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haustible treasures in him, their living Head, and such numerous wants in themselves, that their hearts are ever crying after, looking to, and longing for more of his presence, blessings, and comforts, in knowledge and experience. And, like a chaste virgin, espoused to an affectionate lover, her desires will never be completely satisfied, till she is brought into the nearest relation, when she takes up her abode, and enjoys the presence of the object of her love. Lovers of Christ can never be satisfied with any other but him ; nor will they be fully satisfied, nor perfectly happy, till they are for ever present with their ever loving Lord.
But the knowledge of him, even now, creates a paradise of peace, a heaven of love and holiness in the soul. Hence, there is a godly jealousy in espoused souls, lest other objects should steal upon their affections. If at any time their eyes have been turned from the Lord, there is a holy shame; they blush at their folly, and cry, Oh, that I may know him, who rests for ever alike in his constant love to me a poor sinner! In this consists the life and joy of the heart, to know that Jesus hath made peace for us by the blood of his cross; that he hath wrought out a robe of righteousness, by the obedience of his life, to adorn us; and that he ever lives to pray for us. Yea, daily, constantly to know him, as dwelling in my heart by faith, ever present with me, to the joy of my mind, and to the peace of my conscience. And truly, beloved, if we are not kept thus knowing Jesus, looking to, and feeding upon him continually in our heart by faith, we shall know and feel that other things will creep in, and sadly distress our mind. The voice of the law will be heard in our conscience, backed by Satan's injections, and we shall find anguish of spirit and bitterness of soul. But sweetly abiding in the knowledge of Jesus, by faith, we manfully stand our ground, and courageously conquer and triumph. So shall "grace and peace be multiplied through the knowledge of God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ,” 2 Pet. i. 2.
Oct. 8.-Happy is he who condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.—Romans xiv. 22.
There are many things of a civil, moral, and religious nature, which are themselves indifferent. Yet, as to compliance or non-compliance with them, they are far from being matters of indifference to a believer's mind. As he has an inward consciousness of his outward be. haviour, so he finds within himself a sentence of condemnation, when he acts contrary to the dictates of his own knowledge and conscience. It may be, he often finds some things of a doubtful nature, wherein he doth not see God's word express and clear in determining. The upright, tender conscience knows not how to act; is afraid of doing wrong. He asks advice of ministers and brethren; but they cannot fully satisfy his seruples, and set his mind at liberty in the affair.
Here the apostle gives a full and peremptory answer. The heart of every believer is purified from an evil conscience by the blood of Jesus, and taught the knowledge of the truth by his word and Spirit. Hence, there is an inward perception of what tends to wound and condemn it. Happy art thou, disciple, if thou dost not wilfully allow thyself in anything for which thy conscience condemns thee. Never allow thyself in any outward practice which is attended with inward condemnation. Is it of a trifling and indifferent nature in itself? Pretend not to plead for it. Canst thou be content to make thy conscience thine enemy, incur its censure, and impair thy peace, for a trifle? Whatever thou takest in hand, remember the end, and thou shalt not do amiss. This advice is excellent. It is thy wisdom to follow it; thy privilege to pray for power. Consider daily thy calling. It is to enjoy sweet fellowship with Jesus, peace in thy conscience, and holiness and happiness in life. Whatever is contrary to this, will make thee unhappy. Thou art called, not to please thy flesh, not to do thy own will, yea, not to destroy thy own peace; but to glorify thy God and Saviour, in doing his will. It is most plain from the apostle's ex
hortations, that if the practice of believers is not consistent with the truth, they deprive themselves of the sweet sense of God's peace and love. Consider deeply, weigh attentively the force and meaning of these words, ! Keep yourselves in the love of God,” Jude 21. “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts," Col. iii. 15.
Oct. 9.-God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.—2 Thess. ii. 13.
