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Forsake not the works of thine own hands. Psalm cxxxviii. &.- Divine
Answer. He which has begun a good work in you, will perform it
unto the day of Jesus Christ. Phil. i. 6. The right way to grow in grace is to give up thyself wholly to thy
Heavenly Father, who knoweth all thy wants, and has engaged to supply them. Then labour diligently to walk with Christ, and care. fully cherish the new life, which, be it ever so weak and little now, in comparison to the old man, will increase and gradually outgrow him, as a new skin does the old. May the Lord only give us grace to watch against the opposite extreme, so as never to be lulled into a false rest, or a lukewarm spirit, but to be ever diligently and seriously employed in crucifying the flesh, and using all the means of grace! – then we need not be anxiously troubled for the growing of the work of God in our souls.
My soul lies cleaving to the dust ;
Lord, give me life divine ;
Turn off these eyes of mine.
Lest I should loiter in my race,
Or turn my feet astray.
And thou a faithful God?
To run the heavenly road?
The fashion of this world passeth away. 1 Cor. vii. 31. As long as we feed on the husks of the world, and are in love with it, 4* we are neither willing nor able to taste the comforts of the love of God ; but when sin and the world are become an abomination to us. and we desire to be rid of them, and seek diligently unto Jesus Christ for the help of his grace and the benefit of his blood, we are then in a right way to receive the love of God, and every blessing of salvation ; and though we are chastered by the Lord, yet he is not angry with us, but does it to embitter sin and the world more and more to us, and to make us loath them, that we may not be condemned with the world.
· Let worldly minds the world pursue ;
It has no charms for me;
But grace has set me free.
No more content afford ;
Now I have known the Lord.
The stars are all conceal'd,
So earthly pleasures fade away
When Jesus is reveald.
And wholly live to thee!
A worthless worm like me ?
I cannot doubt thy will ;
I had refus'd thee still.
Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. Mat. vi. 13. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power. Rev. vi. 10, 11.
ONE that is really poor in spirit, though he hath practised the duties
of the Christian life ever so long, and ever so diligently, always thinks hiniself to have received but a very little portion of Christ, and the work of sanctification hardly to be begun in his soul. So far is he frør believing he has already attained it, that after all his best actions, he counts himself not worthy to be called by the name of a grateful Son ; he is never pleased with himself. No degree of holiness will satisfy his soul. He seeks and finds no rest or comfort but in the infinite mercy of God, and in the pardon of his sins by faith, though he does not divide Christ, but receives him in all his offices, and gives himself entirely up to him without reserve, to be more and more sanctified and perfected; and in this state he is safe indeed, - he is prepared for death, and has no reason to be anxiously afraid, though earnestly desirous of higher degrees of sanctification.
He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure:
for this is all my salvation, and all my deșire. 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. I have made a covenant with my chosen. Psalm lxxxix 3. This was David's plea and confidence when, with eternity full before
him, he was just going to make his appearance before an infinitely pure God. This must be our plea also, if ever we would obtain the approbation of our Judge After a life of the most eminent holiness, the best of men will have reason to cry out,“ Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord !" It is true, indeed, the believer will discover some evidences of grace, just to show the child of God, and no more ; but all so imperfect, that he dares not ground his expectations on them. Here the covenant of grace steps in to his relief, wherein he sees ample provision made for the security of his eternal interest ; for the covenant is made with Christ and his seed. It is an everlasting covenant, not only made before time, but extending its beneficial effects through the ages of eternity. It is ordered in all things; therefore nothing can be wanting in it, either to promote the glory of God, or the salvation of believers. It is sure also; depending on no conditions, requiring nothing but what it gives, conferring its blessings freely, and making them sure to all the seed, being established upon better promises. Happy souls, who are interested in this well-ordered covenant! May it be all my salvation, and all my desire ! Thy word, O God, begetteth faith; Thy word is truth, thy promise sure;
From thence our hope doth spring; I Hence faith and hope abide :
True faith in Jesus will endure;
Nought can from Christ divide !
I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that
he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of Truth whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him : but ye know him ; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
John xiv. 16, 17. When God designed the great and glorious work of recovering fallen
man, and the saving of sinners, “ to the praise of the glory of his grace,” he appointed, in his infinite wisdom, two great means thereof; the one was the giving of his Son for them; and the other was the giving of his Spirit unto them. And hereby was way made for the manifestation of the glory of the whole blessed Trinity, which is the utmost end of all the works of God. Hereby were the love, grace, and wisdom of the Father in the design and contrivance of the whole; the love, grace, and condescension of the Son, in the execution, purchase, and procurement of grace and salvation for sinners ; with the love, grace, and power of the Holy Spirit, in the effectual application of all unto the souls of men, made gloriously conspicuous. To these heads may all the promises of God be reduced. Happy for the church that the Spirit is to abide with it for ever! - awful to think that the unconverted world neither can receive nor know the Spirit ! Holy Spirit, heav'nly Dove,
Pe my true and constant Guide! Bringing peace and bringing love,
In my fainting heart abide !
All the grace of God reveal,