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with worldly cares, and often hindered by sinful temptations. His soul is sometimes exceedingly heavy; at other times exceedingly foolish. But he desires and tries to set his affections on things above. He often cries out, “Oh, that my Advocate, at God's right hand, would pity my infirmities, and put new life into my soul!” Nor does he cry in vain.
But his life is safely hidden with Christ in God. It is a treasure, of which no enemy can rob him, so long as he dwells close to Christ. Therefore the Saviour has said, “ Abide in me, and I in you. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Jesus therefore hears our prayers; and is ready to give us that Spirit of love, which is the glory of heaven itself. Again he says, “ As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love."
This life of faith, and this spirit of love, are not always seen by the believer, in himself, at once. They are sometimes hidden, even from himself. Christ, indeed, is always near; but the believer does not always perceive him near. But when temptations to sin come in his way, he has great need to stir up his faith and love: for his business is, to mortify all sin. The “ members which are upon the earth,” mean, the whole old man. He has to deny all sinful affections, and to be very careful in managing even his lawful affections. He is daily putting off the old man, and putting on
the new man. This cannot be done without the help of Christ. The very smallest victory over sin can be gained only by faith. When he contends against sin, then it is that he feels Christ most needful to him.
What a grievous thing it is, to think that we have some time walked and lived in those sinful lusts and worldly pleasures, which the Apostle here condemns. Let us read the account of them over again, with shame and abhorrence ..... And have we now escaped from the pollutions, that are in the world through lust ? And are we now living for heaven, and for eternity ?
Oh, the terrible state of those who are still children of disobedience! Think of those words of Christ, “ The wrath of God abideth on them !”
Think, too, of the Christian's blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ ! Then shall believers be with Him in glory. They shall ascend to heaven: they shall enter into peace: no sin shall be there; no, not even temptation to sin. “The Lamb, which is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes !”
O Lord Jesus Christ, who art exalted to the right hand of thy Father, to receive gifts, even for the rebellious; mercifully hear and answer our prayer, while we ask for the promised influences of thy Holy Spirit. Pardon all our sins : renew our inner man : dwell Thou in our hearts, by faith : give to us the hidden life, which comes from Thee; and let thy Holy Spirit within us be as a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life!
Sanctify, O Lord, every affection of our souls ! May we love thee above all things: and in all things which thou givest us for our good, may we still love thee supremely. Cause us to walk all the day long in a holy fear of offending thee; that no unholy temper, or sinful practice of ours, may ever grieve thy Holy Spirit, or cause him to depart from
Cheer our dim sight with a bright hope of those unspeakable joys, which thou hast prepared for them that love thee. Let the peace of God rule in our hearts; and let the spirit of prayer and praise abound within us. So, Blessed Jesus, dwell in
us, and walk in us, that, when we are called hence, we may
welcome thy voice in our dying moments. And while thou sayest, Behold, I come quickly; cause our departing spirits humbly and gladly to answer Thee, Even so, come Lord Jesus !
OUR COMPASSIONATE SAVIOUR.
HEBREWS iv, 14–16.
Seeing, then, that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
For we have not an high-priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities ; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. The office of the Jewish High Priest was, to offer up sacrifices to God for the sins of the people; and this he did daily. Besides this, once in the year he used to enter into a place, called “ The Holy of Holies;” and there he made a most solemn atonement for the sins of the whole congregation.
By these actions, he showed forth the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, who once for all, on the cross, shed his precious blood for the sins of the whole world. Having done this, He passed into the heavens. There, in that Holy of Holies, He is set down on the right hand of God, ever living to make intercession for us.
Let me ask now, in his own words, “ Dost thou believe in the Son of God?” Do you own Jesus for your Lord, and your God? Do you feel what a perishing sinner you are, without Him?. Do you tremble to think, that the load of your sins would sink you into hell, unless you lay hold of the hand which He stretches out to save you? Do you love this Saviour; and are you laying it to heart to live to His glory? Unless
Unless you can say “ Yes," to these questions, you have no part in Christ. But if
do come to Him as a broken-hearted sinner; if you do believe in Him as your redeeming God; if you do pray to Him; and if you
endeavour to live to His glory, then Jesus is your Friend. And He is such a friend, that you will never find another like Him, to help and comfort you.
Jesus, when on earth, suffered hunger and thirst, cold and heat, weariness and sleeplessness: He suffered shame and sorrow, temptation from Satan, and contradiction from sinners: nay, He suffered agony and death, that he might save us from the bitter pains of eternal death. Now that he is risen from the dead, and ascended into heaven, He still feels for all true believers. He calls them the members of his body. He is the Head, and feels what every member bears.
Are you suffering great pain, and sickness, and weakness of body? Think what Jesus suffered on the cross for you! If you could only, by faith, see the agonies which He endured, to save you, you would never think that you have one pain too many. Nay, you would be thankful for pain, if it brought you nearer to the bosom of your Saviour.
Do you suffer from pinching poverty ? Remember the account which Jesus gave of his own life; and be comforted, to know that He feels for all
your distresses. He said, “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.”- And has He put into our lips the petition, “Give us this day our daily bread;” and will He not give us bread ? Alas! we pray with too little faith in His love.
Are you deserted by friends, and left alone? So