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he, “through thy truth; thy 'word is confided in, “that he is able and truth.” Here we see that it is by the willing to save to the uttermost;" and powerful and continued application of the results will certainly be a lively the truth, by divine agency, that this affection to God, holy liberty, and reblessed work is prosecuted. The truth | freshment of spirit; a sincere admiradigested in the heart, excites to every tion of every branch of the divine chaexercise of holiness ; for, “ faith work-racter; and an earnest desire “ to live eth by love.” Hence, Peter says, “As henceforth, not unto ourselves, but unto new-born babes desire the sincere milk him which died for us, and rose again.” of the word, that ye may grow thereby;" | The belief of the truth in general conand, James exhorts, « to receive with tributes to this holy state. Do we bemeekness the engrafted word, which lieve that we are such sinners as God is able to save your souls.” Paul, also, tells us we are? This will humble us gives thanks in behalf of the Roinans, I before him. Do we believe that he is saying, “ Ye have obeyed from the just in punishing sin with so much seheart that form of doctrine into which verity? We shall hate it with a perfect ye were delivered.” (ELS T XE86077€ TUTON hatred, and grieve that we should ever
have loved such an evil. Is the Chris· The truth which relates to Jesus tian assured that God is every where Christ must especially be received into present, and has his eye constantly the heart. A state of friendship and fixed on him? He will say, when
to the exercise of the Christian temper; | great wickedness, and sin against God?" and, since faith in Christ introduces us Do we believe that he is infinitely wise into that happy state, it is obvious, wel in all his dispensations? We shall be must first be believers, if we would patient in sickness and poverty. And become holy persons. Love to all the that he is the refuge of his saints ? perfections of God, his truth and jus- This will excite to confidence in him.tice, as well as mercy, is requisite for Questions of this description might be true piety; but, till a sinner sees that multiplied to a great extent; but; these justice satisfied in the sacrifice of the will suffice to shew, how necessary a Redeemer, and its dreadful threatenings firm belief of the truth is to the inthereby averted from him, it seems terests of true holiness. impossible that he can feel a com- The providence of God is an important placency in it. Then, indeed, he will means of our sanctification. Every true adniire it, and triumph in the thought, Christian might recollect how the vary. that the salvation provided for him, ing circumstances of his life have con-. whilst it shows the grace of his God, tributed to his advance in the ways of reflects the highest honour on his law | God. The afflictions of life are fatherly and righteousness. Till he apprehends chastisements, by which our attachment “ the righteousness which is of God by to this world becomes moderated, and faith,” he will labour to establish a our souls are roused to heavenly purrighteousness of his own, which is to 1 suits. Though the clouds which roll God an infinite offence ; because the over the garden of the Lord are someprinciple of his conduct is mere slavery times dark and gloomy, yet do they and dread; and the end, instead of burst in grateful showers; and the being the divine glory, is merely his own warm beams of the Sun of Righteousadvantage. Has not Christ also said, I ness shining forth again on the plants “As the branch cannot bear fruit of of the Lord, will cause them to shoot itself, except it abide in the vine ; no up, and to bear the choicest fruit. By more can ye, except ye abide in me?" the difficulties and painful circumSurely, this proves that union to him is stances of life, the various parts of the essentially necessary to holiness. The Christian character are brought out to great end of his salvation is not merely view-are strengthened by exercise that our sins might be pardoned, but and glorify God before men. We should that we might be made holy. His not have heard, most probably, o Dame is Jesus ; for, he saves his people | Abraham's faith, of Job's patience, and from their sins. Hence, we must come of Daniel's holy decision of character, to him as much to be delivered from but for their afflictions. It is the dross the power, as from the guilt, of sin. Let, I only which is lost in the fire; the pure, then, the record which God hath given | gold shines with increased brightness: of his Son, be cordially and thankfully 1 Tribulation worketh patience and
patience experience and experience, cleaveth to the dust; and, it is poshope." But, let it be especially re-sible, that he might so far backslide membered, that God has set up an from God, as to go on “ feeding on economy of grace, to which, if we wind, and following after the east would advance in holiness, we must wind." But, it is impossible he can assiduously attend. He that would be remain so. Some powerful warning an holy man, must be a praying man. from God's word--sonic affecting proWere Jacob, David, and Daniel emi-) vidence-will call him to his senses nently holy men? they were eminent again; and, with a tender, contrile for prayer.
