Page images


multitude. Kindness and pity for the distresses of those around Him marked His character on all occasions. But it was His compassion for the souls of men that brought Him down from heaven to earth. He came into our world to effect our redemption; to deliver us from the curse of the law of God, to which our transgression had exposed us; to fulfil the law for us, that by His obedience we might be made righteous," and restored to the favour of God, through believing in His name; and might enjoy communion and fellowship with the Father of heaven through His mediation ; and partake of the influences of the Holy Spirit, to conform us to His holy will in all things. Has this end of the coming of Christ into our world been answered with respect to our own souls? Do we walk humbly with our God, as our heavenly Father in Christ Jesus, in every thing, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, making known our requests unto 39 Him? Unless this be the case, the end of Christ's coming into our world, has not been accomplished in us. If we are not reconciled to God, through faith in Christ, as our Redeemer and Saviour, the name of Christians will be of no use to us; for the great benefits of Christianity are unknown to us; they are not experienced in our own souls.

38 Romans v. 19.

39 Philippians iv. 6.


But if the obedience unto death of our Lord Jesus Christ be the ground of our hope for peace with God; then He is set before us as the bread of life, on which we are to feed day by day; that, by means of union with Him, our souls may be nourished, and strengthened to endure unto the end, that we may be saved.4

This union with Him in heart and affection, by which intercourse with Him is maintained in the spirit of our minds, is as needful for our souls as food is for our bodies. Communion with Him must be as continually maintained for our souls' health, as the reception of food must be renewed for the health of our bodies. And let it be remembered that we are as welcome to partake of this bread of life, as of the bread that perisheth. This reception of Christ into the heart by faith, it may be proper to observe on account of a common mistake, is a widely different thing from partaking of the holy Sacrament; the latter being only the outward and visible sign or representation of this inward and spiritual blessing. Yet those who desire the spiritual grace will not be indifferent to the means whereby we receive the same; and will therefore thankfully commemorate the dying love of our most adorable Redeemer in the way in which He has commanded us to do it, when they have the opportunity. But their object will be that they may “feed on Him” who is the bread of life, “in their hearts by faith with thanksgiving,” to “the strengthening and refreshing of their souls;" and that thus they may be invigorated to press forward in the narrow way which leads to the kingdom of heaven.

40 Matthew xxiv. 13.

He whose compassion led Him to break bread, and give it to His disciples to set before the multitude, to preserve them from fainting by the

way with hunger, has still the same compassionate heart towards perishing sinners with regard to their souls, which He then manifested for the bodies of men. Though He is passed into the heavens, and is set down on the throne of His glory, yet He can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.41 He pities the fainting soul, and will dispense the bread of life freely to all who apply to Him for it. If you hunger and thirst after righteousness, beg Him of the riches of His grace to supply your need, and according to His faithful promise you shall be filled.His declaration is still true, Him that cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out. Make your humble supplication to Him, and you shall not be sent empty away. He filleth the hungry with good things. He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness." The multitude


41 Heb. iv. 14, 15. 42 Matt. v. 6. 43 John vi. 37. 44 Psalm cvii. 9.

of those who need the bread of life does not in the least diminish His ability to give the invaluable blessing to every one that needeth it. He has all power in heaven and earth :45 so that there is no fear of disappointment to them who apply to Him for relief in the time of their distress. His almighty power enables Him, and His infinite compassion inclines Him, to do for them what He has promised. So that all who humbly wait upon Him may say with the Psalmist, Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. 46

The important inquiry then is, Have we come to Christ for life and salvation ? If not, our souls are indeed in a perishing condition. For unless we seek salvation in the way of God's appointment, we are lost for ever. If we have come to Him, we have come as sinners selfcondemned, humbly imploring the pardon of our sins past, through or because of the bloodshedding and death of the Lamb of God; believing that in Him there is redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace, and that the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, cleanseth from all sin.47

any persons think that God will forgive sin in any other

way than through faith in Christ, they


45 Matthew xxviii. 18.

46 Psalm xxiii 6. 47 1 John i. 7.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

are deceiving their own souls. If we reject the atonement of Christ, there is no other means of pardon; there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.48 While, then, this Divinelyappointed way of salvation is made known to us by the word of God, let us seek Divine grace to enable us to lay hold of it, that we may be saved. Let us take the yoke of Christ upon us, and submit to Him as our King and Governor, to live in subjection to His authority. Let us implore that the influences of His Holy Spirit may be vouchsafed to us, to conform us to His blessed image, that we may be like Him in all our conduct on earth, whom we hope to see as He is, and then to be perfectly assimilated to Him. We know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.49 Unless we give up ourselves wholly to His service, to love Him above all things, and to serve and please Him in newness of life, our religious profession is vain. May we then be constrained by gratitude for His mercies to live to His glory, and show forth His praise. The compassion and power of the Lord Jesus are set before us, in order that we may seek and obtain the blessings of His grace. May it not be in vain that we are made acquainted with them. May we believe in Him, to the saving of our souls.48

48 Hebrews x, 26, 39.

49 1 John iii. 2.

« PreviousContinue »