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good works;" and after the inward man, “they delight in the law of God.” Some good thing is found in them, which manifests itself in love, fear, and obedience to the Lord their God. The graces of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of believers, and the fruits of the Spirit in their lives, are evidences in time of God's covenant love to them, in Christ Jesus, before time. God views the work of his new creation in the soul with delight; pronounces it good, and to his own glory records the graces of his people. What comes from God, leads to him and to his glory.
Thus we see some good thing” found in the heart of Abijah, manifesting itself in the wicked house of Jeroboam, to the glory of Jehovah, the God of Israel. Oh, how highly honoured are some, who are converted to God's glory and service in the morning of youth ! while the Sun of righteousness doth not arise upon others, till the sun of nature is near setting. Hath distinguishing grace made us to differ, as well from our former selves as from others? It is all from the love of the Father, through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Spirit. We have nothing whereof to glory in ourselves, nor over others; it is our duty to confess it with our lips, and manifest it in our lives. May it encourage us daily to walk in faith and love! "l'he just shall live by faith," Heb. x. 38.
JUNE 19.-Let no man beguile you of your reward. -Col. ii. 18.
There is a present reward of grace enjoyed in the hearts of the faithful, which consists in pardon of sin, peace of conscience, and joy in the Holy Ghost. These are the rewards which Jesus' toils and sufferings have reaped for us. Since an artful and subtle serpent hath gained access to the human heart, we can never too much be warned to beware of men. Satan deceived man at the beginning, by means of part of himself. He still beguiles men by man. Though the adversary cannot pluck one of Christ's sheep out of his hands, nor rob the loving Saviour of one of the precious jewels of his mediatorial crown; still we are to consider him as a restless, implacable foe, who will strive, by all means, to perplex and distress our souls. Has Jehovah Jesus appeared to us, in the vision of faith ? hath be spoken to our trembling hearts, in his word and by his Spirit, as he did to the father of the faithful ? "Fear not; I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward," Gen. xv. 1. Like the racers in the Olympic games, we must expect false judges, corrupted umpires, who will judge against us, and determine the prize contrary to our faith and hope in free-grace promises and sovereign determinations. Oh, for a steadfast faith in divine truth! For they will judge against the truth and glory of our prize, as though we were not complete in Christ Jesus, as though we were not wise by his wisdom, righteous by his righteousness, holy by his holiness, perfectly redeemed from all sin, curse, and wrath by his complete redemption; but that somewhat is to be found and trusted to, in nature and self, to entitle us to God's grace, and secure to us the crown of glory. Blessed admonition! “Let no man beguile you,” judge against you, ye free-born, heaven-born souls, concerning the perfect freeness and infinite fulness of your prize, your reward, in and by Jesus. For by this they would weaken your faith, disturb your peace, and oppose your comfort. So they would beguile you to run uncer. tainly; as though your hopes were suspended on your own faithfulness to grace, your fulfilling terms and conditions, whereby to secure the prize. Ever reject such selfish, mercenary, base, low, compounding notions with detestation, as contrary to covenant love and gospel grace, dishonouring to our precious Saviour, and grieving to the holy, sovereign Spirit, who bears witness, that "there is a remnant according to the election of grace ;" that the prize is adjudged to them by grace, not of works ; "Otherwise grace is no more grace ;
if it be of works, then it is no more of grace; otherwise work is no more work,” Rom. xi. 5, 6.
JUNE 20.–Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.-Isa. xlv. 15.
