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pleases God to withdraw his comfortable presence | fallen upon him. The thunder clouds have spent from the soul, chiefly to humble us in the dust, their lightnings on his head. The vials of God's to discover some unmortified corruption, or to anger have emptied their last drops upon him. lead us to hunger more vehemently after him. He is now justified from all the sins that were Such was David's state when he said in his laid upon him. He will bear the scars to all heart, 'I shall now perish one day by the hand eternity, Rev. v. 6; but not another drop of agony of Saul'1 Sa. xxvii. 1. And again, when he wrote shall ever fall upon his soul. When he comes a the 42nd psalm. Such was the feeling of Job second time it is without sin,' Heb. ix. 28. Have when he said, the arrows of the Almighty are you the Son? Do you believe the record that within me;' and again, ‘Oh that it were with me God has given concerning his Son? as in months past, as in the days when God pre- with purpose of heart cleave to the Lord Jesus? served me; when his candle shined upon my head, then you share with him in his justification. and when by his light I walked through darkness,' You suffered in his suffering, you obeyed in his Job xxix. 2, 3. In such an hour as this, when obedience, you died in his death. You are as the feeling of distance from God is almost insup- much justitied as Christ is. You have as little portable, ah! how cheering, how full of nourish- to do with the guilt of your past sins as Christ ment, what a heavenly cordial may this word in has. There is as little guilt lying upon you as the hand of the Spirit be: “God is faithful, by upon God s dear Son. The vials of wrath have whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his not another drop for Christ, and not another drop Son Jesus Christ our Lord.'
for you. By Jesus all that believe are justified I. Believers are called to share with Christ. from all things,' Acts xiii. 39. To have fellowship with another, is to have 2. We share with the Son in his Father's love. things in common with him. Thus in Acts iv. 32, When Jesus was about to leave this world, he it is said of the first Christians, that they were said to his disciples, “I leave the world and go to of one heart and of one soul, neither said any the Father. When he died he cried, • Father, that ought of the things which he possessed were into thy hands I commend my spirit. When he his own, but they had all things in common.' entered into heaven, and passed up the opening They had all their goods in common, they shared ranks of the adoring angels, the Father said, “Thou all they had with one another. This is what John art my Son, this day have I begotten thee;' as if desired to see amongst Christians in spiritual he had said, Never till this time did I see thee so things, “That which we have seen and heard worthy to be called my Son. Ah! it was a blessed declare we unto you, that ye also may have exchange when he left the frowns and curses of the fellowship with us,'1 John i. 3. The same expres- world for the embrace of his Father's arms; when sion is used here, · Ye are called unto the fellow- he came from under the outpoured wrath of God ship of his Son. How strange, that a creature of into his full eternal love and smile; when he left the sin and shame should be called to share with crown of thorns for the crown of glory. Such God's dear Son. Yet so it is; he shared our flesh is the change of every poor sinner in the moand blood with us, that we might share his ment that he is persuaded and enabled to embrace throne with him.
Christ. Dost thou believe with all thine heart 1. We share with the Son in his justification. that Jesus is the Son of God? Can you say you Once Jesus was unjustified. Once there were have fled for refuge to Christ? Then you
share millions of sins laid to his charge. Men, devils, with Christ in his Father's love. Christ
I nay, even his holy Father, hurled their fierce ascend unto my Fathe und your Father, and to my accusations at him. He stood silent. He could God and your God,' John xx.17. God is as much not answer a word. Although he did no sin, your Father as he is Christ s Father. Your God neither was guile found in his mouth; yet he had as Christ's God. The Father loves you agreed to bear the sins of many, and therefore, he same full, unchanging, soul-satisfying love, with was dumb under every accusation. It was which he loves Jesus, (see that never to be forexacted, and he was made answerable.' This gotten prayer, John xvii. 26.) Oh! what a blessed was his chief agony in the garden, and on the change for an heir of hell to become an heir of cross, that at the bar of God he was unjustified; God, and a joint heir with Christ,' John viïi. 17. · He was numbered with the transgressors.' His For one who deserved, and still deserves, to share only comfort was, “ He is near that justifieth me, with the devil and his angels, to share with Christ Isa. 1. 8. He knew that his trial would be short that sits at the right hand of God. Oh! to inand that he would overcome. The hour of dark- herit God, to have a son's interest in God! ness is now past. The wrath of God has all ) Eternity alone can reveal the full meaning of that word, 'Heir of God, and joint heir with
• Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy faithful, by whom ye are called unto the fellow- calling, not according to our works, but accordship of his Son.' When a soul is in affliction,
ing to his own purpose and grace, which was temptation, or desertion, his cry is, The Lord
given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,' hath forsaken me, and my God hath forgotten
2 Tim. i. 9. me.' Sometimes this feeling approaches to actual There are two ways in which men are called to despair. Here is a rock for the soul to lean upon, believe the gospel. There is an outward and an Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for inward calling, an earthly and a heavenly callever,' and God is faithful' who called us to share ing. All believers are “partakers of the heavenly with Christ. Hearken to the voice of the great calling,' Heb. iii. 1. shepherd, My sheep hear my voice, and they
The outward call comes to all who hear the follow
me, and I give unto them eternal life, and gospel sound: “Many are called, but few chosen.' · they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck Every time the church bell rings it is a call. It them out of my hand. My Father which gave says, "Come away sinner, thy sabbaths are numthem me is greater than all, and none is able to bered. Eternity is at hand. God's people are pluck them out of my Father's hand. Satan hastening to the house of God, God's stewards desires to have you. The world are laying snares
are dealing out the bread of life. Sinner do not for you. Your own wicked heart would some-stay behind ; Jesus is ringing for thee, inviting times be for leaving the hand that has saved you. thee, wooing thee. If thou wouldst but listen, But none is able to pluck you out of the Father's it would sound as joyfully as a marriage bell.' hand.' Hearken to the Father's own word, Ah! there are multitudes in Scotland who hear “Thou art my servant, I have chosen thee and
no more of the gospel than the bell, and that not cast thee away,' Isa. xli. 9. The soul united will be enough to condemn them in the to Jesus is not like the grass, but like the palm great day. The open church door is a call
. It tree. Even in old age he shall bear fruit, he shall
seems to say, “Strive to enter in at the strait be full of sap and flourishing. "To show that the
gate, for many shall seek to enter in and shall Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no un
not be able.' •Go ye to them that sell, and buy righteousness in him.' Psal. xcii. 15. At the very for yourselves,' lest the bridegroom come and the time when Zion was saying, "My God hath for
door be shut. gotten me,' God had her walls engraven on his hands, Isa. xlix.16. Look still to Jesus, oh! deserted
Come in, come in,
Eternal glory thou wilt win.' soul. The love of God shines unchangeably on him. Abide in him and you will abide in the The lighted windows of the church at evening Father's love. Your afflictions may only prove are a solemn call. They cry in
Jesus that you are more immediately under the Father's is the light of the world. Yet a little while is hand. There is no time that the patient is such the light with you. Walk while ye have the an object of tender interest to the surgeon, as when light, lest darkness come upon you. Jesus hath he is bleeding beneath his knife. So you may be lighted a candle, and is sweeping the house, and sure if you are suffering from the hand of a re- seeking diligently to find lost pieces of silver. conciled God, that his eye is all the more bent on The village spire that points the way to heaven,' you. “The eternal God is thy refuge, and under- is a silent call. It says, Look up stedfastly into neath are the everlasting arms.'
heaven, and see the glory of God and Jesus stand
ing on the right hand of God. "Seek those things • If ever it should come to pass
which are above. Set your affections on things That sheep of Christ might fall away ; My fickle, feeble soul, alas !
above, not on things on the earth. The voice of Would fall a thousand times a day.
the preacher is a call. It says, “Repent and Were not thy love as firm as free,
believe the gospel, for the kingdom of heaven is Thou soon would'st take it Lord from me.
at hand.' •We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech by us, we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled unto God. Every tract given in at your door is a divine call. It says, 'I have a message from God unto thee.' • Behold I stand at the door and knock.' Every leaf of your Bible is a call. It says, Search the
scriptures. I am able to make thee wise unto Bless God, you who have been “saved and salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. called with an holy calling,' for it is not accordI am given by inspiration of God, and am profit-ing to your works, but according to his purpose . able for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus instruction in righteousness. The death of every before the world began. Every saved soul can unconverted friend is a loud call. It says, 'Except say, 'He hath not dealt with me after my sins, ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.' 'It is nor rewarded me according to mine iniquities. He appointed unto all men once to die, and after death has called me out of darkness into marvellous light, the judgment.' •Prepare to meet thy God.' It from under wrath and curse to pardon and peace may truly be said of every sinner that shall read with God, from death unto life. How many he these words, that you are now called, warned, has passed by that were no worse than me. But invited to flee from the wrath to come, and to he has been willing to make known the riches of lay hold on Christ set before you. If you have his glory on me, a vessel of mercy which he had not got enough to save you, you have enough to afore prepared unto glory. How sure my
sinful soul is of glory. He calls from heaven, But all who are in Christ have received the and calls to heaven. “Whom he did predestinate, inward call. All, who like Timothy, have them he also called, and whom he called, them
unfeigned faith,' and have received the Spirit he also justified, and whom he justified, them he of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,' have also glorified.' •Bless the Lord, O my soul.? been saved and called with a holy calling! Now I may sing with Toplady, This is the work of the Holy Spirit; and there
• Sweet to look back, and see my name fore it is called a holy calling. It is the call of the
In life's fair book set down, unseen Almighty Spirit who sweetly inclines the
Sweet to look forward and behold will, and melts the heart of the sinner. It is
Eternal joys my own.' therefore a saving call. When Jesus said to Matthew, 'follow me,' the Spirit breathed upon his heart, and made him willing: “He arose and followed Jesus. When Paul preached to the
NINETEENTU Day.—EVENING. Thessalonians, he gave the outward call. Had
• But we are bound to give thanks alway to God Paul stood alone, they would have remained as hard as the rocks that dash back the waves of
for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, because the Ægean sea. But the Spirit breathed upon
God hath from the beginning chosen you to saltheir hearts, and so the gospel came not unto
ration, through sanctification of the Spirit, and them in word only, but in power, and in the
belief of the truth, 2 Thess. ii. 13. Holy Ghost, and in much assurance, 1 Thess. i. When travelling through popish countries, 5. When Paul preached at Philippi by the where the people bow down to images of wood river's side, many a Grecian matron had the out- and stone, and where God's word is forbidden, ward call. His words fell pleasantly upon their the mind of a believer turns to the fearful words
Still all remained unmoved but one; one in the preceding verses with a feeling of unutterheart was opened, a foreigner whose dark eye able sadness; and, again, when the mind wanders told that she came from the sunny plains of Asia. from these desolate regions to the little flock of • The Lord opened the heart of Lydia,' Acts xvi. dear believers in happy Scotland, it realizes some14.
thing of the joyful feeling with which Paul wrote O sinner! do not think that your reading or these words—But we are bound to give thanks hearing the gospel will of itself save your soul. alway to God for you, brethren, beloved of the Do not think that because you have a Bible, a Lord,' ver. 13. minister, and a place in the house of God, that I. We are here taught that God is sovereign in you are therefore on the way to heaven. Re- choosing the souls that are saved. member God must save you, and call you with 1. He is sovereign in choosing men, and not an holy calling. If you are not quickened rebel angels. We read in the bible of two grand from above, your outward calls will only be the apostacies from God. The first took place in savour of death unto death to your soul. It will heaven. Lucifer, son of the morning, one of the be one of the chief miseries of hell to remember brightest cherubs that stood round the throne, the texts and sermons that you heard on earth, rebelled through pride along with myriads of the when you would not come to Christ and have holy angels. They kept not their first estate, but life.
left their own habitation.' "God spared them not,
but cast them down to hell, and delivered them he hath compassion upon whom he will have into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judg- compassion.' ment,' 2 Pet. ii. 4. The next rebellion was in 3. He is sovereign in choosing the most unlikely paradise. Man believed Satan rather than God, persons to be saved. You would have expected and ate of the forbidden fruit. By one man's that most of the rich would have been saved. disobedience many were made sinners. Both They have most time to study divine things; they of these families sinned against the same God, are not harassed by the fears of poverty; they broke the same holy law, fell under the same can procure all advantages. And yet hear the curse, and were condemned to the same fire. word of God: “Hath not God chosen the poor Now it pleased God, in infinite compassion, to of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingprovide a way of pardon for some of these lost dom,' James ïi. 5. Again, you would have creatures. He determined to save some to the thought God would have chosen the wise and praise of the glory of his grace.' But whom learned, to be saved. The gospel is a subject of shall be save—men or rebel angels? Perhaps the deep wisdom. The Bible is written in ancient unfallen hosts of heaven pleaded that their once languages, hard to be acquired. And educated brother angels should be taken, and men left. men are generally free from prejudices, to which They might have said that the angelic nature was the common people are subject. And yet hear higher and nobler, that man was a worm. o the word of our Lord: 'I thank thee, O Father, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid knowledge of God!' He spared not the angels. these things from the wise and prudent, and hast He passed by the gate of hell. He raised no revealed them unto babes: Even so, Father, for cross of Calvary there. “He took not on him so it seemed good in thy sight.' You would have the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed thought that surely God will save the most virof Abraham,' Heb. ii. 16.
tuous people of the world. He is a God of purity, 2. He is sovereign in choosing the countries who loves what is holy; and though none are that have the light of the gospel. All nations are righteous, no, not one, yet some are much less equally lost, and vile in the sight of God. He stained with sin than others. Surely he will take hath made of one blood all nations of men for to these. What says the Lord Jesus to the Pharidwell on all the face of the earth' And yet how sees? “The publicans and barlots do enter into differently has he dealt with different peoples. heaven before you.' The blameless
ruler Why did God choose Israel to be a peculiar trea- is left to go away sorrowful, whilst the king of sure to himself, and to have the oracles of God glory enters in at the pearly gate of the New committed to them? Was it because they were Jerusalem with a thief washed in his blood by more righteous than others. No; that is expressly his side. denied: Understand, therefore, that the Lord If my soul is saved, am I not bound to give thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess thanks ? If ministers are bound to thank God it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiff-necked for the free salvation of their people, how much people,' Deut. ix. 6. Neither was it on account more are we bound to praise him ourselves for of their greatness: “The Lord did not set his saving us. I am no better than a rebel angel. love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were Devils never rejected Christ as I have done, and more in number than any people; (for, ye were yet he passed them by and saved me.
I am no the fewest of all people ;) but because he loved better than a Chinese or a Hindoo, and yet grace you,' Deut. vii. 7. Again, why has China, with has passed millions of them, and come to me. I its teeming millions, been walled around for cen- was no better than the sinners round me, perhaps turies, and left to the darkness of its vain idols? worse than most, and yet I trust I can say, “Thou Why has India been left under the cruel chains hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell! Glory of Hindooism? Why has Africa been given over to God the Father, that he chose me before the to witchcraft and superstition? Why has the world was. Glory to Jesus, that he passed by fair face of Europe been almost given over to the millions and died for me. Glory to the Holy delusions of the man of sin; and why has our Spirit, that he came out of free love and awakened own bleak island been chosen to be so long the me. brightest repository of the truth in all the world? II. We are here taught that God chooses the Are we better than they? No, in no wise. There means as well as the end. “He hath chosen us are sins committed among us that would make unto salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, the heathen blush. “His way is in the sea.' 'He and belief of the truth. The first step that God hath mercy on whom he will have mercy; and chooses his people to come to, is belief of the
truth. God does not choose men to leap from We were dead in sins.' The apostle classes their sins into glory. But he sends the free Spirit himself with the Ephesian believers in the humto anoint their eyes, to melt their hearts, to per- bling confession. The most living and burning suade and enable them to embrace Christ freely saint, who now tunes his harp before the throne offered in the gospel. A simple heart-felt belief of the Lamb, was once a dead soul. This is the of the truth, is the first mark that we have been true condition of all unconverted men at this chosen to salvation. * All that the Father giveth moment; they are dead in sins.
Even our me, shall come to me.' Have I come to Jesus? highly-favoured country is like the valley which Then I know that I am one of those whom the Ezekiel saw full of bones: “And he caused me Father
to him before the world was. Do to pass by them round about ; and, behold, there I really believe the truth as it is in Jesus? Then were very many in the open valley, and, lo, they God has chosen me to salvation. The second were very dry, Ezek. xxxvii. 2. The understep that God chooses his people to come to, is standing of a natural man is dead : “He is wise “sanctification of the Spirit.' It is written, “After to do evil, but to do good he has no knowledge,' that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Jer. iv. 22. “There is none that understandeth, Spirit of promise,' Eph. i. 13. The moment the there is none that seeketh after God,' Rom. iii. soul cleaves to the Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit | 11. T!:e mind is often clear and penetrating on takes up his abode in that bosom; he abides there earthly things, but it is dark and dead in heavenly for ever. He changes the cage of unclean birds into things. The heart is dead. True, it is alive a temple for Jehovah's praise. He makes the soul toward worldly friends, and worldly objects. In all glorious within. He destroys the dominion pursuit of their lusts they have made ready of sin; he fills, quickens, renews the whole inner their heart like an oven, while they lie in wait.'
Have I received the Holy Ghost? Has But set the loveliest of all beings before them, that heavenly seal been applied to my heart, the precious corner-stone, the desire of all nations, impressing upon me the features and the mind of the pearl of great price; and their heart is not Jesus? Have I the sanctification of the Spirit ? affected, it melts not, it moves not, it loves not; Then I have the clear evidence that my calling it is dead. The conscience is dead. They feel and election are sure. I can look back to my wrongs done against themselves or against their election before the world was; and forward to my neighbours, but they do not feel wrongs done salvation when the world shall be passed away. against God, or against Christ, or against the How foolish is the presumption of those who say, Holy Spirit : “ Unto them that are defiled and 'If I am not elected, I cannot be saved, whatever unbelieving is nothing pure ; but even their mind I do; and if I am elect, I shall be saved in and conscience is defiled,' Tit. i. 15. In some whatever way I live. The simple answer is this, the death of the conscience is total, so that they Whether you are elect or not, you cannot be saved are past feeling, “having their conscience seared without believing the truth, and being sanctified as with a hot iron.' How many swearers can by the Spirit. What is written in the Lamb's pour out their oaths, without once imagining that book of life, I do not know; but what is written they are striking at the throne of God. How in the holy Bible, I do know, that he that many can put away the gospel message, without believeth shall be saved; he that believeth not feeling that they are making God a liar. How shall be damned.' And without holiness, no many can come unconverted to the Lord's table, man can see the Lord.'
without once thinking that they are crucifying "To God's holy child, so strong to redeem,
Christ afresh, and putting him to an open
shame. By us, who through grace his likeness do bear,
In such cases their consciences are seared as with Be glory for ever, while rooted in him, A people of prudence and peace we appear.'
a hot iron.
Turn we now to consider the blessed change that has been wrought in the heart of every
believer: "He hath quickened us together with TWENTIETH DAY.—MORNING.
Christ. It was a solemn scene when Jesus stood
beside the rocky sepulchre of Lazarus. It was • But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great
a little way from the village of Bethany, love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with and Mary stood weeping, and many Jewish friends
bosomed in its fig and almond trees. Martha Christ; (by grace ye are saved), Eph. ii. 4, 5. beside them. They had rolled away the stone What a fearful discovery do these words give of from the mouth of the cave, and as the Saviour what was once the condition of all true believers? I looked into the dark silent tomb he cried,