صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

Christian character. The humble believer will not dare to arraign the eternal God before the bar of his finite understanding. His language and feeling are those of the Psalmist: "Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments;" while with the lowly-minded Apostle he asks with profound admiration :-" Who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? or, who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things; to whom be glory for ever, Amen.

True humility is ever accompanied by a patient continuance in well-doing. How important to all who desire an interest in those blessings which shall terminate in eternal glory, are the words which Jesus spoke to the Jews who followed him : "If ye continue in my words, then are ye my disciples indeed, and we shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

To continue in the Word of Christ, we must first know it; and in order to know it, we must diligently study it. But as a peculiar state of heart is required to the right understanding of the Word of Christ, which we have not naturally, we must be earnest in prayer for the sacred influences of the Holy Spirit. As new-born babes we must desire the sincere milk of the Word, that we may grow thereby. In the spirit of children, we must receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save our souls. With humility and teachableness we must sit at the feet of Jesus, and listen to his voice.

But, to receive rightly the Word of God, we must abide in the doctrine of Christ. We must continue stedfast in the profession of the Truth. We must not be carried about by every wind of doctrine, but have our hearts established, and our hopes rooted and built up in Christ. We must walk with holy perseverance in the precepts of the Gospel, not starting aside like a broken bow, nor drawing back unto perdition; but going on with progressive step from grace to grace, till we appear before God in glory. If we are enabled, through the power of the Holy Ghost, thus to study, receive, and abide in the Word of Christ, evidencing our union to Jesus by the fruits of righteousness: we shall be privileged to enjoy the sweet promises of the Gospel; for our Lord hath declared: "Then are ye my disciples indeed."

How expressive is the word-indeed. It implies, that all who seem to be disciples, are not disciples indeed.

This was the case with some of those Jews who surrounded our Saviour when he made this declaration. 66 They were offended at his doctrine, and walked no more with him."

Are no such instances of defection to be found amongst us? Do we never see some, who, having run well for a season, turn back again into the world? When Jesus appeals to our affection, as he did to that of his disciples: "Will ye also go away ?" Can we reply with Peter's sincerity: "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life." Stability in the truth of the Gospel, and continuance in well-doing, are

essentially requisite, if we would be disciples indeed.

To the persevering believer, Jesus has promised eternal glory: "He that endureth unto the end shall be saved. To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me in my throne. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."

The question, then, for self-examination is not so much what we were, as what we are. If we are now cold, indifferent, and worldly, it matters not how zealous we might once have been. Our former state of zeal and active exertion can yield us no present profit, except as it thunders in our ears: "Remember from whence thou art fallen and repent, and do the first works."

O! may we never substitute knowledge for grace, profession for principle, words for practice, nor zeal for love.

The tinselled Christian may gain the admiration of those who regard the outward appearance, but he will never be approved of by Him who looketh at the heart.

When God teaches, he teaches to profit; and the effect of his teaching is visible to all, by the renewal of the heart unto holiness. Hence our Lord does not say merely: "Ye shall know the Truth;" but, as if he intended particularly to guard his followers against resting in barren speculations, he subjoins: "And the truth shall make you free."

The truth, received into the heart, makes the

believer free, from the condemning power of the law, from the pollution of sin, from the tyranny of Satan, from the fascinations of the world, from the fear of death, from the torments of hell.

Learn then, thou follower of the lowly Saviour, to bear contempt with cheerfulness, when contempt is poured upon thee, because thou art a disciple indeed, and boldly confessest thy faith and hope in the atonement of Jesus.

It is easy, in a circle of Christian friends, to admire humility, and to descant upon the duty of bearing reproach with patience: but when we find ourselves really despised,-when we are set at nought, where we expected to be honoured: then is the time, when pride and mortified self-love will rankle in our bosom, and when our utmost vigilance will be required to overcome these evil workings of the flesh.

At seasons like these, let us look unto Jesus. Let us consider him, who endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest we be weary and faint in our minds.-Let us remember what he suffered for our sakes, though Lord of all, that we may be abased at the sight of ourselves, and lie in self-abhorrence at the foot of the cross. And for our encouragement to persevere, let us never forget his own gracious words: "Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father which is in heaven."

How blessed then is the Christian indeed. He follows the Lord fully; his every power is devoted to his service. He knows the truth through the teaching of the Spirit; he receives the truth in

the simplicity of a little child; he continues in the truth, amidst errors of every name; and abiding therein, firm unto the end, he obtains, at length, through the merits of his Saviour, that crown of glory which fadeth not away.

O that we may all be Christians indeed, the meek and lowly followers of the Lamb, bearing his image in humility, love, and purity, till we each resemble him in his perfection of beauty, when we shall see him as he is, in his eternal kingdom.

"Thou God of holiness and love,

Whose name transports the saints above,

In their celestial spheres ;

On Thee, in feeble strains I call,
And raise my humble voice with all
The heav'nly choristers.

"O! might I with thy saints aspire,
The meanest of thy dazzl'ing choir
Who chaunt thy praise above:
Mix'd with the bright seraphic band,
May I a heav'nly harper stand,
And sing redeeming love.

"What extacy of bliss is there,
While all the happy spirits share

In never ending joys:

What more than extacy, when all
In holy adoration fall,

At Jesus' glorious voice.

"Jesus! the heav'n of heav'ns is,
The fount of purity and bliss;

And while on him we gaze,

And while his glorious voice we hear,
Our spirits are, all eye, all ear,

And silence speaks his praise.

« السابقةمتابعة »