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Ye are complete in him. Col. ii. 10.
THINK, O believer, with wonder and amazement, reflect with grati
tude and love, that, whilst thou art deploring the common ruin of human nature, and mournfully feeling its and effects upon thy own soul, thou mayst yet look through all thine imperfection, frailty, and unwor. thiness, to thy glorious Representative, and see thyself complete in him. The law which would condemn thee, he has completely satisfied : the obedience which it requires, in order to thine acceptance with God, he hath completely paid; and that eternal life, from which thy sinful imperfections must have for ever barred thee, is now become thine unali. enable inheritance, as the reward of his righteousness, who lived and died for thee. Go forth then, and glorify him in heart and life; the more thou believest in him, the more wilt thou love him; and the more thou lovest him, the better wilt thou serve him; and till he shall remove thee from this vale of sin and sorrow, let thy song in the house of thy pilgrimage be this, “ Complete in him.”
To a'l my vileness, Christ is glory bright; Sight to my blindness, to my meanness wealth,
Will ye speak wickedly for God, and talk deceitfully for him ? Job xiii. 7.
Thy word is truth. John xvii. 17.
WHEN Moses saw an Egyptian and an Israelite striving together, he killed
the Egyptian and saved the Israelite. Exod. ii. 12. But when he saw two Israelites striving together, he laboured to reconcile them, saying, “Ye are brethren, why do ye strive :” So when we read, or see the Apocryphal Books, or Heathen Story, or Popish Traditions, contradicting the Scriptures; as for instance, Jacob curseth the wrath and anger of Simeon and Levi, for murdering the Shechemites (Gen. xlix. 7); and Judith blessed God for killing them (Judith 9);— here, and in such like places, let us kill the Egyptian, but save the Israclite; set a value on the Scriptures, but slight the Apocrypha. But when we mect with any appearance of seeming contradiction in the canon of Scripture, as where it is said “ God tempted Abraham (Gen. xxii. 1.); and “God tempteth no man” (James i. 13); - here now, and in many other places, we must be reconcilers, and distinguish between a temptation of trial, which is from God, and a temptation of seducement, which is by the Devil; and these two, seemingly differing friends, will appear to be brethren, and agree well.
And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, Hebront
for an inheritance. Joshua xiv. 13. The spies that went up to view the promised land, all, except Caleb and
Joshua, made a formidable report of the gigantic inhabitants of Hebron, saying, “ We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” Caleb (answering well to his name, which signifies All-heart) stilled the people before Moses, and said,“ Let us go up at once and possess it, for we are well able to overcome.” We arc told he had another spirit with him, and followed God fully. Moses, therefore, because he wholly followed the Lord his God, was commissioned to make him a grant of all the land whereon his feet had trodden, which was the mountain of Hebron. Caleb was eighty-five years old when he reminded Joshua of this promise ; he was forty when Moses sent him to spy out the land; thirty-eight years the Lord had kept him in the wilderness, through the plagucs of the desert, and seven years in Canaan, through the perils of war. The city of Hebron was already reduced,but the inhabitants had repaired to the fastnesses of the mountain; these he wanted to dispossess, assuring Joshua he had now the same strength of body and holy confidence in God to engage in this dangerous enterprize, as he had at forty years of age, when he was sent as a spy. Joshua blessed him, ackuowledged his claim and deserts, besought God to prosper him in his undertaking, and gave him the country; thus was his fidelity and uprightness rewarded. Reader, Are you like-hearted with Caleb? Are yon longing after Hebron that is, Communion with God. Are you eager to fight against your spiritual foes, those sons of Anak, lusts, passions, the devil, and the world ? If so, remember the promise, “ As your day is so sliall, your strengh be found;" keep up fellowship with God, and no enemy shall be too strong for you; follow God fully; eye the Captain of your salvation 1; fight in his name and strength, and you shall conquer every foc. All heart, like Caleb, may I be, Against each spiritual foe:
And, like him, trusting in the Lord, 1
To fight and conqner go.
And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the first-born in the
land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat on his throne, unto
the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon. Exod. xii. 29. The death of every first-born of the Egyptians carried so lively a re
semblance, and bore so natural a relation to their sin in destroying every male of the Israelites, that they must needs perceive it was inflicted as a punishment for that very cruelty; and consequently must conclude, that the God of Israel took particular notice of human transactions, and, sooner or later, rewarded every man according to his works. The gradual increase of the judgments inflicted on Egypt is somewhat remarkable, and equally expressive of the mercy and justice of God. The four first plagues were loathsome, rather than fatal to the Egyptians; but after that of the flies came the murrain, which chiefly spent its rage upon the cattle; the biles and blains reached both man and beast, though there was still a reserve for life: the hail and locusts extended, in a great measure, even to life itself: the first by an immediate stroke, and both consequently by destroying the fruits of the earth. That of darkness added consternation to their minds, and lashes to their consciences; and when all this would not reclaim, at length came the decisive blow; first, the slaying of the first-born, and then the drowning of the incorrigible tyrant, and all his host. " Great and marvellous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! just and true are thy ways, thou King of Saints !" Let no proud sinner grow secure
If former judgments turn thee not, Who has through dangers past:
Thy life shall go at last.
Draw me, we will run after thee. Solomon's Song, i. 4. -- Divine Answer:
I have loved thee with an everlasting love : therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee. Jer. xxxi. 3.
MANY and various are the ways the Almighty takes in bringing his
children to himself, and to a knowledge of the things of their peace. Sometimes he draws by the silken bands of love; sometimes by the still small voice of his Spirit ; sometimes by the knotted cords of pain and sickness; sometimes he drives them by the storm and tempest of his broken law; but most effectually in giving his Son to die for them. Reader, Pray always to him to make you sensible of the secret, tender drawings of his love, and willing to follow them directly. This praying always is very needful, because we are always in want ; and without being instant and earnest we cannot receive much. Therefore it is not a hard command, but a great benefit and privilege; as if God should say “ You are a poor child, always wanting something but you may always pray to me, and I will always hear, and assist, and draw thee after me.” O draw me, Saviour, after thee;
O that I, ás a little child, So shall I run and never tire ;
May follow thee, nor ever rest With gracious words still comfort me; Till suectly thou hast pour'd thy mild
And be my liope and whole desire. And lowly mind into my breast; No lust can stir, or guilty fear,
Nor ever may we parted be