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fection and consolation; the Lord the Spirit glorifies him in the consciences of guilty men and women; and they are a highly favoured people who have an opportunity every Lord's day to hear about the essential, personal, relative, and mediatorial glories of the Son of God. These subjects expand the soul, warm the heart, and draw forth the spiritual powers of the new man of grace; they are the main spring of all holy and acceptable obedience. It is very grieving to see what a little use-making of Jesus there is, even among those that we hope are good people; and Jesus is not held up in the ministry of the word as formerly. It is said, that "another king rose up who knew not Joseph;" and we may say, that another generation of ministers is raised up, who know not Jesus, or at least they do not preach him. You seldom hear of him as God's ordinance of life and salvation, as the alone Saviour and Justifier of his church. Surely man's dreadful malady cannot be known, and the direful plague of the human heart discovered, and the emptiness of all creatures, and creature performances daily experienced; or ministers would be constrained to preach a full and free salvation, an Almighty Saviour, a perfect righteousness ready wrought out for the destitute and naked to wear; for there is no admittance into heaven, and the presence of God without this holymaking, happy-making robe, which is God's work. David in the 92nd Psalm speaks most sweetly of this great work: "for thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work."
Reader, contemplate with me the work that makes glad; the great Author and object of this work, "thou Lord;" and the characters interested in it, " for thou Lord hast made me glad."
God himself, in his Trinity of Persons, is the great and only worker, everlasting and independant. Reader, I hope your mind is led up to God in Christ, to meditate upon his being and boundless perfections, as revealed in the holy scriptures, the best of books. Here we find solidity, satisfaction, a sea of love, an ocean of blessedness, the springhead of bottomless mercy: and the bible invites to the utmost freedom with God. Here we have a soul-filling subject—this wonder-working God. Permit me to request you to look into the great council-chamber of heaven, and view the divine Covenanters planning all the mighty works of grace, to be manifested in the everlasting salvation, complete redemption, and eternal glorification of all the church of God. The gains will far exceed the pains of studying this overwhelming subject. Here I trust I have enjoyed a heaven upon earth in silent upon the covenant engagements, and the covenant of my covenant God. Here all blessings are provided: the acquittance of our persons from all claims and charges, by the substitution of the glorious person of the God-man; and there is that infinite perfection in his holy obedience that God the Father, our great creditor, (against whom we have so awfully sinned) accepts this most perfect righteousness of Jesus, in lieu of the debt contracted by the church of God, and freely discharges the actual debtor. And this part of the Redeemer's work does often make the redeemed of the Lord truly glad; this is one of the green pastures wherein the flock of God lie down, in a quiet resting-place: here I wish the reader may dwell, and the writer too.
It is of no consequence who may call it high doctrine, or hypercalvinism; is it the truth of God? and if it is, it is of more worth than all the world. Every lover of Jesus must regret what a giving up of gospel truth there is among us, and creature acts substituted. We hear of this society being raised up, and the other; but pure truth is fallen in our streets; and they that will preach it out of love to it, and insist upon the pure and practical effects of the same, are shamefully shunned and slandered. But the covenant of-grace has provided strength equal to our day; a covenant God will and does stand by his suffering servants and saints, shields their head in the day of battle, and often hides them in the secret of his pavilion, gives them sweet communion with himself, in and through a Mediator, and favours them with a sweet sense of pardoning love.
And this is another of his works, that often makes glad; to see the debt book crossed, the bills all paid, we reconciled to God, peace made with heaven, mountains of guilt melted down by sovereign mercy, and all the long list of crimson sins committed from the cradle to the coffin blotted out. How this made the heart of Magdalen to rejoice; and the poor palsied man, although he had the burden of his bed to carry, he had lost the burden of his sin and guilt, which was much heavier, and he went home with a light heart, a singing soul, strong faith, and a grateful spirit. Adopting grace is another work of God truly gladdening. To be translated into the royal family of heaven, to be made a king and a priest unto God, a child of God, an heir of heaven, a joint heir with Christ, heirs of the promise, heirs of righteousness, heirs of salvation, heirs of the grace of life. Here you may see the immense riches of the holy family of heaven, put into their possession by adopting grace. The saving knowledge of these soulsaving subjects, make glad, make contented; they lodge a blessed calm in the conscience, that fortifies the mind against all disappointment. This is one of the high honours that God puts upon his people in this world, as the poet says,
"Grace has put me in the number,
Of the Saviour's family:
Ask, Oh ask, the reason why!"
