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How can ye believe which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?...Johnv.44.
« Tie fear of man bringeth a share.".... Prov. xxix. 25. great enemy to the power of faith in the heart. The esteem of men, "to be well spoken of, to have honor and applause from them, are pleasing to the flesh, but hurtful to the Spirit. The wisdom and learning of natural men, are contrary to the simplicity that is in Christ, incompatible with the cross of Christ, and withstands an open confession of him who is an honor to us; for by the faith of Jesus we are honored of the Father to be his children, and to enjoy sweet fellowship and communion with him in our spirits.
Here is the blessedness of the faith of disciples; “ It standeth not in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God.".... 1 Cor. ii. 5. Hence we are to “call no man Rabbi, for one is our master, even Jesus." We are to suffer no man to lord it over our faith; not to pin our faith on any man's sleeve; merely to believe what any man says, berhe ever so wise and learned. Some are fond of being at the head of a party; others love to humour them, and become tails and tools to them; and their poor hearts are hereby sadly rent and torn, by disputes and divisions which so much abound. But have we not the plain, simple teachings of our blessed prophet to look to? O, how often do disciples of Jesus give honor to men, in expecting that teaching and that comfort from them which cometh from God only! Too oft is it the cry, I will hear what such a one saith, what this and the other teacheth, instead of “I will hear what the Lord God will speak,!' what he hath taught in his word. I will abide by that only. This honor cometh from God only, to speak peace by Jesus Christ outwardly in his word, and inwardly by his Spirit: therefore we are fo search the word diligently, wait for the Spirit patiently, treasure up and ponder upon the sayings of Jesus in our hearts continually.
This is to honor him whom the Father honors, to be the prophet of his church. Believers have an “unction from the Holy. One that teacheth them all things.".... John ii. 20. Surely they ought not to
hear those who know not the truth! « Them that honor me, I will * honor," saith the Lord... 1 Sam. ii. 30. Jehovah commands us. * Hear my beloved Son."....Mark ix. 7. In the face of all opposition to believe the word, the promises, and the oath of the Lord concerning full and free salvation by his Son Jesus only, this is the honor the Lord requires from his children: and this obedience of faith, God will honor with inward peace, and the witness of his Spirit; with a life of love, and the sanctifying renewings of the "Holy Ghost from day to day. Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts.
from man, whose breath is in his nostrils."..., Isa. ii. 22.
6 Cease ye
Knowing, that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the · inheritance : for ye serve the Lord Christ....Col. iii. 24.
SAVING knowledge is accompanied with humility, productive of love to Jesus, and delight in his service. To desire to know more of the truth, in order to gain greater measures of love, and more cheerful conformity to him, this is praise-worthy. “For whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the word, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”....James i. 25. Christian, thou art not called to dream over dry disquisitions and subtle refinements; merely to fill thy brain with nice speculations; but to have thy heart warmed with love, thy practice influenced to obedience, as well as thy judg. ment established in truth. Remember thy calling, study thy reward; glory in being a servant of Jesus; his work is pleasant, his service perfect freedom, his wages infinitely great, reward in thy work, reward for thy work, and an eternal inheritance when thy short day's work is ended; and all of the rich favor and free grace of the Lord Christ.
Shall the pleasures of sin, which are but for a season, the vile, drudgery of satán, which is miserable bondage, the alluring smiles of a.perishing world; shall these be placed in competition with the service of Jesus? “Knowing that we serve the Lord Christ.” O, how does this sweeten duty, and make every path delightful! Canst thou hesitate one moment, when the question is, choose you this day whom you will serve, Christ or satan? No, verily thou canst not, if so be thou hast tasted of the infinitely rich grace of the eter: nally precious Christ. Hath NĚ bought us with his blood? Redeemed us to God? Wrought out a righteousness to clothe and adorn us; and prepared mansions in heaven to receive us? And shall our 'cona duct be contrary to our profession? Our practice not conformable to our judgment? Or our walk inconsistent with our faith? Where then is the proof that we serve the Lord Christ? 'What evidence that we know the Lord is interested in, or may expect the reward of his inheritance? We may well cry out, Woe to our wretched, sinful nature, which is contrary to Jesus, and is ever opposing his truth, ways, and love! Shame to us, we love him no more, 'nor serve him no better! Blessed be Jesus for the gift of his Spirit. O, that through his sanctifying and sin-mortifying operations, we may be in love, wholly devoted to his service, who in mercy wholly devoted himself for our salvation !
