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The love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one
died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they who live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them and rose again. 2 Cor. v. 14, 15.
If the love and power of Christ constrain us, we must needs be medie
tating and relying on him and his death. This will cut off all worke ings of our own, and make room for Christ to work every thing in us, and through us. O Lord, may thy love on the cross fire my frozen heart also; that I may now begin to love and praise thee purely and fervently, and to offer my whole life up to thee as an entire sacrifice of love.
Raise your triumphant songs
To an immortal tune;
Celestial Grace has done !
Its chief Beloved chose,
Froni Sin's destructive woes !
Now, sinners, dry your tears,
Let hopeless sorrows cease ;
And take the offer'd peace.
We lay an humble claim
And love and praise thy name!
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work,
nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
Eccles. ix. 10. The business
of life is to glorify God, and to work out our own salvation; tree falleth, so it lieth ;" and where Death strikes down, there God lays out either for mercy or misery: so that I may compare it to the Red Sea; if I go in an Israelite, my landing shall be in glory, and my rejoicing in triumph, to see all mine enemies dead upon the sea-shore; but if I go in an Egyptian; if 1 be on this side of the cloud, on this side the covenant, and go in hardened among the troops of Pharaoh, Justice shall return in its full strength, and an inundation of judgment shall overflow my soul for ever. compare death to the sleep of the ten virgins, of whom it is said, “ They all slumbered and slept;" we shall all fall into this sleep. Now, if I lie down with the wise, I shall go in with the bridegroom ; but if I sleep with the foolish, without oil in my lamp, without grace in my soul, I have closed the gates of mercy upon me for ever! I see then this life is the time wherein I must go forth to meet the Lord'; this is the hour whe, uin I must do my work; and the day wherein I must be judged, according to my works, is at hand. I know not how soon I may fall into this sleep; therefore, Lord, grant that I may live every day in thy sight, as I desire to appear the last day in thy presence. Awake, my sluggish soul,
Believe and pray, and speed thy way, The heav'nly race to run;
For night is drawing on.
Or I may
Sin is a reproach to any people. Prov. xiv. 34. Be not deceived therefore with false notions of faith. Where there is
true faith, no sin has dominion. Sin will be ever stirring, often raging, and sometimes prevailing; but never reigning where true faith is. A believer, through a strong and sudden temptation, may be captivated by sin, but he is no willing captive; he hates sin, and prays and watches against it; and as faith increases, his power over sin increases too. A man having no feeling of the desperate wickedness of his heart, may imagine he has faith enough; but being once convinced of that, he soon perceives that it is the hardest thing in the world to believe; it requires the same power by which Christ was raised from the dead. St. Paul most emphatically describes it with six remarkable words, Eph. i. 19, 20. How then can any man think it an easy matter to believe ? O the dreadful blindness and security which all the world runs into! May the Lord open their eyes ! Lord, how secure my conscience was, I'm like an helpless captive, sold And felt no inward dread!
Under the pow'r of Sin; I was alive without the law,
I cannot do the good I would, And thought my sins 1.ere dead.
Nor keep my conscience clean. My hopes of Heav'n were firm and bright; My God, I cry with ev'ry breath But since the precept came,
For thy kind pow'r to save, With a convincing pow'r and light, To break the yoke of Sin and Death, I fiud how vile I am !
And thus redeem the slave !
At the commandment of the Lord, the children of Israel journeycd, and
at the commandment of the Lord, they pitched : and in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel pitched their tents. And when the cloud tarı ied long upon the tubernucle many days, then the children of Israel kept the charge of the Lord, and jour
neyed not. Numb. ix, 18, 19. Thus the spiritual Israelites; they ought not to undertake any thing from their own will,
lest confusion and disappointment should encompass every path. The unconverted are full of their own will; how should they succeed! They are bewildered here, and run into perdition eternally! Sometimes the faithful may, with a good design, when they are engaged in a good work, outrun the will of God, and not wait for his counsel. And yet the Israelites journeyed not, though the cloud tarried many days, and they might imagine they were losing time on their journey. O my God, grant that in all things, even in my best works, I may be guided by thine eye, and wait for thy counsel with a resigned temper ! May I speak or be silent, work or rest, when, and as thou wilt! then shall my ways be blest, and thou wilt never leave me nor forsake me! My God, the steps of pious men
I chose the path of heav'nly truth, Are order'd by thy will;
And God inspir'd my choice ; Tho' they should fall, they rise again! Not all the wealth of all the earth Thy hand supports thein still !
Could make me so rejoice!
In him was life, and the life zus the light of men.
John i. 4.
Whatever notional knowledge men may have of divine truths, as
they are doctrinally proposed in the scripture ; yet if they know them not in their respect unto the person of Christ, as the foundation of the counsels of God; if they discern not how they proceed from him, and centre in him, they will bring no saving spiritual light unto their understandings; for all spiritual life and light is in him, and from him alone. The difference between believers and unbelievers, as to knowledge, is not so much in the matter of their knowledge as in the manner of knowing. Unbelievers, some of them, may know more, and be able to say more of God, his perfections, and will, than many believers ; but they know nothing as they ought, nothing in a right manner, nothing spiritually and savingly, nothing with a holy, heavenly right. The excellency of a believer is not that he hath large apprehensions of things, but that what he doth apprehend, which may perhaps be very little, he sees it in the light of the Spirit of God, in a saving, soul-transforming light. And this is that which gives us communion with God, and not prying thoughts, or curious raised notions. In this knowledge, Lord, give me to increase every day!
Dear Lord, anoint my head and heart,
And light and life bestow on me ;
Light that will gospel-truth impart,
And life to make me live to Thee!