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Blessed is the man, unto whom the Lord imputeth not ini
quity....Psalm xxxii. 2. . . When the Spirit bears witness to the believing heart, thou art this blessed man, O what a heavenly transport of love, peace, and joy abounds! Every believer in Christ is this blessed man. Though they do not all enjoy the sense of this blessedness. The law may charge sin upon the conscience, satan may bring many accusations, and the poor sinner may reckon many iniquities against himself, and be ready to rate himself a cursed man, when the Lord imputes not a single iniquity to him, but pronounces him blessed. Sight often opposes truth., Şense prevails against faith. Hence the soul is in fear and distress. What can one do in such seasons ? Believe against sense, hope against hope. Oppose God's declarations to nature's feeling. Mind, it is not said, blessed is the man who hath no ini. quity, but unto whom the Lord imputeth none. Well, but if I see, and know, and feel that I have iniquity, surely the Lord will impute it to me and charge it to my account. What! after God hath charged sin to thy surety's account, reckoned with him for it, and received full satisfaction at his hands, will he charge it again to thee? No, God is just. He knows he imputed to, and laid upon his Son, the iniquity of us all.... Isa. liii. 6. God made Christ to be sin for us, that we might be righteous in him....2 Cor. v. 21. In HIM, O blessed state! we stand righteous in Christ, are blessed in Christ. No iniquity is imputed to us, but the Lord imputeth righteousness without our works....Rom. iv. 6. This is the blessedness of faith. Every believer in Jesus is thus blessed. If the Lord imputė no iniquity to him, who shall? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? O believer, glory in thy blessedness and give the Lord the glory of it. Nor sin, nor death, nor hell shall rob thee of it in time, nor eternity. But if the Lord imputes no iniquity to thee, he hath also created a new spirit within thee, a spirit without guile, that is, upright with the Lord Jesus, that trusts in him and cleaves to him only. Look at St. Paul. See the uprightness of his soul. He was like a chaste virgin to Christ. Imitate him. Propose what you would to him, but Christ: whether the pomps of the world, the pleasures of sin, the glory of selfrighteousness, says he, away with it all, I renounce it all as dross and dung. God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yea, doubtless, I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.... Phil: iii. 8. . . : Tho' sin infects our ruin'd race, Thus are we bless'd alone thro' faith · And seals us under wrath;
Of Jesus crucify'd, Yet God imputes thro' his rich grace, No sin will God impute, he saith, Christ's righteousness and death. To those for whom Christ dy'd. M. VOL. II.
God hath sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in
our hearts....2 Cor. i. 22. · None but a sinner believing in Christ can say, God hath sealed me. But every believer in him may truly say so. This seemed very plain from a former meditation. Do all believers alike enjoy the comfort of this sealing? No: no more than any one believer, alike, at all times, enjoys the comfort of it. This is a certain truth, “ by faith we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.”.... Rom. v. 1. Though every believer is alike justified before God and is at peace with God, yet every one has not the like sense of peace, nor any one at all times. So it is of this blessed privilege of sealing. But if it is not looked upon, and believed that it may be alike enjoyed in common by all believers, many will rest short of the comfort of it. And indeed this is the case. How few believers are crying, Lord give me the comfort of this sealing. In believing we are sealed. In believing we enjoy the comfort of it. But here is also another precious blessing of the Lord to his people, TAE EARNEST OF HIS SPIRIT. This also is the privilege of all believers. Consider what is an earnest? It is a pledge given in covenants and bargains, as a part to insure the whole. This is common in things of this life. So in salvation, God gives bis Spirit as the earnest and pledge of our certain enjoyment of all the glory and blessedness of heaven. This is according to covenant love and promise to sinners who believe in Christ. But how is the Spirit an earnest of this? Mind, it is IN OUR HEARTS. He brings our hearts to believe in and to be in love with Christ. Yea, brings Christ into our hearts. He dwells there by faith. He bears witness of Christ and salvation by him to our hearts. He takes of the things of Christ, such as adoption by Christ, union to him, pardon of sin through his blood, justification in his righteousness, peace with God and joy in God through his mediation, and the hope of eternal life through his intercession. He shews these unto us. Thus says Christ, “he shall glorify me.” ....John xvi. 14. ' And thus he fills us with joy and peace in believing. He bears witness to our spirits that we are the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus, and that salvation is sure in him to us. O believers, see your inestimable privilege. Give the Lord the glory of it. Plead for the comfort of it. This will endear the love of Father, Son and Spirit to your hearts, cause you to look down with contempt on the world, to hate all sin, to love holiness, and to look up with longing delight and growing meetness for heaven and glory. And be assured that as truly as God gave his Son to die for your sins, and hath given his Spirit as an earnest in you heart, eternal life also shall be yours by his free gift.... Rom. vi. 23.
that this is the Spirit, wh hot scaled, i od hath seal
Ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.... Eph. iv. 30.
