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When thou shalt call me hence away,
I then shall prove the promise true;
Thy glory, Lord, bursts on my view.
As friends converse who dearly love,
Till I shall reach the world above.
As bless’d Elijah, strong in faith,
Was borne aloft on wings of fire,
Ascending on intense desire.
And live, as ever in thy sight,
I walk with Thee array'd in white.
XVIII. -THE PRIVILEGES OF THE BELIEVER.
“ All things are yours.”—1 Cor. iii. 21.
“ I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Com. forter, that he may abide with you for ever.”—John xiv. 16.
How inconceivably great is the goodness of God to his believing people. In his holy word, he assures them, that through his over-ruling Providence, all things shall work together for their good; that he loves them with an everlasting love; that they are dear to him as the apple of his eye; precious to him as the signet on his right hand ; that he will be to them as a little sanctuary in all countries whither they shall come; that he will never leave them nor forsake them. He denounces a woe on all who offend them, and pronounces a blessing on all who give them only a cup of cold water for his name's sake.
0! how great is the goodness of the Lord, which he hath laid up for them that fear him, which he hath wrought for them that trust in him before the sons of men ! All the promises of the New Covenant are primarily made to Christ, who merited every blessing by his obedience unto death ; and they are secondarily made to every believer in Him, who, standing complete in his righteousness, becomes interested in all the promises of God, both as respects this world and that which is to come.
Amazing privilege! Every believer in Jesus is an HEIR OF GOD THROUGH CHRIST! He inherits Him as his portion, in whom he lives and moves and has his being ; by whom all things were made, and by whom all things consist. He inherits Him, who fills heaven and earth with His glory; who is the Fountain of all felicity; in whose presence is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore !
0! my soul, never canst thou thirst enough after this exalted privilege. In thyself, thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: in Christ, thou art happy, and honourable, and rich, and glorious. In thyself, thou hast nothing but sin and misery: in Christ, thou art clothed with the garment of salvation ; renewed in the spirit of thy mind; and filled with peace and joy. In thyself, thou art an heir of hell : in Christ, O wonderful thought ! thou art an HEIR OF GOD. How bright, how dazzling, how surpassing the splendour of the mid-day sun, is this inconceivably great and glorious privilege to be an HEIR OF GOD! Give me, O Lord, the steady eye of faith, that as the eagle soars aloft, fixing its eye upon the sun, so I may rise in heart and affection above this lower world, looking unto Jesus the Sun of Righteousness. By faith, enable me to substantiate the things hoped for, and to realise the things not seen. By faith, may I daily anticipate that glorious period, when, aroused by the Archangel's trumpet, my sleeping dust will leave its bed of clay, and with my enrap
tured soul, be made a blessed vessel in thy courts above, there to be filled with thine everlasting love.
“All things are yours.” Well might St. Paul
“God is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us....... That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Well might he say—“ Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” A heart penetrated with a sense of the love of God, will be overwhelmed at the view of such amazing mercy. What mind can conceive the fulness of this assurance: “All things are yours. On what is this expansive declaration founded ? “Ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's.” 0! then, my soul, rejoice if grace has united thee to the Saviour. To every believer, to all the churches of the saints in every age, the Apostle writes : things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's."
When Jesus was drawing nigh to the time when he should go to the Father, he promised to his sorrowing disciples another Comforter. As heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, they were not left comfortless. The bodily absence of Christ was to be more than compensated by his spiritual presence. “ If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." 66 If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you." "I will pray that Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.” “He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." 6. When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.”
0! my soul! hast thou received this heavenly Visitant ? Important enquiry! since without the Spirit of Christ, thou art none of his. Contemplate the manifold operations of the Eternal Spirit, the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. Examine with minutest scrutiny, whether any of these operations have been wrought in thee, thereby proving that thou art indeed united to Christ, according to the Apostle : “ He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit ;” and may the Lord assist thee in this important search.
It is the office of the Spirit to convince the world of sin ; to open the eyes of the understanding, that we may see our pollution, wretchedness, and danger; to apply the Law to our consciences, and from a deep conviction of our innumerable transgressions against it, to fill our souls with anguish; to drive us to self-despair, destroying all our towering hopes of gaining heaven by our own deservings ; bringing us to the borders of eternal ruin, and there, in the view of everlasting torments, forcing us to cry out with heartfelt exclamation : What must I do to be saved ? how shall I escape the damnation of hell ?
Hast thou ever experienced these powerful convictions of the Spirit? Hast thou seen the exceeding sinfulness of sin ? Art thou made deeply sensible of thy great depravity, of thine amazing distance from that holiness without which no man shall Lord ? Hast thou been deeply humbled at the view of thyself as a fallen, guilty, polluted creature ? And has this view humbled thee in the dust before God ? Has it filled thee with true contrition ? Has it emptied thee of all self-dependence ? Has it, in the spirit of true repentance and humiliation, made thee cry out,
“ God be merciful to me a sinner?” It is the office of the Spirit to reveal the Lord Jesus Christ to every contrite sinner, as an allsufficient Saviour, willing, and able, and ready to save all that come unto him, be they never so vile and worthless. Jesus graciously said : When the
see the He
Spirit of truth is come he shall testify of me. He shall glorify me. He shall take of mine, and show it unto you. Thus the Spirit applies the reviving cordial of the Gospel to every sin-sick soul. manifests to every trembling sinner the freeness of Christ's love, the fulness of his salvation, the greatness of his power, the riches of his grace, the efficacy of his righteousness, the preciousness of his blood, the prevalency of his intercession, and to crown all, his willingness to save, even to the uttermost, all that come unto God by him. He kindles a flame of love in the sinner's heart; moves him to pray to God for pardon through the merits of His Son; inclines him to seek earnestly for an interest in this precious Saviour ; enables him to lay hold on Christ by faith; and transforms him from a rebel, into a humble, loving believer in the Lord Jesus. Thus the Spirit glorifies Christ, by applying the blessings of his salvation to the hearts of sinners, drawing them out of the fatal bondage of corruption, delivering them from the power of darkness, and making them heirs of glory through faith.
Have I been thus brought to Jesus through the sweet constraining influence of the Spirit of grace ? Have I had this view of Jesus as One mighty to save ? And believing in him, have I experienced his saving power in my soul, inspiring me with humble boldness to draw nigh to the mercyseat ?
Have I pleaded before God the all-prevailing merits of his dear Son; and have I felt a joy springing up in my heart from a sense of blood-bought pardon ? Do I feel the terrors of the Law supplanted by the consolations of the Gospel ? Are all our hopes of happiness and heaven derived from the death and sufferings of Christ, and Christ alone ?
It is the office of the Spirit to guide believers into all truth ; to renew their natures, to sanctify their hearts, to illuminate their minds, to rectify their wills, to purify their affections, to make them new creatures in Christ Jesus. The Spirit of Christ