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What then can be placed in competition with an exceeding and an eternal weight of glory ?” How great is the worth of the soul! it is immortal. How rich the love of God! it is everlasting. How transcendent the love of Jesus! it passeth knowledge. How amazing the grace of the Holy Ghost ! it proceeds from both. It is through his power any poor sinner is able to say: “What things were gain to me, those I count loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him," &c., Phil. iii. 7-9.
AUGUST 2. God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.-Gal. vi. 14.
Satan is very busy to hinder the christian's glorying in Jesus only. As an adversary to the truth, he objects by the men of the world, and it is frequently suggested to the believer's mind, “Jesus is ever uppermost in your heart and tongue; you ascribe no glory to God the Father, and to the Holy Spirit.” But this is vain and ignorant. For in our crucified Jesus we behold the great love of the Father. Our glorying in the cross of Christ alone, is by the grace and teaching of the Holy Spirit, whose office it is to testify of Jesus only, and of salvation by none other. So saith our Lord, “He shall glorify me: for be shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you,” John xvi. 14.
God forbid that any man upon earth, all the devils in hell, all the lusts in our nature, or unbelief of our hearts, should corrupt our minds from the simplicity of Christ; or prevent our glorying in our ever dear, ever lovely Jesus of Nazareth : for he hung on the
accursed tree with all our guilt, sin, and shame, upon his naked, exposed body. Was he ashamed to own our vile characters, or love our sinful persons ? No. Shall we be ashamed to own and confess his innocent person, his glorious name, his gracious words, his accursed death, his perfect salvation ? Surely then, the very stones in the street would cry out against us. And he says, “Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed when he cometh in the glory of his Father, with the holy angels,” Mark viii. 38. To expect salvation from no other, and all salvation from this man Jesus, this fellow, this malefactor, as the Jews accounted him, as suffering, dying on the cross, a gibbet, a gallows; this is the very essence of the gospel, the glory of God's grace, the wonder of angels, and the envy of devils; this the only hope of a poor humbled sinner, and the triumph of faith. Is this your glory?
Who can fully describe the blessedness of souls, who glory only in Jesus ? As they find and feel new life from his cross, they experience a crucifixion and death to all legal hopes and vain confidence, which a selfrighteous world glory in. From the cross of Jesus they view the world, with all its pomps and pleasures, riches and honours, glory and happiness, as accursed, sentenced, and devoted to destruction. Therefore as crucified persons, by the faith of Jesus, we die daily to the world. “Christ is our life,” Col. iii. 4.
AUGUST 3.—And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried : they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people; and they shall say, The Lord is my God.—Zech. xiii. 9.
Ohl give me comforts or I die, saith the soul; for
surely were I a child of God, I should not be thus tried, afflicted, and distressed. Nay, saith the Saviour, "ye know not what ye ask.”
ask.” Dost thou forget the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children? "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him," Heb. xii. 5. Did I bid thee believe on me? Believe also my words: through much tribulation thou must enter my kingdom, Acts xiv. 22. This profitable lesson, though grievous to the flesh, must be learned. Here, like Peter, we pray to be excused being washed by our Lord. But we consider not his love nor our own advantage. "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me,” saith Jesus. “If ye are without chastisement, then are ye bastards and not sons. “I will bring thee through the fire; I will refine thee; I will try thee.” Why? because thou art not reprobate silver, nor counterfeit metal, therefore I will take pains with thee. “I will purge away thy dross and thy tin, and purify thee in the furnace.” - Verily, graces shall shine brighter, faith grow stronger, love burn more fervent, and obedience be more cheerful. Therefore “whom I love I chasten,” saith the Lord.
Nothing can reconcile souls to afflictive allotments, but looking on them as covenant dispensations. The loving Father's promise is the beloved children's portion. “I will never turn away from them to do them good,” Jer. xxxii. 40. Such is the covenant love of our covenant God. Here faith fixes its hold, and waits the promised blessing. Though saints desire to be passive, yet they cannot be silent, "for they shall call on my name,” even the name above all other names, Jesus the precious Saviour. Saith the Lord, "I will not only hear but answer." “It is I,” saith Jesus to the terrified disciples, " be not afraid." It is my dear people that call, saith the Lord. As the affectionate mother knows the voice of her own dear child, she listens, she runs to its relief; so the Lord speaks with affection and love, “My people;" so souls reply in faith, with Thomas, My Lord, my God. Oh, happy to live, not so mucn on comforts as on “the God of all comforts," 2 Cor. i. 3.
August 4.-And Hazael said, But what! is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing ?—2 Kings viii. 13.
Oh, the treachery of the human heart! both scripture and experience prove this melancholy truth, that it is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Who can fathom the depths of its deceits? who can understand the mystery of iniquity which lies concealed in the nature of sinful man? Alas! presumptuous confidence, that our nature is not so totally corrupt and abominable, too, too often deceives and betrays even God's children. This wretch Hazael, who had premeditated rebellion and murder in his heart
, yet starts at the prediction of these crimes, which as yet had no real existence. Doubtless, he thought Elisha judged very hard of him. He could almost stare the prophet out of countenance. And, as though he charged him with degrading the dignity of his human nature, he demands, whether he looked on him no better than an unclean beast—a fierce, devouring dog, that he should commit such abominable wickedness? His very nature shuddered at the very thought. But the history assures us, “lust had conceived, and it brought forth sin," which ended in the murder of his royal master. Hazael fully verified all the prophet's prediction.
Boast not of thyself, O christian! Say not, I am a converted man, a believer in Jesus, not an unclean wretch like this Hazael, therefore I shall not fall into that and the other sin. Be not high-minded, but fear. Thou standest not by thine own strength, but by faith. This grace ever leads out of self, to its object, Christ. Flatter not thyself that thy corrupt nature is in any wise better than any others. Know there is no difference. Deceive not thyself with conceits of perfection in the flesh, or with the deluded dream, that the root of sin is entirely destroyed in thy nature. Ever remember, "in the flesh dwells no good thing;" therefore it is, and ever will be prone to evil continually. Happy for thee, that thou art new-born, new-created in the spirit of thy mind. It is thy privilege to live under the influence of grace and love. But still thy fallen nature is ever the same; the old man is still alive; there is the tinder of corruption, which may take fire from the devil's sparks of temptation. What thou art least suspecting, yea, when thou art most confident of standing, thou mayst be in the greatest danger of falling. What thou fearest not to-day, to-morrow may overcome thee. Think not more highly of thyself than thou oughtest to think. "Be sober: watch unto prayer."
“God resisteth the proud; but giveth grace to the humble," 1 Pet. v.5.
AUGUST 5.—Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.-Heb. xii. 1.
A lively faith begets a cheerful heart. A joyful hope makes a resigned soul. A humble mind produceth a patient spirit. So we run with pleasure our short race,
Looking unto Jesus." But alas ! shame to us, there is a sin which easily besets us, and which draws a train of burdens and distresses along with it. Why are poor disciples' minds harassed by frequent murmurings and impatience? why are their tempers soured with evil passions? why do they utter hasty, angry, unbecoming speeches ? Verily, unbelief is the cause of all this. Their minds are clouded. They do not see Jesus. They do not consider him as seeing them. They do not look to him for patience. Hence Satan gets an advantage over them. Pride begets impatience of spirit. Then with fretful Jonah they cry out, "I do well to be angry,” Jonah iv. 9.
But pray how do you find your mind after thus doing