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Leighton and Coleridge.

The proper and natural effect, and in the absence of all disturbing or intercepting forces, the certain and sensible accompaniment of peace (or reconcilement) with God, is our own inward peace, a calm and quiet temper of mind. And where there is a consciousness of earnestly desiring, and of having sincerely striven after the former, the latter may be considered as a sense of its presence. In this case, I say, and for a soul watchful and under the discipline of the gospel, the peace with a man's self may be the medium or organ through which the assurance of his peace with God is conveyed. We will not therefore condemn this mode of speaking, though we dare not greatly recommend it. Be it, that there is, truly and in sobriety of speech, enough of just analogy in the subjects meant, to make this use of the words, if less than proper, yet something more than metaphorical; still we must be cautious not to transfer to the object the defects or the deficiency of the organ, which must needs partake of the imperfections of the imperfect beings to whom it belongs. Not without the co-assurance of other senses and of the same sense in other men, dare we affirm that what our eye beholds is verily there to be beholden. Much less may we conclude negatively, 57 and from the inadequacy, or the suspension, or from every other affection of sight infer the non-existence, or departure, or changes of the tiling itself. The chameleon darkens in the shade of him that bends over it to ascertain its colours. In like manner, but with yet greater caution, ought we to think respecting a tranquil habit of the inward life, considered as a spiritual sense as the medial organ in and by which our peace with God, and the lively working of his grace on our spirit, are perceived by us. This peace which we have with God in Christ, is inviolable; but because the sense and persuasion of it may be interrupted, the soul that is truly at peace with God may for a time be disquieted in itself, through weakness of faith, or the strength of temptation, or the darkness of desertion, losing sight of that grace, that love and light of God's countenance, on which its tranquillity and joy depend. Thou didst hide thy face, saith David, and I was troubled. But when these eclipses are over, the soul is revived with new consolation, as the face of the earth is renewed and made to smile with the return of the sun in the spring; and this ought always to uphold Christians in the saddest times, namely, that the grace and love of God towards them depend not on their sense, nor upon any thing in them, but is still in itself, incapable of the smallest alteration.

A holy heart that gladly entertains grace, shall find that it and peace cannot dwell asunder; while an ungodly man may sleep to death in the lethargy of carnal presumption and impenitency; but a true, lively, solid peace, he cannot have. There is no peace to the wicked, saith my God, Isa. lvii, 21.

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