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Friday, December 31, 2010

I have prayed for thee

JESUS prayed for Peter in the prospect of his fall. He knew the designs of Satan, he knew that enemy had desired to have him that he might sift him as wheat, hut as the great Intercessor he pleaded with his Father for him: and what he did for Peter, he does for us. Sweet thought this, Jesus knows all Satan's designs and movements, and he prays for us that our faith may not fail! He watches that foe, and he watches over us. Whenever he pleads he prevails, for the Father always hears him. This is our comfort when our hearts are cold, straitened, and prayerless; we have one in heaven who pleads for us. We may lose the prayers of a godly father, or a fondly attached mother; but the prayers of Jesus can never be lost. There are prayers filed in heaven for us this morning, which are to be answered this day; nor shall we get beyond the prayers of Jesus, until we are with him where he is to behold his glory. Let us comfort ourselves with this, under all our sorrows, in all our trials, in the midst of all our bereavements, Jesus has prayed for me.
 Jesus my Advocate hath been,
    And by the fiery darts assailed
Of Satan, and the world, and sin,

    My faith hath never wholly failed:
Jesus, on whom I still depend.
Shall keep mc faithful to the end.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

He giveth grace unto the lowly

SIN destroyed humility and made us proud-i but grace restores it and makes us lowly. Whatever a man may be, if he is not humble, he is not a Christian. Humility is always lovely, and is highly esteemed of God. Nothing will make us so happy, or fit us for usefulness, like humility. The humble may have any thing he desires, for God will withhold nothing from him. But his humility will preserve him from desiring what would be injurious to himself, or unbecoming in God to bestow. Beloved, let us seek grace to make us humble—let us cultivate a lowly disposition; and if we have right views of ourselves, right feelings toward God, and a correct estimate of the things of time, we shall be humble. Then the Lord will visit us, dwell with us, and revive us. When the Lord comes to visit us, he brings abundance of grace with him; if he dwell with us, he will give grace plentifully unto us; and if he give grace thus plentifully unto us, we shall be graceful, happy, and useful. The humble man is God's temple. The humble heart is God's throne. The humble saint is God's delight. May we be clothed with humility, and walk in love.

    Lord, for ever at thy side
May my place, my portion be;
Strip me of the robe of pride;
Clothe me with humility

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I am he which searcheth the reins and the hearts

JESUS must be the Omniscient God, or he could not do so; and he must desire truth in the inward parts, or he would not do so. His eye is always upon us, not only on our path, and our outward actions, but upon our hearts. He is perfectly acquainted with every motive, with every purpose, and with every plan : all is known unto him. This should make us serious, for it is a solemn thing for the eye of Jesus to be penetrating through all the folds of our hearts. It should make us honest, for he must hate all mere pretence, or outward show, with which the heart does not correspond. It should make us watchful over our hearts, for if we neglect to examine or keep them, he does not withdraw his eye from them. Let us then endeavour to pass through this day, realizing the fact, that Jesus is searching our reins and our hearts; and let us learn to abhor all hypocrisy, or mere outside show, as he abhors it. Beloved, he sees all the good that his Spirit produces in our hearts, as well as all the evil which is naturally there.

    Jesus, thou Omniscient Saviour,
    Known to thee is all I do:
All my thoughts, and words, and actions.

    Lie before thy piercing view:
Let thy blood for me avail,
Let thy grace over sin prevail.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Glory ye in his holy name

THE Lord's name reveals his nature. It is written out partly on the works of nature ; but its full revelation is in the person and work of Jesus. Here we learn what God is. What are his thoughts respecting us. What he is willing to do for us, or confer upon us. God is in Christ. "No man hath seen God at anytime ; but the only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." John i. 18. If we would know God's name, we must study Christ. Our minds must dwell upon what he wrought, what he taught, and the graces which shone forth in his conduct. Except we know the Lord's name, we shall never trust in him; except we trust in him, we shall never love him; and except we love him, we shall never glory in his holy name. But if we do know his name, we shall reverence it, and glory in it. We shall commend it to others, and exhort them to learn it, love it, and enjoy it.: We shall praise it, celebrating its excellencies in our songs of thanksgiving. Beloved, let us not glory in our health, or wealth, or attainments, or standing in society, or any thing that pertains to this world; but let us glory in the Lord.

   Nature and time, and earth and skies,
    Thy heavenly skill proclaim:
What shall we do to make us wise,

    But learn to read in his name.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Neither give place to the devil

SATAN is pleased to see us angry, and endeavours to render us implacable. But when betrayed into a passion, we should realize its sinfulness, confess it before God, and be ready to forgive those who have provoked us. To indulge iu a passionate, or a sulky temper, is to give place to the devil. He is sure to tempt us to do so, but he should be firmly and constantly resisted. If we give place to Satan, we shall become revengeful, unforgiving, and hardened; and if we yield to him in one point, he will soon try us upon another, and will never cease until he lead us to apostacy or backsliding. He is always watching us, plotting against us, and seeking to draw us into sin. We should therefore be very concerned to maintain a tender conscience, to be humble before God, and to walk in close and intimate fellowship with the Lord Jesus, who overcame him for us, and will overcome him by us. Satan will often try to harden and mislead us, by suggesting that we should maintain our dignity, and refuse to humble ourselves.

    Give me, Lord, a humble mind,
Make me courteous, meek, and Mind;
Cure my temper, keep my heart.
Let me never from thee depart;
Help me to overcome my foe,
And in me thy mercy sow.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

His secret is with the righteous

SECRETS are kept for friends. A wise man will not open his mind to a stranger. So there are secrets in God's word, and secrets in God's ways, which are only made known unto his people. This is a proof of his love to them, as Jesus said to his disciples, " I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you." John iv. 15. There is secret communion carried on between God and the Christian, to which mere professors are strangers. There are secret communications made, which none know but he that receiveth them. A secret blessing attends the reading of the word, and the ordinances of divine appointment. The love of God is secretly shed abroad in the heart, producing peace, joy, and assurance of interest in his favour. A secret power is exerted, by which duties are performed, privileges are enjoyed, trials are borne, enemies subdued, and all things made to work together for good. Many professors of religion perform duties, talk of divine things, and pass for Christians; but they are not in the secret. All is formal. There is no secret union to

Christ, or intercourse with Christ.

 Though affliction's dreary train,
Flutter round my trembling soul.
Sorrow, anguish, grief, and pain.
A secret something sweetens still.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Of whom shall I be afraid?

IF you are in Christ - if you are following that which is good - if you are living and walking by faith - if you are aiming at God's glory in all you do - you need not be afraid of any one. For in Christ, you are safe from dangerwhile you follow that which is good, nothing can harm you - living and walking by faith, you will overcome every difficulty and conquer every foe - and while aiming at God's glory, he will support, supply, and defend you. David could say, " The Lord is my light and my salvation; the Lord is the strength of my life," and therefore he fearlessly asks, " Of whom shall I be afraid." The guilty may fear, but you are pardoned. The friendless may fear, but God is your friend. The defenceless may fear, but the Lord is your defence, and the Holy One of Israel is your King. The idle may fear, but you are employed in the Lord's service to his praise. Whom should you fear? Satan? he is a conquered foe. The world ? Jesus has overcome the world. Death? It is abolished; it is dedestroyed.

    O love divine! to thee I owe,
Ten thousand praises here below,

    And everlasting songs:
Take thou my body, spirit, soul,
Claim, and possess, and use the whole

    To thee the whole belongs.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Saviour of the world. John

JESUS is the Saviour of sinners, of sinners of every nation under heaven. The Jews fancied that salvation was to he confined to them, but it is sent unto the Gentiles. There is now no difference between the Jew and the Greek, all have sinned, all need salvation, Jesus is able to save all, and all are welcome to seek and find salvation in him. The gospel excludes no one. There is no sinner but what Christ can save. There is no sinner but he is willing to save, if that sinner is willing to be saved by him. But how does he save ? He fulfilled the precepts of the law in his life, and he paid its penalty in his death. His one sacrifice made an infinite atonement for sin. It met and satisfied all the claims of divine justice. In his life and death he did all that was necessary to procure the pardon, justification, and eternal life of poor sinners. His resurrection and ascension to heaven prove this. And now he places to the account of every sinner that believes on him, the merit of what he did and suffered. Thus," as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous "

    Come to Christ, your sins confessing;
    Grace and glory he can give;
Pardon, peace, with every blessing
    All are yours if you believe.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Babes in Christ

ALL believers are in Christ, and have the same privileges; but all believers are not of the same stature. Some are fathers, some are young men, and some are only babes in Christ. The babe is born of God and has spiritual life, but it has little knowledge and less strength. Every babe breathes forth its desires in prayer at God's throne, but many of them cannot call God father, or enjoy boldness at his throne. The eye is opened to see something of its sinful state, in consequence of which it seeks an interest in Jesus; but the sight is not strong enough to see its title to Christ, or the smiling face of its loving father. A babe is soon alarmed, and, when alarmed, clings closer to its parent's breast; and a babe in Christ is very timid, but it cleaves closer to Jesus the more it is terrified or alarmed. Some babes are very fretful and uneasy; and some young Christians have little patience or solid comfort, on account of the workings of unbelief and unfounded fears. The babe cannot digest strong meat, but must be fed with milk; and many believers are unable to feed upon the glorious doctrines of the gospel, but must always have lighter food, as invitations and promises.

Jesus In whom the Godhead lays
Beam forth in mildest majesty,
I see thee full of truth and love,
I come for all I want to you.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Take heed and be quiet

BUT they were threatened with an invasion, and appeared to he in imminent danger. Can it be wise, or prudent, to be still ? Whatever God commands is right. We ought to obey God. We are not in the power of any creature. The danger is rather apparent than real. Let us take heed to our tongues, that we do not speak unadvisedly, and so dishonour God. Let us take heed to our tempers, that we do not give way to passion, and so distress ourselves. Let us take heed to our way, that we do not go out of the right path, and so give our enemies an advantage over us. God says, " Be quiet." Let not fears agitate thee. Let not appearances appal thee. Let not doubts discourage thee. Be calm as the child in its parent's arms. Thy God rules. His hand is in every event, though you may not see it. Thy God is with thee, he was never nearer to thee than just now. Thy God is for thee, pledged by promise and by oath. He will guard thee with his invisible presence. He will keep thee by his power. He will interpose on thy behalf when it is necessary.

    When I can trust my all with God,
    In trial's fearful hour,

    Bow, all resign'd, beneath the rod,

    And bless his sparing power;
A joy springs up amid distress,

A fountain in the wilderness.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I have loved thee with an everlasting love

GOD'S love to his people, in every view of it, is wonderful. They are so mean and insignificant, so sinful and depraved, that one can but wonder that he should at all regard them. But his ways are not our ways, nor his thoughts our thoughts. He loves his people, just because he will love them; not looking for any thing in them to induce him to do so. We cannot trace his love to its beginning, for it is eternal; nor can we trace it to its close, for it is everlasting. He ever did love us, he does love us now, and he ever will love us. His love is sovereign, or freely exercised; his love is immutable, or never varies; his love is fruitful, or the source of innumerable blessings; and his love is everlasting, or will endure for ever. Beloved, if God love us, no matter who hates us. If God love us, he will not allow any thing to harm us. If God love us, he will certainly supply us. But if God love us, he will expect us to love him in return; and if his love to us is so great, he will expect us to love him above every thing beside.

    Since thy love had no beginning,
    And shall never, never cease;
Keep, O keep me, Lord from sinning

    Guide me in the way of peacel
Make me walk in

    All the paths of holiness.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The reviving of the Holy Ghost

ALL real religion flows from the indwelling, power, and operation of the Holy Spirit. He quickens us, when dead in sins ; enlightens us, when sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death ; instructs us, when alienated from God through the ignorance that is in us ; leads us to Jesus, when far from him by wicked works; subdues the enmity of our hearts, and reconciles us to God, when enemies and enmity against him. He regenerates but once, but he renews us often. If once born of the Spirit we die no more: but we often need to be revived, and quickened, and refreshed. He sometimes works upon the soul immediately, but most generally it is through the word. The word of itself has no power to revive or renew us, it is only mighty through God. It is the sword of the Spirit, by which he slays the sinner; and the healing balm, by which he heals the saint. If the word comes home, if a spirit of prayer is awakened, if a thirst for God is experienced, if the comforts of the gospel are enjoyed, if we overcome sin, it is the effect of the renewing of the Holy Ghost.

    Eternal Spirit! Lord of light!
    Throned in the heaven of heavens above,
Descend in thy renewing might,

    Come in the glory of thy love:
Revive my soul, renew my heart,
Thy own undying life impart.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Who can understand his errors

SIN is an error. It is a wandering from the right ways of the Lord. It is an erm>which we are constantly falling into. The best regulated minds, the most consistent walkers, daily err. Our errors are so numerous, that we eannot understand or enumerate them. Every day, every hour, we do, speak, or think wrong. Every part of our lives is stained with sin. This ought to humble us, and make us walk softly before the Lord. It ought to endear to us the precious blood of Christ, which alone can remove from us the guilt of sin. If we. were denied the use of that blood for one hour, we should be eternally undone; for every hour we do that which would ruin us for ever. It ought to lead us to admire the patience and long suffering of God. How wonderful that a holy God should bear with us; and not only bear with us, but love us notwithstanding all I What errors are committed in youth, from thoughtlessness and inexperience. What errors are committed in manhood, from yielding to the cares of the world. What errors are committed in old age, from habits contracted in younger years, and from cleaving too much to the present world.

    I want so circumspect to live,
    So free from every sin,
That even the careless may perceive

    That I with Christ have been.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

That he may exalt you in due time

THE apostle is exhorting to humility. Nothing is so necessary for us, or more acceptable to God. The humble man is sure to be respected. Saints will love him, and God will do any thing for him. Pride is offensive to our fellows, and it is detestable in the sight of God. He will hold no fellowship with a proud man : he knoweth the proud afar off, and he keeps them at a distance. The Lord's people may be oppressed, and Providence may seem to take part with their oppressors. They may lie long in the dust, and be brought very low. But if they humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, he will exalt them in due time. When the trial has accomplished its work, it shall be removed. When the proud spirit is humbled, when the complaining spirit is resigned, when the conceited creature is reduced to its proper level, then the Lord will appear to exalt it. He exalteth by his power, by Ins grace, and by his providence. He exalteth sometimes in temporals, more frequently in spirituals. He raises the spirit above the circumstances, and this is true exaltation.

When, my Saviour, shall I be
Totally resign'd to thee?
Poor and vile in mine own eyes,
Only in thy wisdom wise.
Only guided by thy light,
Only mighty in thy mightl

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Lord is my strength and my shield

THE truth and value of God's word, is to be learned out in the school of experience. It is easy to read the word, assent to it, and admire it; but when we are called to trust it in the hour of temptation and trial, we find it very difficult. The grace which gave us the book must enable us to make use of it. The Lord is to his people just what they require, and all that they require. They are weak, and feci as if they daily grew weaker; their foes are many and strong, and appear to increase in numbers and courage; but the Lord is their strength. His omnipotence is pledged to them, and will be exerted for them. Faith lays hold on God's arm, and until that arm fails the believer who holds by it is safe. The Lord is not only our strength but our shield. We are in the field of battle, our enemies are numerous and mighty, and they hate us with bitter hatred. But the Lord ever comes between us and danger, and thus we escape the fiery darts of the devil. The Lord is our defence, who saveth the upright in heart.
O that my faith could firmly hold
This heavenly shield witli ardour bold,

I then could every foe repel,
Invincible to earth and hell:

Lord, be my strength as well as shield,
And help my soul to keep the field.

Ye are the temple of God

A TEMPLE is the residence of Deity. The church of Christ is the dwelling-place of Jehovah. Here he resides, is worshipped, and displays his glory. But every believer is a temple too. Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost. In regeneration God takes possession of us. He enthrones himself in the affections and requires the homage and adoration of all the powers of the soul. Having once taken possession he never resigns it. The Christian is always God's consecrated dwelling-place, his living temple. Here he is known, loved, and worshipped. The heart is his altar, and prayer and praise the sacrifices he requires and accepts. But we are not sufficiently impressed with this fact. We do not live, move, work, and speak under the influence of the idea, " / am the temple of God." If we did, it would have a very sanctifying effect upon us. We could not go, where some Christians go ; nor do, what some Christians do. We should often ask ourselves, " Is this becoming in one who is the residence of God ? Ought the temple of God to be found here?" Christian, what an honour is put upon thee!
How could thy God honour thee more?
No idol god shall hold a place
Within this temple of thy grace;
Dagon before the ark shall fall.
And God in Christ be all in nil.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Godliness with contentment is great gain

T'RUE godliness is a good fortune; for every godly man, hath not only the promise of eternal life, but of all things which are necessary for life and godliness. Now if God is able to supply all his needs, if he hath promised that he will withhold no good thing, and if he is faithful to his word, ought not a godly man to be contented ? But this is exactly the case. God has provided for the body as well as for the soul; for sickness as well as health; for age as well as youth; for the whole of time as well as eternity; and he will supply us as we need, Bo as to secure our best interests and his glory. All he requires of us, is to trust him, to ask for the blessings as we feel we need them, to employ our talents in his service, and to wait his time with patience. Is this unreasonable? Is it not wise and kind, seeing he knows what foolish and wasteful creatures we are? Let us therefore seek to be satisfied with God's arrangements, and to live as we are required in his holy word. The best fortune is a contented mind.
How shall the Christian's noble mind
By grace renewed, by heaven refined
Indulge a murmuring thought ?
Shall he who claims Jehovah's strength,
Who shall be brought to heaven at length,
shall he accept God's lot?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

To whom will ye flee for help ?

THIS is addressed to those who know not God. To those who love not our Lord Jesus Christ. What multitudes there are of such. Let us ask, Am I one of them ? Have I fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before me in the gospel ? Is Christ formed in my heart the hope of glory ? Is God my friend, my father, and my joy ? If not, when troubles overwhelm you—when Satan harasses you—when conscience accuses you—when the world frowns upon you—when sickness seizes you—when death stares you in the face, to whom will ye flee for help ? Who can support you in trouble ? Who can deliever you from Satan ? Who can calm and pacify a guilty conscience ? Who can comfort when the world frowns ? Who can give patience when suffering from disease? Who can raise you above the fears of death, or entitle you to a glorious immortality ? He that cannot do these things for you, will not be sufficient for you then. To whom then will ye flee ? Creatures are vain, they cannot help you. God alone can, and if you flee to him now, it will be well, for he invites you, and promises to receive you. But if you delay it may soon be too late.

Haste. sinner, haste, to Jesus flee,
    For pardon, life, and grace!
Approach his throne without delay

Monday, December 13, 2010

Being justified by his grace

THE justification of a sinner is a surprising display of the wisdom and grace of God. He is acknowledged to be guilty, and yet proclaimed just. How can this be ? He is guilty before God as a creature, because he has broken the law; he is just before God as a Christian, because he is united to Christ who obeyed the law for him. One moment he is ungodly, and has nothing to urge why judgment should not be executed upon him; the next• moment, by the exercise of faith in Christ, he is justified, and has a righteousness which meets all the requirements of the law, to plead before God's bar. But, if a sinner is justified, if the ungodly is made righteous, it must be by grace; it is impossible that it should be by works. And it is of grace from first to last. It was grace devised the plan, in the eternal councils; it was grace that brought the Son of God into our world, to work out the righteousness which justifies; it is grace which sends the gospel to reveal this righteousness unto vm, and the Holy Spirit to work faith in our hearts to embrace it.

Not for our works or righteousness,
Did God our souls from sin release,

Its guilt and power remove:
lie saved us by his grace alone.
The cause, the only cause we own,

His free spontaneous love.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Lord is great

TITE shall never rightly estimate the Lord's goodness, except we realize something of his greatness. His greatness is unsearchable. And after our most extensive and laborious investigations, we must exclaim with the patriarch, "How little a portion is heard of him!" Of the greatness of his nature, or the grandeur of his
perfections, we can have no adequate conception: heaven is his throne, and the earth is his footstool.
Behold, the nations are as the drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. All nations before him are as nothing and they are counted to him less than nothing and vanity. His thoughts, his purposes, and his plans are great. His promises are great and precious. Greatness is impressed upon every thing he does. Does he pardon sin ? He does it like himself, perfectly and for ever. Does he provide supplies ? They are vast as his resources, eternal as his existence, and varied as
our wants. Does he save hi» people? It is with a great salvation - from great sins, from great suffering, at a great price, by a great Saviour, to great happiness and glory.

And will this glorious Lord descend
To be my Father and my Friend?
Then let my songs with angeis join;
Heaven is secure if God be miue.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

We are the children of God

GOD has a family upon earth. Every believer is a child of God. He knows God, who is his Father. He loves Jesus, who is his elder Brother. He cleaves to the saints, who form the household of God. But many of the Lord's children question their adoption, and fear that they are not born again. Let all such ask themselves, Am I of the world? Am I what I was once ? Can I love sin ? Can I live in sin ? Do I despise the Saviour? Do I prefer the things of time to the things of eternity ? Thousands do, and if you do not, why is it ? Must there not be a difference, and who made that difference ? Do you think Satan would ? Could you have made it yourself? Certainly not. The soul that hates sin, forsakes the world, trusts in Jesus, loves the saints, and cannot live without prayer, is a child of God. But still, it would be well to seek the direct witness of the Holy Spirit- If we are the children of God, Satan will harass us, sin will distress us, doubts will perplex us, the world will hate us, some professors will frown on us, and our heavenly Father will at times correct us.
Send forth the Spirit of thy Son,
    0 tied into my panting heart,
That govern'd by thy love alone,

    From thee I never may depart,
But following my celestial Guide,
Be number'd with the glorified.

Friday, December 10, 2010

They despised the pleasant land

WHAT Canaan was to the Jews, that heaven is to us. It is the land of promise. The land that floweth with milk and honey. It is the pleasant land. It is the abode of peace, plenty, and variety. There all is harmony, and all is love. Holiness is the atmosphere, and joy the light of that blessed place. There God unveils his glory - the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne, leads, feeds, and delights his people - angels serve - the church is at rest - and every saint is filled with joy. Every thing that can please, satisfy, or enhance our happiness is there; and there in perfection. All is pleasant, and always pleasant. No storms ever rise, no clouds obscure the sky; the sun ever shines, the fruits are always ripe; the songs are ever new, the employment always pleasing; and God is the glory of the place. It is set before us. It is promised to every believer - to every overcomer. The way is marked out. The forerunner has gone before. The invitation to follow him is given, the assurance that every seeker shall obtain; and yet we despise the pleasant land. Beloved, let us beware of Israel's sin, lest we suffer Israel's punishment.

