" But we all, with open, face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."— 2Cor.iii, 18. In apprehending this declaration of Paul we must see the meaning of the phrases as they occur in regular order. " We all with open face," means with a face that is unveiled or uncovered, so that the rays of light may pass unobstructed and unchanged to the eyes. " Beholding as in a glass," means looking as one looks in a mirror. The gospel which contains the narration of the life of Jesus Christ the Lord, is, by a beautiful simile, represented as a well-made lookingglass, on whose even surface there is no crack or indentation, causing the rays of light to make an untrue figure or image of the object put before it. The vision here is clear and distinct. " The glory of the Lord" means the life of Christ, as developing infinite goodness, immaculate purity, consummate wisdom, perfect humility, and also the excellent doctrines taught by his ministry. These all present such beauty, and they are so perfectly shown in and by him, that they are appropriately called " the glory of the Lord." " Are changed into the same image," means the renewing of our minds by the Spirit of the Lord, for the same Spirit which dwelt in Christ now applies the truths of the gospel to human hearts, and changes our moral nature, and makes it like the nature of Jesus Christ. " From glory to glory," means that the change which is wrought in our conversion, by which we become " partakers of the divine nature," continues to advance from one degree to another, until the soul or spirit shall be fitted for translation to Heaven. The change wrought in us may be sudden, and perfect enough to cause our adoption into the family of God, because we are " born from above ;" yet after this, there must be progression from infancy to the maturity of Christian manhood. In this text we have a good representation of the work necessary

94 GOD A D MA CO-WORKERS I for salvation, because we see the part which the sinner has to do, and the part which the Holy Spirit has to do. Right discrimination be-

tween man's work in performing conditions and using means, and God's work in applying his grace and exerting his power, will help us much in working out our salvation. As we see men acting in the pursuits of agriculture, so we should act in the pursuit of salvation. The planter confines himself to his appropriate, work in the use of natural means, and acts according to rule ; and nature furnishes the seed, the soil, the rain, the sun's light and heat, and the atmosphere ; and therb results a valuable product. In seeking salvation, we must restrain our efforts ^vithin prescribed limits, and do our work according to rule, and then wait for and expect the Holy Spirit to do his work in " renewing us in the spirit of our minds." Our work is to perform conditions and use means, and to do so with faith and hope. This work has no merit, yet it is necessary, for we must "work out our own salvation." In this exposition we propose to show, I. What men have to do in order that they may be saved. This is expressed in the text thus : " But we all, with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord." First, as a man who looks at an image in a glass can study its form, color, symmetry, and so forth ; and as a man who reads a book can study its contents ; so the inquirer or seeker must study the record made in the gospel respecting Jesus Christ and the doctrines taught by his ministry. This must precede all true repentance and saving faith. In this study we learn our condition, our responsibility, our remedy, and the way in which we may use this remedy. On this subject we have instruction in the parable of the sower. Of this parable we have three versions,* and we have also an interpretation of its doctrines by the great Teacher. It is designed to show us the right way of hearing the gospel, and it does this by classifying the hearers. There is a class of hearers who are represented by the way-side, which receives seed, but because it is trodden by men and has no fence around it, the seed do not take root, and are devoured by birds of the air. These are they who hear the word of tue Kingdom and understand it not ; then the d,evil cometh, immediately after they have heard, and takoth the seed out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. Another class are represen* Mali, xiii, Mark Iv, Luke viii


