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exalted honour have all his saints. For his glory they were created at first. For his glory they are created anew in Christ. He commands all his members to this, as their bounden duty; the Spirit enables to it, as their greatest privilege. The Father accepts, is well pleased with, and declares himself glorified by, the praises of his children, Psalm 1. 23. Did Samuel consent to Saul's request,“ Honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people ?" 1 Sam. xv. 20. And canst thou, () son of the Most High, ever need a motive, or want an argument to glorify thy Father before men ? It is to be the chief work of thy life. In this work, as Moses said to Pharaoh, so thy Deliverer saith to thee,
not an hoof is to be left behind.” With all thou hast and art, thou art to glorify thy Lord.
For thou hast only one thing but what thou hast received from thy Lord: this is sin. By this thou dishonourest God. By every thing contrary to this, God is glorified. Happy souls, who study God's word as the rule of their conduct, consider the enjoyment of God in Christ their greatest felicity, and direct all their views to his glory! Thus, when the light of Jesus shines into the heart, it beams forth its evidence and glory in the outward life and conversation. When the light of truth is accompanied by the warmth of love, and the obedience of faith, men will see we have been with Jesus: that we not only have light in our heads, but love and zeal for God's glory in our hearts. The former may acquire honour to ourselves, of being good talkers for God; but the latter, only, can prove that we are upright walkers, as his obedient children ; that we are his peculiar people, by being zealous of good works ;" that we really are concerned for his glory, and have it at heart; that we love not only in word, but also in deed and in truth. It is the genuine language of a converted soul, to say with Paul, “Lord, what wouldst thou have me to do " It is the burden of a faithful, loving heart, that it doth so little for the glory of God, and it ever longs to glorify him more. While the light of truth is our glory, and the love of truth our happiness, we shall study to "adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things,” Titus ii. 10.
OCT. 12.–Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God. Ephes. iv. 30.
How affectionate and condescending is this address of the great God and our Saviour to his children! Paul writes to Philemon, "Though I might be bold to enjoin thee that which is convenient, yet for love's sake, I rather beseech thee.” So, with infinitely higher authority, the Lord might command with terror, in. stead of beseech with love. Astonishing expression! Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God. Hast thou, canst thou, O believer, be guilty in this matter? It is easy to conceive, that we may grieve our own spirits, and the spirits of good men, by our sin and folly; but to think of grieving the Spirit of God, is enough to make us cry out in amazement, What mystery of love is this!
But verily, so dear are God's children to him, that, as in love to us, he took our nature, so, in condescension to our weak capacities, he borrows language from nature, and assumes to himself passions like ours: for he was in all things like unto us, but without sin. So it is said, God delights in the prosperity of his people, he rejoiceth over them to do them good. But when, through sin and folly, they hurt their own souls, Jesus is touched with a feeling of our infirmities; his Spirit is grieved at our conduct.
Who can tell in how many ways christians do this? Inwardly, by giving way to unbelief; by low, unworthy thoughts of Jesus, his blood, righteousness, and salvation, his mediation and intercession, of whom the Spirit is the glorifier: so also, by indulging vain, carnal, sin ful thoughts. Outwardly, by neglecting the gospel of grace; not walking closely with Jesus by faith; not conforming to his will in our lives and conversation. And experience wofully convinceth, that when the Holy Spirit is grieved, the soul is distressed. We never send the Spirit grieved to heaven, but he leaves our spirits grieved on earth. He is our Comforter. By him believers are sealed unto the day of redemption. Though we are sealed by him as the Lord's own possession, yet if he leaves us to ourselves, the view of Jesus is obscured to us, and his comforts withheld from us. Then natural fears, legal terrors, and desponding doubts seize on us, and evil spirits rejoice over us, with “There, there, so would we have it." Though he never becomes the spirit of bondage to us, yet he leaves us to the bondage of our own legal spirits. What reason have we to pray daily, Cleanse us, O Jesus, from our secret faults; and let not, O Spirit, presumptuous sins get the dominion over us! Psalm xix. 12, 13.
