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of her mind. The latter is, indeed, the more like courage to avow and evince your faith ;) and to ly supposition; for “a reprobate mind,” or aban- courage, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperdonment to judicial hardness of the heart, is a ance; and to temperance, patience; and to pacurse but rarely incurred by “women professing tience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindgodliness." Those of them who are very incon- ness; and to brotherly kindness, charity. For if sistent, may be safely regarded as unconverted.- these things be in you and abound, they make you Still, it is a very awful thing, when a woman can that ye shall be neither barren nor unfruitful in give herself credit for being converted to God by the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But the Holy Spirit, whilst all her religion consists in (she) that lacketh these things is blind, and cantalking about religion. Unregeneracy is dread- not see afar off, and hath forgotten that (she) was ful, even in a woman who is utterly ignorant of purged from (her) old sins. Wherefore the rathe great truths of the gospel of salvation: but it ther give diligence to make your calling and elecis absolutely horrible, when found in connection tion sure ; for if ye do these things, ye shall never with the knowledge and acknowledgment of these fall.” supreme truths. The very devils tremble at what Now whatever else you fear or feel on reading they believe. The man or woman, therefore, this very solemn and heart-searching oracle, you who can believe all that is peculiar, inspiring, and are deeply conscious of, and concerned about one solemn in the gospel, and yet not obey that gos- thing ;—that you may never fall.” That has pel, is less affected by it than even Satan and his fixed your eye, and affected your heart. You angels. They, indeed, hate it with perfect ha- cannot bear the idea of falling away from God entred; but still they stand in awe of it, and yield to tirely and finally. You may not be so fascinated it the homage of fear. How infatuated then must by the prospect of an abundant entrance into she be, whose religion begins and ends with hear. the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour ing and talking of the truth as it is in Jesus!” Jesus Christ, as for the sake of that, to add "all That truth is intended to rule both the tongue and these things to your faith.” You may even be so the temper; to subdue the love of the world, and heartless about heaven, as to care little how you the love of ease; to turn sloth into activity, and enter it, if you are only admitted at last: but you selfishness into cheerful benevolence; and thus to are not so lost to all right feeling, as to care nomake all whom it blesses, “ a blessing" to others, thing about missing that kingdom, or falling short to the full extent of their ability.
of it. Well ? make the most of this feeling, if it I want, by these hints, to make you as much thus be the best and the strongest of your present afraid of not following the Lord fully, as you are religious emotions. It is a good feeling in itself; of denying the Lord who bought you; as much and, accordingly, the fear of falling away is ofien shocked at partial obedience and heartless devo- appealed to in the Scriptures. Rom. xi. 17, 22. tion, as at open infidelity. Now, you would not You do, then, fear apostacy. You are neither for worlds be sceptics nor scorners. Rather than so "high-minded,” nor so earthly-minded, as not. apostatise from the truth as it is in Jesus, or than to fear falling: nor so "double-minded" as to prehold it in unrighteousness, you would do, give, and tend to be fearless. Well; so far, you are not pray more than ever you have tried hitherto.- “ blind,” even if you “lack" some of those things Yes; were you quite sure, or even very suspi- which constitute the security against falling. You cious, that the degree in which you are now fol- do not, however, "see afar off,”. (are not longlowing God in duty and devotion, was no security sighted—do not look without winking) if you ima. against final apostacy, and no conclusive proof of gine that you can safely continue to lack any of saving piety, you would bestir yourself at once, these things. Each of them is an essential feaand make a new effort to act up to your avowed ture of that “ Divine nature" or holiness, without principles.
