GRACE TRUTH MINISTRIES
We are a ministry declaring God's Grace in Truth.





DEFENDING THE FAITH

by ALFRED HEWLETT



"Ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints." (Jude 3)

As the object of preaching the Gospel is to exalt the Lord Jesus, and so to strengthen the faith and animate the souls of the Lord's family, that preaching is most conductive to their establishment, and to the promotion of God's glory, which does not work upon the natural feelings, by an appeal to the passions, and reference to peculiar circumstances, but, by an exhibition of the Lord Jesus, as the sum and substance of all revelation, excites the believer to the exercise of that faith, which works by love, and produces every desirable feeling in its proper place, making us forgetful of our own positions or trials while we are rejoicing in Him, beholding "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." I shall therefore make no allusion to the particular situation in which you and I, my dear hearers, now stand with relation to each other, but hasten to the consideration of the words which I have now read to you, and which are admirably calculated to draw forth an explicit declaration of those doctrines, "which are most certainly believed among us."

In order to bring these things more fully before you, I shall, first, notice the persons addressed in this Epistle; secondly, the reason of its being written; and thirdly, the substance of the words read; and may that gracious and eternal Spirit, the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, so prepare your hearts, and accompany the word, that it may be indeed a blessing to be remembered, and enjoyed, many days hence.

The first verse of the chapter points out the characters addressed, those that are "sanctified by God the Father," that is, set apart, in the counsels of eternity, for a holy use, purpose, or employment, as the Sabbath day, and the vessels in the temple were sanctified, being separated for the use and worship of the most high God; so these individuals were eternally separated, in the mind of Jehovah their Father, to be vessels of mercy, to be employed in the spiritual worship of God here, and to be glorified with Him hereafter, the Elect of God, in all ages of the world, who are chosen in and with the Lord Jesus Christ; and of whom it is also said they are "preserved in Jesus Christ."

Preserved in Him, from death, while in their unregenerate state; even though exposed to innumerable dangers, brought to the gates of the grave by the raging fever, or wasting consumption, they are "preserved in Jesus Christ," and through all time, they are preserved in Him, from the curse of God, the condemnation of His holy law, the avenging sword of divine justice, the malevolence of Satan, and the inbred corruption of their own hearts, which are "deceitful above all things and desperately wicked," and from all the complicated evils introduced into the world by sin.

But another distinctive mark is also given in this first verse--they are those who are "called;" they were, by nature, "dead in trespasses and sins, void of spiritual understanding, and without an ear to hear, or an eye to perceive, the mercy, grace and love of a covenant God in Christ Jesus, but now being made "partakers of the heavenly calling"--called, according to His purpose, from the darkness of ignorance to the light of the knowledge of the truth of God; from the practice of sin, to delight in the law of God after the inward man; from the love of the world, and the things of the world, to love and esteem Jesus, above all things, either in heaven, or in earth, they now feel that they need instruction in righteousness, doctrine, reproof, spiritual food and sustenance; and this is imparted unto them by the Spirit of God through His holy Word.

Secondly, we may perceive from verse 4 that Jude was directed by the Holy Ghost to caution believers against characters who, having crept into the professing Church unawares (not unawares to God their Father, who watches His Church night and day; nor unawares to the Lord Jesus, that good Shepherd of His sheep; nor yet unawares to the Holy Ghost, who abides with them for ever; but unawares to the Church herself, who had admitted them on the profession of a good faith in the Redeemer), then turned the grace of God into lasciviousness, by wrestling the word of God to make it suit their own carnal, unhumbled hearts, being "before of old ordained to this condemnation," and that believers might still occupy their own vantage ground, he says, "it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints."

This leads me to consider the third division of my subject, which is, indeed, the principal division, because in it is embodied the substance of that which has been my delight to declare to you during the five years and a half in which I have been employed ministering among you.

