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ETH HIMSELF EVEN AS HE IS PURE.

ners of our race to this pure world, is the great end of the gospel, so those who are in a course of education for so sublime and glorious a destiny, always are looking forward to heaven as a place where perfect holiness is universal and unending; the very atmosphere that encompasses them, and the sole element in which they are to live and move eternally. They think of it less as a place of security and repose, than as one of unmingled holiness. It is chiefly its beauties of holiness, that attract and animate their hopes. Oh, their hopes would lose half their power to bless, did they not repose on a heaven, which consists in a participation with God in unmingled and unending purity.

II. I proceed now to notice the effects of such a hope. EVERY ONE THAT HATH THIS HOPE IN HIM, PURIFI

It should be observed here, that this hope is peculiar to the children of God. None besides ever evince or feel its practical influence. They, therefore, who possess the character of sons of God, have need of being more and more pu

It is not said that EVERY ONE THAT HATH THIS HOPE, hath purified HIMSELF ;-but PURIFIETH HIM

The work to which the saints of God are prompted by their peculiar hope, is ever in progress, but never finished in the present world. Whatever be their attainments, they can look to no point in their character, to no part of their conduct, to no single requisition of scripture, without perceiving abundant proof, that they have not already attained, neither are already perfect.

If the inquiry arises in any mind, how the idea of a man's purifying himself, can be reconciled with the uniform stateinents of scripture relative to our personal insufficiency to do any thing as of ourselves, to the impossibility of our bringing a clean thing out of an unclean, and to he blood of Jesus Christ aş alone adequate to cleanse us from all sin; it may be sufficient briefly to say, that, by a man's purifying himself, is to be understood his earnest and continued endeavors, in

rified.

SELF.

how urgent

obedience to the divine requirements, and in dependance on the promised aid of the divine Spirit, to become meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. Our sufficiency is entirely of God; and yet does the bible afford any warrant for expecting that the purifying of the soul can advance, while we remain indifferent to its progress? We can effect nothing in this matter by our own exertions alone; and

yet are the exhortations addressed to christians, beseeching them by all the hopes and fears that can reach and sway the heart to be active—to add virtue to virtue, grace to grace, holiness to holiness ? Nothing, then, is detracted from the grace of God-nothing from the importance and efficacy of the blood of Christ, by affirming that EVERY ONE, WHO HATH THIS HOPE IN HIM, PURIFIETH HIMSELF AS THE SAVIOUR IS PURE:

In noticing the effects of the christian hope, it is proper that, in the first place, we consider its tendency as one of the fruits of the Spirit. All these fruits cluster together, and cherish and promote the growth of each other. Where one of them is found, there they all prevail. And none of them are to be found, except in the person who has been born from above by the power of the Holy Spirit, and thus set forward in that wonderful progression from guilt and pollution to perfect holiness and glorification. So that from the very circumstance, that any one is born again, it will necessarily follow that he will become more and more holy. Christian hope is especially associated, by one of the apostles, with two other of the graces of the Spirit, as though they preeminently belonged together, and had a singleness of tendency. Of one of these it is said, that it works by the other, and purifies the heart; while the other with which it thus operates, is the fairest reflection of the divine nature, and will remain after there shall be no farther occasion for the agencies, and no more opportuni-ty for the existence, of the others. From a view, then, of christian hope, as one of the graces of the Holy Spirit, we must see, that it cannot exist together with the love and indulgence of sin. It prevails and flourishes just in proportion as the dominion of sin is narrowed and weakened. If it be a strong and prevailing hope, it will be mighty in its purifying efficacy.

Aside however, from the influence of christian hope as one of the graces of the Spirit, the specific objects it has in view, are such as must suggest motives to holiness of a character altogether irresistible. Among men of the world, with their comparatively low and worthless objects, hope has a mighty power. It moves all the vast machinery of this world's plans and enterprises. Let the hope of this world cease, and with it would cease all its great and absorbing movements, and universal stagnation in its business and pursuits would at once ensue. This hope too, leads to appropriate effortsr-efforts suited to secure the attainment of its objects. Now if such be the sway of a hope, which has for its objects things corruptible, perishable, transitory; what must be the practical tendency of that hope, which is looking forward to a class of objects unspeakably grand and glorious, pure and blessed, satisfying and unfailing ? Take the particular objects to which there is a reference in the text. What will be the natural effect, on the christian, of his hope that respects the last glorious appearing of the great God, our Saviour? It may be safely averred as in the nature of things impossible, that any one can hope for this event, and not labor to perfect holiness in the fear of God. The christian can no more hope for that event, without laboring to be prepared for it, than the husbandman can hope for a harvest, without attending to any of the preparatory measures of sowing and cultivating the crop. If he is looking forward to that scene, with the intimate familiarity with its nature and consequences which hope implies, he is at the same time earnest in his desires to be accepted, and confident in his assurance that through grace he shall be. With the day of the manifestation of the sons of God in view, as the object of joyful hope, he will think of nothing so much, and labor for nothing so much, as to persevere to the last in a holy and blameless course.

Again, what will be the natural effect, on the christian, of his hope of ere long having a perfected knowledge and enjoyment of God? Because he has this HOPE IN HIM, he has some knowledge and enjoyment of God now—a knowledge and enjoyment which he perceives to be proportionate to his measure of sanctification. And must not the assured hope of the perfection of what he now esteems of more value than all knowledge and enjoyment besides, constrain him to unwearied endeavors to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Can he live in the anticipation of this state of enlarged discoveries and full fruition of God, and not keep all his powers in rigid discipline, and all the energies of his soul screwed up to their highest endeavors after so blessed an attainment! Ah! with such a hope, he cannot but pant after clearer, wider views, and more pure and exalted enjoyment of the unsearchable Jehovah. He cannot remit exertion, and relax into a state of indolent acquiescence in his present darkened views, and transient, limited participation of the fulness of the divine blessedness. But it is the hope of a future likeness to God which, above every thing else, must invigorate the christian in the work of making himself pure. This object, in its branches, may be regarded as embracing all that is urder heaven desirable. To be like God, holy and incorruptible, must be the highest object of desire and the most attractive end for attainment, that can ever be presented to a created mind. This must move the christian, if every thing besides fails. He cannot hope for an immortality of pure and uninterrupted pleasures, and not labor with all his powers to pursue, every step of mortal life, the way of holiness. He will act under the full impression, that he cannot reach a holy heaven without following in a holy path ; that he cannot reap life everlasting without sowing to the Spirit; that he cannot be finally like the Saviour, without seeking by every possible means to become now more exact in his resemblance of him, and more assiduous in the imitation of his pure and perfect character. With this HOPE IN HIM, he will continually strive to approach nearer and nearer to that likeness with which he is so soon to be beautified; and to imbibe more and more of that spirit, which reigns in all the realms of the blessed. With THIS HOPE IN HIM, he will never be discouraged in his attempts to have his conversation in heaven to hold intercourse with that bright world, and to conduct as one who is "free by birth”

“Of no mean city; planned, or e'er the hills
Were built, the fountains opened, or the sea,

With all his roaring multitudes of waves.” Yes, with this HOPE IN HIM of being speedily arrayed in all the beauties of perfect and perpetual holiness, he will watch and pray, labor and pant for a full conformity to the spirit of the just made perfect. I might go on to speak of This hope in leading to holy obedience, through the medium of gratitude. If we are enabled to rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, we owe it to him alone. And who with such a privilege can forbear to testify his love and gratitude by presenting himself a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God? The effects of hope in leading to holy obedience, will become apparent in removing difficulties and imparting confidence to the mind. Is the christian persuaded that nothing shall separate him from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord ? Upheld by this assurance, having for an helmet the hope of salvation, and defended by the shield of faith, what dangers will he fear, or what obstacles will he not surmount in the path of holy obedience? Be it, that the waves of this world roll high and strong against him, yet

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