« PreviousContinue »
"'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
Bible makes no difficulty in the matter.
time it is described as coming to Jesus: “I am The hour I first believed !
the bread of life, he that cometh to me shall never “Through many dangers, toils, and snares, hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never I have already come;
thirst,' John vi. 35. Again, it is called a laying 'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.'
hold: “Who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us,' Heb. vi. 18. In another scripture it is called submitting: "They
have not submitted themselves to the righteousSEVENTEENTH DAY.-MORNING. ness of God, Rom. x. 3. In other parts of the
word of God it is called looking to Jesus, calling But as many as received him, to them
name of the Lord, hearing that the soul poacer to become the sons of God, even to them
may live, knowing, cleaving to the Lord. In one that beliece on his name.' John i. 12.
and all of these the meaning of God is, that the When the Lord of glory came to this world, the heart is made willing to be justified through the most despised and rejected him. Yet all did blood and obedience of the Lord Jesus. O! it is the bt. Isaiah cried, “Who hath believed our report, truest and most lasting joy in the universe when and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed ?' Christ is fully revealed to the soul, and when the And yet in a few verses after he adds, “He shall excellency of the way of salvation by Christ is see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satis- made manifest; the heart is often so filled that the fied,Isa. liï. 1, 11. In like manner, John in tongue cannot speak. It is 'joy unspeakable, and this chapter tells us, that when Jesus came, “the full of glory.' darkness comprehended him not;' the world Sinner, have you received the Lord Jesus knew him not; "his own received him not.' Christ? Has your heart melted at the sight of Silly a little flock did receive him. Their eyes the heaven-provided Saviour? Have you known were opened to behold his glory, their hearts to the gift of God? Have you seen and delighted feel his love. They left their earthly all, and fol- in the finished work of Christ? If Christ had to bwed him, they hung upon his lips, kept his come and die, you might say, perhaps he will not ayings, walked in his steps, put on his righte- go through with it. But he has done it. It is Fustess, drank in his spirit; and to them he more than eighteen hundred years since he gate power to become the sons of God. There agonized in Gethsemane, and poured out his soul always has been, and always will be, a hidden upon the cross. • It is finished. His whole shurch. As David was never to want a son to work, as Surety in the place of sinners, is finished.
upon his throne, so David's Son and David's | The whole undertaking is completed. Nay more, Lord never shall want souls over which to reign. God has accepted it. He has declared it from As in Noah's day of almost universal corruption, heaven : “This is my beloved Son in whom I am ai in Elijah's day of dark idolatry, there were well pleased,'—and that any sinner is welcome one hidden ones that knew and loved the Lord; to draw near by Jesus. O! I am willing to » in our day, in the darkest parishes of Scotland, be found in Jesus, let your soul reply; I am willwu will find some hearts that kindle at the name ing to stand under the shelter of the one Mediator ford Jesus. In countries sunk in the darkness of to all eternity. What satisfies God satisfies me. prery, you will find some heaven-taught souls Who shall condemn? It is Christ that died.' Esping their way to heaven by the strait gate But what good shall I obtain by receiving
Christ will never want a Christ? Hear the divine answer: “As many as Fineyard on earth on which to show his love and received him, to them
gave he power
to become itare
. He will never want a witnessing church the sons of God. An awakened soul is seeking to proclaim his grace. “Upon this rock I will only rest, peace with God, forgiveness of sins. baild my church, and the gates of hell shall not But Christ gives far more. He gives the child's Trevail against it.' Matt. xvi. 18.
place in the father's love. We are by nature How clearly these words show that to receive children of wrath, a generation of vipers, chilChrist is the same as to believe on his name. dren of the wicked one; but the moment we Many souls find great difficulty in knowing what consent to put on the glorious righteousness of fark is. Satan seems to make great use of this Immanuel we become adopted sons of God: "God a some hearts, in order that he may divert their sent forth his son, made of.a woman, made under atrinns soul from the great object of faith to the law, to redeem them that were under the usk at the workings of their own mind. The law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."
and the narrow way.
Sinner! do you know what it is that God offers SEVENTEENTH DAY.-EVENING. you in the gospel ? Though you are a viper, under the curse of the broken law, and your heart more · And straightway the father of the child cried like Satan than God, yet the holy God offers you
out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe ; help a place in his bosom. He sent forth his Son to
thou mine unbelief.' Mark ix. 24. make room for you, to take you into the son's How very small was the faith with which this place. He cast out his dearly beloved Son, that man came to Christ. It was like a grain of mushe might enfold you in his arms. What are all tard seed. Twice we read of Jesus expressing the joys of sin compared with this? What are wonder at the great faith of the poor worms that earthly titles compared to this? Sounding brass applied to him. When the centurion came to and a tinkling cymbal. Surely you must be him in behalf of his beloved servant who was deceived by the god of this world, if you are sick, he believed that Christ was willing and able willing to remain a child of the devil rather to heal him, though he lay beneath a sinful roof. than become a child of God.
Jesus marvelled at so great faith,' Matt. viii
. 5 There is still fuller blessing contained in -13. When the Syro-phenician woman cried these words. Those who receive Christ receive after him in behalf of her child, she would not be power to become adopted sons. This is blessed, turned back by his long silence, or by his seemthis is wonderful. But those who receive Christ ingly rough words ; she saw deep into his heart receive power to become real sons—sons by a of grace, and waited for an answer of
til new birth. It is good to be an adopted son, Jesus cried, “O woman, great is thy faith, be i but ah! to be a real son of God, having the same unto thee even as thou wilt,' Matt. xv. 21—28. spirit, features, joys, this is the full bliss of being Another time a leper came, and as he kneele a Christian. When a rich man adopts a beggar said, “ Lord, if thou wilt thou canst make in boy into his family, and takes him for a son, he not clean. This was little faith. He believed th only clothes him, and feeds him, but he educates power of Jesus ; he was not sure of his willing him as his child. He puts him under a teacher He thought he might be willing, for b to rid him of old habits, to put a new spirit in came and applied to him ; still he was not sur him, the spirit of his own child. This is what God and said, If thou wilt. With holy majesty Jesi does with all that receive Christ. When a sin- rebuked his unbelief, and granted his desire: ner flees to Christ, God not only puts the best will be thou clean,' Matt. viii. 3. But far weak robe on him, and embraces him, and seats him at than all these was the faith of this unhappy fathe his table, but he sends forth the Spirit of his Son "If thou canst do anything, have compassion 1 into his heart. The same almighty Spirit that us, and help us. Alas, that ever such wor dwelleth in his own bosom, and in his Son, the should be spoken to the Lord of glory. He Spirit that was given to Jesus without measure, whose hand our breath is, and whose are : he sends into the poor pardoned sinner's heart, our ways—He by whom all things were creat to make him a son indeed, “born not of blood, that are in heaven, and that are in earth—1 nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of whose name is Jehovah-Rophi, “The Lord th man, but of God. Surely if men knew what healeth thee,' was standing before him, and y God is willing to do for them in Christ, they his faith could reach no higher than that, “If th could not so lightly esteem the Rock of their canst do anything.' And yet Jesus did not a salvation. O sinner! God is willing to take out the unbelieving man away from him.
Jes your old alienated heart, and to give you the never can deny that word, Him that come heart of one of his own weaned children. He is unto me, I will in no wise cast out. He sé willing to give you the Spirit of Christ, to change him home a happy father with his child ma you into his image, to make you like him now whole. These things were written for o and in eternity. Surely it may be said to every admonition, upon whom the ends of the wor soul that despiseth Christ, “Woe unto thee, O are come. How evil unbelief appears in anoth Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when and yet how little do I perceive the same d sball it once be?' Jer. xiii. 27.
honouring thoughts of Christ when they lurk 'Lo! liis clothing is the sun,
my own bosom.
I feel as if I never could v
such language to Jehovah-Jesus; and yet ho Jesus is his beauteous dress.
many times in the day I doubt both his love 21 Lo! he feeds on living bread,
his power. How often, when guilt is on my co Drinks the fountain from above,
science, I doubt whether he be entirely wilting Leans on Jesus Christ his head. Feasts for ever on his love.'
be the Mediator between God and such a sinf * The sound of the church-going bell
wretch as me.
How often, in an hour of temp-Let him wander among those that never pray to tation, when the passions are roused, I doubt Jesus, like Abraham in the land of the Canaanites, whether he be able to subdue such a heart as or let him lie on a sick bed with none to wait mine. How often these words are the language on him that know the Saviour, then he will of my heart : “If thou canst do anything, have begin to learn by sad experience that warm feelcompassion on me, and help me.' And yet for ings are not faith—that faith in Jesus is like a all our unbelief, he doth not send us empty away. grain of mustard seed in his bosom. Oit is a painful Faith, as a grain of mustard seed, obtains ever- but a blessed lesson to be taught how weak our lasting benefits, Luke xvii. 6. Do not let me then faith is. It makes us trust less to our feelings, keep away from Christ, because my faith is small. and less to friends, and makes us cleave closer to Though he had to call his disciples, 'Ye of little Christ as our all in all. faith,' yet that did not hinder him from rebuking But if it be good to know how little faith we the winds and the sea for them, and there was a have, it is better far to know what an overflowing
great calm, Matt. viii. 26. In like manner fountain Jesus is. He is · Alpha and Omega, the I though my name may be, “Thou of little faith,' beginning and the ending. He is the Author and
to the end of life's troubled journey, yet will I the Finisher of our faith.' He anointed our eyes go to him with such faith as I have, and he will at the first, and made us see men as trees walkin no wise cast me out.
ing. He alone can anoint them more fully, that But observe the prayer of the anxious father, we may see all things clearly. He alone can Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.' 0! help our unbelief. He can cover all the sin of
surely this was a groan dictated by the Spirit of it, for 0 it is crimson sin. He can remove it by sapplications. Never was prayer better timed, or fuller discoveries of himself. “My Beloved is like better expressed. The Author of faith stood a roe, or a young hart.' On Judah's hills the
before him—to whom could he go for faith but gazelle bounds with amazing ease and graceful tnto Christ? Faith is the gift of Jehovah swiftness over the most rugged rocks. It is its Jesus, John xvü. 2. He in his kingly power, very nature to spring from crag to crag.
So riding through the world, sends out his arrows, and easily, swiftly, and agreeably to his gracious brings down the people under him, Psal. xlv. 5. nature does the Lord Jesus reveal himself to the He not only brings gold for our ransom, and white souls that wait for him. Often by a single visit aiment to cover our nakedness, but he brings in the unbelief of half a lifetime vanishes, and the is band, to the door of sinners, eye-salve to soul cries out with adoring joy, "My Lord, and zavint our eyes, that we may see, Rev. iii. 18. my God.' Wait on the Lord Jesus, O doubting He was not only wounded for our transgressions, soul. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen and bruised for iniquities, but he bids us reach for- thine heart. “It is good that a man should both pard our finger, that he may guide it into the hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the prints of the nails, and reach forward our hand, Lord,' Lam. iii. 20. Often look beyond the blue that he may guide it to his wounded side. He was sky to him who sits on the right hand of God, ant only the Rock cleft for sinners, but by his and cry out with tears, "Lord I believe, help Almighty power he puts us into the cleft of the thou mine unbelief.' t, and hides us there, Exod. xxxiii. 22.
'Lord, thou canst heal me if thou wilt, Would that all the church of Christ were taught
For thou canst all things do, prayer, 'Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbe
O cleanse my leprous soul from guilt,
My filthy heart renew.
Pronounced the healing word, lense of our want of faith, and a clear knowledge
“I will-be clean," and while he spoke, al the fountain whence living faith must flow.
I felt my health restored. Few people know how small their faith is. In
• Come, lepers, seize the present hour, Christian land, sitting under a lively ministry,
The Saviour's grace to prove, Farroanded by warm-hearted Christian friends,
He can relieve, for he is power;
He will, for he is love.' Be feelings are fanned into a glow, and the defiever thinks that his faith is strong and full. Pet let providence call that believer to a foreign aed, where
These valleys and rocks never heard, Nerer sighed at the sound of a knell,
Nor smiled when a sabbath appeared.'
