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radiate darkness and death. Every disciple of | It overcomes the world,—because it becomes to Jesus is a light of the world, whose privilege and him “the evidence of things not seen, and the subwhose duty it is so to let that light shine before stance of things hoped for,' and thus elevates his men, that they seeing his good works, may glorify desires and thoughts to the things which are the Father who is in heaven. If, therefore, above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of instead of showing forth, out of a good conversa- God. It is vain therefore for any one to pretend tion, the praises of him · who hath called him to to be a disciple of Jesus, whose character and conglory and to virtue,' he be found in no wise duct, like a withered branch, are wholly destitute differing from other men, walking according to of the graces of the Spirit. The test is sure and the course of this world, living in divers lusts and unfailing, ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsopassions, he is doing what in him lies to bring ever I command you. And to those, on the discredit and reproach on the name and the work other hand, who pay no respect to, and feel no of Christ. Had he never pretended to name reverence for his authority, he addresses this indigthe name of Jesus,'—had he been an idolator, an nant remonstrance, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, infidel, or an atheist, his unholy life would have and do not the things which I say ? Luke vi. 46. been nothing but the natural and appropriate And that the former class of men may be encourillustration of human depravity. But such a life, aged and comforted, and the latter warned and associated with a Christian profession, is a con- alarmed, he hath put on record in his own word stant calumny against the Son of God,—as well this significant assurance, Whosoever cometh to as a gross indignity to the Father who sanctified me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I and sent him into the world. It is a libel upon will show you to whom he is like. He is like a the whole scheme of redemption, which is thus man which built an house, and digged deep, and made to appear as if it had been devised and laid the foundation on a rock; and when the wrought out in vain.
flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that • Herein therefore,' said Christ, “is my Father house, and could not shake it: for it was founded glorified, that ye bear much fruit. The Father on a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is glorified, in and by the godliness of believers, is like a man, that without a foundation, built an because thereby his wisdom in the great work of house upon the earth; against which the stream salvation is conspicuously vindicated, his faithful- did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and ness proclaimed, the perfection of his moral gov- the ruin of that house was great, Lukevi. 47–49. ernment displayed and confirmed.
And what an elevating motive does this consideration present to all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity,' to perfect holiness in the fear TWENTY-Sixth Day.-EVENING. of the Lord. To fail in or forget this, is so far to Add to your faith, virtue ; and to virtue, knoirfrustrate the great end for which their Saviour suffered and died. Even if ultimately, through
ledge ; and to knowledge, temperance; and to the abundant mercy and long-suffering of God,
temperance, patience; and to patience, gallithey should be received into the kingdom of hea
ness; and to godliness, brotherly-kindness; and ven, they are now at least helping to rob the Son
to brotherly-kindness, charity,' 2 Pet. i. 5—7. of his reward, and to disappoint the Father of Faith is the vital principle by which the soul of
Whereas by growing in grace and in man, naturally dead in trespasses and sins, is made the knowledge of Jesus Christ,--and being 'filled and kept alive. The instant the sinner is taught with the fruits of righteousness,' their whole life and enabled by the word and Spirit of God to becomes a continual service to the praise and believe in Christ, to look unto and confide in hini glory of God
as the Lord his righteousness, he is quickened “So,' added Jesus, "shall ye be my disciples.' into spiritual life—he is joined unto Christ and He is not truly a disciple who brings forth no is made a partaker of the divine nature. But fruit unto God. "Faith, if it hath not works, is though the renewal of his soul is thenceforth dead, being alone,' Jam. ii. 17,—it is a pretence, begun, ordinarily it is no more than begun, and a mockery, a delusion. The faith which is the it is only by travelling daily between his own gift of God,'—which unites the soul to Christ,— emptiness and the fulness treasured up in Christ is necessarily productive, according to its strength, that he at length attains unto the measure of the of personal holiness. It works by love,-con- stature of a perfect man. straining the believer to live not unto himself, but This is a great truth, which Christians are unto Christ who died for him and who rose again. prone to forget
. When they have been awak
ened out of their original unconcern about divine | be either honoured or advanced. He requires things, and have once fled for refuge to the hope his followers to be not only harmless as doves,' set before them in the gospel, they are too ready pure and upright in their intentions and desires, to relapse,—not indeed into their former dead- but wise as serpents, having their whole conness, for while the incorruptible seed of the word duct under the direction of a sound understandremains in them, that is made impossible,—but ing, informed and guided by the word and will into much of their former indifference - they of God. And to knowledge, languish as it were between life and death,—at 3. Temperance. This is a word full of meanintervals making some feeble movement towards ing. It is not to be taken in the limited sense in God, and again suffering themselves to be over- which, in common language, it is often used, as if borne by sloth and self-indulgence.
