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God will receive, own, hear, and bless me as his child ? Yes: grace triumphs over nature's deserts : love glories over creature's demerits. The lips of truth have said it, and who dare reverse it? Then by the sword of the Spirit slay the unbelief of thy heart. What Jesus hath taught his disciples to call God, that he is to them. As Jesus is the Saviour of all men, but especially of them that believe, so God is the universal Parent of all; but in an especial manner, the Father of all the dear members of his beloved Son ;-a Father, by covenant love, by election of grace, by precious promise, by strict justice ;-a Father in holiness and truth, because of the suretyship, the righteousness, the atonement, and the holiness of Jesus. And the weakest, feeblest believer in Christ is a member of him, and possesseth him, with all his blessings, as man and Mediator. He is in Christ, and one with him. Hence God is the Father of all such. He loveth them with complacency and delight. The paternal affections of his heart ever yearn over them. How blessed this in doctrine! how joyful in experience! seek we an evidence, that God is our Father, and that he loves us ? our Lord gives it. "The Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God," John xvi. 27. Children's hearts should continually be drawn out to their Father, in holy affection, fervent desires, and humble confidence. For, " we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Christ,” Eph. iii. 12.
JAN. 28.-Ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.—Heb. x. 36.
Are the christian's exercises great, and his patience small ? Yet, can he ever be at a loss to know, by whom this grace is increased ? Verily, the Lord he serveth is “the God of patience," Rom. xv. 5. Hath he need of patienče? Hear the Comforter's declaration, by St. Paul, “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory." Mind, disciple, this is covenant mercy; therefore, with every other grace, it comes through a Mediator: hence it is added, “by Jesus Christ,” Phil. iv. 19. We have done the will of God, when we“ believe on the name of his Son Jesus, and love one another," 1 John iii. 23. Hence, “all the promises are in Christ Jesus yea and amen," sure and certain to every such soul.“ By faith we have the earnest of eternal life.” “Having received the firstfruits, the harvest shall follow in due season." But there are many conflicts to be engaged in, a great fight of afflictions to be endured on earth, before we shall be crowned in glory; therefore, patience is necessary. Patience must have its perfect work. By faith we stand, by patience we endure. Believing, we look forward in hope; this brings patience in sufferings.
But Satan has a very poignant dart, which he dared to cast at Jesus; no marvel that he shoots it against us also; "If thou be the Son of God," why doth thy loving Father suffer such distress and affliction to fall on thee? Faith can answer, All is my Father's will. All is from his love, all shall be to his glory; and all shall be for the good and profit of my soul. I cannot doubt his love, I dare not murmur against his dispensations, I desire patience under all, I will not cast away my confidence; time is short, sufferings are but for a moment, eternity is near, afflictions are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. "Through Jesus, we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. We glory in tribulation, knowing that tribulation worketh patience,” Rom. v. 1-3. " Yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith," Heb. x. 37, 38. Christ accomplisheth the most glorious things in us by degrees. Patience must endure the whole military exercise. It is as necessary as faith to the enjoyment of the promised inheritance. Through faith and patience we shall inherit the promises, Heb. vi. 12. Therefore, “let us run with patience, the race set before us, looking unto Jesus," Heb. xii. 1, 2.
JAN. 29.-He that believeth on him is not condemned. --John iii. 18. · Dost thou believe on the Son of God? This is the most important question in the world. Faith in Jesus is the one thing needful." Without this, the day of life is a state of sin and condemnation; the night of death will be full of terror; and the day of judgment, most dreadful. It cannot be otherwise. For as we are all malefactors, under the sentence of the law, the thoughts of such an execution must be most awful and alarming. But “what the eye doth not see, the heart doth not rue." Sin naturally blinds men's eyes, hardens their hearts; and vain, self-righteous hopes deceive their souls into an insensibility of their lost and ruined state.
What a special mercy to know one's self! what distinguishing grace to know Jesus! what peculiar favour to know one is delivered from condemnation by him! This is the joyful privilege of every believer. Though he be a sinner, yet God doth not impute sin, but imputeth righteousness unto him; a righteousness which is equivalent to every demand of the law; even the perfect righteousness of the ever-blessed man and Mediator Jesus, our Brother, our Surety in the flesh. Faith humbly receives this glorious righteousness. The believer is thankful to God the Son who wrought it out, to God the Father who freely bestows it, and to God the Spirit who showed him his want of it. Therefore he is not condemned.
Sin cannot condemn us: it is all atoned for by the blood of Jesus. The law cannot condemn us: that is satisfied; yea more, it is magnified and made honourable by the perfect unsinning obedience of the God-man Jesus; infinitely more so, than it could have been by all the obedience of a whole world of innocent, spotless saints, or of the whole company of the heavenly host of angels and archangels. The justice of God cannot condemn us; for what charge can the strictest justice bring against a righteous person? God's faithfulness and truth cannot condemn, they are engaged for the righteous. “God is faithful and just to forgive us ;" and his love and mercy embrace such; for the righteous Lord loveth righteousness.
Lo, thus is the man blessed that believeth in Jesus: he is righteous in him, through faith; yet not faith, but Jesus alone is his righteousness. He that abides in Jesus, enjoys-what? perfect freedom from the being of sin? No; but this blessedness, perfect freedom from all condemnation for sin. Being passed from death to life, he brings forth fruit to the glory of God; and has inheritance among them who are sanctified by faith which is in Jesus, Acts xxvi. 18.
JAN. 30.—The wicked filee when no man pursueth; but the righteous are bold as a lion.-Prov. xxviii. 1.
WATCHFUL and BOLD, is the christian's motto. Watchful, to avoid sin; bold, to resist the enemies of his soul. For he is engaged in a righteous cause, animated by righteous hopes, made righteous in his righteous Lord; from whom he derives all his strength and courage. “In Jehovah [Jesus] have I righteousness and strength," Isa. xlv. 24. This is the glorying of his soul. Not his own inherent strength, not his own personal righteousness, is the cause of his fortitude; but the arm of Jehovah is his shield, the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, is his weapon, and the perfect righteousness of Jesus is his breast-plate of defence, against every enemy. Being cleansed from guilt by the blood of Jesus, and clothed with his righteousness by faith, the soul experiences a holy
boldness at a throne of grace, appeals against the fury of the enemy and oppressor, and finds supplies of strength in every time of need. This is the life of faith. So believers grow strong, (not in conceit of what they are in themselves, but) strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus, "and in the power of his might," Ephes. vi. 10.
Thus are the righteous inspired with courage and boldness. Such is the comfort of believing souls. All the glory is due to Jesus, from whom the spirit of love, power, and of a sound mind, is given unto his righteous children. The action of Joseph of Arimathea is recorded with a peculiar emphasis upon his courage : he " went in boldly to Pilate and craved the body of Jesus,” Mark xv. 43. Here was boldness in the midst of danger, an act of faith in the face of foes, a token of love without fear or shame of the greatest enemies to Jesus. But "he was waiting for the kingdom of God."
The boldness of Peter and John astonish the Jewish Sanhedrim, who “took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus,” Acts iv 13. Have we been with Jesus, in the faith of our souls ? Are we waiting for the coming of his kingdom ? Shall we then be afraid of worms of the earth ? ashamed of our Master, his cross, or his ways ? Forbid it, Lord inspire our souls with boldness, that we may triumph with David, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid ? Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident," Psalm xxvii. 1, 3. Thus shall ye discern between the righteous and the wicked, &c. Mal. iii. 18.
JAN. 31.-Christ's house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.—Heb. iii. 6.
The tabernacle, with its furniture, the ark of the