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tion as that revealed in the Gospel ; for giving his Son, his Well-beloved, to sufferings, and to death! Oh! the length and breadth, the depth and height of this love, which passeth knowledge! Who can find words to magnify the grace of God the Son, in so freely leaving the bosom of his Father, descending from the heights of glory to the lowest depths of human misery, taking upon him, not the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham, becoming a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, fulfilling all righteousness for ruined sinners, dying the just for the unjust that he might bring us to God, and ascending up on high as the ever-glorified God-Man, there
appear in the presence of God for us, to intercede for us with the Father, and to perfect, by his living care, what his dying love began ! Where shall we begin our praises to God the Holy Ghost, by whom we are enabled to believe in Jesus, to love Jesus, and to bear his holy image; by whose quickening power we are raised from a death in sin to a life of righteousness; by whose almighty aid we are enabled to contend against our spiritual foes; and by whose refreshing, enlivening, comforting, and sanctifying grace, we are supported and animated under all our trials, and made to rejoice in hope of the glory of God?
These mercies, O my soul, demand thy loudest praise, for, like their Author, they are immutable and eternal: “I have loved thee with an everlasting love ; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee."* “ Israel shall be saved with an everlasting salvation, and shall never be confounded world without end.”+ - It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithful
Well might Jeremiah say, “ The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him."S
+ Isa. xlv. 17. # Lam. iii. 22, 23.
Jer. xxxi. 2.
Are we groaning under a deep conviction of our wretchedness; and do we see ourselves to be nothing but sin and pollution ? Let us praise God, who hath opened a fountain for sin and' for uncleanness, even the precious blood of Christ, which cleanseth from all sin.
Are we hungering and thirsting after righteousness ? Let us bless God for this spiritual appetite, remembering that in our Father's house there is bread enough and to spare ; that Jesus is the bread of life; that in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and that we are invited to receive out of his fulness and
grace. Are we lamenting our spiritual nakedness, and afraid to appear before God? Let us rejoice that God hath provided a garment for us, even the goodly raiment of our Elder Brother, the Lord Jesus Christ, in whose righteousness the Church is clothed, and by whose graces she is prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. *
Are we labouring under inward corruptions and indwelling sin ? Let us praise God for those rich promises of his word, which tell us that his grace is sufficient for us; that we shall not be tempted above that we are able to bear ; that if we draw nigh to God, he will draw nigh to us; that if we seek him, he will be found of us; that sin shall not have dominion over us; that he will bruise Satan under our feet shortly; and that he will make us more than conquerors through Him who hath loved us, and given Himself for us.
0 my soul, bless the Lord for these abounding mercies. "Cease not to praise his holy name. Let every day, as it increases thy obligations, stimulate thy gratitude and love. But yet remember, that mere verbal religion is unavailing in the sight of Him who demands the heart. Lord give me grace to glorify thee in my body and in my spirit which are thine; that, whilst I offer unto thee the sacrifice
Rev. xxi. 2.
of praise continually, I may not forget “to do good, and to communicate," since with such sacrifices thou art well pleased, when presented to thee on that altar which alone sanctifieth the gift—the Lord Jesus Christ.
Forget not, O my soul, “TO DO GOOD." Compassionate precept, little understood, and less practised. The worldly professor of religion may perform many benevolent actions ; so also do those who deny the Divinity of Christ; but a work, though beneficial to others, will be unacceptable to God, if done without regard to his will and his glory. The afflicted may be bountifully relieved, even by an infidel or an atheist, acting on the mere impulse of natural sympathy; but, can such an act be acceptable to God? Surely not. How strong is the language of the Almighty to the rebellious house of Israel: “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burntofferings, I will not accept them."* How gracious are the words of Christ to those who do good for his name's sake: “Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”+ But, to those who give alms from ostentation or self-righteousness, no blessing is imparted: “When thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward."I “All their works they do for to be seen of men."$ The quantity cannot supersede the quality of our actions,“ Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor,..... and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." ||
A work, to be really and scripturally good, must proceed from a right principle, be done by a right rule, and be directed to a right end. The Root of Amos v. 21, 22. + Matt. X. 42. * Matt. vi. 2.
S Matt. xxiii. 5. | 1 Cor. xiii. 3.
all acceptable obedience is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, without whom we can do nothing pleasing unto God; but by virtue of our union with him through faith, we receive grace from above, and are made fruitful in every good work. The Rule by which our actions are to be regulated is, not the traditions of men, but the word of God, the Scriptures of truth, which alone are able to make us wise unto salvation, through faith, which is in Jesus Christ. The End to which all our doings must be directed, is the glory of God, and the present and eternal welfare of our fellow-creatures. We must seek in all things to promote the honour and praise of Him who hath called us with an holy calling, by employing our talents in his service, laying out ourselves for usefulness, relieving the needy, and comforting the disconsolate, strengthening the weak, and confirming the strong, admonishing the wavering, and reproving the profane in a spirit of Christian meekness and love, that the kingdom of the Redeemer may be extended, through the divine blessing on our labours, by the suppression of vice, and the promotion of true religion and virtue.
“Lord of all power and might, the Author and Giver of all good things, graft in our hearts the love of thy name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keep us in the same, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
How bless’d is he who inly feels
The witness of a Saviour's love;
And draws his heart to joys above.
With child-like love, and holy fear,
He lowly bends before the throne;
And pleads the merit of his Son.
In grateful strains, he pours his heart
To Him who died his soul to save;
He knows that he will ne'er depart,
Nor leave him in the silent grave.
When Christ, descending from above,
And fill his soul with endless love.
this blessedness be mine!
My Saviour in the highest heaven.
XXI.-THE HARMONY OF CHRISTIAN GRACES.
“ I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me
for ever.”_Jer. xxxii. 39.
WHEN we contemplate the Church of God as described in the Holy Scriptures, we must be struck with that unity of principle and that union of heart, which form its beauty and stability. Our Lord thus intercedes for his believing people: “That they all may be one ; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us ; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
This unity was beautifully exhibited by the church at Jerusalem: “They continued steadfastly in the Apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers....... And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking
bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people.". The apostolic exhortation enforces this oneness of faith and practice which would unite the Church of Christ, and make it a holy phalanx, against which the gates of hell could not prevail. "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith
+ Acts ii. 42, 46, 47.
John xvii. 21.