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The sea itself was a defence unto sume to encamp within the walls of Israel whilst in the midst of it: this atoning sea - the covenant of whilst we rely on the merits of Christ grace. Thus the Lord saves all his for grace and forgiveness, sin loses Israel, out of the hands of sin and its reigning and condemning power.
Satan, when the seed of the woman And though Satan and sin, like Pha- shall bruise the serpent's head (Gen. raoh' and his host, presume to pursue,
iii. 15), and casteth out the strong and continue to harass the believer, man armed (Luke xi. 21). yet being at length obliged to con- And when the believer hath effecfess, like Pharaoh, that God fighteth tually learnt, by faith, the great work for Israel, their vigour abates, their which the Lord hath done for him strength fails, their hearts faint, and and in him, and feels in himself, like they cry, Let us flee from Israel, the the woman of Samaria, by touching helieving Israel, for neither Satan to of Christ's garment, that he is healed accuse, nor sin to condemn, dare of his plague, as she was of her issue stand in their way, for “the blood of of blood, though of twelve years conChrist cleanseth them from all sin." tinuance (Mark v. 25); then will he Thus all Israel have the honour to fear the Lord, and believe the voice tread down the strength of the ene- of his servant, and will acknowledge my; divine justice acquits the belie- all the promises of God, in Christ
Her sorrows have been great, Jesus, both yea and amen; that is, and so her mercies are multiplied: sure and everlasting to the glory of Christ, the great Emmanuel, God with God the Father (2 Cor. i. 20). He us, has doubly atoned for her sins, can then perceive the voice of the and heaven shall make double amends Lord calling after him, saying, for her sorrows. God smiled on Is- member these thy privileges, O Jacob rael, and they marched briskly; he and Israel, for thou art my servant; frowned on the Egyptians, and their I have formed thee (for my glory), thou carriages moved slowly, and they be- shalt never be forgotten of me; I gan to be heavy-hearted, for his looks have blotted out as a thick cloud thy gave them to understand that Israel transgressions, and as a cloud thy was under divine protection, encom- sins : return unto me, for I have repassed within the Red Sea, a type of deemed thee. Sing, O heavens, for Christ's blood, and therein surrounded the Lord hath done it,” Isa. xliv. 21. with salvation as with walls and bul. 22, 23. warks.
Thus the promises of God are, to So Satan and sin, like Pharaoh and the believing soul, as so many strong bis host, attempt to save themselves towers to hide him from the face of by flight, but Jesus stretches out his his enemies. Yet God hath kept his hand, over the sea of his blood, points people, sometimes, so long under out the certainty and sufficiency of their pressures, that they begani at his death and resurrection, saying, length even to give themselves up to
Behold my hands and my feet!” despair, and to conclude they should So the sea of Christ's blood, in his never see deliverance. But tiie Lord sufferings and intercession viewed to- shall smite the enemies of his childgether, like the sea in its full strength, ren-sin, Satan, or persecutors-as overflows and beats down all opposi- he did the Philistines (1 Sam. iv. 11). tion, and drowns all the enemies of For“ it is better a millstone were Israel - slavish fears, unbelief, and hanged about their necks, and they hardness of heart.
