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ciples. No; every command of Jesus is in love. Every work we do in his name is from love to spiritual good, as well as to his glory. We have the fullest assurance that we are "accepted in the Beloved.” We are not left to doubt the
way of acceptance, nor to do any thing to procure it. The truth as it is in Jesus forbids all this. But, knowing our persons are accepted in Christ, is the most enlivening, powerful motive, not only to do, but also to abound in those things which please God. To study this in our walk and way, so as cheerfully and unreservedly to give up ourselves wholly to our Lord's service, is the sweet exercise of faith and love. Shall we pretend to believe that Jesus is our Saviour, and that we are accepted in him; and not labour and strive by his Spirit that our works may please him, and avoid those things that are contrary to his commands ? Alas! this is “Hail master," only like Judas, to give a kiss of hypocrisy; while faith in him and love to him are wanting.
Thou disciple of Jesus, from that moment thou didst enter into his rest by faith, thou wast called to labour, that thy works may please God, and be accepted of him. And when the heart is whole with our Saviour, and simply looking to him, need one forbid such a soul to refrain from the vain pastimes, and sinful gratifications of a carnal world? No; he saith, These things do not please my Lord; they cannot be acceptable to him ; they shall not insnare me: I dare not offend him. “We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John iv. 19.
Oct. 19.-I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.-Exod. xxxiii. 19.
Carnal reason, pride, and unbelief, like a three-fold cord, bind the soul under legal bondage. Each mutually strengthens the other, and all combine to oppose the Lord's sovereign goodness and grace. Instead of believing in, so as to be comforted by free-grace declarations from our God, how apt are we to consult flesh and blood! How prone to reject them, because we cannot reconcile them to our carnal reason! Here is the grand source of that damning sin, unbelief. Marvel not, believer, if the pride of thy flesh rises and rebels against distinguishing grace and discriminating love. This, though sweet to the experience of faith, is bitter to the stomach of rebellious nature. But here is thy mercy; grace which is sovereign in our nature, is saving in its operations. All must be resolved into this humbling confession, “I, a poor sinner, who could neither will nor run the way of salvation; the Lord wills to show me his goodness, proclaim his name, bestow his grace, and comfort me with his mercy
in Christ Jesus, to eternal life.”
Thus the Lord speaks in love. Let all his children hear in faith, rejoice, and be humbled. Where, O soul, canst thou fix thy foot, but thou standest upon the ground of free grace? Hast thou faith? It is of grace. Dost thou find pardon of sin and consolation of heart in Jesus? It is of grace. Dost thou love God? It is because he first loved thee. Dost thou hate sin as contrary to God's glory and thy soul's peace ? What astonishing grace is this! Consider it on thy knees. Reflect on it with meltings of soul. Why shouldst thou be singled out by the power of the Word, marked by the Spirit's grace for salvation, when so many perish everlastingly? Why are thine eyes opened amidst a throng of blind sinners? Why art thou watered like Gideon's fleece, while others are dry? Was thy nature better? thy desires holier ? What conditions hadst thou performed to procure this? Grace has taught thee to think otherwise. All must be resolved into this soul-humbling, God-exalting truth, "I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious." Here
is an inexhaustible source of comfort. This is a neverfailing motive to love and obedience. That grace and mercy which God owes to no sinner on earth, he has freely given thee. To rejoice in it is thy privilege, to confess it thy duty, and to lie humble in the dust. "If by grace, it is no more of works," Rom. xi. 6.
Oct. 20.—This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.--Acts i. 11.
The parting of dear friends is grievous and affecting; but sorrow is alleviated from the hope of meeting again. Oh the joy of meeting our dear friends in glory, who are gone before! But what will heighten all, will be the sight and enjoyment of our best Friend and dearest Saviour. The disciples were looking steadfastly to heaven after their dear Master, ascending to glory, when they received this assurance. They saw his human form, the same dear man, their beloved companion, with whom they had so often eat and drank, taken sweet counsel, and who was lately crucified, dead, and buried; this very man Jesus, they saw ascend. The Son of God came from heaven in spirit. He assumed a body of flesh and blood; he lived in it on earth, and, having “finished the work his Father gave him to do,” he took the same body with him to glory. This same Jesus shall so come again in like manner. Every eye shall see him in the last day in his human form.
Thus, in all the transactions of Jesus, we behold by faith the Man. View him in his birth an outcast babe in poverty. In advanced years, "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, despised and rejected of men." He died as another man; yea, an accursed death, as a malefactor. He rose and ascended with a human body like our own. Such, believer, was thy Saviour, a man “like unto thyself in all things, but
without sin." And having perfectly expiated and atoned for all our sins, he is now at the right hand of God, the glorified man still, in human form pleading
God is in Christ. Thou canst not come to the Deity, but through the humanity of Jesus. Mind that. How sweet and encouraging this to faith, that our Saviour, our Brother, our Friend, is in our nature, before the throne ! “He ever lives; he is able to save." And canst thou ever doubt either his love, or willing. ness? Oh, remember Calvary! Think of his agony, and blood-shedding there. Canst thou want a proof of his love, poor sinner? If thou, whilst an enemy, wast redeemed and reconciled to God by his blood, how much more, being reconciled, shalt thou be saved by his life! It is thy happiness, to be ever looking upon and unto Jesus, as the Man and Mediator, by whom thou comest to God: be looking for him, to see him in his glorified form. “He shall come again in like manner;" "to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them who believe," 2 Thess. i. 10.
Oct. 21.-Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.-James iv. 8.
How sweetly are the children's duty and the Father's promise united ! the latter is a most powerful encouragement to the former. Though we were "sometime afar off, yet, being made nigh by the blood of Jesus," we are exhorted, draw nigh to God, in prayer, and full assurance of faith; "faithful is He who hath promised," he will draw nigh to, and bless us. To live near God is our heaven below : to experience a distance from him our misery. We cannot draw nigh to God, but in that way he has drawn nigh to us ; this is in the humanity of his Son. In all our approaches to God, consider this. Jesus, and God in him, is the object of our faith. All other objects drawn nigh to, will leave the soul in a painful sense of distance from the true God, and real
comfort. Happy, happy canst thou be, only whilst daily living in close communion and near fellowship with God thy Saviour. While the terrors of the law drive legal spirits to duty, to fulfil terms of peace, and conditions of acceptance; evangelical promises ever sweetly constrain, and encourage to every duty, those who “are not under the law, but under grace." To live in neglect of duty and God's ordinances, is devilish licentiousness; but, to be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, is christian liberty, "praying in the Holy Ghost.” As it is the office of Christ to intercede for us, so the Holy Ghost intercedes in us. As an advocate within, he enables us to plead in faith, what Jesus is to us, and hath done for us. With confidence to our dear Father, the Spirit helps in prayer, as a nurse does a little child, that is unable to go of itself; or, as a weak, decrepit person is upheld by the arm.
Here is our word of promise, “God will draw nigh to you.” This is our happiness below, our heaven on earth, to have access to the God of mercies; and for the Father of all consolations to draw nigh to us. Not merely to draw nigh to duty, but to God in duty; to find and feel the special presence and blessing of the Lord. Without this, loving hearts cannot be satisfied. Communion with God, finding nearness of spirit, delightful intercourse with God, and receiving inward peace and love from him, Oh, this is the glory of the life of faith, and draws us from, and makes us dead to all things beside! When God, and Christ, and heaven are within, all without becomes truly mean and despicable in comparison. “It is good for me to draw near to God," Psalm lxxiii. 28.
Oct. 22.--I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son