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even of those who belong to the Lord, go to visit Jesus in ordinances, as the disciples did at the sepulchre, and find it all true what is said of Jesus, as these did, " but Him they see not,” Luke xxiv. 24.

It was very blessedly said by one of the Lord's people, that'he found it good to give both hand and heart anew to Jesus every night and morning. And very sure it is, that the oftener this is done, the more acquainted we shall be. He that is most with Jesus, will be most like Jesus: shyness and distance will be induced by absence: the longer we stay away from court, the less inclination we shall find to go there. And if the pardon office be unvisited by us in the morning, it must be Jesu's grace, not our seeking, if we hear the love calls of Jesus in the evening. But if, on the contrary, the Holy Ghost calls up the soul to communion, so that we can and do say, with one of old, “ evening, and morning, and at noon-day will I pray, O Lord! and thou shalt hear my voice;" this will be to keep up an holy intimacy of continual refreshment. Every day and every night visit will prepare the soul for our last visit on earth, till Jesus comes to take home the soul, to be with him for ever in heaven; and the soul accus. tomed to meet Jesus now, will rejoice to meet Jesus then. There will be no shrinking back, as carnal men shrink back from death, because they know not the Lord; but long affection formed in life, will give a blessedness in death. And when the moment comes, and He whom we have long known, long loved, and long enjoyed, in the spiritual visits of grace, will then open to our ravished view, in the manifestation of his glory; and then the language of our heart will be similar to the church of old, and we shall say, “Lo! this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us. This is the Lord ! we have waited for him; we will be glad, and rejoice in his salvation.” Isaiah xxv. 9.

What saith the reader to these things? Doth he

know enough of the Lord Jesus, in a personal apprehension of Him, to form the same conclusion? Yes! “if so be he hath tasted (as the apostle expresseth it) that the Lord is gracious.” Then, like him, it will follow, “ to whom coming,” i Pet. ii. 3, 4. Coming implies freedom, acquaintance, familiarity; and coming to Jesus doth not mean one single act of faith, but many; yea, continual acts of faith, and in the most lively exercise. The Holy Ghost hath very sweetly expressed this when he saith, that our being justified by faith, and having peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ,“ we have access by faith into this grace

wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God,” Rom. v. 12. If there be a corresponding affection of the reader's heart with mine, on this subject, from the same source of grace and mercy, then will he enter into an apprehension of my meaning; and, like musical instruments, whose strings are tuned in the same key, the renewed chords of our heart will be in unison together, and vibrate to each other in the same harmony of sound. I wish to provoke the reader to this, in directing his attention to the subject, until that we both feel the constraining influence of that call to the church, and say, “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!” Psalm xxxiv. 3.

But I am now going in the visit of the evening to Jesus; how, and in what preparation of heart shall I go to Jesus? nay, there can be but one way, namely, in himself; for he hath said, “I am the way,” John xiv. 6. And it is indeed a very blessed and an approved way, when he who first quickened the soul in Jesus, leads the soul to Jesus: there can be no acting faith upon Christ, but from Christ. The life of the soul, like the life of the body, is preserved, and maintained, and kept in health from the same source, and by renewed communications from what first gave life ; for, as the body by respiration is upheld, so the soul hath her spi

ritual renewings day by day. He who saith, “I will water her every moment, lest any hurt her, no less gives breath every moment, to preserve life in the soul, lest she languish and die. Isaiah xxvii. 3. There is a beautiful analogy between nature and grace in this particular: spiritual life, like animal life, is from communications. As the life of the body, when received, is preserved by the continual supplies of air and food, so the life of the soul when quickened in Christ, lives upon Christ, who is both the spirit of life, and the bread of life; and, as Jesus himself hath said, “ he that eateth me, even he shall live by me,” John vi. 37.

Hence we read concerning the church of old, “ They did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ.” i Cor. X. 3, 4.

