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velation, to enforce them. The Saviour does not, and all” in your salvation. Now in doing that, conclude by saying, “Hear what I say; but thus, you search out your legal tendencies ; you set “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spi- them down as refuges of lies; you not only pray rit saith unto the churches." Thus whilst he that God would
but also watch maintains his own office and honor as king and lest they should be swept back again by Satan. priest of the church, and condescends to act as You are not easy when you find yourself looking her prophet too, he asserts and sustains the office less to Christ. You even become afraid of your of the Holy Ghost, as the Spirit of inspiration.— sincerity in religion, when you are not conscious The Saviour makes himself heard, that we may of a single-hearted and exclusive reliance upon recognise and revere the Comforter, in the lively his merits. oracles. The reason of this may not be obvious Well; just such a jealousy and watchfulness at a glance; but the wisdom of it is profound, and should we exercise over our own hearts, in referits design gracious. The prominence and import- ence to the grace of the Holy Spirit. We must ance thus given to the work which the Holy Spi- no more allow ourselves to forget him when we rit carries on in the soul, by the truth, like that open the Bible, or enter the sanctuary, or engage given to the work of Christ for the soul, is, for the in prayer, than we overlook the Father or the Son. purpose of shutting us up to an entire dependance we ought to be as much afraid of grieving him, upon each. Were less said, than that Christ is as of dishonoring them: for as we profess to as“all in all” in the work of redemption, we should cribe equal and everlasting glory to Father, Son, divide our faith between his merits and our own and Spirit, we are bound to pay them equal attenmorals, or seek to be justified partly by law and tion. I mean, that the attention given to the partly by grace; and thus never come to the point, Spirit
, should not be left to accident, nor paid in in penitence nor in humility. For, it is by seeing formal compliment. And it need not be so. It that we must look to nothing but the blood of is just as easy, because as much our duty, to give Christ, for pardon and acceptance,—and that there him his proper place in our confidence, as to give is nothing else to look to for justification, that the Father and the Son their place. We took we come to set ourselves in good earnest, to fall some pains to ascertain, and to fix in our minds, fully in with God's plan of saving. Finding that the precise reference which our prayers, our hopes, half-measures will not do; or, that God will have and our feelings should have to God and the nothing to say to us, until we have nothing to say Lamb. We did not leave that to chance nor to to him, but just that Christ died for the ungodly; impulse, when we became anxious that our felwe are glad to go any length in abandoning all lowship should truly be with the Father, and his legal claims and reliances ; and become intent Son Jesus Christ : and the fellowship or “comupon glorying only in the cross of Christ. We munion of the Holy Ghost,” cannot be kept up by retreat from one thing after another, until we give paying him empty compliments, nor by yielding up every thing but the cross, and say of it alone, vague honors to him. • Behold, O God, our shield.” Indeed, we get no I dare not ask yet, whether you feel deeply inquiet rest, until we cease to argue or plead, by terested in these hints. They are both too few any thing we have become, or intend to be ; and and feeble to command absorbing attention, or to begin to confine ourselves to the one plea, "Look excite much expectation. Perhaps they do not ripon us in the face of thine anointed."
even suggest to you their precise design which is, This is that réception of Christ, concerning to explain how backsliding and declension chiefly which it is said, “as many as received him, to arise. Now that it is not fully explained by say
power to become the sons of God." ing, that some sin of omission or of commission, John i. 12. Now, just such a place in our atten- grieved the Spirit of God, and then the power of tion and confidence, should he given to the Holy godliness declined rapidly. This is, indeed, quite Spirit, in reference to his work. We ought as true ; but it is not all the truth. The sin, whemuch to look to him for grace to help, as to the ther of omission or of commission, or of both, Saviour for pardon and acceptance. Whenever which led to this sad result, was, itself, preceded we look into the Scriptures for counsel or conso- and occasioned by inattention to the Holy Spirit, lation, we ought to look up to the Spirit for a or by expecting help from his
grace without hearheart to appropriate and improve them aright. ing his word. For “what the spirit saith to the Whatever means of grace we use for safety or churches," is as much his means of sanctifying edification, we should never forget that their suc- and comforting, as what the Saviour hath done cess depends upon the blessing of the Holy Spirit. and suffered for the church is God's reason for In a word, we ought to be as much afraid of over- pardoning. Now we expect no pardon, apart from looking or underrating the Comforter, as of not the cross. We are quite sure that we should reapplying to the Mediator; and as watchful against ceive none, were we to look away from the cross, leaning to our own understanding, or trusting our or even to look to it but partly. Well; it is just own hearts, as against self-righteousness or le- as true, that we are not warranted to expect grace gality: for the work of the Spirit is as much in- to help, apart from an impartial use of the word iended to shut us out from self-dependance, in the of grace. The Spirit sanctifies, and sustains, and matter of sanctification, as the work of Christ is consoles, " by the truth,” just as God acquits and to shut us out from self-complacency, in the mat- accepts by the atonement, But how few so ter of justification.
