« EelmineJätka »
TEE KING'S HIGHWAY,
66 OUR LIBERTY WHICH WE HAVE IN CHRIST
JESUS.”--(GAL. I. 22.)
FF thou wouldest be faithful to do that work that
God hath allotted thee to do in this world for his
name, labour to live in the savour and sense of thy freedom and liberty by Jesus Christ: that is, keep this if possible ever before thee, that thou art a redeemed one, taken out of this world, and from under the curse of the law, out of the power of the devil, &c., and placed in a kingdom of grace, and forgiveness of sins, for Christ's sake.
This is of absolute use in this matter; yea, so absolute, that it is impossible for any Christian to do his work christianly without some enjoyment of it. For this in the first of Luke is made the very ground of all good works, both as to their nature and their continuance in them; and is also there reckoned an essential part of that covenant that God made with our fathers; even “ That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.” (Luke i. 74, 75.)
And, indeed, take this away, and what ground can here be laid for any man to persevere in good works ? None at all.
For take away grace and remission of sins for Christ's sake, and you leave men nothing to help them but the terrors of the law and judgment of God, which at best can produce but a servile and slavish spirit in that man in whom it dwells; which spirit is so far off from being a help to us in our pursuit of good works, that it makes us that we cannot endure that which is commanded, but, Israel like, it flieth from God even as from the face of a serpent. As Solomon saith, “A servant will not be
corrected by words; for though he understand he will not answer." (Prov. xxix. 19.)
Get thou then thy soul possessed with the Spirit of the Son, and believe that thou art set perfectly free by Him, whatsoever thou by sin hast deserved at the hands of revenging justice.
This doctrine unlooseth thy bands, takes off thy yoke, and lets thee go upright. This doctrine puts spiritual and heavenly inclinations into thy soul; and the faith of this truth doth show thee that God hath so surprised thee,
and gone beyond thee, with his blessed and everlasting love, that thou canst but reason thyself his debtor for ever. “ Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh,” &c. (Rom. viii. 12.) That argument of Paul to Philemon is here true in the highest degree. Thou owest to God, for his grace to thee, even thy whole self besides. (Philem. 19.) This Paul further testifies both in the sixth and seventh of the Romans. In the one he saith we are free from sin. (Rom. vii. 4.) For, as I said, if either thy ungodly lusts, or the power and force of the law, have dominion over thy spirit, thou art not in a condition now to be performing thy work to God in this world.
I have heretofore marvelled at the quarrelsome spirit that possessed the people that Malachi speaketh of, how they found fault with, in a manner, all things that were commanded them to do. But I have since observed their ungodly disposition was grounded upon this, their doubting of the love of God. “ Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us ?” (Mal. i. 2.) And indeed, if people once say to God by way of doubt, “Wherein hast thou loved us?” no wonder that people be like those in Malachi's time, a discontented, murmuring, backward people about everything that is good.—John Bunyan.
« THE GRACE THAT IS TO BE BROUGHT UNTO
Jow marvellous are Peter's words, “Be sober and
I hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought
unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. i. 13). One thing that pains me much is my imperfect apprehension of grace. I want to grasp it—not to be like a man standing at the edge of the sea and looking in, but like a fish in the sea living in it as my element. But it will not be so always-now I “have access by faith into this
grace wherein we stand.” Then grace shall be brought unto me—I shall inherit it—"The God of grace" shall be my portion. “Grace led my wandering feet to tread the heavenly road,” but the church shall then be in it, and the world shall enjoy everything from it.
The New Testament especially seems to bring out the former. The Old Testament the latter.
This is a most practical subject. In the New Testament, the resurrection of the saints and the coming of the Lord are used in every possible way for the production of holiness; and, therefore, we plead for it, because, if a doctrine is not received in a Scriptural aspect, the practical part eannot be realized. What should this produce? I answer -desire. Desire the Deliverer; not only believe in His coming, but love IIis appearing. He says to the bride in the Canticles, “The companions hearken to thy voice; cause me to hear it.” And then there is a response, “Make haste, my beloved," &c. Desire blessing. Cultivate a spirit of receptiveness-a capability of receiving blessing. “ You are called to inherit blessing.” And desire a capability of imparting blessing. “I will bless thee, and thou shalt be a blessing."
One word to believers. Bring the two advents together: Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing
of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity." And keep this thought in your heart.
. All your future as a believer, is to grow out of Christ's past. If the future were to grow out of our past, it would be hell. But, if it grow out of the past of Him who died and rose again, what may it not be? Cling to that. Expect that.- From Notes of an Address, by the Rev. J. Cox, on the Second Advent, delivered at the Barnet Conference, 1859.
FAITH MORE THAN MERE ASSENT TO TRUTH.
believe that food can nourish him: yet, if he have no appetite, and do not eat, he will die
of want. A person may believe that garments would cover him: yet, if he feel no inconvenience from nakedness, and do not put them on, he may perish from cold.
One may see a refuge that would shelter him from evil: yet, if he sees no danger, and do not run for protection, he may be at last surprised with destruction.
It is worthy of notice that the blessings of the Gospel are represented in Scripture) under the images of food, clothing, and protection from danger; and faith, by the corresponding acts of eating, putting on, and fleeing for refuge.-Notes to Testimony of Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland.
WHEN you put “the Ancient of Days" with the Infant of Days, and the shoulders of the Almighty, which bear up the universe, with the helpless crucified hands nailed to the tree, you will have some idea of the wonderful nature of the God-man.-Rev. J. Denham Smith.
NOTES IN EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL BY
BY THE REV. JOHN EDMOND, D.D.
“ After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judea; and there He tarried with them, and baptized. And John also was baptizing in Ænon, near to Salim, because there was much water there; and they came, and were baptized : For John was not yet cast into prison. Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, He that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou bearest witness, behold the same baptizeth, and all men come to Him. John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before Him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom : but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. This my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above is above all; he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth : He that cometha from heaven is above all. And what He hath seon and heard, that He testifieth ; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God : for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life ; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth or him." -John üi. 22-36.
SUR Lord's discourse, addressed to Nicodemus, from
which we now part, may be said to contain, in
epitome, a statement of the whole system of Christian doctrine. All the cardinal truths of the faith most surely received are taught in it, impliedly or expressly. We have distinct mention of the three persons of the Godhead—the Spirit, the Son, the Father. We have the doctrine of human guilt and corruption enphatically taught. We have God's great purpose of salvation unfolded. We have the death of Jesus on the cross exhibited. We have the work of the Spirit described in its nature and indispensableness. We have the office of faith set forth. We have the fruits of faith delineated. We have the final judgment set before us, with its