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one hand, willeth all men to be saved; and if any one of these men, on the other, will for his salvation, every barrier appears to be done away, and the sinner is on the eve of a great and glorious enlargement. But be sure that you understand what this will for salvation means. It is not merely that the hand of vengeance shall be lifted off from you. It is also that the spirit of glory and of virtue shall rest upon you. It is not merely that you shall obtain a personal exemption from that lake of living agony into which are thrown the outcasts of condemnation. It is also that you shall obtain a spiritual exemption from the vice and the voluptuousness and all the worldly affections which animate the passions and pursuits of the unregenerate upon earth. It is not alone for some vague and indefinite blessedness in future. It is for a renovation of taste and of character at present. The man in fact who desires aright and prays aright for the object of his salvation, is not merely on the eve of a great revolution in his prospects for eternity. He is on the eve of a great moral revolution in his heart and in his history at this moment. His prayer to be saved embraces it is true the transference of his person on the other side of death, from the torments of hell to the transports of paradise-but without a transference of character on this side of death the thing is impossible; and so there is enveloped in the prayer this cry of aspiring earnestness-"O God create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me."




"Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved."

MAN on the one hand might like to be put into a state of happiness without holiness; but God on the other hand does not like that such a happiness shall be conferred upon him. Let a sinner pray with all fervency for his deliverance from hell and translation into heaven-he prays for that which is not agreeable to the will of God, if he desire not at the same time to be filled with heaven's charity and heaven's sacredness. Heaven we are told is that pure and holy place into which nought that is impure and nought that is unholy can enter; and the sinner who cries for salvation yet would keep by his impurities, is wasting the desirousness of his heart on an object that is impossible. It is most assuredly not God's will that heaven should be peopled with any but those, who, of the same family likeness with Himself, reflect His own image back again upon that throne which is irradiated with the lustre and the loveliness of all virtue. It is said that when He first willed the visible creation into existence, and looked over that terrestrial platform which His hand had garnished with so many beau

ties, He pronounced it to be all very good. Even for the graces of mute and unconscious materialism the Divinity may be said to have a taste and an approbation; and in the tints and the forms of Nature's glorious panorama, its ocean and its landscapes and its skies, hath the Supreme Architect of our universe embodied His own primary conceptions of the fair and the exquisite and the noble. He delights in beauty, and is revolted by deformity even in the world of matter; and the far higher characteristics which obtain in the world of spirits, call forth proportionally higher and stronger affections in the breast of the Godhead. He loves the happiness of His creatures, but He loves their virtue more. And so from that moral landscape in paradise by which His own immediate presence is surrounded, all that offendeth shall be rooted out. There is nought of the sinful or the sordid that can be admitted there. The God who loveth righteousness and hateth iniquity would not tolerate the sight of what is evil. Heaven is the place of His own especial residence; and He will fill and beautify it according to His own taste for the higher graces of the mind, to His own conceptions of spiritual worth and spiritual excellence. To suit Him, it must be a land of uprightness; and love must be the music which gladdens it; and the atmosphere which blows and circulates around its habitations must be one of ethereal purity. Himself will lay out and decorate the precincts of His own dwelling-place-nor will He suffer aught to settle

there which can violate the moral harmony of such a scene, or mar the spectacle of its perfect and unspotted holiness.

Now remember that in praying to be saved, you just pray that such a heaven may be the place of your settlement through all eternity. Else there is no significancy in your prayer. It is not enough that you seize by faith on a deed of justification. You must with diligence and effort and all the expedients of moral and spiritual culture, enter forthwith on a busy process of sanctification. It is well that Jesus Christ hath by the expiation of the cross, moved away that barrier which obstructed our access to the Jerusalem above. But, now that a way for the ransomed of the Lord is open, let us forget not that it is a way of holiness. There is a work of salvation going on in heaven, and by which Jesus Christ in some way that He hath not explained is there employed in preparing a place for us. “I go to prepare a place for you." But there is also a work of salvation going on in earth, and by which Jesus Christ through His word and Spirit is here employed in preparing us for the place. And our distinct business is to be ever practising and ever improving ourselves in the virtues of this preparation. It is not a selfish affection for happiness in the general which forms the leading principle of Christianity. It is a sacred affection for that happiness which lies in holiness-or rather for that holiness, which, to every being possessed of a moral nature, brings the best and the highest happiness in

its train. In one word, if you take the right aim for salvation, it must be a moral heaven to which you aspire; and ere you can find entrance into such a heaven you must be moralised.

This desire for salvation then, if rightly understood, is desire for a present holiness. This longing after heaven at the last, is, with every honest and intelligent disciple, a longing after the virtues now which flourish there. There will be an immediate entrance on heaven's uprightness and heaven's piety. So long as we are in this world, we have neither reached the hell or the heaven of eternity. We are only on the one or other of those paths which lead to them. Now to turn from the wrong to the right path, is just to turn from sin unto sacredness. And, in the very act of so turning, we receive strength for all the fatigues of that new journey which leadeth unto Zion. Turn unto me says God, and I will pour out my Spirit upon you. This influence from on high will be given to your efforts and your prayers. Your prayer for some

abstract and indefinite beatitude in another state of being, is not a prayer which accords with the will of God; and can no more be listened to by Him or meet with acceptance, than any sordid or selfish petition for some luxury or splendour of this world which your heart is set upon. But when, instead of this, the prayer is for that beatitude which lies in holiness; when it is a prayer for the very beatitude of the good and the glorified spirits in heaven; when the desire for a joyful eternity above is thus conse

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