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and the more I think about it, the more certain I am that Jesus Christ lived, and died, and rose again from the dead. I have no more doubt about it at all, than if I had seen it with my eyes. I would sooner die than disbelieve it.
You are all still but very ignorant: and therefore, you must (for it is the case all the world over) believe those who know more than yourselves. Of course you will believe me, my friends: and when I tell you I am certain of all this, have no doubt about it. I trust that on my word (for I would not, God knoweth, deceive you) you will feel yourselves certain too, will feel no doubt about it yourselves.
Now this faith is the foundation stone, you know very well what I mean, on which the Christian builds all his hopes, all his good and holy doings. It is the great spring, which sets in motion all the actions of his life. For, (attend to me carefully and
seriously, I most earnestly beseech you) if you believe in Jesus Christ, you believe that he died in order that God the Father may accept your prayers and your tears for the forgiveness of all your past sins. You believe, that he is now in heaven, seeing all that you do, helping you; yes, my friends, helping you, when you sincerely try to love, and serve, and obey him,-helping you, my friends, though you see him not, just, as if a fellow-servant helped you in any hard work you were doing. You believe also, that the Bible contains all which Jesus Christ desires you to do-his laws, his directions, his orders, his instructions. And you also believe that there will be a day (God alone knoweth when it will be) when all that are in the graves shall come forth-when you, and I, and every body shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ to be judged for all that we have done. And you believe, that the same Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and our Judge, will send the wicked into ever
lasting punishment, and put the good in possession of life eternal.
And now, my friends, do you believe all this? Can you say, each of you, I believe it as surely as I believe, though I did not see, that the sun rose yesterday morning? If you do thus believe, you are Christians in your faith-you have come to Christyou have laid hold of all his mercies. and of all his love. And if you do not rest here, but go on, faithfully and truly, to behave like persons having so great a hope and so sure a faith, I promise you, in the name of the Lord Jesus, that you will be saved-saved from hellsaved from the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
From all that I have said, do you not think that Christians ought to be better people than others. Yes, my brethren, they ought most certainly : and when they are not, rely on it, either they do no not
believe as they say they do, or they forget what they believe. Do you not think, that if at this moment you saw the heavens opened, and Jesus Christ on his throne of glory ready to judge the living and the dead, do you not think, are you not sure, that you would not have the heart to do a wicked thing? Sin may be very tempting, very sweet indeed to you, but you would cast it off-you would drive it away-you would resolve to be new creatures. yet, if you believe as you ought, you must believe that this will one day or other be the case. Endeavour, therefore, my dear fellow-Christians, always to set this very thing before your eyes. Live as if Jesus Christ was now, at this moment, about to call you to account. You cannot perhaps be always thinking of this, to be sure. Other cares and other thoughts and other business will employ much of your time. But think of it, I entreat you, as often as you can: and be sure to think of it, and to think of it with all the seriousness in your
power, when an evil heart tells you what a pleasant thing it is to do this or that wrong and wicked thing. And I am sure, that with God's gracious help, with your Saviour's presence with you, and readiness to assist you, you will never commit any very wicked act: that, on the contrary, you will go on improving, and growing better Christians from day to day: and that at length the blessed Jesus will find you a people prepared for him.
And now to God, &c.