which you cannot see the Lord. It is by having Are you, then, quite sure that you have gone them all in you, so as to “abound” in them, that further in the narrow way, than "those who draw " calling and election are made sure,” and “never back unto perdition ?" Ís it beyond all doubt that falling" certain. you are following the Lord far enough, to prove Are you beginning to tire of this process of reathat you have been drawn by the cords of Love,” soning and remonstrance? It is not mine, re. and “ led by the Spirit?" I do not at all ques- member! Alas, I feel it
, like yourself
, to be very tion your sincerity, nor the correctness of your strict, and even somewhat stern too. Again and principles, so far as you do follow the Lord. "My again I have been tempted to shut my eyes upon inquiry is, are you fully persuaded in your own some of the many things, thus inseparably linked mind, that you are diligent enough to “make together, and then laid altogether upon me, as neyour calling and election sure!" Does your own cessary to keep me from falling. I have caught conscience bear you witness, that you are doing myself asking, “ Cannot calling and election too all those things, of which God saith, if ye do them, be made sure, without adding so znany things to " ye shall never fall!" Do read again the list of faith?" Can I not "stand" at less expense of these essential things. 2 Peter i. 5–11. What; time, thought, and effort? Who gives all this is it enough for you, that you remember the out- diligence, to make sure against faliing! Do all line of the passage I havo thus noted? Do, then, fall, who "Jack" any of these things? Have I remember that clause of it, (changing the pro- not stond for years, although I have not aboundnoun) she "that lacketh these things is blind and ed much in some of these virtues ? Do I not see cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that she around me not a few, who are doing even less to was purged from her old sins.” If you have any stand than myself, and yet not at all afraid of fallpretensions to sincerity, you will read again, now, ing, nor thought to be in any danger of it?" ihe list itself; “ Add to your faith virtue ; (that is, Thus there are moments of temptation, and
moods of temper, when one could almost fly into a you lack most. You know well what it is. You passion, as well as get impatient, with the strait have found by experience that it does not come of meshes of Peter's net. These tossings and twist- itself. You feel that the absence of it, throws ings are not made, indeed, in order to escape from doubt and darkness upon both your calling and the fisherman's net altogether. We do not want election. You see how its continued absence the liberty of those fishes which keep out of the must continue your suspense, and embitter, if not gospel-net, nor of those "bad" ones which are utterly darken, your dying moments. Will you sure to be "cast away,” when it is drawn to the not then make a determined stand, in order to add shores of eternity : but we are, alas, prone to take that to your faith, the want of which, not only more liberty than God sanctions.
weakens your faith, but also keeps you in doubt How is this to be cured! It is a bad, yea, a of its sincerity? O, leave it to the blind and the dangerous disposition. Do not, however, make it base to juggle on this matter, with the dice-box of worse than it really is. I mean, — do not conclude presumtive election. You are not “sure" of your that all is wrong in your heart, because all is not election of God, and never can be, whilst you yet right. Look not so exclusively upon the things make no resolute effort to crucify your besetting which you lack, as to overlook entirely the things sin, or take no pains to acquire the fruits of the which you love in religion. You have no objec- spirit, which you lack most. tion to do some of the things which are thus in. Do consider also, that it is really much easier sisted upon, as securities against falling. Nay, to excel in the very thing you fail in most, than it there is not one of them you would throw out of is to repair, from Sabbath to Sabbath, the injury the list, or set aside altogether. Consider: you which that failure is for ever inflicting upon what is would not “add to your faith, vice; nor to your good about your character and spirit. Why; one virtue, ignorance ; nor to your knowledge, intem- half of the time, thought, and prayer which you njust perance; nor to your temperance, impatience; give, in order to get over the doubts and distress nor to your patience, ungodliness; not to your created by your besetting sin, would put an end godliness, unsisterly harshness; nor to your kind to that sin. You do not escape from care or la. ness, uncharitableness.” The very idea of this bor, by leaving your chief fault to go on in its change revolts you! You would not for worlds own way. The Sacrament comes round, and then reverse the laws of holiness in this way. The ex- you have to meet all the sad consequences of it clamation, “What fellowship hath light with dark. there, or to pray them down by strong cries and ness, or Christ with Belial ?" rushes from your tears in your closet. Affliction comes, and then heart to your lips, the moment you glance at the you have to suffer under the painful consciousness glaring inconsistency.
that God is contending with you on account of There it is ! I knew how the scale would turn, that sin. Darkness and depression come, and when you were fairly dealt with. It is not immo- then you find that it is the heaviest weight upon ral freedom, that there is a craving for in your your spirits, and the eclipsing cloud upon your heart. You do not want a vice in the room of a prospects. Thus you do any thing but save time virtue. Even the virtue you lack most, you do or escape labor, by allowing your chief defect to not exactly dislike. It is the trouble of cultivat- prevail from year to year. The running account ing it
, that is the chief hardship to you. If virtue of its consequences must be settled, whenever the would grow out of faith, or knowledge out of vir- bills become heavy; and then they are not easily tue, or patience out of temperance, or godliness met, as you well know, and have often felt. out of patience, or charity out of godlinese, with Another fact deserves your special attention; out any effort or care on your part, you would nothing vital or good in your principles or experihave but little objection to any of them. You ence will go wrong, by concentrating and confinwould even be delighted to " abound” in them all, ing your care, for a time, to the acquirement of if they would only come and abide, of their own the one grace you lack most. No other fruit of accord. For, you see no beauty in impatience, no the spirit will fall off from the branches of your attraction in anger, no loveliness in caprice or profession, or cease to ripen, whilst you are giving peevishness, and no benefit in your besetting sin. all your diligence to add to them a fruit they have You would be very glad, if all that is wrong in never borne yet. God will take care that the your temper and conduct would go away at once hope you derive from the cross, and the peace you and for ever.
