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soul, the sanctified memory, though it bears a faithful record of past sins, yet is also a precious repository of God's free-grace truths, and most precious promises in Christ Jesus. His human nature is the temple, in which God and man meet, to which sinners look, and through which grace is bestowed. Hence, the humble soul is excited to mourn under the displeasure of an offended Father; and yet, to cry to him in hope against hope, to pray to him in faith though it has not one encouraging symptom in nature and self; but looking for all access and pardon in Jesus. O most blessed words, from the Father, to humble believing souls! "I will remember their sins no more,” Jer. xxxi. 34.
JUNE 26.—And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.–1 John ii. 28.
"A burnt child dreads the fire:" so that soul, who has fallen into any snare of the enemy, when rescued by grace, fears the same evil, and wisely cautions his brethren against it. I fell; do you beware. Thus it was even with the beloved disciple, John. He did not abide by Jesus in the day of trial, but, with the rest of the disciples, forsook him, and fled. But who can tell the sorrow of his heart? who can paint the distress of his mind, and the shame of his face, when Jesus appeared to them, and John said unto Peter, “It is the Lord!” John xxi. 7. “ Admonish one another,” Col. iii. 16.
And is Jesus gone but for a season? will he assuredly come again, and take all his little children home? and do we expect his appearance? do we believe, we shall shortly see him, in the glory of his Father, and of his holy angels? What constancy and courage should this inspire us with! how ought christian soldiers to abide in Jesus, the Captain of their salvation! abide in a steady profession of his name, a firm reliance on his death and atonement, a confident trust of being righteous, and “accepted in him the Beloved;" an uninterrupted obedience to his will, and an earnest endeavour to follow his example! but, above all, to abide in child-like dependence upon him, loving to be near him, conversing freely with him, pouring out our hearts before him, simply telling him of our weakness and dangers, troubles and sorrows, and praying him to keep us from falling! Most pleasant and profitable thus always to abide in the faith of our Lord.
The more we thus delight ourselves in him, the more dead we grow to all things beside him. But, soul, be assured, that conforming to a vain world, complying wi its sinful customs, gratifying the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life; as this is contrary to abiding in the teachings of Jesus, it will weaken thy confidence in him, and bring shame upon thy soul before him. Thou findest it so, even now, when thou dost approach to his throne of grace. How often, from thy foolishly forsaking thy Master, and his ways have thy hands been made to hang down, thy knees feeble, thy heart faint! Oh, how hath holy boldness in Jesus forsaken thee, and shame, doubts, and fears overspread thee! Then, if thou hast any regard for thy Lord's glory, any concern for thy present peace and joy, study, strive, and pray to live and walk in the light, so as to enjoy the presence of thy Saviour, and sweet communion with the Father and his Son, 1 John i. 3.
JUNE 27.-And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night to him, though he bear long with them?-Luke xviii. 7.
This question implies the strongest assertion. Thus our Lord concludes a parable he had delivered to this end, "that men ought always to pray, and not to faint." Our Saviour well knew how ready his disciples' hands
are to hang down, and their hearts grow
languid and faint, so as to be remiss in this duty. Therefore, his loving heart would stir
them to constant perseverance in prayer; assuring them, that God's ears are ever open to their cry, and his omnipotent arm would most certainly avenge their enemies, and deliver them from all their troubles; because they are his elect. Hath the Lord loved his people with an everlasting love? hath he chosen them in Christ Jesus from before the foundation of the world? hath he given them the precious faith of his own elect, and the cry of his chil. dren, Abba, Father and shall an unjust judge deliver one whom he cares not for, and will the just and loving Lord leave any of his beloved ones to the power of any adversary? Obeliever, never indulge such a hard thought of thy heavenly Father! Does sin make thee cry? Satan cause thee to call? the world excite thee to complain? Blessed be God for a throne of grace to go to, and an all-powerful King to call on, to protect and conquer for us! Duty is thine; be careful not to neglect it. Deliverance is the Lord's; be assured, in his own time, way, and manner, thou shalt receive it. Remember, one moment before thy Lord's time would not be thy mercy.