cast into the midst of the sea, than Hence it appears that all the hopes that they offend any one that belieof victory which the devil and sin veth in me," saith Christ (Matt. xviii. have, are all drowned, when they pre- 6). “Touch not mine Anointed, and do my prophets no harm,” Psalm cv. all its sweetness : but, alas, how can 15. "For his hand shall be known two walk together except they be toward his servants in their deliver- agreed ? And what agreement can ances, and his indignation towards there be betwixt light and darkness, their enemies in their destruction (if the glorious Majesty of heaven and grace prevent not) sooner or later. sinful dust, but only through a MediThe Captain of our salvation is with ator? and the only Mediator is Jesus us; his eye is upon us, his everlasting Christ. The high-priest had the arms beneath us; in his name, there. names of the tribes engraven on his fore, we may go on, lift up our han- breast or heart : Christ pleads the ners, and say, “ If God be for us, love he bears to his people. Three who can be against us? Nay in all places the names of the saints are these things we are more than con- written in, from either of which nei. querors through him that loved us.” ther men or devils can blot them out,
So safe is the church of God from namely, in the book of life, on the destruction, that when all things pe- palms of his hands, and on the heart rish, they shall sustain no loss; in of Christ. I may add, the fourth the judgment day, though the great thing the high-priest did, when he globe itself be dissolved, happy will entered into the holy place, was, he the bride be in the enjoyment of her went in with all his rich priestly garadorable Husband, whose love is un- ments, to show we should be clothed changeable. Also the destruction of with the rich robes of Christ's righsin shall be accomplished in God's teousness; for what the high-priest people, who pass through the Red did, he did not in his personal, but in Sea of Christ's atoning blood. They his public capacity. shall be delivered from the very sha- Christ is the very life and soul of dow of death, and shall see all their all our comforts. and without him all enemies extinct, and the envious blaze our creature enjoyments are hut as of their transitory life quenched for so many cyphers without a figure, ever. Whilst the righteous “ being which have no signification in them, delivered from the powers of dark- but are so many nothings. Nothing ness, and translated into the kingdom in respect of true comfort here; no. of God's dear Son, sit triumphant at thing in respect of our meetness for the Lord's right hand; having ob- another world. tained redemption through his blood, May we be led by the Spirit to see even the forgiveness of their sins,' through the glass, both of scripture Col. i. 13.
and experience, to behold all the exThis is the stream that heals the cellencies of this world as so many wounded, refreshes the weary, satis- bladders filled with wind, and at best fies the hungry, strengthens the weak, to be like Hagar's bottle which was and confirms the strong; it opens the soon empty, or as broken cisterns, eyes of the blind, softens the heart, and therefore cannot hold much, broteaches the dumb to sing, and ena- ken cisterns, and therefore cannot bles the lame to walk, to leap, to run, hold what they have long. May we to fly, to mount up, with eagle's be led to look to and live upon Christ
, wings : a taste of this stream raises as that everlasting fountain of all earth to heaven, and brings down good, which can never be drawn dry heaven upon earth,
-as that never failing spring of all The only true comfort of life con- those blessings which will not only sists in living in communion with sweeten every condition here, but go God; it is his presence fills heaven with us beyond death and the grave. with all its glory, and it is his pre- The assured believer knows he is sence that fills every condition with rich in the midst of poverty (Col. ii.
ON A LIVING AND DEAD FAITH.
Though, says he, I cannot say So like a pilgrim let me wait, riches are mine, yet I can say that contented well in every state, Christ is mine, and that is more;
Till all my warfare ends;
Kept in a calm and heavenly mood, though I cannot say that silver and
And find that all things work for good, gold are mine, yet I can say grace Which Jesus kindly sends. and glory are, and that is far better.
Westminster. This believer can look up to heaven, and say, Yonder is the place, the palace, the kingdom I have a title to ; above yonder heavens must I for ever In the following pages I shall dwell, above yonder sun is a mansion attempt to point out the difference for me: oh, I long to be there, where between a dead and a living faithI know I shall for ever be. My heart faith without works, and a faith which is filled with joy while I think on it. is productive of good works. oh what joy shall enter into me when
A dead faith is a mere assent to I shall go into that joyful, blessed the truth, or to the letter of the place. Though now I walk in rags, word; but the letter killeth, it is the and am subject to the want of the Spirit giveth life. The devils believe bread that perisheth, I shall shortly and tremble : but their faith is of the be clothed with white and glorious same nature—a bare assent. might robes, eat of the hidden manna and hear a person relate to me all about the fruit of the tree of life, and drink what he had seen in the Indies, when of the rivers of pleasure at God's he was there : "if I knew the person right hand for ever. Now, a cottage, to be an honest man, I should have kitchen, or garret is my dwelling, but no reason to doubt his word, but a stately building is prepared for me should believe and receive his word as there (2 Cor. v. 1; John xiv. 2, 3). true without any hesitation ; notwithHere frequently my days are spent in standing all this, I could not say sighing, and my night with tears, but what the climate was by my own then I shall be all ear, all heart, all personal knowledge, nor that I had tongue; when I shall see my Re- experienced the scorching heat of the deemer as he is, I shall be like him. sun, nor seen the black natives in This will be heaven indeed :-to be. their different habitations. Such is hold his glory without a vail, to re
the difference between a mere assent joice in his love without a cloud, and to the truth, and the real belief of to sing his praises without one jarring it. “ Faith is the substance of things or wandering note for ever.
hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.
There is a real substance Why should I fear when guarded so, Or shrink to meet a deadly foe!
in the faith of the operation of the His mouth is held with bit:
Spirit of God: it lays hold of, apI need not dread his utmost spite,
propriates, and brings into the very For he can neither bark nor bite, Unless the Lord permit.
soul, the great and glorious realities
which are revealed in the word of No cross or bliss, no loss or gain,
Many persons will say, I believe The Lord so rules by his command,
the word of God; but I want the Nor good nor ill can stir a hand,
power. But such persons forget, or Unless he sends them forth.
do not know, that it is an utter imSince thou so kind and watchful art, possibility to believe without
the To guard my head and guard my heart,
power; for the faith of God's elect And guard my very hair ;
doth not stand in the wisdum of man, Teach me with child-like mind to sit, And sing at my dear Saviour's feet, but in the power of God: so that if Without distrust or fear.
I possess this living faith, I am sure
to reap the benefit. Indeed it is im- a presumptuous man! what an enpossible it should be otherwise ; for thusiast! surely the man must be if I am enabled to believe that the beside himself, he cannot be in his Lord Jesus bore my sins in his own right mind. Just so it is at the body on the tree that he endured present day: for if a person is enaall the curse due to my transgression bled by this same omnipotent faith -that he wrought out and brought (for it is nothing less than God's in an everlasting righteousness, to omnipotence put forth in the soul clothe my naked soul, that I might that can perform such wonders) to stand justified before him in a way believe and realize his interest in all which I could not by the law of the Lord Jesus has done and suffered, Moses : if I really believe this, I can. and that his sins are all pardoned, not at the same time doubt and fear and to cast his burden entirely upon that my sins will sink me to perdi.' the Lord, and be careful for notbing, tion. These two things can never but in every thing to give thanks, exist together, because they are di trusting in him at all times, and rectly opposed, as much so as fire making him their only refuge in a and water, light and darkness, life storm : such persons will be termed and death.
