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to lay our case before the Lord. It is best entirely to submit to his will, and patiently wait his time. “He that believeth shall not make haste," Isa. xxviii. 16.
Is there a poor sinner on earth, who believes in Jesus, that can doubt of his love? Hath he not given the strongest assurances of it; infinitely stronger than if he had sent an angel to testify of his love to us? For he came himself; he more than told us how he loved us; his sorrows, his sufferings, his agonies and death, most loudly proclaim it; for our sins he bled, for our sins he suffered ; yea, for that most base sin, that sin of all sins, the greatest of sins, unbelief. This, even this, Jesus bore himself, in his own body, on the tree. Even this he died to atone for, as well as all others. Art thou often sick, and fearest this mastersin will prove the death of thy soul, as it does now the death of thy comforts ? Is this the grief of thine heart, and the cause of thy woe? Jesus is the only physician, he alone can cure it. For he is not only the author, but finisher of our faith, Heb. xii. 2. Though like the sisters of Lazarus, we cannot plead our strong love to Jesus, yet, in the belief of his word, we may ever plead his strong love to us. Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.” Heal thy servant. "Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief.” Ask, is Christ's blessed command. It shall be given, is his precious promise, Luke xi. 9.
JUNE 8.-Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts : we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.—Psalm lxv. 4.
John Bunyan, in his Pilgrim's Progress, observes, “ Christiana's heart was so enamoured by the affecting sight of Christ's cross by faith, that she wished all her carnal friends to partake in what she saw and felt. But she was reminded, that faith's views are of special grace." They are streams which flow from the river of God's electing love. Every man whom the Lord chooseth, “is blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ." This is evidenced by spiritual life. Seeing all grace, love, and happiness centre in Jehovah, he delights to draw nigh to him, because confident of access, by a new and living way consecrated through the flesh of Jesus. Here is no fiery law, no flaming sword to terrify and affright the believer in his approach to God. But the Lord himself causes him to approach bis presence. Love not only invites but sweetly constrains him to come, as a child to its loving parent.
The Father draws to the Son, and the Son reveals the Father, by the Holy Spirit, as a God of love to poor sinners. Without this, no soul can or will ever come unto God, John vi. 44. See thy special mercy. Adore that sovereign grace which reigns over all thy pride and stubbornness. And do I thus approach my Lord ? Oh, what infinite treasures of grace are secured by covenant love and promise! Not a sudden fit of pleasure, or transient delight in the ways of God, do such experience; but they shall “dwell,” their residence shall be near the Lord in spirit, and they shall be satisfied from Jesus. All the glory and magnificence of the temple was only typical of Jesus, who exceeds in glory. All the glory and goodness of the Lord is treasured up in and communicated from him, as man and Mediator to poor sinners. Come then as a needy beggar to receive.
Oh, the superabounding goodness of the Lord, to cause poor, headstrong, high-minded rebels to approach him, and be satisfied with him! Most joyful claim of faith, "The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him," Lam. iii. 24. Å glimpse of Christ's glory and goodness sickens the soul to every other object. A lively faith engages the affections towards him; love is very jealous, and excites watchfulness against what may disturb its happiness or destroy its comfort. “I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me,” Psalm xiii. 6.
JUNE 9.-Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless.--2 Pet. iii. 14.
It is a most grand delusion to imagine, that the doctrines of grace tend to lull the soul asleep in supine indolence, or slothful stupidity. The believer hath not so learned Christ. Though he is saved by grace freely, yet he is called to "labour diligently." By faith he looks forward to the fulfilment of awful predictions and precious promises. Hence we are excited to daily diligence in the performance of duties, the use of means, and the exercise of graces. Do we look for the burning of the earth, the elements, and all sublunary things? do we expect to be inhabitants of new heavens and a new earth ? do we wait, and sometimes long for the coming of the Lamb, our loving Master and precious Saviour ? and shall we indulge carnal ease and spiritual sloth ? shall we not fear to be found of Jesus in such a state? Most true, “ Jesus hath made peace for us by the blood of his cross." But shall we not be diligent to maintain a lively sense of this sweet peace in our hearts ? shall we not labour after purity of heart ? And how is this to be expected, but by studiously avoiding those things which tend to draw the heart and alienate the affections from Jesus? If we lose sight of the Lamb, we lose the sense of peace. If we look at the things which are seen, this begets love to them, and increases anxious solicitude for them. And, alas! then they only pierce us through with many sorrows. And most of all, when we are in our right minds, do not our sorrows increase, if we decrease in spiritual diligence, and grow in worldly-mindedness ?
