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the poor, the forsaken, the withered, the hait, and the blind and lame of the Lord's chosen, do experience in the person, righteousness, mediation, intercession, death, resurrection, glorification and salvation of Jesus, a refuge from the storm, and a covert from the tempest, they do find the Lord, at times particularly, to be all in all to them;—a shepherd to feed them—a husband that loves them-a friend to sympathize with them—a staff to support them-a cordial to revive them-a king to reign over them and on them-and a priest to atone for them. Yea! they found Jesus to be to them a faithful and covenant-keeping God, one who is touched with the feeling of their infirmities, who comforts them in times of sorrow, and who alone can succour, bless and deliver them when called to pass through many waters, to taste the bitter ones, and fear they shall sink when called to pass through deep ones. When the Lord's tried children think of their misgivings, of their manifold rebellions, and of their daily infirmities, surely it is enough, for a season, to cause the strongest in faith to stagger and give way to momentary doubt.
Shock'd at the sight, we instant cry,
Can ever God dwell here?" In times like these, how important then, must Christ appear as a refuge for our souls! When internal sins press us down to the earth like Pharaoh's chariots and horsemen did the Israelites in the wilderness, what should we do without this blessed refuge? When our grounds of comforts and consolations fail, where can we find support but in this glorious refuge? when our way is hedged up, our path thorny, and our friends fail, where can we find deliverance but in this all wise and all sufficient refuge? Yea, when innumerable evils compass our souls and bodies, when sins, like cruel monsters, seem ready to devour us, when the curses of God's righteous law dart through our consciences and souls, like lightning through the clouds, with awful and terrific forms, O where can we find, but in this Almighty refuge, an anchor from the dreadful storm, or a covert from the raging tempest?“ O Lord, thou has been our hiding-place through all generations."
There are times indeed when this resuge will seem to fail the believers, when his sensible presence is withdrawn, when the lips in prayer and praise are closed, when the ears become deaf, and when the soul becomes barren, or when faith (to sense and feeling) appears sunk into the dust of nature's working, suggestions, devices, and carnalilies. Still it is our mercy to know this refuge can never in reality fail : Jesus is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever; he will ju his own time bring us up out of the pit of our sins, and from the miry clay of our murmurings, despondencies, carnal reasonings, and misgivings. It is our mercy to know the love of Jesus knows no change, the power of Jesus no weakness, the righteousness of Jesus no imperfection, the intercession of Jesus no failure, and the salvation of Jesus no condition. All is freely given to us by the Father in and through his dear Son. All was and is secured to us in him, and every condition he filled for us in our room and stead; therefore we are blessed in him with all spiritual blessings : moreover, all that is necessary for salvation is brought home to us, and wrought in us in a time-state by the almighty operation of God Almighty, the eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent Spirit. We are regenerated by the Spirit-we are led to repentance by the Spirit-we are led froin the law to Christ by the Spirit-we are brought to full assurance of faith by the Spirit, and to rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh. Yea, without the Spirit, nothing spiritual can be performed un us, nor in us, nor by us : He alone is the Almighty Teacher of his people, and he alone is the Almighty Testifier of Jesus. In fact, the believer has a threefold refuge ; the Father to uphold him, the son to redeem him, and the Spirit to instruct, regenerate, and comfort him ; for the Lord Jesus is as much in the Father, as he is in the Spirit; and the Spirit and the Father are as much in the Son, as the sun is in both the Father and the Spirit: for we cannot possess any one Person in the blessed and glorious Trinity without possessing the whole Three in One ; for he that hath the Son hath the Father also, and he who hath the Father and the Son hath the Spirit also. O then, ye oppressed of the Lord, ye forsaken and despised ministers and people of Jesus, what a privilege do ye possess in have ing such a refuge provided for ye against every enemy, evil, and af. fiction in this glorious and undivided Jehovah! Israel's Triune and yet One Jehovah ! For, “ Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord,” and in this one Lord there are three persons that bear record in heaven to the truth as it is in Jesus ; that Jesus is by eternal generation the Son of the Father-that Jesus is in all respects equal to the Father as touching his Godhead-and that he has put away all the sins of his people, has brought in and wrought out an everlasting salvation for them, and ever “ liveth to make intercession for them.”
