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weak; though such a weapon is put into my hand, I have neither skill nor courage to use it aright; sin, Satan, and the world will be too strong for and overcome me at last. No; this is impossible. Though weak as infancy, this blessed word exactly suits our state, and is a cordial to our spirits, “ Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because, greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world," 1 John iv. 4.
Oct. 15.—Jesus said to them, Why sleep ye? rise and
ye enter into temptation.—Luke xxii. 46. The dull, sleepy frames of disciples, though natural to them, are by no means commendable in them. Nor are they to find excuses for them; as though this was a sleepy state with the churches, therefore we are to lie down, and take our rest. This is injurious to the honour of our dear Master; brings discredit upon his cause and interest; is very uncomfortable, and exposes sleeping souls to many and great dangers. Though love may excuse it, yet will Jesus sharply reprove for it, “Why sleep ye? wherefore indulge yourselves in sloth when called to activity ? sleep is unreasonable when danger is near. Yea know, my beloved disciples, your adversary, Satan, is ever wakeful, watchful, busy in plotting and seeking to rob you of your shield of faith. Is this a time to be sluggish? to fold your hands cry,
A little more carnal ease and worldly pleasures, a little more spiritual slumber? Most inexcusable, to be taking sleepy opiates of pleasure, to indulge the flesh; and intoxicating draughts from the world, to drown the spirit. What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise and call upon thy God.” Say not, “I am in an unsuitable frame, dull and heavy." Thou readest of no such reply from these drowsy disciples to their Master. Wilt thou stay till thou art rich, before thou wilt be industrious ? He who calls to duty, is both able and willing
to give strength and power to perform duty. Take with you words and say, Jesus will give the spirit to pray. Ever remember, prayers move God, not as an orator does his hearers, but as the cry of a beloved child his affectionate father. When we are out of the reach of danger, prayer will be needless. But when will that be? not in this life; not till every enemy is destroyed : that will not be till death is swallowed up in life.
Now there is danger from temptation. Temptation cannot hurt us, but entering into it will. Jesus was in all things tempted like as we are, yet without sin. His temptations were all without him. They could not enter in, to defile him; but they may us. When the love of the world enters and prevails, the sense of God's love is lost. When the Iusts of the flesh get power, the Spirit's consolations are not enjoyed. When ease and happiness are expected from any other object but Jesus, he is slighted and disesteemed; then, our views of his love are eclipsed, and our souls miserably darkened. “The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer," 1 Peter iv. 7.
Oct. 16.— I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.-Psalm cxix. 162.
The saints of God in all ages were taught by the same Spirit, looked for the same salvation, and were comforted by the same truths of God's word. Hence the word is so precious to them. For it causes their souls to rejoice. Thus it is of the written word of the Lord, which makes known his everlasting, loving designs to sinners of mankind. This also is true of the essential, divine, and uncreated Word, the Lord Jesus. He, in person, manifested God's thought of love, as words declare what is in the mind. Jesus lay in the bosom of the Father from eternity. He has revealed the Father's eternal love to us. He who findeth Jesus,
will rejoice indeed. With joy says Philip, “ We have found him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write,” John i. 45. Hath a conqueror cause for rejoicing, who hath obtained a complete victory over, and is enriching himself with the spoils of a wealthy enemy? how much greater has the christian daily from the word of the Lord! Alas! the joy of the one is but momentary and uncertain. What he hath gained in war to-day, he may be deprived of to-morrow. But joy through the victory of Jesus, and the spoils the christian reaps from his word, are durable and eternal. The victory of Christ Jesus is the christian's spoil. Here he beholds sin subdued, death conquered, Satan vanquished, hell overcome, a crown of eternal life and glory fully obtained, absolutely insured, and which shall most certainly be enjoyed. In the written word of the Spirit are given unto us "exceeding great and precious promises." In the essential Word Jesus, "all the promises are yea and Amen to the glory of God.” By the former, we understand “what is the hope of our calling, and what the riches of the glory of our inheritance in the saints." By union with Jesus and faith in him, we obtain the happy assurance that all things are ours. “Whether ministers, the world, life, death, things present, or things to come, all are yours, and
ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's," 1 Cor. iii. 22, 23. And“ nothing shall be able to separate from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus," Rom. viii. 39.
Blessed be God for the word of his grace, the Bible; and for his unspeakable gift, Jesus. He is thy treasure, O christian! where should thy heart be, but in meditation and delight herein daily? For thou canst get spiritual joy from no object, but victorious Jesus, set before thee in the gospel. The clearer thou seest salvation by him, thy faith will be stronger in him. “Rejoice in the Lord alway,” Phil. iv. 4.
Oct. 17.-Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.—Rom. vi. 14.
Who are under the law? All who think they can fulfil it, seek to be made righteous by it, and expect salvation from it. All such are under the dominion of sin and the curse of the law. Who are under grace? All who fly from the law as a ministration of condemnation, embrace the gospel as a ministration of righteousness, cleave to Jesus, and expect righteousness and salvation in him only. Over such, sin has no power to destroy. They are out of its territories; in another kingilom; under another king. Jesus rules in and over them; and says of every one of them, Sin shall not have dominion over you. What a heart-reviving promise is this! bow delightful to hear our worst foe, our bitterest enemy shall not lord it over us! Art thou saying, Would God, sin had no being in me, then I should be completely happy! Remember what thy Saviour said to his mother, "Mine hour is not yet come," John ii. 4. It is enough, that thou art called to the marriage of the Lamb. The Bridegroom keeps the best wine for the last. This is excellent wine on earth, Sin shall not have dominion over us. In glory, şin shall have no being in us.
Be assured, O christian, thine enemies are all conquered; though sense and experience afford thee daily proof they are not all dead. Never think of laying down thine arms, folding thine hands, and setting up thy rest here. Thou art still in the camp. The enemy lies in wait to take all advantage. But here is thy victory; though sin is an enemy whose life is commensurate with the life of thy flesh; though so nearly allied to thee, that it is part of thyself; yet being one with Jesus, thou hast a spiritual and eternal life, and the power of Omnipotence is engaged to preserve and keep thee; therefore sin shall not maintain its usurpation, nor hold dominion over thy soul. Its empire is
dethroned. The kingdom of Jesus is set up in thy heart. Christ dwells there by faith. Thy heart is sprinkled from an evil conscience, by his blood. He who hath conquered for thee, will also conquer in thee. Take heed of independence on him, and vain confidence in thyself. Think not the root and being of sin are destroyed, and thyself in a sinless state. For then, thou hast no need of Jesus, faith in him, hope on him, nor prayer to him. Oh! if Satan thus rocks any poor sinner asleep, it is in the cradle of delusion, while he sings a sweet siren's song. Be ever active and vigilant to oppose and conquer thy inbred foe. Daily attend this wholesome advice, “Let not sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof,” ver. 12.
OCT. 18.-Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.—2 Cor. v. 9.
“In all labour there is profit.” The belief of this makes the heart diligent and active. Nehemiah was stirred up to build the wall of Jerusalem, amidst the scoffs and opposition of enemies on every side. By prayer, watching, and working, he and ħis brethren wrought with one hand, a guard in the other, and this confidence of faith in their hearts, “Our God shall fight for us,” Neh. iv. 20. Thus animated, they laboured and finished the work.
So Christ's beloved brethren are called to be “steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord :" being confident that the Lord fights for them, and "knowing assuredly, their labour is not in vain in the Lord. The labour of love is pleasant and profitable to the believing heart. The work of faith is delightful to the soul; while it exercises the patience of hope. Most reviving consideration ! we serve not a hard task-master. We labour not for a rigorous, severe Lord. We obey not from base, mercenary prin