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the Lord's. Beware of committing thy ways into his hand by prayer, and again taking them into thine own by diffidence. "I will trust, and not be afraid," Isa. xii. 2.
Les hord, is dicere cities to all into from the pre of his love
APRIL 9.--Thou standest by faith. Be not high minded, but fear.–Rom. xi. 20.
So we are called upon, by the spirit of prophecy, “Behold, [give the most earnest attention, let this truth sink deep into your heart,] his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him," Habak. ii. 4. Standing by faith, and living by faith, are ever opposed to pride, vain-confidence, self-righteousness, and a high conceit of our own abilities and attainments. True faith in Jesus sinks the soul in humility, works by real love to God, is accompanied with a child-like fear of offend. ing him, and excites to a godly jealousy over our own souls, lest we fall; fall into sin, fall away from the hope of the gospel, fall away from the precious privileges of Jesus, and the comforting sense of his love, Without this, what is profession, but an empty name; talking ever so highly, but a mere sound of words; pretension to the greatest things, but a vain shadow, while the substance is not enjoyed? But our standing, living, walking, persevering, all is by faith. For faith receives and puts on Christ as our only righteousness and hope; and his omnipotence is engaged to be for us, against all that oppose us.
It is the glorying of all such, that they are "de. livered out of the hands of their enemies, that they might serve God in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life,” Luke i. 74, 75, and it is added, “ without fear.” But, are we to cast off all kind of fear of God? No, verily: no more than faith in him, love to him, and hope of enjoying him. Most of all ought we to dread such a state, the Lord himself being judge. “Know therefore, and see, that it is an evil and bitter thing, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts," Jer. ii. 19. Glory to Jesus, by his grace the bands of legal bondage are broken asunder; the cords of slavish fear, of wrath and hell, are cast from us; yet faith and fear go hand in hand. And this is the blessedness of everlasting love and new-covenant grace, “I, saith Jehovah, will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me." So shall they fear me for ever for their good, Jer. xxxii. 40. This is the precious fear the apostle exhorts to, which is ever to be cherished in the heart, and attended to in our daily walk. A fear of departing from the Lord tends to keep the soul close to him. Fear of offending causes watchfulness. Hope in a sin-pardoning God produceth fear. A sense of pardon increaseth it. "There is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared," Psal. cxxx. 4. “Happy is the man who feareth alway: but he who hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief,” Prov. xxviii. 14.
APRIL 10.-Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.--Psalm cxix. 49.
It is not natural to us to hope in God's word. This the power of God causeth us to do. Where there is true knowledge of Jesus, the essential Word, there will be a real esteem for the scriptures, the written word of Jehovah. The same Spirit, that dwelt in Jesus, dictated the truths concerning him; and the same Spirit testifies of Jesus, in the hearts of his children. By the word, we are favoured with clear ideas, just conceptions, and encouraging views of the truths of grace and salvation. Hence, we have the firmest foundation, the strongest confidence, and fullest assurance to build our faith and hope upon. Hence, also, we are emboldened to draw nigh to a throne of grace, to plead our cause, present our distress, and claim, with humble boldness, a supply of all our need.
When there is a death upon all comfortable sense, and joyful feelings, when all things around us wear a gloomy aspect, when conscience within writes bitter things against us, the law works wrath, and its terrors make us afraid; and an insulting foe, to heighten distress, and increase our sorrows, stands over us, with “There, there, so would I have it !" In such a season, Oh, it is life from the dead, to remember the infinitely transcendent love, victorious toils, and triumphant conquests of Jesus over all things for us! How joyful to read that all the promises centre in him, and that they are infallibly sure and certain to all the seed, yea and amen, to the glory of God the Father! How establishing to hear such gracious words from the mouth of Jehovah, “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgression for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins !" Isa. xliii. 25. How powerfully alluring, how sweetly attracting to the affections, when Love calls, "Put me in remembrance," plead with me; thou shalt not call in vain, I will hear, I will answer thee! Thus love, thus grace descends to the heart; thus it speaks by the word. Hence desires are kindled in the soul, blown into a flame, and ascend in fervent, earnest prayer and pleading to a faithful, promise-fulfilling God. Surely we can never enough prize God's word, never sufficiently adore the Holy Spirit, for the knowledge of Jesus, by the word. And if the word of the Lord is our hope, we have eternal truth, everlasting love, infinite power, and unchangeable faithfulness engaged for us. What a special privilege is this, to have God's own word for our hope in him and plea before him! “Every word of God is pure; he is a shield unto them who put their trust in him," Prov. xxx. 5.
APRIL 11.- Jesus said unto them, Take heed what ye hear.—Mark iv. 24.
It is our unspeakable mercy, it calls for our daily tribute of praise, and daily study to improve it, that a free use of the lively oracles of truth is permitted us. Others are denied this rich privilege. Happy those, to whom the word of God is the rule of their faith, a light to direct their paths, and a standard whereby they try and prove the doctrines they hear, whether they are of God, or man! The whole truth, as it is in Jesus, is precious to every believer. “Faith comes by hearing the word of God.” As the ear is the inlet to the soul, we should ever take heed what kind of doctrines we hear. Through the ear, Satan gained access to the heart of Eve, and beguiled her. Paul alludes to this, 2 Cor. xi. 3. “I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent be. guiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” What is this simplicity ? Even this plain, simple truth, that salvation is wholly and solely by Christ, according to the everlasting purpose and love of God the Father, revealed in the word of truth, and applied to the soul by the Holy Spirit. Lost and perishing sin. ners are the happy subjects of it. They have no hand in procuring, or making it effectual; but they are wholly saved by election of grace, through faith. Whatever doctrines are contrary to either of these points, oppose revealed truths, are subversive of the plan of salvation, tend to rob God of the glory of his grace, and his dear children of their comfort and joy of faith.
Therefore, disciples, take heed what you hear. These doctrines are not merely speculative, or non-essential ; but are the important, fundamental, essential truths of the gospel. To oppose the doctrine of election, is to deny the first cause of salvation, the everlasting love of God the Father; it is to gainsay the prophets, apostles, and even our Lord himself, who spake most plainly of it. This ariseth from human pride, which
ever imagines it can do something to procure God's love. So of the imputed righteousness of Christ, and the saints' perseverance in faith and holiness; if these scripture truths are maligned and opposed, it is from the supposed self-sufficiency and self-righteousness of the creature, to establish its own righteousness and faithfulness. Hence, salvation becomes precarious, justification impossible. This strikes at the root of true holiness, and tends both to presumption and licentiousness. For these truths are revealed in the word, by the Spirit, most clearly, that they should be the food of our faith, subjects of study, the causes of humility, confidence of hope, rejoicing of love, and excite us to holiness. Approve yourselves" by the word of truth,” 2 Cor. vi. 7.
APRIL 12.—And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him.-Josh. vii. 19.
The Lord our God is a jealous God; jealous of his glory, and his people's good. Sin is contrary to both. God so loves his people, that he will not suffer sin to reign in them. Wilful, allowed sin, however secret, he will chastise for, and bring the soul to confess and repent of. Though sin shall not bring one of God's dear children to hell, yet it may bring a hell into the conscience for a season. Sin may break the peace of mind, but cannot the covenant of peace.
Wilful transgression causes the Lord to hide his face, or frown upon his dear children. This weakens their hands, dejects their hearts, and the enemy gets power against them. This was the case with Achan; therefore the accursed thing must be found out, confessed, and put away. Methinks Achan's case should remind the believer of his carnal, sinful nature. It is from hence spring all his troubles. Indulging its sinful motions brings grief to the soul; encouraging an opinion