Oct. 13.-Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.—2 Cor. x. 5.
It is fit that Christ's soldiers should have the sentence of death in themselves, that they should not trust in themselves. Though armed with all the weapons of their warfare, yet, they are no further mighty and conquering, but as aided by the power of God. Many souls
, by trusting to their graces, instead of the God of all grace, have been foiled by the enemy and have fallen. "I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me; but through the Lord will we push down our enemies,” Psalm xliv. 5, 6. This is the language of faith ; this the confidence of humble souls. After believers have escaped the corruptions that are in the world through lust, and have been turned from their sinful ways to the Lord Jesus, then danger threatens
from another quarter; self righteousness exalts its baneful head against them. "Now I ain somebody. I possess inherent grace and strength. I am justified. My sins are pardoned, and I have got a clean heart." Hence towering imaginations swell against God's everlasting love, election of grace, the imputed righteousness of Jesus, and the final perseverance of his saints. When these evangelical truths are rejected, it proves that pride, self-sufficiency, and self-righteousness prevail. * “ Thou trustest in thine own beauty, and playest the harlot because of thy renown. Woe, woe unto thee.” A severe reproof this, from the Lord, Ezek. xvi. 30. St. Austin is peremptory. "It had been profitable to some proud spirits to fall into gross offence, for they have not lost so much by their fall
, as they have got by being down." It is better to be humbled under sin than proud of grace. God will suffer no flesh to glory in his presence. His truths, tried at the bar of carnal reason, will be rejected. But that Spirit who indicted them, will bring disciples to submit to them. To reject the doctrines of grace, under a specious pretence to holiness, is to blaspheme the God of wisdom. High thoughts of ourselves oppose God's truth. Vain imaginations strengthen self-confidence against the faith of Christ. To see Jesus all in all, and ourselves nothing at all, is to see aright in the light of truth, and by the Spirit of truth. There is inward obedience of heart, in submission to the righteousness of God, as well as outward obedience of life. There may be much pride and holiness of the pharisee without, where there is no simple faith and love of Jesus within. "Be clothed with humility," 1 Pet. v. 5.
Oct. 14. I came not to send peace on earth, but a sword.-Matt. x. 34.
Is not our Saviour the Prince of peace ? Hath he noť made peace between God and man by the blood of
his cross? Doth he not give peace in the conscience, and establish peace among his people? Doth not the gospel preach peace by Christ? All this is true. Why then doth our Lord say, “I came not to send peace, but a sword ?” Conceive not of the meek Lamb, as though his soul delighted in war: and, that the sword of slaughter should be drunk with human blood. No; he came not to destroy, but to save men's lives. Therefore, this sword is no other than the “sword of the Spirit, the word of God,” rendered in St. Luke, division. This sword divides and separates a christian from his carnal friends and relations : yea, divides asunder flesh and spirit. Hence open war commences, and hostilities begin. For there never, never can be any peace, harmony, and agreement, subsisting between carnal and spiritual men ; no more than between flesh and spirit, in the christian. These are contrary to and at continual war with each other. “ Wars and fightings come from your lusts." Sin is the cause of all contention and division among men. Every christian is a soldier. The sword of the Spirit, the word of God, is one blessed part of his armour. By this he is enabled to resist Satan, subdue lusts, cut down unbelief, and to stand his ground against every enemy from the world, flesh, and devil, which are always in battle array against him.
Thus the weapons of our warfare are not carnal; but spiritual, and mighty through God “to the pulling down the strong holds of Satan." Though earth and heli are at war against thee, yet strengthen thyself in thy God; he is on thy side. Fortify thyself by the word of his truth. This, for thy comfort, assures thee, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that riseth up in judgment against thee thou shalt condemn,” Isa. liv. 17. By this sword of the Spirit thou shalt prevail. By the blood of the Lamb thou shalt overcome. ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts," Zech. iv. 6. But we are ready to say, My strength is small, my arm