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of thine adoption to be a child of God; teaching thee to mortify the deeds of the flesh, to love thy Saviour, and live to his glory. And canst thou deliberately grieve this blessed inhabitant, this loving Comforter, by yielding service to thy inbred enemy? Oh, with what fire of indignation, with what warmth of affection, doth Joseph cry out, under the solicitations of a strong temptation, How can I do this great wickedness ? and what?—sin against the best of masters ? against my own soul? no, but against the Lord my God? Gen. xxxix. 9.
SEPT. 30.—As sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Christ Jesus our Lord.-Rom. v. 21.
Sin, like some mighty conqueror, hath obtained a victory, and reigns over the whole human race. This all men are naturally under, and well pleased with, till sovereign, almighty grace dethrones this usurping monarch in the hearts of the elect, triumphs over its conquests, delivers their captive souls from its dominion, and reverses the sentence of death they were under. All this is effected in a just and righteous way. For, though salvation is all of grace to poor sinners, yet eternal life is a just debt, due to the blood and righteousness of Christ. He has a right, and does challenge it from the hands of justice.“ Father, I will that they whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am,” John xvii. 24.
To think of doing something to procure God's favour, and entitle ourselves to eternal life; this we are prompted to, from our pride of nature, and unbelief of heart. But such notions ever oppose the gospel of grace, resist the Spirit of truth, degrade the glory of Jesus, depreciate the perfection of his finished work, and make the God of truth a liar. But thou, O believer, art not saved without a perfect righteousness, or perfect obedience to the law of God. And, through faith in Jesus, thou hast a just challenge, and humble claim, founded upon his righteousness, to eternal life! Oh the rich triumphs of abounding love how glorious is the victory of sovereign grace! Soul, thou must sink into nothing at its discovery; yet rise into a glorified subject, by the knowledge and experience of it. Grace reigns over all the aboundings of sin. Here is our hope, through the righteousness of Christ, over all our unrighteousness. Here is our justification in God's sight unto eternal life; here is our triumph over the wages of sin and death. O sinner! destitute of righteousness in thyself, grace demands the daily study of thy heart, the whole devotion of thy life. Give all the glory where only it is justly due. To the Father, for everlasting love; to the Son, for everlasting righteousness ; and to the Spirit, for everlasting consolation, and good hope through grace. Thus thou
wilt become dead to every hope but Christ, out of conceit with all righteousness but his; and wilt sing in triumph, "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, and with the robe of righteousness," Isa. lxi. 10.
Oct. 1.-Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.--1 Pet. v. 7.
We are called to confess Jesus, in a day when the fury and rage of persecution are restrained. Bonds and imprisonments do not await us; yet, we must not think to be exempt from trials and difficulties of various kinds. Our adversary is not dead; nature's lusts and corruptions are alive, and daily fight against us. The love of Jesus is ever accompanied with the world's hatred. His disciples are not mere stoics; they feel the exercise of these things. Sometimes it may be their lot, like the disciples, to be in the midst of a sea of troubles; tossed with the waves of difficulties; the wind of providence appearing contrary, and to the eye of nature and sense, Jesus seems asleep to their sorrows; as though his kind love to them and tender care over them were suspended. Here is our trial of faith ; but this grace never consults nature and appearances; it looks, through all, to the everlasting love and almighty power of Jesus; knowing he can save from the uttermost depth of distress, and raise to the extremest height of comfort.
Thus triumphs the church, under all her tribulations: "I will look unto the Lord ; I will wait for the God of my salvation ; my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise ; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me,” Micah vii. 7, 8. Sweet confession of faith, under most discouraging views. For, while the Lord cares for us, what can harm us? And, while we cast our every care on him, we obey his will, honour his word, and gather from that heavenly plant the blessed fruit of heart-ease. How composed did the three children of faith stand before the wrathful monarch ! How easy their minds, under the dreadful threatening of a fiery furnace! How calm their reply! “O king, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter." The Lord careth for us; we cast all our care upon him. Ever judge of Jesus' care for sinners by his love to them. Ever remember, while we were enemies his blood atoned for our sins. Can we believe his love to us, and doubt his care for us? Oh, how unreasonable is unbelief! But, if we had no corruptions to conflict with, no troubles to exercise us, no burdens to bow us down, no cares to beset us, no fears to attend us, great part of God's word would be useless. As we are not to expect total freedom from these, the exhortations of the word are suited to our state, and direct to a loving Friend, whose kind invitation under every distress is,
" Come unto me," Matt. xi. 28.
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 bath 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, 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