Page images
PDF
EPUB

All thut will lite godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer

persecution. 2 Tim. ïïi. 12. The world hath hated them because they are not of the world.

John xvii. 14. The children of God do not love and please the world, and are oftentimes greatly afflicted on account of abounding wickedness, and particularly the profanation of the Lord's name. Now, when you can love the world, and the world can love you, there must be much worldliness in you; for the world loves its own.

Many pretend to be Christians, but they will not endure persecution. Instead of this, they blame others for too much rashness, and not acting prudently enough to avoid the mockings and hatred of the world. Therefore, they propose to take wiser measures; and, in order to do more good, take great care not to be despised and rejected; but, under this pretence of wisdom and prudence, very often lie concealed a dangerous love of the world and fear of man.

Be thou nobler minded, live as a Christian indeed, and be not ashamed to bear the cross of CHRIST. disciple is not above his master.” Has eternal love, wisdom and power, endured the contradiction and reproach of sinners? Thou shouldst be wiser than him indeed, if thou couldst escape the reproach and hatred of the world.

6. The

May but his grace my soul renew,
Let sinners gaze and hate me too!
The word that saves me does engage
A sure defence from all their rage.

God's furnace doth in Zion stand,

But Zion's God stands by.
As the refiner views his gold

With an observant eye.

All things are possible to him that belicveth.

Mark ix. 23. Faith is the principal thing in the Christian religion. It is the spiritual eye, enlightening the mind, directing the feet, and cheering the heart: the whole turns upon it. As our faith is, so is our strength and fruitfulness in good works ; but at the same time there is nothing more out of our own power than to believe, even after the work of grace has been actually wrought in our hearts : therefore, nothing is more needful than to pray for faith as long as we live. May the LORD give and increase it continually! Nothing can be stronger in the universe than the hand of Faith. By this we lay sure hold on our most glorious and almighty Lord in heaven, and such an inviolable union is established between Christ and a believing soul, that none can separate the one from the other; all the powers of hell and sin avail nothing against it! Faith breaks through the greatest obstacles, removes mountains of difficulties, and, has, as it were, a kind of omnipotence in it; “ for this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.” 1 John v. 4. Nay, it even wrestles with God and prevails. Gen. xxxii. 28. straw cannot withstand the force of fire, so, GOD being a wall of fire around his people, the greatest power of our mighty enemies shall be consumed like the stubble. O, then, look upon him stedfastly, my soul, and believe in him with a simple heart! Wondrous are his ways with his people, and past finding out; but at last all their sorrows and strife, must come to a triumphant end.

O let us go from strength to strength,

Froin grace to greater grace!
From one degree of faith to more,

Till we behold thy face !

Christ is all, and in all. Col. iii. 11; Eph. i. 23;

Eph. iv. 9, 10. ALL mankind are Christ's creatures. All condi. tions are disposed and regulated by his providence. He alone is the source whence all have proceeded, and to him alone all must return. For a believer to receive and know Christ as his All, is the only means to live truly a life of faith; and when he has done this, it will not be hard to resign all other things. To talk much of CHRIST, and make frequent use of his nanie one to another, is commendable, if the heart goes along with the words; but to call upon God the Father with a filial confidence, is also our duty, and does not contradict the Apostle's meaning at all, for it is only through CHRIST we can do it; and, as he says himself, the Father and He are one. Thou art my All, O gracious Lord !--what then can I want? I desire no more than to be put always in mind of this by the animating voice of thy Spirit.

Let sinners boast of kindred joys,

The poor delights of sense,
'Tis Clirist our inmost thought employs

We draw our comforts thence.

With sweet contentment now we bid

Farewell to pleasures here ;
With Christ in God our life is hid,

And all its springs are there.
'Tis now, concealed and lodged secure

In God's eternal Son,
From age to age shall it endure,

Though to the world unknown.
Jesus, remove whate'er divides

Our lingering souls from thee;
'Tis fit that where the head resides

The members too should be.

They, being ignorant of God's righteousness, and go

ing about to establish their own righteousness, hace not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.-Whosoever believeth on him shall not

be ashamed. Rom. x, 3, 11. The same mistake which proved so fatal to the Jews, proves equally fatal to many who pretend to call themselves Christians. Ignorant alike of the divine character and their own, they build their hope of the favour of God and eternal life upon some works of righteousness which they have done, or intend to do, and reject the righteousness of Christ, in which alone they can be justified and accepted ; forgetting this great doctrine of the Gospel, that salvation is “ not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us; by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost.” Titus iii. 5. In this mistake the decent and the profane are equally involved; for the worst of mankind fancy themselves possessed of some virtues and good qualities that will entitle them to the divine favour. The delusion remains till the light of the Holy Ghost darts in, like a sun-beam, upon the mind, and discovers the guilt and pollution that defile the best of us. We then abhor ourselves, and look to the free grace of God in CHRIST JESUS for pardon and salvation We have a hope that maketh not ashamed !

Jesus! thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
Midst flanning worlds, in these array'd
With joy shall I lift up my head.
Bold shall I stand in the great day,
For who aught to my charge shall lay!
Fully through these absolved I
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.

am,

I have gone

I cried with my whole heart, hear me, O Lord, I

will keep thy statutes. Great peace have they who love thy law; and nothing shall offend them. I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies ; for all my ways are before thee. astray like a lost sheep, seek thy servant, for I do not forget thy commandments. Psalm cxix. 145, 165, 168, 176. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil; he shall preserve thy soul.

Psalm cxxi. 7. The word of God should be ever connected with prayer; for why is it that many hear and read without being the better? They do not pray

in faith for a blessing. We must, like David, pray with the utmost fervour, that we may understand and retain the word of God, and bring forth fruit; for a Christian has nothing so much at heart as that he may always act up to the word and will of God; his prayer is, Lord, let my footsteps be sure, according to thy word; and let nothing contrary to thy law have dominion over me, either in my doctrine or practice! If this prayer be granted, great will be our peace, JESUS himself will be our peace, and then nothing shall offend us ; we shall take heed unto all our ways before God, and so walk before him as to continue humble, like David, who considered himself as a straving and lost sheep. LORD, we are by nature straying and lost sheep; seek and fetch us back from the error of our ways, and preserve us in thy pasture! Then shall we with a heart full of gratitude, shew forth the praises of thy glorious

name.

My soul has gone too far astray,

My feet too often slip;
Yet since I've not forgot thy way,

Restore thy wandering sheep.

« PreviousContinue »