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Head of the church, once indeed a worshipper himself in an earthly temple; once a reader of the Scriptures to others; but the sum and substance of all scriptures, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end of prophecy; the light to them that sit in darkness; the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth; if we are children of God by faith in Jesus Christ, then in a very few years we shall have our portion and our employment in heavenly places. Some on earth have no ear for music, others have no powers of voice; few can play well upon an instrument; but in the courts of God's house above, all will have faculties and powers exactly suited to their employments. There will be no difference of opinion, no varying notes, no dissonance, but all harmony, melody, devotion, gratitude, praise, and love. Many parts of our earthly worship will know no place in that heavenly assembly. Prayer, faith, and hope, they will be swallowed up in actual enjoyment. Hallelujah will be the songhallelujah will be the chorus.
My brethren, I have but one word to say; I have but one additional sentiment
which can authorize me to lead you back to earth; it is, the immediate preparation for eternity. Lose not a single moment, make your own peace with God: nay, let me hope that it is made for you by the blood shed upon the cross. Accept then the offers of salvation—be renewed in the spirit of your minds. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Ask, in all your difficulties, help from above. Be filled with the Spirit; and then this day will be not merely the opening a new instrument, but the opening of your heart to receive the truths of the word of life. You will find prayer and praise to be your duty and your delight; and you will, I humbly trust, hereafter sing "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH LEADING TO
Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
THE happy state into which a penitent sinner is brought by accepting the offers of mercy made to him in the Gospel, is so totally different from his condition as a child of wrath, that he seems transported with joy and gratitude when he reviews his wonderful restoration to the divine favour. What was I once? he says in humble meditation on past goodness: what am I now? it is the hand of God! What shall I be hereafter, when this great work is completed? Surely nothing short of almighty power, infinite wisdom, and grace unpa
ralleled and undeserved, could open such prospects, and realize such expectations.
There is a calm, quiescent, dependent state into which the soul of the Christian is brought, which may well be called peace with God. This state necessarily follows a believing sense of our justification. It is not a presumptuous taking of that which does not belong to us; it is not a hasty rushing into the divine presence: but it is a meek and patient waiting for the fulfilment of the promises made to the repentant believing soul, by which the plan of salvation revealed in the Scriptures is cheerfully embraced, and most thankfully received. "Unless ye be converted," saith our blessed Saviour, "and become as little children, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.” The simplicity of a little child, then, is necessary to the right receiving of the Gospel. This no man has in himself; there must be a change produced by the Holy Spirit of God upon the soul; otherwise there can be no resemblance between the fallen creature and the Great Creator. "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit; marvel not,” saith our Lord to Nicodemus, "that I said unto you, Ye must be born again.”
Upon these grand and important subjects the sacred Scriptures are most explicit. But the truth of Scripture is equally apparent in this one other particular, that the world do not embrace these doctrines; "because the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." The Scriptures of God are no deceivers; they lay the axe to the very root of the tree, both in doctrine and in practice. They are awfully alarming in their denunciations of wrath, free in their gracious offers of mercy, and resolutely fixed in ascribing all glory and praise to God alone.
It was upon these principles, and evidently with this design, that St. Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans. A more enlightened people, as to the wisdom of this world, did not exist; а more bewildered people in the mazes of uncertainty as to religion could not be found. Professing themselves wise, they became fools. "Their foolish hearts were darkened. When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but