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But a new order of things is to be expected even in the controlling, elements and practical developements of christian piety. Something like the days of primitive christianity, is to return. Converted sinners are to take their standard of holy living more exclusively from the book of God, and are to proceed in their new moral career, more exclusively depending on the illumination and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and more markedly controlled and pervaded by his blessed influences. They are more clearly to show that the way everlasting is the way of holiness over which the unclean shall not pass, but in which the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon

their heads. Instead of having their days of gladness and singleness of heart limited to some of the earliest of their new career, as has been too much the case hitherto, they are to go on their way in simplicity and godly sincerity, rejoicing and glorifying God unto the end. There will be light then, and converts will come to it to have all their sinful feelings, views, and pursuits, revealed, reproved, and put away. The considerations of worldly interest, will not have the weight of the smallest dust of the balance, against duty and the requirements of God. No secret reservation--no keeping back part of their possessions—no shrinking from sacrifices evidently called for, will mark the covenant engagements of new converts then. Oh, theirs will be a high way, and it shall be for those who are truly converted—and the wayfaring men, though fools shall not err therein. For no one errs whose heart delights in the high way of practical holiness. No one mistakes duty, whose heart is set on finding and performing it. No one is seen creeping among the dregs and defilements of this low world, who has a heart panting after energies to mount upward, and take his course above its debasing elements.

VI. The imagery of the text teaches us to expect, that those increasing multitudes of converts who are to usher in the millennium, will be characterized by unusual humility, harmlessness, constancy, and love. It need not be said that all christians possess these graces to some extent; nor is it necessary to show, how rare are the instances of those who are not greviously deficient in them. Now, Christ's reign cannot be perfect even in the hearts of his foilowers, much less can it be extended through human society, until these features of his character are more conspicuous in the character of those, who are hopefully converted by his grace. Evidently there must be a great—an almost immeasurable advance in these elements of the christian character among the members of the church, or there can be nothing like the millennium. But we are encouraged to look for such an advance and to look for it soon. Not perhaps so much, in those who are already in the bosom of the church, as in those who shall now in increasing numbers be converted and become members. The text bids us fix our chief hope on these. Who ARE THESE THAT FLY AS THE DOVES TO THEIR WINDows? The dove is a striking emblem of these leading graces of the christian character. This explains the meaning of the Psalmist's affecting aspirationthat I had wings like a dove, for then would I fly away and be at rest. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest. He knew that a heart humble, harmless, constant, and affectionately drawn towards God, would bear him away to rest. He knew that the opposite tempers forbid all mental and spiritual rest.

Now in the new converts who are to come into the church, and constitute its milder glories through millennial ages, these graces are so to predominate as to become the main energies of their moral being—the grand spring of their spiritual movements. These graces will be as it were so many wings on which they will be lifted up and carried forward safely and usefully through their mortal, and indeed, their immortal career. And what spectacles more ineffably lovely can earth be made

AS

A CLOUD

AND AS

THE

DOVES TO THEIR WINDOWS.

to exhibit, than multitudes of such converts, impelled as by a common instinct, and evincing these graces of the Spirit, hastening to their duty, their refuge, and their rest, as THE DOVES TO THEIR WINDOWS ?

In application of the subject it is proper to ask my fellow christians, if they are prepared to desire, and to hail with devout admiration, gratitude, and praise, such thronging multitudes, as we are allowed to expect will ere long be seen turning to the Lord, and hastening to enter the church, FLYING

If we possess the character of living members of Christ's visible church, we cannot but long and delight to witness such a scene. If we are at all alive to a sense of the value of the benefits, which such accessions to the church will confer; such displays of divine grace and mercy, are every way fitted to excite adoring gratitude. The conversion of one sinner, is enough to fill the heart with everlasting gratitude. But there is a moral sublimity in the spectacle of crowds flying to the ark of safety, which may well touch and move all that is christian in our hearts. Angels look down with interest and pleasure, when a solitary sinner makes haste to join himself to the Lord. How then should we feel in view of hundreds and thou

nds together, speeding their flight to the earthly city of our God? And even, when permitted to behold actually before us much smaller numbers subscribing with their own hands unto the Lord and vowing eternal devotedness to him, may we not admiring ask-WHO ARE THESE? They were guilty rebels, bound and hastening their way to the city of destruction. They were sinners, stupid, careless, dead in trespasses and sins. They were but lately contending with the Almighty and rushing upon the thick bosses of his bucklers. But they are now reconciled to God, and eagerly pressing forward to seal their everlasting allegiance to his throne. They are now awake, alive, active, and glowing with holy zeal and love in the service of their Redeemer. Once polluted sinners, they are now the excellent of the earth. Shall we not then adore and wonder at the grace, which has reached and converted them? Have we not reason to behold them with admiration, with pleasure, and with love? But WHO ARE THESE: They are the ransomed of the Lord, now returning and coming to Zion with oaths, and vows, and songs, and with everlasting joy upon their heads—they are coming to obtain joy and gladness, that guilty sorrow and mourning may forever flee away. Oh, scene surpassing fable and yet true!” How amiable, how excellent, how lovely do sincere penitents-real converts appear in the view of heaven and of all on earth that sympathize with heaven. If such high sympathies are ours, we shall joyfully and gratefully hail their return, and welcome them to our fellowship and our hearts, as fellow heirs of the same everduring inheritance. If there be any consolation in Christ, and we all are truly there, our comforts must abound as we receive these new converts to our household of faith to be mutual helpers of each other on our way to meet the brightening dawn of millennial day—to meet the opening glories of everlasting day!

There is an obvious application of this subject to those present who expect at this hour, publicly to take upon themselves the vows of God, and to bind themselves to his service forever. You come not in the swelling multitude, which we expect will ere long crowd the gate of God's earthly Zion. But we trust you come, with something of the spirit and determination which are to mark future converts. You come with one accord-with one aim. You come as a cloud of witnesses to the truth, the reality, the blessedness of our religion. You come taking the high way to Zion above. You come openly, undisguised, and with unaffected simplicity and sincerity to give away yourselves to be the Lord's. You come with humble, constant and affectionate attachment to Christ, to his truth, and to his people. You come, we hope, with desires to glorify your Redeemer, by exhibiting in your temper and conduct a fair sample of the christian character and conversation, that are to usher in and adorn the period of the Saviour's millennial reign on earth. But though such are our hopes, we must add a word of counsel and caution. Forget not, then, that the transactions of this hour can never be recalled. The covenant you are about to take upon you, is never to be forgotten-never to be broken. You will take a step never to be retraced unless indeed, you go back to perdition. You are to be the Lord's wholly-eternally. Take an immediate stand on the ground you intend to occupy. Determine to be wholly the Lord's on all occasions, in all pursuits. From this hour, when you will be known among men as professing christians, let it be distinctly understood among your associates that your vows are a reality-your purpose immoveable. Let the bible, and not professing christians around you, be your standard of feeling and action. Ascertain what duties your peculiar talents, station, or opportunities require of you, and then lay out your strength. Wait not for more talents, but cultivate those you have. Never be moved from your holy determination by opposition, ridicule, or reproach. Be acquainted with your bible and your God. If ye do these things ye shall never be moved, but an open and abundant entrance shall be ministered unto you into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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