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Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.... Matt. v. 8. *
EveRY institution of purification under the law referred to Jesus, the purifier of his people. Old-Testament saints received inward purity of heart from the same fountain, Jesus; and through the same means, faith in him. Without this inward purity of heart, “without holiness, no man ever did or ever shall see the Lord.” When Jesus comes to his temple, even the hearts of his people, he “sits as a refiner and purifier.” Sinners are the objects of his love. Sin is the accursed thing his soul hates. From this he purifies them. In purity and holiness his soul delights: with this he blesses his disciples. He then pronounces them blessed. He tells them wherein their happiness consists: blessed are you, whose hearts are pure: blessed are your eyes, for they shall see God. “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one” of fallen Adam's race....Job. xiv. 4. Such power belongs to God only. Man contributes nothing hereto. But man, every believing, regenerate man, is the blessed subject of purity and holiness of heart. . He has no hand in purifying his heart. No glory is due to him. But holy, blessed effects flow from it, to God his Saviour's glory, to his present felicity, and to his eternal comfort and joy. To thy shame disciple, thou knowest, being a child of an apostate, sinful parent, naturally only sin was the delight of thine heart. It is thy present blessedness to be a child of the holy God, a member of the holy Jesus, a subject of the holy Spirit's new creating influence, and a partaker of holy faith. ... • . Hence it is natural to thy holy, new-born heart, to love holiness, as agreeable to the perfections of thy God and Saviour, and as it is suitable to thy present state of blessedness in Christ Jesus. Whence those sighs and sorrows at finding the Canaanites still in the land? Whence those groans and prayers because sin dwelleth in the flesh? Whence those importunate cries and longing requests to Jesus for total victory and perfect freedom from this troublesome inmate? Whence that holy joy and sweet complacency in bringing forth “the fruits of holiness?” These are indubitable evidences that thou art united to a holy Jesus, that thy heart is purified by faith, that thou. hast a heart cleansed from all sin by Christ's blood. A new heart and right Spirit are put within thee. Thou dost see God in Christ Now as thy covenant-God. Thou hast received covenant blessings from him. Rejoice in him. Shortly, thou shalt see him and enjoy him to all eternity in his kingdom and glory.
Bless'd are the men of broken heart, Bless'd are the pure, whose hearts are Who mourn for sim with inward smart: From the defiling pow'rs of sin; [clean, The blood of Christ divinely flows, With endless pleasure they shall see, A healing balm for all their woes. A God of spotless purity.
Righteousness delivereth from death....Prov. xi. 4.
When a poor sinner is brought to judge of himself according to the word of truth, then is he truly wise. When he sees the exceeding sinfulness of sin, he is humbled before the Lord. When he considers “the wages of sin is death,” he fears and trembles. But when he is enabled to believe he is righteous in the sight of God, then he is truly happy. His soul rejoiceth, because his eyes have seen the salvation of God; and he hath found a righteousness that delivers from death. It is never well with the soul, but when in simplicity and godly sincerity, it forms its judgment of sin and righteousness from the word of the Lord. For carnal reason and fleshly wisdom pervert and draw it aside from the truth as it is in Jesus. Sin is a transgression of the law, which is holy, just, and good. “Death has passed upon all men.” Verily then I am a cursed sinner, and have need to cry daily, “God be merciful to me!” Lord, deliver my soul from death! What is righteousness, but a perfect obedience to the law of God? I have no righteousness in myself. I have sinned. A sinner righteous in himself is a contradiction in terms. But here is our mercy; as by man sin entered into the world, and death as the curse of sin: so by man came righteousness; and as a blessing of it, deliverance from death. Where can we turn our eyes? to whom can we look for this righteousness, this blessing, this deliverance? To the man, Mediator, surety, and representative of his people, Jesus, only. He is emphatically styled “the righteous,".... 1 Johnii. 1. This is the comfortable testimony the Spirit of truth bears of Jesus, “He was made to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we (who have no righteousness in ourselves) might be made the righteousness of God IN HIM.”....2 Cor. v. 21. So the righteous Jehovah, who loveth righteousness, and whose countenance beholds the thing that is just, is well pleased with the members of Jesus: for they are clothed with his righteousness. The Lord laid their sins upon Jesus. The Lord imputes the righteousness of Jesus to them without any works of theirs. So he delivers them from deserved death; so he justifies them in righteousness unto eternal life: every believer is as perfectly righteous IN Christ as if he had never sinned. Here is thy happiness, O believer! it is thy joyful privilege thus to judge of thyself. To live in this view of thyself is agreeable to the truth of God's word: it is witnessed to thy soul by the comforter, through faith. This makes the soul joyful in truth. This animates to all holy obedience in love. This gives confidence in prayer, comfort in life, deliverance from death, and boldness at the awful bar of judgment. Thus “grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.”.... Rom v. 21. o
Ict the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful....Col. iii. 15.
