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the Holy Ghost: By whom they were made new creatures in Christ Jesus----members under him their head-united as intimately as the branches are to the vine—and living by, and in, and on hiin, every moment, and for every thing. Thus the glorifier of Jesus teaches all his members to depend upon the fulness of their head, and he abides with them in order to keep them in this dependence. He testifies to them of Jesus“ He is your whole salvation, your all in all; you have not, you never will have, any thing to glory in, but in the Lord, whatever good you receive comes from his grace - whatever evil you escape, is from his blessing—and if ever you have eternal life, it will be the free gift of God in Christ Jesus. Your bodies also are dependent on him, as well as your souls : personal, family, national mercies are his royal favours, and bestowed out of his sovereign bounty.” Thus he teaches believers. He humbles them, that they may exalt the Saviour. He makes them poor in spirit, that they may live upon his riches. He keeps them sensible of their
own emptiness, that they may be making constant use of the Saviour's fulness, and living in an absolute dependence upon him for every thing. While they live thus by the faith of the Son of God, every high thought is brought into subjection to him. “Pride is daily mortified. Self-complacency is abhor. red. Self-admiration is abominable. Humility is become their clothing, and they cannot put it off ; because every moment they are making use of it. Sins, wants, miseries, temptations, &c. are continually reminding them of their vileness, and of God's goodness. And this truth, enforced by the holy Spirit, makes them willing to learn of Jesus to be meek and lowly. They become teachable scholars, and sit very low at his feet, where they attain to true humility of heart. And this influences their whole behaviour. In a deep and abiding sense of their entire sinfulness and helplessness, they loath themselves before God, and walk humbly before men. They feel they are of themselves nothing but sin, and if left to themselves can be nothing but misery; therefore they put their whole trust and confidence in a covenant God, and his free grace has from them all its glory.
What is thy knowledge, O my soul, and what is thine experience of this Christian poverty of spirit? Art thou acquainted with it in the ground of thine heart, and is it in thy daily practice? Examine thyself, and with diligence : for it is a most blessed grace, advanced to high honour in the court of Jesus. To it he has made many exceeding great and precious promises. O pray to him for this royal gift. Wait on thy divine prophet, and hear his lessons. He teaches as man cannot. He recommends, he gives, the grace of humility. He makes his scholars truly humble in heart. Observe his abasing doctrine, and may all within thee bow to the power of it.
Observe, how he humbles the sinner. He convinces him of his sinful state, of the corruption of his whole nature, and of the depravity of every faculty of soul and body. The sinner is made to feel it, and to live under the sense of it. And in order to fasten the conviction, clearer discoveries are daily
made of this corruption for it is a mystery of iniquity. There is no tracing to the bottom its deep-laid devices, and never-ceasing workings. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked : who can know it? There is not a man upon earth who knows all that may be known of the ex. ceeding sinfulness of sin, and of his own sin. fulness. When the Lord, who searcheth the heart, has laid open some of its infinite evil, he continues to discover more. Every day brings to light strange workings of corruption. The convinced sinner has deeper views of his helplessness, and of his unworthiness. And after many vain legal trials, he at last finds it impossible for him to do anything, for which God should pardon him and save him. Thus he is laid low with his mouth in the dustBehold, I am vile, filthy, and abominable altogether; I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. - These are the humbling lessons which the holy Spirit teaches. He convinces the sinner, that there is neither help nor hope in himself, and so leaves him nothing to trust in, but the
salvation provided in Jesus by covenant love, and given freely by grace. And the manner of receiving this salvation is such as cuts off all occasion of boasting : for faith is the only means appointed of God,—and faith is his gift—not bestowed upon the worthy, but upon the ungodly-not for any merit in them, or for any terms or conditions which they have performed, or ever will perforın, but by an act of absolute sovereignty, to the praise of the glory of his own grace. He will have mercy because he will have mercy. O humbling consideration! How low does it bring the sinner! How must his proud heart be abased, while he feels himself a debtor for every thing good to the mere will and plea sure of God! And so long as he enjoys those good things, he is kept poor in spirit, because he has none of them in himself. They are laid up in the fulness of Jesus, are to be had from thence only by faith, and are received as the sense of his wants leads the believer to make use of them. Living by faith is the death of self-importance. Then the loftiness of man is bowed down, the