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is "hid from the wise and prudent, and revealed unto babes." What shall we say to this? “Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight." Such humble sentiments are in all who have the mind of Christ. So Paul, when he saw himself a miracle of grace, accounted himself an abortion in nature; as mean, as contemptible, as a child born by miscarriage, before its due time and proper growth; "the least of all the apostles.” Yea, as though he wanted words fully to express the opinion he had of himself, not only a sinner, but the chief of sinners; not only the least, but “less than the least of all saints," Eph. iii. 8. Paul had now done with his notions of fulfilling terms and conditions, to obtain God's favour, and entitle himself to salvation. Oh, now Christ was revealed in him! He saw his glory, full of grace and truth. This stained all his former pride, laid his honour in the dust, and stopped his mouth to selfrighteous confidence and human glorying. Strange pre-requisites Paul possessed, to qualify him for the grace of God! Yet, no one sinner by nature can boast of any better. But the same Lord, who wrought effectually in Peter, was mighty in Paul; and he also converts every redeemed soul to Jesus. Let us not envy others their lofty thoughts of themselves; nor murmur against our Saviour, for keeping us low and humble.
But, if Paul had, if all the children of God have such mean, contemptible thoughts of themselves, are so little and base in their own eyes, will not Satan attack, and aim to distress them? Doubtless he will. For where he cannot delude sinners into a notion that they are righteous, and perfect in themselves, he aims to distress them, for want of perfection. In the day of health, in the time of sickness, and, perhaps most powerfully, in the hour of death, Satan will inject into the mind these fiery darts : “You a child of God, you a member of Jesus, you, who never loved God so perfectly, served him so faithfully, nor obeyed him so sincerely as you ought! In all things you have sinned. His law curses you. His justice is incensed against you. His wrath is ready to fall on you. Your faith is fancy. Your hope delusion. Heil will be your portion." Oh, what can any poor sinner say to all this? what can he do against all this? Say? Glorify his Lord, by confessing, Lord, I am damned, but thou hast died : but for thy salvation, my state is as desperate as devils. What can he do? Honour his Lord, by obeying his word, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may stand in the evil day; and above all, (or rather, upon all other parts of it,) take the shield of faith, whereby ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one,” Eph. vi. 16. Fiery darts! Yes, being dipt in the wrath and terrors of a broken law, they wound, inflame, and bring the fire of hell into the conscience. What is this shield of faith? The belief that Jesus is to us sinners, a Saviour ; that his blood has perfectly atoned for our sins; his righteousness has fully justified our persons; and that there is no condemnation to us. Thus shall these fiery darts of Satan be quenched, and our consciences healed. This, and nothing but this can effect it. Mind this precious word, “Ye shall be able.” The ability of our faith is nothing less than the almighty power of Jesus our God. This is engaged for us. By this we shall stand against every assault of Satan. And all shall issue in present peace of conscience, and eternal salvation of soul. This is the glory of a christian, to resist Satan in the faith of what Jesus is to him, and hath done for him. We are sure to overcome him by the blood of the Lamb; but in no other way. Shortly, our God of peace shall for ever bruise Satan under our feet. We shall return and come to Zion with songs, (of free grace,) and everlasting joy shall be on our heads, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away, Isa. Xxxv. 10.
MARCH 1.--That he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.-John xvii. 2.
Deism, or a rejection of God's revealed truth, is natural to us all. Hence some have said, “The religion of nature is the religion of Satan ;" for it affects a spirit of pride, and independence of God, and rebellion • against his will. Why does a deist reject the way of salvation by Jesus? Truly, because it is contrary to his natural notions: he cannot reconcile it to the attributes and perfections of Deity. Upon the very same footing, many professors abhor, with the utmost indignation, the scripture doctrines of God's everlasting love, unconditional election of sinners, and the final perseverance of his saints to eternal life, by Jesus. Now, these deists and those Pharisees proceed upon the very same principles : carnal reason, pride, and self-righteous. ness. These reign in their hearts, and blind their eyes. But,
It is the believer's mercy to see the truth; his humility, to submit to it; and his duty to contend for it, in love. Thus humbly Jesus ever acted. Thus he prays in submission to the will of his Father. Though he had power over all flesh, yet only to "the many," whom the Father had given him, as his charge, to redeem, sanctify, and save, and as the reward of all his toils and sufferings, was he to give eternal life. For they are the precious jewels, which compose his mediatorial crown. Impossible, that one of them can be lost. Hence he glories of them, “Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me," Isa. viii. 18. They are distinguished by special grace; they possess the precious "faith of God's elect,” Tit. i 1; it being peculiar to them only. By this they enjoy the sense of the Father's electing love, the knowledge of the Son's redemption, and the comforting witness of the Holy Ghost.
Full of truth, and well worthy the study of every
christian, is the 17th article of the church of England. “Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose of God; whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel, secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind; and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour. Wherefore, they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God, be called according to God's purpose, by his Spirit working in due season: they, through grace, obey the calling: they be justified freely: they be made sons of God by adoption: they be made like the image of his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ : they walk religiously in good works, and at length, by God's mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity." "Hold fast the form of sound words."
MARCH 2.-Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.—Matt. vii. 12.
It is an observation of the heathens, "If virtue were to appear in human form, men would be enamoured with her beauty." But this has been proved to be an idle speculation. For, that glorious man Jesus, in whom every virtue centred, who was adorned with every grace, went about doing good, and lived as never man did, yet "he was despised and rejected of men.” Blindness of mind is a first-born sin. To see form and comeliness in Jesus, is peculiar to enlightened souls. To hear, love, and obey Christ's holy precepts, spring from a renewed heart. Morality and good works are at the tongue's end of every man; the most immoral and profligate are ever ready to applaud, boast of, and trust in, even what they never practise. Those boast most of their good works who have the smallest share.
It is the christian's mercy to be delivered from such awful delusion. For what Jesus teaches in his word,
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is written in his heart by the Spirit. Therefore, obedience is delightful from inward principles. Though he is not called to merit the love of God by his moral obedience, yet love sweetly constrains to moral duties. “Love is the fulfilling of the whole law.” As “whatever is not of faith is sin;" so whatever proceeds not from love is contrary to holiness. An immoral christian is as inconsistent a character as a chaste harlot. Heathens might talk of the golden rule, the law may command it, prophets show its nature and necessity, natural men pretend to admire it; but heavenly taught, believing souls, only, love it in the spirit of their minds, and obey it in their life and practice.
Verily, disciple, though Jesus gave no laws, by the fulfilling of which thou shouldest gain a title to eternal life, yet he, who fulfilled all righteousness for thy salvation, calls thee to love and obey his precepts. These are as much enjoined by him, as when he says, “Come unto me, all that are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." In obeying this, we find comfort to our souls. In observing the golden rule of morality, we bear a noble testimony to the honour of Jesus, the glory of God, and the good of our fellow-creatures. It behoves us to beware, lest Jesus be wounded in the house of his friends, and the way of truth evil spoken of by our conduct; for, saith he, “ Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you,” John xv. 14.
MARCH 3.—Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in every time of need.—Heb. iv. 16.
Very few, comparatively, of the subjects of an earthly monarch, are permitted free access to him. An honour this, too great to be common. Kings' courts are for the noble. The poor and destitute, the miserable and distressed have no admission there. But, ye poor, distressed subjects of the King of kings, it is not thus with