ners to be filled with all the fulness of God, to
be like an empty vessel cast into a vast occan, to "That he would grant you, according to the riches be filled with all the fulness of his love, of his of his glory, to be strengthened with might by presence, of his Spirit, of his joy, of his likeness
. his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may This Adam would have been had he persevered dwell in your hearts by faith ; that ye, being in holiness. This we become when united to rooted and grounded in love, may be able to Christ, and shall be to all eternity. This David comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, panted after, "My soul thirsteth for God, for the and length, and depth, and height; and to know living God, Psal. xlii. 2. This David, in some the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, measure, enjoyed: Whom have I in heaven but that ye might be filled with all the fulness of thee, and there is none on earth whom I desire God.' Eph. iii. 16—19.
beside thee,' Psal. Ixxiii. 25. Certain it is that How remarkable are the prayers of Paul! He the believer's God can draw near, and reveal used to pray for individuals whom he loved by himself, and fill the soul in a way that worldly name. Without ceasing, the names of Timothy and men never thought of. He can fill the heart Philemon were upon his heart, 2 Tim. i. 3; Phil. with a sense of his love. One dear Christian iv. He prayed for believers whom he had never could say, “My soul hath been compassed about seen, Col. i. 9; ii. 1. He prayed for all true saints, with the terrors of death, the sorrows of hell wert Eph. vi. 18, 24. He wrestled with continual sor- upon me, and a wilderness of woe was in me,
bu row of heart for the Jews, Rom. ix. 1; X. 1. In blessed, blessed, blessed be the Lord my God, h how remarkable a manner he prayed, without hath brought me to a place of rest, even to th ceasing,” day and night,''with joy, with thanks- sweet running waters of life. Another dea giving,' with humility 'bowing his knees. How Christian, of whom President Edwards write large were his requests! He opens his mouth experienced such clear and lively views of Chris wide, that God may fill it. In Rom. xv. 13. he that her soul did, as it were, swim in the ray prays: ‘Now the God of hope fill you with all of Christ's love like a little mote swimming in t! joy and peace in believing. In 1 Thess. v. 23. beams of the sun that come in at a windor he prays: “And the very God of peace sanctify The same person, speaking upon the most delibe you wholly,' &c. So in these words he asks for ate consideration, could say, that what w amazing gifts. God only can fully comprehend enjoyed in a single minute of the whole spa the vast meaning of such a prayer. The words of which was many hours, was worth more than man seem to be too narrow to express his large the outward comfort and pleasure of the wht desires. These are 'groanings that cannot be life put together. O! that Christians now we uttered,' the intercession of the Spirit through filled with these drops of the fulness of God. I the mind and heart of Paul. None but God can fill the soul with his holiness. A natu could have given such a prayer, and none but God man has not a spark of God's holiness. He may could answer it.
pleasant, amiable, and of a natural integrity, O that all ministers could pray like Paul. he has none of the 'living water.' The mom Probably no man ever lived who was the means a soul is united to Christ, the same Holy Sp of saving so many souls as Paul. Probably no who dwells in the bosom of the Father dwells a minister was ever made the instrument of bring- in him. “I will put my Spirit within you,' Ez ing his people to such a height of holiness as xxxvi. 27. The believer becomes 'a partaker Paul. How was this? Look at his prayers for the divine nature,' 2 Pet. i. 4. He becomes
Consider their frequency, their partaker of his holiness,' Heb. xii. 10. Hed urgency, their vastness. It was on his knees not become as holy as God, but the same stre Paul fought the good fight of faith, and obtained that flows through the divine bosom fl grace for his own soul, and for all the churches. through the soul that is one with Jesus. O Such a man would be a blessing to the whole be holy as he is holy, blessed as he is bless world. "O Lord, teach us to pray.'
pure as Christ is pure. O to be filled with There are three principal petitions here, each the fulness of God. one growing out of the other.
