Page images
PDF
EPUB

tified from the charge of sin under which he died. The resurrection of Christ from the dead was the public justification of all his members. The influence of it pervades the whole body of true believers, and it has an influence on each individual saint that makes him triumph over all his enemies.

Jehovah has made himself known in this way beyond what was before revealed to man. Every attribute inherent in the nature of God is exhibited in the person of Christ, and by his work it is manifested to the unworthy and the abandoned : and to the upright it is a light by which they walk through this world to the kingdom of eternal day. Calmly to sit under the cross on which redemption was finished, and liberty was pronounced for sinners—to contemplate the

grace and justice uniting in Jesus to set the captive free from his chain, will melt the soul into compunction for sin, and raise it to glory in Christ, who has made an end of it. Indeed, the character of the justified sinner is the offshining of the internal sanctity of the Lord of glory. What excellence is there in the state into which we were translated, when we were made new creatures ! Consider, ye highly favoured sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty, what has been done for you and bestowed upon you! Be grateful to your unexampled Friend, speak of his worth, exhibit his virtues, tread in his footsteps, commend bis religion, and daily pray for the increase of his subjects on earth, that he may be glorified in all his redeemed.

The honour of the Saviour is immediately connected with the justification of his brethren. He wrought the righteousness for them. The Father accepted it at his hands as their substitute, and the revelation of it to them is an act of justice due to Christ the Lord. consequence which was to result to Christ from performing the will of God, was to see his seed. Now it would not be any honour to the Saviour, if we were to say that it is uncertain whether they will make their appearance before him. When he received them from the hand of his Father in supercreation purity, they were a number known by him personally, and they were covenanted for by him, so that they are distinctly known and forthcoming in order that he may be glorified in them. In addition to this, we may remark, that his seed glory in him in whom they are justified. “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me in the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness; as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”

In every man who is personally justified, eternal justice has a good subject, and grace an endless monument of praise. These perfections of God are seen in the devout man. Grace has formed him to bear the image of the Son of God, and justice has prescribed how he is to employ his endowments in the service of God. There is no state of being in which an intelligent creature can be placed by Almighty God, in which he can be released from an obligation to serve him. Eternal favour is the ground of obligation which binds every good man to regard the authority of the King of saints. An

One

affectionate christian is in miniature an expression of what his great Redeemer is. It was the meat and the drink of Christ to do the will of his Father ; “ And he that saith he abideth in him, ought himself so to walk as Christ also walked.” The distinct parts of the new creation are appointed by God to be serviceable to the saints, and to be witnesses of the truth. Sin is not the tyrant which rules the heart and life of the christian: it is an enemy dethroned and destroyed in its dominion by the revelation of Christ. We had a victory over it by faith in his blood, and our salvation from the being of it is promised to us upon the same principle. The prayers which we breathe at the throne of God, when we implore mercy from him to help us, to maintain our standing, are the utterances of the heart under the sanctification of the Spirit, intreating that the healing atonement may be applied to our consciences to cleanse us from defilement, and impart heavenly freedom from guilt.

Our character will not be destroyed by death. The principle in which it is founded is immortal ; and the influence by which it is perpetuated is heavenly. It is true, that immediately after death we shall begin to live in a very different manner to what we now do. Ordinances are to us means of support and sanctification in this world; but in heaven, we do not read that those who dwell there need such things. Whenever we shall be called out of this time-state of imperfect service to serve God in the world of perfect purity, we shall depart from it arrayed in the righteousness of the Lamb, who died to redeem us to God." What an unspeakable blessing this is to breathe out the departing spirit, and to commit it at that moment to the care and protection of our Creator and Redeemer—to resign our worn-out bodies to his careful hand, in the hope that when he will come again the second time without sin unto salvation, that they will be raised by him to live in a spiritual manner! This is indeed a benefit resulting from our justification in the person, and by the righteousness of the Son of God. And when the day of final separation and endless deci, sion will come, to stand then in the judgment, and in the Holy Judge to see my Redeemer, what an inconceivable advantage will that be, but " such honour have all his saints !”

To crown the whole, the Saviour has gone before us into heaven to prepare for us a kingdom ; and to come again, that he may

receive us to himself, that we may be for ever with him. When I contemplate man in the several states in which he is represented by God in the scriptures; viz. innocency, depravity, spirituality, and finally heavenly glory, I am led to exclaim, " the depths of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God; how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" What inconceivable glory will redound to God in the bright world of vision, for having brought his family home to dwell in his presence in that way by which every attribute of his nature is reflected—his rights as a lawgiver are maintained—and the riches of his grace in the work of redemption glorified to the uttermost !

