« AnteriorContinuar »
Strive to enter in at the struit gate. Luke xiii. 24, Work out your
own salvation with fear and trembling, Phil. ii. 12. Forgetting those things that are behind, I reach forth unto those things zehich are before. Phil. iii. 13.
He that feeds only upon Christ, and yet with fear and trembling
works out his own salvation, is in the right way; the former preventing discouragement, and the latter presumption. Grant, O Lord, that I may still continue to fight the good fight of faith, and never look back on the flesh-pots of Egypt; and rather choose to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” May the painful death which thou sufferedst on the cross, have an abiding place in my heart; that thereby unbelief and slavish fear may be destroyed on one hand, and security on the other ; that I may walk at all times and in all places with holy and filial reverence, as in thy presence. Amen.
As new-born babes desire the breast,
To feed, and grow, and thrive;
And by the gospel live.
Abides and reigns within ;
Immortal principles forbid
The sons of God to sin.
Do they perform his will;
His sweet commands fulfil.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me,
Ps. li. 10. See God's answer, Ezek. xi. 19, 20.
A GLORIOUS promise, which may be relied on, and will certainly be 4 fulfilled if heartily pleaded in prayer. “And blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.” Matt. v. 8. In regard to justification, we are perfectly clean by Christ's atonement; but in regard to sancti. fication, our hearts are not perfectly clean yet, but we have still need to pray “ Create in me a clean heart.” Amen. O Lord! may thy blood and spirit cleanse and sanctify me thoroughly from all my sins! Amen.
Bless'd with the joys of innocence
Adam our father stood,
And ate th' unlawful food.
To sinful joys inclin'd; Reason has lost its native place, - And flesh enslav'd the mind.
Great God! renew our ruin'd frame,
Our broken pow'rs restore;
And flesh shall reign no more! .
Upon our inward parts !
His image on our hearts !
And Enoch walked with God. Gen, v. 24. Happy they who, in their early days, are turned from sin, them. * selves, and the world, by repentance towards God, and faith in the promised seed, as Enoch was, who, from the time of his conversion, walked with God in a continued progress in his work and ways. To " walk with God," is to come out from a sinful generation and cleave to the Lord, as Noah and Caleb did; and God requires this of all believers. 2 Cor. vi. 17. It is setting the Lord before our eyes continually, and fearing him always, as Joseph and Nehemiah did; thereby avoiding every thing that would offend him. It is also making an open profession of faith in him and zeal for his service, as our highest honour and best interest. And farther, it is such a walk as obtains an holy intimacy and communion with God, which is kept up by constant meditation, prayer, and praise; hearkening to the voice of his word and Spirit, and walking humbly before him; hereby holiness is promoted and encouraged in the soul. Thus “ Enoch walked with God;" thus he maintained a holy confidence in him, committing all his ways to him, always expecting help from him, and rejoicing in the hopes of being with him for ever.
For these happy ends the grace of God is sufficient for all that see their want, and ask it. The Lord help us to seek it, that, like Enoch, we may walk with God here below, and live with him for ever in glory. Amen. My heart is prone to rove, I see;
Then will it kindly gaze on thee, Lord, plant it near thy bleeding side; And in thy love and fear abide.
By grace ye are saved. Eph. ii. 5.
To rely on grace, and desire to be saved only by free grace, is a sweet
exercise; but so far from being practised enough, we have all need to learn the prayer of the Publican better still, since the Pharisee is ever busy to creep in again. But care must be taken, that we do not build our faith only upon the sweet enjoyments of the grace of God in our hearts, but also upon the grace in the heart of God, as it is procured by Christ, and promised to us through Christ; for which reason God sometimes denies us sensible enjoyments, that true faith may begin to act like itself, and depend upon nothing but his free grace in Christ. And this we have also boldness to do, should we ever seem to fall short of the due measure of faith, godly sorrow, and repentance ; for, since there is no merit to be placed in these things, there is no certain measure and degree prescribed to all; but it is enough truly to hate sing to desire grace, and sincerely to enter upon the Christian race.
"Tis not by works of righteousness
Which our own hands have done;
Abounding thro'lis Son.
That all our hopes begin ;
'Tis by the water and the blood
Our souls are wash'd from sin.
And justify'd by Grace,
Aud see our Father's face,
Whosoever committeth sin, transgresselh also the law; for sin is the
transgression of the law; and ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins. i John iii. 4, 5.
There is a far greater power in the blood of Christ to save and cleanse,
than in sin to defile and destroy. Rom. viii. 3. The law became weak to do good, but it hath power to condemn: “ The strength of sin is the law :" the law gives strength to sin, because, by virtue of the curse of the law, sin reigns and defiles the souls of men, through that righteous curse, “ The soul that sins shall die.” But the blood of Jesus Christ hath greater power to save, than sin, together with the law, hath to condemn; for the blood of Christ takes away and abolishes it utterly; where this blood is applied and brought home, sin itself cannot ruin that soul. The soul is poisoned and corrupted by sin; but the blood of Christ takes away the guilt of sin, yet not the being of it: as we are sanctified but in part, we can only be earnest at the throne of Grace, that we may be kept by Almighty Power, and that Jesus may be for us, who is stronger than all that can come against us.