obiain from the promises, and the help you get Thus we begin to get at the secret of our re- from ordinances, shall not stop nor diminish, whilst luctance to some duties, and of our failure in some you are giving all your attention to set that right graces: they require more diligence than we like in your character, which you know to be wrong, to bestow upon them. If the fruits of the spirit and which he has often contended against. Nay; would only grow and ripen as easily as the weeds he will add to his care of the general interests of of nature spring up and prevail
, we should be quite your soul, whilst you are adding to your faith that pleased to bear a plentiful harvest of good fruit to fruit, the want of which injures you, and dishonors the glory of God: but, finding that they are nei- him. Remember; you were no loser, when you ther of spontaneous growth, nor of independent began to follow Christ, by the pains you took to vitality: and that we must “ sow unto the spirit,” remedy what was worst in your case then: and if we would reap of the spirit, we yield to sloth, or depend on it, you will lose nothing by taking the invent excuses for barrenness.
same course with what is worse now. No one Here, then, is the point at which you must make ever went back in Christian experience or comfort, a deliberate and solemn stand for your own safe- by a set effort to get forward in a neglected line of ty, by giving all diligence to add to your faith, that Christian character or temper. virtue of character, or that grace of temper, which These considerations cannot fail to have much
weight with you. They are too solemn to be tri- nor did he say, “Sanctify them by thy threaten. fled with, and too just to be disputed. No admis- ings;" but by thy TRUTH: thy word is truth." sion of their truth, however, will answer any good Thus all truth, consolatory and conservative, purpose, unless they both reconcile and determine cheering and checking, belongs to the means of you to war and watch against your besetting sin. sanctification. Accordingly, the great promise of Nothing is gained by this heart-searching, yet, if the Holy Spirit, as the Sanctifier, is, " he shall lead your heart still rise against a diligent cultivation you into all truth." of that fruit of the Spirit, which you lack most. There is still another preservative against fall. You may feel ashamed; you may be very sorry; ing, which I must bring under your notice, and you may even condemn yourself very bitterly for which you must lay to heart, if you would not fall. your past neglect, and earnestly wish that what is It is just as necessary that you should “ take unte wrong would " take wings and flee away:" but you the whole armor of God, that you may be all this will not mend the matter. You may try a able to stand," as that you should add to your faith, thousand plans to get clear of it; but it will cleave the virtues and graces we have been contemplatto you, until you are humble enough and honest ing. “ For," as Sheshbazzar would have said, enough, to take the Saviour's plan—"cut it off," fruit trees must be protected, as well as cultivatand cast it from thee.” No besetting sin, no dar. ed. No wonder if a lower is wanted in a vineling idol, was ever overthrown, until this rough yard, seeing a lodge is needed even in a 'garden handling was applied to it. “This kind goeth not of cucumbers.'” out, but by prayer and fasting.”
