Numbers 6:22-27

“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, speak unto Aaron, and unto his sons, saying, on this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, the Lord bless thee, and keep thee. The Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel, and i will bless them.”—Numb. vi. 22—27.

Pause, my soul, and in these sweet words behold thine almighty Aaron, even Jesus, in his everlasting priesthood, day by day, thus blessing his people. Observe, the blessing in the name of the Lord Jehovah is thrice pronounced, as if to teach the plurality of Persons in the Godhead. And observe also, after this blessing thrice pronounced, Jehovah, as if to intimate the unity of the divine essence, declares, I will bless them. My soul, mark each. The first may be considered as the personal blessing of God the Father, whose gracious office it is in the work of redemption to bless and keep his people. The second is the peculiar mercy of Jesus, whose face is always upon his people, and his grace their portion. And the third is the work of God the Holy Ghost, when his blessed influences are shed abroad upon the soul, in the light of his divine countenance. And, my soul, observe further, how personally this blessing from the Holy Three in One is, to each individual; it is to thee, even to thee. And, my soul, do not forget nor overlook this vast privilege in the blessing: Aaron, the great high priest of the church, could only pray for the people that these mercies might be upon them; but thy great High Priest, the Lord Jesus, confirms them. His language is, Father, I will. And God having raised up his Son Jesus, hath sent him to bless us. Here then, blessed, precious Jesus, thou great High Priest of my soul! close the day, every day, close the year, close my life, whenever thou shalt be pleased to call me home, in thus blessing me. Lord, put thy name upon me, and upon all thy church and people, and we shall be most blessed indeed, in life, in death, and for evermore. Amen. Hallelujah: Amen.

1 Samuel 7:12

“Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mispeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, hitherto hath the Lord helped us.”—1 Sam. vii. 12

Did Samuel do this? Was that servant of the Lord, who lived not to see Christ in the flesh, so full of faith in the coming Saviour, and in the experience of Jehovah’s faithfulness in what was past, that he set up his Ebenezer? Surely, my soul, thou wilt blush to be outdone by the prophet, when thou hast not only seen the day of the Son of man completed, but felt his power. Oh my soul, let thine Ebenezer be Jesus! Let the stone thou settest up, be indeed the Rock of Ages. Yes, my soul, set up Jesus indeed, in all places, at all times, upon all occasions. And Oh Lord, do thou by thy blessed Spirit set up thyself in my heart, and enthrone thyself there, and reign and rule there forever. Surely, my soul, Jesus is thine every-day Ebenezer; for he not only hath hitherto helped, but lie doth help, and will help, and be himself thine help, thy God, thy Portion, thy Jesus, for evermore.

Joshua 23:14

“Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you.”—Joshua xxiii. 14.

Say, my soul, in looking back the past year, canst thou set thy seal to this truth? Is there a promise which thy God hath not fulfilled? Is there an instance in which God hath forfeited his word? Canst thou point to the time, or place, in any one trial, or under any one affliction, in which thou hast not found God faithful? Give then the Lord the honour due unto his name. If not one thing hath failed, proclaim his glory, set forth his praise, declare his truth, let the father to the children make known that God is faithful. And Oh let thine heart bear testimony to what must be said of all his Israel, in all ages, “What hath God wrought.”

Deuteronomy 11:12

“The eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year. “—Deut. xi. 12.

Oh for grace, to live always under an abiding sense of this most blessed truth. My soul, never forget it, if possible, but always possess in recollection an abiding apprehension of Jesus’s gracious presence. And do thou, dearest Lord, when thou art coming forth in mercies, give me grace to. be going forth to meet thee with praises: and while thou art bartering thy riches for my poverty, let all thy bounties be doubly sweetened in coming from thine own hand, and being sanctified by thy blessing, that I may receive all to my soul’s joy, and to the praise of the Father’s grace in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Isaiah 54:10

“For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed: but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord, that hath mercy on thee.”—Isaiah liv. 10.

