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The word was made flesh and dwelt among us (and roc
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 is to conclude of Jesus; the Son of God. “ This same shall comfort us, though the work and toil of hands have been evil, and we are 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 peculiar to believers in all ages. “ Abraham rejoiced to see Christ's day of incarnation; he saw it and was glad." 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 Christ. 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.
6 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.
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." With this view, we meditate on our hastening dissolution with composure; expect the messenger
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 we now 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 certainly come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day.”.... 2 Thess. i. 10.
And did my God in human flesh
And blood appear below? Was he beheld as full of truth,
That grace from him might flow?
The faith of this attracts my soul,
To Christ in union sweet;
That in me ye might have peace, in the world ye shall have 3. 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, flesh, and the devil, every follower of Jesus will be sure to receieve. 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, then we are ready to conclude, 'O there is no end to my troubles; I ahall 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.”
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 not have appointed it for us. One is not incompatible with, nor destructive of the other. Nay, is it not oft the case with thee, O christian, as of old, that“as sufferings abound, consolation abounds also ?....2 Cor.i.50 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. 2... 5.
Thus as Christ is ours, all things are ours. Tribulation and distress in the world are ours, as well as hope, patience, peace, love, and joy in Jesus. Sweet is it to observe how o’r dear Saviour 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, 4 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”..., 1 John v. 5.
Hath my dear Lord this world o'ercome, Faith in my Lord doth share the spoile, In which I've trials great?
And bring me peace of mind : Be of good cheer then, O my soul, What tho'the world doth smile or frown, Thy vict'ry is complete.
In Christ I vict'ry find. M. VOL. I.
Henceforth know zve 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 eminent does the grace of God shine in the conduct of Levi! when the glory of Jehovah was at stake, when his honor was to be vindicated against those who had sinned with an 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 the truth for fear of him. This is our highest honor; and this is highly acceptable in the sight of our God. “ Those who honor me I will honor," saith the Lord. But “knowing men after the flesh,” proves a snare to the soul. Many have suffered loss hereby. While they have conferred with flesh and blood, listened to the wisdom of carnal men, and consulted the judgment of the wise of this world, how have their minds been drawn from the simplicity that is in Christ! The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. The righteousness of the flesh is abomination in his sight. The Spirit of inspiration hath taught us this profitable lesson, to glory only in Christ as our wisdom and righteousness. This sweet mystery of faith makes us dead to the life of the flesh, the lust of the flesh, and the glory of the flesh; yea, gives us the victory over the flesh. So we live in a spiritual kingdom, glory in Jesus as a spiritual Saviour, are delighted with spiritual companions, and are made comfortable by spiritual gifts and graces.
While a Pharisee, Paul gloried in carnal privileges and the attainments of the flesh; but, “Behold he prayeth,” saith the Holy Ghost. Blessed proof of a new-born soul, when it soars to Jesus, and is dissatisfied with all the objects of nature, time, and sense, and inces‘santly cries, “I count all things but loss and dung for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I
win Christ.”....Phil. iii. 8.
To know my Lord in mortal flesh,
Doth ev'ry comfort bring : AFTER the flesh to know the Lord
Is quite a carnal thing.
With spiritual views my soul delight,
Of Jesu's lovely face,
He that acknowledgeth the Son, hath the Father also....
1 John ii. 23.
If so, we cannot pay too much homage, nor ascribe too much glory to Jesus, as some object. Did Jesus receive from God the Father, honor and glory by this voice from the excellent glory, « This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased?”....2 Pet. i. 17. Is it the Father's will that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father?”! “He that honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father that sent him."....John v. 23. May we not then boldly say with Paul, on another occasion, “ As the truth of Christ is in me,' no man shall stop me in this glorying" in Jesus, as my Lord, my God. Yea, we will acknowledge him in his lowest form and meanest appearance; as the babe wrapped in swadling clothes, lying in a manger; a destitute, outcast infant; obscure and mean in his birth and parentage; working at a common, ordinary employ; without form and comeliness; despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with griefs; mocked, derided, laughed to scorn; crowned with thorns in derision; condemned and crucified as an accursed wretch, unworthy to live in heaven or on earth; adjudged fit only to die, in company with thieves and highwaymen, on a gibbet. Wholly to trust in this Man, this Gop-MAN, Jesus of Nazareth, the root and offspring of David, this is the FAITH of God's elect.” This the acknowledgment of the truth which is after godliness. This is the only “ HOPE of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.”.... Tit. i. 2. This is a “ REPENTANCE to the acknowledging of the truth.”....2 Tim. ij. 25. Thus are simple, believing hearts. “
com; forted, being knit together in love, unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” ....Col. ii. 2, 3..
In this rich mine of truth and consolation we are daily to dig for all wisdom, holiness, and happiness. In this acknowledgment of the Son in his humble state, thus saving us, we have the Father's rich love, and precious promises, and the holy Spirit's power, influence, and witness. “ Ever giving thanks to the Father, who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”....Col. i. 12.
When I behold the Father's love
Then sense submits to faith divine,
That I may win Christ....Phil. iii. 8.
No sooner had good king Hezekiah established his throne in righteousness, restored religion in his kingdom, set his whole heart to serve the Lord, and his God prospered him, but an invading Sennacherib enters his territories, and entamps against his fenced cities....2 Chron. xxxii. 1. Scripture and experience daily preach to God's children, “ This is not your rest:” You are in militant state. Though Jesus hath taken possession of the soul, ärid cast out the strong man armed, think not of folding your arms, and saying, I shall see war no more; for your adversary has many after-games to play. He will not only encamp against your fenced cities, and attack your out-works, but will also attempt your very heart and mind. Beware of such suggestions as these, they are the whispers of a destroying foe: “Come, you are now an excellent christian; you have a tongue to speak for Jesus, you don't live and art as the rest of the careless, sinful world, you have made great advances in holiness, now you have somewhat to glory in yourself before God:” Jesus, Master, save us in this hour of Satan's attack! When in such a storm, better to cast overboard all the heavy lading of self-confidence to right the ship. “A haughty spirit goeth before á fals.".... Prov. xvi. 18.
Let us ever remember, Jesus is all our gain and all our glory. We are still poor sinners. By renouncing all, and cleaving to him, we enjoy all in him. No fruits produced, no comforts experienced, but by abiding in him. What ! possess Jesus, and yet want to Win him ? Yes. Othere is much more knowledge of, peace from, love to, joy in, and conformity to Jesus, to be gained and experienced, than any of us have yet found! Jesus-enamoured hearts, like avaricious gamesters, never, never think they have enough of Jesus in time, till they have gained the full enjoyment of his matchless charms in glory. They renounce all for his sake. Wherefore? on terms and conditions to barter for an interest in Christ? No: gracious, loving hearts detest such base undervaluing thoughts of their infinitely precious Saviour. Shall the dross and dung of our doings and performances be put in competition with his most glorious excellency, who is our prize, our portion, our treasure? “Whom have I in heaven but thee, or what is there on earth I desire in comparison of thee?” will ever be the language of faith.
My God, my life, my love,
There's nothing here deserves my joys, To thee, to thee I call;
There's nothing like my
God. I cannot live if thou remove,
The smilings of thy face,
How amiable they are !
And no where else but there.