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to possess it. Why is this? It is because of · And I will pray the Father, and he shall give have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ
unbelief. You do not fully realize this truth, “We you another Comforter, that he may abide with the righteous.' You do not believe that the you for ever,' John xiv. 16.
Father delights to give the Spirit, in answer to How much of the majesty of Christ shines in the prayer of his Son. You do not live upon that these words! What a divine sweetness breathes promise, Isa. xlix. 8. “In an acceptable time in them! He knows his own mind, he knows have I heard thee.' the mind of his Father, he knows the mind of Again, observe that word, 'another Comforter. the Spirit, and, therefore, he speaks with a holy Jesus was the first Comforter. He came to certainty. I will pray, the Father shall give, comfort all that mourn;' his words were all the Spirit will abide with you for ever. We 'good words, and comfortable words;' his blood should receive his words with the same sweet was peace-speaking blood. He had comforted certainty as that with which they were spoken. the disciples by the way, by the well, and on the
I. Observe what Christ will do. I will pray stormy sea. But now he must go his way to the Father.' This shows that Christ is not dead. him that sent him. He leaves this word behind, He was dead, but he is now alive for evermore. 'I will pray the Father, and he shall give you The dead do not pray; the lips that are sealed another Comforter. He that spared not his in death are silent lips. But Jesus says, “I will own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how pray the Father.' He looks beyond his agony shall he not with him, also, freely give us all in the garden, and on the cross; he looks beyond things.' Enter into this argument, O
soul! his rocky sepulchre; and, as if he nad nothing to He that gave the first Comforter for sinners will do but to step into the presence of his Father, he surely give the second Comforter to his dear says, “I will pray the Father.'
children. Again, this shows the constancy of Christ's III. Observe what the Comforter will do. love. When a friend is going away to a far Abide with you for ever.' Jesus and his Spirit land—an “inner friend'a praying friend, we
He knew what is the mind of the say to him as we are going to the ship, ‘Now Spirit. He also knew what is in man—the you will never forget us, and he says, “No I unbelieving, inconstant, unholy heart of man, and never will, I will pray for you.' O! such a friend yet he says the Comforter shall abide with you is Christ. He is one born for adversity, a friend for ever. Sometimes a young believer is cast that sticketh closer than a brother. At times down by this thought, “How do I know that my we are cast down when we think of his glory, faith shall not fail me; the vail of unbelief may and our meanness; of his being the very Sun of cover my heart again, perhaps in the hour of heaven, and we a vile worm on the earth ; but temptation, perhaps in a dying hour.' Here is be not faithless but believing. I will never the answer, Jesus will pray, the Father will give, forget you, he says, even when I am at the right and the Comforter will abide with you for ever. hand of the Father, I will pray
Observe this in a singular instance, Luke xxii. II. Observe what the Father will do. "He shall 31. “Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have give you another Comforter.' We learn from these you, that he may sift you as wheat, but I have words the certainty of the gift of the Holy Spirit. prayed for thee that thy faith fail not. Be not How confidently Jesus speaks, "No man know- afraid, only believe, all things are possible to him eth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the that believeth. He that was the Author will be Son shall reveal him.' If an angel had come and the Finisher of your
faith. said, the 'Father shall give you another Comforter,' Sometimes a young believer is sadly cast down we might have doubted; for, how does an angel by a discovery of the plague of his own heart. know what the Father will give? But Jesus is When he looks into the smoking volcano that
the true and faithful Witness,' he had come from is in his own bosom, he begins to tremble lest God, and went to God; and he says with a after all he become a cast-away. Take these divine boldness, “The Father shall give.' Ah! two directions: 1. Be humbled in the dust under how many Christians seem never to have your body of sin and death, but do not despair. received the Comforter. How many have no Paul had the same, and all true Christians have sweet sense of forgiveness. How many have no the same. Make this resolution your own, close walk with God. Ministers constantly bless Resolved never to give over, nor in the their flocks, saying, “The communion of the Holy least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, Ghost be with you all. How few seem really however unsuccessful I may
be.' 2. Believe in
the Comforter. Keep your eye fixed on Christ, | child. Earthly fathers who are evil give good on his wounds out of which the blood flowed, gifts to their children. that cleanseth from all sin; on his lips that pray II. How much more shall God, who is a good 80 sweetly for his own, (Song v. 16). wait for Father, give the Holy Spirit. God excels an that holy Spirit of promise. He alone can earthly father in two respects: make you holy; and he will do it, for faithful is 1. He is wise, the only wise God.' Earthly he that promised.
