Page images

I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help....Psalm cxxi. 1.

The most comforting subject to a spiritual mind, the most delightful object to a spiritual eye, is :“God in Christ, recoñcited to us, not imputing trespasses untó us." The hills afford us a pleasing idea of Jesus. As they are elevated parts of the same earth with the lowest valley, '80 Jesus *.was found in the fashion as a män, took on him the same nature, and was in all things like unto his brethren, sin only accepted." Wherefore “God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name above every namre,"..Phil. ii. 9. even the precious name Jesus, the Saviour. We can never dwels too much upon the human form and humble appearance of Jésus, while 'We entertain the most exalted ideas of his eternal power and Godhead. He bore our sins, and carried our sorrows;" all our help is laid upon him; all our hope is in him; and our help comėth from him. And for the encouragement of faith, his word assures as of his love towards sinners, and his power to help them. - Soldiers of Christ, what is your chief business on Barth but to glorify God? What your daily work, but “to fight the good fight of faith, and to lay hold on eternal life?" This is our calling; the light of another day is vouchsafed us. But whỉther can we turn our eyes, but enemies surround us on every side? Yea, from within as well as from without. And can we experience safety, or walk in comfort, but-while our eyes are up to Jesus? He ls entered into heaven'" to appear in the presence of God for üb."...Heb. ix. 24. He says to us, LOOK UNTO ME, and be ye saved."...Isa. xlv. 23.

The sight of sin that dwelleth in us causeth dejection; looking to our own righteousness and fancied excellence; begets pride and vain confidence ; the power and subtilty of that malicious spirit, “the prince of the power of the air,” is enough to make one tremble. This présent evil world, with its honors, profits and pleasures, is exactly suited to our carnal nature. Who can withstand its sñiles, renounce its carnal children, and bear their reproaches? Who is proof against these potent adversaries? Verily, with all knowledge received, all inherent grace, all past experience, we shall not be able to stand if we are not continually lifting up our eyes looking to Jesus;" he only is our present help. We are kept by his mighty power to salvation; but let us remember it is through Christ's exalting FAITH.... 1 Pet. j. 5.

To heav'n I lift my waiting eyes; Dear Saviour, let me find thy help,
There all my hopes are laid.

On thee my hope I place, .. :)
The Lord that built the earth and skies, So shall I fight the fight of faith,
Is my perpetual aid.

And run with joy nag race.


Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt,

that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.... Col. iv. 6.

“THERE shall not an hoof be left behind,” said meek Moses to the stubborn monarch. All that belonged to God's children must go with them for his service. So the whole man; soul with all its faculties, body with all its members, Jesus claims for his glory and service. The tongue, though but a little member; words, though but as wind; speech, though but as sound; yet the name, the work, the love, the glory of Jesus are hereby greatly advanced in the world. As salt not only preserves from putrefaction, but seasons flesh with an agreeable flavour and relish, so doth grace in the heart the speech.

To a heart warm with the love of Jesus, and alive to his glory, why is the vain conversation of carnal company so disagreeable ? Truly, the christian is out of his element. He fears getting harm. An embargo is laid on his tongue. It is his glory to shun, rather than seek such company. If through connections in life he cannot totally refrain from such company, it is his wisdom to restrain his speech: “ To keep his mouth with a bridle while the wicked is before him, that he sin not with his tongue.” But always to season his speech, by the grace of Jesus, to the glory of his name.

But when saints meet, what should be the end of their conversation but Jesus? The free favor of God in him to poor sinners: the glorious doctrines of grace in Christ: their perfect consistency and blessed tendency: the comfortable work of grace from Jesus upon our own 'souls; how began, carried on, and how it is with us now: these should ever be our delightful subjects. But this by, no means to catch applause, as though we were not in ourselves poor sinners, hanging upon, and hoping in Jesus from day to day. The precious promises of grace in Christ Jesus, how immutable and establishing! The salvation of grace by Jesus, how unconditional and absolutely certain to every believer? Conversing on such subjects, how savoury and relishing! Speech thus seasoned, how becoming and profitable to gracious hearts! When it is not so, it is a sad sign that the soul is like salt that has lost its savour, and calls for great searchings of heart. “For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt."....Mark ix. 49.

Then while I am a pilgrim here, Lord, warm my heart, unloose my What should my tongue employ

tongue, But God's free grace and Christ's rich To tell thy wond'rous fame. lové,

No sabject is so sweet to me Poor sinners' chicfest joy.

As thon, my loping Lamib.

This is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lorel

our righteousness....Jer. xxxiii. 16.

BEFORE days began or years were numbered, in the book of God's election were all the members of Jesus written, “which in .continuance were fashioned when as yet there was none of them.".... Psalm cxxxix. 16. God's electing love would have remained an eternal secret to us had not the Spirit of truth made it known. But as it is revealed in the word, it is an object of our faith; and it ever will be the subject of glorying and triumph to those who possess the faith of God's elect; for faith is a blessed evidence, that “God hath chosen them in Christ before the foundation of the world.”....Eph.i. 4, Was the man Jesus, God the Father's “elect, in whom his soul delighteth?".... Isa. xlii, 1. So are all his members; loved with the same love as the head. God gave not the Spirit by measure unto Jesus, the glorified head of the church; but every member receives the Spirit through Jesus, "according to the measure of the gift of Christ."....Eph. iv. 7.

Unspeakably glorious, distinguishing grace! This is the rejoicing of simple-hearted, believing souls: they are beloved and chosen by God the Father, and partake of the same Spirit with Jesus: yea, and are also called by the same name with Jesus. Is Christ called

THE LOPD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS?"....Jer. xxiii. 6. So the church, the Lamb's wife, being married in faith and love, she is called by the very same name with her Lord and husband, The LORD OUR RICHTEOUSNESS. But some render the words, "He that shall call her, to be a peculiar people to himself, is the Lord our righteousnessa? Then he clothes them with the glorious robe of his own righteousness. Then his name is called upon them, for they are one with Jesus.

