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And again, the Lord | liarly dear to God. Since thou wast precious himself, yea, even the in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee.' God puts more value upon one believer than upon all the ungodly in the world. He is very kind to the ungodly; he gives them food and raiment; houses and riches, health and pleasures, sunshine and showers; and yet he gives a child of God more in one day than he gives to all the ungodly during their whole existence. He gives his own children-forgiveness, peace with God, and the Holy Spirit. Truly we are not our own, we are bought with a price.
upon a thousand hills.'
3. The blessed duty flowing from this. "Wherefore glorify God,' &c. This duty is simply the resignation of soul and body into his hands, for time and for eternity. Take an example in one of the holiest and most eminent divines that ever lived. 'I have been before God, and have given
God does not reign in unconverted souls. It is true he reigns over them, as he does over the wild beasts of the forest, and over the wild waves of the sea. He makes their wrath to praise him. He holds them in with bit and bridle. But God does not reign in their hearts. The devil reigns there, and not God. The heart of an uncon-myself, all that I am, and have, to God; so that verted man is the devil's house,' Mark iii. 27. O! it is good for me to look unto the rock whence I was hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence I was digged. Truly I can say, like Hezekiah, ‘Thou hast loved my soul from the pit of corruption.' Should I not add, 'I shall go softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul?'
2. The happy change. Ye are bought with a price.' When a man has bought anything, and paid for it, more especially if it has cost him a great price, he says, 'This is mine.' So it is with God and the believer. He has laid down a price for him, the pearl of great price. And now he says of every believing soul, 'Fear not, for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine.' The moment that Jesus spreads his skirt over a poor dying polluted sinner, the voice of the Father is heard saying, 'Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.' There never was a possession so completely belonging to any one as a redeemed soul belongs to God. We are his by creation, 'He hath made us, and not we ourselves.' We are his by preservation. In him we live, and move, and have our being. How many years he preserved us when we were cutting at the hand that kept us out of hell. We are his by election. 'Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.' Fear not, O Jacob, my servant, and thou Jeshurun whom I have chosen.' We are his by redemption. I lay down my life for the sheep.' This is my body broken for you.' We are his by the indwelling Spirit. I will dwell in them and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.' Accordingly, we are pecu
I am not, in any respect, my own. I can challenge no right in this understanding, this will, these affections which are in me. Neither have I any right to this body, or any of its members— no right to this tongue, these hands, these feet; no right to these senses, these eyes, these ears, this smell, or this taste; I have given myself clean away, and have not retained anything as my own. I gave myself to God in my baptism, and I have been this morning to him, and told him that I gave myself wholly to him,' (President Edwards). Or take the example of a dear boy who died about eight years old, and who was evidently taught by the same Spirit. One evening, near his death, he said to his watchful mother, 'Mother, I think I belong to him.' She asked, 'To whom, my child?' He replied, "To God, mother; my will, my understanding, my affections; I am God's boy altogether, mother.'
O my soul, dost thou know anything of this? Canst thou say, 'I am my Beloved's, and his desire is toward me?" Is it the chief desire of my heart to glorify God by fleeing from all sin? When the world comes and says, Come with us, stolen waters are sweet; my soul replies, Sinful world, I am not yours, I am the Lord's. When Satan says, Come with me, thou shalt not surely die; my soul cries out, Get thee behind me, Satan, I am not yours. I was once yours, but now I am bought with a price; I am Christ's. When my own wicked heart says, Come and taste a little worldly pleasure; my new heart replies, Old man, I am not thine-I am not my own, I am bought with a price-therefore will I glorify God in my body and my spirit, which are his.
'He came unto his own, and his own received him not,' John i. 11.
In this chapter John describes the coming of the Son of God into the world, and his rejection by those whom he came to save, in three different ways. In ver. 5. he says, 'The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.' When Jesus came to this world, it was like the rising of the bright and morning star;' but the hearts of men were covered over with murky vapours, like those that settled over Egypt in that night when the darkness might be felt,' so that the heavenly radiance of Immanuel was not allowed to shine upon their souls. To those that knew him he was 'the light of men,' the morning Star,' the Sun of righteousness,' the 'morning without clouds;' but all the rest of the world comprehended it not.