mind, he will cry unto his Father “to - Do we neglect the throne of grace, restore his soul, and to lead him in the or, are our prayers hurried, and void of paths of righteousness for bis name's spirituality: let us not expect that we sake.” When one contest is over, he shall prosper in the ways of God.) returns to the struggle again ; nor can Whilst God has given his people pro- he finally lay down his arms, till he mises of grace, he has yet said, " for has gained a complete and universal this will I be enquired of, to do it for victory through bin that hath loved them.” “ Ask, and it shall be given him. Thus the work is carried on. you; seek, and ye shall find." The Most consolatory is it to know, that, example of Jesus Christ should be an“ he which hath begun it, will perform especial object of our contemplation.) it until the day of Jesus Christ." The In the lively representation of this to purposes and promises of God, and the the mind, the Holy Spirit promotes his perpetual intercession of the Redeemer, own work in the heart. Here we be- ensure no less a privilege. How cheerhold holiness, not in its abstract cha- ing to be assured, that in heaven our racter, but in its living form. What blessed Saviour is ever mindful of bis love to God--what submission, forgive people. There, in the perpetual preness, humility, zeal, benevolence, are sentment of his invaluable oblation, he here exhibited! In his life, holiness is silently pleads, that we may be seen in her most beautiful attire, and“ sanctified through the truth.” That her divine features appear in all their intercession must prevail. From him lovely proportion and harmony. There that grace shall certainly be derived to is every motive of love and gratitude all his people, which shall meeten them to draw us to this contemplation; and, for the heavenly inheritance. Look thus employed, we shall be insensibly forward, Christian, to that inheritance. changing “into the same image, from Anticipate, with delight and gratitude, glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of that bright and holy world on which the Lord.”
you shall presently enter. . We come now, Jastly, to consi- On your stepping into that, you shall der the actual circumstances of the at once drop the pollution that now sanctification of the people of God. cleaves so fast to you; you shall join a Here it will be immediately evident, soicety perfectly holy, and you shall be that the most eminent saints are but as holy as any of them. Those graimperfect men. Daily experience conscious principles, now implanted in your vinces us, that we commit daily sins ; | heart, shall continue to expand in and, every Christian, in his approaches every holy affection and exercise for to the throne of grace, feels that he | ever and ever. There you will breathe has much to confess, and to be an untainted air, -- your soul shall ashamed of, before his heavenly Father. possess immortal health, and shall unJob was guilty of fretfulness: the man ceasingly triumph in its exalted puafter God's own heart grievously sin. rity and perfection. Let the thoughts ned: Hezekiah was drawn aside into of this blessedness raise you above the the “ filthiness of the Spirit;" and, the world, and quicken your steps in the beloved John hath said, “If we say way of God's commandments. So will that we have no sin, we deceive our you make your calling and election selves." There is also much variation sure-so will you never fall-and so an in the progress of the work. Some entrance shall be ministered unto you times his affections are very lively and abundantly, into the everlasting kingdom vigorous in the service of God, and his of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. views of spiritual things peculiarly Melksham, Wilts,
J..s - bright. At other times, his soul Nov. 21, 1821.
ORIGINAL LETTER to the Church in believe increased your affection to me;
Little Wild Street; dictated and signed by and, that you have been led to give Dr. Joseph Sternett, and written by his such an instructive example on this Son, Samuel Stennett, (afterwards D.D.)
occasion of faith and prayer to other
churches.. Go on, dear Brethren, and To the Church of Christ meeting in Little
be not weary of praying, waiting, and
believing. In due time, I shall receive Wild Street, London.
the benefit of your faith and prayer;
30th. Nov. 1757. as I trust your own souls and your faMy very dear and Christian Friends and Brethren,
milies will also.
My dear Brethren, let your love You cannot easily imagine how abound one towards another, forbearing much pain it has given me to think I one another, forgiving one another, as that, after so much time has elapsed, God for Christ's sake hath forgiven since I received your most Christian you. Exercise your charity to all men, and tender letter, I should not be able in the manner in which the gospel to get a few moments of ease and recommends it. It is my great comfort strength enough myself, to write a few in the views of eternity, that I have lines to you; nor, indeed, such a com- been led, in these changeable and sad posure of mind as to dictate properly to times, steadily and constantly to maininy son, who, in the midst of all his tain those doctrines, which I find are filial tenderness for me, and the same able to support me at such a season as bowels of affection for you, as I have this. I call my dear charge at Exeter, myself, has met with so sensible a where I spent the first part of my mistroke in his own family. It is nownistry, the Lord knows, in great weaknear thrce months since I laid down ness, to testify this concerning me. I upon this, which I still call my dying always thought the great design of the bed ; and which, notwithstanding the gospel was to lay the creature in the changes I have passed through, I still dust, and to exalt the great Redeemer apprehend will be so. It is a deep of the Church. I always taught both scheme of Providence indeed my pains them and you to love Jesus Christ, to so excruciating, and, with very imper- live upon him, and to expect