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- Oct. 2.-At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.—John xiv. 20.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the sun.” “God hath made every thing beautiful in its time," Eccles. iii. 1, 11. In the beginning of time, God created all things by Jesus Christ. In the fulness of time, the Son of God was made flesh; dwelt among us for a time; and at the end of it finished salvation for lost sinners. The man Jesus ever lives in glory, and therefore his members must be made spiritually alive upon earth. To him they must all be gathered. There is a day of grace appointed them ; a time, a set time to favour them; a day of power, (Psal. cx. 3,) wherein they are made willing to come to Jesus, choose him for their only Saviour, and trust in him as their only hope, and their all. Various are the spiritual statures of God's children. Different are their degrees of light, faith, knowledge, and love. As in the creation, in the first day's work, light was produced, perhaps small and glimmering; but that glorious luminary the sun was not until the fourth day: so is it in the new creation of souls. Our Lord's first disciples had light enough to see him, come to, and follow him, as the true Messiah ; yet, it is amazing to read, how dark and confused their minds were, about many things which concerned his person, sufferings, and kingdom. It is just the same now. Many of his sincere disciples are but very weak in faith; know very little of this great mystery, that Christ and his father are one, that Christ is in the Father; that they are in Christ, and he in them. Hence, they are often sadly perplexed and harassed in their minds with doubts and fears. Still they cleave to Jesus. They love to hear of his precious name and glorious salvation. Their hearts can be satisfied with nothing else. Hence it is most plain, the light hath shined, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon them. But they must follow on to know the Lord. There shall be a day of Pentecost; a day of meridian light,
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wherein they shall know, even as they are known, assuredly know, that there is a mutual indwelling of Christ in them, and they in him ; for the Spirit will bear witness to their spirits, that they are the children of God, Rom. viii. 16. Most sweetly says Mr. Rutherford, “I am sure my well-beloved is God. And when I say Christ is God, and my Christ is God, I have said all things. I can say no more. I would I could build as much on this, my Christ is God, as it would bear. I might lay all the world on it." "I will have nothing to do with an absolute God," says Luther.
Oct. 3.—The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.—Isa. xxxii. 17.
The light of this day assures us the sun is risen upon the earth. This is not a more evident truth in nature than this in reason, that righteousness once lost can never be regained, by all that sinful man can do. Consequently, no peace can subsist between a holy, righteous God, and guilty, unrighteous man. “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” But who are the wicked ? Even all, who through unbelief reject the truth as it is in Jesus. It is the essence of wickedness to oppose a righteous God, reject Christ's righteousness, go about to establish our own inherent righteousness, and not submit to the righteousness of the Lord Jesus. Hence the conscience is defiled with guilt, the heart impure, and the life unholy. Yet pride blinds men's eyes, and selfrighteousness deludes their hearts with a false peace. For as there is but one atonement by which guilty sinners are pardoned, so there is but one righteousness, even Christ's perfect righteousness, by which alone unrighteous sinners are made righteous in God's sight. He accepts no other. His law is honoured by no other. The scriptures reveal no other. Faith receives no other. The Spirit bears witness to no other. Sinners have no
other to stand in before God, and enjoy peace with him. But possessing this righteousness by faith, we enjoy a peace which passeth all understanding.
There are many things from a sinful nature, Satan, and the law, to disquiet our minds daily. But the blessed effect of Jesus' righteousness is, quietness to the conscience. This comforting thought, I am righteous, my Father hath put on me that best robe which Jesus my elder Brother wrought out for me, quiets my mind. I am satisfied. I can seek no better. I dare trust in no other. And this righteousness is presented with the clearest evidence, the strongest confidence, the fullest assurance. The triumphs of Jesus' resurrection proclaim its acceptance with God. The Spirit testifies of it in the word, and gives assurance of salvation by it in believing hearts. Hence the holy boldness and happy rejoicing of faith before a righteous God. David's address to Jesus.is, “My mouth shall show forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day. I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only," Psalm lxxi. 15, 16. As there is but one faith, so saints in all ages had but one object to look to for righteousness, even Jesus. Therefore, with holy Paul, we pray that we may be found in Christ, not having our own righteousness, Phil. iii. 9.
