« AnteriorContinuar »
engage my thoughts; but when I come from thence, my heart is all joy and wonder, all adoration and praise; all sacrifice and resignation; courage and resolution. How is my Saviour to be adored for this wise and gracious institution, and who has provided so effectually for his faithful servants to the world's end ! Be thou ever adored, O merciful Jesus, my God, and my Lord, for thy wonderful designs of love and mercy to the sons of men! Amen."
John xiv, 27. My peace I give unto you. I have reason to be very grateful for the goodness of my heavenly Father in the past sacrament. Though I did not feel any peculiar joy, yet I felt a calm spirit of recollection, which was very refreshing. Before I went to the table, several passages of Scripture engaged my attention, raised my heart to God, and expanded it so in love to my fellow-creatures, that I could not but plead earnestly for them as well as for myse!f. Though less composed in the act of receiving, yet when I thought on those words, “ his body given for thee,” “his blood shed for thee," my heart was melted within me to some degree of tenderness and love. In his love and in his pity he has redeemed me. Surely nothing but pity and love could induce the Lord to seek and to save my soul.
This calm and devout spirit has been in a good measure maintained since the ordinance. O how different from formal services, and how refreshing are those prayers in which our hearts are really lifted up to God, in the full conviction that he sees and hears
us. Lord, let the view of the cross of Christ, ever fill my soul with this happy peace, with holy love, and with heavenly joy.
Phil. iv, 4. Rejoice in the Lord. I would indeed contemplate and admire thy wonderful grace, the multitude of thy tender mercies, and thy abounding goodness, till my heart is filled with joy in thee. How greatly have I partaken of these mercies ! That such a miserable sinner as I have been, and still am, should be admitted to the glorious hope of the Gospel; that my sins may be pardoned and remembered no more ; that I should be welcomed at the table of the Lord, and the dear society of his servants, and there again feel and enjoy the blessedness of Christian hope, and peace, and joy: these things call for unfeigned gratitude. O my soul, is it then possible ! mayest thou reasonably expect yet to have and see the happier days, yet to enjoy the brighter and serener sky than ever was manifested here below, in those blessed regions where sins shall not harass, nor temptations afflict; where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest? and wilt thou not love him who has procured this hope for thee? Surely none in the heavenly mansions will have to sing a louder or more grateful song of praise !
O that I might never again sin against my heavenly Father; never offend my compassionate Saviour; never grieve iny best Comforter, the Holy Spirit; never dishonour my holy vocation, nor walk unworthy of that name wherewith I am called.
WHEN OUR MINDS HAVE BEEN WANDERING.
Job xxiii, 3. O that I knew where I might find him!
My heart was cold and distracted, unaffected and absent, during the communion this day. Worldly thoughts crept in ; and I seemed to gain no blessing, no lively views of Christ and his love, of sin, and its guilt, and of holiness and its excellence. Lord, I humble myself before thee. Pardon whatever it was that was wrong in me, that occasioned the loss of thy manifested presence and favour. I deserve nothing from thee of good, and my many sins may well be visited not only with these, but with much heavier marks of thy displeasure. But, O Lord, remember thy mercies of old. Forsake me not utterly. Restore unto me the comfort of thy presence, and the joy of thy salvation.
Yet let me never be discouraged, by apparent rebukes, from seeking the blessing of God in all the appointed means of grace. They that seek shall find, is his promise and my hope. And I believe, and am sure, that he deals with me both as a wise and a tender Father, in what he withholds as well as in what he gives. Teach me thy way, O Lord, I will walk in thy truth; unite my heart to fear thy name.
Micah vii, 18-20. Who is a God like unto thee, that
pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of thy heritage. - He will subdue our iniquities, and thou wilt cast all our
sins into the depths of the sea. Though I have had but little sense of the Divine Presence at the Lord's table, and came from it hum
bled and depressed; yet passages of Scripture like this, are very supporting and consoling to my anxious heart, They are just what I want every day. What I
I daily see of my own sinfulness and guilt, and my continual tendencies to evil, do give me an abasing and depressing view of my corruption. Did I not know what the Bible says of the general wickedness of fallen man, I should be ready to say it was impossible that there could be an individual, favoured as I have been, so guilty as I am. Pride, covetousness, and sensuality, (the threefold enemy of the Christian,) have by turns tempted, assailed, and wounded me. Where can I fly,
. O Jesus ! where, but to thee? In thy wounds I hide
At thy cross I shelter me. There iniquity is pardoned; there the transgression of the remnant of thy heritage is passed by.
But now, O God, my Saviour, I entreat thee, subdue my iniquities. Only thine almighty arm can vanquish them. I look to thee for victory. Fight for me, fight in me; that I may be more than conqueror, through him that loved me.
THE LOVE OF GOD.
1 John iii, 1. Behold what manner of love the Father
hath bestowed on us! What a display of divine love has this ordinance brought before me! God not sparing his own SonJesus dying-and when about to die, thinking of us, and leaving this Institution for the perpetual comforting of his people! Indeed, nothing that ever struck man with surprise and wonder is so amazing, bowever it may be unnoticed or slighted, as the divine love. That Jesus Christ, the only Son of God and the creator of all worlds, once died for sinners, is, to the soul enlightened to see the truth of things, and conscious of its own state, the most stupendous, cheering, and enlivening truth that ever gladdened man's heart. I seem to get new views of it when I weep
prayer over my sinful and vile heart, and then turn to the hope set before me in his death, as exhibited at his table. Free justification by the grace of God through his redemption, and sanctification by his Spirit, are doctrines which I every day need for refuge, consolation, and support. Free love, love bestowed, given to us, us as sinners, and that every day-here is my hope. For however I may by the grace of God be kept from what man calls sin, yet the continual proneness of my heart to wander, the way in which I tread on the borders of what is unlawful, and the workings of sinful affections within, compel me to declare, my heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. O Saviour of sinners, cleanse and purify me. Give me the new heart. Let thy life-giving food revive me, and the fountain of living waters, opened through thy merit, refresh me.
LOVE TO CHRIST,
1 Pet. i, 8. Whom having not seen ye love. True it is I have not with the outward siglit beheld my Saviour; but I have had communion with him; I have been blessed by him; and thus, with full conviction, I know that my Redeemer liveth. And when I see what he has done, and is doing, and will do for me, I cannot but love him. Surely even this day's experience may convince me, that if ever I had the feeling of love, I feel love to Jesus Christ; to him who died for me,