[ocr errors]

To this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word....Isa. Ixvi. 2.

THE LORD, whose throne is in the highest heaven and whose footstool is the earth, here enquires after a place of residence and rest. As though about to quit his throne he looks unto man. Behold hę tabernacles in man. He makes the human nature his temple. Hence he looks to his brethren in flesh, however poor, miserable, and distressed. As his look of love is towards them so he brings them to look for mercy from him. But we are all naturally too rich in our own eyes to be indebted to his grace, too stubborn of spirit to bow to his sceptre, and too stout-hearted to hearken to his voice and submit to his righteousness. Well, glory to the Lord, he has mercy for rebels as well as a heaven for saints; yea, of sturdy rebels he makes humble saints. How? Thus, “The day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up, and he shall be brought low.... Isa. ii. 12. O soul, dost thou see thy poverty, over head and ears in debt to law and justice, nothing but rags to cover thy nakedness, and liable to be cast into the prison of hell? Give glory to the Lord. The day of the Lord is upon thee; the light of truth has shined into thee; and as though there was not another man upon the earth, the Lord looks to thee, even to thee, thou POOR SINNER. Thou sayest I abhor myself, I tremble to look at myself, I am so poor, so miserable, and so wretched. Surely, the Lord must turn away from me with loathing and abhorrence. No: to this man will I look, saith the Lord. Yes, saith the humble soul, If I had but a contriie spirit, if I did but tremble at God's word, I might think so, I should hope so; but I can see nothing in myself why the Lord should look upon me and love me. I tremble to be found in myself. O, if the Lord had not looked on thee as he did on Peter, thou wouldst never have had such a contrite spirit, nor such a trembling heart. Jesus beholds and loves his image there. He was once a poor man as thou art. He had not where to recline his weary head, or to find comfort for his sorrowful soul, but in and from the loving breast of his dear Father. That is thy case. Instead of being a proud Pharisee, why art thou a poor sinner? Instead of making a mock at sin, why is thy heart broken for sin ? Instead of despising the Lord's word, why dost thou tremble to be found out of Christ? All, all is because the Lord looks to thee. O look, look unto him and be saved from all thy doubts and fears! Thy poverty and contrition are not condi. tions, but blessed evidences of salvation. Our Lord assures us, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.", ....Matt. y. 3.

his eyes

In whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed, with that holy Spirit of promise....Eph. i. 13.

SOME consider this sealing as the highest assurance, which but few obtain. Others, as a state of perfection in holiness, and entire freedom from the being of sin. This soine pretend to, but no one enjoys in this life. But it is plain the apostle means nothing more than what all believers in common are favored with.

Not after ye believed, but IN BELIEVING ye were sealed, says the learned Mr. Hervey. That is, as soon as ye received the truth in the love of it, ye were sealed by the Spirit as the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Consider, 1st. what is implied in being sealed. A seal is to make an impression of its contents. Sealing an instrument is making it valid, and acknowledging it as our act and deed. The heart of a believing sinner, melted by the word and Spirit of God, is the subject of this sealing. The contents of this seal is GRACE and TRUTH, which came by Jesus Christ....John i. 17. This is sealed upon the heart by the act and deed of the Holy Spirit. This impress of salvation by the grace and truth of the Son of God, is made so deep and lasting on the believing heart, that time with all its changes, sin with all its malignity, the world with all its charms and frowns, and satan with all his power and fraud can never, never efface. It will remain as the impress of the seal on the wax. It answers to the revelation of Jesus made in the word, as the impressed wax to the seal. Such a sealed heart is God's jewel. He has distinguished it as his own. It will receive no other impression but from the broad seal of heaven, salvation by the blood and righteousness of the Son of God ONLY.

Now, is this seal upon your heart? Do you reject with abhorrence every other hope? Do you believe in, look to, and trust Jesus for all your salvation? Rejoice: you are sealed. For, consider 2d. All believers ARE sealed. 1. The sealer is the Spirit of promise. He is alike promised to all the believing members of Christ. They are heirs of promise. They have fled to Jesus for refuge and laid hold of him as their hope: and nothing but consolation, yea strong consolation awaits them from the God of promise. 2. He is the Holy Spirit. By this sealing he impresses the heart with the love of Christ, of truth, and of holiness. And, 3. He hereby fulfils our Lord's prayer, for his members “sanctify them through thy truth."....John xvii. 17. Therefore, though in heaviness through manifold temptations; though in dejection from many enemies, let not go your confidence of faith. Rate not yourself an unbeliever, Think not yourself under the curse of the law. Deny not the Spirit's work. For if you believe on Jesus in your heart,“

ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.".... Eph. iv. 30.

[ocr errors]

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. Sense preyails 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 iniquity, 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 impute 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

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, Lo 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, THE EARNEST OF HIS SPIRIT. This also is the pri. vilege 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 his 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 fạith. 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 uş. 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.

Ye are sealed unto the duy 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. (, 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

“ 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. iii. 17. It is horrid blasphemy to assert, any soul may go to hell whom the Spirit has sealed with the broad seal of heaven. 2d. Are we thus sealed by the Spirit? then let our souls adeo is 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 10 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, be 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


Christ. 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... 1 Tim. vi. 12.

May the blest Spirit in my heart,

Sweetly diffuse abroad
The love of God, th' incarnate God,

Who bought me with his blood.

O, may I never once forget

What a poor worm I am :
From death and hell redeem'd by blood,

The blood of God's dear Lamb. M.

« ElőzőTovább »