And here I shall endeavor to explain the force of the exhortation "earnestly contend," and the object for which that contention is to be made, "the faith which was once delivered to the saints." With regard to the former you may be assured that the Apostle does not direct us to the use of carnal weapons, or to carry our religion, as Mahomet did his, at the point of the sword; for has not the Holy Ghost said "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but spiritual?" nor do I think he refers to the use of controversial arguments for the cause of truth, which have been sometimes employed with advantage, but often, exciting the natural feelings, betray the weaknesses of the Lord's servants; his meaning is the same as that of Solomon in Prov. 23:23, "Buy the truth and sell it not;" part with anything for the sake of the truth, but do not part with the truth for the sake of anything on earth; esteem all things "dross and dung for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord." Again, we may contend earnestly for the faith, when we diligently attend to the framing of our lives and conversations according to God's holy word, thereby putting to silence the ignorance of foolish men.

If we receive and believe all the articles of the faith once delivered to the saints, men will lay this to our charge that we "hold high doctrines," and they shall see that they lead to high practice, that they lead us, to contend for our faith, by the purity of our character.

The word of faith is used in Scripture in a two-fold sense; its proper use is to denote that action of the soul whereby it receives Christ Jesus the Lord, and relies on Him as set forth in His word; its secondary sense is to point out the doctrines in which the Lord Jesus is exhibited to the soul, and this is the sense in which the word is used in my text. Its meaning is then something like that of the word "Creed," a declaration of that which is believed. "The faith which was once delivered to the saints," or, "The faith of God's Elect," means those truths of God's word which have been, at various times, set forth and made known to His children.

I shall now proceed to give you a recapitulation of the most prominent articles in this creed, of which I shall speak in the following order:--

1. The existence of one God in a Trinity of persons.
2. Jesus Christ, God and Man in one person.
3. Predestination and Election.
4. The fall of Adam into sin.
5. The total corruption of our nature, and our natural inability to everything good, in consequence of that fall.
6. The necessity, nature, and author, of the New-birth.
7. The excellency of faith in the Lord Jesus.
8. The certainty of the final perseverance of "all the Elect people of God."
9. The final and eternal glorification of the "Church of the firstborn which are written in heaven."



THE EXISTENCE OF ONE GOD IN A TRINITY OF PERSONS

You will observe, my friends, and brethren beloved in the Lord, that we can know nothing of God but what He has been pleased to reveal of Himself in His holy word. It has been supposed that the consideration of the earth and animated nature must lead the mind of man to the knowledge and understanding of the true God, but it is not so; all we see around us must convince us that there is a power superior to our own, and over which we have no control, but whether it be of "God's many" or "Lords many" we could never discover were it not for the mercy of God in the Scriptures of truth.

The declaration of Moses, in Deut. 6:4, is, "Hear, O Israel! the Lord our God is one Lord." This, to an English reader, is an unmeaning repetition, but taken as it is in the original tongue, it contains much sound instruction. "Jehovah our Elohim is one Jehovah;" the word Elohim being plural, shows that God the Lord, in covenant engagements and manner of existence, is more than one, yet is "one Jehovah" as regards the essence or being; that Father, Son and Holy Ghost are each Jehovah is clearly demonstrated in Isaiah 6, compared with John 12:40; Acts 28:26; but something further is to be gathered from this, namely, that these Three are bound, in covenant together, for the safety and security of the Church; that there is a perfect equality with the eternal Three is evident from the position of Their names being changed indifferently; thus the Apostles were directed to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Paul prays that "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost" may be with all believers, and also that their "hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all the riches of the full assurance of understanding to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;" see 2 Cor. 13:14; and Col. 2:2; thus, in one place the name of the Father stands first, in another, the name of the Son, and in a third, God as distinguished from the Father and the Son, therefore the Holy Ghost; agreeably to that form of sound words the Athanasian Creed, "none is greater or less than another, none is afore or after other." But this mystery of the Trinity in Unity is more easily comprehended by attending to the Scripture account of their several operations with regard to the Church; thus in Eph. 1:3,4 the blessing and election of the Church in Christ, is declared to be the personal act of the Father alone; the taking our nature and accomplishing our redemption is, in Heb. 1 and 2, expressly ascribed to the Son of God; and the regeneration, and constant renewings of the Church is, in Titus 3:5, declared to be the work of the Holy Ghost.

No less important, and no less clearly declared, is The Incarnation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who, "being in the form of God," yet "took upon Him the form of a servant." In Prov. 8, we have Christ speaking under the name of Wisdom and declaring that He was "set up from everlasting;" now, as God, Jesus was never set up, nor could He, before time, be set up as man; this portion of Scripture must therefore refer to the eternal counsel of peace, in which salvation was contrived, and to the eternal decree, whereby, as Jehovah's King, He was, in the mind of God, set upon His "holy hill of Zion." (Ps. 2)

Thus He became Man and Mediator to bring His Church unto God, to satisfy infinite justice on their behalf, and in their stead, to feel for them and sympathize with them as man, and as God, to overcome their foes and uphold their persons; thus He became their surety, was responsible for their debts, which He paid on the cross of Calvary, and undertook for their perfect obedience to the law, which they have by His holy life being imputed to them.

He stood as their substitute when the vials of Jehovah's wrath against their sins were poured out on Him, when it pleased the Father "to bruise Him" and "put Him to grief," when the cup of His fierce indignation was put into His hand, when the human nature cried out, "if it be possible let this cup pass from me," and when He said "the cup which my Father hath given me shall I not drink it?"

Had He not been Man He could not have suffered, had He not been sinless there would have been no merit in His sufferings, had He not been Immanuel, God in our nature, His sufferings could not have satisfied infinite justice. Believer, then did God Incarnate bear the wrath of offended justice against thy sins, then was full satisfaction made by Jesus, "who, though He knew no sin, was made sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Cor, 5:21)

By His Incarnation He became also the representative of His Church on earth, from the commencement of the Covenant of grace Jesus represented her, He bore her guilt and gave her His righteousness, He transacted all her concerns with the justice of God, with the law, with Satan and with death, and brought her off victorious over all; and now believers are declared to be "more than conquerors through Him;" therefore, let us give the more earnest heed to contend for this article of "the faith which was once delivered to the saints."

The third point which I shall notice in this Creed is one of equal magnitude, but which is dreaded and shunned by most of the professors of religion in the present day.

It is:--
The Election of the Church in Christ and the Predestination of all events to work together, for the glory of God and the good of His people.
Indeed you hear of persons who will acknowledge these as true, and profess to hold them as articles of their faith, and yet imagine that they are only fit subjects for Ministers to converse about, over a friendly cup of tea, calling them "nuts to crack when the children are gone to bed." But what says the 17th article of our Church on the subject? "The godly consideration of Predestination and our Election in Christ is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to those who feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ mortifying the works of the flesh and their earthly members, and drawing up their minds to high and heavenly things;" and is true? And shall any man, calling himself a Minister of the Gospel, and of the Evangelical Church of these realms, dare to withhold from his congregation a doctrine which is the source of so much comfort? God forbid! I am sure, my brethren, if they have experienced this "unspeakable comfort" in their own souls, they cannot refrain from speaking on it, "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." I can solemnly declare that I never kept back from you any view, or insight, or blessed meditation, with which the Lord has, at any time, favored me, with regard to any truth or doctrine of His Holy Word; but whenever I have been so blessed, have delighted to bring it forth before you, and have found it equally blessed to give as to receive.

This article of our faith is, that God hath, before the foundation of the world, chosen His people in His Son Jesus Christ, selected them out from the rest of mankind, prepared "many mansions" of eternal happiness and glory for them, that this election is not on account of their works, or their faith, but that they should believe on Christ to the salvation of their souls, and believing, walk in good works and delightful obedience to their Father's will, and that having thus chosen them in Him, He has appointed and determined every stage and means whereby they shall be brought to the inheritance decreed, that He hath so ordered all things, even the most minute, that nothing can possibly take place contrary to His will although His will may be often "secret to us" (see Acts 15:18, and Dan. 4:35); therefore, He has arranged the time when, the place where, and the means by which, He will bring every one of His elect to the knowledge of Himself; and as very important works are often connected with events apparently the most trifling, we are warranted in saying, that there is no circumstance, however insignificant, which has not been preordained by infinite wisdom.

But I have often heard a ridiculous objection; if this be true what need is there of preaching the Gospel? Now the absurdity of this objection plainly appears in the stating it. If God has decreed that His people shall be brought to Him by the preaching of Christ, what is the use of preaching? A child would say, it is our privilege to preach because God has promised to bless that preaching to His people's conversion.

But God has other work also to do by the preached word, it is the ordained means for feeding, comforting, and building up, those who are believers in Christ; (Acts 20:28; 2 Cor. 1:4; Isa. 40:1; Eph. 3:11,13) and for causing them to bring forth fruit, and maintain good works, (Titus 3:8) and the success of the preached word does not depend upon the preacher's earnestness, oratorical powers, or persuasion, but on the appointment and blessing of a covenant God,--believer, here is your sheet anchor, "all things are of God."*

"Times of sickness, times of health,
Times of penury and wealth,
All must come, and last, and end,
As shall please our heavenly Friend."

Therefore let us earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.



THE FALL OF ADAM

In the next place, we proposed to consider the fall of Adam, our first parent, into transgression and sin, whereby the whole human race became obnoxious to the curse, under condemnation, and heirs of a sinful nature. It pleased God, for the development of His nature, and the exhibition of His own all-glorious attributes, to create Adam and Eve in a state of innocence and purity, making Adam not only the father, but the representative, of the whole human race; He placed him in a state of trial; left him to the free, but unassisted exercise of the perfections of his nature, by which he fell into the snare laid for him by his adversary the devil, for as a created being he was necessarily mutable, or liable to change.

In Adam "all sinned," all became subject to death temporal, and deserving death eternal: by Adam's fall, the way was paved for the most stupendous exhibition of love which was ever beheld (but which love had dwelt in the heart of Jehovah from all eternity), the sending of the Lord Jesus in our nature, to bear our iniquities and suffer our punishment.



THE TOTAL CORRUPTION OF OUR NATURE

Only those who are involved in the sin and guilt of Adam, can be interested in the death and salvation of Christ, see Rom. 5:12, to the end: for this article of our faith let us also contend as well as for that which necessarily springs out of it, namely, that we all come into the world, by reason of Adam's fall, in a state of sin and with a sinful nature, his sin in all its damning and defiling effects is propagated in every one that is "naturally engendered of the offspring of Adam," and this will be seen in two particulars, depravity, and impotence to everything good.

We are depraved in all the faculties of our own souls, we have darkness reigning in our understandings, perverseness in our wills, the affections are fixed upon earthly things, and whether our minds are occupied with that which is gross and obscene, or with that which is moral and decent, it may be said of us all, their "carnal mind is enmity against God" and "the way of peace have they not known;" what Paul says in 1 Cor. 6:9,10, will in some sense apply to us all, and "such were some of you." Man, in this state, has a free will, but his will being under the control of a darkened understanding, which puts sweet for bitter, and bitter for sweet, good for evil, and evil for good, he wills only that which is evil, and evil for good, he wills only that which is evil, although he wills it freely. Are not multitudes going willingly to those Synagogues of Satan, the Beerhouses and Alehouses, who have no will to come to the house of God?

Again, as God's word declares, we are "dead in trespasses and sins," and are consequently unable to help ourselves, see 10th article of our Church. Can the corpse in the graveyard be aroused by the sweetest music that has ever been invented, or the loudest thunder which seems to shake the poles? Just as soon shall the sinner, dead in trespasses and sin, be moved by the thundering of the law, or the melody of the Gospel; can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots, then may ye also do good that have been accustomed to do evil. (Jer. 13:23)

Being void of spiritual life, we are destitute of feeling, until the Holy Ghost communicate life unto the elect soul, in His own appointed season, then he sees his blindness and laments it, then he feels his deadness and mourns on account of it, then perceiving himself lost, he cries out "what must I do to be saved?" Then he is caused to hear the voice of the Gospel, to look to Jesus and believe in Him to the comfort of his soul. But I am rather anticipating, being now led to speak on another prime article of "the faith once delivered to the saints," our Lord's own words, "ye must be born again." (John 3:7)



WHAT IS THEN THE NECESSITY, WHAT THE NATURE, AND WHO THE AUTHOR OF THIS NEW BIRTH?

The necessity is plain, from the words of our Lord, ye must, as well as from the subjects previously considered--the dead have no intercourse with the living, so a man dead in sin can have no intercourse with the living God, neither can a defiled wretch have any communion with a holy God; there is therefore a "needs be " for a change, life must be introduced, and the Holy Ghost reside in the soul, and this is the nature of regeneration, not a mere outward reformation, nor even an extensive knowledge of Scripture truth, but an internal change, light, knowledge and understanding are imparted to the darkened mind; life, sense and feeling communicated to the dead soul.

The individual is made sensible of the guilt, misery and punishment of sin, often attended with the most violent remorse of conscience, the most poignant fears of eternal misery, producing piercing exclamations, such as "Woe is me for I am undone, for I am a man of unclean lips," and "The pains of hell gat hold upon me," and always bringing death to all previous hopes and ideas, until at length the soul be led to trust in a crucified Redeemer, and rejoice in that faithful saying "That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." (1 Tim. 1:15)

The author of this spiritual birth is the Holy Ghost, it is His first saving act upon the soul, in taking up His abode therein, and from whence He guides the individual in all his after stages of Christian experience, the means whereby this change is wrought is generally the preaching of the Gospel; "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all unto me," (John 12:32) an exhibition of the Lord Jesus Christ in all the beauty of His person, perfection of His righteousness, and completeness of His salvation, never fails to attract the sinner made sensible of sin, while indiscriminate addresses and general exhortations tend only to harden the unconverted, and to distress the convinced sinner, who feels he has no power to comply with them.

The effects of regeneration, like the effects of the natural birth, soon become visible, food is required in both instances, and no food will do for the regenerate soul but the "pure milk of the word," "the living bread" of heaven, the salvation of Christ, and Christ as his salvation, no partial exhibition of truth will satisfy his hungry soul, no attempt to represent God and man co-workers in regeneration, will at all yield him peace or comfort.

Now, my friends, ye who are born again, by a real, internal, effectual operation of the Holy Ghost, which you must be sensible of, manifest the same, by contending "for the faith which was once delivered to the saints," and you, professors of religion, one and all, remember that nothing else can avail you, no depth of knowledge or doctrine, no outward scrupulous attendance to precepts, for "except a man be born again he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven."



THE GIFT OF FAITH

Intimately connected with the operation of the Holy Ghost, of which we have been speaking, is that act of the renewed soul which we call faith, indeed the moment the soul is acted upon by the Holy Ghost, in the supernatural way above referred to, faith is imparted, and with a clearer light, a more established faith is communicated, the Holy Ghost by His constant indwelling, keeping faith alive in the darkest moments, and it is of the excellency of this gift in the experience of the renewed soul, that I am now about to speak.

So necessary is this gift that it is made the distinguishing mark between those that love the Lord and those that love Him not, "He that believeth shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned," but you must ever bear in mind that faith is not the cause of salvation, but the evidence of it, and that act of the soul whereby salvation is enjoyed.

In Romans 5:1, you will find that peace with God is a fruit of faith, "being justified by faith we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ;" what an unspeakable blessing is this "Peace with God," by nature we are opposed to God, and the justice and holiness of God is opposed to us; but through the Atonement of our blessed Jesus, ample satisfaction has been made to justice for our transgressions, and by faith in that Atonement, we have the sense of the same peace in our own souls; moreover by the same gracious operation the enmity of the carnal mind is subdued.

Again we read, "thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee," (Isa. 26:3) and this is the experience of the gracious soul. The Lord Jesus, by His Spirit, enables His child in the confidence of faith, to "be at peace;" do you ask for proof? Behold the composure of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, before the wrath of Nebuchadnezzar, they calmly replied, "We are not careful, oh king! to answer thee in this matter," the burning fiery furnace, though heated seven times more than usual, did not dismay them. Paul and Silas were kept at peace, in prison at Philippi, and so it is with believers now, though confusion may rage without, and corruption struggle within, "none of these things move them," they may be troubled on every side, and perplexed, yet they are not brought to "despair." Satan labors in every possible way to overturn the faith of God's child, but he shall never succeed; for greater is He that is in them, than he that is in the world.

Sometimes this peace is increased to ecstatic joy, and then you will hear him shouting, "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be exceeding joyful in my God," for "having not seen him with the bodily eye," "yet believing" "they rejoice in him with joy unspeakable and full of glory." "Receiving the end of their faith even the salvation of their souls," they rejoice with the joy of harvest, and as they do who have gained a victory and returned crowned with laurels, and "though weeping may endure for a night, joy cometh in the morning," seeing the "Lord Jehovah is their strength and their song," they shall draw water with joy out of the wells of salvation.



THE CERTAINTY OF THE FINAL PRESERVATION OF THE ELECT OF GOD

But there is a stupid heresy, prevalent in some places, that individuals may be thus new-born, thus believing, yet after all relapse into their former state, and die unbelievers at last; but another article of the faith is, that those who are called of God according to his purpose, shall surely be glorified. (Rom. 8:30) So our Lord in His addresses to His disciples speaking of His Church as sheep, says, "My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me, and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hands." (John 10:27,28) Now the Redeemer's power being engaged for their security, they cannot fail of arriving at that "haven where they would be." St. Paul in Rom. 8:38,39, declares that nothing shall be able to separate the elect from the love of God in Christ Jesus, and here the love of God is shown to be engaged on their behalf.

The covenant of God is made sure to Abraham and his seed for ever, by the word, oath, and promise of a gracious God, for as Paul declares, (Heb. 6:18) "God willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things (the word and oath of Jehovah), in which it was impossible for God to lie, they might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them;" thus, my brethren, you who have fled to Jesus for refuge, have a firm foundation to build on, "heaven and earth shall pass away, but His word shall not pass away," therefore "though the mountains be removed and cast into the midst of the sea," though floods of error deluge the land, though Satan raise all the powers of earth, and all the iniquities of your own hearts, against you, you shall never fail persevering to the end, you shall inherit those mansions "prepared for you from the foundation of the world."

In my opinion there is no error so absurd as that of supposing the possibility of the children of God falling away from the love of their Father; is our God so changeable in His love? Or has He so little pity towards His poor erring children? No, His word declares "I have loved you with an everlasting love," (Jer. 31:3) "He will rest in love," (Zeph. 3:17) "as a father pitieth His children so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him," (Ps. 103:13) when you read of the mercy, wisdom, love, and power of the eternal Three, remember that all these are engaged in your behalf.

"Shall babes in Christ, bereft
Of God's rich gift of faith,
Be to their own will left,
And sin the sin to death?
Shall any child of God be lost,
And Satan cheat the Holy Ghost?

"Not all the delusions of sin
Shall ever seduce him to death;
He now has the witness within,
United to Jesus by faith.
This faith shall eternally fail,
When Jesus shall fall from His throne;
For hell against both must prevail,
Since Jesus and he are but one."

Therefore "earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints."
Lastly, my friends, we shall notice



THE FINAL GLORIFICATION OF THE CHURCH

or the full participation of the saints, in all that glory and blessedness which they have been elected to. Those who were chosen in Christ, redeemed by Christ, brought by the Holy Ghost to Christ, and made to live upon Christ, as joint heirs with Christ, shall dwell with Him in glory, "whom He did foreknow, He did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son," "them He also glorified." This their glorification consists in their being "for ever with the Lord," seeing "Him as He is," and being "made like unto Him," those who know most of the character of the Lord Jesus here, know most of the state and condition of the saints in bliss, they see His glory according to His prayer. (John 17:24) They behold Him glorified, in their own nature, as their best Friend, their Brother born for adversity, the Redeemer of their souls, their Righteousness and Sanctification, in Him they perceive all that they need, and from His fullness they receive "grace for grace."

In Heaven, their renovated faculties, their disimprisoned spirits, they understand Him more fully, and delight in Him uninterruptedly, these very bodies shall hereafter be employed in that glorious state, in singing His praises, and being raised incorruptible, spiritual, and like their Lord's glorified body, shall inhabit eternal mansions.

"Knowing as they are known,
How will they love that word,
And oft repeat before the throne,
For ever with the Lord."

My brethren, is that prospect before you? Are you looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of your faith? Do you know Him for yourselves? Are you anxious to know more of Him? to trust Him more? While you are established at present, you may look forward, through the narrow vista of time, and behold the King in His beauty, for "yet a little while, and He that shall come, will come," a little while, and faith shall be swallowed up in sight, hope shall be lost in endless bliss,

"And perfect love, and friendship reign
To all eternity."

May our glorious Immanuel bless these observations to our souls, that He may be glorified in our lives. Amen.




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