Now, however different our times and circumDo these remonstrances seem to you at all stances may be from those of the first Christians, legal, or too rigid? Would you be more pleased they are not so different as to change the characto be plied only with motives drawn from the love ter or the spirit of personal piety: Neither the of Christ, and from the hope of salvation, and work nor the warfare of Faith ended, when Faith from the holy designs of free grace! You and I had no longer to “stop the mouths of lions" in the too have great need to be very careful how we amphitheatre, nor to “ quench the violence of fire" speak upon this subject. Neither cutting off, nor at the stake, nor to hide from the edge of the casting away, what is wrong, will be of any say-sword in “ dens and caves of the earth." Piety ing benefit, if not influenced by these saving truths. did not cease to have enemies in the world, when Indeed, the crucifixion of the lusts of the Hesh, or the lions of persecution died: nor to have intimiof the mind, will not be willingly attempted nor dations, when the fires of martyrdom were extinlong continued by any one, who is not glorying guished ; nor to have hinderances, when the obonly in the cross of Christ. But then if our scurity of the wilderness was exchanged for the glorying in the cross alone has not crucified us to publicity of the city, and the fellowship of manthe world in certain things, which we know to be kind. That was, indeed, a great change of cir. wrong, how are we to get rid of them? Are they cumstances, for which we cannot be too mindful to be left standing out against law and conscience, and thankful. The lines have fallen unto us in because they do not yield to love or hope ? May a pleasant places. We have “a goodly heritage" bad temper or habit safely remain unsanctified, compared with that of the first followers of the because a good hope through grace' has not con- Lamb. They had to follow him in "a howling quered it ? True ; nothing but more grace will wilderness," through fire and water. Compared ever conquer it effectually; but, letting it alone in to this, our lot is in a garden of Eden, where we the meantime, is certainly not the way of obtain- can sit or walk with equal safety under our own ing more grace: God "giveth grace to the hum- vine and fig-tree; none daring to make us afraid. ble," and she is not very humble, who will not But still, if there be nothing in our national Paraemploy fears as well as hopes, and threatenings as dise to hurt or destroy the body, there is much to well as promises, in order to promote her santifi- peril the soul. There is both forbidden fruit and oation.
a tempting serpent in our Eden. And, alas, more But do not take my opinion on this subject. disciples are drawn away from Christ now, by the Look again at Peter's argument. He gives the pleasures and profits of the world, than seem to first place to the holy influence of the promises, have been driven away from him then by perseupon the sanctification of believers. Whereby cution. More “fall from their steadfastness" in are given unto us exceeding great and precious this time of peace, than in that time of war. promises—that by these ye might be partakers of Why is this? Many reasons could, no doubt, the Divine nature.” Thus the apostle had no be assigned for the melancholy fact. The chief idea of any real sanctification, apart from the reason, however, is, that so many have either no sweet influence of the sweetest consolations. But deep fear of falling, or no adequate sense of what then, he immediately says, “ BESIDE THIS, give all is necessary in order to enable them to stand. diligence to add to your faith, virtue," &c. &c. They do not exactly care but little whether they Thus there are things to do, as well as promises stand or fall. They are neither reckless, nor alto to believe, in order to the acquirement of a holy gether heedless, of consequences. It is their character. He even warns as well as woos be- wish, “to stand against the wiles of the devil," lievers to give all diligence.
and to withstand in the evil day" of trial and How finely this agrees with both the letter and temptation. They even hope to do so. And they the spirit of the Saviour's counsels to his disciples. are so conscious of meaning well, that they almost He warned them not only by the fear of falling, think ill of any one who is afraid lest they fall. but also by the fear of hell-fire. Even in his “ Fall, indeed! Why should they be suspected great intercessory prayer for their sanctification, of treachery or unsteadiness? Did they not give he did not say, “Sanctify them hy thv nromises ;" | good evidence, at their outset in the ways of God,
that they were savingly converted? Did not ex- | wicked,” as well as “deceitful above all things." perienced and judicious Christians assure them And, do not imagine, that nothing but gross sins then, that a work of grace was begun in their can produce this fool-hardiness. It springs oftensouls, and would be carried on by the Holy Spirit er from losing the power of godliness, than from unto the day of complete redemption ? And, the loss of moral character. This dreadful game have they not kept their name and their place in of hazard is more played at, by those who become the church, ever since, quite as well as the gene- lax in religious duty, than by those who are loose rality? Fall, indeed! Let him that thinketh he in morals. It is the slothful, not the sensual ; the standeth better than they do, take heed lest he worldly, not the vicious, who try most to find out fall."
“byeways" to heaven. The sensual do, indeed, This is a wrong spirit certainly: and yet, I presume; but it is not upon past decrees being in must confess, that the way in which some warn their favor; but upon fu!ure displays of mercy, others against falling, is almost enough to provoke coming in time enough to save them. It is the such a retort. There are monitors who seem as slothful who try to believe, that there may be if they would not be much surprised, nor even some eternal purpose, which will prevent them very sorry, if we did fall away. There are re- from being lost. This is sad work! And, obprovers who betray a mean suspicion of our sin- serve, how extremes meet in it: both classes are cerity, as well as a proper sense of our defects. equally afraid of the present will of God. Neither There are also counsellors, who, although they do can hope in him, just as he is and feels at the monot utter warnings in a spirit of pique or suspicion, ment. Both see that his immediate feelings must are yet too caustic, or utter nothing but warnings. be against their conduct; and, therefore, the one They caution others, as if grace were no great class throw themselves upon the chance of former security against falling, even whilst it lasts; and purposes, and the other upon the chance of future even as if it might be all lost at any moment. good-will.
If Job's friends were “miserable comforters," You have not "80 learned Christ!" When such persons are miserable guides; and almost as you repeat to yourself his promise ; "I give unto dangerous as those who prophesy only “smooth my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish,” things.” It is, perhaps, difficult to say, whether you also remember his description of their chathose who prophesy harsh things only, or those who racter,— “My sheep hear my voice, and follow me, prophesy smooth things only, are most dangerous. and a stranger will they not follow.” Thus it is One thing is certain—they are both very unlike only the followers of Christ, who cannot be pluckChrist, and both ignorant, alike, of the human ed out of his hands, nor out of the hands of the heart. That, can neither be led on in holiness by Father. Accordingly, you see and feel that, were fear only, nor kept from going back by hope only. you to turn back, or to give up following the SaAccordingly, those converts who are kept in per- viour, you could have no more hold upon the powpetual dread of falling, obey without pleasure ; and er which keeps his flock "unto salvation," than those who are taught that they cannot fall, disobey they have who never professed or wished to be without much ceremony or compunction. his sheep. This is well so far, becauze it is wise.
How do you feel on this subject? Whether do In what way, however, do you calculate upon you take for granted that you shall not fall
, or take Divine power keeping you from falling away from measures to enable you to stand? On what secu- Christ, and thus keeping you from falling short of rity against falling away, do you lay hold oftenest heaven? How do you expect this keeping power and lean most ? Not, I hope ;-not, I pray !-on to act for your safety? How do you
draw upon it the abstract theory of final perseverance. Fall- for strength, to stand before trials and temptations? ing is begun, whenever a man or a woman, in- I multiply these questions, because that power stead of persevering in prayer and watchfulness, acts by rule in preserving both the sheep and the presumes on safety without them. And when lambs of Christ from apostacy, and thus from any one comes to argue his case thus,—“If I am perishing. It keeps them “through faith unto decreed to be saved, I cannot be lost, whatever I salvation ;” and not in spite of unbelief. It is neglect ;" instead of praying over his case thus, not only “ able to keep them from falling;" but it - Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe;" he is does só, by making them "able to stand.” Its fallen far, both from the doctrines and spirit of ability works by enabling them to be faithful unto grace. He has then given up known Truth, for death. The law of preserving power runs thus, unknown Decrees. Yea, he has ceased to consult Work out your own salvation; for it is God God; and begun, if not exactly to defy him, to who worketh in you both to will and to do of his alter his decrees, yet to tell him that, if there be good pleasure.” a decree, he cannot alter it.
These distinctions are neither too nice, nor too The cool effrontery of this calculation is horri- numerous. God has made them; and, therefore, ble, just because it is so cool! It makes a sup- you are bound to mark them. You have no right posed decree of the eternal mind suppress all the to turn away from them peevishly or impatiently, holy principles and feelings of the eternal mind. saying, “I can stand well enough without so much It sets against all the present will of God, the attention to rules, or to the relation of doctrines. presumption that there has been a past act of the I do not want to be a theologian!” Well; most Divine will, which he is bound to abide by, what certainly I do not wish to make you one. You ever be the consequences to his law or his grace. want, however, to be kept from falling ; and that, The fatalism of the Mohammedans is nothing to you cannot be, but by being enabled to stand; and this!
that you will not be by God, but in his own way of You are shocked at it. Well you may. Let exercising keeping power. You are not, thereit teach you, that the heart can be “ desperately I fore, so intent upon standing, nor so afraid of fall
ing, as you give yourself credit for, if you give which enabled you to make that timely and neyourself no trouble about the way in which God cessary stand, than of the stand itself. And so keeps his children, through faith unto salvation. do I. But still, it is the stand, which shows how He says to them all, more than that he is able " grace helps in time of need.” What it enables to keep them from falling; more than that " he us to do and endure, is the measure of what it is faithful, and will do it." He commands them does for us, and the mode in which it helps our all thus : " Take unto you the WHOLE ARMOR of infirmities. God, that ye may be able to stand." Yes; this Do not tire of this formal advice. I would have is necessary, if you would wrestle successfully, you “strong in the Lord, and in the power of his either with flesh and blood, or with the powers of might;" and, therefore, I urge upon you, to “take darkness. Satan will put on the whole armor of his unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may power against you; and the world will put on the be able to stand ;" and tell you, at the same time, whole armor of its snares against you : and your that this means no more than you ought to mean, old nature will put on the whole armor of its de- when you say, that your own strength is insuffipravity against you: how then can you stand in cient, and grace essential, in order to your standthe evil day of their joint or single assault, if you doing. I will go further and say, that the advice not "put on the whole armor of God?" Eph. vi. 10. given in this oracle is just as kind and cheering,
Did this sacred oracle ever strike you before? as when God says in another of his oracles, It contains the whole history and mystery of that • Comfort ye, comfort ye my people.” This is, familiar maxim, “ Ye stand by faith ;” and of that indeed, what he says to them when their “ warfare familiar warning, “ Take heed lest you fall.” In- is accomplished;" and the other what he says deed, you cannot obey the one nor the other, as whilst the warfare is going on; but both are in God enjoins them, without taking unto you the the same spirit, and equal proofs of his attention whole armor of God.
to all who are engaged in the Christian warfare ! “ But that armor is so much !" you will say. He arms the warrior, as well as crowns the conTrue ; but it is not more than your temptations queror; and gives grace as willingly, as he will and tendencies to fall. There are, indeed, six give glory cheerfully: parts of it ;-the girdle of truth—the breastplate Look again at the whole armor of God, in of righteousness—the greaves of peace—the proof of this. Why; every part of it proclaims shield of faith-the helmet of salvation—the sword as much peace to you, as it proclaims war against of the spirit-besides all prayer and watchfulness sin and Satan. If you must wear a helmet, it is -but, which of them could you do without? Which " the hope of salvation," not the fear of perishing. of them could you wield or wear effectually with. If you must wield a sword, it is the sword of the out the others ?
spirit," which is the word of God; and by that, Look twice at this question, before you attempt Christ vanquished Satan in the wilderness. If to answer it. Without the girdle of truth, you you must employ a shield, it is the faith of the may fall into error. Without the breastplate of glorious gospel, not the buckler of fasts, penances, righteousness, you may fall into legality. With. sackcloth, or celibacy. The righteousness which out the shoes of the gospel of peace, you may fall you are bound to put on as a breastplate, is what into despondency. Without the shield of faith, you wish to be found clothed in, as a robe, on the you may fall into apostacy: Without the helmet last day. And what is prayer, but access to God of salvation, you may fall into despair. Without as your father ? Yea, what is watching, but taking the sword of the spirit, you may fall into cowardice. care of the hope, and the peace, and the joy of And without prayer and watching, you may fall salvation? into any thing, however bad or dangerous. Thus, Thus, doing “all to stand," is far more than if you will number up the ways in which others duty. To stand firm, is, to stand safe ; to stand have fallen, or even the dangers to which you composed; to stand prepared for the issues of life yourself are exposed, you will not say again, that or death. Sheshbazzar would have said, “it is to á the whole armor of God” is too much or too stand as the mountains around Jerusalem, or as varied.
the cherubim on the mercy-seat; where the eye Nor is it cumbersome, even as a whole. It may of Omniscience watches, and the arm of Omniposeem so at first sight, because it seems something tence guards.” additional, if not different, to the means by which Take another view of these preservatives you have been able to stand hitherto. But this is against falling. You want and wish for the whole in appearance only. You have had it all on be- guardianship of God on earth. I mean you would fore now; and you never found the service of God not be satisfied with less, than being “kept by his so easy, nor the salvation of God so sweet, as power through faith unto salvation.” Such a when you were clothed with the whole armor of keeping from the evil of the world, as would not God. I mean, that there have been times when keep you from being condemned with the world, you have believed, and hoped, and prayed, and would not please you. No wonder ! Should not watched, and warred, and worked with all your God, then, be pleased as well as you? Ought he heart; thus doing all you could, to stand. Now not to have his own way, if you wish him to save although you did not call this care, “ putting on you with an everlasting salvation? You need the the whole armor of God,” it really was so: and, whole of his grace, and wish for the whole of his accordingly, you stood by doing so. For, where, glory; and, will you refuse to take the whole arwhat, had you been, at the close of some evil days mor of God, in order to secure all this to yourof temptation, if you had not made an effort to re- self? sist Satan, and to renounce the world, and to deny You feel this appeal! Do then take that aryourself? You, of course, think more of the gracel mor, and take it unto yourself, and put it on.” 84