notice this fact, as to follow up their full subTo concede all this as a point in theology, or to mission to the cross, by a full submission to agree to it as a maxim in religion, is, however, not " the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of enough. It must just be applied and acted upon, God.” as you do in the case of making Christ all Here is the real secret of backsliding, and of
that loss of “first love,” which is so common. Ghost, when we are sowing the seed of it, and We content ourselves with selecting, here and watching the springing of it, and watering the there from the Holy Scriptures, a few of the most leaf of it by prayer : but we are trifling with the remarkable directions for walking in the Spirit; Spirit, when we are not attending to what he saith and a few of the most solemn warnings against unto the churches. For how can he help us on grieving the Spirit ; and, having adopted these points, on which we neglect to "hear” him? If, general maxims, together with certain strong indeed, he had not spoken enough in the promises phrases about the power of the Spirit, we take for to comfort us: or not enough in the precepts, to granted that we are as orthodox and honest in re- direct us ; or not enough in the warnings to check ference to him, as we took pains to be in regard us; then wishing and waiting for the upspringing to the Saviour.
of the fruits of the Spirit in our hearts, without Now I do not mean to insinuate, that we are sowing or seed, might neither be sinful nor useeither willingly or wittingly dishonest, in thus less. It is, however, both, now that the Scripsatisfying ourselves with a general recognition of tures are able to make us wise unto salvation, the claims and commands of the Spirit. No! We and to furnish us thoroughly for every good word honestly suppose, that this will be enough to keep and work. up and carry on our piety. It is too, as much as Thus we might have, and we ought to have, the the generality possess, and more than some pro- joy of salvation, and the Spirit of adoption, and fess. What then? It has not always been the earnest of heaven, as well as the desire for enough to keep up the power of godliness in our them. They are as fully provided for, and as hearts, nor to prevent backsliding in our hearts. freely offered, in “what the Spirit saith unto the Nay; it has not been enough to secure equal at- churches," as hope is warranted by what he saith tention even to “ the fruits of the Spirit.” For, to the world. “The Spirit speaketh expressly,” after all our professed subjection to him, are there when he assures the world, that whosoever will not some of them we have never yet set ourselves believe shall have eternal life ; and not less exto cultivate or consider? “ The fruit of the Spirit is, pressly when he says to the church, " he that belove, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, good- lieveth hath eternal life, and shall not come into ness, faith, meekness, temperance.” Gal. v. 22. condemnation.” Yea, there is much “ written" Look at this list, and judge for yourself, whether you to believers for the express purpose, that they have gone far enough in honoring the Holy Spirit. “ may know that they have eternal life;" and thus Well might Paul say, when he brought this list of feel encouraged and bound to continue a life of graces and virtues before the churches, “ If we faith on the son of God. live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” It is by overlooking this, that backsliding is so Ver. 25. Why; if we had given as little atten- common. Many converts do not listen to the tion to “temperance,” or to “ faith,” or to general good and comfortable words of the Spirit, the be"goodness," as to "love, joy, peace," or as to lief of which gives joy and peace; but waste their “meekness, gentleness, and long-suffering,” we time in wishing for comfort to come into their should have made “shipwreck of faith and a good minds, or to spring up in their hearts; not from conscience" long ago! Even now, did our ac- what he has said, but from what he can do. The count stand as ill with the morals of this list, as it consequence is, they have not enough of “the does with the mercies of it, we should almost set peace of God," nor of the comfort of the Holy ourselves down as being still unconverted. The Ghost.” to keep their hearts and minds happy or absence of both “joy and peace” does not, how- steadfast ; and thus they lose their first love, and ever, prove that against us. Conversion may be often neglect their first works. real, even although our enjoyment be but small
, If you have never studied this subject before, and our love but weak yet.' But still, although you are in some danger of getting impatient with neither hypocrisy 'nor unregeneracy is proved by this mode of treating it; especially as I hardly the want of joy, nor by the weakness of love, in- seem to have a definite object before me. Do you attention to the Spirit is proved against us by then ask me, what I mean? I am glad of it; for them: for as the good seed of joy, love, and a plain question will bring me to the point, or stop peace, is as abundant in his word, as the good me altogether. Well; I mean, that you have seed of faith or repentance, both the want and nothing to expect from the Spirit