it were intended to refer to abstinence from It is to guard us against this sin and danger excess of one particular kind. The temperance we are here reminded, that the process and the here spoken of, is a far more comprehensive term. agency by which the soul is 'renewed after the It is self-restraint' in general; the subjection of image of him that created' us, are of a kind to all the appetites and passions, the feelings and give full scope and exercise to all the capacities impulses of our nature, to the government of of our nature,—to call forth and cultivate the Christian principle. To this temperance, this understanding, the conscience, and the whole constant exercise of self-command and self-denial, heart and mind of man, that our own energies must be added, and responsibilities are all brought into play. 4. Patience. Christians have need of patience.' That, in a word, 'God so worketh in us both to Anticipating and forewarning his disciples of the will and to do,' in carrying forward the sanctifi- trials that awaited them, this was the Saviour's cation of the soul, as that we ourselves are both exhortation, 'In your patience possess ye your enabled and required to work out our own sal souls.' And so necessary and so valuable is this vation with fear and trembling.' We are not to grace, that we are exhorted to regard those events rest contented with the first and fundamental step which serve to cherish and strengthen it, howof the soul's conversion. “Besides this, giving all ever painful in themselves, as being truly blessdiligence,' we must add to our faith virtue; and ings. My brethren, count it all joy when ye to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, tem- fall into divers temptations, knowing this, that perance; and to temperance, patience; and to the trial of your faith worketh patience. But patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly- let patience have her perfect work, that ye may kindness; and to brotherly-kindness, charity.' It is be perfect and entire, wanting nothing,' Jam. i. thus we are to make our “calling and election sure.' 2–4. But this patience must be exercised in
1. In this series of graces to be cultivated and suffering, not for evil-doing, but for well-doing. exercised by the people of God, next to the faith Christians must add to patience, which is their root and spring, the first place is 5. Godliness. The Christian "must sanctify assigned to virtue. * Add to your faith, virtue.' the Lord God in his heart, so that however The proper meaning of the word so translated is ready the world may be to speak evil of him, courage or fortitude. “If any man,' said Jesus, as of an evil-doer, they may be ashamed of their * will come after me, let him deny himself, and false accusations when they behold his good take up his cross daily, and follow me,' Mat. xvi. conversation in Christ. It is this “ good con24. To confess Christ before men; to hold fast science towards God,'—this purity of heart,the profession of faith in him without wavering; this genuine desire to do all things' to the divine to cleave to him through good report and bad glory, which constitute the true disciple of him who report, is a service in which the timid and cow- hath commanded his followers to be holy, as he ardly are sure to fail. This courage, however, also is holy. Finally, to godliness must be added, which the Christian is to add to his faith, is not 6. Brotherly-kindness. · And to brotherlythe reckless daring that would rush into conflict kindness, charity;' twin graces-separate maniwith needless difficulties. The courage of the festations of one and the same spirit,—that is, Christian must be regulated by an enlightened love to man, founded on and flowing from the mind: he must add to virtue,
love of God. Christ's “new commandment' was 2. Knowledge.