0! the inestimable value of this refuge, when the fig tree does not blossom! When the hands of God are crossed to our view ! when famine seizeth the soul, yea, when even the desire of the soul faileth, in a way of prayer, praise and dependence; or when even dead to feeling, sense and sight! Then, even then, though wearied, dejected, and exhausted, we are brought at length to testify that Jesus is a refuge for his people in times of trouble; inasmuch, as at length, the Lord revives our spirits-strengthens our faith, and rejoices our soul ! Come Lord Jesus, come quickly, and take us from this vale of tears -this scene of suffering and woe—this sea of calamity- this body of sin and death-this conflict and bewilderment concerning the path we are to take, whether to go on, turn back, or stand still in the work, whereunto thou hast called us by thy grace.
Lord ! make our way plain, decide the doubtful point, and be to our soul a refuge in times of trouble.
SELECT SENTENCES OF EMINENT DIVINES.
No I. If all the world had no other business to do, than to satisfy a man who has not God for his portion, they could not be able to do it. Several of the Roman emperors are instances of this; who though they could have every thing they could wish for or desire, were never satisfied.-Venn.
Most people wish to go to heaven; but many wish it, only to avoid hell: for if a worldly man was too choose, whether he would go to heaven, or eternally enjoy the world, he would choose the latter : for his heart and mind being earthly and sensual, his soul is quite out of taste with heaven and heavenly things. This is it that makes him so tired under ordinances, and makes religion seem so dry and insipid to him, and a religious life mopish and burdensome.- Ashburner.
It is to the children of God you are obliged for the support of the world; they as it were bear up the pillars of it: and that moment God has called in his last elect, the world will be burnt up. That sweet text of scripture, Gen. xix. 22. has often cheered and supported my soul,-“ When Lot lingered, the angel took hold of his hand, and the hand of his wife, and the band of his two daughters, and brought them out of the city,” for (it is there said) “I cannot do any thing till thou become thither” (that is, till he had got into Zoar) and when he had got safe into Zoar, God rained hell out of heaven upon
Sin roars aloud against the sinner for vengeance, but the blood of Christ drowns its voice. Sin cries, “ Kill him, curse him, damn him;" but the blood of Christ cries, “ Spare him, save him, deliver him-I have found a ransom.'
I had rather be a low living shrub, than a tall, dead cedar, in the house of God.-M. Wilks.
The things of time and sense appear great to the men of the world, because their views are wholly confined to them.
When we trust in frames and feelings; as soon as they are gone, the soul is discouraged and dejected : but when we trust in God's promises, which are always the same, then it is we are right; and a sense of God's unchangeable love towards us, proceeding from such trust, fires our souls with a continual love towards him.
Good works are the effect, not the cause of God's love.
To those who do not rise from the grave of sin here, it will be a dreadful resurrection from the grave of death hereafter.
breath,” throughout the scriptures, is meant the Holy Spirit;' and by “ light,” is meant Chrisi.
The Holy Spirit does not reveal God to us as he is in bimself, but as he stands related to us.
Christ is our law-fulfilling righteousness, and our sin-atuning Saviour.
We should keep looking to Christ till the burden falls off our back. -Romaine.
Christ's blood satisfies the law of God, and the justice of God: should it not then satisfy the sinner's guilty conscience ?
The believer's sins are Christ's ; and Christ's righteousness is his. See 2 Cor. v. 21.
Suppose a man was indebted to another fifty pounds, and a commission of bankruptcy was at hand; if a person was to pay the fifty pounds for him, the man's creditor can't demand it again-so Christ has paid the believer's debts, to the utmost farthing.
