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Wherefore we labour, that whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 2 Cor. v. 9.
This indeed is the true disposition of a soul espoused to CHRIST. She has but one care, which is to please him in all things. And this desire to do his will is, as it were, the ring and seal of her Bridegroom ; which she may look upon even in the absence of all spiritual joy, as a token for good, that she is his spouse. Ought not then this day, O my soul, to be a new wedding-day with CHRIST?' He is desirous that thou shouldst be betrothed unto him, even now, and waits only for thy consent. Hearken, O daughter! consider, and incline thine ear; be no longer married to the world. Forget thine own people and thy father's house, and take him alone for thy husband, so shall the King greatly desire thy beauty. Wilt thou give the refusal to this glorious and loving Saviour ? I hope not. Give it rather to the world, and resolutely say, I have done with thee, O poor world! I break the bonds of my former love; my eyes and feet shall henceforth only be directed to the blessed and eternal city of the new Jerusalem, where my heavenly Bridegroom resides. And O what need I have to be duly prepared, dressed, and beautified against his coming, and the time of his taking me home to himself ! LORD JESUS, keep me longing for thine appearance, for the happy day when I shall
with thee to glory.
If Christ is ours, we may despise
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help
in time of need. Heb. iv. 16. O THAT we were all so wise as to prepare and provide ourselves in due time with the right armour of faith, before the time of need and hour of death approach! Come, my reader, let us begin now, and go directly to the gate of mercy, lest we should come too late and be undone. Behold the encouragement of CHRIST :-"I am the door,” says he, “and the way." John x. 1. chap. xiv. 6. Now, by this door you may find the entrance into the heart and favour of God, CHRIST himself sitting on a mercy-seat to receive and welcome the vilest of sinners. And there is no drawing near to God but through him, and clothed in the righteousness of our only Redeemer, Mediator, and Advocate. He is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End; nay, the very ALL in ALL to believers. With CHRIST they can never part! and he can never part with them. Col. iii. 10, 11.
Of him who did salvation bring,
Ask but his grace, and lo! 'tis giv'n:
Guide thou, O Lord, guide thou my course,
God commendeth his love towards us, in that while
we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him : for, if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son; much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Rom. v. 8-10.
HERE we have much more reason to cry out than Moses had. Deut. xxxiii. 3. 66 The Lord loved the people :" but here I must beseech thee too, O Lord, that the infinite gift of thy Son may appear to me greater and greater every day, and that thy love, shining out in his redemption, may go on so to increase in my soul, as to disperse all clouds of darkness, unbelief, and hard thoughts of thy goodness. Whenever this slanderous spirit tries to lift up his head, grant that my faith and love may be quickened and strengthened in such a manner, as heartily to praise thy great love, in spite of all his suggestions : this is the chief desire which I offer unto thee in all my prayers, night and day. The want of faith and love, I am sensible, is still my greatest want; my soul is like a large empty vessel, but I pray thee to fill it speedily, notwithstanding any opposition that may be made by my unrenewed part.
Come, guilty souls, and flee away,
Like dove to Jesu's wounds :
Wherein free grace abounds
To drink the cup of wrath;
That come to him by faith.
For even hereunto were ye called ; because Christ
also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that
ye should follow his steps. 1 Pet. ii. 21. To believe in Christ for justification, is but onehalf of the duty of faith : it respects Christ only as he died and suffered for us, as he made atonement for our sins, peace with God, and reconciliation for us, and as our righteousness ; unto these ends, he is, indeed, primarily and principally pro posed unto us in the Gospel ; and with respect unto them, we are exhorted to receive him and to believe in him ; but this is not all that is required of us: CHRIST in the Gospel is proposed unto us as our pattern and example of holiness; and, as it is a cursed imagination that the whole end of his life and death was to exemplify and confirm the doctrine of holiness, which he preached, so to neglect his being our example in considering him by faith unto that end, and labouring after conformity to him, is evil and pernicious; wherefore, let us be much in contemplation of what he was, what he did, how in all instances of duties and trials he carried himself, until a glorious iinage of his perfect holiness is implanted in our minds, and we are made like unto him thereby. And let us always bear in mind, that ye were called to a state of suffering when ye were called to be Christians, for the world cannot endure the yoke of CHRIST.
O let me walk with Christ below,
His holy footsteps trace,
Be nourish'd by his grace.
So shall my walk be close with God
Calm and serene iny frame;
That leads me to the Lamb.
The Gospel is made known to all nations for the
obedience of faith. Rom. xvi. 26. THE obedience of faith here spoken of, is the same thing as believing the report of the Gospel. Rom. x. 18. A hearty submission to the righteousness of GOD, even to CHRIST, who is the end of the law for righteousness to every one who believeth; this is the obedience of faith, strictly speaking, by which we give glory to GOD, take full shame to ourselves, renounce all that nature is proud of, and are brought to rest for our justification and acceptance with God, on that alone which has satisfied his law and justice. However slightly we may be disposed to pass over this, it is a high point of obedience, not easily brought about in such a creature as man, and needing an effectual light and energy from above. It is taught purely from above; and he who would learn it, must seek it by much prayer continually; for in vain shall we strive to obey God in other things, until we learn to obey him in this. Careless reader, see to it that you learn your need of CHRIST! Awakened and distressed sinner, seek not to heal yourself by forced obedience ; learn the obedience of faith, that you may be purged in your conscience from dead works to serve God. Self-despairing sinner obey the gospel-call of God to your soul, and live. Believer, let your fruit be to holiness.
Within us, Lord, thy Spirit place,
Conveying health, and peace, and pow'r;
That we may love and serve thee more.
And mould them to thy will,
But keep thy precepts still.