Thy prayers, however frequent or fervent, do not influence the Lord to elect and choose thee to salvation. No; but the cry of every heart, believing in Jesus, is an evidence of election. Therefore thou art, in Christ, always acceptable to God; so are thy prayers through him: "The prayer of the upright is his delight,” Prov. xv. 8. Though thy comforts may be often damped, through the coldness and deadness of thy prayers; yet art thou to persevere continually in thy duty. Why? To profess thy subjection to the Lord; "He is thy Lord; worship thou him," Psalm xlv. 11. Therefore, prefer a cold prayer before none at all. Better to bring words that want a soul, than neglect to bring our bodies which have souls in them: "Take with you words," and say, if you cannot take the Spirit and pray, Hos. xiv. 2.
We have an assured hope of being heard; not for our frames in duty, but for the prevalency of Christ's intercession for us before the throne, and the faithful promises of God in him, by the word and Spirit of truth. "Continue in prayer,” Col. iv. 2.
JUNE 28.–Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. -Matt. vii. 14.
So Jesus taught. But teachers in every age bave taught a broad way and wide gate, and the greatest part of professors have readily received their doctrine. This is an awful truth. Therefore Jesus adds, " Be. ware of false prophets.” It is the sole prerogative of the King of saints, to open a gate, and make a way to his own kingdom. Glory to our God, who in sovereign grace and everlasting love, hath done this. The gospel proclaims, Free welcome; Come who will ; Enter freely, without money and without price. Jesus is the one strait gate of God's love, the only way of righteousness. By him we enter into access with God, stand perfectly justified, and graciously accepted before him. Jesus is the narrow way. By the blood of his cross he hath made peace; and atoned for the sins of transgressors, by his one offering. Hence called strait and narrow, because the only way to life is by one Man, one righteousness, one atonement. Thus it is a gate of love, a way of grace. Too strait a gate for blind men to see; too narrow a way for proud, self-righteous, natural men to submit to walk in. Hence, “ few there be that find it.” But, most awful to think ofl whoever takes any other
way, or seeks to enter by any other gate, goeth in the broad road to everlasting destruction. That he is bold and confident is no proof that he is right; but a melancholy sign that he is blind and deceived. For “the way of a fool is right in his own eyes,” Prov. xii. 15. And “there is a way which seemeth
right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death,” Prov. xiv. 12. But whoever enters the kingdom by Jesus, feeds in the pastures of everlasting grace, truth, and love, drinks of the river of consolation, and shall be nourished up to eternal life. Like a person, who takes up his residence for life in a more delightful kingdom than he was born in, and conforms to its laws and customs; so the believer is conformed to the laws, speaks the language of the New Jerusalem, and “hates the garment spotted with the flesh.” Thus the Holy Spirit leads the blind by the way they knew not, even by Christ, the right way to peace, love, holiness, happiness, eternal life, and salvation. Thus, to a "little flock it is the Father's good pleasure to give the kingdom.” By his word he directs them: by his Spirit he guides them; by his love he comforts them; by afflictions he profits them; by conviction of sin he humbles them; by the prospects of hope he animates them. All this is to make them walk steadily in Christ, who is "the way, the truth, and the life,” John xiv. 6.
JUNE 29.—The Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.-Hab. ii. 20.
What God's people of old were favoured with, in type and figure, we now enjoy in reality and substance. The temple of old was an eminent type of the body of Jesus. În it Jehovah made his presence known. Here troubled consciences sought relief. The mercy-seat was set up, for poor sinners to approach to. Here Jehovah was consulted. From hence he spoke in grace and love to his people, and silenced every guilty fear. Thus God was in his holy temple: thus God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself. Was this ministration glorious, in the eyes of spiritual worshippers? How doth ours exceed in glory! The fulness of the Godhead dwelt bodily in Jesus. This is the temple in which God delights to dwell. Hence grace