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from the curse of the law, by being made a curse for them; from the wrath of God due to them, by suffering in their stead; from the punishment their sins deserve, by the atonement of his precious blood; from the guilt of sin in their conscience, by the sprinkling of his blood through faith; from the love and power of sin in their hearts, by his Spirit, regenerating and renewing them in the spirit of their minds. So that they are as perfectly saved in Jesus from all sin, as if they had never fallen into sin. And all this, by no strength, power, or ability of theirs. Here is blessed work for faith to glory in!
Whom does Jesus thus save? “His people:" all his people, of every kindred, nation, tribe, and tongue, even all that the Father hath given him, John xvii. 9. Who are partakers of this precious salvation ? Every one, who believes in Jesus. It is free for all who will come to him. All, who do come, and trust in him, find he is Jesus, their salvation. O believer! here is the nature, the name, the work of thy precious Jesus to look to, and live upon from day to day. It is thy mercy, that salvation is his work, and he hath finished it. It is thy comfort, to believe this daily. It is thy duty, to give him all the glory. The more light thou receivest from the word and Spirit of truth, so much the more wilt thou see of thine own vile, sinful nature, and abhor thyself. How long? even until thou receivest the end of thy faith, the salvation of thy soul. Then wilt thou eternally glory in ascribing all salvation, from first to last, to God and the Lamb, Rev. vii. 10.
JUNE 14.-It is God who worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.-Phil. ii. 13.
It is the peculiar blessing of new creatures in Christ to be "renewed in knowledge." . As we advance in the divine life, we more clearly understand the heights and depths of the mysteries of God's grace by his word and
Spirit: so we also feel more and more of the workings of the mystery of iniquity within us. Therefore, such have done with talking of their own free will, and works of righteousness having any share in obtaining salvation. These notions are the weeds of nature. They spring from pride. Pride is interwoven with our very constitution and being. This opposes and rebels against our own mercies, even the free-grace truths of the gospel. But it is the exercise of faith, to bow to God's sovereign will, submit to Christ's righteousness, and adore his Spirit, who worketh in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Disciple of Jesus, thou art sweetly constrained to own this, from the rich experience of the truth upon thy own soul. What is the natural bent of thy free will, but to reject Jesus the Lord of life and glory? Its language is, “I will not have this man to reign over me." I have other and better lovers, and after them I will go. I will enjoy the pleasures of sin. I will love the world; I will take my full swing in the gay delights, pleasing profits, and glorious honours of it. I will be sayed in my own way, for my own works: I will not be indebted to be saved wholly by grace. Thus, the natural free will of man speaks plain, by its affections and actions, through the darkness of the understanding. Thy free will was, to destroy thyself. The will of Jesus was, to save thee. Therefore, in the day of his power his Spirit made thee willing to come to him for life and salvation. With free choice, and cheerful willingness, thou camest in faith, as a perishing sinner, to a precious Saviour. Wilt thou any more ascribe glory to thy will? Shall thy power share in the trophies of thy Lord ? Nay, shall not free, sovereign, unmerited grace have all the glory? Is not this thy constant, humble prayer?. “Leave me not to myself; for without thee, O Jesus, I can do nothing, nothing but sin against thee, and wound my own soul." Yet I delight in the law of God after the inward man, and "to do those things which are pleasing in his sight."
Ever put this soul-humbling, grace-exalting question, “ Who made me to differ? What have I, that I have not received ?" I have nothing in myself whereof to glory. I glory in Him, who saith, “I will work, and who shall let it ?" Isa. xliii. 13.
JUNE 15.-We that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened.—2 Cor. v. 4.