“I bear them record,' said that his disciples should love one another. It is Paul, speaking of the Jews, that they have a one of the special marks of the Christian that he zeal of God, but not according to knowledge,' ' loves the brotherhood ;' loves them with a pecu
It is not by any such blind and in- liar affection as being fellow-members of Christ, discriminate ardour that the cause of Christ is to and reflecting in their regenerated souls the out
Rom. x. 2.
lines of his blessed image. But the Christian's | not given to all Christians in the same degree; love must not be limited to the household of but if it be withheld from any it is because they faith. It must be a love large as humanity—and do not, according to Paul's exhortation in the prompting him to do good unto all men. For Epistle to the Hebrews, show diligence to this love is the fulfilling of the law—it is the very obtain the full assurance of hope to the end.' It principle and essence of all true obedience to the is because they are slothful,—not following them commandments of God.
who through faith and patience are now inheriting the promises. When God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater,
he sware by himself, saying Surely blessing I TWENTY-SEVENTH DAY.-MORNING. will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply
thee.' And so after he had patiently endured, he * And every man that hath this hope in him puri- obtained the promise
. Now as Christians are all fieth himself
, even as he is pure,' 1 Johın iii. 3. the heirs of the same promise, God did show not Nothing, alas! is more common than for man to only to Abraham, but to us, the immutability of deceive himself with hopes which the word of His counsel, by thus confirming it with an oath. God gives him no warrant to indulge. “The And this he did, just that all in every age hope of the righteous shall be gladness, but the might have a strong consolation, who have fled hope of the hypocrite shall perish.' 'I will hope for refuge to lay hold upon the hope of the goscontinually,' said David of old, but it was pel. And therefore it is the fault, not of God, because God had been the teacher whose in- but of our own weak and wavering faith, if we structions he had followed from his youth, whose have not this hope as an anchor of the soul, sure wondrous works he had hitherto declared, and on and steadfast, entering into that within the vail, whose faithfulness he could therefore with un- whither the Forerunner is for us entered, even wavering confidence rely. No man can truly Jesus. abound in hope, save through the power of the · Every man that hath this hope in him puriHoly Ghost, giving him peace and joy in believ- fieth himself, even as he is pure. This is the ing on the name of Jesus. And how inestimably legitimate, the necessary effect of a well-founded precious is this blessed hope! So deeply does it hope of being for ever with the Lord. It impels enter into the comfort of the Christian life, and every soul which it animates to grow in grace, so powerfully does it contribute to make the and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. believer steadfast in the faith, that we are said, Think of the mighty and incessant influence in the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the Ro- which is exerted over men of all professions, and mans, “to be saved by hope.'
of every condition in life, by the hope of reaching It is indeed comparatively but little of the what they have been accustomed to regard as a actual enjoyment of eternal life, which in this position of independence. How steadily, for exbody of sin and death,—in this vale of tears,—is ample, the man of business, who is bent on the obtained. Some glimpses of the divine glory the acquisition of a fortune, keeps his eye on that believer, it is true, is privileged to behold, though cherished end. How many journeys will be but darkly as in a glass; and though he knows take,—how many minds will be labour to connot as yet what he shall be, this much he is ciliate,-how much calculation and foresight will assured of, that in the day of his Lord's coming, be employ. For years he will deny himself every he shall be like him, because he shall see him as relaxation, every common indulgence of life,– he is. And it is the hope of so glorious a con- toiling more painfully than does the daily labourer, summation, of so bright and enduring a reward, and all to lay up stores he may never live to enjoy: that cheers him on amid the perils and perplexi- If, then, the prospect of those uncertain and ties of his pilgrimage. There can be no doubt unsatisfying rewards which this world can bestow, that a hope of a similar kind mightily upheld the bave power to stimulate their votaries to toils human soul of our Lord himself. When his and sacrifices like these,-shall the Christian disciples returned and told him, that even the alone, with all his bright and animating anticipa devils were subject unto them through his name, tions, remain cold and unmoved? Shall the jovs beholding in this fact the earnest of his final tri- of a blessed immortality call forth no effort-shall umph he saw already, as it were, “ Satan fall like the crown of life, seen shining in the distance lightning from heaven,' and in that hour "he with a lustre which even eternity shall never rejoiced in spirit.
dim,-impart no thrilling impulse to the energies It is true, this animating and elevating hope is of his mind?
