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God the Father, hath made its way to sinful man; flows through the heart of a crucified Jesus; hath reached my poor heart. What terms have we fulfilled, what conditions have we performed, to procure this invaluable blessing? Oh, the very question startles the gracious soul! It is a concern to his generous heart, to hear such proud, vain notions taught. He rejects the thought with abhorrence; and cries, “Pride, thou busy foe, begone." All, all is freely given, richly bestowed.
And am I, vile and unworthy as I am, the called, the real son of God by adoption, through the faith of Jesus! O thou heavenly Paraclete, thou divine Sanctifier, influence, daily influence my heart, my tongue, my life, to glorify my Father, my Saviour, my God i Though I have done nothing to procure this inestimable privilege, yet, enjoying this rich grace, love and gratitude demand corresponding fruits : a holy walk, worthy of the vocation wherewith I am called. Hence, assuredly, will spring another evidence of God's chil. dren; therefore, the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." Though our dear Saviour "went about doing good;" yet even this could not gain him the approbation and esteem of the world. Ñever let disciples expect to be above their Master. The more we follow Jesus, and are conformed to him, as obedient children, stronger evidence shall we have of the world's enmity, and of our Father's love. Let us rejoice to follow Jesus, and be glad to imitate him; to do good, though we suffer evil. "Be blameless and harmless, as the sons of God,” Phil. ii. 15.
Nov. 10.—I give unto them eternal life; they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand.—John x. 28.
“What words are these! And did they come from Him who hath all power in heaven and earth? And
were they spoken to every unfeigned, though feeble follower of the Great Shepherd ? Then omnipotence itself must be vanquished before they can be destroyed, either by the seduction of fraud or the assaults of violence." Thus excellently says the immortal Hervey. The followers of Christ want no proof of his divinity. It is plain from the word of truth. They believe it in their hearts. “The gift of God is eternal life.” Rom. vi. 23. “I give my sheep eternal life,” saith Jesus. Therefore Jesus is both Lord and God. To give temporal life is not in the power of a finite being. He who gives eternal life must be, as our Jesus is, the in. finite and eternal Jehovah, over all, God blessed for
How full of grace and glory is this text! What rich consolation may we draw from it! Here is our mercy: we are in our precious Saviour's hand : hence are safe and secure. They shall never perish," saith the Truth. None shall pluck them out of my hand, saith he, who hath all power in heaven and earth. “I give"-what? grace now, which, if they improve well
, shall entitle them to glory ? Infinitely more. Nothing less than life; spiritual, eternal life; the life of their immortal souls. This glorious gift is enjoyed by faith. “This is life eternal, to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ," John xvii. 3.
Thus is Christ precious, salvation certain, eternal life secure to every believing soul. But as to the knowledge and enjoyment of this life, saints may experience great abatements of its vigour and comfort. Hence their various frames. Spiritual life is opposed by the life of sense, from within and without. The devil, the world, and the flesh strive to pluck Christ's sheep out of his hands. Corrupt teachers give the lie to our Saviour, and say such a thing may be. Hence, the hearts of his sheep are distressed. Impossible for any of Christ's sheep to perish. For if he gives not eternal life to them all, his truth must fail : the covenant, oath, and promises of the God of truth must all be broken ; our faith void ; the gospel of no effect. Our comfort and joy arise from being simple in heart; firmly relying upon our Saviour's declaration ; living upon his word; looking to him; and expecting most certainly to be “ kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation,” 1 Pet. i. 5.
Nov. 11.-And he, trembling and astonished, said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?-Acts ix. 6.
Such are the effects when sovereign grace reacheth a sinner's heart. When the light of truth shines in the conscience, it makes the stoutest heart tremble. When Jesus is manifested to the soul, it causes astonishment and creates love. Transient convictions of sin often beget horror of conscience; and they as often pass away, like the morning cloud and early dew. Such conversions are very common.
