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a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, the streams whereof, make glad the city of God, and shall do so, till this river empties itself into the ocean of eternity.”
It is truly interesting to trace the windings of this sacred stream, sometimes blessing one country, and sometimes another, according to the purpose and grace of him, who directs its course with wise and unerring skill.
What cause for gratitude, that this river of the water of life flows in every direction through this highly favoured island. But oh! how delightful to taste its sweetness, and to feel through faith, its purifying and refreshing virtues. · Blessed Lord ! be pleased to open my understanding, that I may understand the Scriptures. Give me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, that I may know myself as a helpless sinner ; and thee, as my only Saviour. Let me never cavil at the deep mysteries of thy holy word; but make me as a little child, humble, teachable, and submissive to thy righteous will. May the knowledge of my ruined state, through original and actual transgression, fill' me with shame and self-abhorrenee. May the knowledge of thy sovereign grace and purposes of mercy, through a crucified Redeemer, fill me with gratitude and adoring praise. Make me more and more acquainted with the deceitfulness of sin, that I may watch against its subtle workings; and make me more and more acquainted with thee, my Almighty Saviour, that I may daily rejoice in thy salvation ; be exalted in thy righteousness, and live to thy glory.
0! that I felt my soul upborne
On pure devotion's wings; Far above earth's deceitful joys, And sublunary things.
Where thou, blest Saviour, sit'st enthrond,
In everlasting light;
The source of their delight:
There in thy blissful presence reigns
Immortal joy serene ;
Nor desolations seen.
Around thee flow unmix'd delights,
Like rivers deep and wide ;
Proceeds an endless tide.
Can such a sinful creature, Lord,
Partake this wondrous grace,
And view thy glorious face ?
Ah ! then let sin and earth usurp
My wayward heart no more ;
My soul's unbounded store.
XXIX. THE TWO PILLARS.
“ The religion of a sinner," as good Mr. Newton used to say, “ stands upon two pillars : what Christ has done for us in the flesh; and what he does in us by his Spirit.”
Christ dying for us and Christ living in us, is the very ground and pillar of the truth.
Come, O! my soul, retire from a busy, thoughtless world; collect thy scattered powers ; explore the sacred volume, and examine with delight these glorious pillars, which support the fabric of thy hopes, and point to realms on high.
Consider what Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, hath done for thee, when he became incarnate. And may the review of this stupendous mercy kindle such a flame of love, as never, never will expire !
The mighty God graciously made himself of no reputation, but took upon him the form of a servant; and was made in the likeness of men.
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Phil. ii. 7, 8.) And why did the ever blessed Jesus thus humble himself? O! mystery of love! It was to save his people from their sins. (Matt. i. 21.) It was that he, who knew no sin, might be made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Cor. v. 21.) It was to finish the transgression; to make an end of sins ; to make reconciliation for iniquity; and to bring in everlasting righteousness. (Dan. ix. 24.)
Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. (1 Cor. xv. 3.) He hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. (1 Peter iii. 18.) He bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness : by whose stripes we are healed. (1 Pet. ii. 24.) He was once offered to bear the sins of many. (Heb. ix. 28.) He is the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world, (John i. 29,)
Jesus, the beloved of the Father, was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil; (1 John ii. 8.) that we might live through him ; (1 John iv. 9.) that he might be the propitiation for our sins; (1 John iv. 10.) that he might be the saviour of the world. (1 John iv. 14.) He gave himself for us, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, (Gal. i. 4.) from the wrath to come; (1 Thess. 1. 10.) and that, through death, he might destroy him that had
the power of death, that is the devil. (Heb. ii. 14.)
These are some of the glorious things which Jesus hath done for us in his flesh : and that none may despair of salvation on account of their multiplied transgressions, it is further declared in the everlasting Gospel, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; (1 Tim. i. 15.) that he came to seek and to save that which was lost; (Luke xix. 10.) that he died for the ungodly; (Rom. v. 6.) that, whilst we were yet sinners Christ died for us ; (Rom. v. 8.) that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin; (1 John i. 7.) by which precious blood we are redeemed; (1 Peter i. 19.) and justified ; (Rom. v. 9.) and by which we who were sometimes far off are made nigh; (Ephes. ii. 13.) and obtain the forgiveness of sins. (Ephes. i. 7.)
Jesus is further declared in Scripture to be our peace. (Ephes. ii. 14.) Our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. (1 Cor. i. 30.) The one Mediator between God and man. (1 Tim. ii. 5.) Our Advocate with the Father. (1 John ii. 1.) Our compassionate High-priest. (Heb. iv. 15.) Our allprevailing intercessor. (Heb. vii. 25.) Who gave himself a ransom for all. (1 Tim. ii. 6.) And who tasted death for every man. (Heb. ii. 9.)
Therefore, says the apostle, Christ our passover was sacrificed for us. (Cor. v. 7.) Christ ha deemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. (Gal. iii. 13.)
And the Lord himself declared, that he came not to destroy the law but to fulfil. (Matt. v. 17.)
O! the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable is his wisdom, who can be just and yet the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus. (Rom. iii. 26.) A door of hope is now opened to perishing sinners; for through Jesus we have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
(Ephes. ii. 18.) He is the only Saviour. (Acts iv. 12.) The only foundation. (i Cor. iii. 11.) The only way-for no man cometh unto the Father but by him. (John xiv. 6.)
This is the record, that God hath given unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (1 John v. 11, 12.) To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name, whosoever believeth in him, shall receive remission of sins. (Acts x. 43.) For him hath God with his right hand exalted, to be a Prince and a saviour, for to give repentance unto Israel and forgiveness of sins. (Acts v. 31.) And through him is preached the forgiveness of sins; and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which they could not be justified by the law of Moses (Acts xiii. 38, 39.)
Much, very much more is revealed in the Scriptures of truth, concerning the freeness, fulness, and all-sufficiency of this great salvation wrought out for us by the blood of Jesus, when he took upon him our nature and stood in the place of sinners.
But ah ! my soul, enough is here written, to raise thy warmest notes of grateful adoration. May every succeeding meditation on the love of thy Redeemer, drawn from the sacred fountain of revealed truth, add fresh fervour to thy praise, and constrain thee to live more to his glory, who loved thee and gave himself for thee.
Blessed Saviour! increase my faith, whilst I consider what thou art now doing in the hearts of thy people through the influence and agency of the Holy Spirit.
Man, through the fall, was not only excluded from the kingdom of heaven, but was very far gone, gone as far as possible, from original righteousness. The image of God forsook him, and the image of the evil one was stamped upon him. He became a guilty