« AnteriorContinuar »
alluding to their plighted vows. She was still in She was often more mystical than the woman of ecstacy with a Sabbath which, she said, had been Tekoah, and more poetical than Deborah, the wife to her a fragment of the first Sabbath of Time, of Lapidoth. When she called the stars, shecki. and a foretaste of the first Sabbath of Eternity. nahs in miniature, the old men thought her proEsrom felt piqued, and asked, sarcastically, “ Did fane; when she said, the sun was an emblem and Adam pray like the Elders, or will Angels sing a pledge, that the glory between the Cherubim like the choirs of Beersheba ?" This association would, one day, fill the whole earth, they deemed of ideas was ludicrous. It threw her off her her insane, or too partial to the Gentiles; and guard : and, for the first time, Rachel criticised when she doubted their interpretation, of both the the tones and terms of public worship. Until hardening of Pharaoh's heart, and the hatred of that moment, she had thought of nothing, but their Esau, by God, they almost charged her with blas. spirit and design: but, from that moment, she phemy. Thus it was not wonderful, that they began to weigh them, not only in the balance of were but slow of heart to believe her to be a the sanctuary, but also in the scales of taste. daughter of the Covenant. Her speech, they said They were found wanting” in both; and she truly,“ was hardly the language of Canaan;" for wondered that she had overlooked their defects so it was never much according to the shibboleth of long. It was an unhappy discovery! She re- the wise, nor the sibboleth of the weak; and now solved to improve the form of her own devotions: it was less so than ever. “Out of the abundance for, hitherto, she had adopted whatever petition of the heart, the mouth speaketh ;” and Rachel's came warm from the lips of the Elders; and had heart abounded now with tastes, emotions, and thought only of what she wanted. Now, she be aspirations, which sober truth could not satisfy, gan to think more about her words than her wants ; nor ordinary teachers please. When Sheshbazzar and tried oftener to adore like a seraph, than to was not in the synagogue, she often stayed at pray like a penitent. Sublimity became her study. home on the Sabbath. She could get “no good,” Humility was left to accident. She could trust she said, “ from the common-place of the dry Elher heart, (she said to herself.) that it would never ders, nor from the whining of the weeping Elders, relapse into hardness or coldness. It had been nor from the thundering of the fiery Elders. Memelted and warmed by the holy fire of heaven; rab was too controversial; Jeduthun, too legal; and she took for granted, that the glow would Jubal, too declamatory; and Hamath, too hasty. never decay. Surely the principle of grace might Except, therefore, when Sheshbazzar spoke, Rabe as safely trusted to its own vitality, upon the chel hardly listened. She preferred her own altar of the soul, as the sacred fire upon the altar “ worldless thoughts,” she said, “to their unof the temple ! She, at least, was sure that, after thoughtful and low words." what she had seen and felt herself to be as a sin. Esrom ministered to this fastidious taste. She ner, nothing could inflate or deaden her spirit as herself had never thought of bringing the prayers a penitent.
of the Elders to its bar, until he obtruded them She thus trusted her own heart; and it betrayed upon her notice. Her own spirit had long been her! It soon took more interest in her nuptial too devotional, to weigh the words or notice the preparations, than in her closet, or in her copy of tones of those who led the synagogue of the peothe Law. She was no longer humble before God. ple to the THRONE of Jehovah. Even when the She never forgot " the Grapes of Gomorrah ;” Elders who had wounded her, lifted up their hands but she no longer wept when she remembered in prayer, her heart, whilst simple, forgot all their them. Her old ambition to dazzle or puzzle faults and defects, and felt only that God was lisothers in company, returned on her. She was tening ! upon the watch for opportunities to shine in con Sheshbazzar had often said to her, “Rememversation, whenever Sheshbazzar was not present. ber; God only is addressed in prayer. You are She almost claimed credit for her piety from the no longer a hearer, when His worship begins. Elders; for having lost much of the witness of You are then speaking unto the Lord; and what her own spirit, she sought relief in the good opi- you have to say to Him, is too solemn to depend nion of others. But she oftener startled the £1- upon words or tones. Let your heart pray for ders, than conciliated them, by her professions. mercy and grace: and it will ascend to heaven Some doubted her sincerity, and others her ortho- like Manoah's angel in the flame of the sacrifice, doxy; and she felt equally mortified by both. even if the altar be an unhewn rock.” There was bitterness as well as truth; sarcasm In the sun of such sentiments Rachel's devoas well as sorrow, in her lips, when she said of tional spirit had ripened ; and, until Esrom blightthem, “that Angels were better judges of repent- ed it, by criticising the prayers of the Elders, noance.” Sheshbazzar had thrown out the same thing that they were as men, or had said as judges hint to the Elders, but in another spirit. He smil had even tarnished the bloom of her devotional ed complacently, whilst he said to them, “ You simplicity. Or as Sheshbazzar had often expressed will soon be as glad as GABRIEL was, when he put it-place her only before the Throne, and her Rachel's tears into the urn of heaven; he had heart is a harp which will yield melody unto the seen none purer, since Hannah wept before the Lord, at the touch of any “holy hands," whether Lord in Shiloh." The Elders had said to him, laic or levitical. " Her tears may be in your book, but they are Such it had been, whilst Sheshbazzar was the not in his bottle yet.” It was a harsh speech ; depositary of all its secrets. Such he himself and yet, they meant no harm. Rachel had long often found it, when he led the devotions of the been a mystery to them; for although she never synagogue. But ever since her betrothment, it spoke “ as one of the foolish women," neither did had often been untuned. Her plans-her pros she speak like the generality of the wise women. I pects-her arrangements, for the day when she 61
should be brought to the house of Esrom, “ in righteous," whenever she entered upon its maraiment of needlework; the virgins, her compa- nagement. In its closet, she was sure to renew nions, following with gladness and rejoicing," had her communion with God !-at its family altar, more than divided her heart, even in the closet; sure to pray in the spirit? by its hearth in the and, in the synagogue, they often diverted it from evening, and under its fig-tree in the morning, both the word and worship of Jehovah. Shesh- sure to shake off from Esrom and herself, all the bazzar did not suspect this. He saw, indeed, that mildew of backsliding! Nothing of this, however, Rachel's preparations were upon a scale worthy was attempted in the mean time. All improveof her tribe and her parentage ; and that her own ment, and penitence too, was postponed until taste would preside over every thing—from her Sheshbazzar should " sanctify the household” of own robes, to the veils of her maidens, and even the betrothed, upon his return from Jerusalem. down to the lamps and torches of the procession. But, before he returned, Rachel was become “ A But why not? Who had such exquisite taste?- LEPER, white as snow !" “ Rachel is, indeed, troubled about many things," No symptoms of this awful malady had shown said the old man; “but her good sense is a pledge itself, when Sheshbazzar left Beersheba. He had that nothing will be extravagant or vain. She is marked the throb of her veins, and felt her hand sure to adorn herself and others, only according burn, and seen the hectic flush and the pallid hue to the manner of holy women of old. There may succeed each other on her cheek, without increasbe "nets of checker-work and wreaths of chain- ing or diminishing the strange glaze of her eyes : work” here and there in her arrangements, as but he dreamt not of leprosy. There was no around the pillars of the temple ; but the crown of "bright spot in the skin," and no " whiteness in the whole, like the capitals of Jachin and Boaz, the hair ;" and thus, although he parted from her and the borders of the molten Sea, will be • lily with a heavy heart, it was mental, not bodily, diswork ;' the still grandeur of gracefulness, the calm ease he foreboded ; and that fear, he was too wise majesty of meekness; as from the chisel of Hiram to utter or betray. He blessed Rachel, in the of Tyre.”
name of the Lord, and placed himself as usual at Sheshbazzar did not know that Rachel had the head of his brethren, to conduct them to Zion. plunged into the bustle of preparation, in order to Sheshbazzar exemplified at Jerusalem, the spirit forget her penitential vows, and to hide from her. of his favorite maxim: he shook the mulberry. self the backslidings of her own heart. And, had trees of every typical ordinance, and prophetic her heart still been what he supposed, he would promise. He was the first, daily, at the morning have been more than justified in taking for grant- sacrifice, and the last to retire from the evening ed, that she would plan and execute all things as sacrifice; the first at the altar of burnt-offering, in the sight of God. For, until Esrom's critical and the last at the altar of incense. When the levity betrayed her devotional spirit, she could Levites walked in procession around the altars, turn any series of domestic duties into a Bethel waving the palms of Judah, and sounding the silLadder between earth and heaven. But, when ver trumpets of the GREAT HOSANNA, no vocal she became a critic in the house of prayer, she hosanna, amongst the thousands of Israel, swellcd soon lost her simplicity in the closet. At first, above Sheshbazzar's. Like the eagle mounting she was shocked on discovering, that unhallowed upon the summits of Gerrizzim, the old man seemassociations of the ludicrous or frivolous, were ed to renew his youth, whilst thus waiting upon blending themselves with phrases which once the God of his fathers in Zion. When his fellowbreathed her holiest feelings. Then, she could pilgrims could distinguishı him in the great congrenot use, in the closet, expressions she had blamed, gation, or at the waters of Siloa, they saw, from or smiled at, in the synagogue. Then, she sat his looks, that he was shaking the mulberry-trees, musing in silence about prayer, instead of kneeling and like the fleece of Gideon, was saturated with before the Lord with supplication. At length, she the dew of heaven. became equally ashamed and afraid to be alone When the Iom Hacchipurim ended, they prewith God!