Lord, feed and clothe me day by day,
And guide my footsteps lest I stray;
O iruard me with a powerful hand.
And bring me to the pleasant land.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

He that believeth hath everlasting life

EVERLASTING life is the highest privilege to which we can aspire. It is not mere existence, but it is existence suited to our nature in its most perfect state, and reaching to the height of our most exalted desires. It is life in the presence, favour, and enjoyment of God. It is life with Christ, a life like the life of Christ. It is life without disease. It is life without trouble. It is life without fear. It is life without death. It is life in the possession and enjoyment of all God has promised, Christ has purchased, or the Holy Spirit has revealed in the gospel. It is life that goes beyond the highest expectation of men, or the powers of an angel to describe. And this life is promised to every believer; yea, not only promised, but the pledge, the earnest, the principle of it is possessed. Every believer is entitled to everlasting life. Every believer has the commencement of eternal life in his heart. The sentence of condemnation is repealed, he is quickened from a death in trespasses and sins, and he is united to Jesus who is the resurrection and the life.

Blest with the faith that works hy love,
Blest with eternal life thou art,
Thou hast the life of those above,

The seed of glory in thy he:irt:
Jesus in thee will ever live,
And thou shalt all his life receive.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pardon mine iniquity, for it is great

NO one can pardon sin but God. It is his sole -L' prerogative. That God may be just, and yet pardon sinners, Jesus suffered, bled, and died. No one can be pardoned but for the sake of Christ. Every pardon is written with his blood. God for Christ's sake forgives us our trespasses. He is ready to pardon. But we must be convinced of sin, and if the Holy Spirit convince us, our sins will appear numerous, aggravated, and great; so great at times, that we shall fear whether God will pardon such great sinners; but the very greatness of our sin should urge us to apply for pardon. Our God is a great God, his mercy is great, the merit of a Saviour's blood is great, and he has pardoned great sinners in every age. Let us therefore look at our sins fairly, at their nature, number, aggravation, desert: then let us look at the merit of the Saviour's blood, at the gracious promises of the word, at the invitations of the gospel, and let us confess our sins, remembering the assurance given us by the apostle, " If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Take courage, look to Jesus, and say,.

Were the black list before my si^ht,
While I remember thou hast died,
Twould only urge my speedier flight

To seek salvation at thy side.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

You who are troubled rest with us

THE Thessalonians were persecuted for the sake of Christ. They were deeply tried; their tribulations were very painful; but they exercised patience, and were supported by faith in God's word. The apostles were also greatly tried; but, in their greatest trials, they looked up to their sympathising Lord for help, and looked forward to his glorious appearing for redress. They knew that when Jesus came the crooked would be made straight, and his persecuted people would be exalted to honour. They were willing to leave their cause in his hands. They cast all their cares upon him; and they enjoyed rest in trouble when they were not delivered from trouble. Paul exhorts his persecuted brethren to enjoy the same privilege. He says,—" Rest with us." Rest in God's faithful word: he will make it good, liest in the Saviour's grace: he will perfect his strength in your weakness. Rest on the promise of his coming, when he will subdue all things unto himself. Look not at trouble, but look for the coming of Jesus.

Then we whose flesh is troubled here,
Shall plorious with our Head appear.

And find our place prepared above;
And spend on our Redeemer's breast
A whole eternity of rest,

A whole eternity of love

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance

THIS is the design of every mercy which God confers. The sinner has wrong thoughts of God, and the goodness of God is intended to change those thoughts. He has wrong feelings toward God, and it is intended to change those feelings. He walks contrary to God, and the design is to change his course. Unless the goodness of God change our thoughts, feelings, and conduct, toward God ; unless it produce sorrow for sin, hatred to sin, and departure from sin, it does not produce a proper effect upon us. Friends, look at the goodness of God to you in providence. How many mercies crown your lot. How many favours are heaped upon you. Consider his goodness toward you as the God of grace. He has given you his written word. He has appointed ministers to preach that word to you. He has instituted ordinances to instruct and impress you. He has sent you his holy gospel, in which he informs you of the gift of his Son for sinners; and of the promise of the Holy Spirit to sinners. All this is intended to lead you to repentance.
Let me, Lord, the true repentance,
Self-condemned, from thee receive;

Then reverse the fearful sentence
Bid thy pardoned rebel live.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Lord was my stay

THE Psalmist had been greatly tried. His friends forsook him, and his enemies were mad against him. His heart often misgave him, and painful fears oppressed him; but, driven from every earthly stay, he looked to the Lord. The word of God was his pilgrim staff; with this he pressed forward, notwithstanding his difficulties. He leaned on the Lord, and the Lord supported him. He always found God nearest when most needed; and proved him faithful to his word. Beloved, let us look back: we have been in trials too; earthly friends have forsaken us; our hearts for awhile sunk within us, and why did we not fall a prey to our foes ? The Lord was our stay. He always secretly sustained us. He sometimes sweetly comforted us. He occasionally appeared to deliver us, so that even foes could not but exclaim, "This is the finger of God." The Lord is still our stay; let us lean upon him to-day,—let us bear our whole weight upon his faithful word ; it will not, it cannot fail us. The Lord will be our stay through all the future stages of our journey.
Lord, preserve from Satan's wiles,
Save from dangers, free from fearr ;
May I live upon thy smiles
Till the promised hour appears,
When the sons of God shall prove
All their Father's boundless love.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

And they were afraid to ask him

JESUS had been speaking of his death. The disciples did not understand him. They wanted information, but they were afraid to ask him. Their fear w;groundless,—it was injurious. So is ours very frequently, for we often copy them in what was wrong. Jesus is with us. He is ever present as our Saviour and Friend. He is willing to hear our requests, and bids us ask for favours. He regards our petitions, and always answers us in wisdom and love. He is ever pleased to hear us, and encourages us to draw nigh unto him; but we often act as if we were afraid to ask him; especially, to explain to us the mysteries in his word; to show us the design of his dark and perplexing providences ; to reveal to us our interest in his love, and make our election sure; to give us the blessings we feel we need, the favours we desire, or the mercies which others enjoy. But why do we fear to ask him ? Lest it should be presumption, because we are so mean and unworthy ; because our unbelief is so strong, and we do not believe the love which he hath to us, in consequence of the temptations of Satan, who fears our confidence and hates our souls.

Come, my soul, thy suit prepare;
Jesus loves to answer prayer:
He himself has bid thee pray,
Therefore will not s,iy thee nay.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

He shall come to be glorified in his saints

JESUS is gone into heaven, to appear as the great High Priest before his Father for us. He is interceding for all that come unto God by him. He will soon come again: his coming will be sudden, glorious, and unexpected. He will come to be glorified in his saints: they will then be all collected together, and it will be a glory to him to have saved so vast a number, a multitude which no man can number; and to have saved such a variety of persons,—for there will be some of all ages and classes, of all climes and colours, and of all times, from the days of righteous Abel to the hour of his glorious appearing. He will be glorified in the completeness of their salvation, for all will be saved perfectly, and saved for ever. He will be glorified in their exact resemblance of himself, for they will be just like him in body and in soul: he will see his own image in every one of his beloved people. He will be glorified in the beauty and glory of the residence he has provided for them, and to which he will introduce them.

    Lord, we long to see the day!
    Come, and in thy saints display
    All the wonders of thy love,
    All our life concealed above.
    Oar celestial Head divine.
    Jesus, in thy members shine.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Remember me, O my God, for good

IT is no uncommon thing for our earthly friends to forget us, especially in seasons of trouble, or in circumstances of poverty. But if they remembered us, they could do but little for us. When creatures forget, or slight us, let us turn from them to the Lord. He says, " Thou shalt not be forgotten of me." Let us pray with the man of God, " Remember me, O my God." Kemember my wants, and supply them, for they are many and pressing. Remember my fears, and disperse them, for they are numerous and distressing. Remember my foes, and subdue them, for they are fierce and united. Remember my difficulties, and deliver me out of them, for they fill me with shame and dismay. Remember my weakness, and strengthen me, for I desire to do thy will. Remember my doubts, and remove them, and give me a steady faith in thy word, and a sweet assurance of thy love. " Remember me, O my God, as a child, that incessantly needs a parent's care; as a pilgrim, that needs a guide; and as a soldier, that requires courage and supplies. Remember me, to fill me with the power of the Holy Ghost.

