« PreviousContinue »
are dead in trespasses and sins. There is no movement for God. All is disorder and confusion, like a broken watch, whose wheels lie scattered here and there, and whose spring ceases to work.
But when divine grace renovates and regulates our spiritual faculties; when our heart is united; when we have “one heart” given to us; when all our soul is alive for God; and with singleness and simplicity aims at nothing but his glory, and the fulfilment of his will; then we become new creatures : then we are a people formed to shew forth his praise; then we possess an inward witness of our union to Jesus, and our adoption into the family of God.
All the family of God, possessing this “ one heart," must necessarily be united to each other in brotherly love.
This loving spirit our blessed Lord made the badge of discipleship. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another."
St. John makes it a mark of conversion : swe know that we have passed from death unto life, be cause we love the brethren." St. Paul strongly exhorts to unity and fellowship, and declares that all divisions mark the carnality of the mind, and the unsoundness of profession.
This “one heart" is then a great blessing, since it constitutes the very essence of the Christian character, as opposed to unbelief, and the love of the world and sin.
“ I WILL GIVE THEM ONE WAY.” Christ is the one only way to the Father. Faith is the one only grace whereby we become interested in the work of Jesus. Love is the one only principle which gives intrinsic excellence to our various operations. Universal holiness is the one only Scriptural evidence of our possessing true faith and love; and being savingly united to Jesus, the living way to the Father.
Our outward conduct must therefore be in consistency with our principles and professions. We must have 66
one way,” the way of God's commandments, and walk steadily in that one way, that we may
fear his name for our present and everlasting good.
Thus the whole Christian Character is contained in this short, but beautiful promise : " I will give them one heart and one way.
Here, we behold one of the sweet fruits of mercy hanging on the tree of life. All the precious promises are so many pledges of God's covenant love, which he engages to fulfil.
Without holiness no man shall see the Lord; but here holiness is promised as the work of Jehovah in the hearts of poor sinners. What we cannot do, God has graciously promised to perform. He who says “ I will,” is Almighty and true. All his declarations of mercy are marked by solidity and stability. “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord, that hath mercy on thee.”
“ Thy word,” saith David, “is tried to the uttermost, therefore thy servant loveth it.” This he could affirm from personal experience, having felt its blessed influence on his own heart. “Thy word hath quickened me;" “ thy word is true from the beginning.” “My soul hath kept thy testimonies, and I love them exceedingly." “For thy loving-kindness is before mine eyes; and I have walked in thy truth."
O! thou divine Redeemer, out of whose inexhaustible fulness I would daily draw a rich supply
of grace into my needy soul; be pleased to impart unto me this one heart,” that to please thee, may be my greatest happiness; and to promote thy glory my highest honour.
Preserve me from false motives, from a double mind, and a divided heart. Keep me entire to thyself, and enable me to crucify every lust, which would tempt my heart from thee.
Enable me by thy grace to walk in “ one way;" one uniform path of holy, child-like obedience. Suffer me not to start aside like a broken bow. When tempted to turn aside to the right hand, or to the left, may I hear a voice behind me saying, “this is the way." And oh! may I keep steadily therein, till I reach the outer borders of the wilderness. And, then, blessed Jesus, may some blest seraph be commissioned to bear my happy and transported spirit along the shining way which leads to thine abode; till brought before thy throne I see thy face, behold thy smile, and fall in ecstacy at thy feet, lost in wonder, love, and praise.
Fill me, O! Lord, with holy joy,
With humble, filial fear;
In praise to thee and prayer.
Protect me from the pow'r of ill,
Defend my soul from sin ;
And make me pure within.
Create an ardent, active love,
Thy goodness to proclaim ;
The pow'r of Jesu's name.
May Jesus my beloved be,
My shepherd and my friend ;
In bonds that ne'er shall end.
Then will my raptur'd soul repeat,
The wonders of thy grace ;
I view thee face to face.
X. ON THE IMMENSITY OF GOD.
It is from the Holy Scriptures alone, that we can attain just views of the being, nature, and character of God.
How sublime are the revelations of the divine perfections there made known to us!
Who can grasp this one thought? “Thus saith the high and lofty one, that inhabiteth eternity.”
We are astonished when we read of the Egyptian pyramids, and the magnificent palaces of mighty monarchs; but what sightless atoms are they, when compared with eternity, that boundless habitation of the King of kings.
“ From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” The existence of one supreme Being, who is without beginning, is consonant with right reason ; for he, who made all things, must necessarily be before all things A creature cannot make itself. This would imply exertion before existence, which is an absurdity. And yet how far above our finite comprehension is the nature of the self-existent, eternal Jehovah.
Our minds are lost when we plunge into infinity. “ Who by searching can find out God? who can find out the Almighty to perfection
The volume of creation displays the wisdom, power, and goodness of God.
What wonderful contrivance, what wise adaptation of one part to another; what power in upholding, what goodness in preserving the myriads of creatures which fill the
air, the earth, the sea, is discoverable around us.
“ A late eminent astronomer found that in 41 minutes not less than 258,000 stars in that part of the heaven called the milky way, had passed through the field of view in his telescope! What must God be, who made, governs and supports so many worlds, who telleth the number of stars; and calleth them by name !"
It is however from the volume of Inspiration that we derive our knowledge of the moral attributes of the Deity; and obtain those awful, yet sublimely interesting views of him, with whom we have to do, which at once elevate and purify the soul.
The Holy Bible may well be called the Book of God; not only because it has God for its author, but because it is filled with such revelations of his glorious character, as surpass the powers of human reason fully to comprehend.
How fervently did the apostle pray for his Ephesian converts; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, would give unto them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him : that the eyes of their understanding being enlightened, they might know the hope of his calling; and the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints; and the exceeding greatness of his power towards those who believe that being rooted and grounded in love, they might be ahle to comprehend, with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, and thus be filled with all the fulness of God."
We stand upon the sea-shore, and survey with admiring delight the wide extended ocean, whose distant waters lose themselves in the blue horizon. But what is this great abyss of waters, compared to