ted by the slony ground which was planted and showed signs of fruitfulness, but the sun arose in his strength and sent down his hot rays on the growing corn and burned it, because there was but little soil and no moisture. These are they who hear the word with joy and hold it for a season, but when temptation assails them and tribulation befalls them because of the word, they having no root in themselves become faithless and hopeless, and fall away and bring no fruit to perfection. A third class are represented by the ground which had in it the roots of thorns, and the seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. These are they who hear the word, and when they have heard go forth and " suffer the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust of other things, to enter in and choke the word," and make them unfruitful. A fourth class are represented by the good ground in which the seed sprang up and increased and brought forth fruit, some thirty fold; some sixty, and some an hundred fold. This class hear, understand, and receive the word in honest and good hearts, keep it with patience, and bear fruit. Let us mark the characteristics or the practice of these hearers. They hear the word, they understand it, they keep it in honest and good hearts, and they are fruitful. These are the hearers who will be saved ; all others will be lost. These open their ears that they may hear, exercise their minds that they may understand, use their memories that they may hold fast, and arouse their hearts that they may believe what God hath revealed concerning his Son. The result is fruitfulness, in some thirty fold, and in others sixty, and in others an hundred fold. We have reason to expect this fruitfulness from all who hear the word in the way taught in this parable. " Take heed how you hear," " take heed xvhat you hear," are- the admonitions of him who " taught as one having authority." We may form our opinion of the importance of this study of the facts and doctrines taught in the Bible, by the institutions which are operating around us. The command of Christ to his ministers to "go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature;" the organization of the Church by the Apostles, in which we see all the appliances for instruction in those things which make men wise unto salvation ; the statement of Paul in these words, "Whom we preach warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus ; the record of his owu valuation of this instruction in these words, "Yea, doubtless, and

96 GOD A D MA CO-WORKERS I I count all things but Ios3 for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus luy Lord 5" the assurance he gives us of his faith, his

safety, his humility, in these words, " evertheless, I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day ;" and the view of the greatness of the work he had to do in this : " one of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I may finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God;" all these indicate the work of instructing men in the things which contribute to their assimilation to the image of Jesus Christ* As in the study of science and literature we are dependent on, and are accustomed to use, competent teachers ; so in this study we should employ ministers of the gospel. In the Levitical dispensation of religion, God set apart the tribe of Levi for the work of teaching and ministering in holy things. In the dispensation which we now enjoy, men of religious experience and capacity to teach are called by the Holy Spirit and employed in the labor of preaching. The necessity and the value of their work, and the way of sending them, are taught in Matthew is, 36, 38: "When he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd: then He said unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few ; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth more laborers into His harvest." Consider the figure used by Christ. Here is a field of wheat that has ripened and is ready for the reaper. Its green color has changed into a rich brown. The planter looks over his productive field, and his experienced eye marks the ripeness of the crop, and his judgment tells him that the harvest must be gathered promptly, or all the labor and money already spent on that field will be wasted. All other work must be stopped, sooner than the saving what has matured. Every laborer that is needed must be put in that field. The other products of the plantation which are growing, must be left to the contingencies of nature. The work of harvesting is done with more life and industry than the work of planting, and it is valued so highly that greater wages, if they be necessary, will be paid for it. This work of saving the matured grain is the simile used by Christ to

THE SALVATIO OF THE SOUL. 97 indicate the work of the preacher. Men engaged in other professions and trades are useful membelrs of society ; but the preacher of the gospel is the most useful. All the labor and expense attendant on educating men, and furnishing them with the conveniences of life,