fathers are short-sighted men. They do not know Beware of Peter's word
the wants of their children, nor do they know the Nor confidently say,
best time and way of supplying these wants. I never will deny thee, Lord,
They often give to their children when they should But grant I never may.
withhold, they pamper their humours, and spoil • Man's wisdom is to seek
their dispositions; they often withhold when they His strength in God alone, And even an angel would be weak,
should give, and provoke their children to fretWho trusted in his own.'
fulness. But God is a wise Father. The Father of spirits' knows our frame, and remembers
are dust. He knows our minutest
wants, and he knows the very best time and FIFTEENTH DAY.-EVENING.
way of supplying them. Above all, he knows
our need of the Holy Spirit. He knows that we 'If ye then, being evil, know how to give good are naturally dead in trespasses and sins. He gifts unto your children; how much more shall knows that a vail is over our hearts he knows your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to that our faith is weak—and that our enemies are them that ask him?' Luke xi. 13.
us, and too strong. He knows the Jesus desires all his disciples to pray for the temptations and afflictions to which we are called. Holy Spirit. He knows that we cannot believe He knows the manner and measure of the at the first, nor continue believing without this Spirit's help which we need to keep us from precious gift. He knows that our soul cannot falling. live, love, resist the devil, mortify the deeds of 2. God is love. God has a natural love to a the body, nor overcome the world, without this soul in Christ. Earthly fathers love their chilliving water; therefore does he urge his people dren, but O how coldly compared with God's to ask, seek, and knock. He is still saying to love. In Isa. xlix. 15. it is preferred above a poor sinners, “If thou knewest the gift of God, mother's love: ‘Can a woman forget her sucking and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink, child, that she should not have compassion on thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, have given thee living water,' John iv. 10. yet will I not forget thee.' There is no love in
I. Earthly fathers, who are evil, give good this world like a mother's love. It is a free, gifts to their children. This is a fact in human unbought, unselfish love. She cannot account nature. The most wicked fathers are often kind for it. You cannot change it. You must break to their offspring. In some countries it is true, to pieces the mother's heart before you will Satan has shown his infernal power in destroying change it. It is the fullest love with which the parental affections, so that the Hindoo mother a creature can love. She loves with all her heart. has been known to plunge her sickly infant into But the love of God to a soul in Christ is far the Ganges, or even to hurry it, while yet above a mother's love. It is a love ingrained in alive, into a grave dug with her own hands, and his nature, and God must change before his love to trample the ground over it with her own feet. can change. It is a full love. The whole heart "The dark places of the earth are full of the of the Father is as it were continually showered habitations of cruelty. In general, however, down in love upon the Lord Jesus. And when there is, even in the bosom of savage men, a chord a sinner comes into Christ the same love rests of tenderest love toward their little ones. The upon that soul; (see John xvii. 26.) When the wild Indian of America will bring home from the sun showers down its beams on the wide ocean, woods the most brilliant feather to deck the brow and on a little flower at the same time, it is of his prattling boy; and the rude Greenlander will the same sunshine that is poured into both, brave the icy blast to provide a scanty meal for his though the ocean has vastly larger capacity to tender children. You must break a father's heart receive its glorious beams. So when the Son of in pieces, before you can break asunder that God receives the love of his Father, and a poor mysterious bond of love that binds him to his guilty worm hides in him, it is the same love that comes both on the Saviour and the sinner, 1. Meditate on the great teacher, the Lord. He though Jesus is able to receive infinitely more. alone knows divine things as they are. Ministers In Psal. ciii. 13, God's love is compared to a have but glimpses into the eternal world. They father's love: ‘Like as a father pitieth his chil- see but little of sin, of the shortness of time, of dren, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.' the depth of hell, of the love of God, of the perHis love combines all the tenderness of a mother's, son, work, and grace of Christ. Therefore they and all the wisdom of a father's love. How cannot teach effectually. Books also are infinitely surely then will he give the Holy Spirit to every imperfect. The best of them are but sparks from one of his children that ask him. Far more the bible, mingled with human darkness. But surely than an earthly father gives bread to his the Lord knows all things as they are. “All hungry children. This is good news for my things are naked and laid open to the eyes of weary
soul. I am like David in the wilderness, him with whom we have to do.' He knows our (Psal. lxiii. title,) “My soul thirsteth for thee, my infinite guilt; hell and destruction are before him. flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, He knows the Son. “No man knoweth the Son but where no water is. “My soul followeth hard the Father.' He knows, "The love of Christ, that after thee; thy right hand upholdeth me. All passeth knowledge.' He then can make it known. my grace comes from thee. Thou didst begin the O my soul hast thou been taught of the Lord! good work in me when I was an enemy, wilt Again, he alone can teach the heart. Man can thou not carry it on, now that I am a child ? Thou speak to the ear, to the understanding, to the didst
pour down the Spirit when I was like the memory, God alone to the heart. The reason dry ground, wilt thou not water me every why human teaching does not convey saving light moment now that I am a plant, though a feeble to the soul is, that the heart is dead. The carnal one, of thine own planting? Hear the divine mind is enmity against God, and against everyanswer, O my soul, and be still! 'I will heal thing that comes from God; and, therefore, when their backsliding, I will love them freely, for the truth is presented, the worldly heart draws mine
anger is turned away from him. I will be the mind away from beholding it. But when as the dew unto Israel,' Hosea xiv. 4, 5. the Lord is teaching, he touches the heart, and it
melts under his hand. He awakens concern in • Come holy, holy, holy, Lord,
The Father, Son, and Spirit come, the dead soul, so that the person runs to hear the Be mindful of thy changeless word,
word preached. He makes the soul willing in And make the faithful soul thy home.'
the day of his power. He makes salvation, by Christ, clear to the mind, and sweet to the heart,
in the same happy moment. None can teach SIXTEENTH DAY.-MORNING.
like God. He can teach a child, or an idiot, or
an old man. "All thy children shall be taught of the Lord ; 0 send forth thy light and thy truth, let them
Is any thing too hard for the Lord? and great shall be the peace of thy children.'
let them guide me.' Isa. liv. 13.
2. What is divine teaching? It is not mere When the Jews are brought again to Zion, and head-knowledge of divine things. Many have converted to God, they will be an example of a great knowledge of the bible, have read it all, people, "all taught of the Lord.' God says, Jer. studied much of it, learned much of it by heart; xxxi. 34. "They shall all know me, from the they know the Catechism well, they have a just least of thern even unto the greatest of them.' notion of divinity; some have great knowledge And again, Isa. Ix. 21. Thy people shall be all of books, of Boston, and Willison, and Flavel; righteous. They are to be the first example of some may be great judges of sermons, able a "righteous nation.' In some of our well- to discriminate between legal and evangelical ordered parishes, we see a people all taught of preachers; alas! all this may be, and more, withman; but, ah! how much ignorance, deceit, and out one spark of divine teaching. Alas! how wickedness are lying below the surface. But all many ministers have there been like the fingerthe children of Zion shall be taught of the Lord, post that points the way, but does not go. No and, therefore, they will be a people of great doubt Judas had a clear knowledge of divinity, and peace, and great holiness.
could preach well, yet Jesus said he was a devil. Such is the case of spiritual Zion at this We know that Satan has great knowledge of the moment. They are all taught, not of man, nor bible, and yet he only trembles. of angel, but of the Lord, and their peace passeth What then is divine teaching? It is God all understanding
giving the soul a sense of the wondrous beauty,
excellence, and sweetness of the way of salvation
SIXTEENTH DAY.—EVENING. by Christ. "Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. Take an ‘By grace are ye saved through faith ; and that example in one of the most eminent saints that not of yourselves ; it is the gift of God.' Eph.