Sinners are frequently turned from one sect and system of opinions to an. other; yea, their lives and practices also may be reformed, and they seem to be converted; and often where there is the least cause, there is the greatest confidence: especially, if such are confirmed in their hopes by pretended experience, and can talk much of ecstasies and raptures, visions and revelations, which they suppose came from God. While many continue poor, trembling, self-emptied, and low-abased souls; they know and feel nothing but sin and helplessness in themselves; yet from a discovery of the glory of Jesus, and the perfection of his salvation, seek all in him, and expect all from him : but yet, they remain diffident of their state, and doubtful of their conversion; they are exercised with great perplexity of mind, at times, con. cerning themselves. In both cases, time only mani. fests the truth of conversion. Effects best prove their
Follow on to know the Lord. When Christ is revealed to the heart; when the soul, by the eye of faith,“ sees him who is invisible;" it is manifested by holy mourning and godly sorrow for
past conduct, humble hope and scripture confidence of salvation; and this excites prayer to Jesus for instruction. "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" The soul desires to obey his will, in truth and love. The habitual frame of the soul to Christ, his salvation, truths, and commandments, is a stronger evidence of real conversion, than all the visions, ecstasies, horrors, or transports which the passions can yield. So Paul's afterconduct to Jesus, and his cause, fully proved that he had felt the power and tasted the sweetness of a Saviour's love. Though every conversion is not produced in the same extraordinary manner Paul's was; yet the soul of every believer is turned to the very same object, Jesus, for whole salvation. Thus Jesus, the exalted Prince and Saviour, gives repentance and forgiveness of sins. The witness of this is the Holy Ghost, whom God gives to them who obey him, Acts v. 31, 32.
Nov. 12.-Go back again : for what have I done to thee?–1 Kings xix. 20.
Astonishing! that the simple act of Elijah, casting his mantle upon Elisha, should cause him to leave oxen and plough, parents and habitation, to run after a stranger! Doubtless there is a mystery of the Spirit under the history of the letter. The outward act of Elijah could not effect this, unless the inward power of the Lord had accompanied it. So Peter might have cast his net, and toiled all his days, ere he had taken a fish with a piece of money in its mouth, unless the Lord Jesus had effected this.
Elijah's passing by Elisha, and casting his mantle upon him, and the effect that followed, is a striking resemblance of the Lord, strong in power, and wonderful in grace, passing by us poor sinners, and casting his mantle of love over us. Call to mind, disciple, endeavour daily to remember, that time of love, when thy precious Saviour passed by, saw thee polluted in thy blood, immersed in busy care, when worldly hopes and carnal delights engrossed thy whole concern. No eye, no, not thine own, pitied thy precious, immortal soul; thou didst neither see its misery, nor fear thy danger. But, saith thy Saviour, "when I passed by thee and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was a time of love,” Ezek. xvi. 8. Oh, the mighty charm of divine love! How is the heart attracted, and drawn after Jesus, as Elisha to Elijah! So says the smitten soul to Jesus, "I will follow thee." And, like him, its affections are drawn from worldly objects, and it acts like the woman of Samaria: when she found the Messiah, she forgot her errand, and left her water-pot behind.
“What manner of man is this," said the disciples in astonishment, that even the winds and the seas obey him ?" Surely, we may cry out in admiration, with John, " What manner of love is this !" W bat a mighty God is Jesus, that the power of his love attracts our stubborn bearts, to follow him! Admire the power and adore the freeness of Jesus' love. It found us ere we sought it. Little did Elisha think, when ploughing, of being called to be the Lord's prophet. Ah! what was thy employ when Jesus first cast his mantle over thee? Perhaps, like Saul, sinning with a high hand: employed in the devil's drudgery; in open rebellion against a loving Saviour; and yet, priding thyself in the filthy rags of thine own righteousness. This is the joy and rejoicing of faith; where God casts the mantle of his love, he clothes that soul with the robe of his Son's righteousness. So, grace reigns by Jesus Christ unto eternal life, Rom. v. 21.
Nov. 13.- We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.2 Cor. iv. 18.
The faith of the gospel stamps vanity upon the