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should be magnified in his body, whether it were by life or by death. This was his great object, his prevailing desire, his deliberate purpose, his first duty, and his highest interest ; for to him to live was Christ, and to die was gain.
The sentiment, then, of the text appears to be, that the most distressing events will advance the ultimate salvation of the true Christian, through the means of prayer to God and the supply of the Holy Spirit of Christ.
In considering this subject, we must notice,
I. The confident hope of the humble Christian-I know that this shall turn to my salvation.
II. The particular manner in which this hope will be accomplished—through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. ,
I. The confident hope of the humble Chris. tian is, that every trial, however apparently adverse, will assuredly conduce to his final salvation.
SALVATION is the deliverance of fallen man from sin and all its consequences, by the stupendous sacrifice and grace of Jesus Christ. The meritorious cause of it, is exclusively the obedience unto death of the eternal Son of God. He is the Saviour. His name was expressly called Jesus, because he was to save his people from their sins. His sacrifice upon the cross was the price of our redemption ; neither is
there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby they must be saved. The application of this great salvation, in its full extent, is gradual. Justification, the first and principal blessing of it, is obtained by receiving with a true and lively faith, the testimony of God concerning his Son., By grace we are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God. Thus we are pardoned and justified, reconciled to God and accepted as righteous in his sight. Our guilt is cancelled, our iniquities are blotted out, and our consciences are appeased. This is indeed so distinguished a part of our salvation, and is so immediately connected with every other part, that the true believer is frequently spoken of as already actually saved. We are saved and called with an holy calling. We are saved by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. We are saved by grace. The grace of God bringeth salvation. The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. The Holy Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus. In these passages, salvation is described as already conferred on us, because the first part of it, the remission of sins, is so ; and because this blessing is united with the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit from wbich faith springs, and leads
on to all the other parts of sanctification, by which salvation is to be completed.
There are VARIOUS MEANS which God has appointed for carrying on the salvation thus begun, and for perfecting it in the full felicity and purity of body and soul in heaven. These inethods are of two sorts. The one may be said to be in the hands of God, the other in our own. Those in the hands of God are the events of his providence, and the communications of his Spirit; those in ours are watchfulness, mortification, and
prayer, with all the other graces and duties of the Christian life. These several means tend to advance the final salvation of the true penitent, to give him the peace which flows from justification, to deliver him more and more from sin, to guard him from temptation, to make him a partaker of God's holiness, to increase his love to Christ, his separation from the world, his humility and his joy.
Salvation, in its comprehensive sense, is thus a progressive work, always defective in this world, and only perfected when every sin in the heart and life shall be destroyed, when all its consequences shall be removed, and the work, 'which was begun by the gift of pardon in the blood of Christ, and the regeneration of the Holy Ghost, shall be completed in the full fruition of God in heaven. It is in this way that men are saved. Justification and sanctification are
equally parts of the great blessing. We are from the beginning chosen to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth, whereuuto we are called by the Gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are to work out this our salvation with fear and trembling. As an encouragement and help in doing this, it is added, that we are kept through the power of God through faith unto salvation. The afflictions of ministers are often for the consolation and salvation of their hearers. To them that look for him, Christ will appear the second time unto salvation. Salvation, in tbese and many other passages, is spoken of as a future event, which is connected with progressive holiness, which is to be wrought out with fear and trembling, and which is to be expected at the second advent of Christ.
In this view, it is obvious that the most distressing events, like that referred to by the Apostle, may TURN TO OUR SALVATION, that is, may fall in with the great design of divine mercy, and conduce to the entire recovery of our souls from the ruins of the fall. Even the holy Apostle himself needed this discipline. He had at one time a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet him, lest he should be exalted above measure. At another, his God humbled him amongst the Corinthians ; wbilst in his constant course, he had to keep under his body and
bring it into subjection, lest by any means, after he had preached to others, he himself should be a cast-away. His afflictions necessities and distresses, his stripes and imprisonment, his labours watchings and fastings, were all unquestionably designed to promote his growth in grace, his humility, simplicity, patience, contentment, thankfulness, resignation, and separation from the world ; his sense of dependence upon God, his desires after heaven, and his love to Christ and his cross. In all these respects, then, they turned to his salvation.
Indeed, we cannot fail to observe in the his'tories of the Saints of God as recorded in Scripture, that their various afflictions materially aided them in their way toward heaven. David went astray before he was afflicted, but afterwards he kept God's word. Doubtless the same was the case also with Job, who thus learned to abhor himself, and to repent in dust and ashes; and with Joseph, into whose soul the iron had entered; and with Jacob, who learned to look back with gratitude upon the past, and to acknowledge that even in that most adverse event, the loss of Joseph, Jehovah had, in fact, surpassed all his expectations or desires. Thus all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose. The trying of our faith worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience