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Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's goodpleasure .
to give you the kingdom.... Luke xii. 32. .
WHEN poor sinners are converted to Jesus, they become little
in their own eyes, and they see but few comparatively who follow the Lamb. Their former friends turn their enemies. Their former hopes are cut off. They know their own strength to be perfect weakness; and they feel the burden of a body of sin and death. Hence their poor hearts are often exercised with anxious cares and distressing fears. Their Saviour knows this; therefere he speaks to them in love, forbids their fears, and administers the most reviving draught of consolation. Ye children, consider your dignity as adopted sons of God. Call to mind your honorable state, heirs of a kingdom, heirs of God the King of kings, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ your elder brother. Though at present ye are in a state of exile. The world knows you not. Your kindred after the flesh despise you. Carnal professors revile and persecute you. Satan is enraged to tempt and accuse you. Yea, and your worst foes are most nearly allied to you; the flesh, with its corruptions and lusts, sin and unbelief. Yet, saith the head, in glory, to his conflicting members on earth, “Fear not.” Why? what consideration can dispel the anxious fears, and alleviate the distressing doubts of drooping disciples? Verily the goodpleasure of their Father: the eternal purposes of his grace: the immutable designs of his love. A kingdom is prepared for you. Earth, with all its power: sin, with all its malignity: hell, with all its rage and malice, shall never deprive you of your Father's patrimony. O disciple! how does this heighten the mercy and secure the inheritance? It is a FREE GIFT, by Jesus Christ. Poor soul, thou art fearing about thy interest in and title to the kingdom of glory. Verily, thou canst find nothing in thyself, to give thee a right thereto. But thy Saviour plainly assures thee, it is of “thy Father's good pleasure.” What power can avert that? Hast thou an heart to seek the kingdom? Dost thou believe in, and follow the Lamb? Dost thou see somewhat in Jesus, which, attracts thy affections 2 Is the desire of thy soul after him, and to the remembrance of his name? Then hath the glory of the kingdom, by the Spirit, shined upon thine heart. No marvel sin is thy grief and burden, while Jesus is the delight and hope of thy soul. May it suffice to quiet and still thy mind, that the Father's gift is sure. And so is the way also; it is by Jesus. And “through much tribulation thou (and all the heirs) must enter into the kingdom.”....Acts xiv. 22.
One of thy little flock, my Lord, Ah! Saviour, speak away these fears,
But fears prevail and say that I, Assure me, ’tis thy Father's will,
o - DECEMBER 12. •859.
Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the
WHEN sovereign grace reacheth the heart, it casts out that
360 DECEMBER 13.
‘Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price....] Cor.
vi. 19, 20.
O, how dear is every believer to God the Father, to Jesus the Saviour, and to the Spirit the comforter? Each divine person claims propriety in them. The Father by election: the Son by redemption: the Holy Spirit by inhabitation. How should this, O soul, call forth love, excite gratitude, inflame with affection, and quicken thee to glorify thy Lord! Consider daily, thou art not thine own, but a ransomed captive of Jesus. Reflect on the price Jesus paid for thy redemption. Thou art bought with blood: with blood divine: blood, spilt on the accursed tree, in direful agony and shameful death, was the price of thy purchase. So thy Saviour bought thee, at the hands of justice. He paid the utmost farthing of thy debt to law. He redeemed thee from the power of satan; and
snatched thee as a brand from the jaws of death and hell. And
canst thou ever think thy redeeming Lord will leave the purchase of his blood to be the prey of the devil? After he hath bought thee at such an inestimable price, will he not claim thee as his own, and bring thee safe to glory? O, beware of indulging unbelief! Listen npt to the suggestions of satan, nor to the voice of false teachers. Fly every thought which impeaches thy Lord's love, wisdom or power. Consider, thou art thy Lord's freeman. As a chaste virgin thou art espoused to Jesus; in faith hast plighted thy troth; hast voluntarily given thyself, hand and heart, to be thy Lord's. What then is thy duty : what infinite obligations art thou under to forsake all other lovers, and to cleave to thy Lord alone, with full purpose of heart! Dost thou believe thy vile body shall shortly be sown in the silent grave? and that it shall certainly be raised a glorious body like unto thy Saviour's : How much doth it concern thee to devote that body to his service and glory on earth, which shall reign with Jesus in heaven Is thy body the temple of the Holy Ghost? Canst thou reflect on its dignity, and debase and pollute it with filthy lusts? God forbid! Doth thy spirit enjoy sweet fellowship with the Father and his Son Jesus? Doth the Spirit itself bear witness with thy spirit, that thou art a child of God? Where is thy love to the truth as it is in Jesus? Where is thy zeal for his cause and interest? Remember whose thou art. Be concerned to live up to thy privilege and dignity. Be earnest in prayer for power to obey the obligations which infinite and eternal love hath laid thee under. “Glorify thy Lord in thy body and in thy spirit which are his.” . . - * > *
What shall we pay th’ eternal Son, Our everlasting love is due * ,
To bring us wand'rers back to God! The vast expence his love would cost.