pared to return to Beersheba ; and Sheshbazzar Thus Rachel's heart condemned her, and to es- was, as usual, their guiding pillar in the wilderness. cape from its censures, she filled her hands, to “We have been, my children, like the spies," he overflowing, with the duties of her betrothment; said, “ searching the land of promise ; what have leaving neither time nor thought for any thing be- we to show at home as the fruit of it? Grapes, yond ihe ceremonials of religion. She fasted or wild gourds ? Not the latter, I am quite sure ! without humility, and worshipped without love, But, have we cut such a cluster of the grapes of except when Sheshbazzar presided. And even Eschol, as to require two men to carry it between then, he was often to her, only " as one that play- them on a staff? Or have we merely an untimely eth well upon an instrument."
fig, and an unripe pomegranate, hanging at our All this process and result of spiritual defection girdle? We ought not to carry home a bad reshe concealed from him. She tried to persuade port of the goodly land. There were large and herself that, like the cloud which had occasionally ripe clusters on Mount Zion : what can we show come over her spirit, before she knew the Lord; as the fruit of it? A spirit, meek as the lily of the and which, when it passed off, left her more cheer- valley, fragrant as the rose of Sharon, and pure as ful than it had found her; so this hiding of the the waters of Siloa ? It ought to be so. Those Divine presence would only be temporary, and who tarried at home will expect to divide the spoil enhance the brightness of the Candle of the Lord, with us. Esrom and Rachel, especially, will look when it should shine upon her own tabernacle: for to me for the first ripe fruits. Gleanings will not she had vowed, that the house of Esrom and Ra- satisfy them.” Thus he talked by the way. chel should be in all things “the tabernacle of the “ But who is this that cometh up from ihe wil
VARIETIES FROM OVERSIGHT.
derness, leaning on her beloved ?" It was Rachel We are not so susceptible or watchful in all things now a leper, white as snow, leaning on Esrom. now, as when we first said to ourselves, whilst The pilgrims shrunk back, and stood afar off. weeping at the foot of the Cross, “Without holiThey were ready to exclaim, “God has rejected ness I shall not see the Lord.” Then, all our old her, although you vouched for her.” Sheshbazzar regrets, and all our new desires, and all our hopes turned to them with the majesty of an angel, say- and fears for eternity, threw light upon the meaning, “There is hope in Israel concerning this ing of holiness, and warmth into the resolution to thing. It is of the Lord; but it is for good, as in follow it, through good report and bad report. the case of MIRIAM.” Turning to Rachel, with Thus the maxim was mighty, whilst we were the mildness of an angel, he said, “Though you melted with the wonders of redeeming love, and have lain among the pots, yet shall you be as the awed by the solemnities of eternity. wings of a dove, covered with silver, and her fea Now, we recollect this well. We cannot forthers with yellow gold.”
get it. Accordingly, whenever we so fall off from the rule or the spirit of holiness, as to be startled at the declension, or to become afraid of conse
quences, we naturally say to ourselves, “ Ah, this No. II.