How strong thine arm is, mighty Lord! He has done more than Moses did,
Who would not fear thy name! Our Prophet and our King; Jesus, how sweet thy graces are ! From bonds of hell he freed our souls,
We love and serve the Lamb. Taught us to love and sing.
The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by
Jesus Christ....John i. 17.
* It is natural to us all to say of the moral law, as the king of Israel said of that faithful prophet of the Lord, Micah, “I hate him, for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil."..., 1 Kings xxii. 8. It is true, that the holy, spiritual law of God can yield.no comfort, hope, or peace to any poor sinner of mankind. Yet the believer in Jesus cannot hate the moral law; it is a transcript of his Father's mind and will; it is God's good gift; it answers very valuable ends and purposes to the souls of his children. We know sin by the law, as we know Christ by the gospel: though the law was given by Moses, a meek prophet, yet it is full of fiery wrath, ministers! condemnation, and denounces curses, yea eternal death and damnation to every transgressor. Yet why, O soul, shouldst thou hate the law? That is not the cause of all these evils; but thy sins, thy violations of its holy, just, and righteous precepts. Here fix thy hatred; here it is just.. Believer, the law is thy friend; it shews thee thy duty; it cuts thee off from all legal hopes; it razes every false foundation, every expectation from thy own righteousness. The trumpet sounds its alarm louder and louder; the voice of words is shriller and shriller: and it will ever be terrible in its sound to thy conscience, except thou art under the grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ.
Here, O behold and admire the transcendent excellence of Jesus TULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH. Grace, even the free favor of God to sinners, came by Jesus Christ. Truth, in every accomplishment of the ceremonial, in perfect fulfilment of every righteous demand which the moral law could exact. Here is thy wisdom, to oppose the life and death of Jesus to every righteous demand, to every terrible threatening, and every dreadful curse of the law. As he is thy husband; all debts, dues, and demands he for ever satisfied. Jesus came “not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it.".... Matt. v. 17. Says the immortal HERVEY, “Jesus is the author of our faith, and the former of our graces.
In his unpolluted life we see the path, in his meritorious death the price, and in his triumphant resurrection the proof of bliss and immortality. If we offend, and fall seven times a day, he is the Lord our peace; if we are depraved, and our best deeds unworthy, he is THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. are brutish in heavenly knowledge, he is the Lord our wisdom, his word dispels the shades, his Spirit scatters the intellectual gloom, his eye looks our darkness into day. In short we are nothing, and Christ is ALL. Worse than defective in ourselves, we are complete
We act by strength, and glory in' a righteousness not our own."
If children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with... Christ.... Rom. viii. 17.
