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of life. And, as if the Spirit of inspiration would leave no room for the adversary of holiness to offer one temptation to unbelief, he uses an expression nowhere else introduced in the volume of revelation. And a peculiar definiteness of language seems reserved for this subject. We are to be kept "blameless; " and this blamelessness, extending to the “whole spirit and soul and body," is to be perpetuated to the utmost limit of probation. To all this is added the strong and unequivocal assertion, that the "faithful” God, who "calleth " His people, will accomplish the glorious work.

2. This blessing must be obtained; being that "holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Only the "pure in heart" can have that blissful vision. “There shall in no wise enter into "the holy Jerusalem "anything that defileth.” If we would enter heaven, we must in the final hour be found of God “ without spot and blameless." Whether, therefore, we regard the faithfulness of the covenant God, or the security of the believer, entire sanctification must be obtained here.

3. But this great salvation is attainable now. It must be obtained at some moment between this and the mortal hour. None deny that it is attainable at death ; but neither can it be denied that death may happen to the believer any moment, even the very next. Hence the command of Christ, “Be ye ready;" that is, Be now and always ready; " for ye know not the hour when the Son of Man cometh.” Not the pangs of death, nor the weakness of disease, nor the merit of duty, nor the lapse of time, can save. This is the work of Christ, of Christ orly, who is ever ready and ever mighty to save. Assure yourself, therefore, if you are ready to look to the Crucified, that you may have the blessing now.

4. To come to Christ now, is to believe. In Christ are "all spiritual blessings ;” and faith is the only channel by which they flow to the sinner. This channel may be large or small, and the comparative extent of its capacity regulates the measure of the imparted blessing. " According to your faith be it done unto you."

The power of the incarnate Saviour, as manifested in healing the diseased, confirms and illustrates these views. He required faith in those who would be healed: He ascribed the application of the healing efficacy to faith. It is even said of Him, that He was unable to perform certain miracles " because of unbelief.” The woman who pressed through the crowd that "thronged Him," and, in believing liope, "touched the hem of His garment," was healed of her “plague.” It is recorded that, on one occasion, when His fame had attracted around Him multitudes of diseased persons, “as many as touched Him were made perfectly whole." It was not the length of their journey, it was not the violence of their prayers or cries, that healed them; but they were healed by their believing approach to Christ. Even so it is with those who desire inward holiness, and seek the cure of their inbred malady. They are healed, they are sanctified, by faith in Christ. Faith receives from Him a Divine and holy influence, changing the enmity of the carnal mind into the image of Him whose name and nature is love.

Many of our invaluable hymns were written under the immediate conviction that Methodism was "raised up to spread scriptural holiness through the land." The ninety-fifth hynn, addressed to the “Author of faith," and describing “inward religion," is an admirable composition, an instructive homily on the way of faith. Here the principle is characterized as a “realising light," a "kindled fire," an "active flame;" and the work of faith is to disperse the “clouds” and “shadows” of time; to connect with the present things “past” and “future;" to exhibit "the invisible to mortal eye ;” and to receive into the human heart “pardon, and holiness,

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and heaven.” Catch the fire of this hymn, and you have the spirit of Caleb and Joshua. Did they say of the promised land, when they came in sight of it, full of giant enemies as it was, "Let us go up at once and possess it, for we are well able to overcome it?" Just so will you claim the Canaan of persect love, while your soul is animated by this strong confidence.

But the question is, How shall this faith be put in exercise, so as now to receive the blessing? "I want so to believe as to enter in : how shall I do it ?" One thing to be borne in mind is, the distinction between works in order to "the faith that sanctifies,” and works in order to sanctification. If sanctification were by works, Christ would be lost sight of. But works in order to the faith that sanctifies, are the well-directed struggles of the wise and able mariner to gain the “ desired haven.” The notion of sanctification by works fosters pride, exalts self, and leads to the cry, “The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, are we:" "Stand by thyself, come not near me; I am holier than thou." But works in order to the faith that sanctifies, lay the leper, all loathsome and helpless, at the feet of Christ, and then send him to exalt the riches of Divine mercy by telling what great things the Lord hath done for him.

The want of inward holiness must be known and deeply felt, before you can cordially and heartily appropriate Christ and His great salvation. This is a branch of self-knowledge atiained by much prayer, by increased attention to the purity and spirituality of the law, and by continuous efforts to gain complete mastery over sin.