We live in a day when pride reigns, the creature is exalted, the Holy Ghost resisted, and truth trampled under foot. The doctrine of God's distinguishing grace and electing love in Christ, is now, as it ever was, a bone of contention to men of corrupt minds destitute of the truth. They have railing accusations, great swelling words to utter against it; their mouths are not stopped, because they do not see themselves guilty before God, Rom. iii. 19. Saith Paul of such, They are under a strong delusion—they have pleasure in unrighteousness. They are left to sport themselves with their own vain, proud delusions. Then he adds, But we are bound to give thanks for God's election of you, brethren, beloved of the Lord. Ministers of the truth join with holy apostles, in giving praise to God the Father for his love to sinners in Christ. This love they know existed ere time began.
The doctrine of election is not a mere speculation, nor can it tend to licentiousness; but is of the essence of vital godliness, and attended with most holy and blessed effects, when received into the heart in the love of it. For the same Lord, who purposed to bring many sons to glory, hath also ordained the means, " sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth." How could Paul know these professors were beloved and elected ? Truly, the effects proved the cause. He saw the fruits of electing love spring forth under the energy of the blessed Spirit. They believed in, loved, and cleaved to the Lord Jesus, who is the truth. This was also evidenced by its sanctifying influence upon their hearts and lives. “Behold mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth," saith the Father of all consolations to his church concerning Jesus, Isa. xlii. 1. He is the blessed object in whom we are chosen, who has finished our salvation, and to whom we are to look by faith. Yet, О believer, trace the streams of thy mercy to the fountain-head ; see thy obligations equally to the Father's love, the Son's redemption, and the Spirit's operations. Thus, all salvation is of God. Thou hast nothing whereof to glory; all cause for deepest humility; the greatest reason for rejoicing, day by day. To what heights of love art thou called! What in.. flamed affections should possess thy heart! "Only let thy conversation be as becometh the gospel of Christ, Phil. i. 27.
Oct. 10.-Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.-Phil. ii. 12.
Salvation, from first to last, is all of grace: not of works, Rom. xi. 6. It was planned in the covenant of grace. It is finished by the grace of Christ. The moment we believe on him, salvation is ours: it is our own salvation. Mind that. Why are we called to work it out? Consider, salvation implies deliverance from dangers and enemies. We are surrounded with these without, as well as within. The legality of our spirits, pride of our natures, lusts of our flesh, carnal reasonings of our minds, rebellion of our wills, selfrighteousness of our hearts, worldly-mindedness of our desires, carnality of our affection, turbulency of our passions, and unbelief the offspring of all; say, are not these like a legion of enemies to our salvation ? Is not Satan ever working, by means of all these, to bring us into dangers and distress; if by any means he may
prevent our peaceably possessing and eternally enjoy. ing salvation?
Judge then, O believer, is there not necessity for working out thy deliverance from their force and fraud ? Is there not constant need for faith to work by love; striving against sin; resisting Satan ; mortifying the flesh; perfecting holiness; to be fruitful in good works? The commands of thy God make the work of faith, the labour of love, and the patience of hope necessary. The gospel requires, love constrains to be much in prayer, meditation, searching the scriptures, and all holy ordinances. And, to encourage to this, ever remember, it is “God who worketh in us both to will and to do.” Be strong, for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts, Hag. ii. 4. Does thy happiness consist in enjoying the full assurance of this salvation ? then “work it out with fear and trembling." Fear, to think of establishing thy works and duties, as thy righteousness, to procure God's favour. Tremble, to entertain any hope of salvation, but by the atoning blood and perfect righteousness of Jesus; any way of access to God, but through his mediation. Fear and tremble, above all, after thou hast done all, to think, I am perfect. Know, thou art still "an unprofitable servant." Tremble, at the thought that thy might, power, faithfulness, as terms and conditions, procure salvation. Fear, ever to ascribe any glory to thyself. “Whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed," James i. 25.
Oct. 11.-Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.—Matt. v. 16.
Can a lump of animated clay, a worm of the earth, a creature of a day, glorify the infinitely great and eternally glorious Jehovah Yes; such honour, such