Angels wonder, saints admire. Oye righteous, how astonishing is this! Ye, who by nature are children of wrath! ye, who by practice have been rebels and transgressors from the womb! yet exalted by Jesus to such an high and glorious state. Amazing love! ye can never, never enough dwell upon the Father's love, the Son's grace, and the Spirit's vocation. Glorious days of gospel light and love! While others are left, wretched in nature's pride, free-will boast, and self-righteous glorying, ye not only. may, but shall be saved by freegrace shall dwell safely; for God your Father's justice is satisfied, his law, is fulfilled, your enemies are all conquered, God is at peace with you: What then can harm you? for “as the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so Jehovah is round about his people, from henceforth even for ever.”....Psalm cxxv. 2.

Look to yourselves, that we lose riot those things' we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward....2 John, v.3.

The salvation of God's people is certain, by his immutable love. Their safety depends on his almighty power; their confidence and glorying is in the finished work of Jesús; and their comforts are enjoyed from the Spirit's testimony of the Saviour to their hearts; as having loved, redeemed, and saved them as lost, guilty, and perishing sinners. The clearer views we have of this truth, so much the more do we cleave to Jesus. As our faith increases our comforts áre strengthened; and this is the evidence of a gracious heart; the comforts of love ever excite to care and circumspection in life and practice. A glimpse of Jesus begets longing after more comfortable enjoyment of him: so also a holy jealousy of soul, lest what is gained should be lost in sense and enjoyment. While surrounded by false teachers, exposed to unscriptural doctrines, beset by a subtle adversary, and so nearly allied to corrupt lusts and carnal reasonings, we are ever in danger of losing sight of free-grace truths, gospel-' love, and the finished salvation of Jesus, so as to be moved away? from the hope of the gospel, and to make shipwreck of faith and a good conscience. Gospel truths and gospel grace give spring to' åction, life to obedience, are the sources of encouragement to perse" ỹere in the path of truth and holiness. What thanks are due to the loving Spirit for this wholesome advice! How much concerned should we be daily to improve it! Look to yourselves, see your danger, your vileness, your weakness; look up to Jesus for safety and strength. Blessed be the God we serve, he is not unrighteous to forget our works of faith, patience of hope, and labour' of love.' We enjoy his reward in our work, though not for our work. No: let Jesus have all that glory. Still the more work, the more sufferings for his sake, so much the more reward; of just debt to him, of righteous grace to us. O how apt are we to pine and grieve at the loss of a little shining dust! O should not the loss of light, liberty, love, peace and joy in Jesus, infinitely more affect us !

Would we avoid sorrowful complaints of loss? Are we solicitous to rejoice in present gain, and in hope of a future full reward?

Therefore, my brethren, be sedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord; forasmuch as ye know your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”.... I Cor. xv. 58,

Songs of immortal praise belong

To my almighty God;
He has my heart and he my tongue,

To spread his name abroad.

To fear thy pow'r, to trust thy grace,

Is our divinest skill;
And he's the wisest of our race

That best obeys thy will.

Thy words were found, and I did ogt them, and thy word was unto me the joy and rejuicing of mine heart: for I am

called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts....Jer. xv. 16. . That is a sweet petition in the service of the church of England; Grant, O Lord,, that we may not only hear, read, mark, and learn, but inwardly digest the holy scriptures.' As soon as the Lord hath fulfilled this prayer upon any poor sinner, then Jesus is the hope of his soul; he esteems the scriptures as his daily food, the doctrines of grace are the joy and rejoicing of his heart; and he will love and attend such prophets of the Lord, who have also. “ found God's words and have eat them."

Glory to our loving shepherd, he finds his sheep scattered and starving upon the barren mountains, he leads them to green pastures: of gospel-grace and love: there they feed and lie down beside the still waters of peace and salvation. And this heightens every comfort, and improves every joy, even an inward testimony: “I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.” How happy, when minister or disciple is able, in simplicity and godly sincerity to make this appeal, “ Thou hast called me.” Thou, Jehovah, who rulest over the armies of angels and arch-angels, and all tủe heavenly host, thou hast condescended to make known thy name, thy gracę, thy salvation to me, even wretched me. I hear thy voice, I know thy voice; I feel desires after thee; my heart thinks of thee with pleac sure and delight; I find an hùngering and thirsting within me, which nothing but thy blessed self can satisfy, I am grieved when I offend thee; only, happy, when thy love and presence are enjoyed, and am concerned that I enjoy them no more. This is heaven; helow., Feeding upon the word of truth increaseş desires after Jesus, the object of faith. So, also the soul becomes dead to the life of sense, the intrusions of sin, the allurements of the world, and the baits of Satan. Happy those in whom the word of Christ dwells richly in all wisdom. Happy those in whom Christ dwells in their hearts by faith. O soul, hast thou an appetite to eat thy Bible, to feed upon it, to digest it? Is it “health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones?". O then thou art blessed with the most exquisitely delicate tastę. A poor sailor was lately cast away, lost his all, was almost naked. The first half crown he got he enquired where to make a purchase....of what think you? O what was dearest to his heart....a Bible. Blessed evidence of a christian.

The volume of thy. Father's grace O may thy counsels, mighty God,
Doth all my griefs assuago,

My roving feet command !
Here I behold my Saviour's face. Nor I forsake the happy road, in
Almost in ev'ry page.

That leads to thy right hand.

« EelmineJätka »