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doubt of his ability and sufficiency in that character, in favour of those who put their trust in him. But they are fufpicious and jealous of themselves ; they are apprehensive of something singular in their own case, which may justly exclude them from his mercy; or they fear that they do not believe aright. But the weakest believer is a child of God; and true faith, though at first like a grain of mustard-seed, is interested in all the promises of the gospel. If it be true, it will grow*, it will attain to a more fiinple dependance upon its greatobject, and will work its way through a thousand doubts and fears (which, for a season, are not without their use) till at length, the weak Christian becomes strong in faith, Arong in the Lord, and is enabled to say, I know whom I have believed to ! Who shall lay any thing to my charge? Who shall condemn ? It is God who justifieth. It is Christ who died for me and rose again.
But especially at the great day, the Lord the Judge, shall ratify their justification, publickly before affembled worlds. Then
* Markiv. 26. + 2 Tim. i. 12.
every tongue that riseth in judgment against them * fhall be put to silence. Then Satan will be utterly confounded, and many who despised them on earth, will be astonished and say—These are they whose lives we accounted madness, and their end to be without honour! How are they numbered among the children of God t!
The right knowledge of this doctrine, is a source of abiding joy; it likewise animates love, zeal, gratitude, and all the noblest powers of the soul, and produces a habit of cheerful and successful obedience to the whole will of God. But it may be, and too often is, misunderstood, and abused. If you receive it by divine teaching, it will fill you with those fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God I. But if you learn it only from men and books, if you are content with the notion of it in your head, instead of the powerful experience of it in your heart, it will have a contrary effect. Such a lifeless form, even of the truth itself, will probably make you heady and high-minded, * Ifa. liv. 17. + Wisdom v. 4, 5. I Phil. i. 11, B b 4
censorious of others, trifling in your spirit, and unsettled in your conduct. Oh! be afraid of resembling the foolish virgins *, of having the lamp of your profession expire in darkness, for want of the oil of grace. Lest when the Bridegroom cometh, you should find the door shut against you.
* Matt. XXV. 1-12.
THE INTERCESSION OF CHRIST.
Rom. vịii. 34. Who is be that condemneth ? It is Christ that
died, yea rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh interceffon for us. T HE redemption of the soul is precious.
1 Fools make a mock of fin *. But they will not think lightly of it, who duly consider the majesty, authority, and goodness of him, against whom it is committed ; and who are taught, by what God actually has done, what sin rendered necessary to be done, before a sinner could have a well-grounded hope of forgiveness. For wisdom does nothing in vain. The death of the Son of * Prov. xvi. 9.
God would have been in vain *, if the great design, in favour of finful men, could have been effected by inferior means. But as he, in the office of Mediator, was the hope of mankind, from the beginning; so the great work he has accomplished, and the characters he sustains, when made known to the conscience, are, in fact, sufficient to relieve in every case, to answer every charge, and to satisfy the believer in Jesus, that there is now no condemnation to fear. There are many (as we have observed) ready to accuse, but it is in vain; the charge may be true, but it is overruled. Who shall dare to condemn, if things be as the apostle states them in this passage? Whoever would impeach the hope of a true believer, must prove (if he can) that Christ did not die; or that he did not rise from the dead; or that he was not admitted into the presence of God on our behalf; or that he is unmindful of his promise, to make intercession for all who come unto God by him. For if these points are indubitable and sure, it is impossible that the foul, which has trusted in Jesus, and put its cause into his hands, can miscarry. * Gal. ii. 21.