and defending them in their rights and privileges, will fail utterly in the production of happiness, unless their souls are brought under the power of the truth. They must know Jesus Christ as their Redeemer and Intercessor. They must " with open face beholJ, ns in a glass, the glory of the Lord." They must approve His plan of saying sinners, and they must admire the beauty of Hia character until they desire earnestly to be changed into His image. These desires must be supreme in their minds, so as to make them willing to use all the means, and perform all the conditions of salvation. To produce this is the work of the preacher. He must preach Christ ; Christ crucified ; Christ raised from the dead ; Christ in all His offices, all His doctrines, all His labors. The same Holy Spirit which dwelt in Christ's human body, has indited the narration contained in the gospel, has inspired the men who wrote the epistles, and now calls the preacher, and applies the truth which he preaches. The man who willingly, eagerly, penitently, prayerfully, opens his ears to hear, and applies his intellect to understand, shall behold, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord. Eeholding, he will admire the glory of the Lord; admiring, he will desire to be changed into the same image ; desiring, he will conquer himself and be willing to perform the conditions of salvation ; willing, he will apply himself to the work of faith and obedience. Secondly, as a man who looks at an image in a glass, and reads an instructive and truthful book, believes in the reality and truth of what he sees and reads, so the inquirer, who with open face beholds the glory of the Lord, must believe in Him whose glory he beholds. The justification of every sinner depends on iiis personal faith in Jesus Christ. The faith he exercises must influence his life, and this influence will be seen in case the believer shall admit into his heart the truthful doctrines taught by Jesus Christ. The common mirror is a very wonderful instrument. Few instru ments used by men are more wonderful. When it is made according to the rules which science of optics develops, and is adjusted in a room, it will create a perfect image of every person and article in that room. One who looks on its smooth surface mav occupy a place 7'

gg GOD A D MA CO-WORKERS I from which he can see nothing in the room but the mirror, and yet he may describe, ^vith accuracy, every object reflected. ow the beholder sees nothing other than the images created by the mirror,

yet he believes these images represent real objects. His faith amounts to assurance, and he knows the objects reflected have real existence. So we must believe that the events recorded in the gospel are facts ; and that the doctrines taught in the gospel are truths . and as facts and truths are apprehended as things which have reality and intrinsic power, so we must apprehend the facts and doctrines in the gospel. Thus believing, we know that Jesus Christ is a real person, that heaven and heil are real places, that sin is really offensive to God, that the guilty will really be damned, and that the converted sinner will really be saved. This view of faith accords with the deflnition given us in Hebrews xi, I: " ow faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," and also with the representations in the Bible of the influence of faith. The man who is full of faith has insight into the truths of the Bible which the unbeliever never attains until he renounces the sin of unbelief. « The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." The careful reader of the eleventh chapter of Hebrews will note what is said of the faith of Abraham, and Joseph, and Moses, and will see that their believiug was accompanied by spiritual vision, and amounted to assurance. He will see in 2d Cor. iv, 17, 18, that the wonderful power of « these light afflictions" in working for us " a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory," depends on ihe faith of the afflicted one, and this is thus stated: " While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." The inhabitants of the world at the time of the deluge saw no danger, because they had no faith in the declarations of those who were sent to warn them; but oah saw signs of danger, and knew the flood was coming, hence « he prepared an ark for the saving of his household." The people who crowded the streets and houses of Sodom had no apprehension of an approaching catastrophe, because they were unbelievers ; but Lot saw what was approaching, and he was saved by his faith, for he fled with his family from the city, leaving h' Mnbflicving sons-in-law to their fate. I think lean see in

THE SALVATIO OP THE SOUL. 99 the conversation between the rich man, in the torments of hell, and Abraham, in heaven, that the rich man believed not what Moses and the prophets wrote concerning eternal things, and that his five brothers, whom he had left in the world, were unbelievers ; and hence he requests that the testimony of a dead man may be added to that of

these inspired writers. The rich man believed not while he lived, but the conviction of his fatal error was produced by the realization of the horrid pangs of damnation. Lazarus believed, and his faith caused him to trust in God, and to use the means which are necessary to salvation ; and this led to the attainment of holiness and heaven.* So it is now ; some men are blinded by the god of this world, and do not believe in Jesus Christ, and these are led captive by Satan at bis will ; others have freed themselves from prejudice, have penitently, prayerfully, and believingly looked into the gospel ; thus they have obtained help from the Holy Spirit, and have felt the power of the truth in changing them into the image of Him in whom they have trusted. That hearing what is contained in the gospel may lead us to the knowledge which will produce salvation, has been demonstrated in thousands of cases. A hearer may give attention to a series of historical lectures on the life of Washington. The lecturer may convince the hearer that Washington lived, and exercised his mental and moral faculties so as to become a successful warrior, a consummate statesman, a model patriot. He may present a picture of this great man's achievements on the battle fields and in the council chambers of our country, and of his virtues in the private walks of domestic life, which, by its vividness, may be compared to the images seen in a looking-glass. The hearer may listen until his imagination becomes excited, and he beholds the image of the great man, and he may gaze on this image until his desire to be like Washington may become supreme; and if hope of attaining to this likeness shall be strong in his mind, he will have his own consent to make any sacrifice and use any means requisite for the attainment of so desirable an end. A man being convinced of his sinful and lost condition, may hear the preaching of the Word until he shall see the glorious character of our Lord Jesus Christ. He may learn that the whole life of Christ was spent in the labors which were necessary to complete the plan of * Luke z, vi.