    0 thou, from whom all goodness flows,
    I lift my soul to thee;
In all my sorrows, conflicts, woes.

    Dear Lord, remember me.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thou hast left thy first love

THIS is a very solemn charge. Let us ask, Is it brought against us ? Our first love was Jesus. When we felt our lost condition, when we saw the danger to which we were exposed, we were directed to him; he received us graciously, he pardoned our sins, he introduced us to his Father, and we enjoyed peace. This filled us with love; we admired his dealings, we adored his person, we espoused his cause, we united with his people, we fearlessly professed his name, and consecrated ourselves to his bervice. Our love to Jesus at first was warm and strong. We thought nothing too hard to undertake for him, we considered nothing too valuable to surrender to him, we felt we could suffer in his cause, and die for his name, if required. But we have declined since then, and, if Jesus is still the object of our love, we do not love him as we did. He deserves our love more than ever. He asks our love, for he prizes it. But, alas ! the world has such power over us, temporal things so powerfully affect us, that we sometimes question whether we love him at all.

O Saviour —
    Give me thy pardoning love to feel.
And freely my backslidings heal.

    Repair my faith's decay;
Restore the sweetness of thy grace,
Reveal the glories of thy face.

    And take my sins away.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

His name shall be called Wonderful

AND he will answer to his name; for he is **. Wonderful. Consider the constitution of his person, he is God, he is also man. He possesses the entire nature of God, and the entire nature of man, and yet the two natures united constitute but one person. He is therefore human and divine, infinite and finite—the eternal God, and yet really man. He unites in himself heaven and earth, time and eternity, the Creator and the creature. He is the'mighty God, and the feeble child born. Truly this is wonderful: we can believe it, but we cannot comprehend it. We perceive that it is, but we cannot perceive how it is. His love also is wonderful, for he loves those who are unlovely, and who never had any love to him. There is no reason why he should love them, but plenty of reasons why he should not. And yet he loves them with all the strength of his nature, and has manifested that love in the most wonderful manner. For them he resigned the throne of glory, and gave up all he possessed in heaven. For them he became poor, was hated, persecuted, punished, and executed as a guilty slave. Well may he be called Wonderful.

    Wonderful art thou in power,
    But most wonderful In love:
Be thou all our theme below,

    Be thou all our heaven above.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Preserve me, O God

SELF-CONFIDENT persons are always in & danger. When Peter felt secure, lie fell; and so have thousands beside. Let us always fear a fall when we feel self-confidence working in our hearts. The wisest saints walk closest with the Lord, and fear to be left to themselves for one moment. The man who trusts in himself, or in his circumstances, is a stranger to his own heart, and the many foes by which he is surrounded. Let this be our daily prayer, " Preserve me, O God." No one but God can preserve us, for it requires an omniscient eye, an omnipotent arm, and an ever-present friend to do so. We need to be preserved every moment, and to be under Divine keeping night and day. The holiest are liable to fall into sin, the strongest to be overcome by temptation, and the most confident to yield to unbelief. May the Lord preserve us this day from the wiles of Satan, the snares of the world, the deceitfulness of our own hearts, the influence of carnal professors, and from falling from our own steadfastness. May he preserve us in Christ, by Christ, in fellowship with Christ, and to the advancement of the kingdom of Christ.

    Lord, keep me in thy heavenly way,
    And bid the tempter flee:
And let me never, never stray,

    From happiness and thee.

Friday, November 26, 2010

They soonforgat his works

THAT is a bad memory which buries God's mercies and forgets his works. And who has not to complain of such a memory ! That is remembered longest which impresses most. How long we remember a slight injury or a small offence ; but how soon we forget the mercies of our God. Thus did Israel, and thus do we also who now inherit their forfeited mercies. The works of God in the wilderness were so striking and Bo wonderful, that one would have thought that the people never could have forgot them. But they soon ceased to awake attention, or excite gratitude, and were treated as common things. Lord, what is man ! That we may not forget, let us endeavour to improve by the Lord's works. Let us study them. Let us see his wisdom, kindness, and care in them. Let us record them, and often read the record. Let us often dwell upon our own unworthiness, and admire the grace displayed in the least of them. Let his works in nature be read. Let his work of providence be noticed. Especially let his work of redemption engage our thoughts, our affections, and our gratitude. Never let us forget or slight his wonderful works.

    0! may I ne'er forget
    The mercy of my God.
Nor ever want a tongue to spresid

    His loudest praise abroad.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

That the power of Christ may rest upon me

THE Christian's infirmities are many and very painful, they often discourage, deject, and cast him down. They hinder him in every duty, mar his best performances, and give Satan an occasion against him. Pew have learnt the happy art of glorying in their infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon them ; and yet it is our infirmities which render the Saviour so necessary for us, and which endear the Saviour so much to our hearts. His power is put forth in our weakness, and it is in his strength that we must overcome. We can do nothing good without him; but through him we can do all things. The power of Jesus resting upon us will shelter us amidst all the storms of life, protect us from all real danger during our journey home, refresh us amidst all the toils of this weary land, give us rest in our most weary hours, and keep us safe until we are beyond the reach of foes. The power of Christ overshadows his people in their seasons of trial as a tent the traveller in the eastern deserts.

    Must I be tried antl tortur'd still ?
I yield to thy mysterious will;

    But give me, Lord, to prove,
In nature's utter helplessness,
The strength of all-sufficient grace,

    Th' omnipotence of love.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

He led them forth by the right way

IT was not the smoothest, or the shortest, or the one most frequented, but it was the best. It was the only right way. He intended to prove them, and to display his wonders, and the way afforded an opportunity for both. Thus it is with all his people. He has marked out the way in his unerring wisdom; he guides them into it, he tries them by it, he leads them along it, and glorifies himself by doing so.s God's way is always contrary to that which flesh and blood would choose. We want ease, plenty, pleasure, and honour. But the Lord intends that we shall have faith, humility, patience, fortitude, and confidence in himself alone. His design is to empty us, and strip us, and humble us, and break us down before his throne; to endear the Saviour, sweeten the promises, and make the good land more desirable. And this he effects by sanctifying the trials, the losses, the disappointments, and the troubles we meet with in the way. Beloved, is yours a rough way, a trying path, a perplexing road? It is the right way. The Lord leads you, and he never leads wrong. He brings into the wilderness before he brings into Canaan.

    The way was right their hearts to prove,
    To make God's glory known,
And show his wisdom, power, and love,

    Engaged to save his own.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


IMMUTABILITY is the peculiar prerogative of Jehovah. Every thing out of the Divine nature is changeable. Angels in heaven changed, and became devils. Man, who was created in the image of his Maker, changed, and now bears the image of Satan. Saints renewed by grace often change, they backslide, and are restored; now they are happy, then dejected ; now they are active, and then dull and lifeless; but Jehovah is the same. He is what he was, and what he is he ever will be. There can be no addition to his wisdom, for it is perfect; to his power, for it is omnipotent; or to his love, for it is infinite. There can be no diminution of his justice, his holiness, or his veracity; for he would cease to be God if he were less just, holy, or true. He never did injure one of his creatures, by any purpose he formed, or by any work he ever wrought, nor he never will. He is holy in all his ways, and his word is true from the beginning. This should comfort his people, He is now what he was when he entered into covenant, when he made his promises, and when he gave his only begotten Son. Friends may change, but God is the same.

    Jehovah, Great I Am!
    By earth and heaven confeat;
I how, and bless the sacred name.

