Page images

an eminent type of Jesus. Every sinner, who is poor and made low, (as Lamech signifies,) has infinite reason so to conclude of God's Son, “This same shall comfort us, though the work and toil of our hands have been evil, and our nature cursed for sin.”

To be poor and made low, in self, and to be struck with the display of the glory of the Lord Jesus, is the work of the Spirit, by the word of truth, and is peculiar to believers in all ages. Abraham rejoiced to see Christ's day of incarnation; he saw it, and was glad, John viii. 56. And all the children of Abraham's faith now, as well as the apostles, see the glory of Jesus by the same Spirit, whose office is to glorify him. To know Jesus as man, the anointed Saviour, brings life and peace to our hearts. To see his glory as God-man, fills our souls with the triumphs of salvation. Thus we are satisfied with him, as our Lord and our God. We look to no other God, but the God in our flesh, who dwelt among us.

He is full of


and truth to us. All wrath and terror ceaseth against us.

“For God was in Christ reconciling the world, not imputing sin.” So God hath drawn nigh to us, so he hath embraced and loved us, so by faith we draw nigh to embrace and love him. Without this view of God, all pretended knowledge of him is only pompous ignorance and human deceit. Reject it as such.

But when Jesus is embraced in the arms of faith, the enraptured heart cries out with Simeon, “Mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” We run with patience the heavenly race, looking to Jesus. We meditate on our hastening dissolution with composure, expect the sure messenger death with peace, look forward to approaching judgment with joy, being assured of the joyful sight of the glorified man Jesus, the Judge, who shall then appear, as the great God and our Saviour; whom having not seen in the flesh, we love; in whom though now we see him not, yet believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory,” i Pet. i. 8. For yet a little while, and “he shall come to be glorified in his

saints, and to be admired in all them that believe, in that day,” 2 Thess. i. 10.

[ocr errors]

FEB. 17.—That in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation : but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.—John xvi. 33.

Such is Christ's legacy to all his brethren: peace in him ; tribulation in the world. Every disciple shall receive these bequests. The former, a triune God of truth and faithfulness is engaged by promise and oath to give. The latter, from the combined trinity, the world, the flesh, and the devil, every follower of Jesus will be sure to receive. But, alas! how apt are we, when in the mount of peace with Jesus, to cry,

“ Tribulation shall no more affect me!" On the other hand, when in the dreary valley of tribulation, we are as ready to conclude, " Oh! there is no end to my troubles ; I shall see peace no more. This was the case with David. One while we find him triumphing, “In my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved," Psalm xxx. 6; at another mournfully complaining, “Thou hidest thy face and I am troubled," Psalm xxx. 7.

Too, too apt are we to judge of God's love to us by his providences instead of his promises. Tribulation in the world is as necessary for the soul, as peace in Jesus ; or our loving Saviour would never have appointed it for us. One is not incompatible with nor destructive of the other. Nay, is it not often the case with thee, O christian, as of old, that as sufferings abound, consolation abounds also? 2 Cor. i. 5. Hast thou access by faith into the same grace with the church of old ? dost thou with them “rejoice in hope of the glory of God ?” Learn the same note which they sung: "We glory in tribulation.” Why? Because they knew, that “all things work together for good.” Therefore they found, by experience, these soul-reviving effects: “Knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given unto us,” Rom. v. 3--5.

Thus as Christ is ours, all things are ours--tribulation and distress in the world, as well as peace and joy in Jesus. Most sweet to observe, how Christ words his legacy; it is like a cross richly ornamented with jewels of infinite value. Tribulation in the world stands encompassed with peace in the front, good cheer and victory in the rear. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God ?" 1 John v. 5. Observe, he says, “that in me ye might have peace;" even peace with God, and in our own consciences. Christ is our peace," Eph. ii. 14.

FEB. 18.-Henceforth know we no man after the flesh; yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet henceforth know we him no more.—2 Cor.

v. 16.

spare, who

How eminently does the grace of God shine in the conduct of Levil When the glory of Jehovah was at stake, when his honour was to be vindicated against those who had sinned with a high hand," he said unto his father and mother, I have not seen him;" that is, no one that mine eye shall pity, nor mine hand has transgressed in this matter. "Neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor know his own children,” Deut. xxxiii. 9. The Lord our God is a jealous God. It behoves his children to be valiant for the truth as it is in Jesus. It is our duty to face all opposition against it; to stand in defence of it from every quarter; and to know no man after the flesh, so as to give up truth for fear of him. This is our highest honour; and this is highly acceptable in the sight of our God, who says, "Those who honour me I will honour," 1 Sam. ii. 30.

But “knowing men after the flesh,” proves a snare to the soul. Many have suffered loss hereby. While they have conferred with flesh and blood, listened to the wisdom of carnal men, and consulted the judgment of the wise of this world, how have their minds been drawn from the simplicity that is in Christ! The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. The righteousness of the flesh is abomination in his sight. The Spirit of inspiration teaches us this profitable lesson, to glory only in Christ as our wisdom and righteousness. This sweet mystery of faith makes us dead to the life, the lusts, and the glory of the flesh; yea, gives us victory over the proud reasonings of the flesh. So we live in a spiritual kingdom, glory in our spiritual Saviour, are delighted with spiritual companions, and made comfortable by spiritual gifts and graces.

While a Pharisee, Paul gloried in carnal privileges, and the attainments of the flesh: but “Behold he prayeth,” Acts ix. 11. He now prayed to Jesus, He knew him to be the Lord his God. He sought all his salvation from him, and from him only. Not as a mere man, in mortal flesh; but as Immanuel, God with us, God in our nature. Blessed proof of a new-born soul, when it soars to Jesus, and is dissatisfied with all the objects of nature, time, and sense, and incessantly cries, “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 do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him," Phil. iii. 8, 9.

FEB. 19—He that acknowledgeth the Son, hath the Father also.--1 John ii. 23.

If so, we cannot pay too much homage, nor ascribe too great glory to Jesus, as some object. Did Christ receive from God the Father honour and glory, by his voice from the excellent glory, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased !" 2 Pet. i. 17. Is it the Father's will, "that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father ?" Doth Christ say, “ He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father that sent him ?” John v. 23. May we not then boldly say, with Paul, on another occasion, “ As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this glorying” in Jesus, as my Lord, my God? Yea, we will acknowledge him in his lowest form and meanest appearance; as the babe wrapped in swaddlingclothes, lying in a manger, a destitute, outcast infant, obscure and mean in his birth and parentage, working at a common, ordinary employ, without form and comeliness, despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with griefs, mocked, derided, laughed to scorn, crowned with thorns in derision, condemned and crucified as an accursed wretch unworthy to live in heaven or on earth, adjudged fit only to die in company with thieves and highwaymen on a gibbet: wholly to trust in this man, this God-man, Jesus of Nazareth, the Root and Offspring of David, this is “the faith of God's elect." This is the acknowledgment of the truth which is after godliness. This is the only “hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began," Tit. i. 2. This is “repentance to the acknowledging of the truth,” 2 Tim. ii. 25. Thus are simple, believing hearts "comforted, being knit together in love, unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” Col. ii. 2, 3.

In this rich mine of truth and consolation we are daily to dig for all wisdom, holiness, and happiness. In this acknowledgment of the Son thus saving us in his humble state, we have the Father's rich love and precious promises; and the Holy Spirit's power, influence, and witness. For he bears witness to, and takes of the things of Christ and shows them to us, John xyi. 15.

« PreviousContinue »