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holy God, an infinite righteousness to justify, a holy Spirit to cleanse, life eternal purchased, a heaven of bliss prepared, and God's oath to secure them to us. I proceed,
. III. To consider THE BELIEVER'S WEALTH IN Christ. The Apostle complains that some did not hold the head, but it was not so with all; some knew and found that in possessing him they possessed all things; and this made them bold in the cause of Jesus. It is peace of conscience which gives courage, and when the believer realizes that peace in his own conscience, through the blood of Christ, he is fit for any service. There is as much difference between the righteousness of the believer in Christ, and that of Adam before he fell, and the angels, as there is between the sun and a spark. There is also to be included in the wealth of the believer, a holy spirit attending on the church of Christ, disposing the soul to choose him. Is Jesus my all in all ? If so, I need not envy the angelic hosts : I need envy no one : I shall eventually triumph over every foe. We are apt to be anxious about to-morrow,-to anticipate future calamities, to give to imaginary evils reality ; but think, believer, that your provision for to-day as well as for to-morrow is the wealth of Jesus, and then leave the event to God. It is
inconsistent with the character of God to give his people a stock for futurity: there is in Jesus laid up a treasury for every moment's supply; and it is necessary in one sense) that the believer should live for the present moment only, and look to Jesus for each day's supply. I proceed,
IV. To consider the BELIEVER'S ETERNAL POSSESSION OF THAT WEALTH,—the likeness of God throughout eternity, the righteousness of God, and in this, the glory of God throughout eternity, and the spirit of Jesus to preserve his Church, throughout the countless ages of eternity. The believer knows he needs, for each moment's support, the spirit of Jesus; because he knows, that, if left to himself, he immediately rebels: he has tried himself again and again, and proved it. In Christ, the believer gives up self-dependence and says—" in the Lord have I righteousness and strength.” In heaven this truth will be fully realized; all the perfections of God are engaged to preserve his Church throughout eternity; and his Church, sensible even then of her own unworthiness and dependence, will ascribe to him a song of praise, the spirit of which angels cannot sing. What things hath God laid up for his people, and why do not they enter into the enjoyment of them more even here? It is because the monster unbelief is preying upon our vitals; oh let us seek each moment the spirit of God to tear this monster from the heart! We know nothing effectually of God, nothing effectually of religion, unless that knowledge be brought to the soul by the Spirit. Learn, my brethren, to surrender everything for the sake of Jesus. In an intimate knowledge of Jesus, there consists a weanedness from the creature, - the husband from the wife, the parent from the child, the brother from the brother, the friend from the friend. The Apostle says, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus.” May we be ambitious of loving and following this Jesus: it is to him we are indebted that we are not in hell at the present moment. Again—we have to learn in Jesus the ability to rise above all circumstances : in the midst of the pressure of the cares and anxieties of life, to walk superior to their influence ;-calmly looking upward for support, for guidance, for deliverance :-"although the fig-tree shall not blossom-neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation."i How are you sure of this? “The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places." Hab. iii. 19. May the Lord God teach us these things, and enable us to enjoy everything in Jesus now and for ever.
Sunday Morning, Aug. 27, 1820.
CHRIST THE FOUNTAIN OF SUPPLY TO EVERY
* All my springs are in thee.-PSALM LXXXVII. 7.
It is much to be able to say these words, in the spirit of David, and it is necessary that our hearts should say them ; otherwise it is impossible to live and die at peace with God. The believer who feels these words has been taught his own poverty and his need of God; that his wealth is in Christ, here and for ever, that to him he must look up for all his supplies : he relies upon his promise : “My God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” 2 The Psalmist here declares that “ the Lord loveth the gates of Sion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.” “Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of
1 On the same text, Mr. Howels preached his last sermon, on the evening of Sunday, the 11th of November, 1832: he died on the morning of the Sunday following.
2 Phil. iv. 19.