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CHILDREN OF GOD, &c.
We see Jesus.... Heb. ii. 9.
FinE sights of human pomp and worldly grandeur captivate carnal minds, and ravish natural senses. It is common to hear persons say in an ecstacy, O, I could sit all night to see a fine play! But one sight of the matchless charms and dazzling glories of our Saviour, makes all other things appear mean and contemptible. We turn our eyes from them and say, I put away these childish things: I have an heavenly object, infinitely superior to such low, mean, perishing vanities. I know one, who having heard that faithful minister of Christ, Mr. Whitefield, when he first preached in the fields, upwards of thirty years ago; on being asked which he liked best, to hear him preach, or see Vauxhall? profanely replied, “Whitefield only preaches of heaven, but Vauxhall is heaven itself.” Poor soul! he was then blind to his want of Christ, and to his glory and excellency. But, to the glory of his rich grace, that poor sinner is out of hell, and can now happily join the faithful in saying; WE SEE Jesus. So then, the once profane sinner is changed into the visionary enthusiast. Enthusiasm to see Jesus! “ Enthusiastic this? then all are blind but rank enthusiasts:" for the essence of the gospel, the joy of sinners, and the glory of faith consist in this sight. What is life itself without it? for, alas! we have lost all righteousness, holiness and happiness, in ourselves; but we see all these, with heaven and glory, restored to us în Christ. O blessed day! happy hour! joyful moment! when the sight of our inestimably precious Saviour first saluted the eyes of our mind and became the object of our faith! It was the beginning of days; yea our birth-day to eternal blessedness. This sight is a feast to our souls. all the year. We delight to begin the year with seeing Jesus. We salute one another with, “I wish you a happy new year." What
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mean we, but I wish you to see Jesus? What can make the year happy without this? This creates heaven in the soul. Then it is a happy year indeed. But without this precious view of faith we can get no ease from the burden of sin, therefore our souls must be miserable. This world can afford us no real happiness. The thoughts of death will torment us; and the view of judgment fill us with dread and terror. But, o happy sinners who can bless God with Simeon, and say
have seen thy salvation!”....Luke ii. 30. I see Christ: he is all my salvation and all my desire. Ye heaven-born, highly-favored souls, well may ye say, time hasten ón, years roll round, moments fly swiftly, and bring me to the full enjoyment of my beloved Saviour in his kingdom of glory. For,
WE SEE JESUS, who saw us, loved us, pitied and saved us when dead in our sins, cursed by the law, and polluted in our blood. We look back and see him an outcast babe, a despised man, crucified as a vile malefactor, bearing our sins on the cross, made a sacrifice for our souls, and redeeming us to God by his blood. We glory in him as the only atonement for our sins and our one righteousness to justify our souls; for he is THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS....Jer, xxiii. 6. We look up and see Jesus crowned with glory and honor, pleading our cause and interceding for our persons at the right hand of God, and ever living to save us to the uttermost. We look forward to judgment; awful day! we see
• A trembling world, and a devouring God.' But O, how bright the prospect shines! we see Jesus coming with power and great glory to receive us to his kingdom, that where he is there we may be also.
Do we thus see Jesus by faith as revealed in the word of truth? Then we are new creatures in him. We are called, with Moses, "to endure (every fight of affliction) seeing him who is invisible.".... Heb. xi. 27. We are exhorted to “ lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and to run with patience the race set before us, LOOKING UNTO JESUS, the author and finisher of our faith.”....Heb. xii. 1, 2. Thus we obey the will of God our Father, who commands us, “ Behold mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth.".... Isa. xlii. 1. “My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." ....Matt. iii. 17.
Jesus is the chiefest good,
Vengeance follows by decree,"
Jesus gives us life and peace,
The nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall
they glory....Jer. iv. 2.
“Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, tongue, people and nation.” This is part of the new song which is sung at the right-hand of God in honor and glory to the LAMB.... Rev. v. 9. Shall we not honor and glorify him here below? What should be the employ of the redeemed and called every day they live on earth till they join their brethren in heaven? Why, to bless themselves in the Lord. Bless one's self! Is not that boasting and vain-glory? Yes, if it arises from any merit, self-righteousness or excellence which we fancy we possess. But we are to bless ourselves because we are in the Lord, and blessed by our God and Father with all spiritual bles. sings in Christ Jesus. Though a sinner, a miserable sinner, yea, a law-accursed sinner in thyself, yet bless thyself as a rich saint, a holy, happy soul in Christ; beloved of God, chosen of God, reconciled to God, at peace with God, an heir of God, and joint heir with Jesus. Bless thy soul that it is born again of the Spirit to partake of such inestimable privileges. This is an evangelical duty. It raises the affections to the Lord of our salvation. It revives the heart. It fortifies the mind against sin and invigorates the soul to all holy obedience. Therefore it should be our daily work to bless ourselves, and to bless the Lord for what he hath done for us and in us. O, Holy Spirit, raise our legal spirits to the exercise of this gospel practice! Cause our souls to delight more in, and to glory more of the Lord our righteousness. “In him shall they glory.” One view of Christ by faith stains the pride of all human glorying. O, what glory shines in the person of Jesus! He is God and man in one Christ. What glory is displayed in his love to us sinners, in redeeming us to God by his blood, justifying us by his righteousness, living to pray for us as our advocate, and saving us day by day from sin, and everlastingly, from hell to heaven. Let us constantly dwell upon and glory in his person, his work, his offices, and his everlasting love below, till we come to cast down our crowns before him above.