, but just what the weakness of the former fruits of the Spirit, the Saviour promised; which is
, that the Comfortmust be occasioned by our not sowing that seed er would sanctify and console by the truth—by sufficiently.. “He that soweth to the Spirit
, shall leading into all truth,—and by bringing it to reof the Spirit reap life everlasting." Gal. vi. 8; membrance. If
, therefore, you and I overlooked and joy and peace in believing, are first-fruits of or forgot this fact, and satisfied ourselves with that harvest of glory. But still, they are as really listening to the Spirit on only a few great truths, the fruit from seed, as they are foretastes of hea- what could be expected, but that our comforts ven. Hence, Paul prayed for the churches, that should be few and small, and thus our declensions they might have “joy and peace in believing;" many? not in wishing for them, nor in waiting for them, Now, do not quarrel nor quibble with this fact, nor in merely praying for them ; but in believing as if it would impose upon you a task which you the joy-giving and peace-giving promises, or in have neither time nor ability to undertake. "All sowing to the Spirit the good seed of good hopes that the Spirit hath said to the churches, is not so and strong consolations.
much, but that it may be examined and considerThis is giving the Holy Spirit his proper place, ed too, by reading over the Epistles-not the in a proper way. There is both sense and humility work of a month to the busiest! And begin, if in wishing and waiting for the joy of the Holy you will, by hearing what he hath said to comfort,
and thus to confirm, them who believe. You brightly! He does not make the worst of very want to know whether the righteousness of Christ bad cases; but even when “things are ready to is imputed to you; and he says, that it is “upon die,” says, “ Be watchful, and strengthen” them. all them that believe." Rom. iv. 22. You want The general sentiment of this essay will come to know whether you are a child of God; and he under your notice in another form, when I trace saith, “ye are all children of God through faith in the love of the Spirit watering and ripening the Christ." You want to know whether your sins good seed of his own word. Ăs, however, I have are pardoned ; and he saith, “ he that believeth is referred so much to the Apocalyptic Epistles in justified from all things.” What do you mean by this chapter, I cannot close it without reminding comfort, if this be not enough to comfort you?- you, that the first works” of the primitive For, whát more could the Spirit say to you, were churches included one work, which very few mohe to speak to you as he did to the prophets and dern Christians begin with—the consecration of apostles ? True ; the comfort of these sweet as their property to spread the gospel. I say, to the surances turns upon faith. They are only ad- spread of the gospel ; not the aggrandisement of dressed to believers. What then? You are not its ministers, nor the architecture of its temples. as an unbeliever, if all your reliance be upon They laid their goods at the feet of the apostles, Christ, for the holy salvation proclaimed in the that the apostles might lay the gospel before the gospel. You are a believer, if you love salvation world, and enable its poor adherents to be faithful from sin and wrath, and be honestly seeking it by unto death. prayer. The Spirit does not stand upon niceties, This, when it is done at all now by individuals, nor lay down perplexing distinctions, when speak- is usually their last, instead of their first work. ing of faith. He looks to the heart; and when it And yet, the first emotions of true convert, are is well disposed towards the cross and sceptre of very much akin to the benevolent feelings of the Christ, and willing to be a debtor and dependant first converts at Pentecost. Indeed, were the for all mercy and grace, he recognises faith, who- ministers of the gospel as much pledged to the ever else may doubt or deny its existence. Oworld now, or as intent upon carrying or sending yes; the love of the Spirit is too tender and con- the unsearchable riches of Christ to the Gentiles, siderate, to perplex or embarrass an humble peni- as the apostles were then, rich converts would do tent with intricate questions about the nature of now as they did then ; and the first work of every faith. The substance of his questions is,-in Christian, who had any property beyond the newhom do you believe for salvation ? and for what cessities of his family, would be to distribute to holy purpose do you believe? and if our souls, in necessitous saints, and to help on the chariot of answer to this appeal, throw themselves upon the salvation. And this good work is not less necesLamb slain for grace and law, the Spirit saith, sary, now that it has to be begun in the churches. “ be of good cheer, thy sins, which are many, are For the churches will never have the outpouring forgiven: go, and sin no more.