Is the reader conscious of these things? then will he be aware, that the only preparation for a visit to Jesus, must first come from Jesus. “ Draw me, (said the church) we will run after thee! The King hath brought me into his chambers," Song i. 4. It is truly blessed to watch and observe the gracious influences of the Spirit, in these leadings to the Lord. First, the Holy Ghost awakens a sense of want in the soul, in desires after Jesus; then, directs to the view of Jesus : next, displays the fulness and suitability in Jesus; then, convinceth the heart of the love and grace to be expected from Jesus; and, lastly, leads to an open communication with Jesus. So that, while the Holy Ghost directs the goings forth of the soul after Jesus, he is bringing home all suited supplies from Jesus; "and of his fulness do we all receive, and grace for grace.”

I am well aware, that such views are not in the creed of many modern professors; the person of Christ, and his finished salvation, are not made what God hath made them, the Alpha and Omega of all blessedness to

the church. The great mass of the people, yea, even of some among them from whom better things might have been expected, are looking for comfort more from some supposed work wrought in them, than from that complete work wrought out by the Lord Jesus for them. Their calculation of the grace in which they stand, is founded in what they feel, and not in what Christ is. Instead of living upon Christ, and resting upon Christ, as the sole cause of acceptance, they form the standard of their daily joy in what they call their experiences. Hence, like the tide, as this riseth or falleth, so do their affections ebb or flow with it. It was the mercy of God to the old testament saints, that their life in God was subject to no such changes; as they lived, so they died, in believing views of Christ, and in the enjoyment of that everlasting covenant, "ordered in all things and sure.”

And it is the mercy of God to new testament believers, that their record, which we have handed down to us, is to this assurance by the Holy Ghost. For, had their faith been founded upon the modern principles of experiences, instead of being to the church in all ages, what they now are, “a cloud of witnesses” to the truth as it is in Jesus, they would have been no other than as so many

pillars of salt,” as was the wife of Lot.

I am very willing to grant every thing that need be granted, in a secondary and subordinate sense, as effects arising from the cause, to the inward testimonies of the renewed life. They are, indeed, precious fruits of the Spirit, when the Lord the Holy Ghost giveth them to us richly to enjoy. It is blessed, yea, very blessed, when, like the church of old, we sit down in the garden of God, under Christ's shadow, “ with great delight, and his fruit is sweet to our taste.” The child of God, in such seasons, hath renewed manifestations of the Spirit's witness to his spirit, of his child-like character, and “sets to his seal that God is true.” But, while

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these enjoyments are valuable as effects, they cease to be so if at any time we make use of them as the cause, or partly cause; it is to esteem them more than fruits, if we make them part saviours ; and this we certainly do, however unintentional it may be, when we put them in the place of Christ, or when we join them with Christ, or feel more confidence therefrom in going to Christ. It is the sole honour of Christ, (and a mighty honour it is, of which the Lord cannot but be jealous) that Christ is the one, and only one cause of all blessedness to his people. “ It hath pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” Hence the church derives all from Christ, and centers all in Christ. “All my springs (said one of old) are in thee." But, if I look to Jesus through mediums and experiences, making what I feel so many mediators for access, and find confidence more or less as I feel comfort in those things, nothing can be more evident, than that I am looking to Jesus but in part; I am making the fruit of faith part saviour with the great object of faith; and, by so much, I pervert the very graces of the Holy Ghost, which are given to lead the child of God empty and bare to Christ, in using them, as in some supposed provision for acceptance with Christ; and thus I rob Jesus of his glory, and my soul of her happiness.

I hope that I explain myself on this most interesting point: it may not be considered by some, indeed, in the present day of the church, experience proves that it is not) as important as it really is. But the closer the subject is attended to, the more it ariseth in magnitude to the proof of its necessity. Let me add an observation or two more upon it.

The glorious work which the Son of God, in our nature, hath wrought, in “putting away sin by the sacri. fice of himself, was, and is solely his own act. It is expressly said, that “ of the people there was none with him”-" His own arm brought salvation unto him.”

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