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in glory, though pinioned to the body on earth. How safe are the people of God! how joyful should they be in faith! how confident in hope! how fervent in love! Believers, study your dignity. You are called to the highest honour and the greatest glory. Debase not yourselves by a low, unworthy walk. As ye have received Christ, so walk in him. For they “shall dwell on high,” &c., Isa. xxxiii. 16.
. Jan. 13.-I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness. -Micah vii. 9.
Though sin be atoned for by the blood of Jesus, and the soul be made holy and happy by believing this, yet, alas! sin dwelleth in us. Hence all our griefs, our sufferings, our wretchedness. God's judgments are sometimes secret, always just, ever in love to his own. Misery would never afflict us, if sin did not infect us. Though a good instrument may be out of tune, yet the hand of a skilful musician can cause it to display its harmony and just proportion of sound. God disciplines by afflictions, for our profit and his glory. The faith, patience, and valour of God's soldiers are best known in times of exercise; then how animating to view the love, and trust to the faithfulness of a covenant God! To see a Father's love to the soul, in the rod of his displeasure against sin, how supporting! I will bear the chastisements of my Father, my sins deserve them; yea, wrath and hell are my deserts. My mouth is stopped ; I have nothing to plead; guilt silences mé.
But see, hear, and rejoice, O soul. The church beholds a blessed person. Who is that "He" she thinks upon and mentions? “Until he plead my cause." It is the dear Advocate, Jesus, the ever precious pleader for poor sinners. How reviving are the sacred pages!
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they ever testify of his blessed name, and soul-comforting work. He never intermits in his plea for the life of the soul. He prevails over all the desert of sin, by his atonement and prayers. Shortly, he will speak destruction to all sin by the word of his power.
In the mean time, he sends his Spirit the Comforter, the third person in the glorious Trinity.. “He will bring me forth to the light." Here see Old Testament faith in New Testament love. It is the Spirit's office, to bring souls out of the dark dungeon of nature's sorrows, to see Jesus the light of life. "I shall behold his righteousness.” Then it is a day of comfort after a night of distress. Is the righteousness of Jesus mine? am I righteous by that in the sight of God? Then, truly, it is in righteousness God dealeth with me, and will save me. This faith humbles the soul to the dust, strips it of proud murmurings and self-righteous pleas, and inspires it with boldness at a throne of grace. This is the confident plea of faith ; "For thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble. Destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant,” Psalm cxliii. 11, 12
JAN. 14.—Love as brethren.--1 Pet. iii. 8.
Love without reason is a mad passion. Profession without love is but "a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal;" unmeaning noise to others; unprofiting to him that makes it. Love is of God. It is that precious ointment which is poured forth from the Father of love, upon the head of our spiritual Aaron, and runs down to the skirts of his garment, even upon all his brethren, the children of love. Love descends from God, through Jesus, to us, spreads itself among the brethren, and ascends in grateful odours to the God of love.
The prophet asks, "Have we not all one Father ?" Mal. ii. 10. Yes, saith our elder Brother, “I ascend
unto my Father, and your Father," John xx. 17. Hence the Holy Spirit draws the image of Jesus, "the first born of many brethren," upon each of their souls, and possesses them with the faith of Jesus; and “whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God; and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him," 1 John v. 1. Faith in Jesus is the band or cement of brotherly love. Are we the brethren of Jesus, beloved and chosen by one Father, born again of the same Spirit, partakers of the same grace, heirs of the same promises, travellers to the same kingdom, and shall we not love each other? Alas! alas! we mourn for the loss of health, substance, &c. but what greater cause is there to lament the loss of love, amongst God's dear children, and Christ's beloved bre. thren!
But we are all like Simeon and Levi, brethren in iniquity: and as with them, so anger and self-will are also found with us, Gen. xlix. 5, 6. Both are the effect of pride, and are contrary to faith and love. The question is not, Are we perfectly freed from every passion and temper contrary to love? This we are not to expect from our brethren. God loves us, not as sinless, but as he views us in Christ. Do we really love the children of God as such, love the members of Jesus, purely for his sake? Instead of indulging, do we curb and resist, watch and pray against our tempers which are contrary to love? This is a blessed evidence, and the root of love is in us. Let us be importunate with Jesus, that the fruits may abound more and more to the glory of God, “whom we love, because he first loved us." Love creates happiness, yea, heaven in the heart: it restores paradise to the soul: for “he who dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God and God in him," 1 John iv. 16. “Covet earnestly the best gifts, and yet I show unto you a more excellent way:" "Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us,” Ephes. v. 2. Love as brethren.
· JAN. 15.--Mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.-Psalm xxxviii. 4.
You, who think lightly of sin, and account iniquity a trifling thing, evidently show, that the god of this world bath blinded your eyes to the infinite atonement of Jesus, and hardened your hearts through the deceitfulness of sin; therefore you are insensible of grief, and without feeling of godly sorrow for sin. But when Jesus is known in the heart, sin is truly abhorred, forsaken, and overcome. But it is most distressing to the regenerate soul, when the load of guilt and the burden of sin are suffered to lie, day after day, upon the conscience. The insupportable agony of such a state none know, but those who have experienced it. One would ask, Is not this contradictory to that comforting assertion, “There is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus?” Rom. viii. 1; inconsistent with that triumphant challenge, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?” Rom. viii. 33. No, for though charge and condemnation for sin may be brought by Satan, the accuser of the brethren; the law may condemn, and our own spirits must confess we are sinners; yet our covenant God hath no condemnation against us. For he hath laid all our iniquities upon Jesus; and this is the full and free charter of his covenant concerning all his children, “Their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more,” Jer. xxxi. 34. Oh, say some, this will take away all fear of sinning, and all dread of guilt! Most impious charge against the God of grace and love! But who say this? Those who reject God's truth, and believe not his everlasting love; but judge from their own corrupt principles. But regenerate souls groan under the burden of sin; and because love prevails, sin is hated and self-abhorred.
Jesus is the only balm in Gilead, the only Physician for sin-distressed, sore burdened, heavy-ladensouls. We may seek rest from other objects, but all in vain. Nothing can quiet and relieve the distressed soul but this one truth, Jesus hath actually borne, fully suffered, perfectly atoned for all the sins of his people. So that the Lord has discharged all their sins, and will remember not one sin against them. Oh! when one beholds this general release, every debt crossed by Jesus' blood, and God acquitting from every accusation of law. and conscience, then our souls return to their rest. This is the faith of God's elect. And while kept simple, loving, faithful to him, we live by his grace, feast on his love, and holy longings inspire our hearts to enjoy him in glory.
Jan. 16.-Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden ?-Gen. iii. 1.
It is the grand master-piece of that wisdom, which is earthly, sensual, and deyilish, to call in question the truth of God's word, and to insinuate doubts about it. But here appears more modesty, even in Satan, than in many of his servants; for he only puts a query upon it, whereas they absolutely deny and ridicule the truth of Jehovah. In the same way that the old serpent attacked and prevailed against the innocence of our first parents, he still attempts to destroy the comforts and oppose the holiness of God's children, by artful suggestions against the truth of God's word. If he can but raise a doubt in our minds concerning what the Lord hath spoken, he strikes at the very foundation of our faith, hope, love, and obedience. As he abode not in the truth, he is a restless, implacable enemy to the truth, and to every soul who embraces the truth as it is in Jesus.
Really, one finds Satan like a laborious, domestic chaplain, preaching in season and out of season in one's ears: “Hath the Lord spoken this ? hath he forbidden that ? how can this doctrine be true? it is so contrary