In order to obtain the blessing, you must believe for it, casting yourself, with all your sins, on “the atoning God.” It is observable that those who were healed by Christ did not all urge their plea in the same manner. In some, faith presented the distressed object before the Saviour's eye, and prompted the prayer that reached His ear. Others seemed not content with This passive faith : they pressed on till they came so near to Christ that they placed themselves in contact with Him. “ They touched Him." This was not offensive to Christ ; for " as many as "thus “ touched Him were made perfectly whole.” Now this distinction obtains in the exercise of faith for the sanctifying grace. Many in pursuit of the blessing have received Christ, and have been "changed into the same image," while simply waiting in devout expectation. At the moment of spiritual healing they lay passive, only breathing out their wishes to God.

But “the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” This was illustrated by those who pressed forward; as it were, seizing” and “claiming” the blessing from Christ. Such faith is beautifully described in the four hundred and seventeenth hymn.

This brief essay may be concluded with one remark. In every effort of faith take care that you forget not the Holy Spirit. The work is His : grieve Him not by neglect. He will not give His glory to another. Approach for the struggle full of prayer and with holy trembling. Know that the Spirit of God must work with you and in you, or you can do nothing. The faith that really saves from sin must be the “gift of God," a Divine evidence and conviction.” Our God will be “had in reverence

" of all who would enter the “ holiest place." Have you entered? Gratefully adore. Beholding the glory of the Lord, "stand in awe, and sin not."

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THEOLOGY.

A SERMON.

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THE ABOUNDINGS OF INIQUITY.

scare a few of its sincere members into apostasy; but the aboundings of iniquity,

and especially in the subtle forms wbich “And because iniquity shall abound, the now prevail, will blight the fields of Zion, love of many shall wax cold. But he that

and spread the cold and dreariness of shall endure unto the end, the same shall be

winter over all her dwellings. In short, saved.”—Matt. xxiv. 12, 13.

the love of many will wax cold. Multi(Continued from page 334.)

tudes will not merely leave their first lore, II. We proceed to consider the baneful while deep spiritual religion declines, and effects of such a state of things. It is a less religious strictness prevails, but they most deteriorating, perilous, and deadly. will lose their religion altogether, their love " Because iniquity shall abound, the love to God will become extinct, and the land of many shall wax cold." At such will abound with open, and especially with seasons, the atmosphere of the church is secret, apostates. Thus the influence now charged with the most dangerous and de- bearing upon religious men, and religious structive elements. Apostasies from the principle, and which, alas! has set in truth, and from the love and righteousness almost like an irresistible torrent, is replete of God, will be glaring and frequent. with danger, and is most destructive of The foundations of true religion and the pure light and love of God in the piety will be sapped. Religion will be

souls of men. extremely superficial ; and consequently, There is much religious form; and religious principle will be weak, base, and there is a fearful lack of religious life, ineffective. Religion will be much talked power, and purity. The prevalence of about in name, and great professions will subtle and insidious forms of iniquity has be made in regard to it as an undefined diffused a gradual but deadly poison something ; but from the religion of God, through society, and produced a fearful the religion of Divine truth and holiness, deterioration in its moral and spiritual there will be a fearful departure. Men, soundness. Great numbers hold religious and even religious men,-men of true truth and principle I mean the religious faith and love, --will be exposed to the truth and principle found in the oracles danger of being gradually, and almost of God with an enfeebled hand. There imperceptibly, moved from the rock of is a weakness and a looseness in their repure, Christian truth. The influence erer ligious convictions, a confusedness in their tending to destroy unsophisticated views views, and an inconsistency in their conand convictions of scriptural truth, to duct, indicative of spiritual darkness and wear out piety, and put an end to the coldness. Persecution and opposition correctness and strictness of their lives, have not extinguished the lamp of pure will be withering indeed, and, if not re- and unadulterated truth, nor quenched sisted, will hurry them away into the the sacred flame of Divine love; but the gulf of general indifference to Divine insidious forms of iniquity have gradually things. To the sincere and genuine fol- bedimmed their spiritual sight. In thoulowers of Christ, even open opposition and sands of instances they have cooled, and persecution are not so dangerous, because in thousands more quenched, their burning not nearly so subtle and insidious. At spiritual affections. To do this, the forms such times, hypocrites and false professors of the iniquity now abounding powerfully may apostatise by multitudes, and some tend. What more calculated than the few real believers may prove unfaithful; wretched principle of expediency,--than a but the danger to true religion, on the deepindifference to the one true religion,whole, is not so great in times of perse

