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fills us with terror. Glorious in holiness? This causes black despair. So every other attribute and perfection of Jehovah must sink sinners into dread, astonishment, and death. .
But here is our relief, it is the knowledge of the glory of God, in the person of the anointed Saviour. In him, God's glorious favour, eternal love, everlasting council of peace, covenant of grace, promises of mercy, scheme of salvation, shine with the most resplendent lustre. Hence pardon, love, peace, joy, holi. ness, hope, security, heaven in possession, glory in reversion; all, all centre in the person of Jesus. Thus we behold the glory of God--God in Christ! This is the only comfortable knowledge, the only reviving ex. perience, of the christian heart. And here we see how inseparably connected God's glory and his people's comforts are. Each leads to the other, and both tend to lay sinners low in humility, and sink them to nothing before a sovereign, gracious Lord. Could a dark chaos contribute anything to the production of light? Canst thou, O worm of the earth, exert any power, to cause that glorious luminary, the sun, to send forth its reviving beams of light ? No; the first is by the command of the Sovereign Agent; the latter acts by the laws of its wise Creator. So as to spiritual light, saving knowledge, it is given to those who sought it not; it is made mani. fest to those who asked not after it. What then be. comes of terms and conditions of salvation ? O thou once spiritually blind and dead soul, if God hath commanded the light and knowledge of Jesus in thine heart, all boasting is excluded; all glorying in self is at an end. Surely thou wilt say, Thine is the power; to thee, to thee alone, Jehovah, be all the glory!
FEB. 8.—Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by him. self purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.--Heb. i. 3.
What St. Paul says of the resurrection of Jesus, 1 Cor. xv., may, with equal truth, be applied to his divinity. If Jesus be not truly and essentially the selfexisting God, “ All preaching is vain; all faith is vain;" all the saints of God must perish in their sins. But we have not so learned Christ, if so be we have heard him, and know the truth as it is in him. His eternal power and Godhead angels adore, devils tremble at, saints rejoice in, and only poor, blinded, proud sinners dare cavil against and deny.
That Jesus is both Lord and God, lies at the found. ation of our faith. That he upholds all things by the word of his power, is the joy of our hearts. That, as man, he hath purged our sins, causes all our hope and comfort. That he is entered into heaven for us, and there pleads our cause, this is the glory of our souls. For our hope entereth into that within the veil. There Jesus, our fore-runner, is for us entered. On this rock Christ's church is built, and neither the powers of earth and sin, nor the gates of hell shall prevail against it. When the Spirit brings the soul up to Nebo, the mount of prospect and prophecy, it has glorious views of the inheritance, it speaks of it, it fructifies, the graces of faith, hope, love, peace, and joy, abound in the heart. But, alas! all is barren as a wilderness, unfruitful as a desert, while sin, in its guilt and punishment, is not known and believed to have been purged by the blood of Jesus. This is the only physic for sin-sick souls, the most reviving cordial for drooping spirits. That same blood, which was allsufficient to purge away sin in the court of heaven, is also all-sufficient to cleanse the guilt of it from the conscience. Sweet consolation for the members of Jesus! Their living Head, in human form, is at the right hand of the Majesty in glory; the blessed object to whom we are ever to look, through whom every
comfort flows, and on whom is our hope, in every conflict with sin and Satan. What then doth this doctrine teach us? That our hearts should ascend up to our Saviour. But how? By faith. “Christ dwells in our hearts by faith,” Eph. ii. 17. And by faith our hearts ascend to, and dwell with him. And this is the reasoning of faith: “If, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled we shall be saved by his life,” Rom. v. 10.
FEB. 9.-Keep yourselves in the love of God. Jude 21.
