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ber, to shew forth his praise. From Abel down to the present hour, there has ever been "a remnant according to the election of grace." When the
whole earth was filled with violence, and all flesh had corrupted its way before God, "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. He was a just man and perfect in his generation, and Noah walked with God."
The desolating flood at length descended, and every thing wherein was the breath of life, perished, except the little church of God, which was preserved in the ark on the bosom of the tempestuous waters!
After the deluge, iniquity began to spread with awful rapidity. Idolatry reared its rebellious tower in the plain of Shinar; and the knowledge of the true God became gradually shrouded in ignorance and superstition, till the Almighty called Abraham by his grace, and caused genuine piety to flourish once more in himself and family.
When planted in the land of Canaan, the Israelites soon forsook the God of their fathers. In the midst of abounding idolatry, the Lord raised up a prophet in whom seemed to centre all the religion of the land. In the grief of his heart he said: "It is enough. Now, O! Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers." "I, even I, only am left; and they seek my life to take it away." But what was the answer of the Lord to Elijah? "I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal."
When our blessed Lord came in the flesh, darkness covered the earth and gross darkness the people; yet even then there were a chosen few, who in faith "waited for redemption in Israel."
During the dark period of 1260 years foretold in the Revelation, wherein the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet would wage continual war with
the church of Christ; the Lord appointed two witnesses (a constant succession of faithful men) who should testify to the power and grace of Jesus, even though they prophesy in sackcloth. In this period we now live, and can fully attest to the truth of this remarkable prophecy. All this is in virtue of the everlasting covenant. How extensive the promise
of the Father to his eternal Son :
"He shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. "His name shall endure for ever; his name shall be continued as long as the sun, and men shall be blessed in him; all nations shall call him blessed."
From this manifestation of the Almighty to Moses, we are led to adore the sovereignty of God.
He, ordinarily chooses, not the great ones of the earth, but the poor and the despised. Some indeed, but not many, noble are called. Worldly riches and elevated stations have a tendency to beget selfsufficiency and vain-confidence. "Poor in spirit, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom," is the genuine character of the church of Christ.
Divine grace, however, can as easily bring the proudest monarch, as the meanest begger, in the lowly attitude of contrition to the foot of the cross.
Happy will be that period, when the kings of the earth and its nobles shall esteem it their highest glory to become the subjects of the Prince of peace; and their chief joy to promote the extension of his kingdom of righteousness throughout the world.
We are hereby led to admire also the wisdom and power of God. He can promote the enlargement of his church by those very means which its enemies employ to destroy it. The children of Israel grew and multiplied in spite of Pharoah's efforts to prevent it.
The Gospel spread with wonderful rapidity, not
withstanding all the threatenings of the Jews and Romans to check its progress.
Those persecutions which scattered the disciples abroad, tended only to widen their field of labour; for they went every where, preaching the word. .
The sacred fire, thus dispersed by the rude hand of violence, multiplied itself in proportion to its dispersion. Hence it became proverbial, that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. “So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.” Even its enemies wondered whereunto all this would grow.
Whilst the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers took counsel together, against the Lord and against his Christ; the Almighty Sovereign of the universe proclaimed: "I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion."
Jesus by his resurrection was declared to be the Son of God with power, and "of the increase of his kingdom and government, there shall be no end." "The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.”
Two blessed periods are therefore fast approaching, the anticipation of which, filled the ancient prophets and apostles with holy transport.
The one, when the church shall arise and shine in her millenial glory; when she shall put on her beautiful garments, and become the joy and praise of the whole earth.
The other, when in the perfection of beauty, she shall be presented as a chaste virgin to Christ the heavenly Bridegroom, and being clothed with his righteousness, shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of glory for ever and ever.
O! my soul, rejoice in this great salvation. Lord, grant unto thy unworthy servant, a portion of this felicity. Make me even now a living member of thy mystical body, poor in spirit, and pure in heart,
patiently enduring every trial, daily exercising faith in thy truth and mercy, adoring thy sovereignty; admiring thy power; and rejoicing in the perpetuity of that grace which lives in all thy faithful people, and preserves them unto thy eternal kingdom and glory.
Let my whole heart praise thee, thou God of my salvation. Let my whole life be consecrated unto thee. The work, O! Lord, is thine. Thou alone canst new-create the soul. Perform this act of grace, this miracle of mercy for thy own glory and to thy everlasting praise. Amen and Amen.
O! come, ye servants of the Lord,
His boundless love and grace record,
Strike up your harps, and sweetly sing
To him your grateful tribute bring,
Declare what wonders he hath done,
The Priest upon his throne.
Sing of his rich and sov'reign grace-
Sing how he died to save our race
He died for us-he made our peace;
May each revolving year inflame
Our zeal, delight, and love;
Till round the throne we chaunt his name
O! come, ye servants of the Lord,
LX. ON FAITH.
The heart of man is like a weight, whose natural bias is downward. Nothing but a power independent of itself, can cause it to ascend heavenward. The attraction of gravitation is not more powerful in its effects on the various parts of the universe, than is the debasing force of natural corruption in the heart of fallen man.
There is however a counteracting principle-an attracting influence which can draw the soul from earth to heaven, and unite it to the blessed God.
This principle is Faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God; because, till we truly believe in Jesus, we are in a state of guilt and condemnation.
True faith is not a mere passive impression; or an inoperative notion. It is a holy principle wrought in the soul by the Spirit of God, producing gracious habits, holy affections, filial reverence and obedience.
Faith is seated in the heart; influencing and purifying the whole inner man.
Faith unites the soul to Christ, as the branch to the vine. It draws virtue from him, whereby the believer is rendered fruitful in every good work. The sweet fruits of the Spirit appear and abound in rich luxuriancy on these favoured branches to the glory of God.
Faith places the soul upon Christ, as the only Foundation, on which it is built up a holy temple unto the Lord, unhurt by all the winds and storms which beat upon it.