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content; I am happy thus to be rendering myself to thee, and increasing thereby my obligations; glorify thyself in me in mercy, till thou glorify me with thyself in the kingdom of thy glory.
TITUS ii. 10. That they may adorn the doctrine of God, our Sa
viour in all things. GOD is my Saviour ; that he is God, is my comfort, for now I know his all-sufficiency of power and love, able to save to the uttermost, and rich in mercy to all that call upon him. I am called to adorn that doctrine which bringeth salvation, and teacheth us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, and it is my serious purpose and desire to do so. My character in the world will call for my first regard, to walk in wisdom towards those who are without; to shew an unblameableness of conversation, that they who are of a contrary part, may have no evil thing justly to say of me. I will labour to shew all good fidelity in my dealings, to pay a conscientious regard to truth in my words, to provide things honest in the sight of all men, to be industrious in my calling, to owe no man any thing, to abstain from the appearances of evil, lest I make my brother to offend. My behaviour in my
family, may it be ever such as becometh godliness : I would go in and out before them, as an example unto the believers. I would watch particularly against self-will and anger: and always speak at my meals something which should be for the use of edifying. I would be constant in prayer with them day and night, that the blessing of God may be in the midst of us. I would watch over all around me with a jealous eye, and above all, over myself, that I lay no stumbling-block in their way. I would instruct them to the best of my abilities in the knowledge of the Redeemer of sinners, and seek that I and my house might serve the Lord. In my particular transactions with God in secret, I will endeavour to lay bare my heart before him ; I will take his holy word; I will ask for his illuminating Spirit; I will examine mine own self; no bosom sin, I trust, shall find a hiding-place: my burdens of sin and sorrow will I lay at the feet of my Lord. I will plead with him his promises, and leave my case in my great Advocate's hand. In this way the desire of my soul will be answered, and my Redeemer honoured. Lord, adorn me with thy Spirit, that I may thus adorn thy Gospel.
HEBREWS vii. 25.
He is able also to save them to the uttermost that
come unto God by him. SALVATION is my great concern; I am the creature of a day; my body is of the dust, and returning to the dust again? I am in jeopardy every hour. Here I have no abiding city; as a tenant at will, I may be dismissed at a minute's warning: but I have an immortal soul-a soul that must be happy or miserable to eternity-a soul that must join angels in glory, or fiends in darkness! How weighty then is the concern of salvation ; and how important each moment that shortens the span allotted me below.
When I look within myself, how far from salvation doth my state appear! A sinner I, vile and abominable ; in nature at enmity with God, in practice a transgressor times beyond number; under guilt which I cannot remove, under corruption I cannot subdue, under wrath I cannot avert, and such wrath as is for ever wrath to come.
When I look to God, what can I expect? holy in his nature, and therefore infinitely removed from sin; just, and therefore bound to punish it ; unchangeable, and therefore punishing eternally ; omnipotent, there can be no resistance ; omniscient, and therefore no escape from his notice.
Who shall deliver me? “ Behold me," saith the Saviour, “ I am he that bringeth salvation, salvation to the uttermost, mighty to save; atoning blood shall sprinkle the throne of justice; my Spirit shall guide thy steps, and almighty power strengthen thee. My salvation is near; I bring it to thee in my word; I seal it to thee with my blood, and will accomplish it in thee by my Spirit for ever.” Do so, Lord, if thou wilt save, none can destroy.
EPHESIANS ii. 5.
By grace ye are saved. TRUE, Lord, or such a wretch as I must despair; impotent and helpless to every thing which is good, and prone to every thing which is evil, what must become of me, if salvation was not free? It is of thy eternal purpose
grace that there is any hope for sinners; it is of thy grace that I am called out of darkness into thy marvellous light; it is of rich grace that when I was dead in sin, I was quickened together with Christ; it is by grace alone I stund; whatever attainments I reach unto, still it is by the grace of God I am what I am; without this grace
am nothing, have nothing, can do nothing but sin. And in eternity, as well as time, the grace of my God will alone be exalted : when the top
stone of the spiritual building is láid, it shall be with shouting, crying, “ Grace, grace unto it!" When eternal life is adjudged me in the last day, it will be the gift of God in Jesus Christ; and, through eternity, this will be the theme of all the saved by grace,
Thou, Lord, alone, art worthy to receive blessing, and glory, and honour.” If it be of grace then, it is no more of works. Why is my foolish heart then continually going about to rob God of the glory of his grace? It is of my pride and unbelief: my unbelief that staggers at the promise, and will not suffer me to think God can be glorified more in the exercise of sovereign grace in the Redeemer, than in the execution of deserved vengeance on me, a sinner; my pride, that fain would sacrifice to its own drag, by offering something of my own to plead for my acceptapce. Lord, give me clearer views of the riches of thy grace, that my unbelief may be confounded; and deeper discoveries of the utter wretchedness of all I am and do, that my pride may be abased : and thus may I thankfully embrace this 'frée salvation, and be content to be saved from first to last as a sinner!