100 GOD A D MA CO-WORKERS I redemption. That "He endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father." That all this •work of redeeming and interceding is for the salvation of sinners. The hearer knows that he himself is a sinner, hears now that he has a Saviour, and that the Holy Spirit is at work to bring sinners to Christ. He admires the glorj of the Lord; he desires to be made like Christ; he has his own consent to sacrifice all that the gospel condemns, and

to use all the means that the gospel recommends. These desires are excited in him bj the Holy Spirit, and they lead him to pray with faith and hope. He embraces Christ as his Redeemer, he trusts in Him as his Saviour, and commits himself to Him as one who is able to save him from all sin. Thus embracing, trusting, committing himself, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, he will believe with all his heart. This is his part of the work. In this way he *' works out his own salvation with fear and trembling." One may admire the character of the great patriot mentioned in the first part of this paragraph, and may desire to be like him, and yet make no efi'ort to attain this likeness, and have no hope of attaining it, because nature has not endowed him as she did Washington, and the times are not favorable to the perfoi'mance of such achievements as he performed. It is a law in our constitution that we will never labor to obtain any object, unless we are persuaded that it is valuable and attainable. One who beholds with open face, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, is encouraged to hope for likeness to the same image, because God has promised that he who by faith embraces Christ as his prophet, priest, and king, shall be changed into the same image by the same Spirit which animated Christ's human soul and inspired holy men to write the gospel. And all may perform the condition on which this promise depends. Let " the heart turn to the Lord, and the veil shall be taken away ;"* the inquirer shall see the glory of the Lord, and shall be changed into the same image. We now propose to show — II. What God has to do for us in order that we may be saved. This is expressed in the text thus : " We are changed into the same ijnage, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." The apostle in this expression asserts that the spirit will change • 2 Cor. iii, 16.

THE SALVATIO OP THE SOUL. 101 the believer : he gives us the model to which he will be assimilated, and be teaches that this shall progress towards a perfect likeness. First. A change shall take place. This is asserted in the language used by Paul, by a word which intimates the nature of the change. This word has been introduced into the English language without any change in its form when we use the noun metamorphosis^ and with a slight alteration when we use the verb metamorphosed.

"We are metamorphosed into the same image." The word suggests illustrations taken from natural history, by which we may see the thoroughness of the transformation. In the class of insects we have an order called Lepidoptera, in which there is a family called Papilionidae. From an egg is hatched an insect which in its growth develops a larva of very loathsome form and groveling appetites. We instinctively shrink from its touch. We despise it, because its sole employment is to devour food. We fear it, because we imagine a creature so loathsome and destructive must be armed with teeth and poison. We turn away from it with irrepressible disgust, because its aspect is hideous. We crush it with pleasure, because we judge that it is unworthy of life. After this filthy, hated, loathsome creature has attained its maturity, it seeks a place of concealment, ceases to take any food, and yields itself up to a power by which the larva is changed into the chrysalis, and from the chrysalid there comes an insect wholly unlike the caterpillar. In its habits we see cleanliness, in its body we see beauty, on its wings we see the gorgeous colors of the rainbow. It is pursued by playful children, handled by delicate maidens, gazed on with delight by tasteful men, and preserved with carefulness in the cabinets of naturalists. This is a metamorphosis. The caterpillar is metamorphosed into the butterfly. Without experience, who would believe that this beautiful insect, adorned with wings, furnished with a long spiral proboscis or tongue, and standing on six legs, came from a hated, hairy caterpillar, having jaws and teeth, and fourteen feet ? There stands before me a creature whose mind is earthly, whose nature is sensual, whose spirit is devilish. He lives to gratify his appetites and to indulge his propensities. In these he is groveling, and in his habits he is loathsome. He opens his mouth to blaspheme his Maker, to deride his Saviour, to defy his Judge, to slander his neighbor. He cultivates no virtue, he restrains himself from no vice. He boasts of his independence, he glories in his degradation, he