than indistinct views of the sanctity and cution, as amid the disguised and subtle obligation of the Christian Sabbath, -tban aboundings of iniquity. The former may a latitudinarian spirit as to things which crush a part of the building, but the latter God has made fixed and absolute, -than a sap its very foundations. The former disposition to regard religious error as may cut off a few members from the harmless, if not to look upon it with body, but the latter eat out the very vitals favour,--and than a subile and general of the body itself. Persecutionis may

worldliness : we say, what can be more drive multitudes of hirelings and mere calculated than these forms of iniquity, nominal professors from the church, and operating, as they do, in conjunction with

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its grosser forms, to make the love of embrace it, defend its sovereign claims, truth, of God, of holiness, to wax cold? and insist on its absolute pre-eminence, And here lies the danger; here is the with the deepest and liveliest interest, and subtle and deadly poison. Comparatively with all the energy we can command. The few have the disposition, and still fewer Lord's day, too, the Christian Sabbath, have the courage, to expose this state of must be kept honoured, and sanctified by things, to strip iniquity of its disguises, us; and its Divine authority and perand to sound the notes of a faithful and petual obligation be fully and zealously earnest warning. A false, a bloated, lib- inaintained. Cloudy views and an easy eralism has blinded thousands : and in practice, in reference to the holy Sabbath, many instances, where there is dissatis- will soon destroy our religious affections, faction with the present state of things, and produce a deathlike coldness in our and a disposition to lift up a warning souls. In fact, the man who can violate voice, the monitor is encountered by the day of sacred rest, affurds decisive an array of charges of bigotry, illibe- proof that his love to God, and to God's rality, intolerance, and the like. There service, has waxed cold already. If, then, are, it is true, warm contests waged we would endure to the end, if we would be between various parties; but we are afraid faithfuluntodeath, all this must be avoided. that they produce little beside death. Still further: we must zealously reLove, love to God and man, is waxing pudiate, and utterly renounce, everything cold. Apostasies from pure, Bible, heart- like a' latitudinarian spirit; faithfully felt, sanctifying religion, are numerous. avoid and condemn all religious error; Piety is superficial, spiritual life is at a and in this age of worldliness, conduct low ebb, and the progress of real, vital ourselves as citizens of heaven. Such, religion is slow and questionable. The whatever amount of reproach, suffering, times, although in some respects promising and loss it may cost us, is the manand propitious, are yet full of peril. These ner in which we must feel and act, if are facts which, with a voice of thunder, we would be found amongst those who speak to every observant mind, and endure to the end. Amidst opposition, perproclaim, “Take heed to yourselves ! secution, reproaches, in spite of the cry of beware, and watch." My brethren, let us bigotry and intolerance, amidst defective improve the warning. Let us bring the and illusory views of the standard of matter home, and see if the declaration of religious truth and principle, amidst hosts the text has not been fulfilled in us, or in of apostates and heartless professors of some around us. The question is most religion, in an age of expediency and momentous. Let us attend to it with the worldliness, we must take and maintain a deepest interest, and with the greatest decisive and determined stand on the side energy. And may the Lord help us! of Divine truth and righteousness. No

111. And especially let us mark the thing, in short, must move us from our encouragement given to persevering fidel- steadfastness to God and His holy Gospel. ity. “ But he that shall endure to the We shall have much to encounter, it is end, the same shall be saved."

true, if we act thus. But all this the text “ But he that shall endure to the end." implies. The term endure denotes that This is an important condition. It denotes we shall be much pained and troubled. unflinching faithfulness to Christ, and un- Our faith, patience, and charity will be wavering and undaunted perseverance in severely tried. We shall have to bear a the course which He has marked out for great deal. Suffering, reproach, perseus. All the subtle and insidious, as well cution, and even abandonnent, may be as open and revolting, forms of iniquity our lot. We shall have to bear up against are to be withstood, and their bane ful the heavy pressure of a torrent of iniinfluence on ourselves zealously watched quity. We shall often be hard pressed. against. Principle-real, simple, genuine But here is our duty : we must endure. principle must be held fast, and sternly Patience must have its perfect work. Love followed. Expediency, as a substitute for to God must be kept burning. Perprinciple, must have no share in our esti- severance must be complete. Nothing mation, and no place in our motives. must turn us aside, or make us stop short. Further, the one true and only Divine Spite of earth and hell, we must fight our religion must be regarded as paramount; passage through. To fall short of enand a deep conviction of iis exclusive during to the end, for a month, for a claims and supreme importance must be week, for a day, for an hour, is to perish ! cherished and acted upon by us. Instead Nothing short of an endurance to the of regarding it with indifference, we must end, even to the moment of death, will be

