Page images
PDF
EPUB

Christian’s Declaration.— My beloved is mine, and

I am his. Song of Sol. ii. 16. Divine Answer.- I will betroth thee unto me for

ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness;

and thou shalt know the Lord. Hos. ii. 19, 20. By faith in the blood of CHRIST we are accepted, and closely united to him as our bridegroom. By faith we daily eat his flesh, drink his blood, and are sprinkled all over: and need there is of a daily sprinkling, that our persons and services may be accepted, since the best of our works, our prayers and praises, our duties and graces, are all unclean till washed in the blood of Jesus. This appears from Heb. ix. 19–21, where it is said, that “ all the vessels of the ministry, and even the book, was sprinkled.” By faith let us cling to this blood of sprinkling, which emanates from the cross, and let us abide in Jesus, without whom we can bring forth no fruit; for as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in him. John xv. 4.

Hark! the Redeemer from on high,
Sweetly invites his fav'rites nigh;
From caves of darkness and of doubt,
He gently speaks, and calls us out.

My sister and my spouse,” he cries,
“ Bound to my heart by various ties;
Thy powerful love my heart detains
In strong delight, and pleasing chains.”
Dear Lord, our thankful heart receives
The hope thy invitation gives;
To thee our joyful lips shall raise
The voice of prayer, the voice of praise.
I am my Love's, and he is mine;
Our hearts, our hopes, our passions join;
Nor let a motion, nor a word,
Nor thought arise to grieve my Lord.

David's Prayer.-When thou saidst, Seek ye my

face, my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. Ps. xxvii. 8. I am thine, save me ;

for I have sought thy precepts. Ps. cxix. 94. Divine Answer.—They who seek me early shall find me. Prov. viii. 17. The humble shall see this and be glad; and your hearts shall live that seek God. Ps. lxix. 32. Seek, and ye shall find. Matt. vii. 7. For whoso findeth me findeth life. Prov. viii. 35. For I am the life. John

xiv. 6. SUCH arguments and entreaties we may use with God, to strengthen us in faith ; he does not want them, but we do; and he is well pleased when we take him at his word. For if we would not draw near to God in prayer till our hearts are quickened, perhaps we might never come to it. Therefore we must not indulge ourselves in such a state of dulness, but rather put a force upon ourselves, and pray against our natural inclination. Being faithful and instant in this, we shall certainly have our affections warmed, and great power and blessings given from above, that our hearts may live. O Lord, I plead thy precious promises ; and thou canst not deny thy word. Thou hast laid thyself under obligation to help a feeble praying soul. Then let thy Holy Spirit abide with me, to quicken my soul when fainting, and to rule my heart in all things, that no sin may have dominion over me.

Lord, I address thy heavenly throne!

Call me a child of thine !
Send down the Spirit of thy Son

To form my heart divine.
There shed thy choicest love abroad,

And make my comforts strong;
Then shall I say, My Father God,

With an unwav'ring tongue.

David's Prayer.-O my God, I trust in thee ; let

me not be ashamed. Ps. xxv. 2. In thee, O Lord, do I hope ; thou wilt hear, O Lord my God. Ps. xxxviii. 15. Let none that wait on thee be

ashamed. Ps. xxv. 3. Divine Answer.--Hope maketh not ashamed. Rom.

v. 5. They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which abideth for ever. Ps. cxxv. 1. Pray for help; and though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come; it will not tarry. Hab. ii. 3. Then thou shalt knon, &c. Isa. xlix.

23. Does God delay his promises and the enemy raise a suspicion against his faithfulness ? remember it is said, “ Pray and wait.” Wait for the coming of God's own good time. His time will come, and " though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come.” Thou art still alive, and shalt yet be a witness to God's faithfulness. If he was not faithful and true, he could not be God. His faithfulness is eternal, and as sure and as great as himself; above all our thoughts. Thou shalt at last the more gloriously experience it, and not be ashamed. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but his word shall not fail, because “ He keeps truth for ever.Ps. cxlvi. 6. Hath he promised, and shall he not perform ? hath he said, and will he not do? Yea, verily, his words are truth to the end of the world.

Happy the man whose hopes rely
On Israel's God: he made the sky,
And earth, and seas, with all their train !
And none shall find his promise vain.
His truth for ever stands secure;
He saves th' oppressed, he feeds the poor ;
He sends the lab'ring conscience peace,
And grants the pris'ner sweet release.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilder

ness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up. John iii. 14. And I, if I be lifted up from the

earth, will draw all men unto me. John xii. 32. This he spoke of his death. And it is the remembrance of his cruel death, of what he suffered, said, and finished, when he hung naked and wounded upon the cross, that relieves an afflicted conscience, and effectually captivates the sinner's heart to himself. The sharpest convictions, if not relieved by this sight, will never teach the heart to love. The strongest resolutions, unless made with this bleeding object in view, will melt away like snow: but a crucified Saviour is a powerful loadstone indeed; multitudes have been drawn by it from sin to holiness, from Satan to God, from earth to heaven. Come then, my soul, contemplate thy Redeemer in all the stages of his humiliation work. Travel with him from his birth to his cross, from his cross to his grave, and from the grave behold him rising the first fruits of them that sleep. Go, my soul, and spend an hour with him in Gethsemane; see his bloody sweat, hear his groans, and think what all this was for. It was for thy sins ; that he might redeem thee to God; that he might bring back to thy Father who is in heaven a pure and a redeemed spirit. Then love him.

Was it for crimes that I have done

He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown !

And love beyond degree !
But drops of grief can ne'er repay

The debt of love I owe;
Lord, I would give myself away;

'Tis all that I can do.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity en

vieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth. 1 Cor. xii. 4–8. O My dear heavenly Father, I desire to love thee and my neighbour with a pure heart fervently, and beg thou wouldst let me know and enjoy thy love in Christ, as the only means of producing this love in me. For how can iny heart be cold when resting at the Cross of Christ, and feeling the virtue of his blood ? Or how can it be hard, when lying in thy bosom, richly tasting of thy grace, and sweetly experiencing thine everlasting love to me, a vile miserable sinner? Oh, may a sense of thy love melt my hard heart into love, and change it thoroughly; and change my longing desires from those sinful things of time that gender strife.

Had I the tongues of Greeks and Jews,
And nobler speech than angels use,
If love be absent, I am found,
Like tinkling brass, an empty sound.
Were I inspired to preach, and tell
All that is done in heaven and hell;
Or could my faith the world remove,
Still I am nothing without love.
Should I distribute all my store
To feed the bowels of the poor;
Or give my body to the flame,
To gain a martyr's glorious name,-
If love to God and love to men
Be absent, all my hopes are vain ;
Nor tongues, nor gifts, nor fiery zeal,
The work of love can e'er fulfil.

« PreviousContinue »