102 GOD A D MA CO-WORKERS I Strives to be contented with bis condition, and be charges God with the evil that is in him. To the eye of purity this creature is a mass of loathsome corruption. There is no faculty in him whieh has not been prostituted to the service of the devil, and corrupted by sin. He is a fallen being, a polluted creature, a lost sinner. He does not look into his own heart; he dares not look into eternity. He drires on, heedless of the admonitions of his friends, imagines himself as good as his neighbors, and judges the whole system of religion a falsehood. This wicked man has a soul in his body — an immortal soul. This makes

him the subject of christian solicitude, and impels some one to mention his name in prayer, and to pursue him with the voice of love and entreaty. He is induced to go to the house of God. He opens his ears to hear the preacher. He looks into the mirror which the Holy Spirit has made. His own image is therein presented in all its offensive features and horrid deformity, and appears exceedingly vile by contrast with the image of Jesus Christ. The glory of the latter blinds him, but its loveliness stirs his insensible soul, and its look of affection astonishes hiiu. Can it be possible that Christ can love so vile a being? "Will ha save one so deeply fallen, so perfectly depraved ? Hearing produces thought ; thought merges into reflection ; reflection creates fear ; fear urges the question, " What shall I do ?" The way is open for instruction. The preacher brings out of his treasury things new and old. He shows him his sinfulness and guilt and danger, and bis heart breaks ; his spirit becomes contrite ; he renounces his sins, he consecrates himself to God. The gospel glass is kept before biro. He beholds the image of Christ hanging on the cross, buried in the sepulchre, arising from the tomb, ascending into heaven, interceding with God. He apprehends these events as facts. The doctrines are explained, the promises are read. He embraces these as realities and truths. By some power working in him, to which he submits, he is able to see that all the provision of the gospel is adapted to his wants, and by faith he appropriates it to himself and claims it as his own. In this act he commits himself to Jesus Christ, as perfectly as the sick man commits himself to the physician. In that instant he is changed — yes, changed into the image of Christ — metamorphosed by the power of God into a new man This is the work of God. It is the beginning of salvation in this life. o \nan can change himself. If he is changed at all, God irrst io it.

THE SALVATIO OF THE SOUL. 103 This change is spoken of in the Bible, and different terms are used to represent it. It is called " born again," or " born from above," in Christ's sermon to icodemus — hence, we get the term " new birth." And that no man may mistake about this matter, the evangelist tells us that all who receive Christ, " are born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.'' This conveys to our minds the same idea as that expressed by James, in these words : "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures," with the addition of the instrument which God uses. The Holy Spirit uses the truth contained in the gospel in changing men from nature to grace. So, also, Paul admonishes us thus, " Be not conformed to

this world, but be ye transformed (metamorphosed) by the renewing of your minds ;" and "Put off the old man, which is corrupt, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds ; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." This is the work of regeneration, and is experienced by all who believe in Christ with hearts unto righteousness ; for God hath " given us exceding great and precious promises, that by these we might be parlakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world." This change is called in our theology conversion, and we get the term from the Bible. Tl^e Psalmist says, " The law of the Lord is perfect, converting [the lua/gin has it restoring] the soul," Our Lord said to his disciples, " L^icept ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." And James says, <' Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him, let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." From these we learn that conversion restores men to the image of God ; makes them like little children in humility, affection, and docility ; brings them under the operation of the truth, relieves them from the guilt of a multitude of smSf and saves their souls from death. All who experience this " are in Christ Jesus," and " are new creatures, old things having passed away, and all things having become new." The model character to which this change assinjjlates men, is that of our Lord — "We are changed into the same ijiinge." We may search the records of history, and we find no one whose nature was so perfect, and whose example was so lovely as Christ ; hence, there is

