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certainly the radiance and the glory which rests upon the children of God, as that wherein the Spirit of Jesus Christ dwells, is so dreadful both to the devil and the world, that they flee from it and are afraid of it. Whilst on the contrary, such a confidence in God is imparted, through Christ, to those souls that have devoted themselves to God, that they can say with David, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” (Psalm xxvii. 1.) “God is our refuge and strength, therefore will we not fear.” (Psalm xlvi.)
Finally, it is also a great and immutable privilege to be no longer our own, but to have become God's, both in body and soul, and particularly so in the hour of death. Oh! the dreadful hour! Dreadful to all the unconverted; dreadful to nature! In the hour of death, when there is no consolation either in heaven or on earth : this is and continues to be a sure and unshaken consolation, “ Thou art not thine own, but God's.” But if I am no longer my own, but God's, and belong to Christ, I therefore need not care, nor be afraid, nor apprehensive of an evil result. If I belong to Christ: he will not suffer that which is his to be lost, nor let it be taken from him, but he will know how to preserve me, after giving and presenting myself to him, so as that I shall not be again taken from him. For he has himself said, “ Father, I have lost none of those whom thou hast given me.” He has continually preserved them, as the apple of his eye. And though the body may moulder in the ground,
and become a putrifying carcase, and millions of atoms: yet this does not trouble me. For it is not my body, but it is become God's. Therefore I am unconcerned about it. Christ is Lord both of life and death; he will eventually again bring forth the body, which is equally his, and make it like unto his glorious body. In short, it is impossible to find a more complete consolation than this, that we are God's, and not our own. A true believer, in his dying hour, may therefore say to Christ, in truth and reality, in the words of the hymn,
That I to thee united am,
And as it is further said, in the succeeding verse
Since thou hast risen from the dead,
Where Christ is, thither I must also come. Hence he says, “I will that where I am, they may be also, whom the Father has given me.”
I ought now, in conclusion, to make an application of the great and much implying expression, “Know ye not ?" and institute an examination upon it; but the time is elapsed. I would otherwise have said to
the unconverted, Know ye not your unhappiness? Know ye not, that if the Holy Spirit does not dwell in your heart, another spirit inhabits there, namely a wicked spirit, and that you consequently belong to it. O what an unhappy and dreadful state! Know ye not, ye unhappy children of men, know ye not, that you will be his portion in death, to whom you have belonged in life? O what a misfortune is that! Know ye not that a day will come, in which each will take his own to himself? when Christ shall appear in his glory, and place those that belong to him, on his right hand, as sheep; but those that belong to the prince of hell, as goats, on his left hand! What a dreadful thought! Know ye not, that this is now the time of grace? a time in which the precious gospel is still preached and offered you? Know ye not, that you are really not your own? That ye are bought with a price? That ye may even now become happy men, and children of God. Are you
well aware of this ? Ah no! men spend their lives, as if they were without God in the world. Christ reminds us of and demands his right to our hearts : but men spend their days in a careless manner, as if Christ were sitting still and quietly in heaven, and were totally unconcerned about our hearts, O reflect, with true seriousness, whether it is possible for you to have a single quiet hour, as long as you do not sincerely give yourselves to God. But if you' belong to Christ—if ye are God's, according to the right of creation, and by the right of purchase : give to God, what is God's.
Give him your hearts, your body, your soul; otherwise
will find no rest, either here or hereafter.
I have still to address these words to you, my fellow-called; know ye not that ye are a temple of the Holy Ghost ? Know ye not to what a high and superlative dignity ye are created, redeemed, and called ? and how you are under the operation of the Holy Ghost? Are you aware what creatures we are? What grace has been bestowed upon us? What God, even our God, purposes respecting us? and to what we may attain, even here, in this present time of grace ? Ah, we only know it by the understanding, whilst the heart has not the slightest impression of it; the mind is entirely unaffected by it, otherwise we would certainly pursue our calling to glorify God, with far greater diligence. O, therefore, from henceforth, let body and soul be devoted to God alone! Know ye not, that this is your most imperative duty and obligation? Yes, we know it, when we read of it occasionally; when we are sometimes reminded of it; but scarcely is this done, scarcely is the book closed, the word of admonition over, than we afterwards think little of that which we have heard. Ah, my dear friends, do not let it be as a passing sound ; let it not continue mere head-knowledge. Let the word, at this time, penetrate deeply into your hearts! Let us take it to heart, more than we have ever done hitherto, and seek to remain, as much as possible, constantly near our hearts, in order that we may be the more pre
pared to give a willing ear to the continual demands of Christ, and to fulfil them, as well as to walk steadfastly in all and every virtue, which is well pleasing to God. Ah, my dearest friends ! let us never seek to walk otherwise before God, than with a cheerful and upright mind. Do we possess the great privilege of being God's property, and no longer our own? Let the time, which still remains to us, be employed in endeavouring to glorify God with our bodies and souls, in dedicating our powers and faculties to him, and in offering and presenting to him our whole hearts, in order that when once we shall have to pass from time into eternity, Christ may take his own to himself, and that we may be
gathered, as pure wheat, into his garner. I now break off, in order to leave our worthy minister time and place to address to us a further word of awakening and edification for the establishment and confirmation of the truth.