The love of God, like every other attribute and perfection of Jehovah, is everlasting and unchangeable ; even as the essence of God himself. This love is manifested to his people in Christ Jesus. He is the object, in whom they are viewed and loved by the Father. As“Jesus is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever;" so is God's love towards them. Time, with all its concurring circumstances, can make no alteration or change, increase or diminution herein. But, as to the sense and enjoyment of this love, the word of truth, and experience of saints, plainly testify of its ebbing and flowing, its fervour and abatement in the soul. Hence the necessity of those tender calls, kind warnings, and loving counsels, addressed to believers in the word of truth; because they are ever to be active, as those who are made alive to God, and have their senses exercised to discern between good and evil. Exhortations excite jealousy, and quicken diligence. The enjoyment of the love of God is our heaven below; to keep ourselves in the happy sense of it, is our highest privilege, our greatest happiness. Keep ourselves in the love of God! Yes. How? Use every means which love commands. Avoid all things which love forbids. Account not this legal. Those who do, have
enjoy ourselur greates Yes. bid all
only the notion of love in the head, but are strangers to the constraints of God's love in the heart.
Wouldst thou ever enjoy love, O christian? Be much in meditation upon it, think daily, constantly, of that unparalleled instance of it, God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son Jesus, to atone for sin by his precious blood, to justify sinners by his perfect righteousness. Dost thou know this by the gospel ? This is love revealed. Dost thou believe this, in thine heart, by the Spirit? This is love felt and enjoyed. All, all flows from the rich, transcend. ently rich love of God in Christ Jesus. Oh, be concerned daily, to keep thy soul in and under a lively sense of this love! and also keep thyself, by this love, from all worldly lusts, carnal indulgences, and sensual gratifications. These are forbidden fruits. Thy flesh may long for, and covet them; but by the love of God, by his mercies in Christ Jesus, and for thy soul's sake, abstain from them. Know verily, as hurtful food will impair the health of thy body; so these things will as certainly rob thy soul of its peace, damp the warm sense of God's love, and render thee cool, indifferent, and lifeless to the enjoyment of the love of God. Thus saith the God of love, “Consider your ways,” Hag. i. 5.
FEB. 10.—The path of the just is as the shining light, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day.-Prov. iv. 18.
Since the fall of man, there is no other way of being made just, or righteous, but by the one righteousness of the man Christ Jesus. Just Noah, righteous Lot, meek Moses, faithful Abraham, patriarchs, prophets, and apostles, all were sinners in themselves, but “their righteousness is of me," saith Jehovah Jesus, Isa. liv. 17. Hence the Lord calls his people righteous. They are really constituted so in his sight. This truth should
ever dwell in our minds. It is the source of all delight in God, and love to him. Hence we are comforted in the way of truth and holiness. For Jesus, who is our righteousness, is also our light to direct our steps, and our path wherein we walk. He is “the Light of the world, the Light of life.” “I am the way," saith Jesus. St. Paul exhorts, “ As ye have received the Lord Jesus, so walk ye in him," Col. ii. 6.
Our faith in Christ is no new-fangled doctrine, but the same as was from the beginning. Christians are not left to the darkness of nature. They are not led by sudden, transient flashes of light; but by the clear, steady shining of truth upon their minds. Their walk, in the path of truth, is consistent and uniform. Like the dawning light of the morning, the light of truth first breaks in upon the soul, and gradually increaseth brighter and brighter : so we see more clearly, believe more strongly, love more fervently, hope more steadily, obey more delightfully, and long more cheerfully for the perfect day. Though at some seasons, when vapours and mists of nature's corruption arise, and the night of affliction and desertion overtakes the just, upright soul, he may be in fears, lest he should never hold out to see the perfect day. In such seasons, he is too apt to lend his ear to a whisperer, who is ever ready to dishearten him. What with his corrupt heart, Satan's suggestions, and men's false doctrine, he is thrust sore at. He may fear lest he should fall, and perish for ever ; but this proves nothing against God's good word and precious promises, though it manifests weakness of faith, and dejection of hope in the christian; but God's power and truth are engaged to support him. If the comforting Spirit had not left another word of proof, in the whole Bible, for the perseverance of the just, this one is sufficient. Wisdom bath spoken it; nor men nor devils shall reverse it. Every justified soul shall enjoy the perfect day of meridian glory, and salvation in Jesus' kingdom. “The righteous shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger," Job xvii. 9.