Who are thus sealed? Every believer in Christ. This was shewed in the last meditation. This sealing here, and elsewhere, is spoken of as a thing done. Ye are, ye werc, God hath sealed us.... 2 Cor. i. 22. If all believers are not sealed, it is absurd to exhort them: "grieve not the Spirit, whereby ye are sealed." Know, believers, that this is your inestimable privilege. Rejoice in it. Give the Lord the glory of it. O, may the Spirit, the sealer, help us to make some improvement of it. Ist. Are all believers sealed unto the day of redemption? then is their state safe, and their salvation sure. “The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them who are his.”.... 2 Tim. ii. 19. They shall be mine, saith the Lord, when I make up my jewels, &C...Mal. ii. 17. It is horrid blasphemy to assert, any soul may go to bell whom the Spirit has sealed with the broad seal of heaven. 2d. Are wè thus sealed by the Spirit? then let our souls adore his eternal power and godhead, and praise him for his work in us. What power short of omnipotent could open our blind eyes, quicken our dead souls, subdue our rebellious wills, and bring our proud, selfrighteous hearts to submit to the righteousness of Christ, and to receive him for our whole salvation? Has the Spirit sealed us as the sons of God, and possessed our hearts with the peace of God through faith in Christ? 3d. Beware that you do not grieve the Spirit. Do we bear the impress of the Spirit's seal? Shall we then do the devil's drudgery in our lives, with God's seal upon our hearts? O ye sealed ones of God, he singular for God. Be exemplary in your lives before God. Consider whose image and superscription you bear. Sink not below your dignity. Shun vanity-fair. Avoid what gratifies the flesh. Flee the scenes of folly. Leave them to souls who know not the love of your Christa Live in the Spirit and walk in the Spirit. 4th. Sealed believer, know that this sealing of the Spirit is the finishing grace of the covenant of love. Now "you are complete in Christ."....Col. ii. 10. Your title is clear to the heavenly inheritance. Live by faith upon the comfort of it.. Reject all doubts and fears concerning it.. Soon you shall possess it. Lay hold on eternal life....l Tim. vi. 12. • '.
May the blest Spirit in my heart,
Who bought me with his blood.
O, may I never once forget
What a poor worm I am :
The blood of God's dear Lamb. M.
Lord remember me, when thou comest into thy kingdom...
Luke xxii. 42..
When Joseph had interpreted the chief butler's dream, how pathetically does he plead with him! Think of me when it shall be well with thee....Gen. xl. But alas! such the base ingratitude of man, all was in vain. When restored to his dignity at court, he thought no more of poor Joseph in prison. Exalted stations elevate the mind above feeling for the distressed. But it is not so with the King of kings. He is ever the friend of poor sinners. He remenbers us in our low estate. Behold, for us he now hangs on the accursed tree, between two cursed sinners. One was taken, the other left. See your own state in both. Behold the marvellous power of the Lord's sovereign grace in one. Consider, Ist. Here is a reviler of Jesus changed into a petitioner to him. There was no alteration in any outward circumstances. All things continued just the same. Christ hung, to all appearance, as a mere man dying at his side. What then caused the change in him? O, hide your "heads and blush at your proud notions of your free will! fall down and adore distinguishing grace. One malefactor is left to his free will and expires blaspheming Jesus: the other dies believing in him and praying to him. He was snatched by grace from the gates of death and hell, as a brand which our Saviour would not suffer to be burned. Now, do you see your nature as wicked and your state equally as desperate as this thief's? then you will be humbled. Do you see that nothing but the same grace of Christ can save you? then you will exalt the free grace of Christ. 2d. See the effects of it. He owns the justness of his sentence, reproves his free-will brother, and proclaims the innocence of Christ. O, fall down and own that the sentence of the law which curses you for sin, is just. Repel the pride and self-righteousness of your heart. Exalt the love and grace of our Saviour. i 3d. Hear his prayer. LORD, though thou diest as an ignominious man, yet thou art the Lord of life and glory. REMEMBER ME. There is no Saviour but thee, no salvation but by thee. I am a hopeless, helpless sinner; unless thou save me, I must be damned eternally. Thou art a King. Thou hast a kingdom.
O, bring my soul into it! Now, have you just the same plea this • thief had? Have you no other? Do you desire po better? Do you
expect salvation from the same Saviour, on the very same terms? Then you are taught by the same Spirit, have the same faith in, and shall soon be in glory with the same Lord, “who is rich in mercy unto all who call on him."....Rom. X. 12.
Hereby knowo ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confes
seth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God.... · ] John iv, 2. • “You study too much, it will kill you," says one and another. What! the study of Christ, who is the life, health, and joy of one's soul, kill one? Precious death to die in such sweet exercise. It is only to fall asleep in Jesus, and awake with him in glory. I am sure (through grace) this delightful study will kill the life of sense, the power of sin, and the delusions of satan. Christ help us to study him more and more. The apostle here warns us against false spirits which are not of God. He bids us believe not every spirit but try them. . For many false prophets are gone out under a spirit of delusion. We are in danger of being deceived by them. Here is a fixed rule to know whether they are of God or not. 1st. KNOW YE THE SPIRIT OF GOD. Many pretend to have received him: to preach by his inspiration; to glory in ecstacies of comfort and revelations from the Spirit. Look at them with a godly jealousy. Be not hastily carried away by them. Do not condemn your own state because you feel yourself a burdened sinner, groan under your burden, and though from day to day you are looking unto Jesus, yet have not these ecstacies and transports they pretend to. 2d. Know the Spirit of God, HEREBY “every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God.” This is the truc testimony of the Spirit of God. Keep your eye steadily on this. What is implied in this? Ist. That God and man in onc Christ is come to save us. 2d. The end of his so coming was “to finish transgressions, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness."....Dan. ix. 24. Christ hath perfectly and everlastingly done all this in our flesh for our souls. Therefore, 3d. If the whole of this is not confessed, if any part of this is denied, then “the vision and prophecy is not allowed to be sealed up and finished.” And if comforts and joys arise not from the firm belief of Christ's finished work for us, but from what we have done or can do towards our own salvation, this is not of the Spirit of God, but another spirit, the spirit of pride, of delusion, and of anti-christ. For it is against confessing that Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the all in all of a sinner's salvation. O, beware of that spirit which bears witness of any thing in you for righteousness to justify you before God, or as the ground of your acceptance in his sight. Away with it all as filth and dung. Reject both the spirit and his testimony. Know ye “ the Spirit of God beareth witness, because the Spirit is TRUTH."...] John v. 6.