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If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fel
lowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ
his Son cleanseth us from all sin.... 1 John i. 7. 1. The walk of many professors seems to speak this language, why cannot we love the world, indulge ourselves in the ways of it, and yet enjoy fellowship with God? Now we have clear notions of the doctrines of grace, of acceptance with God, and justification before him, why need we be so very precise in our conduct? As though they were desirous to walk as near as possible to the very borders of hell, and yet hope to get safe to heaven at last : such walk not in the light of truth; in the comforts of love; in fellowship with God. 1st. What is fellowship with God? It is a sweet heartfelt concord, harmony and agreement between God and our souls: a mutual communion of spirits ; a free communication from the L.ord to us, and from us to the Lord: just as two loving friends have between each other, as though but one soul possessed them both. Lord, to what a high, holy and honorable state are we miserable sinners admitted: eternal thanks to thee, O Jesu, through whom we are admitted ; and to thee, O Holy Spirit, who hast formed us for the enjoyment of this inestimable blessing. Lord grant we may prize this sweet fellowship above all things, yea above life itself; for what is life without it? 2d. How is it enjoyed? By walking in the light: God dwelleth in the light. We must walk where God is to have fellowship with him. Christ, is THE LIGHT: God is in Christ:. by faith in Christ we walk with God, and have fellowship with him. Here the Father is well pleased with us, and we with him: we communicate to him our wants: he communicates to us every rich supply out of the fulness of Christ. Christ shines in the light of truth: in every doctrine which flows from him and centers in him. Are we loved, elected, called, justified, sanctified, and preserved unto salvation? It is in HIM: we are to walk in that faith which worketh by the love of these truths, worketh love to them, and to God for them; and this faith and love is contrary to all the darkness of sin and error. Christ the light shines in every com mand of his: faith receives them: in love we obey and walk in them: but though we walk in the light yet sin dwelleth in us. What then? This need not distress us; for 3d. As sure as we have fellowship with God, “the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin." Did it cleanse us yesterday? So it will to-day, to-morrow and to the end of life. Who shall dare to set bounds to the cleansing virtue of the blood of the Son of God? No sin too great, no sinner too vile for this precious blood to cleanse. The chief of all sinners speaks from experience ; let no one despair : for we SINNERS “have bold. · ness to enter into God's presence by the blood of Jesus."....Heb. X. 19.
Return ye backsliding children, and I will heal your back
slidings....Jer. iji. 22. è BACKSLIDING is a species of apostacy from the faith ; apostacy is the high road to destruction: total apostacy will certainly end in eternal damnation ; for there can neither be repentance or hope, for such a soul. The Son of God is the only sacrifice for sin ; this he once professed to believe : but now he tramples on his precious blood, wilfully despises and rejects our Saviour; so that now he has only “a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation, which shall devour every adversary of Christ.”....Heb. x. 26. Most stricking is the picture of such drawn by Mr. Bunyan, in his Pilgrim's Progress, as a man in an iron cage who thus confesses ; “I was once a fair and flourishing professor, both in mine own eyes and the eyes of others; I was as I thought, fair for the celestial city, and had even joy at the thoughts that I should get thither; but I left off to watch and be sober; laid the reigns upon the neck of my lusts; I sinned against the light of the word and the goodness of my God; I grieved the Spirit and he is gone ; I tempted the devil and he is come to me; I provoked God to anger and he has left me; I have so hardened my heart that I cannot repent. 0, eternity! eternity! How shall I grapple with the misery I must meet with in eternity !” Lord enable me to take warning by others, and obey thy gracious words, which prevent thy childrens total apostacy from thee. Observe, Ist. The conduct of the Lord to such; he arraigns them in the former verses. Ist. Of treacher, ously departing from him, like a wife from her husband : 0, what perfidious faithless conduct! For, 2d. It brings on perverting our way before God, and 3d. This ends in forgetting the Lord our God; this is the cause of every evil. If the objects of time and sense : drive the memory of the Lord from our minds, though but an hour, how foolish do we act ! Our hearts imperceptibly backslide from the sense of his presence : but O, the love of our lord! He reminds us, Ist. Though backsliden, yet he owns us as CHILDREN, O Father thy love ever lives, though folly is in our ways. 2d. He calls in love, RETURN: may love cause us to take shame, fall down in sorrow and cry for mercy. For, 3d. He promises, “ I will heal your backslidings :" I will freely and fully pardon them all, though ever so numerous, heinous or aggravating, as though they had never been committed. 'Backsliding sinner! believe and rejoice ; see the effects of this love in the next meditation: O Lord, my God, lighten mine eyes lest I sleep the sleep of death....Psalm xiii. 3.