For while our souls are thus sweetly exercised from day to day, sin loses its dominion, satan his power, the world its charms, self is denied, fears subside, hopes are lively, love reigns, our affections are above, our spirits are on the wing for God, and this is our constant language, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of..our Lord Jesus Christ.”....Gal. vi. 14.
Things that accompany salvation....Hcb. vi. 9.
Mary mistook Christ for the gardener....John xx. 15. We are very apt to mistake our graces for our Saviour. Some put their faith in the place of Christ's righteousness. They say, we are justified by our faith, and not by the righteousness of Christ. Others call the graces of the covenant the conditions of salvation. These are sad mistakes. Hereby the glory of Christ is eclipsed. The sinner's eye is turned from the Saviour to himself. His trust is placed in his graces instead of Christ. He mistakes the things which accompany salvation, for salvation itself. What are the things which accompany salvation? Naturally, we have none of them. We have only the things which accompany damnation. We are no more able. to work them in ourselves than a dead corpse can raise itself to life, or a devil in hell change himself into an angel in heaven. They are the train of graces which ever attend the king of saints. The Saviour brings them with himself into the saved sinner's heart. They are the graces of his Spirit. 1st. Faith in Jesus, as a redeeming, justifying, sanctifying Saviour. 2d. Repentance towards God, as receiving and pardoning sinners in Christ: hatred of sin and turning from sin to Christ. 3d. Hope; which is as an anchor of the soul, by keeping it steady in the expectation of what the word promises and faith believes. 4th. Love to God, excited by his love to us in Christ.. 5th. Peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 6th. Joy in God, having now received the atonement by faith. 7th. Heavenly-mindedness, by living on Jesus. 8th. Deadness to sin, by the body of Christ. 9th. Deadness to the world, being crucified with Christ. 10th. Living to holiness, being alive unto God through Jesus Christ. 11th. Love to our brethren and fellow-sinners, being passed from death to life. And to all the rest, constant dissatisfaction with ourselves, seeing we still are miserable sinners, imperfect creatures, unprofitable servants. We look on nothing within us as our title to glory, but wholly and solely to Jesus. These graces we receive out of his fulness. These are evidences of interest in him, make us meet for heaven, and accompany salvation. For we have fellowship with God, and his Son Jesus Christ. Paul was persuaded of these things concerning his christian brethren. See then the glorious nature of christianity. The faith of the gospel and the hope of salvation are not empty notions. But “whom God justified, them he also glorified.”.... Rom. viii. 30. Those whom he adorns with the glorious robe of Christ's righteousness, he makes glorious with the graces of his Spirit. What God hath joined together let not man pui asunder....Matt. xix. 6.
To this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.... Isa. Ixvi. 3.
THE LORD, whose throne is in the highest heaven and whose footstool is the earth, here enquires after a place of residence and rest. As though about to quit his throne he looks unto man. Behold he tabernacles in man. He makes the human nature his temple. Hence he looks to his brethren in flesh, however poor, miserable, and distressed. As his look of love is towards them so he brings them to look for mercy from him. But we are all naturally too rich in our own eyes to be indebted to his grace, too stubborn of spirit to bow to his sceptre, and too stout-hearted to hearken to his voice and submit to his righteousness. Well, glory to the Lord, he has mercy for rebels as well as a heaven for saints; yea, of sturdy rebels he makes humble saints. How? Thus, “The day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up, and he shall be brought low....Isa. ü. 12. O soul, dost thou see thy poverty, over head and ears in debt to law and justice, nothing but rags to cover thy nakedness, and liable to be cast into the prison of hell? Give glory to the Lord. The day of the Lord is upon thee; the light of truth has shined into thee; and as though there was not another man upon the earth, the Lord looks to thee, even to thee, thou POOR SINNER. Thou sayest I abhor myself, I tremble to look at myself, I am so poor, so miserable, and so wretched. Surely, the Lord must turn away his eyes from me with loathing and abhorrence. No: to this man will I look, saith the Lord. Yes, saith the humble soul, If I had but a contrite spirit, if I did but tremble at God's word, I might think so, I should hope so; but I can see nothing in myself why the Lord should look upon me and love me. I tremble to be found in myself. O, if the Lord had not looked on thee as he did on Peter, thou wouldst never have had such a contrite spirit, nor such a trembling heart. Jesus beholds and loves his image there. He was once a poor man as thou art. He had not where to recline his weary head, or to find comfort for his sorrowful soul, but in and from the loving breast of his dear Father. That is thy case. Instead of being a proud Pharisee, why art thou a poor sinner? Instead of making a mock at sin, why is thy heart broken for sin? Instead of despising the Lord's word, why dost thou tremble to be found out of Christ? All, all is because the Lord looks to thee. O look, look unto him and be saved from all thy doubts and fears! Thy poverty and contrition are not conditions, but blessed evidences of salvation. Our Lord assures us, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." ....Matt. y. 3.