2. Consider the second petition, ver. 17– 1. Consider the last petition, ver. 19. “That ye “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by fa might be filled with all the fulness of God. This that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, is the sum and end of all his prayers for them. be able to comprehend with all saints what is Indeed it is the chief end of man. The great breadth, and length, and depth, and height; object of the gospel is to bring poor empty sin- to know the love of Christ, which passeth kn
ledge. This appears to be one vast petition shall I come to that abiding believing knowledge expressed twice over, that they may have a calm, of the love of Christ? The answer is to be found abiding, realizing view of Christ and his love. If in this petition. The Father must grant you his any man were to ask, How shall I come to be filled free Spirit. Every word is precious—That he with the fulness of God? The answer will be would grant you. The gift of the Spirit at first
found in this prayer; you must come first to an is of free grace. When he breathes on the dry Zabiding believing knowledge of the love of Christ bones in the open valley, it is of freest mercy.
which passeth knowledge.' Keep the eye of And so every further work of the Spirit on the faith continually fixed on Jesus, on his glorious heart is of free grace. O what need have we to person, “fairer than the children of men;' on pray, “Cast me not from thy presence, neither Jesus your Prophet, having the tongue of the take thy Holy Spirit away from me.' learned to speak a word in season to them that But has God enough to supply our need? Yes, are weary;' on Jesus your Priest, “through the he has “riches of his glory,' unsearchable riches. eternal Spirit offering himself without spot unto Just as he has inexhaustible treasures of rain and God;
' on Jesus your King, reigning from sea to dew to water every green herb, so he has infinite sea in the hearts of his own, and winning many treasures of the Spirit all ready to be poured
towns in the conversion of sinners. Behold him, into the hearts of his needy people. But what A
behold him. Keep your eye and heart upon will his Spirit do for me? He will strengthen him, keep the arms of faith around him, so that you with might in the inner man.' Your eye
is Christ may dwell in your heart by faith.' A din, and cannot see afar off. He will anoint it tree takes a firm hold of the ground by its thou- that you may see the King in his beauty. Your sand roots; the winds shake but cannot remove heart is dead and stony. He will quicken and it, so let your heart • be rooted and grounded in soften it that eternal things may impress you. the love of Christ, then you may calmly view Your faith is like a bruised reed. He will the vastness of that love. When a man is first strengthen you with might, so that you shall hold awakened he does not know much of his sin, and Christ, and not let him go. It is true of the annot know much of the love of Christ; but Spirit as of the Father, that ‘he giveth power to when rooted and grounded in Christ, and the Spirit the faint, and to them that have no might he breathes in the heart, he then begins to compre- increaseth strength.' bend with all saints, and to know the love of Christ that passeth knowledge. Observe the Breadth and length of it :' As far as the east is trina the west, so far hath he removed our trans
EIGHTEENTH DAY.—EVENING. pressions from us,' Psal. ciïi. 12. Compare Lev. Fi. 22. So broad and so long is the love of Jesus.
God is faithful, by whom ye were cailed unto the Pitserve the depth of it: 'He being in the form
fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord,' God, thought it no robbery to be equal with 1 Cor. i. 9. fiol, but emptied himself,' &c., Phil. ii. 6. Mea- The anxieties of a faithful pastor never end in this ure from the throne of glory to the cross of world. First he is anxious that his people be Calvary, or to the rocky sepulchre—so deep was brought to Christ, and then he is anxious that
e love of Christ. Observe the height of it: they be kept abiding in him to the end. What To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with a fountain of consolation is this text while he
on my throne,' Rev. iii. 21. Measure how looks upon those, of whom in his heart he has it is from the lowest hell to the throne to the sweet persuasion that they are sanctified in which Christ will raise us; so high was the love Christ Jesus, and called to be saints,' and repeats Christ
. “It passeth knowledge. It is like a these words in his heart, “God is faithful, by * scean, and our heart is like a little creek whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son from the shore; we embrace the ocean, but we Jesus Christ. It is this sweet truth, the faithsenat measure it; we shall know more of it in fulness of our covenant God, that is a rock to the amaity; we never shall know it all, for • it pass- pastor's soul, and makes him feel that those who knowledge ;' and it gives “a peace that passeth are now dearly beloved, and longed for,' will saderstanding.
soon be ‘his joy and crown. But not only to 3. Overce the first petition, ver. 16. That he the pastor, to the flock also, especially in time of old grant you, according to the riches of his temptation, affliction, and desertion, these words fry, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit are like the snow of Lebanon, or the cold flowthe inner man. If any man were to ask, Howling waters from another place.' Sometimes it