I've nought to plead but thy free grace,
Grant me to see thy smiling face,
Behold we come unto thee, for thou art the Lord our God....
Jer, iii, 22.
:: PETER was an awful backslider ; his crimes deserved hell ; 60 do yours and mine : both he and we, should be sent there, if love did not reign in heaven, and grace abound to sinners on earth; one look of love from Christ broke Peter's heart, made him weep bitterly, and return to a crucified Saviour earnestly. A bone broken and set, is stronger than it was before: this I am sure of, a heart broke by forgiving love, grows stronger in love. Having much for. given, we love much ; I have often thought fresh love added speed to Peter's feet, when he run to the sepulchre to see his dear, his crucified Lord....John xx. 4. See the happy effects of loving speeches and gracious words from a loving Lord. We saw the backsliding children arraigned, and their conduct condemned in our last medita-tion? What was the sentence passed on them? Was it, “ go ye cursed vile wretches, ye have gone from me in your ways, now I will be glorified in your damnation!" No: break hard heart ; melt O frozen soul; bow stubborn knee, and be as sinews of a new born babe ; for love everlasting; immutable love lives ; sovereign unmerited grace proclaims RETURN 'YE BACKSLIDING CHILDREN, (children still! () matchless grace!) AND I WILL HEAL YOUR BACKSLIDINGS. What say gracious hearts to this? Do they reply! “O this is fine doctrine!" Come let us continue to go on, to enjoy the world and sin; and delight ourselves in our happy distance from God. ()no: this is the language of hell-born, free-will pride ; if left to that so they would act; but a spark of free grace within us, catches fire from gracious words without and therefore it is, BEHOLD, see the effects of the Lord's rich grace and precious love ; like firo it melts down our hard hearts, makes us lament our base conduct: affects us with the deepest sense of sin : inspires our souls with a hope of mercy and assurance of pardon, and therefore, “we come unto thee." Here we see the actings of a holy faith in the heart ; it works by love : by the loving declarations of a gracious Father, and dear redeemer: it works love in the heart, and it works by love in returning to God; and here is the joyful claim of faith; "FOR, O precious cause! For thou art the Lord our God: was it not so? thou couldst never have borne with our vile conduct: never had a thought of mercy, nor a look of love towards us. O, let covenant love and faithfulness ever bind our hearts to thee, that we may never more depart from thee ; pervert our way before thee, or ever forget thee, O Jehovah, Father, Son and Spirit, our one God in Jesus.
When we the sacred truth believe, Our souls to him return and live, a Of God's great love in Christ, And thus, by grace, we're blest..
od aboundable heresi person
Ungodly men who turn the grace of God into lasciviousness. ....Jude 4.