the fields of Bethlehem came and kneeled to him; and the wise men saw and adored the infant King; but the most despised him. He is despised and rejected of men.' 'She wrapped him in swaddling-clothes, and laid him in a manger, for there was no room for them in the inn.' They knew him not during his life. Few believed on him. They called him glutton, wine-bibber, deceiver. Once they sought to cast him over the rocks. Often they plotted to kill him. He that had all things now wanted every thing. Certain women ministered to him of their substance,' Luke viii. 3. He had no money to pay his tribute. The creatures of his hand had a warmer bed than he. The foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.' 'Every man went to his own home; Jesus went to the mount of Olives.' Another time he sat wearied on a well, and said to a poor woman, 'Give me
Is it not still the same? 'We know that we to drink.' He that was God over all, blessed for are of God, and the whole world lieth in wicked-ever, could say, 'I am a worm and no man.' The ness.' On many souls Christ has arisen with world know him not to this hour. The offence healing in his wings, so that we can say to them, of the cross has not ceased. The way of salva'Arise; shine, for thy light is come, and the tion by Christ for us is still despised by most. glory of the Lord has risen upon thee.' But, ah! He who is a sanctuary to all them that believe, the most have never admitted the sweet, soft, is a stumbling-stone and rock of offence to most. peace-bringing beams of Jesus to shine into their O my soul, canst thou believe on Jesus when the dark hearts. 'The God of this world hath world despise him? Canst thou be one of the blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest little flock? Canst thou enter in at the strait the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is gate, and walk on the narrow way,' with an the image of God, should shine into them.' They unbelieving world on every side? know not whither they are going. Their feet are ready to stumble on the dark mountains. The path of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they shall stumble.'
'Obey the gospel call,
And enter while you may;
Again, in ver. 11. it is written, He came unto his own, and his own received him not.' In John xix. 27, the same words are rendered more fully, to his own home.' To see the full meaning of the passage before us, we must adopt the same reading here: 'He came unto his own home, and his own family received him not.'
Again, in ver. 10. it is written, 'He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.' Strange visit to this fallen world! He who hung the earth upon nothing' he who said, 'Let there be light, and there was light-he who 'formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life'-he 'by whom were all things The Jews were, as it were, his own family; created that are in heaven, and that are on earth' and when he came to them, it was like coming -that glorious being came to his own world, to his own home. It was he who called their 'God manifest in the flesh.' Surely all his crea- father Abraham, and separated them from among tures will run to worship and adore him. Surely the nations to be a peculiar treasure: He said, they will 'worship and bow down; they will Surely they are my people, children that will not kneel before the Lord their maker. Not so: lie: so he was their Saviour. In all their afflic'the world knew him not.' They knew him not tion he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence at his birth. He left the hallelujahs of the saved them: in his love and in his pity he heavenly world for the manger at Bethlehem. redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried No angel bowed before the infant Saviour. No them all the days of old,' Isa. lxiii. 8, 9. He seraph vailed his face and feet before him. The was the substance of all their types. He was the world knew him not. A few shepherds from true pillar-cloud that guided their fathers, the
true bread from heaven; he was the rock that followed them. He was the true Isaac the child of promise, the prophet like unto Moses, the David the beloved, the true Solomon the prince of peace. Though to all the world he may appear 'without form or comeliness, having no beauty that they should desire him;' yet surely his own Israel will receive him as the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys.' Ah no! He came unto his own, and his own received him not.' They cried, 'Not this man, but Barabbas.' 'Away with him, away with him, crucify him, crucify him.' His blood be upon us, and upon our children.' The rulers derided him. The very thieves railed at him. They shoot out the lip, they wag the head, they give him vinegar to drink.
To this day his own receive him not. Ah! think, sinner, whom it is you are despising. Did you ever see the son of a king lay by his robes and his glory, become a poor man, and die in misery, and all for nothing? Do you think the Lord Jesus Christ left his Father's love and the adoration of angels, and became a worm and died under wrath, and all for no purpose? Is there no wrath lying upon your soul? Have you no need of such a Saviour? Why then do you delay to flee to him?
'Ungrateful sinners! whence this scorn
Of God's long-suffering grace? And whence this madness that insults The Almighty to his face?'
