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he hath already embraced by faith, possessed by hope, and tasted by the comforts of the holy Spirit in his soul, and hence comes that active fervor, which makes his countenance luminous like that of departing Stephen. I cannot better express such sentiments that in the words of the primitive saints, who so happily experienced them,
I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord I know that my Redeemer liveth, and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh I shall see God; whom I shall see for myself, whom mine eyes shall behold and not another. Though thou slayest me, yet will I trust in thee, O God! Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded, that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. Neither count I my life dear so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord. I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Lord Jesus receive my spirit. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith, henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? In these things we are more than conquerors, through him that loved us. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O Grod! My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God! When shall I come and appear before God? How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts? My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Blessed are they that dwell
in thy house, they will be still praising thee! Thine altars, even thine altars, O Lord of Hosts, my king and my God!
May you all, my brethren, may every one of you know these truths by experience. God grant you the grace. To him be honor and glory for
THE REPENTANCE OF THE UNCHASTE
LUKE vii. 36-50.
And one of the pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the pharisee's house, and sat down And behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the pharisee which bad bidden him, saw it, he spake within himself, saying, this man, if he were a prophet, would have known who, and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus, answering, said uuto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, master, say on. There was a certain creditor, which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me, therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, seest thou this women? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman, since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet. Mine head with oil thou didst not anoint : but this woman bath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, her sins which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much : but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him, began to say within themselves, who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, thy faith hath saved thee: go in peace.
ET me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercies are great: but let me not fall into the hand of man, 2 Sam. xxiv. 14. This was
the request, that David made, in the most unhappy moment of his life. A prophet sent by an avenging God came to bring him a choice of afflictions, I offer thee three things, choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days pestilence in thy land? Now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me, ver. 12, &c.
What a proposal was this to a man accustomed to consider heaven as a source of benedictions and favors! Henceforth he was to consider it only as a cavern of thunder and lightning, flashing and rolling and ready to strike him dead! which of these punishments will he choose? Which of them could he choose without reproaching himself in future that he had chosen the worst? Which would you have chosen had you been in his place, my brethren? Would you have determined for war? Could you have borne the bare idea of it? Could you have endured to see the once victorious armies of Israel led in triumph by an enemy, the ark of the Lord a captive, a cruel and barbarous soldiery reducing a kingdom to ashes, razing fortresses, ravaging a harvest, and destroying in a moment the hope of a whole year? Would you have determined for famine? Would you have chosen to have the heaven become as iron, and the earth brass, the seed dying in the earth, or the corn burning before it was ripe, The locust eating what the palmer worm hath left, and the canker worm eating what the locust hath left, Joel i. 4. men snatching bread from one another's hands, struggling between life and death, and starving till food would afford no nourishment? Would you have chosen mortality? Could you have reconciled yourselves