1Q4 GOD A D MA CO-WORKERS. no one who can be followed with so much safety. During his life he •was pursued by malignant men who commanded civil and ecclesiastical forces, and these were held under fretful restraint by their incapacity to find out anything which they could use against him. His private character was irreproachable, his labors were disinterested, his whole time was consumed in doing good. When he was arraigned and charged with blasphemy, the specification did not sustain the charge, though the high priest with hypocritical zeal gave judgment against him. When he was carried before Pilate, and charged with rebellion, the specification could not be proved. And when the multitude called for his crucifixion, the judge after much perplexity and thorough examination, said, " Take him and crucify him, for I find no fault in him." o man has passed through more searching scrutiny, and yet his reputation for piety, zeal, purity, wisdom, and all

the graces which ennoble man and perfect the christian, stands this day unquestioned. The truths which he taught are embraced by all who believe in him. These are planted in them by the Holy Spirit, and they become the principles by which they are controlled and sustained. The love which was in him *< is shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost given unto them," and this impels them to do his will. The grace which sustained him in all his labors and trials is given to them, and may bo had in quantity equal to their wants. Converting grace puts toe believer in this state of assimilation to Christ, that is to say, L begins tins assimilation. There may be in the heart of the converted man much that is evil, but the truth is opposing, and the grace of God is eradicating this evil ; and in case this grace is not frustrated by unbelief, and truth is not choked by the cares of this world, or the deceitfulness of riches, or the lust of other things, then the likeness shall be perfect enough to insure a title to the inheritance of heaven. " Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus," is the admonition of Paul. Secondly. This change shall go on towards perfection — " Wc are changed into the same image from glory to glory." The work of conversion is always sudden, and it may be attended by such evidences as shall satisfy the subject of it that he has passed from the natural to the spiritual or gracious state. The conversion of the three thousand on the day of Pentecost, of Saul of Tarsus, of Cornelius of Caesarea, of the jailor in Philippi, was sudden and powerful. o man is regenerated partially, born of God gradually. This work must

THE SALVATIO OP THE SOUL. 105 be done at once. The evidence of it however may not satisfy the mind of the young convert at first. He may pass through hours and days doubting and fearing, until the production of the fruits of the Spirit shall convince him that God has converted him. Right instruction concerning the effect of conversion, and careful self-examination, will enable any man to find out whether he is a converted man. Let this change be wrought by the Holy Spirit, and then let the " babe in Christ" be fed with what St. Paul calls " the sincere milk of the word," and there will be growth in the knowledge and grace of Christ. The believer will progress into a state in which he may be fed with what the same apostle calls " strong meat."* Let this strong meat be eaten and digested, and he who was a babe will pass rapidly through the state of childhood and youth into the maturity of christian character. He must walk by the same faith he exercised when the Holy Spirit changed him ; he must continue in the use of the same means ; " he must, with open face, behold the glory of the Lord " in

the Gospel, as he did at first, and the work of grace will go on assimilating him to the image of Christ, from glory to glory. This is set before us clearly by the apostle in these words : " And besides this, (that is being made partakers of the divine nature) giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity ; for if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall be neither barren [the margin has it idle, which is the right word] nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ : ... for if ye do these things ye shall never fall ; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."! Herein we see the faith of the converted man urging him to the exercise of courage, the use of study, the practice of obedience, and God carries on his gracious work in the production of the fruit which he values highly, and promises to own and approve in eternity. At the same time the believer is applying himself to the use of the means of grace, the Holy Spirit is imparting the " wisdom which Cometh down from above, which is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and

•Heb. V, 12. 1 2 Peter, ii, 5-11.

