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pains in our bodies, afflictions our companions, wanderings and deadness in duties, trials and temptations of various sorts, and innumerable evils of every kind abound in this short life. But, at the appearing of Jesus all will be at an end; for we shall be like him. Our vile bodies shall be fashioned like to his glorious body; our souls shall be perfectly conformed to his image. Then in soul and body we shall eternally enjoy him. And are we the subjects of such a hope? Let us live like ourselves; as members of Jesus our Head. Let us be ever pressing after him, living upon his fulness, and longing for his appearing. Most blessed sight! most desirable fruition! we shall see our Jesus as he is. Once the despised Nazarene, once the devoted victim to curse and wrath; but now the Lord of life and glory; bestowing immortality and eternal life upon all his dearly purchased, blood-bought mem. bers. Oh, were our hearts more with Christ on the cross, and more with him on his throne by faith, how would sin be subdued, and the world overcome, Satan conquered, and our happy hearts triumphing in love! for, "we are more than conquerors over all, through Jesus who hath loved us,” Rom. viii. 37.
FEB. 24.-Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart.--2 Chron. xxxii. 26.
So will you too, if you know your own heart. Outward, gross, abominable sins, self-righteous Pharisees cry out against; but to mourn over and be humbled for heart sins, spiritual pride, &c., is peculiar to gracious souls only. We read of two things in the word, the most opposite to each other: hear, and adore! The high and lofty One who inhabits eternity," humbleth him. self” to visit man, Psalm cxiii. 6. Hear, and be astonished! Man opposeth and exalteth himself against God, 2 Thess. ii. 4. Pride proceeds out of the heart, saith Jesus, Mark vii. 22. This makes us murmur against the God of providence, fretful under his dispensations, forgetful of his benefits, unthankful for his mercies, oppose the sovereign God of grace, aim to snatch the crown of glory from the everlasting God of love, and place it upon the head of that guilty creature of a day, man. Pride swells the haughty mind with indignation against the truths of Jehovah. That salvation is wholly by free grace, unmerited love, unconditional election of God the Father by Christ, is contrary to the proud thoughts of man; therefore man is against this. For, this leaves him nothing whereof to glory in himself, that he has done, or can do, to fulfil terms and conditions, gain an interest in salvation, or procure a title to glory.
Here, God alone is glorified, Christ exalted, grace reigns, and truth is established: while the poor sinner's mouth is stopped, his honour laid in the dust, and in self-abasement, he humbles himself for the pride of his heart. So grace triumphs over all the ruin of the fall. Thus it affects sinners, when it reacheth the heart. All boasting is excluded. “O righteous Father! thy will be done,” in sovereign grace and electing love. Thou hast a right to do what thou wilt with thine own. Grace, mercy, faith, repentance, hope, peace, love, holiness, heaven, all is thy free gift by Jesus. None hath any claim on thee; guilt has forfeited all. But to the wretched and helpless thou hast made thyself a debtor by free promise, and sovereign proclamation in Christ. Do I see this ? Is my heart soft and yielding, to submit to salvation by grace only? Why is it thus with me, while others are blinded to the truth, and their hearts hardened against it? The work is thine; all the glory is due to thee alone; for "even so, righteous Father, it seemed good in thy sight.” Such are the sentiments of humble souls; to such he "giveth more grace," James iv. 6.
FEB. 25.-The Lord who delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.—1 Sam. xvii. 37. Faith, by ancient writers, has been styled "the queen
As such, she displays her dignity, by disdaining to consult any power below the King of saints. When, in reason and reflection, she calls up past experiences, it is to give all the glory to her sovereign Lord. Thus David confesses faith in his King. What were the gigantic size, the formidable appearance, and the haughty threatenings of his Philistine antagonist? To his eye of faith, all mean and contemptible; for he saw Him that was invisible. He fixed his confidence on the power of Omnipotence. He considered not himself, " but was strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” He relied on the truth of his Lord: "To him that believeth all things are possible,” Mark ix. 23. He had seen the Lord's power, in delivering him from the fierceness of a lion, and from the strength of a bear; and therefore says, not with a perhaps, or a peradventure, but absolutely in full confidence of faith, “The Lord hath delivered, and he will deliver.” And, "according to his faith, so it was."
