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has done all; and left him nothing to do but to rejoice, although unsubdued corruptions are continually breaking out in his life and conversation. They maintain that divine grace is the more glorified, by thus rising superior, in its gifts of mercy, to the infirmities and allowed sins of believers. Thus the moral law is set aside; and holiness considered as a burden, from which they are happily freed.
How Satan can transform himself into an angel of light, the more effectually to allure and destroy !
Awful delusions indeed ! Such self-deceivers love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. Of divine truth, they are “ willingly ignorant." How
great is the change, when God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, shines into our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of his glory, in the face of Jesus Christ. By this divine process, we become new creatures, bear the image of the Saviour, shine forth in the beauty of holiness, and live to his glory, who worketh all things after the counsel of his will. The redeemed sinner is a child of God. He is born from above; and resembles his heavenly Father in his imitable perfections.
“God is love." Hence every one that loveth, is bom of God and knoweth God.
God is “glorious in holiness.” His people are therefore a holy people; being called with a " holy calling."
God is just. And his children are all righteous. They walk before him in uprightness, simplicity, and godly sincerity:
God is eternal truth. His redeemed onės speak the truth from the heart. They abhor deceit and lies.
God is almighty. His people are strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;" and
come off“ more than conquerors through him that loved them.”
God is “rich in mercy." His children are commanded to be merciful, even as their Father which is in heaven is merciful.
God is wisdom. All his faithful servants are enlightened by his Spirit, guided into all truth, and made wise unto salvation.
Thus every communicable perfection which resides in the Deity, is reflected by the new creature to the praise of his glory, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift.
From this view.we perceive, that the mere externals of religion will avail nothing unto salvation. There must be the accompanying power of godliness, and an inward experience of the truth upon the heart. Head-knowledge, without heart-work, is but a shadow, good for nothing.
The gracious promise of our all merciful God, is sweetly proclaimed by the Prophet Jeremiah: “I will give.
them a heart to know me that I am the Lord.” and St. Paul declares that with the heart. man believeth unto righteousness.” “My. Son give me thy heart," is the paternal command of the Almighty, at once reasonable, loving, and delightful.
Now let me ask myself seriously, as in the sight of the all-searching God: Am I reflecting the bright beams of his grace on my own soul ? Do I love God, his people, and his ways ? If I am a child, I must of necessity be filled with love, for God is love.
Do I hate all sin, and walk in all the commandments of God; knowing that without holiness, no man shall see the Lord ?
Am I just and equitable in all my dealings, remembering that God has declared his abhorrence of all unrighteousness of men ?
Are deceitful lies hateful to my soul ? Do I-love
the truth, and practise it in all my intentions, words, and conduct ?
Am I ready to forgive; knowing how mercy shines forth in the covenant of grace, and how much of divine mercy I stand in need every moment of my life?
O that I could feel more of the sweet influence of those graces in my heart! Lord, pity a poor sinful worm of the earth. Let me not be destitute of this sure and certain evidence of belonging to thee, even that of bearing thy holy image. Fill me with love; make me holy in all manner of conversation ; just and true in all my ways; powerful in resisting evil; merciful to my offending brethren; and wise in all heavenly wisdom. Thus may my light shine before men to thy glory; till, by thy sovereign grace, I am admitted through the gates into the city, clothed with the righteousness of Jesus, and having the inward seal and witness of the Spirit, enabling me to exclaim, “ Abba, Father !" in the courts above.
Almighty God, to thee belong
Who can recount thy mercies o'er,
Here language fails, nor can express
Behold its length, its breadth survey,
O! clothe me in that beauteous dress,
XVII. ON THE NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY.
Christianity is a religion of love. It flowed from the eternal love of God the Father ; was published in lines of blood on the cross of God the Son ; and is graciously revealed to every contrite soul through the power of God the Holy Ghost. Christianity breathes nothing but love to the
It wooes, it intreats, it invites all, without exception, to partake of its blessings and live. It holds forth the free mercy of God through Christ; and offers pardon and acceptance even to the vilest, who come unto Jesus, weary and heavy-laden, as the Saviour and friend of sinners.
Canst thou, O! my soul, refuse such an offer as this ? Canst thou reject so loving a Saviour; so rich a tender of
grace and mercy ? Blessed Jesus ! behold a wretched sinner at the foot of thy cross. Enable me to look unto thee alone for salvation. Draw me,
and I will run after thee. O! may I daily live upon thee by faith, who art the true bread from heaven. Unite me to thyself, as the branch to the vine; the member to the head; and bring me in joyful triumph to thy celestial kingdom.
But what am I now asking? Blessings rich as heaven, and extensive as eternity. I am imploring blessings bought with blood—the blood of God incarnate! Amazing price! yet freely paid, to purchase heaven for me!
Christianity spreads happiness around her path. True happiness can only be found in a covenant God in Christ, who hath declared himself to be a just God and yet a Saviour, just and yet the justifier of all who believe in Jesus, yea, faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When we contemplate the great Jehovah in his essential character out of Christ, we behold every perfection in array against us, and demanding our everlasting punishment as rebel creatures. Infinite holiness and justice, truth and goodness, require that sin should be punished. Hence the Scriptures declare “ that our God is a consuming fire,” “ who will in no wise clear the guilty.
But when we view God in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; when we behold the Eternal Word becoming flesh, and dwelling amongst us; when we see in the babe of Bethlehem, Emanuel, God with us; then hope revives, and leans with sweet delightful confidence on the rock of ages ; love kindles into