Christian, though thou knowest it is God that giveth thee power to get wealth, and his providence is engaged to preserve thy body, yet, this doth not cause thee to abate thy diligence in thy worldly concerns; nor doth it make thee careless, to preserve thy body from harms, and administer to it such things as are for its health.
Most happy is it for thee, thus daily to watch over and care for the peace and purity of thy soul. Jesus is thy peace: by living on him peace is enjoyed. He is thy Saviour: by looking to him thou shalt be kept free from filthy spots. Thus, by maintaining fellowship with Christ, walking with Christ, keeping up a free intercourse with Christ, peace of mind and purity of heart are preserved. In this way, verily, thou shalt be blame. less. And be assured, "the diligent soul shall be made fat,” Prov. xiii. 4.
JUNE 10.-And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.Matt. xiv. 12.
Thus was extinguished that burning and shining light, John the Baptist. It is very staggering to the eye of sense, and the judgment of carnal reason, that the “Lord, whose eyes are over the righteous," should yet suffer his faithful ministers, and dearest children, to fall a sacrifice to the rage and malice of cruel and unreasonable men. This puzzled the royal prophet David, this was an exercise to patient Job, and it has put disciples to the stand in all ages.
We are ready to cry out, "Where is the God of Elijah?” When it comes nearer home, and we ourselves are the subjects of insults and injuries from the power and malice of enemies to Jesus and his truths, this is a trial of faith. If this exercise is continued, if the enemy triumphs, and God our friend appears not as our deliverer, how does Satan, who has stirred up fightings without, industriously aim to inject fears within, suggesting, “Where is now thy God? Why dost thou vainly imagine thyself a child of God, while thy Father leaves thee to this cruel treatment? If thou wast in his favour thou wouldst surely find his protection. Thy want of his care proves thou hast no part in his love."
Now thou art called, O christian, to fight and resist Satan steadfastly in the faith. Judge not of thy Father's love by present dispensations. Strengthen thyself in thy God. Consult his word. Wait on him. Iake up the deceitful, unclean body of sense and carnal reason, bury it, and go and tell thy Saviour. He is thy wisdom, thy counsellor, and a perfect match for thy subtlest adversary. It is very alleviating to a distressed mind, to pour its complaints into the sympathizing breast of a faithful friend. What is the cause of thy sorrows, make the subject of thy free converse with thy Saviour, If thou art smitten on earth, tell him who feels for thee in heaven. Here is thy comfort, he always hears, ever loves, and can instantly deliver. But if he does not, rest assured, love delays for thy profit. Afflictions are blessings in disguise. We do not so heartily think of our home above, while richly furnished with earthly comforts below. Our Lord strips us of them, to turn our thoughts homeward. But we shall surely find, "as tribulation abounds, consolation shall much more abound." Our Lord advises, "Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me," Psal. 1. 15. Prize it as your greatest blessedness, to live near the Lord, and maintain humble converse with him: pour out your complaints, and show him your trouble, Psal. cxlii. 2.
JUNE 11.-We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.-Danvi. 5.
Happy Daniel, to have such a testimony of thy con. duct, from the mouth of thine implacable enemies! These men could allege nothing against this servant of God, in regard to his outward life and conversation; for he was a good subject, a quiet neighbour, just and honest in his dealings. Though in an eminent station, yet, with what contempt and scorn do they seem to speak of him! "This Daniel," this over-righteous fellow,