Now "whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning,” Rom. xv. 4. Here is a lesson of instruction for disciples of Jesus to learn the doctrine of self-despair. Thine enemies are fierce as lions, strong as bears, potent and formidable as Goliath of Gath. To know thou hast neither might nor strength, and to despair of victory from thyself, is truest wisdom. This humbling lesson proud nature is averse to; but it is profitable to the spirit. By faith we glory in the Lord, and in him only. Can I look back to past experience of his grace and power? Can I call to mind, that in such danger the Lord appeared as my deliverer? at such a time, I sweetly experienced his power, and triumphed over my enemies; therefore I will trust in the Lord, and not be afraid. Past experiences encourage
future hopes. A tried friend is a sure friend. To forget past mercies is ungrateful. To bury God's former dealings with our souls in oblivion, is dishonourable to him. Not to consider Jesus as our only hope, and live upon him day by day in the exercise of faith, is to live below our privilege. Never arraign his love, when he suffers thine enemies to put on a dreadful form, and to attack thee with violence. This is to draw thy faith into exercise, that thy soul may have larger experience of his love and deliverance. For he saith, "Be not afraid nor dismayed, for the battle is not yours, but God's," 2 Chron. xx. 15.
FEB, 26.-Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked.Rev. xvi. 15.
Vain confidence begets spiritual sloth. Licentious principles harden the heart in sin, deafen the ear to the calls of grace, and cause the tongue to pronounce evan. gelical excitements to love and obedience, legal. But the faith of Jesus enlivens to duty, and inspires the soul with godly jealousy and holy watchfulness. So his members are blessed—blessed in him with all spiritual blessings; and enjoy a sweet sense of blessedness in obeying him. “Behold I come," saith Jesus the Head. In the faith of this, Lord, enable me to watch alway, prays his people. We know but in part. There are infinitely greater blessings to be found in Jesus, more of his knowledge, love, peace, joy, and greater conformity to him.
For these we are called to watch, wait, and pray continually, lest we lose the garments of truth, the clothing of humility, the adorning of the gospel, and sorrow overtake, and shame cover us. We are also to watch against the desperate wickedness of our nature, the devices of Satan, and the deceits of an ensnaring world. None fully know the dangers to which they are exposed, and how dreadfully they may
fall. Most true, Jesus both can and will keep all his members, by his power, through faith unto salvation. But it is as true, they will have sad evidence of interest in him, while his word is not their rule of conduct. Therefore, “ Watch," saith he.
Comfort and peace of soul are enjoyed in the way of watchfulness, while, with care and diligence, we study to approve ourselves as God's children, "by a holy walk and godly conversation.” Awful instances are frequent and visible, of many, who did run well for a season; but Satan hath hindered. They have forsaken Christ's precious truths, the world has enslaved them, and their conversation-garments are defiled with abominable sins. Their minds appear destitute of faith, love, and holiness; and their shame is seen. A state, how deplorable! how much to be dreaded ! all from neglecting to watch. Serious thoughts are terrifying; selfexamination they fly; the view of death fills them with horror; an appearing, forsaken Jesus, is their dread. But he will come. Every eye must see him. Though, as a thief, suddenly, yet to his faithful ones not dread. fully, to rob and destroy them; but to gather them, to be ever with him. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming," 1 John ii. 28.
FEB. 27.-For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.—2 Cor. xii. 8.
Our Saviour represents God's own elect as crying day and night to him, Luke xviii. 7. For sore temptations, soul-burdens, Satan's buffetings, are peculiarly felt by them. Their crying under them is a proof of spiritual life; their crying to the Lord only is an evidence of the faith of God's elect; their entreaties to be delivered from them show the sanctified nature and holy disposition of their souls. Thus the Lord draws out