« PredošláPokračovať »
city: salvation hath God appointed for walls and bulwarks. Only make clear your interest in Christ, and then you establish your title to these promises : for “ all the promises of God are yea and amen in Christ.”ı Assurance of salvation is of unspeakable importance at all times, but pre-eminently in times of peril. Supposing you have not yet attained to it, but are uncertain whether you are the Lord's or not; and death or danger overtakes you, what would be your support? What would you do in the day of your visitation ? Would you not resemble a ship at sea, surprised by a storm, and without an anchor or a star ? You would not see your tokens. There would hardly shine a star in the whole firmament of promise, to cheer or guide you in your voyage. Whereas, he who has fled for refuge to the hope that is set before us in the Gospel, has strong consolation. He knows in whom he has believed. He has cast his anchor within the veil, and is persuaded that it will enable him to ride out every tempest.
He is assured that God will keep that which he has committed to his care, and that neither height nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate him from the rock of his salvation.
Wouldest thou have comfort in thy misery, says the learned Mr. Mede, 'wouldest thou have joy in all thy sorrows, wouldest thou find rest in the greatest troubles of thy life; wouldest thou
1 2 Cor. i. 20.
entertain death as a messenger of joy, wouldest thou welcome the Lord Jesus at his coming ? O labour then to make “ thy election sure; cease till thou hast gotten the seal and earnest of thy salvation ; renounce all kinds of
till thou hast found the peace of conscience; discard all joy till thou feelest the joy of the Holy Ghost.' 1
But, how, (you perhaps ask,) shall you determine whether you are in the Lord or not? There are a few tests, afforded in the inspired Record, whereby you may ascertain at once.
For example, “They that are Christ's walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit: they have crucified the flesh, with the sinful affections and lusts." Every one that hath a solid hope in Christ, purifieth himself, even as Christ is pure. Is this your practice and experience? Are you denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, and living soberly, righteously, and godly in this present evil world? Again-“If ye be led of the Spirit of God, then are ye the sons of God.” Are you thus led? Do you yield yourselves up unreservedly to the impulses of that Divine monitor, prompting you to prayer, self-denial, and a life of personal righteousness? Do you take up the cross daily, and follow the Lord ? Do you yield yourself unto God, as one that is alive from the dead, and your body as an instrument of righteousness unto God? Is there no holding back ? no hoof left in Egypt? Do you hate every false way, and endeavour to be perfect, entire, wanting nothing ? Do you walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, blameless? Then, then indeed you shall not be ashamed. “ For to this end did I write,” says the Apostle, “ that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things."1
1 The Lord intendeth to melt and try this land, and it is high time we were all upon our feet, and falling about to try what claim we have to Christ.'--RUTHERFORD's Letters.
In brief—" If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”? Have you then his Spirit? How shall you determine ? By examining whether you bring forth his fruits. What are these ? • Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” Try then by these criteria, whether you be in the faith. And, “ forasmuch as the heart is deceitful above all things,” do it with prayer to the Lord to assist you in coming to a right decision. The Psalmist himself so prayed.
“ Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle, not (only) against flesh and blood, but (also) against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto
the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
1 2 Cor. ii. 9.
2 Romaps viii. 9. 3 Psalm cxxxix. 23, 24.
Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breast-plate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints."
1 Note XIX.
“ The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord,
and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever."-Rev. xi. 15.
We now come to contemplate that blessed period, which will follow directly in the train of those great events we have been considering.
In Winter, when the air is cold and the landscape bleak, and all nature in appearance deador, in the earlier stages of Spring, when the atmosphere is still ungenial, and storms descend upon the mountains, and desolate the valleys, and thunder along the deep-how cheering and consoling is it to look forward to the glad and glorious season shortly to ensue, when God shall renew the face of the earth, and crown the year with his goodness. Even so, when the territory of the church is yet in a waste and wintry condition, and, comparatively speaking, but few signs of efflorescence appear; but the day is still cloudy, and the love of many still cold, and Satan rages, and iniquity abounds; and the hurricane of persecution darkens the horizon, and howls among the hills and towers of Zion;