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But thanks be to God whogiveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.... I Cor. xv. 57.
Death, though conquered by Jesus; though disarmed of its strength and sting by our victorious Lord, so that it cannot destroy, nay, not wound or hurt the soul of any one of his dear members; yet it is still an enemy, a formidable, disagreeable enemy to nature. When we are left to our natural conceptions, death appears to us with the grim visage of "the king of terrors." We cannot get rid of our fears, nor are we able to make him put on a more amiable aspect. But when in the simplicity of little children, we go to our heavenly Father, and tell him how we are affrigiited and terrified at the thought and approach of that dreadful enemy, he drives away our fears and terrors, and relieves our minds. But how docs our affectionate Father effect this? by telling us we are perfect and sinless, and therefore we have overcome death, we shall never die, we have nothing to fear, death cannot hurt us? No; though we are sinners in ourselves, and as such must die; though we are without strength to grapple with and subdue this powerful enemy, and though our bodies must fall victims to his stroke, yet, "praise the Lord, O my soul, praise him all his saints," he giveth us the victory; he puts songs of triumph into our mouths, our hearts; not for what we have done, but our Father refers us to the glorious achievements of our elder brother, Jesus; he hath obtained a perfect conquest for all the children of his Father's family; and victory is not only proclaimed but Given. Jesus is the unspeakable gift of the Father's love; victory over death is given through Jesus; faith to believe it in the heart, and triumph over it in the conscience, is his free gift also. Thus the Spirit testifies of, and glorifies Jesus; thus his members rejoice in the truth, and are comforted by the truth.
Death was brought into the world by the father of lies, he is vanquished and destroyed by Jesus, who is essentially The Truth. "The soul that sinneth shall die." Die man, or justice must. The man Jesus, the sinner's surety, fell a sacrifice to this truth; hence truth is fulfilled in his death, justice is satisfied, death is disarmed of its sting, which is sin. Jesus hath "put away sin, by the sacrifice of himself.".. ..Heb. ix. 26. "And the strength of sin, which is the law, Jesus hath perfectly fulfilled in his life for us." He hath fully answered all its demands, and by him all its accusations are silenced. Precious Christ! Happy believer! What harm can the most fierce, poisonous monster do thee when it hath lost its, sting, and is without any strength? Most precious truth! "Death is yours.".... J Cor. iii. 22. ...
Now to the God of victory Who makes as conqu'rors while we die,
Immortal thanks be paid; Thro'Christ our living head.
Then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, Com&, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prcparedfor you, from the foundation of the world....Matt. xxv. 34.
This is ajoyful word to our hearts now, "come, let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow: though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."....Isa. i. 18. This is another precious word from Jesus to our souls, "come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." O, but this last Come, from the lips of our King, will be the most joyful crowning word of all! The best wine is reserved for the last. Every soul who hath tasted of the first on earth, shall assuredly drink his fill at the fountain-head, in a blissful, neverending eternity of glory. "Ye blessed of my Father;" beloved from eternity, and blessed to eternity. Chosen in me, blessed in me with all spiritual blessings, I was given to, I sought you,, and gathered you to myself in time; now come live and reign with me lor ever in my kingdom. O, is not the thoughts of this enough t» lpake one wish to break through the walls of our prison) the body !, Fraise, O soul! Call together all thy faculties! Rather, O divine Spirit, realize the view, bring near the solemn, joyful day to our minds! Give us even now to dwell on it with rapture of affections* and ardor of love. ,. ,, .„ ... - ,
"Inherit the kingdom prepared for you;" not bought by your good works, not purchased by you? well-doings, not obtained by your faithfulness, but the free-gift of my Father's love and good pleasure,, richly prepared by his free-grace and bounty, purposely reserved for. you. Come ye; all of yc. Not one of my little flock shall bo. wanting; there is a mansion for each of you ere you had a being, or . time commenced; the kingdom was established, the heirs chosen,, places prepared. 1 visited you on earth, so that you loved me though you saw me not: I invisibly worked upon your hearts, and. drew them out in love to myself, my cause, and my brethren, so you . approved yourselves my disciples by following my example. Come ye, enter, possess, and enjoy what you were born for, born again, to be meet for. O, methinks it strikes one's heart with heavenly, joy, to conceive of the loud hosannas and shoutings, (Q that we may catch the heavenly flame 1) "Salvation to our God, who sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb, 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 and ever. Amen."....Rev. i. 5, 6.
Now to the Lord that makes us know Be humble honors paid below,
ADDITIONAL MEDITATION FOR LEAP-YEAR. One born out of due time....\Cor. xv. 8.