Ir a child, from a spirit of untowardness, runs into and rolls itself in the dirt, would not that parent be a monster of barbarity who, instead of cleansing it from its filth, should dash out its brains? Yet there are those who dare assert such to be the conduct of God towards his children in Christ. For they say, though a man be å child of God, by faith in Christ Jesus, yet he may so fall intoʻsin, that God may consign him eternally to hell for it; but, like Paul, such speak "ignorantly, and in unbelief." While we wish them to be taught better; from such miserable teachers, and such false doce trine, we pray
“ Good Lord deliver us." What! Can any of God's children be in such a filthy, polluted condition, that he has not wisdom enough to know them? Is there not love and power enough in his Spirit to lead them to the fountain of Christ's blood, that they may wash and be clean? Or has not the blood of Jesus virtue enough to cleanse them from all sin?" It is plain, such notions come from the father of lies; for they deny the reign of grace, and fatly contradict the glorious truth here asserted. : First, “ If children," how come any sinners, who are by nature children of wrath, to be children of God?““ God predestinated them unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself," &c.... Eph. i. 5. They are begotten and born into this state by the Spirit of adoption, and by faith in Jesus; they enjoy the knowledge and comfort of it. “ Secondly, “ Then heirs" to an immortal inheritance of free gift by free grace. Thirdly, “ Heirs of God." Marvellous assertion! Legality stand off! Unbelief avaunt! 0, we can never reach the height, fathom the depth, measure the length, comprehend the breadth of our heirship. In one word, we are heirs to all that God is in himself; has engaged himself to do, to make us wise and happy in time and to all eternity. Is God our portion, then take thy pen, O every child of God, and thou, my soul, and write ALE Tuings ARE OURS.... I cannot enlarge; enumerate them at thy plea: sure, dwell on them with joy that gratitude may fift thy soul, and excite love and praise to thy God. Fourthly, “Joint heirs with Christ,"
soul, if thou art one with Christ by faith, thou art one with him as co-heir to all that his father and thy Father has to bestow; an heir of all things in God, in earth, in heaven. 'O believer, what blessed reasoning is here! What glorious inheritance art thou born to! Born again to possess by faith now; hereafter' in full sense and fruition in heaven. As well might satan deny the certain perseverance of the Son of God; as soon pluck one of his glorified members out of glory, as to attempt to deprive any one heir of God of the full enjoyment of his heavenly inheritance.
Master, carest thou not that we perish? ....Mark iv. 38.
Saints in all ages have experienced, that their extremity of distress has been God's opportunity to deliver; so these disciples found it ; they were in the most imminent danger and in the greatest fears and distresses. Their vehement address to Jesus bespeaks it. “Jesus was asleep." We believe in our Saviour, as a Man like unto ourselyes: we adore him as the sovereign Lord whose "eyes are over the righteous, and his ears are ever open to their prayers.".... 1 Pet. iii. 12. Of this we have the clearest evidence, the fullest proof. Jesus awakes as a man, and with the power and sovereignty of Jehovah he rebukes the boisterous wind, and says to the raging waves, “Peace, be still;" and instantly all nature obeys its Creator; all is hushed into a profound calm.
While others are pleased with the feats of a Cæsar, or the conquests of an Alexander, it is our delight to meditate upon the wonderful works of our God-man and blessed Saviour. Transporting to know this awful God is ours, our Jesus, and our friend! But art thou not ready, O believer, sometimes to say, “My Lord hath forsaken, and my God hath forgotten me!” It seems as though he cares not; even though I perish. I am in the wide ocean of difficulty and distress. Corruptions rage, temptations assault, the fiery darts of the enemy fly thick around me; I groan under the sense of a hard heart and an absent God. Hear the voice of thy Lord, “O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted : for a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee,”.... Isa. liv. 7, 11. Judge not of God's love by thy sense and feeling, but by his word and truth, the stability of his promises, and the security of his oath. He may be battering down thy life of sense to make thee strong in faith, strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. These disciples, though in a terrible storm, were safe, because Jesus was in the ship, though asleep; so is every disciple where Jesus dwells in the heart by faith. The affections of God's love never cease, though storms surroupd us, and the sense and comfort of love may seem to us as it were asleep; and as with these disciples, so shall it be with thee, O christian ; thou shalt find thy loving Saviour ever near to hear, and ever almighty to deliver thee; God's moment is thy mercy ; in the deeps of distress are God's wonders known.. “In the moment of the Lord, Jehovahjirah (the Lord will provide) it shall be seen.” What saith the Lord? “Call upon me in time of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.". It is the joy of faith to reply, “Thou shalt compass me about with song's of deliverance."....Psalm xxxii. 7.