'No man can come to me, except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him and I will raise him up at the last day,' John vi. 44. I. How amazing is the depravity of the natural heart! The scriptures abundantly teach us this. All faithful ministers lift up their voice like a trumpet to show the people this; and it is the first work of the Holy Spirit on the heart to convince of sin. There is not in the word of God a more fearful discovery of the depravity of the natural heart than in these words. David says, 'Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me,' Psal. li. 5. God says by the prophet Isaiah, 'I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb,' Isa. xlviii. 8. And Paul says, 'We were by nature the children of wrath, even as others,' Eph. ii. 3. But here we are told that the impotency of a natural man,
and his aversion from Christ, are so great that they cannot be overcome by any power less than divine. 'No man can come unto me, except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him.' There never was a teacher like Christ. Never man spake like this man.' He spoke with such authority, not like the scribes, but with a heavenly dignity and power. He spoke with such wisdom; he spoke the truth without any imperfection; his teaching was pure light from the Fountain of light. He spoke with such love, with the love of one who was to lay down his life for his hearers. He spoke with such meekness, bearing the contradiction of sinners against himself, when reviled, reviling not again. He spoke with such holiness, for it was 'God manifest in the flesh.' And yet all this did not draw them. There never was a more precious gift laid at the feet of sinners. My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. I am the bread of life. He that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.' The very Saviour their perishing souls needed was now before them. His hands were stretched out to them. He was within their reach. He offered himself to them. Yet they would not come to him. Oh! the desperate blindness, hardness, deadness, and wickedness of the unconverted heart. Nothing but Almighty grace can change it. Oh! graceless man, your friends warn you, your ministers cry aloud to you, the whole bible pleads with you; Christ, with all his benefits, is set before you; and yet, unless the Holy Spirit be poured upon your heart, you will remain an enemy of the cross of Christ, and the destroyer of your own soul. No man can come unto me, except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him.'
II. How invincible is the grace of Jehovah! No creature power can draw the sinner to Christ. Demonstration, miraculous evidence, threatening, invitation, may all be used in vain. Jehovah alone can draw the soul to Christ. He pours out his Spirit with the word, and the soul is sweetly and powerfully inclined to run to Jesus. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.' 'Is any thing too hard for the Lord?' 'The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water; he turneth it whithersoever he will.' Take an example:-A Jew was sitting at the receipt of custom, near the gate of Capernaum. His brow was furrowed with the marks of covetousness, and his jealous eye exhibited all the low cunning of the publican. Very probably he had heard much of Jesus; perhaps he had heard him preach by the shore of the lake of
'O! to grace how great a debtor
Galilee; still his worldly heart was unchanged, the operations of the Holy Spirit, have very for he remained at his wicked trade, sitting by often appeared to me as sweet and glorious docthe receipt of custom. The Saviour passed that trines. These doctrines have been much my way, and as he bent his eyes upon the busy Levi, delight. God's sovereignty has ever appeared said, 'Follow me.' He said no more. He used to me a great part of his glory. It has often no argument, no threatening, no promise. But been my delight to approach God and adore him the God of all grace breathed on the publican's as a sovereign God, and ask sovereign mercy of heart, and he was made willing; 'he arose and him.' followed him.' It pleased God, who worketh all things according to the counsel of his own will, to give Matthew a saving glimpse of the excellency of Jesus; a drop fell from heaven upon his heart, and melted it; he smelled the sweet savour of the Rose of Sharon. What is all the world to Matthew now? He cares not for its gains, its pleasures, its praises, any more. In Christ he sees what is sweeter and better than them all. He arose and followed Jesus.
Let us learn that a simple word may be blessed to the saving of precious souls. Often we are tempted to think there must be some deep and logical argument to bring men to Christ. Often we put confidence in high-sounding words. Whereas it is the simple exhibition of Christ carried home by the Spirit, which awakens, enlightens, and saves. 'Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.' If the Spirit be breathing on the people, these little words, Follow Jesus,' spoken in love, may be blessed to the saving of a whole congregation. Let us learn to give the whole praise and glory of our salvation to the free, sovereign, efficacious grace of Jehovah. An old divine says, 'God was so angry with Herod for not giving him the glory of his eloquence, that the angel of the Lord smote him immediately, and he died a miserable death; he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. But if it be very sinful in a man to take to himself the glory of such a qualification as eloquence, how much more a man's taking to himself the glory of divine grace, God's own image, and that which is infinitely God's most excellent, precious, and glorious gift?' How many times, in the 1st chapter of Ephesians, does Paul insist upon it that we are saved by free, unmerited grace? And how fully does John ascribe the whole glory of salvation to the free grace of the Lord Jesus? Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever. Amen.' How solemn are the words of President Edwards, in his Personal Narrative! 'The doctrines of God's absolute sovereignty and free grace, in showing mercy to whom he would show mercy; and man's absolute dependence on
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come,' John xvi. 13.
