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that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. To live and lean upon our beloved Jesus, as the stay of our soul, and the strength of our hope, is true happiness. While all things below perish in the using, invisible realities ripen in prospect, and most powerfully engage our affections, because they are durable and eternal. Hence, the soul is excited to watchfulness, that he may stand ; to prayer, that he may be kept; and to sobriety, that he may persevere. O believer, thou knowest drunkenness and whoredom are great sins; but know also, the cares, riches, pleasures, and honours of this world as really intoxicate the mind, and cause the heart to be guilty of spiritual adultery, against thy loving bridegroom Jesus, as outward, gross sins do the body. What need, what daily need hast thou to watch constantly, be sober continually, and pray alway! Pride is contrary to sobriety of judgment of thyself. Lust and intemperance are inconsistent with the soundness of thy faith, the stability of thy hope, and the exercise of thy love. These are ever at hand to beset thee. Say, therefore, when canst thou dispense with a watchful frame of spirit? when intermit in prayer to and dependence on thy God; sweet exercise of watching unto prayer for divine power; in prayer, for sweet enlargements; after prayer, for a com. fortable answer from our Lord ? Ever may this just reflection be on thy mind, when tempted or inclined to cast in thy lot with the carnal, and to indulge thyself in attending the bewitching scenes of sin, folly and vanity: am I now acting like one who knows the end of all things is at hand? do I behave as one in his right mind ? am I watching unto prayer ? can I desire, pray for, and expect the sense of Jesus' love and presence to be with me? Remember thy calling : it is to love and live upon an unseen Jesus; and to act as daily expecting to receive the end of thy faith, the salvation of thy soul, 1 Pet. i. 9.
Dec. 30.—But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.—1 Cor. xv. 57.
Death, though conquered and disarmed of its strength and sting, by our victorious Lord, so that it cannot destroy, or even wound or hurt the soul of any one of his dear members; yet is still an enemy, a formidable, disagreeable enemy to nature. When left to our natural conceptions, death appears to us with the grim visage of "the king of terrors." We cannot get rid of our fears; nor are we able to make him put on a more amiable aspect. But when, in the simplicity of little children, we go to our heavenly Father, and tell him how we are affrighted and terrified at the thought and approach of this dreadful enemy, he drives away our fears and terrors, and relieves our minds. But how does our affectionate Father effect this? by telling us we are perfect and sinless, and therefore have overcome death, we shall never die, we have nothing to fear, death can. not hurt us? No. Though we are sinners in ourselves, and as such must die; though we are without strength, to grapple with and subdue this powerful enemy; and though our bodies must fall victims to his stroke, yet, "praise the Lord, O my soul; praise him, all his saints; he giveth us the victory. He puts songs of triumph into our hearts and lips; not for what we have done, but our Father refers us to the glorious achievements of our elder Brother Jesus. He bath obtained a per. fect conquest for all the children of his Father's family; and victory is not only proclaimed but given. Jesus is the unspeakable gift of the Father's love; victory over death is given through him : faith to believe it in the heart, and triumph over it in the conscience, is his free gift also. Thus the Spirit testifies of and glorifies Jesus. Thus his members rejoice in the truth, and are comforted by the truth.
Death was brought into the world by the father of lies. He is vanquished and destroyed by Jesus, who is essentially the truth. “The soul that sinneth shall
die.” Die man, or justice must. The man Jesus, the sinner's Surety, fell a sacrifice to this truth. Hence truth is fulfilled in his death. Justice is satisfied. Death disarmed of its sting, which is sin. Jesus hath “put away sin, by the sacrifice of himself," Heb. ix. 26. “And the strength of sin, which is the law, Jesus hath perfectly fulfilled in his life for us.” He hath fully answered all its demands. By him all its accusations are silenced. Precious Christ! Happy believer! What harm can the most fierce, poisonous monster do thee, when it has lost its sting, and is without strength ? Most precious truth! Death is yours, 1 Cor. iii. 22.
DEC. 31.—Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.—Matt. xxv. 34.
This is a joyful word to our hearts now, " Come, let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool," Isa. i. 18. This is another precious word from Jesus to our souls, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Oh, but this last come, from the lips of our King, will be the most joyful, crowning word of all! The best wine is reserved for the last. Every soul who has tasted of the first on earth, shall assuredly drink his fill at the fountain-head, in a blissful, never-ending eternity of glory. “Ye blessed of my Father;" beloved from eternity, and blessed to eternity. Chosen in me; blessed in me with all spiritual blessings. I was given to you. I sought you, and gathered you to myself in time. Now come, live and reign with me for ever in my kingdom. Is not the thought of this enough to make us wish to break through the walls of our prison, the body? Praise, O soul! call together
all thy faculties; rather, O Divine Spirit! realize the view, bring near the solemn, joyful day to our minds. Give us, even now, to dwell on it with rapture of affections and ardour of love.
"Inherit the kingdom prepared for you ;" not bought by your good works; not purchased by your welldoings ; not obtained by your faithfulness; but the free gift of my Father's love and good pleasure; richly prepared by his free grace and bounty, purposely reserved for you. Come ye; all of you. Not one of my little flock shall be wanting; there is a mansion for each of you. Ere you had a being, or time commenced, the kingdom was established, the heirs chosen, places prepared. I visited you on earth; so that you loved me, though you saw me not. I invisibly worked upon your hearts, and drew them out in love to myself, my cause, and my brethren; so you approved yourselves my disciples, by following my example. Come ye, enter, possess, enjoy what you were born for, born again to be meet for. Oh, methinks it strikes one's heart with heavenly joy, to conceive of the loud hosannas and shoutings, (Oh, that we may catch the heavenly flame !) “Salvation to our God, who sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb !" "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." Rev. i. 5, 6.
Now, christian reader, I commend thee to God, and to the word of his grace, wishing thee sweet comfort in perusing these daily meditations. If our Lord give thee only as much in reading as I have found in writing them, thou wilt have great cause for love and praise. Accept them, as the labour of one "who is no prophet, nor the son of a prophet;" but who can, from his heart, say with Gideon, “My thousand is the meanest, I am the least in my Father's house," Judges
vi. 15. Yet, having been taught somewhat of the glory of Jesus, from the word of truth, by the grace of the Spirit, I would rejoice to spread the glory of my Lord's precious name, and the comforts of his everlastingly finished salvation, among my fellow-sinners; testifying, that all my hope of eternal life is fixed upon the Son of God, who was crucified on mount Calvary; therefore, would glory in being a saved sinner, by the cross of Jesus.
Glory be to God in the highest. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.