What a rest is here for a poor redeemed sinner to stand firm upon, in time, and to all eternity! Well may lie cry out concerning Jesus, and his great salvation in him, “He is a rock, and his work is perfect.” Yes, yes, thou Lord God of my salvation: thou art my dwelling-place in all generations. My soul, look all around thee, look within thee, look everywhere about thee. Search, behold, examine diligently, what else will or can afford thee any security. And think what a dying world it is in which thou art dwelling, or rather travelling through. What friend, what brother, what child, what relation, can give thee help of soul, or even of body, when thou most shalt need it? Think what a day, a week, an hour, may bring forth! Amidst all these changes, is Jesus thine? Doth he tell thee, “that though mountains depart, and hills be removed, his salvation and the Father’s covenant of peace is the same?” Shout, shout, my soul, and begin the song, which in a dying hour will only swell louder, “Salvation to God and the Lamb!”

2 Timothy 2:8

“Jesus Christ of the seed of David.”—2 Tim. ii. 8.

Sweet thought! Jesus will have regard to both sexes in his incarnation. He will be of the seed of the woman. He will be also truly and properly man. As both the man and woman had sinned, so redemption shall be for both. But in the holy nature, in which as Redeemer he will come, he will partake of none of their sins. The man shall have no hand in his generation. And the womb of the woman shall be but the deposit of that holy thing so called, (Luke i. 35.) by the miraculous conception of the Holy Ghost. So that the body which God the Father prepared him, belonged to both, but was unconnected with either. He must be truly man; for the law had said, “Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy unto the Lord.” He must be a priest; and no woman could minister in that office. He must be a prophet; and no woman could exercise that province, for it is not permitted for a woman to speak in the church. He must be a king; and the kingly office belongeth not to the weaker vessel. But both sexes shall be equally at the same time concerned in the blessed event of his incarnation. The woman is saved in the child-bearing of this Redeemer, and the man brought into favour and reconciliation; “for as by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” So that, as the apostle strongly and satisfactorily concludes, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, but ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

John 1:14

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." - John i. 14.

Turn aside, my soul, this day, from every vain and worldly thought, as Moses did at the bush, and behold by faith the accomplishment of what he then saw in type and figure, of this great sight which the Lord hath made known unto thee. The Word, the uncreated Word, even the eternal Son of God, taking upon him the nature of man, and uniting both in one Person, that by the union he might be a suitable Saviour for his people. As God, he was mighty to save, and fully competent to the wonderful act. As man; he was a suitable Saviour, for the right of redemption belonged to him. And as both, he, and he alone, could become a proper Mediator, to reconcile and bring together God and man, which by sin were at variance. This was the glorious news angels posted down from heaven to proclaim. This was the song of heaven, for which they sung "glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men." My soul, canst thou join in the song? Yes, if so be thou hast received Christ in those glorious characters; if, as for this divine purpose he was born in our streets, he is born in thy heart also, and formed there the hope of glory. Oh it is a blessed thing to have true scriptural views of the Lord Jesus, and so to receive him, as Jehovah hath sent him forth, the Christ of God. Amen.

Luke 2:8

“Shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.”— Luke ii. 8.

My soul, think what a memorable night was that, which ushered in the wondrous day, the most momentous ever marked in the annals of time, since reckoning of days or years was made. The unconscious shepherds in the fields had no other thought but of their flock. But what a morning did the angels call them to celebrate! Now, my, soul, sit down and take a leisurely survey, of the wonderful story of Jesus’s birth. Mark the several volumes in it; for a night, yea, for a whole eternity must end before the subject of God incarnate can be exhausted in the meditation. Let thy evening thoughts on this, be followed by the night contemplation; and let thy midnight only be broken in upon, by the same call that the heavenly host gave to the shepherds. Arise but to sing as they sang, and to go in quest of Jesus, as they went. God and mall in one person, one Christ; and God in Christ coming for the purposes of salvation, will furnish out an hymn, which, though begun in life, will never end in eternity; “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will towards men!”