your justifect intermissions either by night or by fication from him alone, his blood, day! (, what a heart have 1! How his righteousness imputed, and his inobdurate to render it necessary for tercession. instruction to be sealed by such a But, my pains and weakness oblige severe discipline as this! And yet, if me to bring these broken thoughts to a God had been pleased to let out that close. Hold fast the form of sound wrath upon my poor soul which my word, which you have received of me sins have righteously deseryed, how in faith and love. And, there is one much more deplorable would my case thing I desire may be particularly rehave been! But, through unbounded membered; that, notwithstanding all goodness, I have been able to sing of the difficulties which attend a due apmercy as well as judginent. The Re-prehension of the connexion between finer has sat by all the time I have the grace of God, and the work of the been in the furnace; and, I have not Spirit, on the one hand, and the obbeen without saving instruction, effect-ligations of duty we are under, in order ually impressed, and divine supports to our salvation, on the other; if the afforded. Sometimes I think I could gospel be true, it is as much our duty rejoicc to talk to you once more of the to repent and believe, and be holy, as it loving-kindness of the Lord, and of is Christ's promise to save us by the what he has done for my soul; and to operations of his Spirit. Work out your recommend that dear Jesus with all the own salvation with fear and trembling: blessings of his salvation, to your pre- For, it is God which worketh in you, cious souls, which I have often sin- both to will and to do, of his good cerely, though poorly, done in the pleasure. course of my ministry. This has been Brethren, as you would have your a searching time with me, and I know souls prosper, labour to maintain holy I love you dearly. And it pleases me | discipline in the church. Attend early to think, how this awakening affliction and constantly on the public worship roused your sympathy, and I really of God. Cultiyate the duties of re: ligion in your families and your closets. I his majesty-Besides, the prophecies, See that the generous spirit, that has from their very nature, could never have long prevailed among you, for the sup- had all the certainty whereof they were port and encouragement of the interest capable, till they were eventually fulof our Lord Jesus Christ, may not filled in the coming of the Just One.-Nay, decay. Be exemplary in your con- let us suppose for a moment that Christ versation; and use your kind endea had not come in the flesh;-then all must vours to restore such as are departed have fallen to the ground. Whereas from the truth, or, by an unholy walk, the personal appearance of Jesus in the have brought themselves under the holy mount, had been to the beholders censure of the church.
an irresistible evidence of his dignity, Finally, my dear Brethren, farewell. though the Spirit of prophecy had never If we meet together again in this life, I uttered his voice, as it will be an amazing appearance of But, though the prophetic word could divine power and goodness, so I trust not be more sure than the voice from it will be to answer some very valuable heaven, it could and did derive to itself end. But, if it is otherwise ordered, | further confirmation from that voice; God grant we may all have a glorious indeed, it was now completely authenmeeting in the better state, and not one ticated, in its true import, as testifying be missing there! These are the con- to Jesus that he was the anointed of stant prayers of
God. The apostle, therefore, about to Your most faithful and affectionate
urge the study of the Old Testament
Scripture, commends them as thus Brother and Servant
corroborated, and as having in their In our common Lord, favour, the same grand evidence upon Joseph Stennett.
| which the truth of the gospel rested; Bath,
saying, Nov. 30th, 1757.
We have more firm the prophetic word : that is, we have the testimony of the prophets further confirmed to us; see
ing that the transaction on the mount NOTE ON 2 PETER, i. 19,
has not only proved Jesus to be the We have also a more sure word of Prophecy.
Son of God, but has evinced him to be
the very One of whom the prophets Tuis passage, taken in its present spake in times past. form, and viewed in its connexion with Thus the scope of the two dispenthe three preceding verses, would seem sations was there manifested to be the to intimate, that the word of prophecy same; and, when we look unto Jesus was a more unequivocal attestation to as that scene presents him to us, we the truth of the apostolic testimony, discover a fixed sense and unity of than the voice which was heard in the design pervading the whole. We see holy mount, and which proclaimed from the Old Testament revelation issuing the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in Jesus, and the New Testament proin whom I am well pleased.
ceeding from the same person. We The apostle, however, could not have see Moses and Elias (apt representaintended to say, that á revelation de- tives of the law and the prophets) milivered through the mouth of a prophet, nistering unto Jesus, and acquiescing bore higher marks of divine authority in the command to hear him alone; than a witness borne by the Father him while we see Jesus accepting of their self-by a voice which came immediately service, and arraying them in suitable from heaven. For, though the glory of glory, thereby acknowledging that they Christ was sufficiently manifested by had, on earth, spoken the word of the prophets, to rejoice the hearts of truth, when they testified beforehand the them that believed ; still it was known sufferings of Christ, and the glory that to them only by RePORT; whereas, the should follow. declaration vouchsafed to the three disciples, pointed to Jesus, then standing before them in bodily presence, and so surrounded with manifestations of divine and visible splendour, that they SAW his glory—they were EYE-WITNESSES of'!