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· 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
Lest. Hererive frests,
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
once dream of being excused from pledging our Lord in the same cup. So surely as thou dost "witness a good profession" of faith in Jesus, and conformity to him, thou also shalt not escape laughter and scorn from the carnal world; nor being arrayed by them in the contemptible garb of a fool's cap, and a madman's coat. Time was, when we acted as they do. Think of this and be humble. Glory be to him who taught us better! But what harm can this do us? Harm! it is our greatest glory on earth. “Such honour have all his saints." An honour angels share not in. Sinners only are called thus to glorify their Master. True, it is galling to the flesh. But “they that are Christ's have cru. cified the flesh with its affections and lusts." By the world's scorn, pride is mortified, while the soul is joy. ful; and the Spirit of Christ and of glory rests upon us.' The world laughs us to scorn. Jesus smiles and approves. Shall we be uneasy at it? No; our Master bids us rejoice, and be exceeding glad. Thus, follow Christ and fear not men. Formerly, it was a proverbial expression, to show an impossibility, “You may as soon turn a christian from Christ as do it.” Steadfastness here is our glory. In the things of God, said Luther, “I yield to none.” As God's election is irrevocable, so let our confession of Christ be. Strive to imitate him in love and patience. He has left us an example, that we should follow his steps, 1 Pet. ii. 21.
August 17.—Thou hast received gifts for men. Psalm lxviii. 18.
The dedication of this Psalm, says Beza, is to him that excelleth, even Jesus the excellent one. It contains a glorious display of his kingdom. The royal prophet was highly favoured with clear and comfortable views of the ample provision which is made for poor rebellious sinners, in the everlasting covenant of grace and love. Jesus is the rich treasury. All grace
is laid up in him. So it pleased the Father; so it rejoiceth the heart of all his members, like Joseph's brethren, to receive all gifts from his hands. Jesus is the unspeakable gift of God the Father to us. All his members were given to him. In him Jehovah loves us, delights in us, and rejoices over us, to do us good. Alas! too, too often we are apt to think vainly, and talk arrogantly; to ascribe what we are, and what we hope for, to something in us, or done by us. So we lose sight of our own poverty, forget our kind Benefac. tor, and this fever of pride is succeeded by an ague of heartless dejection ; our hands hang down, and our knees grow feeble. For ever blessed be God, salvation from first to last is all of free gift, by free grace, secured by free promises in Christ. So it is effectual to sinners. Hence, believers ascribe all the glory to the ever-blessed Trinity, by Jesus. Do I see the exceeding sinfulness of sin ? Am I sensible of my deserts, my misera. ble state as a sinner? Do I see the purity and spirituality of God's righteous law ? Do I despair of all hope and help in myself? Is Jesus my refuge? Do I see the glory of his righteousness, and perfection of his atonement? Is the triumph of his cross, the victory of his death, the foundation of my faith, the support of hope from day to day? These are love tokens from Jesus. He freely sheds them on us. So our hearts are enamoured with him, and knit to him in love. And, for our further consolation and joy, he still lives to bestow innumerable more and infinitely greater gifts than what we have yet received. For if we have received the first fruits of the Spirit, the harvest is sure. Every enemy shall be conquered, every lust subdued. Nothing less than perfect holiness and happiness await us. Is sin atoned by the blood of Jesus? and shall his members live without a sense of pardon? No: " Ask,” says he, “and receive, that your joy may be full,” John xvi. 24. Jesus is glorified; the Spirit is given to bear witness of him, and to comfort and sanctify us. "If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things ?” Rom. viii. 31, 32.
August 18.—Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone ; because I am a man of unclean lips :—for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.—Isa. vi. 5.
When in the light of truth the glory of Jesus is manifested to the soul, how does it stain the pride of all human glory! The prophets of the Old Testament, and the apostles under the New, were men of like passions, sinners as we are. By nature there is no difference. They were all saved by the same precious Saviour. A sight of themselves humbled them to the dust. “Oh, wretched man that I am !" cries Paul the apostle. “Woe is me! I am unclean, I am undone,” cries Isaiah, the evangelical prophet. “God will suffer no flesh to glory in his presence.” Jesus the Saviour alone shall be exalted. Man the sinner, though the subject of grace and salvation, shall be laid low, every hope in himself cut off, the exceeding sinfulness of sin and his deserts as a sinner confessed. Such are the saving effects of Jesus' love, such the humbling views of his Spirit. But it is very natural for the sensible sinner to write bitter things against himself, to pronounce a woe upon himself, and to cry out of his undone state, and totally polluted condition. Just so, when the sun shines, we see innumerable motes and atoms which were invisible before. But do we think this strange, after we have been favoured with a spiritual sight of Jesus, faith in him, and hope from him, to be sensible of and cry out of our undone state? We should not. We shall carry this view of ourselves all our journey through, even till we come to the banks of Jordan's streams.
The most exalted saint while in the body is in himself, according to the flesh, carnal, sold under sin ; bur