is the sad effect of losing my first love. Could I only recall the days of old, when my heart was all tenderness, and my conscience all timidity, I
should find my old maxim as powerful and suffiIt is quite possible to have a sincere desire to cient as ever." We have not a doubt of this. be holy, and even to have some real love to holi- We are quite sure, that we should soon act as ness, and yet to overlook, not only some of the well as ever, if we could only feel again as we did virtues or graces of a holy character, but also at first. And there can be no doubt, that a resome of the most effectual means of becoming newed sense of redeeming love and of eternal holy. A very great point is gained, however, things, would give great practical power to the when even one evangelical motive to holiness ac- com
mmand, “ Follow holiness ; without which no quires, either as a check or as a charm, sanctify- one shall see the Lord.” The real question is, ing influence over our character. And, happily, however, how to get back that state of mind ? It the motive or consideration which first lays hold does not return of itself
, nor is it always found upon the conscience is, usually, the solemn fact, even when sought for with tears. Something that “without Holiness no one shall see the Lord.” good is, indeed, always found in answer to fervent This is a consideration which may well awe and prayer: but it is not often that even such prayer influence both our habits and spirit: and there. I brings back all the light and love of the days of fore, it is well that it is, in general, the first to ri- old. Even when it does, they are not such long vet our attention. Perhaps no other motive is days as they were at first, nor do they follow each so well suited, at first, to our condition, when we other in such close succession. are just setting out in the Divine life. It is rea You have observed and deplored all this. Did dily understood, and easily remembered. And as it ever occur to you, that there is no small danger it is the fear of not seeing God in heaven at last, of grieving the Holy Spirit, by thus making “the quite as much as the desire of seeing Him, that days of old,” the standard for our present piety? influences our choice, we really need a motive The “good work” in the heart, of which He is which can work, at once upon both our hopes and the author and finisher, he “carries on" in its fears; for one that appealed to either exclusively, goodness, as well as keeps up in its being. Its would defeat itself then. An increase of fear mere preservation from utter extinction is not his without hope, or of hope without any fear, would great object. His care over “ the root of the do us no real good.
matter," is for the sake of the fruit it is capable I do, therefore, congratulate you upon the hold of bearing. Accordingly, whenever we become which this familiar, but powerful motive, has ob- less fruitful, or even cease trying to bring forth tained upon your understanding and conscience. more fruit than we began with, He soon makes Its authority over you is a good sign. It is, in- us to feel somewhat doubtful as to the very life of deed, no small proof of being " led by the Spirit :' | the root itself. Indeed, we are any thing but for as many as have been led by Him, began to sure that the root of the matter is in us at all, follow holiness, because, “without” it, “no man when the branches of our profession become very shall see the Lord.” It is, however, worthy of barren. They will not, and cannot, be very fruitspecial attention, that all who have ever made ful, however, if we grieve the Holy Spirit, by neany great progress in following holiness, have had glecting or overlooking any of the great motives to try the force of other motives. Indeed, they which he employs for sanctification. have found it necessary to do so; on finding that Now, although the solemn consideration which this one did not carry them far enough, or not so I have been commending so strongly, is one of far as it did at first.
them, and a motive never to be laid aside or lost This is only what might be expected. No sin- sight of, it is not the chief motive by which the gle motive, however sweet or solemn, can be Spirit works. He generally begins with it; but equally induential at all times, or in all duties. He never ends with it. And this is only what Our circumstances change; and we change with might be expected : for His special office is to them, not a little. Our best frames of mind too, glorify Christ. He will not, therefore, keep up are not permanent. Even our “first love,” al- the sanctifying power of any motive, however though it has not " waxed cold” exactly, has lost good, which is allowed to take that place in our much of its original simplicity and tenderness. I attention, which belongs to the Saviour. Now
it is by the glory of Christ, as that shines in the ran, even whilst you " did run well,” looking to glass of Revelation, that the Holy Spirit changes him for righteousness, far more than for sanctifibelievers into the image of Christ. They are all cation. You did not, indeed, overlook either his predestinated to be conformed to the image of the image or his example ; but they had obtained Saviour: and as the Spirit will not depart from from you nothing like the same degree of attenthat model, neither will he deviate from this mode tion, which you gave to his atonement and interof sanctification. It will be just as true until the cession. For once that you have tried to cast end of time, as it was at the beginning of Chris- yourself into the mould” of his image, you have tianity, that it is by “ beholding with open face, as cast yourself a thousand times upon his merits and in a glass, the glory of the Lord,” that we are grace. Not, however, that you have done the changed into the same image, by the Lord the latter too often. No, indeed! Nor can you ever Spirit. He will, indeed, give law its place, and do it too often. But you have done the former chastisement its place, and both promises and too seldom, or too slightly. So, alas, have I! warnings their place, in making us partakers of Here, then, is the real cause of declension in the Divine holiness : but he will not allow one of piety; our leading fault and our chief defect are them, nor even the whole of them, to displace the not confronted with the image of Christ from day Saviour. He will make him all in all
, in the midst to day, but left to the mere restraint of ordinary of all the means by which he sanctifies our heart motives; and, as these are hardly sufficient to and character.
