« FöregåendeFortsätt »
of righteousness, and endeavour to live righteously, soberly, and godly in this present evil world. Just in proportion as we realise our union to Christ, and our freedom from condemnation through Christ, shall we pant to be holy, and seek to walk after the Spirit ; and if we live in the Spirit, and walk in the Spirit, we shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. Letus not be satisfied without union to Christ. Let no convictions, impressions, enjoyments, or duties satisfy us ; but let us seek to be one with Christ, through the Holy Spirit. Being united to Christ, let us seek daily to realise and enjoy our privilege. Let us walk as one with Christ, act as one with Christ, and go no where, nor do any thing, that is not in accordance with our profession of being one with Christ. Realising our justification as one with Christ, let us seek deeper sanctification. If justified by faith in Jesus, we are perfectly justified; for there are no degrees in justification. But though we are really sanctified, we are not perfectly sanctified. We may be more holy, more like Christ, and have more of the Spirit of God. Let us not then be satisfied with little when we may have much, but let us be constantly coming to Je. sus, that we may receive out of his fulness and grace for grace. But however deep our sanctification, let us never live upon it, or look to it for peace. Jesus is the bread of life, let us live on him. Jesus is our peace, let us look to him for peace. We may look
at our justification and rejoice in it, but the more we look away from our sanctification to Jesus, the better; for it is while we are look. ing to Jesus, that the Spirit deepens his work, and conforms us more and more to the object before us. If justified, we shall be sanctified, for a change of state, is always accompanied with a change of nature. If in Christ, we must be in some measure like Christ. Out of Christ there is neither justification nor sanctification. The soul therefore that is living without faith in Jesus, without union to Jesus, is condemned already; and instead of being able to say “ to me there is no condem. nation,” if it speaks truth it must say, “To me there is nothing but condemnation. My person is condemned, my sins are condemned, and my very religion is condemned. I am condemned by the gospel too. The law says, • Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things, written in the book of the law to do them :' and I have not done them, therefore I am cursed. The Gospel saith, He that believeth not shall be damned, he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God,' and I have not faith in Christ, therefore I am condemned, and, Oh, dreadful! I shall be damned.” But, sinner, though you are condemned now, you need not be condemned five minutes longer, for through Christ Jesus is preached unto you
the forgiveness of sins; and by him all that believe are justified from all things.” Believe, and to you there is no condemnation, nor ever shall be! Believe, and life is yours, peace is yours, heaven is yours, for Christ is yours, and yours for ever!
Ye tempted and tried,
THE LIVING STONE. How many and various are the figures em. ployed to represent our beloved Lord, and yet they all come sbort of his glory. The whole creation is insufficient to set forth the glory of Jesus. He who created all must be superior to all. But the representations made are intended to meet the wants or wishes of poor sinners, or exercised believers; and to set forth the experience of the Lord's people in reference to him. In making these remarks, I have my eye on a passage in the first epistle of Peter, in which the Apostle says, speaking of Christ, “ To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious.” 1 Pet. ii. 14.
Jesus is called a stone, to set forth his in. vincible strength, endless duration, and the infallible security he gives to his people. He is called a living stone, because he possesses life in himself, imparts life to every believer, and sustains the life he imparts. He was disallowed, rejected of men, both Jews and Gentiles, because he did not answer their carnal expectations, nor would he gratify their de.
praved desires. But he was chosen of God, to be the foundation of his Church, the corner stone of the spiritual temple, and the only way of access to himself. He is precious in the estimation of God, of angels, and of all saints-he is honourable, having all the ele. ments of true honour in himself-he is valu. able, beyond example or representation. Pre. cious, because of his excellent nature, digni. fied offices, and glorious services. Like the stone Ezel, he sheweth the way, the way of life, peace, holiness, and honour. Like the stone at Horeb, he pours forth streams of liv. ing and life-giving water. Like the two stone tables, the law is to be seen written on him, and written out by him in his holy and beneficent life. Like the stone laid before Joshua the high priest on which was seven eyes, he attracts universal attention. On him the eye of his Father rests with ineffable delight. On him the eye of the Holy Spirit is fixed with unutterable pleasure. To him the eyes of the angels turn with joy and satisfaction. To him the eye of the poor sinner is directed for life and peace. On him the eye of the believer is fixed with expectation and gratitude. Nor can the devils keep their eyes off him, who has vanquished their chief, and is appointed to judge them all. To him justice looks for satisfaction, and receives it. To him mercy looks for a channel in which to flow, and finds it. It is the wonder of Heaven, the dread of hell, and the desire of all nations.