God's children want no other, they can have no better proof of the life, death, resurrection, ascension, and intercession of their Jf.sus than what the scriptures afford: they say with their master, "thy word is truth."...John xvii. 17. They wish to have no other ideas of God, of Christ, and of themselves, than what the scriptures impress on their minds. They are fully satisfied of their hope of salvation by Jesus Only. This is the reasoning of their faith: "if we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater.".... 1 John v. 9. God has borne witness to his Son Jesus in every type, ceremony, and prophesy of the Old-Testament: and by such signs, miracles, and even by his voice from heaven in the New, as are incontestible. And beside all these, the Spirit of God bears the inward testimony of faith, that our Jesus is risen. For we find our hearts attracted to him, our affections set on him, and we enjoy sweet fellowship with him. This is of distinguishing grace, "One ehall be taken and another left." "This is hid from the wise and prudent, and revealed unto babes." What shall we say to this? "Even so Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight." Such humble sentiments are in all who have the mind of Christ. So Paul, .when he saw himself a miracle of grace, accounted himself an abortion in nature; as mean, as contemptible as a child born by miscarriage, before its due time and proper growth; "the least of all apostles;" yea, as though he wanted words fully to express the opinion he had of himself, not only a sinner, but The Chief Of Sinners. Not only the least, but "me who am Less than the least of aU saints."....Eph. iii. 8. Paul had now done with his notions of fulfilling terms and conditions to obtain God's favor, and entitle himself to salvation. O, now Christ was revealed in him! He saw his glory full of grace and truth. This stained all his former pride, laid his honor in the dust, and stopt his mouth to self-righteous confidence and human glorying.. Strange pre-requisites Paul pos>. sessed to qualify him for the grace of Godl Yet no one sinner by nature can boast of any better. But the same Lord who wrought effectually in Peter, was mighty in Paul, and he also converts every redeemed soul to Jesus. Let us not envy others their lofty thoughts of themselves, nor murmur against our Saviour for keeping us lew and humble.
But if Paul had, if all the children of God have such mean contemptible thoughts of themselves, are so little and base in their own eyes, will not satan attack and aim to distress them? Doubtless he . will. For where he cannot delude sinners into a notion that they
are righteous and Perfect in themselves, he aims to distress them for want of Perfection. In the day of health, in the time of sickness, and perhaps, most powerfully in the hour of death, satan •will inject into the mind these fiery darts: "you a child of God, you a member of Jesus, who never loved God perfectly, served him faithfully, nor obeyed him sincerely! In all things you have sinned. His law curses you; his justice is incensed against you; his wrath is ready to fall on you. Your faith is fancy; your hope delusion; hell will be your portion." O, what can any poor sinner say to all this? What can he do against all this? Say! Glorify his Lord, by confessing, Lord I am damned, but thou hast died; but for thy salvation, my state is as desperate as devils. What can he do? Honor his Lord, by obeying his word, "put on the whole armour of God, that ye may stand in this evil day, and above all (or rather upon all other parts of it) take the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked One."....Eph.vi. 11,16. Fiery darts! Yes, being dipt in the wrath and terrors of a broken law, they wound, inflame, and bring the fire of hell into the conscience. What is this shield of faith? The belief that Jesus is to us sinners a Saviour; that his blood has perfectly atoned for our sins; his righteousness has fully justified our persons; and that there is no condemnation to us. Thus shall these fiery darts of satan be quenched, and our conscience healed; this and nothing hut this, can effect it. Mind this precious word, "ye shall be Able." The ability of our faith is nothing less than the almighty power of Jesus our God. This is engaged for us. By this we shall stand against every assault of satan; and all shall issue in present peace of conscience, and eternal salvation of soul. This is the glory of a christian, to resist satan in the faith of what Jesus is to him and hath done for him. We are sure to overcome him by the blood of the Lamb, but in no other way. "Shortly, our God of peace shall forever bruise satan under our feet." We " shall return and come to Zion with songs (of free grace) and everlasting joy shall be on our heads, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."....Isa. xxxv. 10.
Now, christian reader, I commend thee to God and to the word of his grace, wishing thee sweet comfort in perusing these Daily Meditations. If cur Lord give thee only as much in reading as I have found in writisg them, thou wilt have great cause for love and praise. Accept them as the labour of one "who is no prophet, nor the son of a prophet;" but who can, from his heart, say with Gideon, "my family is poor, and I am the least in my Father's house."....Judges vi. 15. Yet having been taught somewhat of the glory of Jesus from the word of truth, by the grace of the Spirit, I would rejoice to spread the glory of my Lord's precious name,
and the comforts of his everlastingly finished salvation, among my fellow sinners: testifying, that all my hope of eternal life is fixed •upon the Son of God, who was crucified on mount Calvary; therefore would glory in being a saved sinner by the cross of Jesus, and in the name of aCALVARYiST.
Glory be to God in the highest. Grace be with all them who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.