of the Spirit, until there be an outpouring of their There would be less backsliding, if this were own property into the treasury of the Lord. believed. Neither Satan nor the world would be This time is at hand; and it will be a searcking able to get such a hold upon us as they do, if we time. It will soon be impossible for a rich man to took care to keep a firm hold upon what the Spirit believe the gospel, unless he is prepared to spread saith to the churches, as a Comforter. And were it. The kingdom of heaven is again making its he to be as much listened to as a sanctifier, there strait gate a "needle's eye,” through which the would soon be but few complaints about desertion, camels of providence cannot enter, without selling or darkness, or doubts.
all they have, more than they really need. I Where backsliding, however, has occurred, tremble to think how many, when this duty is enwhat the Spirit saith is, “ Remember from whence forced, will, like him upon whom it was first en thou hast fallen, and repent, and do thy first works.. joined, "go away sorrowful" from Christ, just Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, because he wants their property as well as their and fight against thee, with the sword of my faith. mouth.” Rev. ü. 16. And he keeps his word! The Spirit makes his sword turn against the backsliding, until they return to their first love and their first works. Accordingly, they can find no
No. IX. comfort in his promises; no refreshing from his ordinances; and but little hope from the glorious gospel itself. Thus, their Bibles become to them THE LOVE OF THE SPIRIT IN SEALING BELIEVERS. books they are afraid to open; and sacraments, awful hazards; and their closets, painful retire. If the witness of the Spirit be a somewhat mysments.
terious, and thus a perplexing subject, to many But still, the Spirit does not say, even to such, Christians, the seal of the Spirit is an intimidating that they are hypocrites; nor that they never subject, to still more. Indeed, very few venture knew the grace of God in truth. No! He treats to say or think, that they are “sealed with the them as fallen; but not as if they never had stood. Holy Spirit of promise.” Eph. i. 13. This is Accordingly, he sends them
to recommence their hardly to be wondered at, however much it should “ first works,” and not to begin their faith anew. be deplored; for when a Christian asks, “what is I mean, he does not treat them as unbelievers, the seal of the Spirit ?" and turns from his Bible but as ungrateful and disobedient children, who to commentaries for an answer, he is not made require to be both wooed and warned to return much wiser, nor at all happier, by learning the home. Here, again, the love of the Spirit shines ancient modes of sealing sacrifices, letters, and
property. To tell him, that believers are sealed, all that is meant by the seal of the Holy Spirit of as these were, to distinguish and preserve them; promise, as "the EARNEST of the inheritance of only widens the question, without answering or the purchased possession" of heaven; but they simplifying it in the least. It then returns with are so like it, that they cannot be far from it. För the puzzling addition, what is the distinctive we have some foretastes of heaven, and some mark? What is the impress of the seal of God, humble consciousness of the beginnings of meetupon the children of God?
ness for the inheritance in light, when we are Now, when the question takes this form, we walking with God. They may not, indeed, be can never be far wrong in taking general ground very lasting, nor at all rapturous whilst they do at first, and saying, “they that are after (or ac- last; but they are both sweet and soothing. They cording to) the Spirit, mind the things of the Spi- help us to go on with some calmness, and with rit.” Rom. viii. 5. For whatever his seal be, more relish, “ look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus they are not utterly unsealed, who are mindful of, Christ unto eternal life.” and take a lively interest in, the things which the It is, therefore, well worth our while to trace Holy Spirit has written, and wrought, and promis- the love of the Spirit, in sealing his own work ed. And in like manner, they are not altogether upon the soul, even if his special seal be someunsealed, who are not unsanctified. Whoever thing more and higher, than settled principles and has any real features of the image of God upon habits of faith and holiness. Indeed, the more his heart and character, is not quite without the than these it is, the more need there is that these seal of the Spirit of God.
