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and polluted creature, unable either to satisfy offended justice, or to perform one single act of acceptable obedience. By the fall, he lost all title to the heavenly inheritance, and all meetness for the mansions of celestial glory; and thus became an outcast-an heir of misery and death.
To deliver fallen man from this state of condemnation, God sent his only begotten Son into the world, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Gal. iv. 6.)
And in order to prepare and make us meet for the inheritance of the saints in light, God sends the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, enabling us to cry, Abba, Father. (Gal. iv. 6.)
At the creation, God said, “let there be light, and there was light. So in the new creation, he shines into our hearts, to give us the light of the knowledge of his glory, in the face of Jesus Christ.
The first work of the Holy Spirit, is to enlighten the eyes of our understanding, (Ephes. i. 18.) to convince us of sin, (John xvi, 8.) to shew us the spirituality of the law, (Rom. vii. 9.) and the purity of the divine nature, (1 Peter i. 16.) to bring us in to an intimate acquaintance with our own hearts, that by this knowledge of our own corruption (Jer. xvii. 9.) and helplessness, (2 Cor. iii. 5.) we may be deeply humbled, (Job xlii. 6.) and lead to seek for deliverance from these evils by the aid of some power greater than our own. (Isaiah. xli. 10.) Being thus emptied of all self-righteous notions and proud conceptions of our own strength, and groaning under the guilt of sin, through a spiritual application of the divine law to our consciences; we are prepared for the joyful reception of the Gospel, where pardon is freely offered to every coming sinner ; and grace, mercy, and peace extended to the weary and heavyladen soul.
Thus the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth. (John xvi. 13.) He testifies of Christ. (John xvi. 14.) He gives us an inward witness of his power and mercy in the conversion of our souls. (Rom. viii. 16.) He makes us the trophies of his victory over sin and death, and finally the precious jewels in the Redeemer's crown.
The Spirit carries on the great work of salvation, which Jesus began in the days of his flesh, when he gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works; by renewing us in the spirit of our mind; (Ephes. iv. 23.) by making us new creatures; (2 Cor. v. 17.) by sanctifying us wholly in body, soul, and spirit; (1 Thess. v. 23.) by consecrating us as temples of the Lord Almighty, (2 Cor. vi. 16.) and filling us with those fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ to the praise and glory of God. (Phil. i. 11.)
Being, through the operation of the Spirit, united by faith to Jesus Christ, as branches to the vine, (John xv. 5.) and members to the head ; (Eph. iv. 16.) we receive out of his fulness grace for grace. (John i. 16.) We can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth us; (Phil. iv. 13.) and are made more than conquerors, through him who hath loved us, and given himself for us. (Rom. viii. 37.)
We are enabled to crucify the flesh, (Gal. v. 34.) to resist the devil, (James iv. 7.) to renounce the world, (Mark x. 28.) to mortify the corrupt affections, (Col. iii. 5.) to walk in newness of life, (Rom. vi. 4.) and to glorify God, with our bodies and our spirits which are his; knowing that we are not our own, being bought with a price; (1 Cor. vi. 20.) even with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (1 Peter i. 19.)
Thus the love of Christ constrains us to obedience.
(2 Cor. v. 14.) The long-suffering of God leadeth us to repentance. (2 Peter. iii. 15.) And by all the tender mercies of God we are sweetly influenced through the Spirit of grace, to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service. (Rom. xii. 1.)
This part of that glorious work of redemption, which Christ performs in us by his Spirit, is so essential, that without it, all our views of Gospel truths however orthodox, and all our trust in his atonement however consoling, is a mere delusion; for 6 whom he justifieth, them he also glorifieth. (Rom. viii. 30.)
Sanctification is as essential to our enjoyment of heaven, as justification is to our admittance into it.
Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Heb. xi. 6.) Without holiness no man shall see the Lord. (Heb. xii. 14.)
Happy then is the man, whose hopes of heaven rest upon these two adamantine pillars ; without either of which the fabric cannot stand.
Blessed Jesus! may my hope be fixed wholly upon thee. Be thou my rock, my only confidence ; my soul's unbounded trust.
Whilst simply resting on thy great atonement, may I daily feel this inward work of grace; that so, thy living care may perfect, what thy dying love began.
Great God of mercy, hail !
What matchless wonders shine,
alt Where attributes divine In sweetest concord move.
'Twill soon arrive with smiles,
XXX. ON THE TWO WAYS.
“Unto this people thou shalt say, thus saith the Lord; behold I set before you the way of life and the way of death.” (Jer. xxi. 6.) These important words were spoken to the Jews, when the King of Babylon was drawing near to besiege the city of Jerusalem. Those who fell to the Chaldeans should find the way of life; whilst those who remained in the city, should be in the way of death.
But these expressive words may be addressed to all in every age, and more especially to those who live in Gospel times.
The commission given by our Lord to his apostles just before his ascension into heaven, speaks the same language : “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature; he that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; and he that believeth not, shall be damned."
Thus, faith in Jesus is the way of life. Rejection of him, is the way of death. The Gospel, therefore, sets before us life and death. Hence St. John says: “he that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”
In conformity with which truth, John the Baptist declared, when bearing witness to the divinity and Messiahship of Jesus: “he that believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him."