Psalm 40:7

“Lo, I come.”—Ps. xl. 7.

What a longing had old testament saints for the Lord Jesus’s coming! And what an earnest wish and prayer it is among new testament believers, for Jesus’s coming by the visits of his grace, and the sweet influences of his Holy Spirit, from day to day! My soul, methinks I would realize by faith this day, even this very day, these words of thy Redeemer, as if he were now standing at the door of thine heart, and asking for admission. And shall I not say, under this sweet impression, “Come in, thou blessed of the Lord, wherefore standest thou without?” Oh blessed Jesus, when I consider the many precious instances of thy coming, set up from everlasting in thy goings forth for the salvation of thy chosen, thy anticipation, in thy visits before the season of thy tabernacling in our flesh; thy visits to the patriarchs and prophets; thy manifestation openly to the people; thy secret, sweet, and inexpressibly gracious visits now, and thy promised return in the clouds at the final consummation of all things; Oh Lamb of God, dost thou say, “Lo, I come?” Oh for the earnestness of faith, in all her devout longings, to cry out with the church of old, and say, “Make haste, my Beloved, and come! Oh come quickly, Lord Jesus!”

Ephesians 1:9

“Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself.”—Eph. i. 9.

My soul, pause over these volumes of divine truth for they are not as so many simple words, but contain vast volumes indeed, and such as a whole eternity will not afford space to read over and finish. The first is a large one indeed—even the mystery of God’s will namely, the mystery of redemption, originating in the divine mind, before all worlds. And this is not the smallest part of it, that it should be made known in any degree or measure to thee, my soul, a poor creature of a day, and that day, a day of nothing but sin. The second volume in this vast subject is another precious part of the same glorious truth; namely, that this mercy of God in Christ is the sole result of God’s good pleasure. No foresight, no merit, no pretensions of thine, my soul; no, nor the merits of arch-angels, becoming in the least the cause. For though a gracious God hath taken occasion to make a glorious display of the depths of his grace, from the depths of man’s ruin; yet it was not our state, but his good pleasure, which laid the foundation of our recovery by Jesus Christ. And the third volume in this stupendous subject is, that he that planned, executed and finished it. As none but infinite wisdom could purpose, so none but infinite power could accomplish. Pause, my soul, and contemplate the vast mercy! It comes from God in Christ, as the first cause; and reverts back again to God in Christ, as the final end. Hallelujah.

Psalm 69:4

“Then I restored that which I took not away.”—Psalm lxix. 4.

Whose words are these? They can be none but the words of Jesus; for none ever made restoration but he; and none but he could say, I took nothing away. And what was taken away? God’s glory was taken away by sin; and consequently, man’s happiness also. For when Adam sinned, he robbed God of his glory, and robbed himself and all his posterity of God’s image, and with it all happiness. Nay, my soul, thou hast done the same, in every renewed act of disobedience. And in breaking the divine law thou hast justly lost the divine favour. And hath Jesus, all precious Jesus, restored all these? Yes, blessings on his name, he hath! And what renders it ten-fold more gracious, he hath so done it as never to be lost any more. By his finished work of salvation he hath restored to God his glory. And by his obedience and death, as our Surety, he hath restored to man his happiness. The favour of God we lost by sin; Jesus hath restored it, by justifying us in his righteousness. The image of God we lost by rebellion; Jesus hath restored to us this image, in sanctifying us by his holiness. So that every way, and in all things, Jesus hath made up the breach; and the poor sinner who is led by grace to believe in Jesus, stands more complete and secure now; than before the fall. For if Adam had never sinned, nor his children in him, yet, after all, their righteousness before God would have been but the righteousness of creatures. Whereas now, in Jesus, the believer stands accepted and secured in the righteousness of the Creator. Hail, then, thou Almighty Restorer of our fallen nature! In thee, Lord, would my poor soul triumphantly say, “have I righteousness and strength; even to thee shall men come; and all that believe in thee shall never be ashamed nor confounded, world without end.”

