« EelmineJätka »
and influence, and to make it appear that in these distressing circumstances the Father has given his children good ground to rely upon his unchangeable love. He has revealed to them the immutability of his counsel and of his oath, that when they have fled to Jesus for refuge, they may comfort their hearts and say, I have been afraid of falling away, but it is without reason: for I have still immutable things to trust in-although to my sense and feeling every thing seems to make against me, yet God has promised not to leave me nor forsake me. O that I may honour his promise, and, without doubting, rely upon his faithful arm to make it good!
Consider then, O my soul, the principles of the doctrine of Christ. Review them carefully. Thou seest what influence they have upon every step of thy walk, and how mighty they are, through God, to carry thee through all thy difficulties. O study then the perfect freeness and the absolute sufficiency of the salvation of Jesus. Read and mark the bonds and securities which a faith
ful God has given thee to trust in, and not to be afraid. --The time to honour them most is to believe them, when thou hast the least sensible evidence: for that is the strongest faith. If thou canst believe upon his bare word, and it is a very good warrant, thy feet shall stand firm upon the rock, and thy goings shall be well ordered ; and that thou mayest believe this in the hardest trials, God informs thee that thy continuance in grace does not depend on thyself. “ Thou standest by faith :" and faith should direct thee to what God has undertaken and has promised to do for thee. He would have thee to place the confidence of thy heart upon
his tried word, which is a never-failing foundation, and if thou wast to build all thy hopes of persevering upon it, it would quiet thy fears and comfort thy heart. Thou wouldst then see that God has not left thee to thyself to stand or fall, but has engaged never to leave thee nor forsake thee. He has declared he will not turn away from thee to do thee good, and he will put his fear into thy heart, and thou shalt not turn away from him. View thy case in this comfortable light, and while thou art considering the safety of thy persevering, as revealed in scripture for the ground of thy faith, may every promise lead thee to trust more in God, and to trust less to thyself; and then the snare which was laid for thee will be broken, and thou wilt be delivered.
But take heed of carrying thine opinions to scripture, and of forcing it to speak for them. Beware of that common mistake; and beware of human systems. Pay no regard to men or names. Simply attend to the promises of God concerning thy persevering. Thy present trial has convinced thee that thou canst not depend on thy own faithfulness : this therefore is the time to learn practically the faithfulness of God, and to improve thy faith in it from such scripture arguments as these :
First, the nature of the divine covenant, which is not only the unchangeable will of the eternal Three, but is also their agreeinent, confirmed by oath, concerning the heirs of promise.
The Father loved them as his children, freely, with an everlasting love: he chose them and gave them to his Son : he engaged to keep them by his power through faith unto salvation.
The Son accepted them, and wrote all their names in his book, (not one of them therefore can be lost:) he undertook to be made man, and to live and die for them; to rise from the dead, to ascend, and to intercede for them; and he sitteth as king mediator upon the throne till every one of them be brought to glory.
The holy Spirit covenanted to carry into execution the purposes of the Father's love, and to apply the blessings of the Son's salvation. He undertook to quicken the heirs of promise, to call them effectually, to guide, to strengthen, to sanctify, and to comfort them; yea, he is not to leave them, till the number of the elect be perfected. Therefore HE ABIDES WITH THEM FOR
In this covenant the eternal Three have undertaken for every heir of promise to do
all for him, and all in him—for the means, and for the end-so that not one of them can perish: for faithfulness to the covenant is one of the highest honours of the Godhead: “I am Jehovah your Alehim which KEEPETH covenant, I will EVER BE MINDFUL of my covenant--My covenant WILL I NOT BREAK, nor alter the thing that has gone out of my mouth.” What strong consolation is there in these words ! Study them, O my soul, that by them thy faith may be established, and they may do thee good, like a medicine.
Thou art afraid of falling away; but the blessed Trinity have undertaken to hold thee up, and their covenant engagements are to be the ground of thy believing that they will fulfil what they have promised. Observe and adore the goodness of God: see, how he meets thy doubts, and answers thine objections-“ An oath for confirmation is among men an end of all strife: wherein God, willing more abundantly to show to the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath :