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Af ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love: even as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love....John xv. 10.
*. Do any reproach us concerning our hope of eternal life, that we do not expect it by free grace and promise only, but clogged with terms and conditions which we must fulfil? Do they say we are only dreaming legalists, under the legal yoke, and not Christ's freemen: We answer....We not only talk of, but we enjoy Christ; we do not merely prate about faith, but we partake of its power; not only hear of love described, but we feel its influence; not barely look for salvation from sin, but we enjoy it by the faith of Jesus Now; and we know that we shall partake of salvation with eternal glory. For he who never spoke one word in vain, hath pronounced of all his members, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you. Continue ye in my love.” And the loving heart of Jesus is so set upon our being always happy, that he directs us how to act, so as constantly to abide in the sweet sense of his love; that so we may enjoy still greater measures of it in our hearts. If ye keep my commandments, so shall it be with you. Jesus ever abode in his Father's love; this he manifested by doing the Father's will, and keeping his commandments. In his work of obedience he received this testimony from the Father, “This is my well-beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” So Abraham had this blessed witness borne him by the Lord. “Now I know thou fearest God.” And also a repetition of the grand promise given him upon the obedience of his faith....Gen. xxii. 15... 18. So also shall disciples find the testimony of the comforting Spirit, in the way of keeping the commandments of Jesus. Though not for, yet “in keeping thy commandments there is great reward.”.... Psalm xix. 11. This, David well knew by happy experience. So saints do experience. Faith and love are the commandments of Jesus. To believe in, rely upon, confide and trust in the Lord Jesus from hour to hour, this is to honor him. To love God and one another as his children, is the true badge of the disciples of the loving Saviour; this is to obey him. The more loving faith, and faithful love to Jesus abide in our hearts, so much the more will peace, consolation, and joy be increased in our souls. Do any deem this legality? May the God of grace fill our hearts with such legality day by day! so shall we be truly evangelized. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him, rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."....Col. ii. 6,7.
The King's daughter is all glorious twithin; her clothing is of wrought gold.... Psalm xlv. 13. -
Thus Jehovah, the sovereign Lord of all, who “ calleth things
that be not, as though they were,” speaketh by his Spirit of his church. By the pen of the royal prophet, the Lord describes the beauty and glory of all his members. They are viewed by God the Father, from all eternity, in Christ Jesus the heavenly bridegroom. They are beloved and chosen in him....“saved in the Lord Jesus with an everlasting 'salvation.”....Isa. xlv. 17. They are made ali glorious within; without, they are most richly clothed. , - ... What the church is viewed from eternity, that each member is destined to, and shall be made in time. For the establishing and com: fort of our faith and hope, which is in God, here is a sweet, a near and dear relation spoken of, and which ever subsists: the church is the King of glory's daughter, “the Lamb's wife,”....Rev. xxi. 9.... according to the immutable law of love, which, like the laws of the Medes and Persians, changeth not. Therefore she shall possess and enjoy her portion and dowry, which is designed for her. Though in herself she is black and deformed, yet is she most gloriously arrayed with the perfect comeliness which Jesus puts upon her...." Ezek. xvi. 14. But she knows not of, nor glories in this outward' clothing, till she is all glorious within. When the blessed Spirit. hath quickened, enlightened, and possessed the soul, of the rich graces of faith and love, then in a holy triumph of heavenly joy and ecstacy she cries out, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in My God; for he hath clothed ME with the garments of salvation, he hath covered ME with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels, &c.”....Isa. lxi. 10.
Thus the righteousness, the perfect righteousness of Jesus is our clothing; like gold for its value and purity; like wrought gold, being the work of the life of Jesus, to an exact conformity of the perfect law. Our inward glory lies in the graces of the Holy Spirit, in the hidden man of the heart. By the former, we have a title to glory; by the latter, we have evidence of interest in, and meetness for the kingdom. Thus faith's views are struck from the impression of the royal signet of God's word. Woe to licentious tongues, who would deprive the church of her INw ARD glory and holiness. Woe to those sacrilegious hands of Pharisees, who would strip the church of her glorious robe of imputed righteousness. “For, saith the Lord, I will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her. He that toucheth you, toucheth the * apple of his eye.”....Zech. ii. 5.8. - ... to f :
Again he limiteth a certain day, saying, To-day, if ye will hear his voice....Heb. iv. 7.
No marvel, that, among other, devices of Satan to distress sinners, and cause them to despair of God's mercies in Christ Jesus, he urges this also, “Your day of grace is past, the time of your wisitation is ended.' Hence many poor souls have been drove to their wits end. And have not some preachers been , so too, who have increased such persons fears by speaking in a most unscriptural manner on this point? But such are the effects of human systems, and free-will notions, with their offers of Christ, their proffers of grace. I heard one declare, “This is the last offer; if it is not now. accepted, eternal damnation will be the inevitable consequence.” Does thus, preaching hell, and damnation make converts to Jesus? From such harsh, unwarrantable declarations, these unscriptural conclusions have been drawn by sensible sinners, “that they have withstood the offers of mercy, and their day of grace is for ever ended; and that there is no place for repentance, though they seek it carefully with tears.” * -- ", Most injurious thoughts of a God of love! most dishonorable thoughts of precious Jesus! Never was any sensible sinner half so willing to be saved from wrath as Jesus was to, suffer wrath for sinners. Never was any weary, heavy-laden sinner, half so willing, to come to Jesus as he is to receive him. “ The Lord is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”....2 Pet. iii. 9. Therefore he hath limited a certain day; the day of gospel-light and salvation; the day of glad tidings to poor sinners. In the day, of his power, his people are made willing to trust to Jesus' blood and righteousness; to come to his feet, claim him as their king, and submit to his laws and government. His voice of grace is first heard in his word: when that is believed in the heart, his voice of love is heard in the soul. While the gospel is proclaimed, God's arms and heart are open to sinners; the chiefest and vilest sinners out of hell. His word assures, “the elect have obtained, and the rest were blinded.”....Rom. xi. 7.... But who blinds them? Not the God of love. No; “the God of this world, blinds, the eyes of those that believe not.”....2 Cor. iv. 4.... Who hardens them? Not a God of grace; “but they are hardened £hrough the deceitfulness of sin.” O! if any sinner's heart is soft and yielding to Jesus' love and salvation, “this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes,” How long hath he waited to be gracious to thee! Remember thy past conduct with shame; think on thy present state with gratitude; look forward, with hope; hear his voice with joy; come to him with boldness; “walk worthy of the vocation, wherewith thou, art called.”....Ephriya 1. Vol. I. - - L.
And now, Lord, what wait I for * My hope is in thee.... Psalm xxxix. 7. . . . . . . . . . . .
WHAT a blessing is inward composure of mind! How delightful an exercise is waiting upon the Lord! What a profitable privilege is prayer! How happy the soul whose hope is in God! These are all the sweet attendants upon, and promoted by the grace of faith in Christ Jesus. While that grows strong in the soul, we are more lively and comfortable. Hence the disciple's petition, “Lord, increase our faith,” is daily needful. Then it is well with the sout when it is enabled to make this solemn appeal to its Saviour, “Thou, Lord, knowest what I long for, what I wait for, even the spiritual blessings of thy kingdom, to be more inwardly transformed: into thine image, to be more perfectly obedient to thy will, and to obtain a more complete victory over my worst foes, sin, Satan, and the world.” Verily the heavenly-instructed soul knows, that all this is of God by Jesus Christ; and that the contrary to all this is from the lusts that dwell in him, and the evils that surround him: therefore God alone is his hope. His hope is not in his graces, his feelings, his frames, his comforts, but in the God of all grace....not in the streams, but in the fountain....not in what he has received, but in the infinite' fulness which is treasured up in Jesus for the needy. Hope of salvation in Jesus is our helmet. Faith guards the heart; hope fortifies the head; hence the christian lifts up his head in the day of battle, and in the hour of temptation. His head being armed, he dreads not divine wrath, Satan's terrors, nor the law's threatenings. Thou man of God, consult not thy carnal reason; consider not thy body, which is dead, because of sin; but know that the Spirit is life, because of righteousness. Though the law is weak through the flesh, yet grace reigns; and through gospel-grace thou hast great and precious promises to encourage thee to hope confidently; and the omnipotent power of the Spirit to work in thee, to make thee go on cheerfully, while Jesus is the stay of thine heart to uphold and strengthen thee. Fear not; only believe; greater is Jesus than all thine enemies. “Stronger is he who is for us, than all that are against us.” Verily thou shalt not be disappointed of thy hope, 'seeing it is in the Lord. Where Jesus is the object of faith, and the anchor of hope is cast within the vail, that soul shall safely and comfortably weather out every storm, and shall assuredly obtain the haven of eternal rest. By faith we possess the promises; hope expects the perfect fulfilment of them; in waiting we renew our strength.
My fainting flesh had dy'd with grief, Wait on the Lord, ye trembling saints, Had not my soul believ'd And keep your courage up ;
To see thy grace provide relief; He'll raise your spirit when it faints, Nor was my hope deceiv'd. ... And far exceed your hope.
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also that shall believe in me through their word....John xvi. 20.
* - WH At a rich fund of comfort is here for every believer in the Iambl his loving heart was not contracted, nor his eyes of compassion confined to the little flock now with him; but he looked forward in love, his bowels of tender mercy yearned over, and his innocent tongue pleads in behalf of all the tender lambs of his flock, through all succeeding ages, in every period of time. Yea, ere they had a being in the world, or faith in their hearts, they had an interest in. Jesus' prayers, for they were given to him by the Father. Methinks one hears some poor doubting member of Jesus, saying, * Ah, if I was but sure my worthless name was written in the Lamb's book of life; if I could but know his heart of love was towards poor sinful ME; that I was included in the happy catalogue of those Jesus prayed for, O how happy, how joyful should I be!' Here thy Lord has answered thy request. Read it for the joy of thy heart, and for the establishing thy soul in faith and love. Hast thou heard the apostolic truth, salvation by JEsus CHR1st : Is it glad tidings to thy heart? Dost thou believe in Jesus Christ as the only Saviour of the lost and guilty, as the only hope, for thy otherwise hopeless soul? If so, verily thou hast, as, much reason to conclude Jesus prayed for thee, as though thy name was wrote at full length in this very petition. Jesus prays for “ALL who shall believe in him through the apostle's word.”
The whole of salvation is sure to all believers, even the weakest of all, from the covenant, from Jesus, from the Spirit, and from the oath and promises of God. Though there is a sea of corruption and sin in thy nature; a world of tenmptation around thee; legions of devils in battle-array against thy poor soul; yet as thou hast the faith of God's elect-in thine heart, be it ever so weak, thou art possessed of a precious jewel, which is the inestimable gift of God's holy Spirit. And verily, as sure as Jesus prayed this prayer unto his Father on earth, thou, even thou, wast in his all-seeing eye; hadst a place in his loving heart, and hast an interest in his finished salvation: therefore be assured thou shalt most certainly be brought to glory, to ascribe salvation to God and the Lamb, through the happy, happy ages of a never-ending eternity. For so is the righteous challenge of our Saviour, “Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory.”....ver. 24.
He lives he lives 1 and sits above, Faith has an overcoming pow'r,