Oct. 4.-All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient.—1 Cor. vi. 12.
The constraints of love and the jealousy of fear sweetly unite in believing hearts. Where the faith of Jesus prevails love constrains. It holds and keeps us in our station and duty, as soldiers are, under a banner or ensign displayed. What cheerfulness and activity of soul do we experience when we can say with the church, Jesus' “banner over me is love?" Song ii. 4. Then how sweetly do we judge and determine our conduct by the law of Christ, which is love! This excites a
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godly fear, lest we should allow ourselves a latitude in things indifferent, to the wounding our souls or hurting our fellow-soldiers. Though all things, of an indifferent nature, which are innocent in themselves, are lawful to us, yet the cause and interest of our dear Saviour, and the good and edifying of his beloved members, should be ever near our hearts, and make us consider their expediency.
How narrow is the path of duty! yet is it pleasant to the faithful. For Jesus hath strewed it with the fragrant fruits of peace, love, and comfort; peace from God, and with our brethren; love to God and one another. While we walk according to this rule, we bring glory to God, who hath called us by Christ to glory; and will also, assuredly, glorify us together with himself. What circumspection becomes us in our daily walk that we give none offence; neither to the Jew, nor to the gentile, nor to the church of God! The eyes, not only of God, angels, and devils are upon us: but the eyes of men also, our brethren, and our opposers. Did the Rechabites wholly abstain from wine, because Jonadab commanded, “Ye shall drink no wine ?” Did the Lord honour their obedience in this indifferent thing with his approbation? Jer. xxxv. How much more will Jesus honour his disciples, who with an eye to his glory, and his members' good, abstain from things that are not expedient! Thou freeman of the Lord, with a holy resolution, assert thy dignity. I will not be brought under the power of anything contrary to the love of Jesus. Happy is he who seeketh not to please himself, but profit others. How then can those answer to the Lord Christ, their own souls, and their brethren, who indulge themselves at card-tables, play-houses, &c., and say, "These are indifferent things; I see no harm in them?” Is this following “after the things which make for peace, and wherewith one may edify another? Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth,” Rom. xiv. 19, 22.
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Oct. 5.-What dost thou here, Elijah ?–1 Kings xix. 13.
Prophets, as well as God's people, may be found where they ought not to be. Elijah had now taken up his residence in a cave in the wilderness. What work could he do for his Master here? what glory bring to his name, in a barren mountain ? Here were no lambs of God's flock to be gathered; no sheep of Christ's pasture to be fed; no torn sheep to be healed, and nourished by his word and doctrine. It seems as if he thought all his work was at an end; his zeal quite decayed; and in a fit of fear, unbelief, and despondency, he retreated from public opposition, to the dreary man. sions of a mountainous cave, for rest and quiet. But the Lord followed him; calls him to new work; endues him with fresh strength; and animates him with the pleasing assurance, that he had seven thousand faithful servants yet in Israel; for poor Elijah thought he was left alone.
See the effect of judging according to appearances. Carnal reason is a bad judge in spiritual things. The wisdom of the flesh is contrary to the wisdom of God. Beware of your frames, 0 disciples. If on the mount, in the sunshine of comfort, be not vain and confident, with "I shall never fall.” If in the gloomy vale, where light and joy are obscured, be not dejected. “The Lord reigneth. Rejoice in him." Though clouds and dark. ness are round thy God and Saviour, yet "righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne," Psalm xcvii. Above all, beware of thy conduct. Fly not to places of sinful vanities and carnal gratifications. These can never profit thy soul. Nay, if dark and uncomfortable, thou wilt be darker and more uncomfortable. This is a farther remove from the Saviour's love and presence, What canst thou expect, but this cutting reproof, this keen interrogation, “What dost thou here?” Was Elijah reproved, for being in a barren wilderness? how canst thou answer it to thy loving