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HE IS BID TO PRAY.
knees, with all my heart and soul, the Father to reveal him to me. Then I asked him further, how I must make my supplications to him? And he said, Go, and thou shalt find him upon a mercy-seat, where he sits all the year long, to give pardon and forgiveness to them that come. I told him, that I knew not what to
say when I came. And he bid me say to this RAY. effect—“God be merciful to me a sinner,” and “ make me to know and believe in Jesus Christ; for I see, that if his righteousness had not been, or I have not faith in that righteousness, I am utterly cast away.* Lord, I have heard that thou art a merciful God, and hast ordained that thy Son Jesus Christ should be the Saviour of the world : and, moreover, that thou art willing to bestow him upon such a poor sinner as I am, (and I am a sinner indeed: Lord, take therefore this opportunity, and magnify thy grace in the salvation of my soul, through thy Son Jesus Christ. Amen."
Chr. And did you do as you were bidden ? he prays. Hope. Yes, over, and over, and over.
CAR. And did the Father reveal the Son to you?
HOPE. Not at the first, nor second, nor third, nor fourth, nor fifth, no, nor at the sixth time neither.t
Chr. What did you do then ? f Psalm xcv. 6. Jer. xxix. 12, 13. Dan. xi. 10. & Exod. xxv. 22. Lev. xv. 2. Heb. iv. 16.
* Pray mind this. The grand object of a sensible sinner, is righteousness. He has it not in himself: this he knows. Where is it to be found ? In Christ only. This is a revealed truth; and without faith in this, every sinner must be lost. Consider, it is at the peril of your souls that you reject the righteousness of Christ, and do not believe that God imputes it without works for the justification of the ungodly. O ye stout-hearted, self-righteous sinners, ye are far from righteousness! Know this, and tremble.
+ There may be, and often are, very great discouragements found in the sinner's heart, when he first begins to seek the Lord. But he has Christ's faithful word of promise, “ Seek, and ye shall find,” &c.
• Pray "He has it not 10. This is a consider, it is it and do not
HE THOUGHT TO LEAVE OPP PRAYING.
HE DURST NOT LEAVE OFF PRAY
HOPE. What! why, I could not tell what to do. Chr. Had you not thoughts of leaving off praying ?
HOPE. Yes, and a hundred times twice HE THOUGHT TO told.
Chr. And what was the reason you did not ?
Hope. I believed that it was true which had been told me, to wit, that without the righteousness of this Christ, all the world could not save me: and therefore, thought I with myself, If I leave off, I die, JE DURST NOT and I can but die at the throne of grace. ING, AND WAY. And withal this came into my mind, “ If it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come, and will not tarry.” So I continued praying, until the Father showed me his Son.*
Chr. And how was he revealed unto you?
Hope. I did not see him with my bodily eyes, but with the eyes of mine understanding ;' cp and thus it was : One day I was very sad, ED I think sadder than at any one time in my life; and this sadness was through a fresh sight of the greatness and vileness of my sins. And as I was then looking for nothing but hell, and the everlasting damnation of my soul, suddenly, as I thought, I saw the Lord Jesus look down from heaven upon me, and saying, “ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”k
CHRIST IS REVEALED TO HIM, AND HOW
h Hab. ii. 3. i Eph. i. 18, 19. k Acts xvi. 30, 31. Luke xi. 9. “The vision is for an appointed time; it shall come : though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come, and will not tarry,” Hab. i. 3.
* The true nature of faith is, to believe and rest upon the word of truth, and wait for the promised comfort. That faith which is the gift of God, leads the soul to wait upon and cry to God, and not to rest till it has some blessed testimony, from God, of interest in the love and favour of God in Christ Jesus. But oh how many professors rest short of this!
