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ing of some, whose names are written in the book of life, immediately adds, “Rejoice in the Lord alway; and again I say, Rejoice,” Phil. iv. 4. But may not our names be blotted out ? No; that is impossible. God is love. “ Whatsoever he doth, it shall be for ever; nothing can be put to it, or taken from it,” Eccl. iii. 14.
Nov. 17.-He is our peace.—Eph. ii. 14.
When Jebu came to take possession of the crown of Israel, Jezebel put this (as she thought) cutting question, “Had Zimri peace who slew his master ?" 2 Kings ix. 31. As Jehu was called and anointed to be king of Israel, according to the word of the Lord, so is every christian called and anointed by the word and Spirit, to the kingdom of Jesus. He“ hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory," &c., Rev. i. 6.
But ere we take possession of our crown in glory, we must expect many severe and aggravating questions from the mouth of the adversary on earth. Verily, he hath great reason to urge the most cruel treatment, and charge upon us the vilest behaviour to our Master, Jesus. That bloody deed of crucifying the Lord of life and glory, was caused by our sins. Not a transgression a disciple of Jesus commits, but the precious blood of his Master was spilt for. The life of sin, and love of sin, is in our nature, and the law of sin in our mem. bers. And while we are daily exposed to sin in our practice, Satan, like a powerful Assyrian army, will invade our land of nature, and attack the peace of our souls. What can we do? If we deny his charge, and say, “we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." Acknowledge his accusations we must. All in nature, reason, and conscience unites to witness against us. But shall this destroy the comfort of our minds, the hope of our souls, and the peace of our hearts ? If so, how small our knowledge! how
feeble our faith! how weak our hearts, in the grace which is in Christ Jesus! All the powers of darkness, all the curses of the law, all the accusations of sin, (blessed, for ever blessed be the grace of our God!) can. not, shall not, overthrow this soul-comforting, Christexalting, love-exciting truth ; this man, even Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem and died at Calvary, he is our peace. He hath made peace by the blood of his cross, Col. i. 20. The everlasting gospel proclaims it; the eternal law of love confirms it; by faith we receive the joyful news of it; by the Spirit our souls enjoy the sweet sense of it; by the word, the blessed Spirit stirs up our pure minds, by exhortations and examples, to look unto Jesus. Look off from every other hope. Turn from every other object. His name, his nature, his offices, his work, all speak peace to poor, guilty, self-condemned souls, whose only hope is Jesus. “The work of (Jesus') righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of (his) righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever," Isa. xxxii. 17.
Nov. 18.-If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.--1 John i. 8.
Sincere, upright souls the scriptures deem perfect. They are free from hypocrisy and dissimulation before God. They judge and speak of themselves according to truth. Christ, who is essentially the truth, dwelleth in their hearts by faith. The Spirit leads them into all truth concerning themselves and Christ's salvation. Satan, who abode not in the truth, is ever blinding souls to the truth; striving to seduce them from the truth; to deceive themselves. He never baits his hook with a more alluring bait than pride. He aims to make us think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think; and to say, "I am not like other men.” I have no sin; I am perfect. This is the very essence of Pharisaism. That soul is under the influence of a lying, deceitful spirit; "he bridleth not his tongue; he deceiveth his own heart; his religion is vain," James i. 26. “He flattereth himself in his own eyes, till his iniquity be found hateful,” Psal. xxxvi. 2. But if we see no sin, feel no sin in us, are we not to tell of our happy state? Is not Jesus glorified hereby, who hath thus perfectly saved us? Seeing and feeling! If one in a high fever says, “I am quite well, I feel no disorder;" we are sure he has a deceitful sense; he is not in his right mind. Alas, our senses are deceitful judges! They may delude us. They most certainly do, if they testify contrary to God's word. Our Saviour is only glorified by the truth. What, shall we give the lie to the Spirit of truth, and the word of truth, under pretence of glorifying Jesus? Beware, O soul! Satan transforms himself into an angel of light," and makes thee think and say thou hast no sin, for another reason than to glorify Christ; even to glorify thyself in thy own eyes and the sight of others. Hear confident Peter. Little did he think what was in his heart, when he said, (perhaps he saw no sin, felt no sin at that time,) “Though I die with thee, yet I will not deny thee." Think of his awful fall, dreadful impreca tions, and be humble. Awful effects are not wanting in our day of such, whom Satan has puffed up with this unscriptural notion of being sinless; most dreadful evils have followed. The higher the elevation, the greater the fall.