When a person has a seared hand, you may hit it as long and as hard as you can, and he'll never feel it, it will not give him the least pain ; but if a man has a sore hand, and you but touch it, it will hurt him : so it is with men's consciences-A wicked man will commit many and great sins, and see no harm therein : but a christian whose conscience is tender, having been given, in some measure to see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and how extremely God hates it, is alarmed at the least temptation I love to see tender consciences.
When the sun melts the snow upon a dunghill, the water (which is the purest) being distilled through so much filth, comes out dirty and filthy; so it is with me, who, in the very doing of a good action, make it a bad one.
Many people talk about having strong corruptions—Why, if I have a strong corruption, I have got a strong Christ to conquer it, and then it is a weak corruption.-See Gen. xviii. 14. Phil. iv. 13.-I fill.
There is not a step a christian takes towards heaven, but the world, the flesh, or the devil, dispute it with him.-White.
Whatever we are doing, or wherever we are going, time is still advancing; and we are hastening, as fast as it can carry us, either to heaven or to hell.-Eade.
When a Christian sleeps in the lap of that Delilah, sin, it takes much of his spiritual strength away, and grieves the Holy Spirit.
Walking loosely, makes us either totally neglect ordinances, or not go to them with a relish.Griffiths.
God's promises were not made merely for us to read and hear, but also to plead.
Those blessings which are bestowed without prayer, are generally received without praise.
We should dig deep into every verse of the Bible, to find the pearl of great price.
When our hearts go wandering from Christ, either the devil or the world soon get hold of them
Christ is the physician of his people; he feels their pulse every moment ; and, as he sees fit, administers cordials or bitter potions: his infinite wisdom sees, that sometimes they need the one, and sometimes the other.
Suppose there was a poor man, who was very ill; and a physician kindly gave him his advice, and medicines gratis ? would he not take even the most nauscous 'draughts with unthankfulness - that we could act thus to that kind Physician who acts thus to us! and who never administers a potion, but with the utmost reason and propriety.
None but God can show us what we are : and none but God can show us what he would have us be.
Sin is of an intoxicating nature ; and those who go to hell, always go there spiritually drunk.
The self-righteous do not go to hell in the broad way, but go round a private, and slip in a back way.-Berridge.
We must cut off right hands, and pluck out right eyes, if God commands it: we must part with our Delilah's, and our Isaacs too, if God requires them.
The reason why, after backsliding, we are not given up to hardness of heart is, because God's love is unchangeable. See Mal. iii. 16. -Foster.
When the sun shines into a dark room, it makes the object therein manifest; so when Christ shines into the sinner's heart, he then sees the corruption thereof: and as the natural sun, by shining more clearly, makes objects more visible ; so the brighter Christ shines into the heart, the more discernable is the evil of it.-Joss.
The only distinguishing mark of Noah from the rest of the antediluvian world was, that he “ found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Gen. vi. 8. It was grace, and grace only, that made the difference between him and them.
Noah's family were saved with a temporal salvation, on his account; (Gen. vi. 13. viii. 18. compare this remark with that in v. 19. " It is to the children of God,” &c.) so are the wicked indebted to the righteous for many temporal blessings, and it is owing to them alone that the world exists ; for when the last elect is called in, the heavens will be rolled together as a scroll, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; the sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood. As salt preserves from putrefaction, so do the godly keep the world from putrifying.–Agreeably to this, our Saviour calls them “ the salt of the earth." .
SELECT APHORISMS FROM ARCHBISHOP LEIGHTON. The grace of God in the heart of man is a tender plant in a strange unkindly soil; and therefore cannot well prosper and grow without the care of the Skilful Hand.
It is the shame and misery of man, that he hath departed from obedience, and that we are now become the sons of disobedience.
The Spirit of God draws a man out of the world, by a sanctified light sent into his mind.
It is one of the falsest, and yet one of the most common prejudices that the world hath always entertained against true religion, that it is any enemy to civil power and government.