    For ever bless'd.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Come and let us return unto the Lord

WE have wandered from him, in our thoughts, in our desires, and in our pursuits. We have heen running after other lovers, and set up idols in our hearts. Our conduct has been sinful; and the effect most injurious to ourselves. Come then, and let us return unto the Lord. He is willing to receive us. He will readily pardon us. " If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Let us fall at his feet, and frankly confess our folly. Let us endeavour to turn our thoughts, desires, and affections back to him again. Especially, let us seek from him the Spirit of grace and supplication, for without his holy operations, there will be no godly sorrow, no hatred of sin, no self-abhorrence, no faith in the promises, or restoration of the joys of salvation. We must return, or our sin will be aggravated. We must return, or our misery will be deep. Let us then at once, without any delay, take with us words, and approach his throne. We may plead his past mercies, we may plead his glorious name, we may plead a Saviour's blood, nor can we plead in vain.

Hear him call,

    Return, 0 wanderer, return!
    And seek thine injured Father's face I
Those new desires that in thee hum,

    Were kindled by reclaiming grace.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I would thou wert cold or hot

THE Lord Jesus hates lukewarmness. He *• would rather we made no profession of religion at all, than to profess and not practise his precepts. He loves to see his people zealous. He has done enough for us to make us so, and it is a shame to us when we are dull and lifeless in his ways. But it is to be feared, that many professors do not realize indifference to be a sin. They think that having professed Christ, if they just attend to a few duties, and creep along a certain course, it is enough. They are never hot, and they do not like to see others so; but generally prophecy evil of them when they do. Professor of religion, Jesus says, " Be hot, or cold I" Be altogether a Christian, or throw off the profession, lay aside the name. Do not wear the name to dishonour it. Your Saviour was always zealous, his zeal surprised both his friends and foes; and he said to his Father, " The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up." Is he not our example in this, as well as in other things ? Should we not endeavour to regulate our pace by his? He hasted to suffer, and longed for his bitter agonies. Well, how Rhall we be to-day ? Hot, or cold, or lukewarm ?

    Jesus, I fain would find
Thy zeal for God in me,
Thy yearning pity for mankind,
Thy burning charity

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he

 THE Lord is the only legitimate object of trust for a sinner. He cannot trust in himself,
for his heart is deceitful above all things. He cannot trust in his fellow-men, for they are no
better. If he does trust in any one but the Lord, vexation, disappointment, and sorrow,
must be the result. In God he may trust for the promise warrants him. In God he should
trust, for the precept commands him. In God he must trust, for every other refuge will fail
him. The word of God is true, and cannot deceive ns; it is unchangeable, and cannot fail us;
it is most gracious, and just suits us. In his word, God has promised everything we can
possibly want, he has invited us to ask for all he has promised, and he has assured us that we
shall not be disappointed. If therefore we rest on his word, rely on his faithfulness, and expect
him to appear for us, we shall prove him to be true to his word. And doing so, we shall be
happy, for it will dissipate our doubts, conquer our fears, prevent disappointment, and secure
to us innumerable mercies. " He that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.

O, make but trial of his love!
     Experience will decide
How blest are they, and only they
     Who in his truth confide.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I press toward the mark

 THE believer's mark is perfection, or exact conformity to the Lord Jesus Christ. His first aim is to possess Christ, and then to be like Christ. When we are like Jesus, every foe is overcome, every difficulty is mastered, and the crown is about to be put on our heads. The prize is won, and the honour will be worn for ever. Exact likeness to Jesus we shall not attain to here, but we may be very much more like him than we are. Our tempers may be made more heavenly, our natures more spiritual, and our conversation more scriptural. We may be weaned from the present world, our motives may be purified, and holiness may become our element and delight. He who hath begun in us a good work, can carry it on; and as we are now very unlike what we were, we may yet become very unlike what we are at present. But if we would, it must be the mark at which we aim. We must ever keep it in our eye, as the racer did the mark which was to decide the race. This we too often forget, and are too well satisfied with present things.

    Jesus, that perfect good unknown,
Restless, resigned, I wait to gain:

    But give me strength to follow on,
And strive, and labour, and sustain,

    Nor ever from thine own depart,
    'Till thee I love with all my heart

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Whom the Lord loveth he correcteth

THERE are many things in us that need correction. Our follies call for stripes. Our Father knoweth our frame, he reads our hearts, he observes our conduct, and he has purposed to conform us to his own beloved Son. This will account for most of our trials, afflictions, and sufferings. He loves us too well, to even seem to sanction us in any thing that is wrong. If he did not love us, he would not correct us. If one trial would answer, he never would send us two. His mercy is too great. His heart is too kind. It is his children that he corrects, and by correcting instructs. Let us not then, for one moment, suppose that our trials are indications of his wrath. He may be displeased with us, and therefore afflict us; but he has sworn that he will not be wroth with us. He will visit our transgressions with the rod, and our iniquities with stripes; but he will not withdraw his loving-kindness, nor suffer his faithfulness to fail. Precious assurance this! Sweet views of troubles and trials! Let us get a scriptural assurance of an interest in our heavenly Father's love, and then rejoice even in tribulation.

    Let him tenderly chastise,
    Let him graciously reprove,
Father, all within me cries,—

    All thy ways are truth and Live.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ye are made nigh by the blood of Christ

DISTANCE from God is the consequence of sin, and to the believer it is the cause of trouble and distress. We were all banished far from God once; nor could we ever have been brought nigh unto him, if Jesus had not become our Substitute, and satisfied the law on our behalf. The blood of Jesus removes every obstacle out of the way of our approaching to God, and it secures us an honourable reception by God. We never could have known the blessedness of nearness to God, if Jesus had not left his Father's bosom, obeyed the law in our nature, and died in our stead. He is the only way to God. By him both Jews and Gentiles have access by one Spirit unto the Father. He stands between God and the sinner, and lays his hand upon both: he brings God down to us, and he leads us up to God. There is nothing between us and God now, but Jesus. He made peace, and he keeps peace. We are reconciled to God, and God is at peace with us. He is nigh unto us, and loves us to be nigh unto him. O to realize that God hath accepted us in Jesus, and that he is near to us in every place!
Jesus, the Saviour, shed his blood,
To bring the guilty nigh to God,
Tis here I find relief from sin,
A balm to make my conscience clean.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The coming of the Lord draweth nigh

IF we really love the Saviour we shall long for his appearing. And in proportion to the strength of our love will be our desire for his speedy return. He will come, for he has promised to do so. He will soon come, so his word declares, and passing events seem to give an emphasis to that word. Until he come, the world will be in bondage, the church will be low in a low place, and his people will be groaning under sorrows and trials.:, His coming is the hope of his church, and it should find a place in our meditations, desires, and prayers. He comes to roll away the curse from creation. He comes to subdue all things unto himself. He comes to bring complete and everlasting deliverance to his saints. He comes to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe. He comes to reign on the mount Zion, and before his ancients gloriously. O to have a part in the first resurrection ! O to be among the invited guests at the marriage supper of the Lamb!

    We know the solemn hour draws nigh,
    When Jesus shall appear again,
Hasten, 0 Lord, and how the sky,

    And here begin thy glorious reign,
The number of thy saints complete,

    And tread thy foes beneath thy feet.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Him hath God exalted to give repentance

EVERY sinner ought to repent, for God commands him; but no one will repent unless Christ bestow the grace of repentance upon him. God commands us to repent, and thus maintains his authority; Christ gives us grace to repent, and thus displays his grace. We often try to repent, and cannot; our hearts are so hard, they will not relent; our eyes are so dry, they will not weep. This is a source of grief, and sometimes furnishes Satan with matter for temptation, with which he distresses us. We must see that repentance is necessary, we must feel the desire to repent, and then we must look to Jesus for grace to enable us to repent. Jesus is exalted to the highest possible honour. He has universal authority. AH the treasures of grace and glory are committed to him. His Father who exalted him, did so, that he might give all necessary grace to his people; and out of his fulness we must receive grace for grace. What God requires of us as creatures, Jesus gives us grace to perform a* Christians. Every thing, therefore, should lead us to Christ, and to make use of his fulness.
The Lamb is exalted repentance to give,
That sin may be hated, while sinners believe;
Contrition is granted and God justified.
The sinner is humbled, and self is denied

Sunday, November 14, 2010

He will not call back his words

AS the Lord never speaks rashly, there can be no cause for it. As he knew the end from the beginning, it would be inconsistent to do it. His word is like himself, immutable. It must have its accomplishment. Hence the Saviour said, " Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." This will apply to all the promises. They are yea and amen in Christ Jesus. They are sure to all the seed. They can never be broken. Therefore we should place implicit confidence in them, and endeavour to chase away our fears with them. They are exceeding great, very plain, and most precious. They are not to be compared with gold, or with much fine gold. Christian, here is thy comfort, Thy God " will not call back his words." What he hath said, he will do. Here is thy security, the word of the Lord endureth for ever. Sinner, this subject should make thee tremble. God will be as true to his threatenings, as he will be to his promises. If so, hell shall receive every person who dies in an unconverted state.

    The word of God shall ever stand,
Firm, and immutable and;

    Wise is'his heart, and stronp his hand,
His people's welfare to secure,

    But sinners who reject his word,
Shall fall beneath his glittering sword.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

They shall obtain joy and gladness

THEY who mourn on earth, on account of sin; shall rejoice in heaven, possessed of holiness. Many of the Lord's people enjoy but little here, but joy is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. We may have a dull dripping seed time, but we shall have a joyous sunny harvest. A sickly body, a trying family, a distracted church, a troublesome business, may hinder our enjoying much now; but all these things will soon come to an end. Sickness shall give place to health; trials to triumphs; the church shall be united and happy; and our employments will be our enjoyments. Sighs will give place to songs, sadness will be exchanged for gladness, and everlasting joy will crown us. We have the worst at the present, the best is all before us. Joy and gladness is our inheritance, our Saviour procured it by his death, he secures it by his intercession, and he is waiting to introduce us to it. The time will soon come, when " God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes; and there shall be no more sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain."

   Yes. though the universe shall burn,
    And God his works destroy.
With songs his ransom'd shall return,

    And everlasting joy.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Spirit of God dwelleth in you

DWELLETH in whom! In every Christian. For "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Wherever the Spirit dwells, he works, and his work is the efficient cause of our sanctification, comfort, and useful-, ness. He dwells in us as a Spirit of life, quickening and reviving us. As a Spirit of light, instructing and illuminating us. As a Spirit of liberty, delivering from bondage, dread, and terror. As a Spirit of love, shedding abroad the love of God in our hearts, and leading us to love him and all his dear people. As a Spirit of power, enabling us to conquer the world, overcome Satan, and crucify the old man with his deeds. As a Spirit of prayer, teaching us how to pray, and making intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. As a Spirit of peace, applying the atonement, giving us peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and producing in us a peaceable disposition. As the Spirit of Christ, exalting him in our minds, enthroning him in our breasts, and glorifying him in us and by us. Reader, have you received the Holy Ghost? Do you make it manifest by your zeal for Christ?

    Come, sacred Spirit! from above
And rill my poor, cold heart with love:
Soften to flesh the flinty stone,
And let thy god-like power be known.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Doubtless thou art our father

A FATHERLESS child is generally an object of pity. But a believer is never fatherless, his faith may be weak, his fears may be many, his trials may be great, his foes may be fierce, and his prospects may be dark, but God is his father. " We are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus:" and nothing can dissolve the relationship.

We may lose the enjoyment of it, but the privilege remains the same. Once a child, a child for ever. Nor should we easily give up our confidence; but rather, like the saints of old, though sensible of many sins, though enduring painful privations, though mourning over the hiding of the Lord's face, we should hold fast the fact, " Doubtless thou art our father." Beloved, if God is our father, he will chasten us, he will put our love and confidence to the proof, he will teach us some hard and difficult lessons; but he will still pity us, spare us, listen to us, and send us all that is absolutely necessary.

If God is our father, he will notice the least good thing that may be in us; he will take the meaning of our hearts; and he will accept the smallest offering at our hands.

    Then let us, while we dwell helow,
    Obey our Father's voice ;
To all his dispensations bow,

    And in his name rejoice.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What hast thou that thou didst not receive ?

BELIEVER, ponder this question. It is intended to destroy the pride of thy heart,
and to produce genuine humility. What hast thou ? Look around thee - how many mercies!
Look within thee - what gifts and graces! Look before thee - what glorious prospects!
Compare thyself with many of thine acquaintances; contrast thy circumstances with theirs —
how different ! how preferable! But who made thee to differ? Who conferred these benefits? Did
you inherit them ? Who ordained the relationship ? Did you procure them ? Who gave you
the means ? Did you receive them from God ?

Then gratefully acknowledge it. Then be humble before God. Then beware of boasting before
men, or of despising others. Trace up all thy mercies to their source, and you will find it to
be free and sovereign grace. We have nothing that is good, nothing that is valuable, nothing
that is useful, nothing that is ornamental, but we have received it from our good and gracious
God. Therefore let him that glorieth glory in the Lord. But, if we have received all from
the Lord, ought we not to use all for the Lord.

    Lord, let thy mercy crown
Our yet remaining days;
And, when thy will on earth is done,
In heaven we'll sing thy praise.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Make thy way straight before my face

THE true Christian desires to be ruled by God's word, and to be guided by God's providence. He wishes to be what God requires; to do what God commands; and to go where God directs. But he is often in great difficulty; he cannot see the way; he is uncertain what course he should take; and his cry is, " Make thy way straight before my face." Let me see the way thou hast marked out; and walk in the path which will be pleasing in thy sight. The Lord will sometimes have us wait at his door, plead at his throne, and learn that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." To wait the Lord's time requires patience ; and to walk in the Lord's way, requires submission. The Lord's way generally crosses the desires of flesh and blood, mortifies our pride and independence, exercises all the graces of the Holy Spirit, and makes us feel our absolute dependence on Divine grace. Still the Christian, when in his right mind, prefers it; and would rather walk in it than any other. God's way leads us to glory, honour, and immortality.

    How rough soe'er the way,
    Dear Saviour, still lead on;
Nor leave us till we say,
" Father, thy will be done."
At most we do but taste the cup,
For thou alone hast drunk it up.

Monday, November 8, 2010

It was impossible for God to lie

JEHOVAH is the " God of truth." Lying lips are an abomination unto the Lord. What he hates in others can never be found in himself. He cannot deceive, therefore his word may be relied on. He cannot go from bis word, therefore it may be confidently trusted. He has threatened sinners, and his word must be fulfilled, for it is "impossible for God to lie." "The wicked shall be turned into hell, with all the nations that forget God." Of the man that loves sin, that lives in sin, it is said, " The Lord will not spare him, but the anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against that man." This is awful! It is tremendous. It must be realized, for it is " impossible for God to lie." He has given many, exceeding great and precious promises to his people; and they must all be made good. He will perform them, and not one jot or tittle of them shall fail. He will give grace and glory, and no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly; for he hath promised it, and it is impossible for God to lie. This truth is like the pillar of fire and cloud of old, it gives light to God's Israel, but it is darkness to the Egyptians.
What Christ hath said, must be fulfilled,
On this firm rock believers build;
His word must stand, his truth prevail,
And not one jot, one tittle fail.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