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed..., Rom. xiii. 11.
... It is an affecting case, but a real truth, that wise virgins are apt to slumber and sleep as well as the foolish. Through the pressures of a body of sin and death, and the opiates of worldly ease and self-indulgence, they sometimes fall into a drowsy state, ahd a sleepy frame of soul. Hence, they lose their former delight in religious duties and spiritual exercises. Their love to God and their brethren in Christ grows cold; their zeal for the glory of Jesus and his precious truths decline. The enemy takes great advantages against them, and would triumph in their entire destruction. But that can never be, for the Lord prevents it. “He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.” Will the loving father suffer his dear children to sleep in their beds till devoured by raging flames? If we being evil, have such love for our children, how infinitely greater is the love of our heavenly Father Therefore he alarms souls and awakens them to duty and watchfulness.
Thus Paul, his faithful watchman, lifts up his voice of warning, cries the hour, and reproves disciples as acting unbecoming. It being both unreasonable and unseasonable for them who know the time of day to indulge sloth and heaviness. It is high time to awake out of sleep. Come, christian, look around thee, look up. The Saviour reigns. It is broad day. See the sun shining. Nay, it is in its meridian. And thou art just got to thy journey's end. Just in sight of thy Father's house. Thy Lord is coming to meet thee. What! wilt thou sleep on and take thy rest? The Spirit speaks to thee in this word, “Now is thy salvation nearer than when thou first believed.” The Lord is at hand. “Let thy moderation, in care after the things of this world, be known unto all men.” What art thou grasping so much of perishing things for? Thou canst not hold them long. Off hands, before death makes thee quit thy hold. Think what thou art spiritually born for, called to, and art just.going to take possession of Verily, if thy soul is broad awake, thou Šeest things as they really are. TIME, with all its toys and pleasures, how short! ETERNITY, with all its rich glories andinestimable blessings, how long ! Jesus, with all his endearing amiableness, in his adorable person, precious offices, blessed promises, and glorious work and finished salvation for thee, as the best object of all thy hope, love, peace, and joy. For shame, sleep not when the delight
ful presence and heavenly fellowship of such a friend may be
enjoyed. If thou hast lost the sense of this by sleep, O resolve with the church, “I will give no sleep to mine eyes, until I find the Lord.”....Psalm czxxii. 4, 5. - - -
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.... 1 Cor. xvi. 13.
BELIEvers in the Lord Jesus now partake of an everlasting
salvation. No enemy can deprive them of the full enjoyment of it in glory; because “they are kept by the mighty power of God.” But we are daily to consider, it is “through faith,".... 1 Pet. i. 5. Do we believe in the atonement of Jesus' blood; do we rely on the perfection of his righteousness? Why so 2 Because the word of the Lord is the warrant for our faith. Hence, O soul, the exhortations from the same word to duty are equally binding on thy belief and practice. The same Lord who has saved us from our enemies, calls us to watch against them. Jesus, who is gone to prepare a place for us in glory, directs us how to demean ourselves in the way to it. Shall the christian soldier neglect the command of the captain of his salvation, when the glory of God and the peace and comfort of his own soul are equally concerned 3 Surely not.
Through watchfulness many evils are prevented, many blessings. enjoyed. When a christian is off his guard, or asleep when he. should watch, how is he exposed to the attacks and temptations of the enemy . It is for our good that the Lord commands it as our duty. It is through his power that hereby the good soldier of Jesus. Christ is enabled to stand fast in the profession, power and comfort of faith. It was Paul's joy in the views of death, that he had “kept the faith,"....2Tim. iv. 7. Would we enjoy the same comfort? Strive in the strength of the Lord to follow his example. Check the risings of unbelief. Oppose the workings of carnal reason. Resist stedfastly in the faith the subtle devices of satan. This is your duty and wisdom. So shall we quit ourselves like men of valour and courage : like victorious saints of old, “who overcame every enemy through. the blood of the Lamb.” Droop not, O believer, thy strength is the Lord's omnipotence. Lift up thy head with boldness, thine enemies are vanquished by thy conquering Jesus. Be strong. Look off thyself. Look to the strong for strength. Look unto Jesus continually. Rely only on the power of his might hourly. His arm is not shortened. The reliance of faith engages his power. The cry of faith obtains victory. There is an open and effectual door by which thou shalt enter into glory; but thou must fight thy way through. Consider daily this is our motto, “More than conquerors through JEsus who hath loved us.”....Rom. viii. 37.
Dear Lord, my thankful heart receives I am my love's, and he is mine, [join ,