« PreviousContinue »
near the hearts of sanctified souls. The way of truth and the paths of holiness are their delight. Sanctification of the Spirit is inseparable from belief of the truth. Both spring from the electing love of God the Father, and shall most assuredly issue in the certain salvation of every happy subject. This is the challenge of Jesus : “Father, I will that those whom thou hast given me be where I am," John xvii. 24.
AUGUST 13.-Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest to your souls.-Matt. xi. 29.
Thus, with tender affections, speaks Jesus our Prophet to the lambs of his flock. He well knows we stand in need of daily instruction from him. He teaches us in the truth, as we are able to bear it. He knows the weakness of our understandings. He is "touched with a feeling of our infirmities.” Therefore, lest our poor hearts should at any time conceive thoughts of him contrary to his nature and office, he says, “I am meek and lowly in heart.” You find you are poor sinners; ignorant of many truths; exercised with many conflicts, trials, and temptations: do not think of me only as the High and Lofty One, who inhabiteth eternity, but as dwelling also with humble hearts. Look not on me as an austere master, a terrible lawgiver, a severe judge, who watches over you for evil, and is ever ready to take all advantages against you. No; I am your condescending, meek, and lowly Saviour; your loving Friend, and kind Instructor; therefore come and listen to my words. “Learn of me.”
What sweet encouragement is this! Art thou, O soul, tossed with temptations? harassed with corruptions ? beset with sinful passions? Do these bring disquiet upon thy mind, distress to thy conscience, and prove a wearisome burden to thy spirits, so that thou dost not enjoy settled ease and composed rest ? Re. member thy Saviour's lowly character and kind advice.
He hath an ear of grace for thy complaints, a heart of love to pity thee, a powerful arm to relieve thee. With sweet familiarity pour out thy heart to him. As a bosom Friend, tell him of thy sorrows, complaints, and fears. Always bear in mind his kind invitation, the loving meekness and lowliness of his heart, and the blessedness of his promise. He hath spoken it, and will he not bring it to pass? He hath said it, and will he not fulfil it? “Ye shall find rest to your souls ;" such sweet tranquillity and inward composure as can be found in no object besides. Could the children of this world persuade us there is no evil in their vain diversions and carnal delights; still, we know we cannot expect our Lord's presence, nor shall we find rest to our souls from the bewitching scenes of the playhouse, &c. No; but the more rest we find to our souls in Jesus, the more we are delighted with him; we become dead to all things that are contrary to spiritual peace and joy from him.
66 We who have believed do enter into rest;" and yet, we “labour to enter into rest," Heb. iv. 3, 11.
August 14.—I will bring the blind by a way they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto chem, and not forsake them.—Isa. xlii. 16.
Here is full proof of the personality of the Divine Spirit, the third glorious person in the adorable Trinity; and also the nature of his office in the economy of the covenant of
for the salvation of the elect. He will lead them into all the paths of truth. Truth is of the very essence and perfection of Jehovah. The Father “ hath chosen us from the beginning to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit
, and belief of the truth, 2 Thess. ii. 13. Jesus is essentially
Jesus is essentially "the way,
the truth, and the life," (John xiv. 6,) by whom we are saved. And the Holy Spirit performs his office, as our guide unto him.
We are all gone out of the way;" blind, and see not the way; ignorant, and know not the way; proud, and have "turned every one to his own way:
And if left to ourselves, we should seek death in the error of our ways. But, adorable grace! the Spirit of love prevents this. He will lead to Jesus, the way, and into * all the truth as it is in him.” So we enjoy life from him, a life of love and holiness now, and eternal life and glory hereafter. Oh, the loving condescension of this heavenly Guide! yet, it is natural for us to resist and grieve the loving Spirit, and quench his bles motions. Yet, such is his amazing love, that, like a most affectionate friend, a benign Comforter, he takes us by the hand, yea, takes our hearts into his hand, and will guide, counsel, and direct us, outwardly by his word, and inwardly by his secret but powerful influ
In the light of his word, we see how sinful, miserable, and wretched we are. He teaches us this, because we should not trust in ourselves that we are righteous, and deceive our souls into perdition. By the word, he teaches us the knowledge of Jesus, the love of the Father in him, the superaboundings of grace over all the aboundings of sin. He turns us from the crooked paths of pride, self-will, and self-righteousness, into the straight paths of grace, truth, and holiness. Here is our mercy, “He will work, and none shall let it.” This the crowning mercy of all, “I will not forsake them." Here are four absolute declarations, "I will." Bow, proud free-will, to thy Lord's "wills." " As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are sons of God," Rom. viii. 14.
AUGUST 15.-Consider him who endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.—Heb. xii. 3.
Come, christian, look up, look forward, and be of good courage. Though thy exercises are many, and thy conflicts great, though weary in, yet be not weary of the ways of the Lord. Verily, in due time, we shall reap an harvest of eternal felicity, after all our present toil and labour. Faint not. Continue to the end. Persevere in the work of faith, labour of love, and patience of hope. The battle is the Lord's. Thy foes are all conquered. Victory is obtained. The crown is held forth by thy conquering Lord. Press on. But, alas! thou findest contradiction from every quarter; from within and from without. Numerous foes rise up against thee. Thy strength is small. Thy power weak. Most true! But know thy calling. Study thy privileges. Behold thy Comforter holds forth a reviving cordial to thy drooping spirits. “Lest thou be weary and faint in thy mind," consider Jesus. Here is faith's mystery, the christian's triumph; hence derive fresh life and vigour to thy fainting mind. Consider Jesus, in his divine nature, thy covenant God; in his human nature, thy redeeming Brother; as God and man in one Christ, thy full salvation, thy almighty Saviour. Consider Jesus in his innocent life, enduring contradiction of sinners against himself on thy account; fulfilling all righteousness for thee; that thou art perfectly righteous in him. Consider Jesus on the cross, bearing thy sins amidst taunts and jeers, making atonement for thy transgressions. Consider Jesus entered into heaven, and appearing in the presence of God for us. Consider Jesus infinite in wisdom to know thy wants, infinite in love to sympathize with thee in all thy sorrows, infinite in power to support and strengthen under all. Consider what infinite riches of grace he has in glory to supply all thy need. Oh! consider the fulness of grace that dwells in him for needy sinners. Live upon his fulness day by day, so as to receive out of his fulness grace for grace." Was the blood of martyrs the seed of the church?” Confident we are, the life and death, the blood and righteousness of Jesus are the life of our graces, the spring of our comforts, the support of our weary minds, and the only reviving cordials for our fainting spirits. Are we panting sinners at his footstool? Considering Jesus makes us joyful before his throne now. Soon we shall be eternally happy in his presence. Imitate the father of the faithful. Be not weak in faith. Consider not thy own body, which is dead because of sin. Know the Spirit is life, because of the righteousness of Jesus, Rom. viii. 10.
AUGUST 16.-And they laughed him to scorn.Matt. ix. 24.
Wonderful indeed is our Master in patience, meekness, love, and goodness, under such insults!
"Wben Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad. He desired to see him of a long season, for he hoped to see some miracle done by him." Miracles may satisfy curiosity. They do not of themselves convert the heart to the truth. This is plain. Herod saw in Jesus a most astonishing miracle. Behold, innocence itself arraigned and accused, death in its most cursed and ignominious form threatened. Amazing! Jesus stood mute: his tongue locked up in silence. His mighty arm which could have dealt destruction at a blow, he suffered to be bound; himself set at nought, mocked, and in derision arrayed in a robe of mock royalty-white, says Beza. Šo Herod, though undesigned, gave him a token of his innocence; as Pilate, contrary to his intention, gave him a title, “This is the King of the Jews." Though requested to alter it, he, constrained to be inflexible, replies, What I have written, I will not revoke. See your calling. It is to confess and follow a once laughed at, scorned, ridiculed Jesus. Never