All experience proclaims that the objects on manity is engaged in this sublunary sphere. For which the men of this world fix their regards, such a state of existence it is required by the very even when attained, have infinitely less power to nature of things that preparation be made. For please and satisfy than they vainly believed. what would be the condition of an unregenerate
But how different, how opposite are the blessed soul, if when loosed from the miserable body its and eternal rewards which await the children of excesses had perhaps destroyed, it were transGod? As much as imagination magnifies and ported into the regions of heaven, and made the exaggerates, in anticipation, the worth of the companion of beings radiant with celestial purity world's possessions,—so much, yea infinitely and holiness? The sinner would there turn in more, does it fail in rising to an adequate con- vain to look for any of those sources from which, ception of the treasure which never fails. "Eye on earth, he had derived his guilty pleasure. hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered The pure occupations of the just made perfect into the heart of man, the things which God hath would be a weariness, yea, an abhorrence to his prepared for them that love him', 1 Cor. ii. 9. carnal mind. The shout of their hallelujahs would
“It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but come upon him like a knell of condemnation. we know that when he shall appear, we shall be The presence of that God whose mercies he like him, because we shall see him as he is,' 1 John had so unthankfully received, and so impiously iii. 2. The perfection of our nature, and the abused, whose overtures of grace he had met consummation of our happiness, consist in our like- with hardened impenitence, or contemptuous ness to Christ.
scorn, would torture him with remorse and That resemblance to Christ must be begun terror. Those evil passions and desires which on now, if it is to be completed then. Let Christ earth had been freely indulged, would there find then be our daily study,—his doctrines, his no object suited to their exercise; their sting character, his person, his work, his life. Let us would be turned upon himself, and even amid set him always before us, looking to the example the glories of heaven, his soul would be the prey he hath left us, that we should follow his steps. of the undying worm, and the unquenchable fire. Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, But He who is of purer eyes than to behold may we also be changed into the same image, evil, and who cannot even look upon sin, will not from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord. suffer such an experiment to be made. "There
shall in no wise enter into his holy habitation any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh
abomination, or that maketh a lie.' 'Come hither," TWENTY-SEVENTH DAY.-EVENING. said the angel, in the apocalypse, to the apostle And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and
John, “I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomi
high mountain, and showed me that great city, the nation, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life,' Rev. xxi. 27. God, having the glory of God,' Rev. xxi. 9–11.
holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from We cannot tell what are to be the individual It is that city in which the redeemed of the employments of the blessed in a future state, nor Lord, his ransomed church, having now neither can we specify the various means through the in- spot of sin, nor wrinkle of decay, nor any such tervention of which their ineffable and unceasing thing, shall enjoy everlasting communion with happiness is to be maintained. Such information her Lord. It is that city whose gates shall then was unnecessary; and, accordingly, it has not been be for ever closed against all who know not God, revealed. But though imagination be thus left neither obey the gospel of his Son. The nations to speculate on the details of a heavenly existence, of them that are saved shall walk in the light of we know that its chief end will be the praise and it, but without are dogs, and sorcerers, and glory of him that sitteth upon the throne, and of whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and the Lamb for ever and ever. We know that all whosoever loveth and maketh a lie,' Rev. xxii. 22. its bliss will be derived from a more intimate O! what unutterable horror shall, in that day, knowledge of, and a closer communion with our seize the wretched souls who shall have no part Saviour and our God. And whatever may be nor lot in that celestial city, who shall be cast into the inferior objects which shall attract the regards utter darkness! When the sun, in whose light of these purified spirits, we are assured they shall they now rejoice, shall at length have gone down bo infinitely more elevated, and more holy than to rise no more, when amid the darkness which even the noblest of those pursuits with which hu- I shall suddenly surround that earth to which they cleave, the archangel's trump shall sound, and and the