It is a sore temptation, that saints of God in all ages have fallen under, that upon a survey of the outward ease, pleasure, and prosperity of the ungodly, they have called “the proud happy;" (Mal. iii. 15;) and under a sense of their own inward groanings, burdens, and sorrows, have been led to think it is vain to serve God, and to call in question his love to them and care for them. Such sentiments as these, at times, exercise their minds : "I called by grace! Is my soul quickened and made alive to God? Have I fled to Jesus for refuge? Am I a child of God by adoption, through the faith of him ? Surely it cannot be. Were it so, should I be thus plagued all the day, and chastened every morning? Should I groan thus under oppression from Satan, tribulation from the world, and be thus burdened with the lusts of the flesh, and the carnal workings of my corrupt nature? Surely, if ever I have known anything of Jesus, in spirit and power, it is all come to an end. Verily, I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency to no purpose.” Thus doth the subtle serpent artfully steal into the mind, and borrow the tongue of saints. But this is very injurious to the soul, as we see in the experience of the psalmist, Psalm lxxiii. And it is highly resented by our loving Lord and Saviour, as very dishonourable to him. See Mal. iii. 15. Beware of this.
Saints' burdens are creature allotments; believers' groans are Jesus' concerns; children's sorrows reach
the Father's heart, they are the lot of God's people in every age. Prophets, apostles, martyrs, and confessors of Jesus, none are exempt while in this tabernacle. Yea, they evidence the life of the soul, and also, under the Spirit's influence, work for its profit. Hereby it is instructed in self-knowledge, so as to bow to the sovereignty of God, live in humility and dependence on Jesus. Prayer is excited, faith called into exercise, God's word searched, promises prized, exhortations become pleasant, carnal hopes cut off, worldly joys appear irksome, earth is less loved, a sinful body groaned under, and perfect freedom in glory longed for. Oh, there is a blessed writ of ease and rest, issued from the court of heaven! Soon, very soon, it will be served upon us. Then, down tabernacle; up soul, to the presence of thy Lord. Farewell earthly groans. Welcome eternal triumphs. Here is a sweet portion of comfort. Drink of the brook by the way, and lift up thy head. “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved,” Psalm lv. 22. “They who sow in tears, shall reap in joy," Psalm cxxvi. 5.
JUNE 16.—The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, is in the sight of God of great price.—1 Pet. iii. 4.
Godly parents are delighted in their hearts if they see their dear children partakers of the grace of God. How joyful to hear those who are part of one's self inquire after Jesus and his salvation! Love and duty unite to constrain us to teach our little ones the knowledge of Jesus, and to instruct them in the ways of the Lord. And if the Spirit of grace is pleased to crown such endeavours with success, infinitely more precious is the adorning of grace to their immortal souls, than all the gayety of dress to their perishing bodies.
As we to ours, so doth the Lord rejoice over all his dear children in Christ. He takes pleasure in their dress, which is the glorious robe of his Son's righteousness. Their ornaments, which are the graces of his Spirit, are delighting to his eyes. He makes them all glorious within: he loves his own image, which he hath formed by his Spirit, “in the hidden man of the heart.” Both their inward graces and their outward fruits are an ornament to them; and are “of great price in the sight of their heavenly Father.” By daily fellowship with our God and Saviour, we get more and more “conformed to his likeness." By close walking, constant communing, free conversing with Jesus, love is maintained in the heart; and a meek and quiet spirit ever accompanies love. Where the former is wanting, the declinings of the latter are evident. As faith works by love, so love shows itself by meekness of spirit and quietness of behaviour. There is a sweet harmony in the graces of the Spirit. By faith the soul abides in Jesus, and receives out of his fulness. By love the heart is comfortable. And as Peter and John said to the beggar, “What we have received of the Lord, that we give unto you;" so the christian dispenses out of his heart love to his brethren, and peace and quietness to all mankind. Love controls the boisterous passions of nature. Love constrains to meekness of temper and quietness of spirit. We sadly mistake, and are greatly deceived by our corrupt nature, carnal reason, and the subtlety of Satan, when we act with any other spirit, and attempt to find an excuse for it. It is unbecoming our character, a disgrace to our profession, a dishonour to our Saviour, it grieves the Spirit; is a badge of Satan's livery, a fruit of the flesh, and is contrary to the Spirit. The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God, peace with men, nor the comfort of the soul. "Put on, as the elect of God, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering,” Col. iii. 12.