FROM what the bee extracts honey, venemous insects will poison. The word of God, which is food to gracious hearts, is the sport and contempt of profane wits. An ungodly heart will convert the most wholesome truths of God's grace, into the most poisonous effects : there ever were such men: there are such at this day, who hold forth some of the most precious truths concerning the Lord Jesus, and the grace of God abounding to sinners in him, and yet with these main. tain the most damnable heresies. They are the fools who make a mock at sin.”.....Prov. xiv. 9. Personal holiness, they hold in the greatest derision: they declare their sin as Sodom; say unto the wicked it shall be well with him : tush, the Lord careth not about our walk and life: if we have lusts better gratify them than burn with them; and they swallow up every unscriptural error, in that damnable heresy, all men shall be saved at the last : one scarcely knows which to wonder at most, why such persons should preach at all, or why any who name the name of Christ can hear them: but scripture must be fulfilled; “There shall come in the last days scoffers walking after their own lusts.”....2 Pet. iii. 3. I never knew but one instance of a person who had joined himself to these vile Antinomi. ans, that escaped from their soul destroying doctrines. My soul rejoiced exceedingly, for a visit from this aged disciple of Jesus, who through his precious grace is brought back into the ways of truth and holiness. When the preacher asked him why he had left him? he honestly answerd, “ Were I to hear you now, I should be almost ready to fill my pockets with stones and stone you; for you had well nigh sent me to hell, with a lie in my right hand.” () brethren, as you love the holy Jesus, as you value your precious souls, as you prize communion with God, peace of conscience, and joy in the Holy Ghost, beware of such ungodly men; keep at the greatest distance from them; maintain the utmost abhorrence of their hellish notions: why, O why did the blessed Spirit convince us of sin, and lead us to Christ for salvation ; but that we should love God, delight in God, enjoy fellowship with God, have no more to do with the unfruitful works of darkness; but walk before him in righteousness and true holiness all the days of our life. Be assured, if your faith does not influence you to this, it is not the faith of the holy gospel, not a faith in a holy Jesus, it does not work by the love of him, but is the faith of the ungodly, whose end is destruction.... Phil. iii. 19.
Faith without love's an empty dream, Grant me, O Lord, renewing grace,
Let God be true, but every man a liar....Rom. iji. 4.
I have read of one 'who was dumb; but on seeing a violent attempt to murder his father, cried out with great vehemence, my father, when his heavenly Father's truth and faithfulness are attacked, Paul could not be mute; fired with a holy emotion of spirit, he cries out, “ let God be true. Vain arrogant man, will you dare oppose your carnal reasonings, and fallacious arguments, against the covenant purposes, faithful word, and precious promises of the Lord ? Every such man, be he ever so noble, mighty, wise and learned, is a liar : Paul's heart was too warm with zeal for the glory of his God, to pay any soft compliment to those who act under the influence of the father of lies.' The keen satire of Mr. Pope is admirably adapted to such,
Snatch from his hand the balance and the rod,
All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies. Christian, lay aside thy carnal reason ; take up thy Lord's word: exercise thy faith upon it: thou art called to be valiant for the truths of a faithful, covenant-making, and covenant-keeping God. Timid silence is criminal, when your Father's truth is arraigned, and his glory at stake. Know thou hast much within thee, and many around thee, in combination to oppose the mystery of godliness ; God manifest in the flesh, to bring salvation to miserable sinnersą and God's faithfulness engaged to make this effectual, by his sovereign grace, in spite of all the unfaithfulness of man : Mr. Carnalreason says, how can these things he ? Mr. high-thoughts exalts himself against them; Mr. free-will refuses to submit to them ; Mr. unbelief pronounces them impossible to be true; Mr. selflove declares against subjection to them; Mr. human-pride cries away with them, totally reject them; And Mr. self-righteousness cries them down as leading to licentiousness. These are all professed judges of divinity, but in reality are lying adversaries against your Lord's truth and faithfulness, and your peace, comfort and holiness: abide by what is written: oppose God's truth, to all their lying suggestions : be simple of heart. Let simple faith prevail. Feed by faith upon God's truth, and you shall prosper, while others cavil against it and grow lean. Hold fast, “ the hope of eternal life which God who cannot lie, promised (to Christ Jesus as our covenant head, and that we should enjoy it in him) before the world began."....Tit. i. 2. Thy sacred truth shall live and reign, The truth of Jesus is my joy, O God, within my heart,
The source of all my peace : In spite of boasting, lying man, lo this I'll walk, though foes annoy, . And all his treach'rous art.
'Till thou my soul release.