glory that should follow, he straightway the graves shall give up their dead; when, through gives utterance to that gracious call, which from that thicker than Egyptian gloom, he who is the the very current of the prophecy, we must of bright and morning Star, shall be seen coming necessity understand as proceeding from the Reforth from his chamber in the east, to be glorified deemer, and as referring to that salvation his in his saints, and to be admired of all them that death was to secure. If any doubt on these believe; and when, from the countless myriads of points could possibly remain, it must yield at the redeemed, this triumphant shout of joy shall once on turning to the New Testament, and there instantaneously ascend; 'Lo! this is our God, we finding language precisely similar issuing directly have waited for him, and he will save us; lo, this from the lips of the Saviour himself: “In the last is our God, we have waited for him, we will be day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and glad, and rejoice in his salvation ;' and when cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come these exulting thousands shall be seen going away unto me and drink,” John vii. 37. Or, once more to share in the blessedness of those who are in the last chapter of the book of the Revelation, called to the marriage supper of the Lamb; ver. 16, 17, 'I Jesus have sent mine angel to think of the unutterable dismay, the indescribable testify unto you these things in the churches. I anguish of those who having lived without God, am the root and the offspring of David, and the and died without hope, shall have their portion bright and the morning star. And the Spirit and assigned them in the place of everlasting woe the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth
If we would escape the condemnation of the say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And wicked, and share in the rewards of the righteous, whosoever will, let him come and take of the we must be now daily, diligently, prayerfully water of life freely. waiting and watching for the coming of the Son 1. The invitation is to every one that thirsteth. of man; we must be working while it is called to- This surely is no restriction upon the freeness of day, having our loins girded, and our staves in the gospel call. Were the owner of a fountain our hands, by patient continuance in well-doing, by the way-side to summon every passer-by to seeking for glory, honour, and immortality. It draw near and partake of its refreshing waters, is here, on earth, that change must be wrought the invitation would be valued and embraced only upon our fallen nature which is indispensable to by those who were actually athirst. It could not fit us for heaven. “Except a man be born again, therefore be regarded as setting any limit to the he cannot see the kingdom of God,' John iii. 3. freeness of his invitation, were it made to run in Now is the accepted time, behold now is the day the very terms of the passage of scripture before of salvation,' 2 Cor. vi. 2. “There is no work, us: ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the waters.' Such a form of expression must be grave,' Eccl. ix. 10. “In the place where the viewed, not in the light of a condition imposed by tree falleth, there it shall be,' Eccl. xi. 3. the Giver, but simply, as descriptive of the state
necessary to the acceptance of the blessing on the
part of the receiver. No one, therefore, not even TWENTY-EIGHTH DAY.—MORNING.
the most vile and worthless, is left despondingly
to say, 'I would gladly have closed with an offer *Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, so gracious, but it is not addressed to me, —it is
and he that hath no money• come ye, buy and not intended for such as me. He who thus eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without speaks, wilfully shuts the door of mercy in his money, and without price,' Isa. lv. 1.
own face, and with his own hand; nay, he unIn chap. liii. of this book the Holy Spirit sets gratefully and impiously impugns the sincerity of forth that remarkable description of Messiah, Christ. He says, "Ho! every one that thirsteth; -of his person and character,—his sufferings and and who shall set up limits which the Lord of death, which has been so often and so triumphantly salvation himself hath thrown down? "Have I adduced as one of the many conclusive proofs, any pleasure at all that the wicked should die, that “the prophecy came not in old time by the saith the Lord God, and not that he should return will of men, but that holy men of God spake as from his ways and live?' Ezek. xviii. 23. Come they were moved by the Holy Ghost,' 2 Pet. i. unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, 21. Immediately thereafter we find in chap. liv. and I will give you rest,' Matt. xi. 28. “This is a a glowing picture of the rapid and amazing increase faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that of the church of God. And when the prophet Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,' has spoken thus explicitly of the coming of Christ, 1 Tim. i. 15.