EveRY exhortation in the word of grace implies a contrary disposition in the fallen nature of saints. Because thou hast turbulency and disorder in thy flesh, therefore art thou, believer, called upon by the word, to oppose it in the grace of the Spirit. Here is thy daily exercise. We shall surely meet with many things from within and without, which are contrary to the peace of our minds, and the comfort of our hearts. Thou, O man of God, art to flee these things: watch against them; pray for victory over them. Thou hast the most powerful excitements hereto. Jesus hath made peace by the blood of his cross. . Every disciple is called to the knowledge and enjoyment of it through faith. , Called to be of that one body whereof Jesus is the head... Hence the hand-writing of the law of accusation is cancelled in the mind; sin is dethroned in the heart; the clamours of conscience silenced; and sweet peace with God inwardly felt. Dost thou, soul, possess this happy state?. What then shall be the umpire? What the determining rule of thy conduct? Live by the word of truth on the prince of peace; so shall thy outward actions be governed right.
PEACE with God is the fruit of everlasting love. Its root was planted in the eternal counsel; it blossoms and bears fruit, in the life and death of Jesus; and poor sinners reap the sweet, heartfelt sense of it by faith. . Nothing can destroy this heavenly plant; but many things may cause it to droop and wither in sense and experience. Let the peace of God rule. Hence it is plain thou art exposed to many things which may prevent its ruling ; those are to be guarded against. While the peace of God rears its head, and rules in the heart, its natural influence is to follow peace with all men. Yea, the peaceful soul embraces every member of the prince of peace in the open arms of faith and love. And canst thou barter the enjoyment of this rich gem of thy Redeemer's crown, for the gratifications of unbridled passion, unchristian resentment, undue revenge against thy brother? Hath thy Lord dealt so with thee? Has this been the rule of the meek Lamb's conduct?, Thou knowest otherwise. “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves.” Yes: avenge thyself on the enemy of thy peace. ...O.-disciple, thy pride is the cause of anger and passion. Here fix all thy indignation. Against this be fired with a holy resentment. A sense of anger will hinder thy prayers. . Resentment will shut up thy spirit against gratitude and thankfulness to thy God. O, offer up this sweet sacrifice continually from thy heart. Beware lest the smoke of pride and corruptions cloud thy mind, and darken thy soul. Be humble. Humility is the ground of gratitude. “Remember thy calling, and study to walk worthy of it.”....Ephes. iv. 1.
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And Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.... Luke x. 42.