106 CJOD A D MA CO-\VOIlKERS I without hypocrisy."* He is shedding abroad ia his heart the love of God ; lie is fixing in his soul the kingdom of God, which is "righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost;" and lie is so mingling the influences of His grace and providence as to cause tribulations to produce patience, and patience to produce experience, and experience to produce hope of eternal life. '' And every man who has thi.^ hope in him purifies himself, even as he (i. e. Christ) is pure." In all this work, man and God are co-workers. The former is performing the conditions and using the means, and the latter is applying his truth, is increasing the measure of his grace, and augmentin<» the power of his love. Here we have faith working, lovo laboring, and hope patiently enduring the whole of God's will.i And the fruit which results therefrom consists of the virtues which ennoble human character, the graces of true religion, the qualities which Jesus Christ cultivated, and the purity or holiness which is necessary for resi-

dence in heaven. In conclusion we state — 1. We are taught by moral philosophy that the moral quality of an action resides in the motive or the intention ; and we arc taught by observation that there is connection between principles and conduct. Hence there is need for knowledge of truth, faith in truth, and realization of the power of truth. o man cultivates right motives and has sound moral principles unless he receives into his mind and believes with his heart what God has revealed concerning his Son. This will produce sound experience, and Christian experience consists in the love of God in the heart : and he who has this in full measure is changed into the image of Christ. All who desire to obey God must have their hearts renewed by grace ; and this will always accompany genuine faith. " Do we make void the law through faith ? God forbid 1 Yea, we establish the law." 2. Capacity to see and understand the truth depends on the state of our minds and hearts. If the former be full of prejudice, and the latter be estranged from God, there will result darkness, and ignorance, and sin. " When the heart shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away," is the declaration of Paul. " If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light," is the promise of Christ. • James iii, 17. t 1 Thcss. i, 8.

THE SALVATIO OF THE SOUL. 107 3. The readers of this discourse will desire to see cases of men -who have been changed into the image of Christ, and have continued to make progress from glory to glory. Cases are numerous wherever the gospel is preached and received, yet many men may not see them. When the Lord Jesus was on earth, the people who heard his sermons and saw his miracles did not know what a model ot benevolence, piety, wisdom, and truthfulness, they had in their midst. When Paul was preaching Christ to his cotemporaries, his hearers did not know the purity of his heart, the burning zeal of the apostle, and the joy of the Christian. When Wesley, Fletcher, and Whitfield, were at work in England, the people abused them, and the clergy persecuted them. Man sees the outward form, God sees the heart. Man judges of motives by actions ; God looks first at the motives, and then judges the action. Every sinner who gives his heart to God is changed into the image of Christ : and every one who keeps the precious grace in his heart, and does not frustrate it, is advancing

towards perfection. Cases of this kind are around us, though we may not see them. Reader, strive to be like your Lord. When you have the inclination to judge your neighbor, repress it by looking into your own heart. 4. Preparation for heaven must be begun and finished in this world. The body presents no insuperable obstacle to the holiness of the soul. The hour of death has no more power to aid the sinner in seeking the grace of salvation than may be secured and experienced by any penitent m the enjoyment of health and life. The image of Christ may be stamped on our souls in this life ; and it must be done in this life, or exclusion from heaven and imprisonment in hell will be the result. When we pass through death and enter eternity, the angel of God will say, " He that is unjust, let him be unjust still ; and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still ; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still ; and he that is holy, let him be holy still."* * Rev. xxii, lu

1. 68 FREE BOOKS http://www.scribd.com/doc/21800308/Free-Christian-Books

2. ALL WRITI GS http://www.scribd.com/glennpease/documents?page=970

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful