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As he realizes the sufferings of Christ in his, which evil cannot but languish, and holiness stead, he cannot but conclude that the sin which strengthen;—this is “newness of life! required such a costly sacrifice to expiate it, is a The believer's union with Christ is thus not thing essentially and utterly abominable; while only the source of his sanctification, but a stimuthe view which is presented of the Saviour's dis- lant to it. And what his union thus enables interested love, cannot but send the lesson home and induces him to aim at, his public profession with constraining power to his heart. The as a Christian pledges him to pursue. He has thought that a divine 'Redeemer pitied and loved been baptized into the death of Christ,—nay, him so tenderly as to submit to bleed and die 'buried with Christ in baptism ;' and in the act for his deliverance, is even more touching than of emerging from the mystical waters into the the thought that sin is such an evil that no open air of heaven, he has virtually declared inferior sacrifice could have atoned for it; and that he is washed from the guilt and pollution of while he looks, therefore, at the cross, his own sin, that he may henceforward walk in the beauty beart must be pierced with contrition—his own of holiness. Baptism, indeed, is only a sign of soal melted to penitence, the love of sin killed, and the communicated purity of the Christian; nor the resolution spontaneously formed to turn from is the language of the apostle to be regarded as | all iniquity. O, there is no fear of the interests expressive of an inseparable connection, far less of holiness suffering from faith in the free pardon an actual identity, between the outward rite and of sin! Clog the justification of a sinner with the spiritual grace. Baptism is called a death qualifying conditions, and men may remain dead unto sin by a common rhetorical figure, in the in sin; for by thus limiting its freeness, you rob same way as the elements in the Lord's supper it of all power to melt and subdue the heart. are denominated the body and blood of Christ. But let its unfettered freeness be seen
0-let sinners Still this sacrament—though only an emblemperceive that they do not require to labour for is a most impressive one; and by partaking of it, pardon, but simply to accept the pardon which the believer necessarily proclaims his death unto a gracious Saviour has already purchased, and sin, and resurrection to holiness. By giving
their souls will be drawn to Christ with a force myself to Christ in a mental act, I do indeed lay of affection sufficient to emancipate them from myself under invincible obligations to walk with the tyranny of evil!
him in newness of life: but by publicly avouch
ing my union with him at baptism, I add the “Talk they of morals, O thou bleeding Lamb, The grand morality is love of Thee!'
solemnity of a vow to the sacredness of an act of
self-surrender. Like the youthful Carthaginian, Nor is a view of his union with Christ as his I swear at the altar of the Lord an eternal and vital head less sanctifying to the believer, than irreconcilable enmity with the devil, the world,
persuasion of union with him as his substitute. and the flesh; and now no compromise may be When he looks to Christ as a risen and reigning entered into, no armistice may be negociated! Saviour, what does he behold but an argument My dismissal from the Church militant to the and encouragement to newness of life? Is not Church triumphant, can alone be allowed to terChrist exalted to give life to his people? Is He minate the contest! ! mot entrusted with the well of life? Is it not dis office to dispense the Spirit—to intercede for
people, and to ensure their sanctification? Is He not , in short, their life, insomuch that it is
THIRTEENTH Day.—EVENING. est so much they that are alive, as Christ that “That they may adorn the doctrine of God our
Can such considerations be Saviour in all things,' Tit. ii. 10. other than most purifying, most consolatory? The leading phrase in this verse—adorn the lo feel that I am one with a Saviour thus exalted doctrine of God'--may sound strange to some and thus occupied,—that I am a member of readers. What, they may ask, is it possible to that mystical body through which the Spirit, "adorn' the doctrine of God?—to embellish, by poured without measure on the Head, freely human comment or human practice, the pure
and ad abundantly circulates,--that indissolubly perfect truths of the gospel—the truths whichi, united to him, I have continual access to his ful- | instead of needing the foreign aid of ornament, ses, and am sure of being ultimately made to are “when unadorned, adorned the most?" To ebare in his glory:-why this is to live in a attempt such a thing—what is it but region far removed above the world of sin and
* To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, death, this is to breathe an atmosphere in
To throw a perfume on the violet.'
Iveth in them?
Yet there is a sense in which it is practicable eyes of the brethren, but the homely and every to 'adorn' the doctrine of God. The design, let day duties which pass
under the eye of the world. it be remembered, of adorning' an object is not Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own so much to add to its intrinsic value or beauty, as masters, and to please them well in all things; to commend it to the admiration of beholders; not answering again, not purloining, but showing and to this it is by no means essential that the all good fidelity, that (thus) they may adorn the thing which recommends, should be superior, or doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.' even equal, to the thing recommended. A fine Nor is it difficult to discover substantial reascholar may obviously reflect credit on his teacher, sons why an apostle should thus single out perand so recommend him to others—though the sons of humble station as the adorners of the attainments of the pupil fall greatly below those gospel, and specify common duties as those on of the preceptor. And in like manner a Christian which its honour is chiefly staked. may shed lustre on the lessons of the gospel- It is to be remembered, in the first place, that bear living witness to its hallowing and gladden- persons of humble station form the great majority ing influence—and thus commend it to the admir- of Christians. Not many wise men after the ation and acceptance of others; even though the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are best illustration he is able to offer, whether by called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of his lips or by his life, come immeasurably short the world to confound the wise, and the weak of its intrinsic excellence and glory.
things of the world to confound the things that In this verse, however, there is more to sur- are mighty; and base things of the world, and prise the reader than the terms in which it is things which are despised, and things which expressed. Who are the persons whom the are not, hath God chosen, to bring to nought apostle expects and requires to 'adorn' or recom- things that are, that no flesh should glory it mend the doctrine of God? Are they persons his presence.'
And would it not, then, bi whose stations or offices invest them with pecu- to rob the great mass of Christians of a nobl liar facilities for influencing their fellow-men? privilege, if only the great and powerful wer Men of rank, who occupy a position in society capable of adorning the doctrine of God—if n whence all may behold their virtues ? Ministers services were fitted to recommend the gospel bu of Christ, whose office furnishes them with con- such as require wealth, and leisure, and hig stant opportunities of expounding the principles, accomplishment to perform them? Blessed b and exemplifying the spirit of the gospel? Mar- God, there is no such exclusiveness in gosp tyrs, who lead the van of the Christian host, and privilege! The peasant has it in his power are necessarily “a spectacle, to men and angels?' less than the peer, to shed around him the savor Not at all! It is of persons of a very different of Christ. Servants! ye are not precluded fro class that the apostle speaks; it is of the mean, reflecting honour on the name of your Redeeme not the mighty of this world; the despised, not Children of the poor! ye are not shut out fro the exalted; the rude and unlettered, not the the high distinction of being fellow-workers wil polished and erudite; it is bondmen and bond- God. Not one man upon the earth, hower women: individuals belonging to the humblest class narrow his sphere or scanty his substance, b of society! Exhort serrants,' says he to Titus, may do something for God—but may have h that they may adorn the doctrine of God our lowly condition exalted, his homely employme Saviour in all things.'
ennobled, by the lustre of a pure and virtuo But the most startling thing still remains. In life! what way are these humble persons to recommend Let it be also remembered, in the second pla the gospel? Is it by services and sacrifices of a that a faithful discharge of common duties te peculiarly sacred kind? Is it by much prayer- more powerfully with the world in favour fulness, by strict sabbath-keeping, by zeal and religion, than any observance of the offices liberality in supporting schemes of Christian use- piety. Worldly men are not surprised to fi fulness? So most readers would have expected! Christians giving themselves to sabbath-keepir Yet how different is the fact! Not a word does and other sacred services; neither do they belie the apostle drop about purely religious duties, that strictness of religious profession requires a indispensable as these doubtless are. He speaks great strength of principle, or affords any securi exclusively of duties of an entirely opposite for honesty and diligence in the ordinary affa class. The Christian's ornaments,' according to of life. How mightily then must it tend to ca this passage, are not the sacred, but the secular vince them, that Christian principle is more th virtues; not the shining services which draw the l a name—is really a thing of power—when th behold its professors discharging, with all good Ought it not to be added, in the last place, fidelity, the various duties of their station and that the example of Christ stamps a peculiar callings! Let a worldly master be made to see value and honour on the duties of common life? that his Christian servant is, of all others, the We do not exhaust the amount of honour which one who most sacredly watches over the interests our Lord put on the station of the lowly, when of his purse and property: or let a worldly par- we recal the fact that, in relinquishing his glory ent be made to perceive that of all his children, for humiliation, he took on him the form of a the one who is most given to his Bible is also the servant. His marvellous condescension in this one who is most dutiful to himself; and how shall respect was followed up by the diligent discharge,
either of them be able to resist the inference, that for thirty years together, of the duties of a hum? Christianity is indeed a thing of high worth and ble sphere. Large as was the portion of time
boly efficacy? To excel in attention to duties of allotted by him to the performance of his sacred a purely sacred kind, may perhaps be the surest function as God's messenger, larger far was that way to recommend ourselves to the admiration of which he devoted to the humble duties devolving our fellow Christians; but the way to advance on him as a son, a brother, a neighbour, a friend, the credit and esteem of our religion in the world, a subject. And why was this, if not to show is to show all good fidelity in the relations of that this class of duties possessed in his eyes a common life—to be firm to our word and faith- very high importance, and was to be supremely ful to our engagements, and to evince in all things binding on his followers? O, if He who is the an inflexible adherence to the law of rectitude Christian's exemplar, deemed it befitting to spend and kindness.
the greater part of his life in fulfilling the obliA faithful discharge of common duties is also, gations and offices belonging to the lowly condiin the third place, the best test of the actual pre- tion in which he was born and reared, how sence and power of religious principle. It is not grievously must they mistake their Christian in the sanctuary, or under the public eye, that vocation, who reckon the duties of their ordinary character is most undisguisedly disclosed. In callings beneath their notice—who disparage them public
, men occupy an open stage, where they are as secular things which afford no scope for the tempted to play a part and exhibit themselves to culture of spiritual-mindedness —or who conclude
the best advantage. It is only when they retire that they sufficiently adorn the doctrine of God Behind the scenes—when they return to the our Saviour, when they merely display a flaming Workshop or mingle in the family, that their zeal for Christian truth, and a high esteem for minds
, as well as their persons, appear in an Christian ordinances! undress. It is comparatively easy to preserve the semblance of piety when surrounded by the podly, or exposed to the excitement of sacred services. In such scenes and employments there FOURTEENTH Day.—MORNING.
a charm which precludes the access of temptation , and enables the hollow professor not only to
Work out your own salvation with fear and inpose on himself, but to pass muster with others
trembling; for it is God which worketh in you 18 a genuine saint. But it is otherwise amid the
both to will and to do of his good pleasure, cares , and crosses, and petty annoyances
Phil. ï. 12, 13. tuon life. Amid the tear and wear of every-day The grand privilege of the Christian dispensation Aracations, a man's temper is put to a severe is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the souls test; nor is it possible that an assumed character of believers. Under the Jewish economy, though can be long preserved, when every hour brings God dwelt with men on the earth, the symbols provocations to fretfulness, facilities for acting of his presence were restricted to a local temple. fraudulently-opportunities of advancing one's During the period, too, of Christ's residence in un interest at the expense of his neighbours. The flesh, the Divine abode was in a visible sanctuapostle James describes the person who offends ary—the temple of Christ's human nature. But mat in word as “a perfect man,' that is, a man when the Redeemer ascended to his kingdom, and
whose characte: has all the completeness which received, as one reward of his mediatorial work prises from the predominance of Christian prin- on earth, the right of dispensing the agency of ciple
: and the same may be said of every one the Holy Ghost, a new and more comprehensive who
, anid the manifold temptations of his daily economy was ushered in. God, instead of any serupation, rises superior to the impulse of evil, longer confining the manifestation of himself to a and durns his religion in all things.
sensible or locai habitation, vouchsafed to mako
the souls of believers his dwelling-place. And to the operations of the antagonist influence? In now the brotherhood of the saints, and not any truth, our incapacity to distinguish the movematerial fabric—the worshippers, and not the ments of the Spirit from the workings of our own walls which enclose them-constitute his temple. minds, is an inevitable result of the method which * Know ye not that believers are the temple of the Divine agent vouchsafes to adopt in sanctifyGod, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in ing us—the method of actuating and guiding our them?'
faculties, rather than overbearing them, or disThe object of the Spirit, in dwelling with his pensing with their co-operation. And this people, is to form, maintain, and perfect the life method of influencing us, instead of lessening, of holiness in their souls. He finds his temple serves mightily to enhance, the honour conferred full of defilement, with strange fire on its altar, on us by the residence of Deity in our souls. It and the tables of the money-changers in its court ; shows that the Eternal Spirit sets a high estimaand his gracious purpose in visiting it, is to purge tion on the constitution and laws of our nature. it of its pollution, and consecrate it anew into the It shows that he will not do violence to our facsanctuary of God, so that the bleating of the ulties—even to save our souls! He will use them sheep, and the lowing of the oxen, and the din as his instruments, but he will not force them of the traffickers, may give place to the holy He will honour them, by employing them as hi ministry of praise, and prayer, and good works ! ministers ; but he will not put on them the dis In effecting this blessed transformation, the Spirit honour of employing them without our own con deals with man as a free agent—not forcing him, currence! or even leaving him to remain an inactive spec- It cannot occasion surprise that the apostl tator, but engaging, stimulating, and directing should adduce this grand privilege of Christiang the exercise of his rational powers. He anoints as a 'persuasive to personal diligence in workin our eyes, that we may understand the things of out our own salvation. Why, the very though Christ; he renews our will, that we may comply of such an august presence within us, must ten with their dictates, and have a taste of their to put the soul in a pious frame! King Solomo sweetness; he quickens our conscience, that we when presiding at the dedication of the templ may nicely discern, and promptly decide, between was so overwhelmed with the thought of Jeht the competing claims of Christ and sin ; he puri- vah deigning to abide between the cherubim, th fies and elevates our affections, that, turning he exclaimed, · But will God in very deed dwe away from the broken cisterns of worldly good, with men on the earth ? behold, heaven ar we may seek and find our happiness in God. In the heaven of heavens cannot contain him ; ho a word, he so takes of the things of Christ and much less this house that I have built !' Can shows them to our souls, as to render them vital, feel less overawed, when we realize the presen influential, operative principles—the very aliment of the Eternal Spirit in these polluted hearts and sustenance of the spiritual life.
That God has come to instead As the Spirit, in sanctifying us, thus "worketh' requiring us to go to him that he is myste by means of our rational powers, and not inde- ously about us and within us, watching us, cou pendently of them, his presence and operations selling us, striving with us; that, go where are indistinguishable from the proper and inde- may, do what we please, we cannot escape fre pendent action of our own minds. The fact of him ; but are either led by his Spirit, or e his indwelling and influence is known in no other grieving and resisting his Spirit !-how sole way, than the omnipresence of Deity in creation nizing, how searching such a consideration! h is known—from faith in the Divine testimony, fitted to rebuke every rising of unholy desi and observation of the effects produced. But is and to hush every pulse of sinful passion! this glorious privilege, on this account, the less however, the thought of the Spirit's co-operati certain, or the less valuable ? Is it necessary rather than of his indwelling, that forms the ch that we should discern the Spirit by any peculi- incentive to holy living. Indeed, a sense of arity of immediate sensation, in order to be per- holy presence would only fill the soul with d suaded that he is with us and within us, and that may, were it unattended with an assurance of he is mingling his operations with our own Almighty help. Happily, this is not our sit government of our will and affections ?'
Who tion! The infinite Spirit abides with us, pretends to be able to discriminate between the merely to show us the plagues of our own hea diabolical suggestions of Satan, and the spontane- but to vouchsafe us his aid in effecting a ous workings of his own corrupt nature ? And And knowing this, how can we ever lack eit why should we expect to be wiser with reference the inducement or the ability to cleanse o
selves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, per- endanger my spirituality of mind, let me abhor fecting holiness in the fear of the Lord ?' True, and resist them as a sacrilegious profanation of we are weak, and the work given us to do is the sanctuary! And whensoever, on the contrary, arduous; but can we doubt of accomplishing it, I am favoured with an experience of pious emowhen He is with us to lend his co-operation—the tions—of peculiar tenderness of conscience—of Almighty power! Though he is free and sove- ardent love for Christ—of burning indignation reign, are we not authorized to expect the helps against myself for my unworthiness of his love; of his grace, whensoever we realize and feel our let me detain and sanctify the solemn impresdependence on his agency; and, therefore, to enter sions-regarding them as that fine climate of the upon every incumbent duty, however difficult, soul, where the work of the spiritual husbandry with the heaven-taught resolution, ‘I will go in may be most effectually advanced—as auspicious the strength of the Lord God!' The host of gales of Divine influence, to which I should Ianel, though but a handful compared with the spread every sail, that I may be smoothly wafted armies of the aliens, never hesitated to join battle, onward to Immanuel's land ! when they knew that the ark of the Lord was among
them :—and need we shrink from encountering our spiritual foes—even though their name be legion '—when He who dwelt above the ark FOURTEENTH DAY.-EVENING. by a visible symbol, dwells in us by his Spirit? Why refuse to stretch forth the withered hand, 'Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is When He commands, who issues healing virtue
truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for ith the command? Why decline to work out
them also which shall believe on me through own salvation, when it is God that worketh
their word; that they all may be one ; as thou, its both to will and to do of his good plea
Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also
may be one in us: that the world may beliere Nor is the persuasion of this glorious and pre
that thou hast sent me,' John xvii. 17, 20, 21. ut help a stronger incentive to diligent, than it While the Holy Ghost who proceedeth from to anxious effort, in fulfilling our mission as the Father and the Son,' is the great agent in haristians
. While it persuades us to “work out our regenerating and sanctifying the soul, it is imporsalvation,' it equally persuades us to work it tant to remember, that in accomplishing the gra
with ' fear and trembling. The expression cious work he employs the intermediate instrufar and trembling,' may possibly refer to the mentality of the word. His method is to take
to which believers are exposed, of forfeiting the things of Christ as exhibited in the gospel, losing the aid of their mysterious visitant, by and show them to the soul. He enlightens us, easibility to their privilege, or misimprove- but it is by means of the truth contained in the
of it. It is a fearful consideration, that the word. He persuades us, but it is by means of bine
agent is susceptible of offence; and that, the arguments and motives revealed in the word. will not work in us against our will, so he He instructs, commands, promises, threatens, be constrained, by our neglect or perversity, importunes, stimulates, and actuates, but only suspend his gracious offices, or even wholly through the moral suasion and native influence of zhandon us. When the threatened destruc- the truth. Accordingly, while our Lord recogof the Jewish temple drew nigh, there was nises the necessity of divine influence, by praying asd from its recesses a mysterious sound, as of in behalf of his disciples that the Father would mahing army, and a voice saying, “ Let us de- sanctify them, he equally declares the necessity bence! A similar departure of its occupant of the intermediate instrumentality, by adding,
| be expected, when the temple of the Holy Sanctify them through thy truth—thy word, s is defiled; when impure thoughts are which is truth.' alged; when duty is neglected ; when luke- Nor is the word-and especially that part of muntess takes the place of zeal ; and worldli- it which by way of distinction is called the truth
ef piety. Surely such a consideration may -the truth respecting the person and work of fill os with fear and trembling,' and self- Christ, unadapted to this important office. estay. Tremble, O my soul ! lest thou shouldst the contrary, it is admirably suited as a moral multe thyself in such an awful calamity! Help means to purify the soul and ameliorate the 3:0 15 God, to woo the Spirit to stay, instead character, being indeed framed and fitted by tempting him to depart! Whensoever carnal infinite wisdom for this very end. “All Scrip
worldly desires creep over my soul, so as to ture being given by inspiration of God, is profit