WHAT the Lord said of Aaron's rod, is true of the hèarts of all his elect: “The man's rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom.”---> Numb. xvii. 5. To see a dead withered stick, cut off from the root, bring forth blossoms, is a miracle in nature. So when the soul of a once dead sinner shoots forth the blossoms of affection to, and chooses Jesus as its portion and happiness, and brings forth fruits of holiness; this is a miracle of grace. s The love of Jesus to his people was not only conceived in his heart from eternity, but was manifested in his life and death in timeSo when our hearts are made acquainted with the love of Jesus, it cannot be hid. When Jesus is chosen as our treasure, our affections cleave to him, we follow him; our delight is to hear his voice, to sit at his feet, and attend upon the gracious words which drop from his lips. Blessed be his name, he indulges his people now with spiritual, real communion with him; though we enjoy not his bodily presence. This is our heaven upon earth. But it differs from the heaven of glory in this; because here are many things that interrupt our constant enjoyment of Jesus....satan envies it....the flesh lusteth against it....the world, with its profits and pleasures, tends to allure us from it. And indeed the poor heart is oft times ready to fear it shall lose Jesus' grace and salvation. Though, like MARY, the soul hath chosen the good part in time, yet it sometimes doubts of the enjoyment of its portion in a blissful eternity. But that is impossible; because Jesus is God, and it is impossible for God to lie. But had not Martha also a part in this one thing needful? Doubtless. But still she was ever careful, and too much cumbered about other things. This our Lord reproves. The same grace which was effectual in Mary's heart, influences the heart of every disciple to the same choice; therefore what Jesus said to her in the days of the flesh, is wrote by his Spirit for our consolation and establishment in faith and love. Mary displayed the greatness of her soul in being satisfied with no object short of Jesus, and the humility of her heart in sitting at his feet. Poor doubting, fearing believer, thy choice of Jesus is the effect of God's choosing thee in Jesus; therefore thy good part, thy happy choice, shall never be taken from thee; but thou shall soon hear the voice of thy beloved, saying, “Come up hither.” “Where I am there shall my servants be. If any man serve me, him will my Father honor.”....John xii. 26.
Thus saith the wisdom of the Lord, The soul that seeks me shall obtain
Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ....] John i. 3.
THE prophet asks, “cannot two walk together, except they be agreed?"....Amos iii. 3. No. There can be no sweet communion, no comfortable fellowship between God and man, except they be agreed. See then, O soul, this fellowship is enjoyed by faith: for by faith we are brought into agreement with God. Consider, how the glorious THREE concur to make our souls thus happy. It pleased God the Father, that all fulness should dwell in his Son. He determined to display all his grace and glory in the MAN Jesus, for the sinner's salvation....Hence he saith to us, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, HEARYE HIM.” But we are averse to agree with God and to hear Jesus. We had rather have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, and that the devil should rule over us; than that Jesus should have the whole glory of saving us by his grace. But the dear Spirit loves us with equally the same love as the Father and the Son doth. He takes the scales of ignorance from our eyes, and the veil of unbelief from our hearts; then we fall in love with Jesus' precious person. He convinces us of our sin and misery. O, then we gladly hear and joyfully receive Jesus to be our Saviour. Then we come to the exact point where the Father meets us and embraces us, even IN his Son Jesus. He saith to us, O my blessed sons! All I have is yours. We say to him, O our loving Father! All we are is thine. And just as children of one family have sweet communion, loving intercourse, and agreeable fellowship with each other, and with their common parents; so have we with our heavenly Father, and our dear brother, Jesus, in our spirits. He speaks to us; we hear and obey. We pray to him; he hears and answers. We have fellowship in the Father's everlasting love; in the Son's everlasting righteousness, atonement, salvation, and intercession, through the Spirit's everlasting consolation. O, what astonishing grace | O, what wonder of love is this! Sinners of a mortal race enjoy close fellowship and intimate communion with the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity. This is our highest felicity below. Here we admire, adore, and love. Angels behold with wonder and joy our conversion to it. But this fills with envy and fires with rage, the infernal spirits. They hate the TRUTH, and oppose our knowledge and enjoyment of it. Though satan is not acquainted with our sweet fellowship, yet he sees we are not delighted to have fellowship with him in unfruitful works of darkness. Hence he is our adversary. And all the world, who are under his influence, he stirs up with implacable enmity against us. But what of all this Faith is our victory. And as this fellowship is begun in faith; so the holy Spirit will maintain it in the soul by faith below, till we come to the fullest enjoyment of God and the Lamb above.