Mourning under a sense of sin, and complaining of inbred corruptions, are consistent with true faith in Jesus, and real rejoicing in his salvation. Sorrowing under the painful sense of an absent God, has been the experience of blessed saints in all ages; few, if any, have been exempt from it. And, this is a sure evidence that they have felt his comforting presence, enjoyed the smiles of his love, and rejoiced in the light of his countenance. So the life and love of the soul are manifested. A christian is known by his sorrows, as well as his joys. He sorrows after a godly sort. This the unregenerate are perfect strangers to. . But, why should a God of love hide himself from his own dear children? We may say, he is a Sovereign, and answer in the words of Elihu," He giveth not account of any of his matters," Job xxxiii. 13. But it is most sweet to say with David continually, “Let the Lord be magnified, who hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servants," Psalm xxxv. 27. Therefore, when God hides himself from the souls of his believing children, it is in wisdom, love, and faithfulness to them; it is to advance his own glory, and heighten the prosperity of their souls. But, he never leaves himself without a witness in their hearts. For we see the church addresses him, even though he hideth himself
. She sweetly applies to him as Jesus, the only Saviour, and utters her complaint before him, "Thou hidest thyself,” and I am troubled. So the sun withdrawing his genial, comforting warmth, makes vegetable nature droop and languish, and mourn in silent sadness. But the root is still alive, and it will, when the sun returns, bring forth its fruit in due season. Backward springs
often produce the most plentiful harvest. So the Lord teaches his sovereignty, roots the soul in humility, prevents the growth of spiritual pride, reproves for a careless walk, chides for worldly-mindedness, causes great searchings of heart, imbitters sin, excites to holy mourning, calls forth earnest longings, restless seekings, and fervent prayings. “Saw ye him whom my soul loveth ?” will be the restless inquiry of a loving, deserted heart. I cannot live without him: his presence is heaven ; his absence, hell. Soul, ever beware of lending thine ear, for one moment, to any base suggestions, contrary to this precious declaration of thy unchanging God of truth and love: “In a little wrath I hid
my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer," Isa. liv. 8.
JUNE 21.—God is no respecter of persons : but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.-Acts x. 34, 35.
It is a common, artful device of the adversary to insin uate, “one part of scripture contradicts another.” Hereby he aims to distress our minds, and weaken our confidence in the doctrines of grace. The unlearned and unstable in the truths of free-grace salvation "wrest this, as they do other scriptures;" and bring this declaration of Peter's to subvert the fundamental truths of the gospel, and the only way of salvation he himself taught, namely, by election “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ," 1 Pet. i. 2.
But he now perceived of a truth, that this blessing came equally alike upon gentiles as well as Jews. "God is no respecter of persons." This is a most comfortable truth to the vilest of the human race. There is nothing in the person of one man above another, that
can claim respect in the sight of God. All are alike corrupt and become abominable. There is, naturally, no fear of God before our eyes.
There is none that doeth good, no not one. There is no difference. Jew and gentile, publican and pharisee, outwardly devout and openly profane, are all upon a level in point of justification before God. Enlightened souls see and own this, in deep humility and self-abasement; while proud phari. sees challenge and claim respect from God, because, they think their persons and characters are more amiable in his sight than others.
But, saith Moses, "the Lord your God is a mighty and terrible God, who regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward,” Deut. x. 17. What reward can we give, to procure God's regard, bribe his justice, or avert his wrath? Do we, naturally, fear God and work righteousness ? Lay thine hand upon thine heart. Judge, O sinner, as in the sight of God. Say, Was this thy natural conduct and practice? God knoweth, to hate him and work wickedness is natural to thee, and all men. But yet, he that feareth God and worketh righteousness, be he who or what he may, is accepted with God. For, this is a full proof of being “accepted in the Beloved." The Lord puts his fear in our heart, according to covenant promise, Jer. xxxii. 40. He renews us in righteousness and true holiness. Hence our practice is agreeable to our state. Prayers and alms come up before the Lord, as a memorial of what he has done on the heart.
JUNE 22.—Which is not another (gospel]; but there be [some] that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.-Gal. i. 7.
Trouble us indeed ! it is our wisdom, to hear preaching with an attentive mind, a humble heart, and a godly jealousy. The sweet sound of the gospel is joy to the heart, and as marrow and fatness to the soul; for it