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for He always was, is, and will be theSErm°'» Light of the World manifesting itself to all4 that are receptive of Him, tho' in different Degrees, and according to different Ministrations. Enoch and Noah before the Flood knew Christ, and preached from his Spirit; Abraham saw bis Day and was glad j. the whole Law was a figurative Exhibition of Him; the Prophets represented Him more distinctly; but we have seen Him in a still clearer Display of our Satvationras the only Begotten of the Father full of Grace and Truth. It is Faith in this Saviour that distinguishes us from those that sit in Darkness and the Shadow of Death; 'tis thro' Faith in his Redeeming Blood that our Justification is evidenced to us; by the Power of this Faith all the Christian Heroes of old Time were enabled to contend for the Truth so valiantly; and by the fame we and all that follow us may go and do likewise. Courage then, O Christian! and let not thy Heart faint within thee; Art thou tossed in a troubled and tempestuous Ocean where the Billows of Adversity and Affliction dash against thee, and the Floods of Ungodliness make thee afraid? Have Faith, and like Noah's Ark thou
Ssrm.°n ^alt ride securely on the Top of theWa^o/^ters. Do Difficulties and Discouragements, like Lions in the Way, dppose thy Passage to the City of God, or does the Flame of Persecution threaten thee? Take Heart, and follow those who by Faith stopped the Mouths of Lions, and quenched the Violence of the Fire. Nothing is too hard for Christian Faith; "all things, fays our Lord, "are possible to him that believeth :" Nay, if thou hast a right Faith Christ is thine, and in Him all Things, Life and Death,' Things present andThings to come; behold, they will all work together for thy good, and' thou shalt at last assuredly receive the End of thy Faith, even the Salvation of thy Soul.
But then, in the next Place, remember that to Faith thou add Patience, for'thb'" Faith, in a vigorous Exertion of its full Power, be a kind of Christian Omnipotence, yet, that thou mayest know it to be a Gift and not a Child of thine own, the Lord is pleased at times to with-hold the precious Fruits and Comforts of it, tho' the Root remaineth in thee: at such Seasons thou mayst go forth like SampsonJto shake thyself and rouse up thy Powers, but thou wilt find thy Strength departed/ and «hat thou art to all Appearance weak asSE*"'?!* another Man; but be not dismayed, for the /V\l Lord has not left thee; He has only withdrawn the Evidence of one Grace to afford Gccafion for the Exercise of another; He suffers thy Faith to disappear, that Patirence may have her perfect Work in thee.
The Christian Life is not a State of un-» interrupted Comfort, as some describe it,. herein speaking from their System, and not from any Experience of their own. It is npt the Way of God's Dealings with us, np,r. \s it meet for us, that we should always walk on our High Places, and feed on the Mountains of Exaltation, but descend' at Times into the Valley beneath for our Tryal and Humiliation: It was here that the Son of God walked when He sweat as k were great Drops of Blood: Here it was that He drank off the Bitter Cup of his Passion: And here we must follow Him thro' Death to Life eternal j "For it be"came Him for whom are all. Things, ,c arad by whom are all Things, in bring"ing many Sons unto Glory, to make the "Captain of their Salvatipn perfect thro* V Sufferings: For both He that sanctifieth if and they who are sanctified are all of
6^"0N " one; for which Cause He is not ashamed XyrYSl" to call them Brethren." Thus then if we mean to be Partakers of Christ's Holiness, we must also be Partakers of his Sufferings; and if we suffer with Him patiently We shall reign with Him eternally. 7 <;.' Here then we see our need of Patience, as before we saw our need of Faith: And God be praised, that He hath provided Virtues and Graces suited to every State and Stage, every Time and Exigency of the Christian Life. What tho' the Day of Rejoicing seem to be over with some of us, or perhaps not yet begun, and Sorrow, be nigh at hand j tho' no Voice of Joy be heard in our Dwellings, but our Abode be called Bochim, or a Place of Mourners j yet, O Christians, sorrow not as Men without Hope, but in Patience possess ye your Souls: You sit at the Foot of the Cross weeping; look up to Him who hanged On it with the Desire of your Souls, and put your Trust in the Lord, even the Lord Jejhs, for your Groanings are not hid from Him; He will put your Tears into his Bottle, and your Sorrows shall be noted in his Book. If He delay for a while his gracious Vifits, yet wait for v . Him,