should be sealed, or confirmed, by the Spirit. For, So far this process of settling the question may, to what can you look in your religious experience, indeed, somewhat confound sealing with sanctifi- which, if left to itself, would not have vanished cation and spiritual-mindedness. That, however, away, like the early cloud or the morning dew? will do no harm to truth or piety. Far better True; there is vitality in gracious principles. confound the seal of the Spirit with the sanctifica- But why? Just because the Spirit who implanttion of the Spirit, than separate them. They ed them, keeps them alive. The good work of cannot be separated, in fact, nor in experience, grace in the heart does go on; but it does so, be. however they may be distinguished in theory.- cause he who began it, carries it on. Where Neither the unholy in character, nor the carnal in would its goodness or its progress have been at mind, have any seal of the Father, Son, or Spirit this moment, had it depended entirely upon its upon them. “Their spot is not the spot of his first powerfulness, or upon our prudence ? Alas, children;" but “the mark of the beast,” or of we have often brought that good work to a very “ the false prophet.” Accordingly, whenever any low ebb, and into a bad position in our hearts. thing independent of faith and holiness, has been We have, at times, thought that it was utterly invented or paraded as the seal of heaven, it has lost; or that it had been only a delusion, from the always been some mystery of Babylon, or some first. And it would have gone entirely, had not vagary of fanaticism.
the Holy Spirit loved it more than we prized it, There is, amongst the truly pious, a familiar, and watered it more than we watched it. It but emphatic use of the word “sealing," which I lives, because he, in common with Christ, has ever am persuaded, is quite as near to the real fact on lived to keep it alive. this subject, as the definitions of any creed or This is emphatically true of that sense of guilt critic. I allude, especially, to the well-known and danger, in which the work of grace usually stanza,
begins. For, had not our first convictions been
sealed by the Spirit, as well as awakened by him, “Prone to wander ; Lord, I feel it;
they would either have passed away, or been Prone to leave the God I love.
shaken off. Self-upbraiding, and especially selfHere's my heart! Lord take and seal it;
condemnation, are so unnatural and painful, that
the mind does all it can, first to evade them, and Seal it from thy courts above."
then to throw them off. The fear of perishing
would never gain such an ascendency over our Any Christian understands this; and every Chris- self-love and self-complacency, as would lay us tian feels his need of such sealing, and desires to down, self-condemned, at the feet of God, did not experience its help. For, having found, again and the Spirit of God bring it to this point, and keep again, that warmth and tenderness of heart can it there long enough to compel flight from the relapse into cold formality ; and that our best wrath to come. “A fearful looking for of judg. frames are not abiding; and that both our views ment, and fiery indignation," is too fearful, to be and vows can be almost forgotten at times; we willingly admitted, or long retained, by the mind. cannot but desire this sealing work of the Holy It would be kept out, or cast out, if we could. Spirit. That may be more than the perpetuation But if it had-we should not have fled for reor the ratification of our best views and feelings : fuge from the wrath to come, to lay hold on the but we know, and are sure, that we are neither hope set before us in the gospel. Had not the prepared for more, nor likely to obtain a higher Spirit sealed our fears, until they shut us up to the seal, until our principles and affections are more cross and the mercy-seat, with the cry, “ Lord, sealed or confirmed. And we know also, that save, I perish,” we should never have become bewhen truth has the force of truth upon us, and lievers, nor penitents. whilst the spirit of prayer keeps up well, and This sealing of the sense of danger, at the very whilst we walk humbly and circumspectly before time when the mind is doing all it can to rid itsels God, neither our hopes nor our comforts are few of fear, is not, indeed the sealing spoken of in or small. They may not amount, even then, to Scripture. That, whatever it be, comes “after”
believing. Hence Paul says to the Ephesians, | of being found in him. Why? we have sealed “ After ye believed, ye were sealed.” i. 13. There persuasions of the necessity of this, and settled would, however, be no believing with the heart desires to obtain it. Our efforts have not, alas, unto salvation, if there was no sealing, on the been equal to our convictions or to our desires; heart, of the awakened sense of the need of sal- but they would have been less than they are, had vation. It is only sealed convictions, that lead to not the Holy Spirit stamped our concern to besaving conversion. Do, mark the love of the long to Christ, with stability and perpetuity. Spirit in this ! It well deserves your admiration and gratitude. He carried out your fears far the Spirit, in keeping alive, in spite of all the
It is peculiarly delightful to trace the love of enough, and kept them up long enough, to render world's snares, and all the heart's treacheries, and the gospel glad tidings to your uneasy conscience, all Satan's temptations, a settled sense of our and to make Christ precious to your soul. It was, need of an interest in the unfinished work of no doubt, very painful at first, to be kept on the Christ. This need has been before us for years, sack of suspense, whether by terror or by timidity; in all lights and in all forms ; but we are neither but it was good for you. It led to a fervency of tired of feeling it, nor indifferent about its success. prayer, and to a searching for hope, and to a cast. Our hearts return to it, however they wander; and ing of the soul upon Christ entirely, that more than compensated for all the pain. For you could for a time. Thus our solicitude to be found in
our prayers re-centre upon it, however they fail not wish now, that your sense of danger had been Christ, has been so far sealed by the Spirit, that slighter at the time, however trying it was for the we do not, and dare not, give up seeking to be time.
