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BELIEVE in Christ, for thy Protector cry,
God offers him to all, both far and nigh,
Receive the gracious offer, and don't fail;
Or else, thou shalt the loss of him bewail.
The man, who Christ with heart sincere receives,
And with a lively faith in him believes,
Christ will on him his saving grace bestow,
To live like the blest saints, whilst here below.
Christ shall to him his holy Spirit give,
That he, new-born, may a new creature live;
Christ shall quite change, and mould the man anew,
From a rash rebel to a subject true.
He gives his grace, our gloomy minds to light -
He gives his Word, to make us walk aright -
To rule us, he his holy Spirit grants -
He gives himself, to make up all our wants -
So that no soul in Christ can well believe,
Who shall not grace and strength from him receive,
To emulate the conduct of the just ;
If right his faith, and confident his trust.
The grace of God, and a supernal pow'r,
Faith plucks from heav'n - to make a man give o'er,
And thoroughly abhor, his evil ways,
And lead a life of virtue all his days.
Unless thy faith extorts this grace divine,
And makes the renovated creature shine,
It is in vain;- it answers to no end,
Unless it serves thy errors to amend.
A lively faith does grace from Christ attract,
And strength to put thy theory in act :
All its old sins it utterly forsakes,
And of th' whole man a renovation makes.
Howe'er corrupt the nature that's in thee -
However weak thy intellects may be -
Believe in Christ, invoke his holy name,
And, when he pleases, he can change the same.
Although the Jailer was a sinful soul -
Thou Paul was, once, as sinful, on the whole -
And though Manasses was still worse agen -
Yet they, thro' Christ, were made quite diff'rent men.
So can he make of thee, thou sinful soul!
Although by nature reprobate and foul,
A perfect saint - if thou in him wilt place
Thy trust - thereby to get his aid and grace.
Christ, that great persecutor Paul, reform'd,
And to a glorious preacher soon transform'd;
The woman too, of bad report and fame,
From a mere raven, a white dove became.
Believe in Christ with heart sincerely true,
And he'll thy mind and manners form anew -
Christians he'll make out a fiend-like race,
And of the foe of God, a child of grace.
Presume not, then, that thy belief is right,
If Christ thy nature has not alter'd quite :
For Christ a total change of manners gives
To each, that faithfully in him believes.
Behold Zaccheus, Magdalene, and Paul!
You soon shall see that Christ will change them all:
Their morals all at once are strictly just,
As soon as they in Jesus place their trust.
Tho', in the morning, Saul did all he cou'd,
Like a fierce wolf, to shed the Christian's blood;
Yet, soon as he believ'd, this wolf became,
By noon that very day, a perfect lamb.
Before Zaccheus was a Christian made,
To rob the needy, was his daily trade;
But, when he once believ'd, he gave the poor
The greatest part of what he gain'd before.
Though Magdalene was once a reprobate,
And sinn'd, e'er she believ'd at any rate,
Yet afterwards a virtuous life she led,
And was declared a saint, when she was dead.
So shalt thou ev'ry vicious habit leave,
When thou shalt once unto thy Saviour cleave:
For, 'till there is this reformation wrought,
Thy faith can only a mere whim be thought.
Faith, unaccompany'd by works, is dead -
A formless faith - a trunk without a head -
A faith, that blinds - a false, fallacious faith -
A faith, that leads the ready way to death!
There is no fire, without attending heat -
There is no water - but it must be wet -
There's no good vine - but is with clusters crown'd;
No lively faith, without its fruits is found!
Shou'd any one affirm, that he believes,
And yet repents not - he himself deceives:
His faith is nought, but froth - or, at the most,
All his belief is but an idle boast.
There is no true believer can do less
Than mend his morals, and his lusts suppress;
Because that Christ to all believers gives
His holy Spirit, to amend their lives.
Be not deceiv'd, thou sinner most obscene,
Where there is faith, there holy lives are seen:
For if thy faith is worthy to be known,
By its good works let it be plainly shown.
If in thy faith there does no life appear,
If it no grace, in word and work, does bear,
'Tis but the name of faith upon the whole -
A faith, that never can preserve thy soul!
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"Advice To Believe In Christ" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 23 Oct. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/43394/advice-to-believe-in-christ>.
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