ii. 8. ever lived. The first instance that I remember, of that sort of inward sweet delight in God and Most men try to lay God under debt to save divine things, that I have lived much in since, them. They work for salvation instead of workwas on reading these words, 1 Tim. i. 17. “Now, ing from it. They "go about to establish their unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the own righteousness. In this way worldly people only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and seek eternal life: “What shall we do, that we ever. Amen.” As I read these words, there might work the works of God?' John vi. 28. came into my soul, and was as it were diffused Although in words they renounce all pretence of through it, a sense of the glory of the divine any worth in themselves or in their duties, yet Being; a new sense, quite different from anything they have a secret hope of recommending themI ever experienced before. Never any words of selves to God by their decency, sobriety, and scripture seemed to me as these words did. I religious performances. In this way those who thought with myself, how excellent a Being that have a little concern for their souls, like the was, and how happy I should be if I might enjoy young ruler, seek for eternal life: 'Good Master, that God, and be rapt up to him in heaven, and be what good thing shall I do, that I may have as it were swallowed up in him for ever! I kept eternal life?' Matt. xix. 16. His earnest desire saying, and as it were singing over these words of was to make himself appear righteous before scripture to myself; and went to pray to God God. In this way, also, those who are under that I might enjoy him; and prayed in a manner the deepest concern often wander in search of quite different from what I used to do, with a pardon and peace. Perhaps there may be traces new sort of affection. But it never came into my of this feeling in the anxious question of the poor thought that there was anything spiritual or of a jailor, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved,' Acts saving nature in this. From about that time, I xvi. 30; and in the piercing cry of the prostrate began to have a new kind of apprehensions and Saul, · Lord, what wilt thou bave me to do?' deas of Christ, and the work of redemption, and Acts ix. 6. Certain it is that self-righteousness the glorious way of salvation by him. An is the worst and longest-lived viper in the human inward sweet sense of these things, at times, breast. Most men under convictions are very came into my heart; and my soul was led away unwilling to throw away all self-confidenee. They in pleasant views and contemplations of them.' are not willing to despair of ever being fair in
Ah! this is divine teaching. This is the teach- the sight of God in themselves. They shrink ing that brings us to the foot of Christ, like the back from the idea of being lost and undone, for woman which was a sinner. Before, we are per- anything that they can do. They do not like to plexed about coming to Christ, believing on venture to lie helpless and without a plea at the Christ, closing with Christ; but now it is all feet of a sovereign God. How solemn to a sweet and easy; we cannot but believe on Jesus. sinner in such a state should these words be, ‘By This is teaching that fills the bosom with all joy grace ye are saved through faith; and that not and peace. It gives great peace,'peace like a of yourselves; it is the gift of God!' river,' joy unspeakable and full of glory. This I. Salvation is by grace. When a man chooses is the teaching that sanctifies. A man may have an apple off a tree, he generally chooses the the head-knowledge of an angel, and the heart ripest, the one that promises best. It is not so of a devil. But when God touches the heart he with God in choosing the soul he saves. He makes all things new.
does not choose those that have sinned least,
those that are most willing to be saved; he often • Behold ! I change all human things, Saith he whose words are true,
chooses the vilest of men, 'to the praise of the Lo ! what was old is passed away,
glory of his grace. This is proved by the instances And all things are made new.'
given in the Bible of brands plucked out of the burning. Why did God choose Manasseh, who caused his children to pass through the fire,' set 'a carved image in the house of God,' and filled Jerusalem with the blood of holy men, while many of his deluded people, who had sinned far less, perished? 2 Chron. xxxii. Why did
God save Zaccheus the hoary-headed swindler, a fiery dart to keep poor sinners away from "the chief of the publicans?' Luke xix. 1–10. Christ. The only way really to know what faith Why did Jesus tell the Pharisees, 'the publicans, is, is to experience it. In one part of the word and the harlots go into the kingdom of God it is described as “knowing. This is life eternal, before you? Why did Jesus enter into the that they might know thee the only true God, pearly gates of paradise with a poor thief, who and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent, John had never done anything but sin up to his last xvii. 3. A true realizing knowledge of God, hour? Luke xxiii. 43, comp. Matt. xxvii. 44. and of Christ as the sent of God, is saving faith. Why did he leave the other thief, who was no Have I this knowledge, O my soul? I was worse than his fellow (both were hell-deserving), born like a wild ass's colt. God was not in all to sink into perdition within an arm's length of my thoughts. I did not like to retain God in an Almighty Saviour? All these things hap- my knowledge. But it pleased God to reveal pened unto them for ensamples, to show us that his Son in me. Flesh and blood could not reveal God saves according to the good pleasure of his Him unto me, but my Father who is in heaven. will, not for our goodness, but to show his own He has opened to me the way of salvation, so free adorable grace.
that I see its wisdom, excellency, and freeness. The same thing is proved by the experience. I cannot but believe, and this I humbly trust is of every child of God.
Who that has ever that faith which is the gift of God. • tasted that the Lord is gracious,' does not feel Again, it is described as discovering the beauty response in their bosom to the declaration of a and excellency of Christ: “In that day shall the simple believer, ‘Had he not chosen me before I branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and was born, he had never seen reason to choose me the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and afterwards.' There was nothing in me to attract comely for them that are escaped of Israel,' Isa. the love of God. Behold, even to the moon iv. 2. A real discovery of the glory, suitableand it shineth not, yea, the stars are not pure in ness, and freeness of the Lord Jesus Christ in the his sight; how much less man that is a worm, soul, is saving faith. Natural men know what it and the son of man which is a worm.' He loves is to get a discovery of a beautiful countenance, what is pure, holy, heavenly; but 'I am carnal, and the natural heart immediately glows with sold under sin. There was everything in me to admiration. None but believers know what it drive God away. "God is angry with the wicked is to get a discovery of the fair face of him who is every day,' Psal. vii. 11. He was angry with 'fairer than the children of men,' and to have the
His whole nature abhorred me, for I was heart filled with all joy and peace in believing. under Adam's sin; I was shapen in iniquity; Has this discovery been made to me? Can I every member of my body, every faculty of my say, “Whom, having not seen, I love; in whom, soul, had been only the servant of sin. Yet he though now I see him not, but believing, I rejoice came over all these mountains to my soul. I with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Once I said, Art thou come to torment me before the saw no form nor comeliness in Jesus, no beauty time? I desire not the knowledge of thy ways. that I should desire him. But he came like a But he made me willing in the day of his power. roe or a young hart, leaping on the mountains, Glory, glory, glory, to the Father who chose me, skipping on the hills. He stood behind our wall, the Son who died for me, and the Spirit who he looked in at the window, showing himself quickened me. Salvation is of the Lord, and it through the lattice. He showed me his hands
and his feet pierced for sinners. He showed me II. Salvation is through faith. When David that there was room beneath his shining righteBrainerd was under conviction of sin, the corrup- ousness. He showed me his heart, the same tion of his heart was dreadfully irritated by this, yesterday, to-day, and for ever; and now I canthat faith alone was the condition of salvation. not but say, He is to me beautiful and glorious, Of this very text he used to say, “It is a hard excellent and comely. If there were ten thousaying: who can bear it?' Another thing that sand other ways of pardon, I would pass them kept him in misery was this, I could not find all by, and flee to him. He is altogether lovely, out what faith was, or what it was to believe, This I trust is saving faith, which is the gift of and come to Christ. I read the calls of Christ God. to the weary and heavy laden, but could find no way that he directed them to come in. This is * Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound !)
That saved a wretch like me : a difficulty which almost every inquiring sinner
I once was lost, but now am found; feels. It is probable that Satan often uses it as
Was blind, but now I see.
is all of grace.