I. Let us meditate on the glorious person here spoken of. The Spirit of truth.' A little before Jesus had called him another Comforter,' and the Comforter,' because he is the Author of all true divine comfort in the soul of man. He alone pierces the heart with deep conviction of sin, and binds up the broken-hearted by healing discoveries of Christ. 'These words'-the Comforter-(says an eminent Christian) seem immensely great, enough to fill heaven and earth.' But here he is called 'the Spirit of truth;' for two reasons: 1. Because he sees all things truly. He is the omniscient One. He sees sin as it is, in all its infinite blackness. He sees the heart of man as it is; his eye penetrates to the deepest recesses of the ungodly heart. He sees Christ as he is, in all his infinite excellency and glory. 'He searches all things, yea, the deep things of God,' 1 Cor. ii. 10. He sees the gospel in all its divine wisdom and pure heavenly grace. 2. Because he teaches all things truly. He is the Fountain of life and light to the soul of man. When he comes to the soul, he quickens and enlightens in the same moment. He reveals the truth, as it is in Jesus, without any imperfection, without any cloud or error. If there be any dimness in our view of divine things, the fault does not lie in the Teacher, but in the perverse heart of the disciple. does his part with divine perfection, revealing the Mediator in all his matchless beauty, fulness, and grace. Earthly teachers fail in two ways: in their perception of the truth, and in their communicating the truth. They do not see things exactly as they are, nor do they teach them exactly as they see them. But the Spirit
of truth does both. O that we were filled with | It is your own fault, not his, if you are not guided a sense of the glory of the third person of the blessed Trinity. Then we would pray with David, Thy Spirit is good, lead me unto the land of uprightness,' Psal. cxliii. 10.
II. Let us meditate on the work of the Holy Spirit. He will guide you into all truth.' In the verses preceding, Jesus had told them what the Comforter would do in the hearts of natural men; He will convince the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment;' but here he tells them what the Comforter will do for those who are disciples indeed, 'He will guide you into all truth.' The same sweet promise is repeated, 1 John ii. 20. Ye have an unction from the holy One, and ye know all things.' This does not mean that Christians know all worldly knowledge. The apostles themselves, with the exception of Paul, were unlearned and ignorant fishermen of a small inland lake, and many a simple cottage-believer is on his way to glory,
'Who knows, and knows no more, his Bible true.' 'Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called.' Neither does it mean, that Christians who have the Spirit know all divine things. The disciples were long ignorant of the death of Christ, and of his resurrection; and Paul expressly says, 'Now we see through a glass darkly; now I know in part.' This is the childhood of the new creature-we speak as a child, understand as a child, think as a child. What then does this promise mean? 1. It means that he will teach you all things needful for your salvation. In smaller matters he sometimes allows you to wander, to teach you your ignorance and weakness; but in things essential to your salvation, he will guide you with his eye. If a mother were guiding her little child through a wood, where there was no danger, she might allow it to stray, now and then, and lose itself, to teach it to keep closer by her side; but if they came to a place where were the dens of wild beasts, she would clasp her child in her arms,
into all the truth as it is in Jesus; he is an infinite fountain of pure heavenly light; he is willing and able to leave neither sin nor darkness in your soul. Soon you will be filled with the Spirit, and then you will see face to face, and know as you are known, and love as you are loved.
In the following part of the verse, the truth which the Spirit teaches is more fully opened up. He shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear that shall he speak.' When Jesus himself came to this world he came as a Witness. This is his name, Rev. i. 5. 'Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness.' And he said to Pilate, 'To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.' Most men receive his testimony as Pilate did; they say, 'What is truth?' and turn away. Still Jesus came to bear witness that men are lost, that God is love, and that there is a way of forgiveness to the chief of sinners. Such is the office of the Spirit of truth, 'When the Comforter is come he will testify of me,' John xv. 26. it is sweet to be taught, by the Spirit, the deep things of God's bosom. The secret of the Lord
is with them that fear him.'
Again, He will show you things to come.' This promise was eminently fulfilled in the experience of Paul, when the Spirit showed him so expressly the features of the coming papacy, 1 Tim. iv. 1. And in the experience of the beloved John, when, on the lonely rock of Patmos, he was 'in the Spirit on the Lord's day.'
To all believers it is fulfilled, when amid the bustle, and confusion, and abounding wickedness of their present dwelling, they can calmly, and with holy delight, feed upon the prophecies and promises of the conversion of Israel and of the world.
Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one,' 1 John v. 7.
and carry it quickly past. So does the good. There are three that bear record in heaven, the Spirit. In smaller matters he suffers you to err, but not when the safety of your soul is concerned, then he will carry you as on eagles' wings. will guide you into all truth. That was a sweet word which Jesus spake, 'There shall come false Christs and false prophets, insomuch that if it were possible they shall deceive even the elect.' Dear believer, whose feet have been set upon the rock, it is not possible that you can be deceived as to your eternal salvation. 2. It means that he is willing to make you know all things.
IN verses 4th and 5th, we see that the only way of overcoming the world is by believing that Jesus is the Son of God. 'Be often at Gethsemane, be often at Golgotha;' and so the weakest child of God may trample the world, the devil, and the flesh below his feet. But some may ask, Upon what evidence am I to believe that Jesus is a divine, full, and free Saviour?