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I live by the faith of the Son of God. Gal. ii. 20.
In spiritnal things we are too often living upon self; we seek in * frames, forms, creatures, and animal life, that inward peace and stability of mind which is only to be found in the Redeemner. Outward duties are well in their places ; they are to be performed, but not to be trusted in; they are as the scaffold to the building, a mean for carrying on the work; but not the work itself. When favoured with the gracious presence of Jesus, they are blessings; without it they are nothing. The whole dependence must be on Jesus : He is the way, the truth, and the life; without Him, prayers, praises, rites, and ordinances, are carcases, without a soul. This is the case with every external service that is destitute of the presence and blessing of the Holy Spirit, who alone imparts communion of heart, and a quickening of the soul in faith, and in love to Jesus, and often a delightful view of that which is behind the veil of outward ordinances (such as no carnal eye can behold) a purely spiritual discovery of the Lord in his goodness, beauty, grandeur, and glory!
Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be , which go in thereat ; but narrow is the way which leadeth ronto life, and few there be that find-t. Matt. vii. 13, 14.
This sounds too harsh in the ears of the old man, who would not - have the law made use of in these gospel-times, either to the converted or unconverte:l; and yet to the old man the law, and not the gospel, properly belongs. St. Paul, the great preacher of the gospel, made use of the law to rouse unconverted Felix from his security (Acts xxiv. 25) and to warn the converted Romans from falling into it again. Rom. viii. 13.
Which way dost thou walk ? examine thyself. Is it in the narrow way ? - Art thou quite sure of it? - venture not to go on any further at random. It is matter of great consequence; if thou wilt be safe, try better for it; thou may st easily be deceived. Alas! thou art surely in the broad way to destruction, if thou still lovest and are cona formed to the world. Art thou but indifferent with regard to the things of God, relishing more the vanities, pleasures, companies, trea-' sures, and honours of this world? - thou art not in the good narrow way that leads unto life. O consider this well, and stop short, before it is too late, and thou drop into the bottomless pit of perdition ! Strait is the way, the door is strait, 'Tis but few that find the gate, That leads to joys on high;
While crowds mistake and die 1
Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breast-plate
of judgment, upon his heurt, when he goeth into the holy place, for « memorial before the Lord continually ; and thou shalt put into the breast-plate of judgment the Urim and Thummim, namely, light and integrity. Exodus xxviii. 29.
Now am I, saith the believer, for ever in gracious remembrance with " God, since my great High Priest and Advocate, Christ Jesus, bears my name continually before him on his heart. Whenever I am troubled about my sins, his powerful mediation will surely obtain mercy for all my transgressions, and supply my wants abundantly! God not denying him any thing, I can through him continually be heard and obtain grace; for he makes perpetual intercession for me in Heaven, by which all my prayers at all times, and even now, are sanctified, and presented to the Father, who heareth him always. O, who would not send up his petition to Heaven in faith!
Now may our joyful tongues :
Our Maker's honour sing;
And bears them to the King!
Our humble suit he moves,
The Father lays his thunder by,
And looks, and smiles, and loves.
No burning wrath comes down!
The Saviour shows his own.
If any man will come after me, let him deny himself. Luke ix. 23.
Doing this, all the rest will be easy. If we know that we are nothing,
are unworthy of every thing, and have nothing of our own, we can lose nothing. We have no property, since we are but stewards of the Lord. We have no honour or shame of our own, after the manner of the world : this being our only honour, if God be glorified ; and our only shame, if he be dishonoured by us. The glory of God we must have at heart, and in his cause be like lions; but in our own cause like lambs. Therefore, when we are crossed in things which do not concern the glory of God and real good of our neighbour, but our own interest, and are unwilling to suffer any thing, we shall miscarry, and be involved in greater troubles : but Jenying ourselves, we shall lose only a good deal of vexation; and instead of this receive Christ, with all his spiritual and temporal blessings, as far as we want them ; which alone can make us cheerful and happy. But whoever desires to please the world, seeking himself and his own glory, cànnot be a follower of Christ. And how will it be with him in the hour of death and judgment ? By this every one, learned or unlearned, may try themselves : whom do they please? - God or the world ?
Unto you, therefore, which believe, he is precious. 1 Pet. ii. 7. Reader, put these few following questions to thine own heart, as in da the presence of God; if thou canst answer them affirmatively, įubt not thy real interest in him, and in his great salvation :-s the Lord Jesus Christ precious to me, as he is to all that believe ? Once "ewas to me without form or comeliness, and I saw no beauty in him; is he now to me the chiefest of ten thousands, yea, altogether lovely? Do I behold an infinitely amiableness and glory in his person, a transcendent excellency in his righteousness, an inexhausted fulness in his grace, and an Heaven of happiness in his love? Do I esteem him above every name, love him above every creature and thing, and value an interest in him before ten thousand worlds ? Is the language of my soul - None but Christ, none but Christ ?” Whom have I in Heaven but thee ? — and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee." Is all the world, all that is admired in it, esteemed by me as dung, and beheld with the greatest contempt, when compared with a glorious Christ, the ravishing sweetness of his love, and the unsearchable riches of his grace ? Do I wish nothing so ardently, seek nothing so diligently, and rejoice in nothing so greatly, as to win Christ, and be found in him? Be this my portion ! - and can I say I want, I wish; I ask no more ! In vain I seek for rest
And makes me pant for God.
And sure at rest I cannot be,
Until my heart find rest in thee !