by many professors, presumptuous If I say that I helieve in the word hypocrites, and dead letter Calvinists. of God, trust in the promises, and And why is all this? Because such rely upon God's immutable oath, his persons have no knowledge of this unchangable and everlasting love : part of christian experience. But, and at the same time I am murmur. had Job no knowledge of it when he ing and repining, fretting and rebel said, “ Though he slay me, yet will I ling, because I cannot have things my trust in him?" Had Paul no knowown way. Though under such cir- ledge of it, when he said, “ I know cumstances I may be in possession in whom I have believed, and I am of faith, in the principle or root, yet persuaded that he is able to keep it is very evident I cannot have it in that which I have committed unto its powerful operation in my experi. him ?” Did the three worthies spoence, for that would be sure to bring ken of in Daniel know nothing of it, peace and tranquillity into the soul, when they answered the king “ Our and cause me to stand fast in the God is able to deliver us from the midst of all opposition. This I know burning fiery furnace, and he will a little of by experience, for it is deliver us out of thine hand, O what I have tasted, handled, and felt. king ?” What was David's experi. But our father Abraham understood ence, when he said, " Although my the nature of this faith far better house be not so with God, yet he than I can describe it. When the hath made with me an everlasting Lord commanded him to take his son, covenant, ordered in all things and his only son, Isaac, and offer him for sure: this is all my salvation and all a burnt offering, after that he had my desire, although he maketh it not promised that in him should all the to grow ?" And the Lord says, by nations of the earth be blessed; what the mouth of the prophet Isaiah, could be more contrary to his natural “ The work of righteousness shall be understanding and his carnal reason? peace, and the effect of righteousness yet he staggered not at the promise, quietness and assurance for ever : and but was strong in taith, giving glory my people shall dwell in a peacable to God. And no doubt there were habitation, and in sure dwellings, and many real christians who, had they in quiet resting-places. He shall seen Abraham take the knife to slay dwell on high : his place of defence his son, would have exclaimed, What shall be the munition of rocks: his
bread shall be given him, and his satisfied that the minister was a water shall be sure.”
christian, had more hope for him than I have no doubt but the persons I had for myself, and thence began to before referred to, upon reading this hope that I was one too.
But was I statement, would set me down for a really benefitted by this conclusion ? dead letter Calvinist, because I have in no wise, because my house was quoted so much scripture, and said built upon the wrong foundation; nothing about the plague of my for I no sooner got into fresh diffiheart, and what it is to groan under culties, than I began to say, ' Surely the weight of my accumulated sins no one ever felt like me :
can Gud and transgressions. And why is it dwell here? my heart is like the nether that I cannot now make this the millstone ; I am one complete mass theme of my tongue ? the reason is, of sin and depravity ; surely my minot because I have never felt it, and nister never felt like this ?' Then I groaned to be delivered from it; but have gone and heard him again, and it is, because the deliverance hath he has again entered into all my been obtained and realized by precious feelings, and this has been another faith, and the burden is removed, that lift : but all such lifts put together I can now treat of and rejoice in a never did me any real or lasting better subject. I was for many years good. It was like my going into an borne down with the weight of my hospital where there was a number of sins, shut up in Doubting Castle, and persons labouring under some disease, beat about by Giant Despair, till I and I had the same disease; and as had given up all for lost, and would each one described his symptoms to have given a thousand worlds, had I be exactly like mine, this would bepossessed them, to have realized my come a kind of relief, to find others interest, and read my title clear ; equally bad with myself. But this is which I have of late been enabled by poor consolation. Yet this is what is precious faith to do: and this faith called christian experience. That worketh by love, and purifies the such things are the soul-exercises of heart. This is indeed the bright side a christian, I do not dispute ; but of christian experience: but I ask, is that it is right to call this true chrisit that which goes for christian expe- tian experience, I deny: for that faith rience in the present day? are not which makes another man's expe. the greater part of christians living rience the object of his faith, I make upon their frames and feelings? mea- no hesitation in pronouncing a dead suring themselves by themselves, and faith, and will produce nothing but comparing themselves amongst them- death in the soul. selves? pinning their faith to the Faith that comes sh of Christ minister's sleeve, and making his ex- as its object must be a dead faith. perience the object of their faith? The faith which is of the operation This is what I have done myself of the Spirit of God, can many a time : I have gone to hear build upon such a sandy foundation the word preached, when I have been as the experience of a poor sinful so miserable, so full of doubts, fears, worm, that changes with every wind and suspicions as it was possible for that blows. When things have worn a man to be, and the minister has so a smiling aspect, and I have felt exactly described all my feelings by pretty comfortable, then I have been preaching what he called his own ready to conclude I was a christian experience, that it has been a sort of but when the clouds have gathered consolation to my mind to find that round, darkness intervened, and cross my case was not so singular as I had providences have pressed upon me, supposed it to be ; and I, being fully then I have thought that I must be