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the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.' (Isaiah, lxi. 1.)— Your sorrow,' it is true,'may endure for a night, but joy will come in the morning, the joy of God's salvation,' and the pardon of your sins. ' Having much forgiven,' you will' then love much,' and admire in proportion the riches of divine wisdom, goodness, justice and power, that so graciously contrived, and 80 wonderfully executed, the plan of your redemption. You will be ravished in experiencing, that a condemned sinner can not only escape impending ruin, but enter into present possession of a spiritual Paradise, where peace and joy blossom together, and whence welcome death will, ere long, translate your triun,phant soul to those unseen, unheard of, inconceivable glories' which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Cor. ii. 9.)
Nor will the blossoms of heavenly peace' and 'joy' only diffuse their divine fragrancy in your soul; all' the fruits of holiness' will grow together with them,' to the glory of God,' and the profit of mankind. And thou wilt not be the last, thou fair, thou blushing Humility, to bend all the spreading branches of the 'tree of righteousness.' No, we cannot be vain, or despisers of others, when we see that we are all corrupted, dying shoots of the same corrupted, dead stock : We cannot be self-righteous, when we are persuaded, that the best fruit which we can naturally produce is only splendid sin, or vice coloured over with the specious appearance of virtue. We must lie prostrate in the dust, when we consider the ignominious cross, where our Divine Surety hung, bled, and died, to ransom our guilty souls.
A genuine conviction of our corruption and demerit, thus striking at the very root of our pride, necessarily fills our hearts with inexpressible gratitude for every favour we receive, gives an exquisite relish to the least blessing we enjoy, and teaches us to say with the thanke ful patriarch, I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies ;' and as it renders us grateful to God, and all our benefactors, so it makes us patient under the greatest injuries, resigned in the heaviest trials, glad to be reproved, willing to forgive the faults of others, open to
acknowledge our own, disposed to sympathize with the guilty, tender-hearted towards the miserable, incapable of being offended at any one, and ready to do every office of kindness, even to the meanest of mankind.
Again : No suoner are we properly acquainted with oor helplessness, than we give over leaning on an arm of flesh, and the broken reed of our own resolutions. Reposing our entire confidence in the living God, we fervently implore his continual assistance, carefully avoid temptations, gladly acknowledge that the help which is done upon the earth, the Lord doth it himself,' and humbly give him the glory of all the good that appears ip ourselves and others.
Once more: As soon as we can discover our spiritual blindness, we mistrust our own judgment, feel the need of instruction, modestly repair to the experienced for advice, carefully search the scriptures, readily follow their blessed directions, and fervently pray, that no false light may mislead us out of the way of salvation.
To conclude : A right knowledge that 'the crown is fallen from our head,' will make us abominate sin, the cause of our ruin, and raise in us a noble ambition of regaining our original state of blissful and glorious righteousness. It will set us apon an earnest inquiry into, and a proper use of, all the means conducive to our recovery. Even the sense of our guilt will prove useful, by helping to break our obdurate hearts, by embittering the baits of wordly vanities, and filling our souls with penitential sorrow. • Before honour is humility. This happy humiliation makes way for the greatest exaltation : For thus saith the High and Lofty Oue that inhabiteth eternity, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and the heart of the contrite,' to fill the hungry with good things,' and 'beautify the meek with salvation.' (Isaiah lvii. 15.)
If these advantages, which exceed the worth of earthly crowns, necessarily result from the proper knowledge of our corrupt and lost estate; who, but an infatuated enemy of his own soul, would be afraid of that selfscience? Who, but an obstinate Pharisee, would not esteem it, next to the knowledge of Christ, the greatest blessing which Heaven can bestow upon the selfdestroyed, and yet self-conceited children of men ?
Careless Reader, if thou art the person ; if remaining unshaken in thy carnal confidence, and supposing thyself wiser than seven men that can render a reason,' thou not only despisest the testimony of the Sacred Writers, and our pious Reformers, laid before thee in the first part of this treatise, but disregardest the nomerous arguments it contains, tramplest under foot both Matter of Fact and Common Sense, and remainest unaffected by the most dreadful consequences of selfignorance ou the one hand, and by the greatest advantages of self-knowledge on the other, I have done, and must take my leave of thee.
May the merciful and holy God, whose laws thon dost daily violate, whose word thou hourly opposest or forgettest, whose salvation thou dost every moment neglect, whose vengeance thou continually provokest, and whose cause I have attempted to plead, bear with thee and thy insults a little longer !—May his infinite patience yet afford thee some means of cunviction, more effectual than that which is at present in thy hands! Or shouldest thou look into this labour of love once more, may it then answer a better purpose than to aggravate thy guilt, and enhance thy condemnation, by rendering the folly of thy unbelief more glaring, and consequently more inexcusable !
THE SERIOUS READER,
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED ?'
Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no Physician there? Why then
IS DIRECTIONS proper for a half-awakened sinner, who
desires to be truly convinced of his guilt and danger.
TO THE ?
HAVING taken my leave of the thoughtless and gay, who regard an appeal to their reason, as little as they do the warnings of their conscience, I return to thee, * serious and well-disposed reader. I am too much con. cerued for thy soul's welfare, to lay down my pen, without shewing thee more perfectly the way to the kingdom of heaven, by testifying to thee ' repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.'
Thou art happily weary of feeding upon the husks of earthly vanities. I have a right, therefore, as a steward of the mysteries of God, to bring out of the divine treasury the pearls of evangelical truth; and I gladly cast them before thee, persuaded, that far from · awakening thy anger, they will excite thy desires, and animate thy languid hopes.
Instead of ridiculing, or dreading, a heart-felt conviction of thy lost estate, thou now seest it is a desirable privilege, an invaluable blessing. Ready to mourn, because thou canst not mourn, thou complainest, that thou hast only a confused view of thy total depravity. Thou wantest the feelings of the royal penitent when he
* This address is only calculated for serious persons, who cordially assent to the doctrine established in the Rational Demonstration of our fallen and lost Estate. As other readers have been dismissed with the portion of truth that belongs to them, they are desired not to meddle with this, lest their cavils confirm St. Paul's observa tion, We preach Christ crucified, to the self-righteous • Jews a stumbling-block, and to the self-conceited • Greeks foolishness.