« EelmineJätka »
fied toward you.” God appearing pacified, and we filled with self-lothing, is the finishing work when God brings a soul into covenant with him. He accepts us in the beloved ; the atonement applied purges us from our filthiness; and God shines pacified, reconciled, and well pleased, in the face of Jesus Christ. All repentance but this needs to be repented of, but this never does; for Christ is exalted to give this repentance to Israel, and the forgiveness of sins; and this repentance is unto life, and is attended with purifying faith. The very text that was sent to you informed you that the humbling rod, and the bond of the covenant, were wanting in your experience. The rod of God is smiting us with terrors, horrors, flashes of divine anger, reproofs, rebukes, the lashes of conscience, bitter reflections, and smiting us with the application of the threatenings and sentences of a broken law, and with the sore buffetings of Satan, and the killing stings and remorses of guilt. To come into the bond of the covenant is to have the love of God shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Ghost given unto us. The work on you seems to me to be very much like that of Hezekiah, much joy and confidence. And no wonder; for at that time he knew nothing of the plague of his own heart; but, when God shewed him this, his joy, confidence, and hopes, all sunk together: “I said, I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord in the land of the living: I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world : he will cut me off
with pining sickness; from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me,” Isa. xxxviii. 11, 12. And, indeed, nothing will hide pride from our eyes but an abiding sense of our own depravity, and of the superabounding and undeserved mercy of God in Christ Jesus to us. May this religion ever rest with thee and me. So prays
Thy friend and servant in Christ Jesus,
To PHILOMELA, on the Spray, Mount Tabor.
The long, cold, dreary winter of my beloved sister in God is past; the dismal cloud of Mount Sinai, which hath long rained its entangling snares on thy soul, is now over and gone; the hiding place from the impending storms, and the covert from the dreadful tempest, is found at last; being wet with the showers of the mountains, she hath embraced the rock for want of a shelter. He was angry with me, says Philomela; but his anger is turned away, and he comforts me. “In his favour is life. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
“ The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land." Israel buds and blossoms as the rose; the lilies of the valley appear among the thorns; those that have long lain, self-condemned, among the pots and potsherds of the earth, obtain the wings of a dove, and their feathers shine with burnished gold, while the voice of the turtle bemoans his mate. Nor will he deliver the soul of his turtle dove unto the multitude of the wicked, nor forget the congregation of his poor for ever, Psalm lxxiv. 19. Two turtle doves were always offered together under the old dispensation ; but one was never offered alone. Jesus died not alone; we were crucified with him. How precious is the sacrifice of a crucified Saviour to poor perishing sinners! and how precious is the sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart to Christ Jesus! These were both offered up, and they will ever go together; as in type, so in truth. The voice of the heavenly turtle is heard and understood; and his approving and commanding voice to his mate is, “O my dove, that art in the cleft of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs! Let me see thy countenance; let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.” Love in the heart ravishes him, and truth on the tongue charms his blessed ears; while a cheerful countenance, reflected from a joyful conscience, carries all before it, and holds him a willing and a joyful captive to the charms of a mortal's affections: “The King is held in the galleries.” How humbling, how condescending, is the King of kings, and Lord of lords, to bow the heavens and come down to manifest himself, and pay his divine visits to