sustain even what is best and strongest in our Now, even if we meant well in trying to be character, it is no wonder that what is worst and holy, on the strength of the one motive which first weakest grows upon us, and thus brings the very struck ns, it is no wonder that its original influ- spirit of piety to a low ebb. In a word; our beence has not kept us as it began. The holy setting sin cannot be overcome, nor our weak Spirit will not permit even the holy fear of not side cured, by leaving them to take their chance, “ seeing the Lord" at last, to exempt us from the in common with those points of our character duty of contemplating “ the glory of the Lord” which are easily kept right. What is bad cannot
be remedied, by the force of the general consiIt may suit our sloth, or our convenience, or derations which support what is good about us ; our self-complacency, to take for granted that we any more than food can heal a wound, or clothing can go on very well in following holiness, by re- cure a fever. It is medicine, not food, that cures membering its necessity as meetness for heaven: bodily disease: and it is the special, not the gebut this does not suit the glory of Christ; and, neral motives to holiness, that can alone remove therefore, the Spirit will not work long, nor wit- mora) defects. ness much, with this single fact, solemn as it is. It is, I am aware, much more common, in speakBy some process of conviction or chastisement, ing on this subject, to hear it said of our chief he will compel us to look sharply and seriously faults and defects, “This kind goeth not out but about us, for something more than a vague fear of by prayer and fasting.” And this is perfectly hell, or a faint hope of heaven, as the means of true, if the maxim be taken (as the Saviour insanctification. In a word, Christ must be “ made tended it to be) always in connection with learnunto us sanctification, as well as “wisdom, ing of Him, and setting His image and example righteousness, and redemption.” 1 Cor. i. 30. before us. Apart from doing that, however, even
Does this throw any light upon your case? special prayer, and literal fasting, will not "cast You have both wondered and wept, because you out” a wrong habit nor a rash spirit, effectually. have often found yourself going back, rather than Accordingly, we have prayed, at times, very fer. forward, in piety; although you were not consci- vently, against the tendencies and temptations ous of having given up or lost sight of any of the which betray us oftenest ; and yet we have been holy motives you began with. You have never soon betrayed by them again. Indeed, it has not changed your opinion of the beauty of holiness, always been from the want of trying to stand, that nor lost your conviction of its necessity; and yet we have so often fallen. Others may say so, and neither your opinion nor your persuasion has kept even think so, when they see us falling away from you up to the mark of your first efforts, in run- some duty, or falling into some wrong spirit: but ning the race set before you. You " did run we knew the contrary. We have not, alas, well,” when you began to follow holiness ; but "done all to stand,” which we might have done : you have often slackened your pace, and even but we have done more than others give us creslumbered by the way. “What did hinder you ?" dit for at times, and suffered more too than they for you did not intend to stop, nor expect to tire, imagine. Any one can see our faults : but God nor did you even imagine that you could “weary alone knows our struggles against them. in well doing.”
Well; the great reason why these struggles Now, any one can tell you, or you can easily are so unsuccessful often, is, that we pray and plan tell yourself
, in explanation of this falling off, that without having the image of Christ distinctly beyou allowed some wrong habit or temper to grow fore us, or without looking chiefly to that feature upon you, or took up unduly with some earthly of His image which is most imperfectly reflected comfort, and thus grieved the Holy Spirit. And by us; for we can no more steer a right course there is but too much truth in this account. It is through the sea of life by any star of the Saviour's not, however, the true explanation of your declen- character, than the mariner can steer through the sions. It is, in fact, itself, a part of your falling ocean by any star of the skies. We must look off, and not the real cause of it. That lay, in not oftenest to that part of the image of Christ, which " looking unto Jesus as the Author and Finisher" we are most unlike. And this must be done “ with of your holiness, as well as of your faith. You lopen face;" or with an honest desire and express
determination, to be “changed into the same Christ, if we do not follow the leadings of His image.”