No reason can be given but the righteous and holy will of God to display his grace and mercy. The work of God the Holy Spirit is a great and glorious work. He testifies of Christ, reveals his matchless beauties to the soul, shews the children of God their daily need of being washed in the fountain of Christ's blood. He keeps the work of God alive in their souls, sheds abroad the love of the Father, testifies the great salvation of the Son, applies the gospel with power to the heart, and bears witness with our spirits that we are born of God. And it makes the saints glad, when they are satisfied that this work is wrought within them, that they are all glorious within, by the sanctiVol. IV.—No. 45. 2 I
fying influence of God the Holy Ghost. The 92nd Psalm is called a song for the Sabbath-day. You are aware that the word sabbath, signifies to rest, to sit still, to worship: Oh may all the ransomed of the Lord be found resting upon Jesus, upon his power to uphold, to protect, and to provide; upon him to present our persons and all our poor services to his holy Father, and to make them acceptable through his merit. To sit still and see his great salvation, and, like Manoah and his wife, look on and view how wondrously this angel of the everlasting covenant works. He holds the helm of this world,, the government of the church is upon his shoulder :—
"He overrules all mortal things,
To worship, to adore the ever-blessed God, to revere his word, his commands, to love his saints, to acknowledge him supreme.
May the Lord be our teacher, guide, and friend, and give you grace to live as an heir of God, and joint heir with Christ; then you will be a very happy, a very lively, and a very holy christian. It is a very great blessing to have a heart drawn out toward the Lord, continually to be engaged in holy contemplations upon the great love of Jesus, as manifested in his willingness to become a substitute for his people. I hope you are sometimes carried up to the eternal council of heaven, there viewing the great employment of Jehovah, on the behalf of all the election of grace. Here is a boundless, bottomless sea of love to swim in, to wonder at, and to admire. From this everlasting ocean, all the blessings of salvation flow; this river brings the blessings of grace from God to man, through a glorious Mediator's merit. Union to God, his choice of us, adopting us for his children, predestinating us to eternal life, are some among many of the ancient acts of God. Then in this time state he sends his dear Son, the ever blessed Spirit, the everlasting gospel, and his all-conquering grace, to make known his mercies to the ruined, wretched, and miserable of mankind.
These subjects should be the subject raster of our preaching; for nothing short of the riches of Christ can heal, and make the wounded heart happy. I hope, reader, that you sit under a free grace gospel; that your minister shuns not to preach Christ, freely and fully; that he is not ashamed to declare the counsel of God; that he does not seek to please men, nor court the poor popularity of empty, frothy, worldly-minded professors. Many precious saints are starving, in some congregations, through a fashionable ministry: and. an awful account many preachers will have tr* give for their temporizing conduct.
May a covenant God highly favour you with, his presence—make you much alive in your soul—bless you with a very tender conscience —make you valiant for distinguishing truth—give you. to discern things that differ—make you very useful in his church below, all through life—happy in death, and blessed for evermore.
Hampsleart, Oct. 18S7. JAMES.
THE BREAD OF LIFE.
* Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of rife.''—John vi. 35.
A Poor, hunger-bitten mortal, is no want of argument to prove to him the cause of that gnawing pain he endures, nor does he require to be told by what means his present necessities might be alleviated. Neither does the soul that hungers after righteousness, need information of the source whence his complaints spring; or of the abundant provision in store for the needy, the helpless, and the sorrowful. In each case an immediate relief is the blessing sought,—present supply can alone satisfy the craving appetite. And whatever the measure of grace communicated by the power of the Holy Ghost, the renewed soul is directed, in all its exercises to Christ. ■If the cry of faith be feeble,—Ghrist is the only object to whom it is addressed. Though hope may waver,—Christ is the great centre of attraction. And when love seems to languish,—Christ is the sole source of dependanoe. The Spirit Jehovah having become the quickener and preceptor of the sinner, it is not possible that one less than the Son of God should be the subject of his contemplation, and the sum of his desire.
