirit of confidential trust, of humble docility, and of cordial dependence. One day we shall see him coming in the clouds of heaven, invested with the awful and majestic glory of his Father, and surrounded with an innumerable angelic host, to pass the sentence of eternal justice upon all the
enemies of God. On that day we shall have to render at His bar a strict account of the use we are making of all the mercies and privileges with which we are now favoured. On that great day of “the wrath of Jesus Christ," as the word of God most solemnly denotes it ; whether we shall say to the mountains and rocks, “ Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne,” or whether we shall behold that Face with composure and joy, depends upon one single condition-a condition most simple in its nature, but most momentous in its effects. It is, that we now look unto Jesus as the Author and Finisher of our faith. Do we thus look unto him ? Or is our eye filled with the vain shew of this world? Are we continually busy in gazing upon the political prodigies and revolutions of the day; the changes of commerce and trade; the strifes of party, and the contests for dominion? Are we searching the records of history, exploring the mines of science, or feasting our intellectual eye with the splendid and fascinating visions of literature ? Are we curiously prying into the best projects for amassing a little more wealth, for adding another leaf to the laurels of our reputation, or shedding on our couch of pleasure a softer down? Are we thus engaged, instead of raising a single look of supplication for mercy unto Him who is alone able to save us from the wrath to come? Then stand we in jeopardy every hour. Then are we in continual danger of becoming the victims of that " fiery indignation which shall devour the adversa
ries.” “ He that despised Moses' law, died without mercy under two or three witnesses. Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who shall tread under foot the Son of God, and count the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing; and do despite unto the Spirit of grace!" For we know him that hath said, “Vengeance belongeth unto me: I will recompence, saith the Lord.” “ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
O that these terrors of the Lord, which the unerring word of his truth discloses to our view—these terrors, which we yet behold (so great is the mercy of God) only in prospect—these terrors, which cast a gloom, dismal as the midnight of the grave, over the eternal destiny of the wicked-these terrors, which are compared by our Saviour to “the worm that never dies, to the fire that is never quenched” -these terrors, which are too vast for our conception, even when conscience awakens the most fearful forebodings, and excites the troubled imagination to form its most stupendous and terrific images of all possible evil-these terrors, over which the Almighty hath, in compassion, drawn a veil of partial obscurity, lest the full sight of them should overwhelm us with irremediable consternation and despair ;-0 that these terrors, which have not yet overtaken us, and from which we can yet flee, might compel us, as we value the eternal welfare of our souls, now to look unto Jesus Christ, who is alone able to save us from the wrath to come!
I cannot leave my subject without enforcing upon you, my Christian brethren, the duty of serious self-examination. You profess to be running the Christian race, and to be striving for that crown of glory which fadeth not away. Is the termination of your career continually before you? Is the eye of your faith continually directed to Him from whose hand you expect to receive those robes of righteousness and palms of victory which will adorn your eternal triumph over sin, and death, and hell ? If you thus look unto Jesus, the fruits of your faith will not be hid. They will put forth their brightest and loveliest forms. They will enrich your character with a beauty, and cast around it a fragrance, that will compel even a censorious world to recognize in you the faint though sure image of your Father, who is in heaven ; and to confess that the genuine spirit of Christianity, so far from debasing the human character, serves to give it the greatest dignity and happiness of which it is susceptible. If you thus look unto Jesus, he will most assuredly shed down upon you the gifts and graces of his Spirit ; and your souls will be always the happy residence of " love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” May Almighty God, by his
enable to adorn the religion which you profess, and thus to feel its influence irr your hearts ! So may he afford you the most satisfactory evidence that you are indeed looking unto Jesus as the Author and Fin