Spirit to the glass of Revelation; just as He Here, now, comes on the trial of our spirit, and drives us back to the Cross of Christ, when we of our integrity too. Are we willing to learn a forsake, or stand too far off from it. new lesson ; willing to try a new experiment; will How, then, do you feel inclined towards the ing to make a new effort, in order to be more holy? duty and habit of “ beholding with open face the Nothing else or less than this, can cure the faults glory of the Lord, that you may be changed into and imperfections we confess and deplore. Well; his image ?" You have contemplated his glory, whether will you go on confessing and deploring that you might be pardoned and accepted. You them, or set yourself to contemplate the glory of cannot afford, and you do not wish, to take your Christ in the glass of Revelation, that that part of eye off from the glory of his power, which can His glory which reproves them, may disperse save to the uttermost; nor from the glory of his them also? Would you rather succumb to them, blood, which can cleanse from all sin ; nor from than conquer them at this expense of time and the glory of his righteousness, which can justify thought ? Would you rather give the time thus even the ungodly when they believe ; nor froin called for, to prayer for the forgiveness of them, the glory of his grace, which is sufficient for all than to meditation for their removal? Would emergencies; nor from the glory of his intercesyou rather throw them on the blood of Christ for sion, which the Father heareth always with compardon, than upon the image of Christ for sancti- placency; nor from the glory of his providence, fication ?
which maketh all things work together for good The questions are bringing out the secrets of to them who love him. In reference to all these your heart, upon the very surface of your con- features of the Saviour's personal and official gloscience ! Take great care, however, that the dis- ry, you desire “to see Jesus,” and neither dread coveries you are now making of what is in” nor deprecate any evil so much as that of any “veil you, neither discourage you too much, nor irritate upon your heart," which would hide this brightyou at all: for it is as possible to dispute as to de- ness of his glory from your eye, or hide your need spond, when the unexpected discovery of some of it from your conscience. Thus, Creation would great oversight in religion, forces home upon us be a blank to you, if you were to lose sight of the the conviction, that we have almost to begin glory of Christ. Your brightest hope, yea, your anew, or, at least, to take new lessons on sancti- fondest desire, even in regard to heaven itself, is, fication. We do not like to see the necessity of " to see him as he is." You expect far more thus going to school again as meekly and humbly, happiness from “beholding the glory of the Lamb as when we first sat down at the feet of Christ, in the midst of the throne,” than from all the unsaying with child-like simplicity, “Lord, what veiled scenes and secrets of the natural and moral wouldst thou have me to do?” Some, when they universe. You can easily conceive how you will find that it must come to this, begin to doubt whe- never weary through eternity in looking up to ther all their past experience has not been a delu- him, saying, “ I beseech thee show me thy glory.” sion : and others allow themselves to be chafed for you know that it is infinile ; and, therefore, into an impatient or speculative spirit, which tries that every new form of it can only be the harbinto rid itself of the conviction, that new lessons and ger of still newer and nobler manifestations measures are thus indispensable. Thus, just ac- “whilst immortality endures." There! I knew cording to the frame of our mind at the moment of how you would feel upon this point. The “ melothis humiliating discovery, is the effect of the dis dy of your heart” is now quivering upon your covery itself. If we happen to be rather well and smiles of complacency playing amidst pleased with the state of our piety upon the whole, the sweet words, we are in great danger of straining our ingenuity, to prove that we are doing pretty well, without " There sha!) we see his face, studying the image of Christ more than usual.
And never, never sin : If, again, we happen to be in Doubting Castle,
And from the rivers of his grace, when this great oversight flashes upon our spirit,
Drink endless pleasures in !" we are but too ready to put our “ feet into the stocks" of utter despondency, or to conclude that O, you are not the woman, who should be afraid we were never converted nor sincere. And, if that the image of Christ cannot be impressed upon we happen to be in a slothful or worldly temper, your heart and character! You have no occawhen we are brought to a dead stand by the sion to despond or dispute, in the presence of a startling fact, that we have never been so intent new lesson. You cannot do well without it, now on having the image of Christ upon our soul, as that both the providence and the spirit of God the righteousness of Christ upon our sins; then have thus forced it upon your notice. Any atSatan is sure to set our wits to work, to find out tempt to do without it now, would be such a sin some way of evading the new duty, without ex- against light; and, in your case and mine, such an actly denying the necessity of more holiness. outrage upon conscience and reason, that we
I need not tell you that, in this case, the com- could look for nothing else than to be left to fall promising spirit is the most dangerous. The into some fatal error or apostacy, if we were not, fainting spirit, though painful, is not perilous. God from henceforth, to follow holiness, looking to the will take care to revive it, and to enable it to look image of Christ, as our chief model and motive. again towards His holy temple : bul, “ with the Our Bible, remember, brings this view of holifroward, He will show himself froward,” and by ness before us, in a very peculiar and solemn consome means take “ vengeance on their inven- nection; and we no right, whatever be our tions.” He will drive us by rods to the image of views or feelings towards the word, “ Predestina