POETRY.

“THAT THINE HAND MAY BE WITH ME.”—Jabez' Prayer.

[blocks in formation]

THE

Spiritual Magazine;

OR,

SAINTS TREASURY.

« There are Three that bear record in heaven; the FATHER, the WORD, and the HOLY GHOST: and these Three are One.»

1 John v. 7. "Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."

Jude 3.

July, 1831.

(For the Spiritual Magazine.) THE NECESSITY OF PERSONAL RELIGION. One important doctrine among the many that the dear Redeemer preached, was that of the new birth :- “ Ye must be born again.” He well knew the necessity of being made a new creature-of having a holy seed planted in the soul of being begotten again to a lively hope-of being made meet for an inheritance with the saints in light. And without this spiritual and supernatural work within, we can have no personal communion with God; nor can we see the necessity of having the truth, and the enjoyment of the truth abiding within us-the value of the immortal soul will not be estimated—the person and the work of Jesus will not be sought after and prized. Persons may have the sense of the revealed truths of God abiding in their heads, but unacquainted with the rich blessings in the high and sweet enjoyment of them in their souls. It will avail me nothing to be able to dispute about the Lord Jesus, and learnedly and logically contend for his eternal power and Godhead, in opposition to those who are enemies to his cross and his crown, and be a stranger to the peace that he has made by his invaluable blood, and ignorant of the sweetness of his love, resulting from faith in him as my divine surety and my righteousness. It is impossible that a real believer can be content long to travel without the company of Jesus, whose faithfulness he has often proved, and whose wisdom and power he every moment needs; and although fully persuaded that Christ has made full satisfaction by his one offering for sin, and that God his creditor is content--all thisand much more he assents to in his mind and

VOL. VIII.-No. 87.] F

judgment; but he wants the witnessing of the Holy Spirit, that he is an adopted son, that he is secure in Christ, standing complete in his righteousness. Arguing and disputing for the truth will not satisfy— believing our covenant interest only will content. Believers should be very much concerned to be correctly acquainted with all the great and grand truths of God, revealed in their beauty and excellency; particularly in times like these, when error is so busily circulated; such as, universal salvation, apostacy from the grace of God, freewill in almost every form, and the uncertainty of the work of Christ for us, and the Holy Spirit within us. But believers should be most of all anxious that they may have a personal experimental acquaintance with the truth in their own souls; and in order to attain this, we should be constant in our attendance at the throne of

grace, and looking up for the anointing influences of the blessed Spirit to shine into our hearts. This abiding Comforter we daily need to lead us into the truth, to seal it upon our hearts, and to give us the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. The apostles were to tarry at Jerusalem until they had received this invaluable blessing.

There is too great a disposition to make use of human helps, and to study critics and commentators, and take up truth from men, and apply to the Holy Spirit in a secondary way; which is to cast a slight upon that divine director and teacher, the Lord the Spirit. It is absolutely promised, that the Spirit shall be poured out from on high; that the great work of witnessing and leading into the truth is his prerogative, and he only can convert and reconvert the soul to God.

Nothing can be more clear than that God loves his people with an immutable love; and that the complete work of Christ is the alone salvation of the church; that the government of all the creation of God is upon the shoulders of Jesus the mighty God; that while his children are but little known and much forgotten, he knows them all, and remembers them all before his Father and their Father at all times. But that saints may enjoy the sweetness of this love, and that a stream from this river may be turned into their bosoms to revive and refresh their drooping graces, God the Holy Ghost must exert his great power. Nor shall we realize the engagements of Jesus as the governor of the world, the representative of our persons, the perfumer and presenter of our praises and petitions, but as the scales are removed from our eyes by the holy Anointer.

How very often the necessity of personal religion is inculcated in the scriptures. Arise, and shake yourselves from the dust, and put on your beautiful garments. How pathetically an inspired apostle prayed, “ that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection :” and how very earnestly the languishing church of old prayed, “ Wilt thou not revive us again, that we may rejoice in thee?”. And all who have been long engaged in the battles of the Lord, more or less know, that Satan incessantly employs his instru

« PreviousContinue »