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stem the stream, and thus to prove that he possesses spiritual life and vigour.

How characteristic of the Church in her militant condition, is the description which Solomon has clothed in the richness of Eastern imagery: "Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners ?" "The sun," as Leighton beautifully remarks, "is perfectly luminous, but the moon is but half enlightened: so the believer is perfectly justified, but sanctified only in part. His one-half, his flesh, is dark; and as the partial illumination is the reason of so many changes in the moon, to which the sun is not subject at all: so the imperfection of a Christian's holiness, is the cause of so many waxings and wanings, and of the great inequality in his performances; whereas in the mean while, his justification remains constantly like itself. This is imparted. That is inherent "

Equally characteristic of the helplessness of the Church is the interesting enquiry: "Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?"

Do we

Is Christ the beloved of our souls? behold in him infinite beauty, grace, and power? Are we reposing our souls upon his faithfulness and truth; leaning only on the hope of his heavenly grace? Drawn by the Spirit, are we coming up from this wilderness-world, a world of sin and sorrow, and journeying, through the strength of Jesus, to the paradise above?

Some persons, unacquainted with the depth

of human corruption, think, that to be good, is an easy attainment. Their standard of goodness, which consists in amiability of temper, a freedom from grossly vicious habits, and a benevolent desire to relieve the indigent, our fallen nature may reach. A well-directed education, the moral tone of the circle in which we move, and a de corous observance of the outward forms of religion, have each a tendency to civilize the mind, and to give a certain air of excellence to the character. But all this is very far below the standard of evangelical holiness.

Barnabas was called a good man, because, "he was full of the Holy Ghost and of faith." St. Paul, who was no flatterer, bore this testimony to the Roman Christians: "I am persuaded of you my brethren, that ye are full of goodness." On what he founded this assertion, he himself informed them : "Ye are the called of Jesus Christ.Your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. Your obedience is come abroad unto all men."

How opposite is the goodness which the world admires, from that which God approves. The one, like the morning cloud and early dew, passeth away: the other, like the rising sun, shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

The love of God in Christ, a conformity to his image, a hatred of all sin, a renunciation of worldly lusts, and an entire devotedness of heart to the divine will, constitute that goodness which is pleasing unto God, and which can only spring from an union to Christ, by faith, through the

power of the Holy Ghost. This happy state is attended with much conflict, arising from the remainders of sin in the regenerate. A battle must

be fought, but the believer who dies fighting against sin, will die conquering, through the blood of Jesus.

The experience of eminent Christians is always interesting and instructive. All have to pass through the strait gate, and to travel along the narrow way. Many are discouraged, because they think their trials are peculiar to themselves, and such as no spiritually-minded believer can experience.

Being afraid to disclose their griefs, they suffer much inward distress from the dread of selfdeception and hypocrisy. Satan, taking advantage of this state of mind, strives to confirm their fears, by casting his fiery darts into their souls, and impelling them onwards to the brink of despair.

But Jesus will not suffer his sheep to perish. What Satan meant for evil, he overrules for good. These trials, though severe, cut up self-righteous hopes by the root, and lead the trembling believer, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to the foot of the cross, where peace, and strength, and victory, are obtained.

They can now with freedom open their hearts to some fellow pilgrim, and are surprised to find, that the same afflictions are accomplished in their brethren that are in the world. Thus they are comforted and encouraged to persevere. May every Christian reader take encouragement when thus tried; for the God of all grace, who hath called

us, (if believers in his dear Son,) unto his eternal glory by Jesus Christ, will, after we have suffered awhile, stablish, strengthen, settle, us. To Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

St. Paul, when he became a subject of divine grace, was made to groan under the burden of indwelling sin, which, in his unconverted state, sat lightly on his conscience.

The unregenerate, who are revelling in sinful pleasures, can form no idea of the pain which a holy mind feels, when an impure thought is presented to the imagination. Those things which the wicked dwell upon with delight, are distressing to the pure in heart. When, therefore, we hear the believer in Jesus, mourning over his corruptions, and loathing himself for all his abominations, it is not because he has, in every instance, cherished iniquity, but because it is offensive in all its actings to his new-born soul. With the tried Apostle he can say: "We that are in this tabernacle, do groan being burdened,—and are willing to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."

In the seventh chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, this spiritual conflict is described in such humiliating terms, that by some, it is supposed to relate to an awakened Jew, seeking justification by the works of the Law, or, to an unconfirmed believer, struggling with feeble strength against the power of indwelling sin. They cannot conceive that St. Paul is relating his own experience, when, in his advanced state of Gospel sanctification, he says: "I am carnal, sold under sin."


As the design of this little work is to be experimental, and not controversial, and as the holy Apostle makes use of the first person, we will take it for granted, that he is speaking of himself, and thus endeavour to draw that benefit from his experience, which we believe he intended to convey to the Christians at Rome.

Having declared, that believers are dead to the Law by the body of Christ; and that the Law, so far from subduing the evil passions, is the innocent occasion of stirring up their opposing lustings, the Apostle asks: "Is the Law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the Law: for I had not known lust except the Law had said, "Thou shalt not covet.""Here he probably describes his earliest convictions. It was then the Tenth Commandment, reaching to the desires of the heart, which brought him to a sense of guilt and condemnation. For, he declares: "I was alive without the Law once, but when the commandment came, (perhaps the Tenth Commandment more especially, in all its spirituality and power,) sin revived, and I died; and the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death."

In his unenlightened state, he was evidently working for life, instead of from life received. He was forming a righteousness of his own, grounded on his obedience to the outward letter of the Law, and which he conceived to be blameless, as he told the Philippians, when summing up his Pharisaical merits. But, when his eyes were opened to see his guilt and pollution, he found this very

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