Page images
PDF
EPUB

fight the good fight of faith, and they daily conquer, yea, they are more than conquerors through him who loveth them, crowned conquerors in glory everlasting. Thus it appears that the triumph of the Head includes the triumph of his members. The fountain from whence springs their present and their eternal joy, is God God in Christ. They glory in the victories of the God-man : because of his commandment; because of his free-promise, which is a perfect warrant for the fullest confidence : and because of his goodness, truth, and power, which are bound to fulfil all his engagements. Looking to these infallible securities, the believer's heart is established, trusting in the Lord. Being of the true circumcision, he would put no confidence in the flesh, but would be daily crucifying it with its affections and lusts, and bringing all high thoughts of self to the obedience of Christ. If he has been long standing in the faith-an old christian--if he has received much consolation from his Lord or has been very active and successful in his service ; his trust is never in himself. The ground of his

believing is always one and the same. He has no new doctrine to learn : no new warrant to encourage him to believe. The word of God—thus saith the Lord, is always sufficient : and ought to draw forth the fullest credit, that can possibly be given to the testimony of the God of truth. What was advanced before in the Life of Faith, and in the Walk of Faith, is taken for granted in the present treatise. Here is no new doc. trine. Salvation is in Christ Jesus, and in no other.. I am, says he, the truth, the one saving truth, like himself, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.

One Lord, one faith, one salvation. And whoever believes this aright is in a safe state, in which there is no change with respect to God; no variableness, or shadow of turning. Whatever his own apprehensions may be, the word of the Lord endureth for ever. He

may

be tempt ed in a legal hour to çast away his confidence, but the counsel of the Lord shall stand. He may change, but I, saith God, change not. For the gracious gifts and calling of God are without repentance-they are such that

it cannot repent him of bestowing them, or of continuing them, when once bestowed. As the believer has no new truth to learn, only to improve the principles of the doctrine of Christ ; so he has no new title to expect. Under the free grant and gift of God, salvation comes to him of grace, in the most sovereign way that can be conceived. And his warrant to receive it is the divine command; and when he has been enabled to receive it by the obedience of faith, the divine promise assures him, that he shall not perish for his sins, but that he shall have everlasting life. Believing the promise is the best title that possibly can be to this salvation ; for we are saved freely by grace, through faith, and that not of ourselves, nei. ther salvation nor faith ; both are the gifts of God. And under the title all the blessings which accompany salvation are included, all the things which are freely given to us of God-a sufficiency of present grace, and the full possession of eternal glory. This is the good old foundation, upon which the heirs of promise have always built their faith and

hope. They knew, that all fulness was in Christ for their use and enjoyment : and they were persuaded, that they should honour him most, by believing this with the strongest certainty. They could not trust too soon, nor too much, to his faithfulness. And therefore they come boldly to the throne of grace, that they may receive out of his fulness at all times, for all things, for body and soul, for earth and heaven, what they wanted, and what he had promised. The more they live thus by faith, they will experience more occasion to rejoice in the Lord : and to find that his arm to fulfil will always go as far as his promise, even to bless the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly things in Christ. This in. deed is strong faith, but it is the gift of a strong God: it does not depend, in the least, on what the believer can do for himself, but on what the almighty has engaged to do for him, and in him, and by him : for he requires and commands it in this high degree. There is grace sufficient to bring it into use

and practice, as far as the commands go; aff things promised being possible to him that believeth. And they who have trusted most to the faithfulness of God, who against hope believed in hope, have experienced that God did never leave them nor forsake them, He magnified his word above all his name. There he has made his name to shine forth, and all his attributes are magnified in their greatest perfection. The believers on earth, and the saints in heaven, praise God for his word: because it is the instrument of his Spirit, by which he bestows grace, and according to which, he gives glory. The fulfilling of his word runs through time, and will run through eternity. Blessed be God for his word of promise: Blessed be the Lord, that it will be fulfilling for ever and

This being the case, it becomes necessary to inquire into the divine records, and to see what a full warrant God has given us to trust and not be afraid : and this to every believer, there being the same ground to believe with the strongest faith, as to be. lieve at all.

ever.

« PreviousContinue »