found in him. Well; observe how it has been sealed by the Spirit, since it ceased to be painful and oppressive. nection, how our general views and convictions of
It is impossible not to remember, in this conYou have not now that " fearful looking for of the truth of the gospel, have survived shocks of judgment,” which once haunted your conscience, trial, or of temptation, which must have upset or depressed your spirits : but still
, you do look forward to the judgment-seat.
them, had they not been sustained by the power
You have lost "the fear which hath torment;" but you cherish of the Holy Ghost. Sometimes, the dispensations
of Providence have seemed to us, at variance with still a holy fear or awe of both judgment and eter- both the promises and doctrines of Grace. We nity. You are neither altogether fearful, nor al have looked for light, and found darkness ; for together fearless. Why? There has been a Bealing of your convictions at this middle point, joy, and found only sorrow. Then, God's dealings between absolute dread, and perfect peace. 1 seemed clashing with God's word, and his provimean, that the Holy Spirit has taken care, that dence running contrary to his promises. "This you should neither despair nor presume.
creates a sad dilemma! When this suspicion setIt is just as true of the way of salvation, as of tles in the mind, it unsettles every thing for a time. our need of salvation, that both our knowledge oh, were there no seal put upon our principles, and love of it, require to be sealed by the Spirit, when the rod of Providence seems to contradict in order to live and last. They are not natural to undo the word of God, by mysterious visitations,
the pen of inspiration, and the hand of God to us, any more than self-condemnation; and, therefore, although more agreeable, they too would had it not been sealed in the cloudy and dark day,
how soon and entirely our faith would fail! Yes; vanish away, if the power which created them did not confirm them. Accordingly, we know by made shipwreck of both faith and a good con
when all things seemed against us, we should have bitter experience, that our clearest views of our
science. warrant and welcome to trust in Christ, have become so dim and indistinct, that we could make It is not adversity only, that can thus peril the nothing of the gospel for a time, in our own case. life of faith. Prosperity, also, not unfrequently, And, what is worse, our love of the gospel can induces a state of mind prone to speculation, or wax cold, even when our knowledge of it is not open to sceptical suggestions. Satan thus finds clouded nor confused.
it easy, first to amuse the soul with curious quesAnd had this darkness and disrelish gone on, tions, and then to entangle it with plausible sophisor remained, when they set in upon our mind, tries. And, having inserted the wedge of doubt where now had been our faith or hope? Who among the mass of first principles, he drives it does not feel
, that he requires to be kept to the home, until they split up like dry timber or a cross, as well as brought to it? This is a melan- veined rock. Nothing couid stop their destruccholy confession ; but it is only too true! Our tion, but seals which stop the rent. hearts can be treacherous even to the Saviour; If you have at all passed through trying exer. and our consciences, to the blood of sprinkling. cises of mind from alliction or temptation, it They have both had to be sealed again and again, ought not to be very difficult for you to conceive, in order to bind them to the only thing which can how the Holy Ghost, as the Spirit of promise, pacify or purify them.
seals the souls unto the day of redemption. This But, thus, they have been bound to “ the horns is not more unlikely, nor more inexplicable, than of the altar" of Calvary! They may at times so that, as the Spirit of faith and truth, he should loosen “the cords" of confirmation, as to seem about have sealed your principles and desires, when they to fall or fly off entirely; but they do neither long. were giving way before heavy trials, or harassing. We cannot forget, for many days together, what temptations. You are no stranger to sealing, if we have known and felt of our need of a person- you have passed through deep and dark waters, al interest in Christ ; nor can we give up, often, without losing entirely your faith or your hope. the habit of seeking, or of trying, to make sure, You may well believe that the Spirit of promise