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But still it is the lowest and most imperfect of Christian motives. The awakened offender can proceed but very few steps in his path of penitence, before his sense of fear will be swallowed up by another feeling--a sense of shame.-The exceeding sinfulness of sin will strike him so forcibly, that the fear of God's vengeance against it, will be lost in the overwhelming conviction of the justness of that vengeance.-In utter self-abasement, and entire prostration of soul, he will hear all the Lord's threatenings, and scarce feel a wish to deprecate them, while he thinks how richly he has merited their infliction.

He himself, in short, will burn against himself to vindicate the insulted majesty of God.-"For behold this self-same thing that ye sorrowed after a godly sort—what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves-yea, what indignation-yea, what fear-yea, what vehement desire-yea, what zeal-yea, what

revenge'!”

But the Gospel penitent may reach a motive yet farther removed from that of the penitent under the law. Having passed through fear and shame, he comes at last to be actuated by love, and that a perfect love, which casteth fear away.Love is the fulfilling of the Christian law, -Love is the motive peculiarly characteristic of the Gospel; and he who acts not from it, feels not the fulness of evangelical principle.—This is the impulse which has brought to Christ, perhaps the most numerous-.certainly the most acceptable class of penitents.--Observe that woman approaching the house in which she knows that Jesus sits at meat. - She has been a notorious sinner, yet fear of punishment does not urge her into the presence of the Lord ;-she is much ashamed, yet it is not shame only which has placed her at Christ's feet behind him, or produced those torrents of tears, with which his feet are washed.-" I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much'."— When “ the Lord turned and looked upon Peter,” his countenance, we may be sure, conveyed no threat, and it was not in fear, but in the fulness of affection that “ Peter went out, and wept bitterly'." - And his contrition was accepted, because he could say with truth,—“Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee 2."

1 2 Cor. vii. 11.

1 Luke vii. 47.

Not only, however, are the motives to repentance more pure and perfect, and every way greater under the Gospel than under the law, but the assistance imparted for the commencement and completion of it, is greater also,—the assistance I mean, the covenanted assistance of God's Holy Spirit. — That there was no spiritual assistance given under the law, I do not mean to assert.- I do not mean to assert that the heart of man was then left to his own devices, or that he had nothing to rely upon but his own strength in his endeavours after holiness and obedience. - From the very first, God's Spirit strove

1 Luke xxii. 61, 62,

2 John xxi. 17.

with man, even before those days when he preached to them by the mouth of Noah, “ while the ark was preparing.” -And some of his faithful servants seem to have had just conceptions of the nature of that aid, and of their utter helplessness without it. Otherwise, David would not have written thus,

“ Make me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me--cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.-0 give me the comfort of thy help again, and stablish me with thy free spirit'.”-Nor would Solomon have argued that “God gives wisdom—that he directs men's paths, and giveth grace to the lowly.”—Nevertheless, with regard to spiritual aid, the Christian must enjoy greater advantages than did the Jew, or the service in which he is engaged, is a harder service. He is released indeed from the trammels of the ceremonial law, but he is required to obey another more pure, more comprehensive, more spiritual,--and how shall he do this but by greater supplies of aid from the Spirit ?—Accordingly such aid is promised him-God, speaking by the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah characterizes the new covenant by saying,—“I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts,”—“ and they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them !.”—And by Ezekiel he makes this promise.-"A new heart also, will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you—and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.—And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them ?."— These promises were ratified and confirmed by Christ when he assured his followers that “his heavenly Father would give the Holy Spirit to every one that asketh him,”—when he

* Psalm li. 10, 11, 12. P. B.T.

1

Jer. xxxi. 33, 34. ? Ezek. xxxvi. 26, 27.

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