"Thou standest by faith." This leads entirely out of ourselves, to the perfection of Jesus. “Be not high-minded, but fear" setting up thyself, in opposition to the Spirit of truth. He, who says, he has no sin, commits sin in saying so. For he lies: the truth is not in him; he is deceived by the father of lies.
Nov. 19.--This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life.—1 John v. 11, 12 .
Sovereign power permits man to fall. Guilt fills the wretched pair with dread, and cuts off all hope in God, all claim upon him. Hence, our first parents “fled from the presence of the Lord, and hid them. selves.” Sovereign love interposed, and the poor, guilty, trembling partners in woe, were called before their highly offended, justly provoked Lord. Was it to behold him clothed with vengeance; to hear the sentence of eternal doom to destruction; to see hell opened to receive them? No. Be astonished, 0 heavens! rejoice, ye apostate children of hell-deserving parents! They heard a record of what was transacted in the eternal court, and council of heaven, published on earth. This, instead of wrath, brought mercy ; instead of woe, blessing; instead of eternal death, everlasting life; instead of a hell of misery, a heaven of happiness to their trembling hearts.
Fallen man sought not to meet God, to sue for pardon and entreat grace, but fled his presence. But the Lord follows sinful man, with love in his heart; not to propose terms of accommodation, or conditions of peace, but to proclaim the joyful news of eternal life as the free gift of free favour, unmerited grace, unconditional mercy, in and by the Seed of the woman, Jesus Christ. Glorious record of love! Blessed testimony of life! Joyful tidings of grace! Hast thou heard, known, and believed this record ? “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name." Behold and admire the wisdom as well as the love of thy God. In this rejoice alway. Be humble continually. Life, eternal life, is given us. This life is in God's be. loved Son, therefore can never be lost and forfeited. “Our life is hid with Christ in God." Oh, if Jesus dwells in our hearts by faith, we have God's beloved Son, we have eternal life! The report of this is joyful to our ears. The enjoyment of this enters our hearts, creates present heaven, and fills us with joyful hopes of future glory. We have the strongest confidence, the fullest assurance to animate our souls. Because I live, saith the Head, ye (my members) shall live also, John xiv. 19. God hath given us eternal life. He is faithful. . He will not revoke his own precious free gift. Jesus hath overcome every enemy and opposer that might prevent our enjoyment of eternal life. The Holy Spirit bath effected such a union to Jesus as can never be broken. We are joined unto the Lord, and are one spirit, 1 Cor. vi. 17.
Nov. 20.-Hide not thy face from me: put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.Psalm xxvii. 9.
"Love never faileth.” It ever works in believing hearts toward its beloved object. It cannot bear distance from Jesus. The thought is grievous and painful. The dread of it makes the soul plead, fills the mouth with arguments, lest the heart should lose the sweet sense and comforting savour of his love. His presence is heaven; his absence hell. His smiles create joy; his frowns gloom and sorrow. When the heart feels a withdrawing of God and the light of his countenance, it cannot but be restless and uneasy. For we experience christianity to be more than a name, its doctrines more than mere speculations to fill the head or amuse the thoughts: in ordinances, somewhat more is enjoyed than a dull round and formal attendance on them. It is a life of love. It consists in knowing and enjoying the God of truth, faithfulness, and love in his ordinances.
Therefore a loving soul most of all fears the anger of its loving Father. It dreads to be put away in displeasure, though but for a moment. To be left to our