He will save us

WHOM will he save? All who believe in Jesus. All who put their trust in him. All who call upon him in truth. All who exercise confidence in his word. All who make conscience of observing his commands, with a view to glorify his name. From what will he save ? From the guilt of sin, which condemns us. From the filth of sin, which defiles us. From the power of sin, which enslaves us. From the love of sin, which degrades us. From the consequences of sin, which are terrible to us. From our foes, which would injure us. From our burdens, which would crush us. From our desert, which would ruin us. How will he save ? Freely, by his grace. Honourably, through the perfect work of Jesus. Perfectly, without the possibility of a failure. Why will he save? Because his nature is love—his promise is given —our Saviour has died—and his glory will be advanced by doing so. When will he save ? The moment we believe. When we call upon his name. When we cast our burdens upon him.When he sees that our power is gone, and there is none shut up or left. Beloved, Jehovah is our Saviour, and he is ever present with us.
He cheers his people by his smile,
    And guards them by his power ;
He keeps them safe from force and guile,

In every trying hour

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Haters of God

WHAT an awful charge to be brought against any of God's creatures; and yet it was brought against the Jews by our Lord, of whom he said, " He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin; but now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father." It is here also brought against the Gentiles. Indeed every unconverted man is a hater of God, for " the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." This is self-evident; for if a man hate God, every thing he does must be offensive to God. But every man by nature hates God, and therefore every thing he does is displeasing to God. The feeling of hatred may not be discovered, because there may be ignorance of God, or forgetfulness of him; but in proportion as he is' known and thought of, while the heart remains carnal, he is hated. This shows the need of regeneration, the absolute necessity of being born again. For until we are renewed in the spirit of our minds, we shall never be reconciled to God.
Let me love thee more and more.
If I love at all, I pray I
If I have not loved before,
Help me to begin to-day.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Draw nigh unto my soul

THE Lord's presence is the Christian's joy, and distance from God is always a cause of grief. But it is in seasons of trouble and sorrow that the Lord's presence is most earnestly sought. If the Lord is sensibly nigh unto us, we can pour our griefs into his bosom, and tell out our fears before his face. Nearness to God gives us confidence in danger, courage in conflict, peace in adversity, and joy in sorrow. If the Lord draw nigh unto us he will commune with us, and communicate spiritual blessings to us. If the Lord draw nigh unto us, Satan will retire into the distance, and our corruptions will be easily subdued. If the Lord draw nigh unto us, life will be pleasant, and death will have no terrors. O to live near to God ! O to find the Lord drawing nigh unto the soul, when providence frowns, when foes increase, and when every thing appears to be against us! My dear friends, do you ever plead with God thus ? Do you ever cry, Lord " draw nigh unto my soul!" Jesus did, for it was his language. David did, for he wrote the words.

    Ah me, I'm never well, but when
1 on my best beloved lean,

    And then I'm never ill;
Cl osses and trials all are right,
And pain is sweet, and trouble:i ll^ht,

    When Christ my soul doth till.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The saints shall judge the world

GOD'S sanctified ones,—the true disciples of Jesus,—are now hated, persecuted, judged, and condemned by the world. But the day is coming when the tables will be turned. The dead in Christ will rise first. Judgment will begin at the house of God. The saints will be judged, acquitted, and rewarded. Then the wicked, called the world, will be raised. The throne of judgment will be filled by Jesus, the man the Father hath appointed to administer judgment: his saints will surround his throne; his enemies must face them, and be judged. Awful period! With what dread, consternation, confusion, and despair, will that vast multitude be filled 1 How different will things appear then to what they do now! The upright will have dominion on that morning. Then Lazarus will sit in judgment on the rich man who refused him the crumbs which fell from his table. Paul will sit in judgment on Nero who ordered him to be beheaded. The poor slave who died in the faith of'Christ will judge his cruel oppressor who made his life bitter with hard bondage.
Saviour divine I and can it be
That I at last shall sit with thee,

            In judgment on thy foes?
Then help me patiently to hear
Their scorn and persecution here,

            When they my course oppose.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Their strength is to sit still

TO whom will these words apply? Not to the sinner, who is still in his sins. Nor to the seeker, who is seeking the Lord. Nor yet to the backslider, who has wandered from God. But to the Lord's people, who are in perplexity, and yet trusting in God; who are intimidated by foes, and yet look to the Saviour; who are filled with fear, and yet desire to walk worthy of their profession. What can they do? Flee! But whither ? Agitate and distress their souls ! What will that do ? Let them sit still. But where shall they sit? At the feet of Jesus, where Mary did. On the rock of God's faithfulness, where David did; when the people spake of stoning him, " David encouraged himself in the Lord his God." In the tower of God's name, to which the righteous run and are safe, Prov. xviii. 10. Here let them rest, that is, believe God's word—watch his hand—wait his time—expect deliverance according to the, promise—look to Jesus and refuse to give way to fear, or foreboding, here is their strength. For. when they do so, God is engaged for them.

            Jesus, on me the power bestow
To work, or rest, srand still, or go,

            As thy design I see:
Redeem'd from nature's hurrying strife,
Iivoulri not take one step in life

            Without a beck from thee.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Lord shall guide thee continually

THE Lord's people are singular in their practices, and they have singular privileges. The ruling desire of their souls is to be right. To think right. To do right. To go right. They feel they are sinners, and therefore daily plead for sanctification. They know they are in danger, and therefore daily pray to be kept. They are liable to go wrong, and therefore they desire a constant guide. Here the promise of God meets them, the Lord stoops to their needs and gratifies their desires, he says, " I will guide thee." Beloved, our journey is through a trackless desert; we know not a foot of the road, all before us is untrodden path; the road is lined with snares and dangers, there are many bypaths, let us therefore lay hold on this precious promise, " The Lord shall guide thee continually." He knows the path. He knows our frame. He knows every foe. He knows what we want, when we want, and how much we shall want; let us therefore put the hand of our faith into the hand of his special providence, and say,—

    Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land;

    I am weak, but thou art mighty,
Hold me with thy powerful hand:
Bread of Heaven,

    Feed me till I want no more.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Take heed unto thyself

THIS is a very necessary admonition. We all need it. Each one of us should attend to it. Take heed unto the body. Do not pamper it. Do not neglect it. Do not allow it to take that place in your thoughts, plans, purposes, and provision, which should be assigned to the soul. It is the inferior part, treat it as such. But it is an important part, therefore use it prudently. Take heed unto the soul. See to it, that it is regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit. Be sure that it is in Christ. Feed it with the bread of God which came down from heaven. Wash it in the fountain that is opened for sin and uncleanness. Clothe it in the robe of righteousness, and the garments of salvation. Store it with the doctrines, promises, and precepts of holy Scripture. Guard it against the influence of error, the spirit of this evil world, and the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. Exercise it, in meditating upon the character of God, the work of Jesus, the operations of the Holy Spirit, and the prospects of glory.


Renewing grace for Jesus' sake,

            O God to me impart;
Power continually to wake,

            And watch my sinful heart:
That I may constantly take heed.
And prove myself a saint indeed.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I will water it every moment

THE Lord compares his church to a vineyard, to a vineyard of the choicest vines. He promises to watch over, protect, and preserve it: to guard it night and day. But as it will need not only protection, but supply, he says, " I will water it every moment." Precious promise this! It belongs to every one of the Lord's people. It warrants us to expect constant communications from our God. He is never weary of giving. His resources are inexhaustible. Ho will therefore supply all our needs, however great, or however numerous they may be. Everything good in us comes from him. Every holy desire, every fervent prayer, every grateful emotion, is the effect of his watering: for so barren and unfruitful are our hearts by nature, there is not in them one good thing. Beloved, let us expect divine communications, let us expect our God to impart his sanctifying and preserving grace. He assures us that he will do so regularly, gently, silently, imperceptibly, softly, and gradually, as the dew descends on the vineyards in the east. He says, " I will be as the dew unto Israel." We do not expect enough from God, we do not ask enough of God.

            Upon my leaf when parch'd with heat,
Refreshing dew shall drop:

            The plant which God's right hand hath set.
Shall ne'er be rooted up.