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I am the light of the world; he that followeth me
shall not walk in, darkness, but shall have the light of life. John viii. 12. Therefore, walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you ; for he that walketh in darkness knoweth
not whither he goeth. Chap. xii. 35. He that is faithful, keeping ever close to CHRIST and his light, strictly watching and obeying the motions of his Spirit, will be evermore tender in conscience, and receive so much more light: consequently, he will be from time to time more deeply rooted in repentance, faith and assurance, so as either to be preserved from many combats and disorders, or at least be carried through the same. He may meet with dark valleys in his pilgrimage, for nature is covered with darkness, and grace sometimes only glimmers like a spark; yet by degrees it will blaze, and at last break through and enlighten all our darkness. The glory of the Lord is often seen beaming in the cloud.
Is he a star ? he breaks the night,
I am the Lord God, which teacheth thee to profil,
which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldst go. O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments ! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea. Isa. xlviii. 17, 18. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock : if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup
with him, and he with me. Rev. iii. 20. How often and how variously does the Lord knock at the door of our hearts, by the voice of his word, the voice of his Spirit, or the voice of conscience! But how seldom are we inclined to give him the hearing! We are often so distracted with business or pleasure, that we can hardly observe his voice through the hurry and noise of worldly things, and we are not at home when he knocks, and seeks to take up
his abode Well, even now he is knocking by this paper. Hearken to his voice and open
the door for him directly, since he desires nothing from us that might be grievous ; but intends to make our heart a glorious residence and banquetingroom of love, to fill it with heavenly treasure, and give us everything along with himself.
I'll bring him to my mother's home;
I am the true Vine, and my Father is the Hus
band-man; every branch in me that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Abide in me and I in you; he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit. John xv. 1-5. O LORD, I trust that this word will have its accomplishment in me also, though as yet I have great reason to be humbled on account of my barrenness. Grant, therefore, that I always may abide in thee faithfully and quietly: since there is everything in thy power, and nothing can be done by our own strength ; but as it is thy will, and it tends both to the glory of thy Father and thine own, I depend upon being replenished in due season with fruits of righteousness. O suffer nothing in me which may dishonour thy name, and which would prove hurtful to myself and offensive to others. But whatever thou thinkest as yet fit for me to suffer, let it work for my real good.
How can I sufficiently adore the patience of the Lord, my gracious Husband-man, who still bears with me, the weakest of all his branches. He has not cut me off yet, but still dresses me to bring forth more fruit, though, like a degenerate plant, I have yielded little else but wild grapes. Why then shouldst thou grumble, O my heart, at the application of his pruning-knife? It is really for thy good. He is angry only with the degenerate unfruitful branches. The more these are purged, the more fruit thou shalt bring forth.
Is Christ a Vine? his heavenly root
I am glorified in them; I have declared unto them
thy name, and will declare it, that the love wherewith thou hast loved me, may be in them, and I in them; I in them, and thou in me, that they
may be made perfect in one. John xvii. 10, 26, 23. CHRIST is the Head of his Church, and he is glorified in it, in having it to present to the Father a glorious Church, the members of which are washed clean in his own blood, and are as stones fitly set. Christ loves his Church. He loves the individual members of it, and they derive all their nourishment from him. O glorious promise—how could he love us more! What blessed and intimate union is this ! O for such a faith that could always truly believe it! CHRIST is the Vine, believers are the branches; he the Bridegroom, they the bride; he the Head, they the members of his body, of his very flesh, and very bones, and, consequently, one body with him. And who ever hated his own flesh? So in loving and cherishing believers, he loves himself. Eph. v. 28, 29. Whenever he shall sease to love himself, then, and no sooner, shall he cease to love and cherish them also. It is his own delight to do them good, moro than the mother that suckles her child.
Lord, what a heaven of saving grace
David's Prayer.--I am weary with groaning. Ps.
vi. 6. Divine Answer. He gives power to the faint, and
to them that have no might he increases strength. Isa. xl. 29. I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. Jer.
xxxi. 25. See also Matt. xii. 28–30. HERE Christ is commending his own meekness, both as a pattern for imitation, and as an encouragement for heavy-laden sinners to draw near to him with confidence. And his rest is promised, not for the merit of our labour and humility, but merely for our coming to him and believing in him. He says, “ Take my yoke upon you."
66 But how shall I take it ?" says the sinner.
“ Why," says CHRIST, “ Learn of me. Let me be your teacher, and though you are blind and foolish, fretful and forgetful, yea, wholly polluted with sin, I can yet bear with you, because I am meek and lowly in heart, not rough and haughty to offenders, as Pharisees usually are, but full of compassion towards them, willing to receive them, and ready to forgive and comfort them,” &c. Come, therefore, to him, 0 sinner, with all thy load of sin and misery, and he will in nowise cast thee out, but receive thee gladly.
Come hither, all ye weary souls,
Ye heavy-laden sinners, come!
And raise you to my heavenly home!
My yoke, and bear it with delight;
My grace shall make the burden light !
With faith, and hope, and humble zeal,
To mould and guide us at thy will !