But I replied, Lord, I am a great, a very great sinner: and he answered, “ My grace is sufficient for thee.” Then I said, But, Lord, what is believing ? And then I saw from that saying, “ He that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst;" that believing and coming was all one; and that be that came, that is, ran out in his heart and affections after salvation by Christ, he indeed believed in Christ. Then the water stood in mine eyes, and I asked further, But, Lord, may such a great sinner as I am be indeed accepted of thee, and be saved by thee? And I heard him say, “And him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."" Then I said, But how, Lord, must I consider of thee in my coming to thee, that my faith may be placed aright upon thee? Then he said, “ Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners : be is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes : he died for our sins, and rose again for our justification : he loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood : he is Mediator betwist God and us: he ever liveth to make intercession for us.". From all which I gathered, that I must look for righteousness in bis person, and for satisfaction for my sins by his blood ;* that what he did in obedience to his Father's law, and in submitting to the penalty thereof, was not for himself, but for him that will accept it for his salvation, and be thankful. And now was my heart full of joy, mine eyes full of tears, and mine affections running over with love to the name, people, and ways of Jesus Christ.
1 John vi. 35. m John vi. 37. n 1 Tim. i. 15. Rom. 1. 4. Heb. vii. 24, 25. * Reader, never think that you are fully convinced of the whole truth, nor believe fully on Christ according to the Scriptures, unless you have seen as mush need of Christ's glorious righteousness to justify, as of his precious blood to pardon you. Both are revealed in the gospel ; both are the objects of faith ; by both is the conscience pacified, the heart purified, the soul justified, and Jesus glorified in the heart, lip, and life.
Chr. This was a revelation of Christ to your soul indeed: but tell me particularly what effect this had upon your spirit.
HOPE. It made me see that all the world, notwithstanding all the righteousness thereof, is in a state of condemnation : it made me see that God the Father, though he be just, can justly justify the coming sinner : it made me greatly ashamed of the vileness of my former life, and confounded me with the sense of mine own ignorance; for there never came a thought into my heart, before now, that showed me so the beauty of Jesus Christ: it made me love a holy life, and long to do something for the honour and glory of the name of the Lord Jesus; yea, I thought that, had I now a thousand gallons of blood in my body, I could spill it all for the sake of the Lord Jesus.
I saw then in my dream, that Hopeful looked back, and saw Ignorance, whom they had left behind, coming after. Look, said he to Christian, how far yonder youngster loitereth behind.
Chr. Ay, ay, I see him : he careth not for our company.
Hope. But I trow it would not have hurt him, had he kept pace with us hitherto.
Chr. That is true; but I'll warrant you he thinketh otherwise.
Hope. That I think he doth : but, however, let us tarry for him. (So they did.)
Then Christian said to him, Come away, YOUNG IGNORANCE man; why do you stay so behind ?
COMES UP AGAIN.
Ignor. I take my pleasure in walking alone; even THEIR TALK. more a great deal than in company, unless I like it the better.
Then said Christian to Hopeful, (but softly,) Did I not tell you he cared not for our company? But, however, said he, come up, and let us talk away the time in this solitary place. Then, directing his speech to Ignorance, he said, Come, how do you do? How stands it between God and your soul now?
Ignor. I hope well, for I am always full of good IGNORANCE'S HOPE, motions, that come into my mind to com
fort me as I walk.*
Chr. So do many that are never like to come there. “ The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing."
IGNOR. But I think of them, and leave all for them.
Chr. That I doubt: for to leave all is a very hard matter : yea, a harder matter than many are aware of.
AND THE GROUND
o Prov. xiii. 4. * Real Christians are often put to a stand, when they find and feel the working of all corruptions and sins in their own nature, while they hear others talk so highly of themselves, how full their heart is of love to God, good motions, &c. and without any complainings of the plague of their heart. But all this proceeds from ignorance of its true state : for pride and self-righteousness harden them against feeling its desperate wickedness. But divine teaching causes a Christian to see, know, and feel the worst of himself, that he may glory of nothing in or of himself, but that all his glorying should be of what precious Christ is to him, and what he is in Christ. See the contrary of all this exemplified in Ignorance, in whom we see, as in a mirror, many professors who are strangers to their own hearts, and hence are deceived into vain self-confidence.