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benevolent System of of Redemption, which thou haft published to our fallen race; and even amid the depth and darkness of apoftafy, I feel I know not what of uneafinefs, and inward confufion, which convinces me, poor frail creature that I am, that "the LORD "whom I have offended, is the LORD "whom I love."

Nor think, my brethren, that this humble acknowledgment of his weakness and guilt, rendered the affection of the disciple of less value in the eyes of his Mafter. When we are intimately acquainted with the heart of a friend, and have experienced his fincerity and devotion to us in a thousand inftances, we should not, we could not ceafe to love him, if by fome unexpected temptation he was led to commit fome offence against us, which he afterwards atoned for by the most poignant forrow and affliction. "GOD knows

"whereof

"whereof we are made." His nature is unchangeable; and his nature is Love! "GOD is Love!". Our fins alone separate us from this Love; but they change not its nature, nor limit its duration. The moment we return to our GOD, he returns to us. No fooner did Peter make this reply to his Master, "LORD, thou knowest that I love thee," than he immediately reinftated him in his favour, and commiffioned him to "feed his sheep."

And O! what a noble compensation did he make, by his future labours of love to the Church, for the reproach which he had brought upon it by his fall. Methinks I fee him, on the day of Pentecoft, bringing into the fold of CHRIST, thofe fheep, which his example might have led aftray ! His powerful and pathetic difcourse, like thunder and lightning, bears down all before him, working a ftupendous change

in those very fouls, who had beheld, perhaps, unmoved, a SAVIOUR bleeding on the Crofs; and forcing from them these strong and expreffive proofs of their conviction--" Men and bre"thren, what fhall we do ?" Methinks I fee him flying from Pontus to Galatia, from Galatia to Bithynia,, Cappadocia, and the provinces of Afia, and from thence to Rome, marking his footsteps with the ruins of Satan's kingdom, demolishing the temples of falfe gods, and converting their idolatrous votaries to the "Truth, as "it is in JESUS:" exploits, highly worthy of that Christian Heroism, whose first Labour of Love had been the converfion of eight hundred fouls! Methinks I see him dragged from tribunal to tribunal, from province to province; at one time, fummoned to appear before the incenfed Sanhedrim; at another, before a Roman judicatory; always reproached with the Ignominy of the Cross, yet

always

always confeffing and preaching the Name of JESUS, and at laft nailed to a Cross himself, and expiring with this Language of Love upon his lips: "LORD' thou knoweft all things, thou "knoweft that I love thee!"

Let us now learn from this melancholy instance of Christian Frailty, how weak and unguarded the best of men at times may be, and how little masters of their own paffions; how vain all confidence in human virtue, and how indispensably neceffary it must be, to depend wholly upon the strengthening communications of Divine Grace. Let us beware of the very first fuggestions of evil in our hearts; or, if we fhould, through frailty, fall in the first inftance, let us be extremely careful not to perfist and strengthen ourselves in iniquity. A taper fuddenly extinguished, if applied as fuddenly to the flame, foon recovers its former light; but if fuffered to cool and harden by delay,

cannot

and trouble.

cannot be rekindled without more time One Internal Glance from the LORD of Light and Life, will be fufficient to difperfe the momentary cloud, which the first vapours of fin form around the foul: but if we are not careful to catch this Precious Glance, the gloom will thicken, and we may wander fo far out of our way, as to be in danger of lofing the Light for ever.

"How powerful is the Internal Look "of CHRIST!" fays the excellent Quesnel. "Without it, nothing external can convert; with it, even the hardest hearts melt into tears. The cock had crowedand yet Peter did not recollect himself, because JESUS had not yet LOOKED UPON him. He cafts one Look upon his offending children, and the Work of Penitence commences, and is foon fucceeded by the Work of Love! LORD evermore turn and look upon us with those Eyes of Tenderness and Mercy, on which our falvation and eternal happiness depend!" VOL. II.

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