Of the names which Christ in his mediatorial character bears, no one is more precious to the believer than that of " the bread of life." And it appears with great blessedness when we consider, the Lord himself condescended to communicate it,—as recorded in his discourse with the people that followed him, after the miracle of the five loaves and two fishes, John vi. he says, " my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven -1 am the bread of life." In this, Christ declares the covenant purpose of Jehovah in appointing and qualifying him, as Mediator for the work he engaged to do for his church, and sets forth the honour and glory to be ascribed equally to him, as to the Father, and to the Spirit. He who was given of the Father, of his own will presents himself as the life-giving bread. He who is the true bread, Himself feeds the hungry soul. But he, also, in the same divine discourse graciously declares himself to be, "the bread of God:" proving the grand design of the Eternal Three in their engagements for the election of grace, and affording a theme for holy meditation, joy, and triumph, which no other subject is capable of communicating. "The bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world."
We have intimated, that the character who is fitted for the knowledge and understanding of those sacred verities, will be satisfied with nothing short of present experience of their suitableness and full sufficiency. The glorious Mediator is exhibited on the inspired page as the good Shepherd : but he has undertaken the pastoral office only from love to the sheep. "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine." John x. 14. He is represented as a stone, a tried stone laid in Zion : but he is a precious corner stone, a sure foundation, only to the church. Isa. xxviii. 16. He is Jesus: but he saves not, with an everlasting salvation, the whole family of man. "Thou shalt call his name Jesus : for he shall save his people from their sins." Matt. i. 21. So, also, he is the bread of life : but as literal bread cannot be received by those who are under the power of natural death, neither can spiritual bread be eaten by other than living souls. Consequently, the prevailing concern of one who is awakened to a knowledge of his apostacy in Adam, and of his actual guilt and transgression, is to ascertain his own interest in the eternal provision made for the lost, the ruined, and the guilty. He may have heard of the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls; but knows not that he laid down his life for his redemption and salvation. He believes the church is founded on an eternal, immoveable rock; but he longs to learn that he is one of those lively stones built up a spiritual house, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. He knows that Jesus is the Saviour of his people from their sins; but he finds he is In his sins and in his blood, and feels himself utterly condemned by the holy law, and fears the utmost penalty of incensed justice. He reads of the bread of life prepared for living souls, and would fain partake, for hungry and thirsty his soul faints within him. The gospel table is spread; the Lord's bounty is distributed thereon in rich abundance; every needful supply included in the comprehensive expression, living bread, is laid before him; but his necessities and weakness are so great that even now he cannot participate in the feast.
Our Lord has been pleased to inform us, that to eat of his flesh and to drink of his blood, is to be coming to and believing in him. Then, shall it be told such sorrowing starving souls : ' it is your duty to partake and be satisfied'—and, ' God is angry with you that you do not believe?' Far be it from us so to discourage the helpless and the fainting,—and so to insult the sovereign and ever compassionate feeder of Israel. When the Lord hath by his invincible power broken the neck Of pride and reduced the rebel to obedience,—when by his irresistible grace he hath melted the stony heart and implanted a right spirit,—when the soul is made to discover and to deplore its spiritual poverty; it is then the voice of invitation and earnest expostulation is whispered to the ear and enters deep into the heart. And never was the refreshing stream approached and partaken of by the pilgrim of the desert with such gust, as are the soothing sounds of the voice of Jesus heard and received, when he calls the hungry to eat and the thirsty to drink of his fulness. "Eat," saith he, "O friends; and drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved!"
The messengers of truth, after they have spread the gospel table,