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I will pray the Father, and he shall give you an
other Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receice because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth
with you, and shall be in you. John xiv. 16, 17. WHEN God designed the great and glorious work of recovering fallen man, and the saving of sinners, “ to the praise of the glory of his grace,” he appointed, in his infinite wisdom, two great means thereof; the one was the giving of his Son for them; and the other was the giving of his Spirit unto them. And hereby was way made for the manifestation of the glory of the whole blessed Trinity, which is the utmost end of all the works of God. Hereby were the love, grace, and wisdom of the Father, in the design and contrivance of the whole, the love, grace, and condescension of the Son, in the execution, purchase, and procurement of grace and salvation for sinners; with the love, grace, and power of the Holy Spirit, in the effectual application of all unto the souls of men, made gloriously conspicuous. To these heads may all the promises of God be reduced. Happy for the church that the Spirit is to abide with it for ever ; and awful to think that the unconverted world neither can receive nor know the Spirit !
Holy Spirit, heav'nly Dove,
Be my true and constant Guide!
Goully sorrow worketh repentance to salvation, not
to be repented of; but the sorrow of the world
woorketh death. 2 Cor. vii. 10. THERE is a sorrow which has the breach of God's holy law for its object, called godly, because it is produced by the Spirit of God discovering the evil of sin, and the plague and corruption of our own hearts, and deeply humbling us under sense of sin, producing evangelical repentance, and leading the soul to cry to the Lord Jesus Christ for pardon and salvation ; the Holy Spirit at the same time enabling us to believe in him, and rest upon his person, blood, and righteousness, for redemption and salvation : which repentance will never be repented of. But sorrow, arising from the love of this world, worketh death, death eternal! Lord Jesus, grant me to feel more of this godly sorrow for sin, and to rejoice more in thee as my Saviour !
Father, thy long-lost child receive;
Saviour, thy purchase own;
Thy waiting creature own;
And life's vain shadows choose no more ;
And thy forsaken God implore.
Distinctly marks each deep retreat,
And let me here thy presence meet.
My search let heavenly wisdom guide;
Till all be known and purified.
My inmost soul be called to share,
Light is soun for the righteous, and gladness for
the upright in heart." Psalm xcvii. 11. Unto the upright there ariseth light in darkness ; he is gracious, full of compassion, and righteous. Psalm cxii. 4. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompense of reward ; for ye have need of patience, &c., for yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Heb. x. 35, 37; Isaiah lviii. 10-12
This shews that believers are subject to many changes of joy and sorrow. In a state of gladness, therefore, we have reason to fear; and in the hours of trouble and sadness, to entertain good hopes. Thus we shall always be able to keep the happy medium between the extremes of levity and despair. Before a man has a true sense of his own miseries, the complaints and infirmities of the saints are often a stumbling-block; but afterwards they will administer to him great comfort. This is the reason that God has revealed them in Scripture; for the complaints of his elect children give more comfort than all their most heroic actions. Grant, O Lord, that whether sorrowing or rejoicing, I may have the light of the Holy Spirit to direct me.
Alas it swells my sorrows high,
To see my blessed Jesus frown;
And all the springs of life are down.
Yet why, my soul, why these complaints ?
Still while he frowns his bowels move;
And feels their sorrows and his love.
I find a law, that when I would do good, ecil is present with me.
Rom. vii. 21. For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye
would. Gal. v. 17. O my soul ! thou art always striving, yet sin is always stirring: thou fearest the truth of grace, because thou findest the working of sin; but it will be always thus ; thou canst not come out of Egypt, but Amalek will lay wait in the way; the flesh will be sure to trouble thee, although it be never able to conquer thee. He therefore that sits down, and is at rest in sin, it is a sign that Satan is there, the strong man, because his kingdom is in peace; but where there is any work of Christ, there will be always war with sin. Sin was the womb of death, and only death must be the tomb of sin. God would have my soul humbled ; therefore though he hath broken my prison, yet he hath left the chain upon my feet. God would have my graces exercised ; therefore though he hath translated me into the kingdom of life, yet he hath left the Canaanite in the land. God would have my faith exercised; therefore Goliah still shews himself in the field, that so I might go out to him “in the name of the Lord.” I will betake me to the strength of CHRIST ; and though I cannot help the rebelling power of sin, yet through grace I will labour to prevent the ruling power of it. God grant me of that strength according to my daily need !
Though sin will in believers dwell
Till death the inmates part;
Which lurks within my heart !
God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto him
self, not imputing their trespasses unto them ; for he has made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor. v. 19, 21.
What a glorious statement for the contrite sinner, “God is in Christ.” And how employed ?
Reconciling the world unto himself.” But how? By“ not imputing their trespasses unto them." And how can the justice of God do this ? By making “him to be sin for us who knew no sin," and all “ that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” May not the Christian, then, live at perfect peace? He may. Yet it highly concerns believers, who desire to keep a constant peace in their bosoms, to be ever sensible of their spiritual poverty, and to feed and rest wholly on the all-sufficient atonement and righteousness of Jesus Christ. Disquiet of mind, and laziness of soul, often proceed from self-righteousness, and not looking to Christ for everything, but trusting secretly to something in our. selves.
Jesus, thou art my righteousness,
For all my sins were thine.
Thy life has made him mine!
For ever here my rest shall be,
Close to thy bleeding side!
For me the Saviour died i
My dying Saviour and my God,
Fountain for guilt and sin;