Page images

thou hast his righteousness upon thee, let law, Satan, and men say what they will against it. God finds his children naked, he clothes them. Witnesses are ever at hand; evidences are never wanting to prove this truth. The Spirit of truth bears infallible testimony, by the law and the prophets, to this glorious righteousness. Read, be joyful, and give all glory to rich grace, for its free imputation : “The righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ, is unto all and upon all them that believe," Rom. iii. 22. But no one enjoys the comfort of this, till, with Paul, he can say, “I through the law am dead to the law,” Gal. ii. 19.

Sin, sat the highest rally think

FEB. 15.--Our gospel came not to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.—1 Thess. i. 5.

Sin, salvation, death, judgment, eternity, though matters of the highest moment and utmost importance to us all, yet we naturally think of them with little concern, speak of them with great indifference, and treat the consideration of them as Felix did Paul, “Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee,” Acts xxiv. 25. And yet, perhaps, such have long sat under a preached gospel ; greatly cry up and applaud the preachers, and are ready to condemn others who do not see and admire their excellency. But, alas! what are the most excellent words of man, without the power of the Spirit ? Light as air; ineffectual, to soul-saving purposes, as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

The grand question is, Have I inwardly known and felt the power of the gospel ? It has an internal voice: it speaks glad tidings, good news, of life and salvation to the very soul: it is the word of power, to quicken dead souls to life: it is a revelation to the heart, of pardon and peace by Jesus. Thus it brings the clearest evidence, the fullest assurance along with it, that it is God's word of life and salvation. The Holy Ghost bears witness to it, in power and demonstration. Blessed souls! who are divinely assured of the truths of gospel grace and love by Christ, who embrace the gospel as their only hope, flee and cleave to Jesus as their only refuge. But more blessed, 'yea, most happy those believing souls, who are upon the delectable mountains, and enjoy much assurance of their own personal interest in Jesus, and eternal life through him; and by the Holy Ghost are enabled to say, "I know that Jesus loved me and died for me." Oh, this privilege is most highly to be prized ! it deserves the most earnest pressing after.

This only can deliver the soul from all doubts and fears, inflame it with most ardent love, inspire it with holy boldness, influence it to most cheerful obedience, resign it to afflictive allotments, wing it with holy longings after Christ, and eternal glory, and make it joyfully triumphant over the grim tyrant death; with “Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ," 1 Cor. xv. 57. Does God love his people, in Christ, with an everlasting love? does he will their salvation, and that they should clearly know and be comfortably assured of this ? Most certainly; for he exhorts them to give all“ diligence to the full assurance of hope,” Heb. vi. 11.

FEB. 16.-The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John i. 14.

When the Lord gave Lamech a son, he called his name Noah, which signifies repose, or consolation : and he said, “This same shall comfort us concerning the work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed." Gen v. 29. Noah was

an eminent type of Jesus. Every sinner, who is poor and made low, (as Lamech signifies,) has infinite reason so to conclude of God's Son, “This same shall comfort us, though the work and toil of our hands have been evil, and our nature cursed for sin."

To be poor and made low, in self, and to be struck with the display of the glory of the Lord Jesus, is the work of the Spirit, by the word of truth, and is pecu. liar to believers in all ages. Abraham rejoiced to see Christ's day of incarnation; he saw it, and was glad, John viii. 56. And all the children of Abraham's faith now, as well as the apostles, see the glory of Jesus by the same Spirit, whose office is to glorify him. To know Jesus as man, the anointed Saviour, brings life and peace to our hearts. To see his glory as God-man, fills our souls with the triumphs of salvation. Thus we are satisfied with him, as our Lord and our God. We look to no other God, but the God in our flesh, who dwelt among us. He is full of grace and truth to us. All wrath and terror ceaseth against us. “For God was in Christ reconciling the world, not imputing sin.” So God hath drawn nigh to us, so he hath embraced and loved us, so by faith we draw nigh to embrace and love him. Without this view of God, all pretended knowledge of him is only pompous ignorance and human deceit. Reject it as such.

But when Jesus is embraced in the arms of faith, the enraptured heart cries out with Simeon, “Mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” We run with patience the heavenly race, looking to Jesus. We meditate on our hastening dissolution with composure, expect the sure messenger death with peace, look forward to approaching judgment with joy, being assured of the joyful sight of the glorified man Jesus, the Judge, who shall then appear, as the great God and our Saviour; “ whom having not seen in the flesh, we love; in whom though now we see him not, yet believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory," 1 Pet. i. 8. For yet a little while, and “he shall come to be glorified in his

saints, and to be admired in all them that believe, in that day," 2 Thess. i. 10.

world, I. The latness i

FEB. 17.-That in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.—John xvi. 33.

Such is Christ's legacy to all his brethren: peace in him ; tribulation in the world. Every disciple shall receive these bequests. The former, a triune God of truth and faithfulness is engaged by promise and oath to give. The latter, from the combined trinity, the world, the flesh, and the devil, every follower of Jesus will be sure to receive. But, alas! how apt are we, when in the mount of peace with Jesus, to cry, “Tribulation shall no more affect me!" On the other hand, when in the dreary valley of tribulation, we are as ready to conclude, “Oh! there is no end to my troubles ; I shall see peace no more.” This was the case with David. One while we find him triumphing, “In my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved," Psalm xxx. 6; at another mournfully complaining, “Thou hidest thy face and I am troubled," Psalm xxx. 7.

Too, too apt are we to judge of God's love to us by his providences instead of his promises. Tribulation in the world is as necessary for the soul, as peace in Jesus ; or our loving Saviour would never have appointed it for us. One is not incompatible with nor destructive of the other. Nay, is it not often the case with thee, O christian, as of old, that as sufferings abound, consolation abounds also ? 2 Cor. i. 5. Hast thou access by faith into the same grace with the church of old ? dost thou with them “rejoice in hope of the glory of God ?” Learn the same note which they sung: “We glory in tribulation.” Why? Because they knew, that “all things work together for good.” Therefore they found, by experience, these soul-reviving effects: “Knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given unto us,” Rom. v. 3--5.

Thus as Christ is ours, all things are ours--tribulation and distress in the world, as well as peace and joy in Jesus. Most sweet to observe, how Christ words his legacy; it is like a cross richly ornamented with

jewels of infinite value. Tribulation in the world stands encompassed with peace in the front, good cheer and victory in the rear. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God ?" 1 John v. 5. Observe, he says, “that in me ye might have peace;" even peace with God, and in our own consciences. Christ “is our peace," Eph. ii. 14.

FEB. 18.-Henceforth know we no man after the flesh; yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet henceforth know we him no more.—2 Cor. v. 16.

How eminently does the grace of God shine in the conduct of Levil When the glory of Jehovah was at stake, when his honour was to be vindicated against those who had sinned with a high hand," he said unto his father and mother, I have not seen him;" that is, no one that mine eye shall pity, nor mine hand spare, who has transgressed in this matter. “Neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor know his own children," Deut. xxxiii. 9. The Lord our God is a jealous God. It behoves his children to be valiant for the truth as it is in Jesus. It is our duty to face all opposition against it; to stand in defence of it from every quarter; and to know no man after the flesh, so as to give up truth for fear of him. This is our highest honour; and this is highly acceptable in the sight of our God, who says, “Those who honour me I will honour," 1 Sam. ii. 30.

« EelmineJätka »