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regarded as a fulfilment of this condition It comprehends a blissful and glorious of salvation. Not that we need slavishly immortality; "a crown of life;" a "far fear; providing we only earnestly desire, more exceeding and eternal weight of and, in humble dependence on God, glory.” It comprehends the full, the resolve, to be faithful to death. But on satisfying, the everlasting enjoyment of this we must fix our eye; and at all God. It comprehends, in short, all of times, and in all circumstances, at this safety, honour, glory, and happiness, that we must steadfastly aim. Aim at it in spiritual and immortal man can enjoy adversity; aim at it under persecution and Think, my brethren, of a perfect desuffering ; aim at it amidst smiles and liverance from the deepest and most profrowns, in ease and in prosperity ; aim at longed misery, of perfect and eternal it everywhere and at all times. All these security, of the unclouded vision of God seasons are full of danger. Some whom and the Lamb, of an eternal dwelling amid persecution and opposition could not over- the ravishing beauties and glories of the ihrow, have fallen before ease and pros- new Jerusalem, of trees of life and rivers perity. They had withstood the violent of purest blessing, of the brightening shock, but a gente insinuation has cast splendours, bursting joys, and swelling them down. Brethren, by God's grace, notes,--think, in a word, of all that Jeresolve to endure at all times, and to hovah bas revealed or intimated of perfect endure to the end. Yield to no circum- bliss and glory; and then, so far as mortals stances.

can, you may thiuk what it is to be saved. Consider the blessed encouragement to And shall not all this lead us to endure to this. How sustaining and animating! the end? Shall we be unfaithful in the “ But he that shall endure to the end, the prospect of happiness and glory like this? same shall be saved.” Be faithful until Rather let us gird on our armour anev. you reach that solemn and all-important By God's grace, let us nerve, let us fortify, point-death ; and all will be secure for ourselves more vigorously to prosecute ever. Beyond this there is no foe, no the conflict. The grand, the solenon, the peril, no possibility of perishing. This all-decisive period draws near. Dangers closes your probation, finishes your state may grow thicker and fiercer as we apof trial and danger together, and, if you proach the point, —theinfinitely important have been faithful, irrevocably fixes your moment of victory. But God is on our lot among the blest. You “shall be side, our Captain bids us fear not. He arms saved." You shall escape trouble, suf- and strengthens us for the combat; and if fering, danger, punishment, death, hell; we faithfully endure a little longer, the escape wrath, misery, and eternal de- shouts of a final victory will soon burst on struction. You shall escape perishing our ear, and triumphant angels will wel amid the horrors and agonies of "the come our spirits home to God. Amen. blackness of darkness." While all the

S. L. A. wicked, while apostates and unfaithful professors, sink into black despair, plunge into the awful depths of everlasting tor

TO THE UNAWAKENED. ment, and are crushed and agonized by “Be ye also ready : for in such an hour the vengeance of God, infinite and eternal, as ye think not the Son of Man cometh." “shall not be hurt by the second

Matt. xxiv. 44. you death ;" between you and it there These were our Saviour's words to Il is shall be a great impassable gulf. And disciples, when telling them of things what a salvation is this! If there were that should be hereafter; and these are nothing else, this would be worth all we His words to us now. Death often comes can endure. But this is only the negative without a moment's warning: sooner or side. This is the lowest part of ciemal later all must die: and should we not salvation. The believer who is faithful strive to “make our calling and election unto death, shall not only “not perish, but sure?" If He come and find us watching, have everlasting lite." He shall be saved well: but if not, what is the sentence eternally. He shall see God in His beauty for those who wait not their Lord's and glory, be satisfied with His likeness, coming? They shall be cast into "the rise resplendent with His image, breathe lake which burneth with fire and brimseraphic love and joy, and be perfectly stone;" where “there shall be weeping, secure and happy beneath His smile for and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.

“He shall be saved.” A meaning Lord, save us from this horrible pit! is compressed into this word which it

"Be ye also ready." This implies the will take eternity to expand and unfold. necessity of preparation. We are all

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ever.

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