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dience, but of Christ's atonement, and as such cannot be broken ; so, the enjoyment of that peace of God, which passeth all understanding, and which is the work of the Spirit in our hearts; can only be maintained by constant prayer; by delighting in the study of God's word; by watching against the workings of indwelling sin ; by walking closely with God in all holy obedience; and by a daily application through faith, to the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness.
Every approach to lukewarmness is destructive to our peace. To keep the heart under a lively sense of the love of God, we must never put our sins between our souls and the Saviour. This will only obscure his grace and bring distress upon our minds. We must look at them as laid upon Christ when he hung upon the cross. Oh! that nothing, no, not a finger may be placed between Jesus and my soul, lest it obstruct my view of his full and free redemption.
Many look at their sins instead of their Saviour ; or at their sins as lying between them and their Saviour, and so are discouraged by false fear from coming to him. But this is a device of Satan. We must remember that Christ was made a curse for us, when he hung upon the cross; that he there made a full atonement for all the sins of all his believing people ; for thus saith the apostle : “ he gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity :” “having forgiven you all trespasses.”
O! blessed revelation of grace and mercy! This apprehension of Christ and his all-sufficient merits will banish every doubt and fear; prevent that hateful lukewarmness which is the very bane of godliness; and cause our hearts to burn with holy love, and to overflow in grateful praise.
O heavenly Father! be thou graciously pleased
to preserve my soul from this evil of lukewarmness; and from every approach to spiritual indifference and declension. Let the sacred fire of love ever burn upon the altar of my heart. Keep me humble and active ; zealous and self-denying ; till called to thy courts above, where all thy servants shall serve thee with ever-growing delight through the countless ages of eternity
Ye saints, who taste the holy joys,
Behold, the millions bound with sin,
Arouse, ye torpid saints, and bend
Come, join that little holy band,
Pour out your consecrated store;
XLVII. ON FORGETFULNESS OF GOD. How awful is the declaration of the royal Psalmist : “the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”
Sin is a dreadful evil under whatever guise it may appear; whether in the loose attire of dissipation, in the brazen armour of prophaneness, in the fringed garment of pharisaical pride, or in the rough clothing of sanctimonious austerity. Sin is an infinite evil, whose extent cannot be measured: its malignant nature may be ascertained by the poisonous fruits which it daily produces in the world, and by those tremendous denunciations of wrath, which are revealed against it in the word of God.
But would we learn, what an evil and bitter thing sin really is, we must go to Mount Calvary, and there contemplate the amazing price which Jesus, the eternal Son of God, paid to Infinite Justice for our redemption, when he himself became the Highpriest—the victim and the altar.
O blessed Saviour ! give me faith to behold this great sight with a broken, believing, grateful heart.
Enable me to look unto thee and live; yea, to take shelter in thee as in a rock of safety : and whilst like Moses, I stand in the cleft of the rock, may I view by faith all thy goodness pass before me, and hear thy gracious name proclaimed in accents of love.
The wicked and all who forget God shall be turned into hell. What a large portion of mankind does this embrace. Awfully tremendous thought ! The profligate and the comparatively amiable and moral who forget God, are here classed together.
The Scripture meaning of the term forget, is not a total failure of the recollection respecting the being of a God--but a practical disregard of his presence and authority; it is living without God in the world;
acting as if he either saw not, or heeded not, the conduct of his moral creatures.
Those who now forget his omniscience, shall ere long be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power.
All his perfections, his slighted mercies, his violated laws, and his abused Gospel shall be eternally glorified in their destruction.
O! my soul! flee to the mountain, escape for thy life, tarry not in all the plain, look not behind thee, linger not, lest thou be consumed.
How happy are they who love to meditate upon God, and to whom the Lord manifests his mercy. “ A book of remembrance is kept before him of them that think upon his name.” “ They shall be mine, saith the Lord, in that day when I make up my jewels.”
Believers are the Lord's jewels, they are precious in his sight; they are his peculiar treasure, being the purchase of his own most precious blood. They delight themselves in the Lord, in his perfections, promises, commands and ordinances, and are filled with the abundance of peace.
O! that I may have an increasing evidence of my interest in Jesus, by thus delighting in him, and loving him above every created good.
If forgetfulness of God be so heinous a sin, as in the very nature of things it must be; then how important it is to have right views and feelings respecting our obligations to our Almighty Creator, Preserver, and Redeemer.
The divine command; “Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth,” forms the basis of happiness. But the divine lamentation ; “ My people have forgotten me days without number," proves us to be children of the fall.
Every thing in religion depends upon the right state of the heart. If the mainspring be wrong, the whole movement of the machine must be in disorder. In Scripture we find, how great a stress is laid by him who looketh at the heart, on the inward principle. The motive must be pure, or the work is hateful in his sight. Faith working by love, is the Gospel spring of action. This is beautifully set forth by St. Paul, in the eleventh chapter to the Hebrews, where he produces the most interesting witnesses to the power and efficacy of faith.
Though millions of wretched sinners forget God, in the midst of their pleasures and pursuits; yet in every age, he has had a people to shew forth his praise. God never left himself without witness. The Apostle speaks of them as “a great cloud of witnesses ;* and in the heavenly world, St. John, when wrapt in sacred vision, beheld a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and palms in their hands.
That unconverted persons should habitually live in a forgetfulness of the Saviour, is not marvellous. They have no love to Jesus, and therefore their thoughts never dwell upon him. But that his people should so much forget him; that they should live so little under the abiding influence of his presence; that they should be so carried away with the trifles of time, to the sinful neglect of eternity; is truly painful. Nothing can more fully testify to the power of that sin which dwelleth in us; or prove more forcibly the continual necessity for watchfulness and prayer; than this criminal forgetfulness of our Almighty Friend and Saviour.
The best preservation against the evil of forgetfulness, is a heart-felt compliance with the Redeem