1 John 1:7

“The blood of Jesus Christ his Son, cleanseth us from all sin.”—1 John i. 7.

My soul, sit down for a while, by this crimson fountain, and duly ponder over this glorious property of thy Redeemer’s blood. Oh the sovereign efficacy of it! For it not only cleanseth sin, but all sin: not only other’s sins, but our sins: not only the present evil of sin, but the everlasting evil of it: not only now, but forever. It cleanseth from all sin. Pause, my soul. Is there any other laver to wash away sin; can prayers, or tears, or repentance, or ordinances, or communions, or duties, or alms? Oh no. We must say of every thing, and of all things, out of Christ, and void of Christ, as Job did concerning his friends, “Miserable comforters are ye all; physicians of no value.” Here then, my soul, seek thy cleansing, and here only. And while to this fountain thou art daily brought by the Holy Ghost, look up and behold the whole assembly of the redeemed above, who are now standing around the throne, owing their bliss and their cleansing to the same source. Listen to their songs of joy, and catch the notes, to sing even now the same song of rejoicing. “They have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” And therefore it is, and for no other cause, that they are now before the throne, and serve the Lord in his temple day and night.

1 Corinthians 1:9

“God is faithful by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”—1 Cor. i. 9.

Think, my soul, what a dignity believers in Jesus are called unto, when brought into a nearness of communion with their glorious head, in any exercise of trial or affliction for his sake. God is. faithful in the appointment. How? In that it proves God’s fulfilment of his covenant promises, when Jesus and his members are considered by him as one. God is faithful in manifesting this oneness and fellowship, in making the members conformable to their glorious head, by trials or sufferings. God is faithful in sending the affliction. And God manifests his faithfulness in guiding through it, and supporting under it. The trial itself, be it what it may, is a discovery of the covenant love and faithfulness of Jehovah. Nay, God would not have manifested his faithfulness to a believer without it. What a sweet consoling thought this is to the afflicted exercised followers of the Lamb under their trials! My soul, do thou look at the subject, and learn from it to consider all tribulations in this view; and what a blessedness will pour in upon thee from so doing. Hath the Lord called thee to exercises? Hath the progress of them led thee more to Jesus? Hath the issue of them tended to endear Jesus?—Oh then, proclaim God’s faithfulness. I know, Lord, said one of old under trials, “that thy judgments are right, and that thou in very faithfulness hast afflicted me.” Precious Jesus, what a dignified path is tribulation, when we are enabled to see thy footsteps going before marked with blood.

Ephesians 2:18

“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”—Eph. ii. 18.

Who would have thought that so short a verse should contain so much sweetness? And who would have conceived that in it the gracious offices of all the Persons of the Godhead, as they are mercifully exercised towards a poor sinner; are described? Is not the access to a throne of grace the work, the leading of God the Holy Ghost? Surely, he is the Spirit here spoken of. And through whom can a poor sinner have access to the mercy-seat but in him, and by him, and through him, whom the Father heareth always? And of whom should the regenerated, adopted child of God have access, but unto his God and Father in Christ Jesus? Are then all the glorious persons of the Godhead thus revealed, as engaged in every poor sinner’s approach to the heavenly throne? Oh for grace to give to each, and to all, the praise, and glory, and love, due to such transcendent mercy; and in a conscious sense of being interested in this great salvation, to cry out with the apostle: “Now thanks be unto God, who always causeth us to triumph in Christ.”

Revelation 1:17, 18

“Fear not: I have the keys of hell and of death.”—Rev. i. 17, 18.

Is it Jesus, all precious, all lovely, all powerful Jesus, that saith this? He who hath redeemed my soul from hell, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling? And hath Jesus, my Husband, my Brother, my Redeemer, the keys both of hell and of death? Why then it is impossible for any to open death’s door one moment before that he gives the appointment. And doth he command me to fear not? Oh then, my soul, dismiss all anxiety about thy departure. Thy time is in Jesus’s hands; the keys are hanging at thy Redeemer’s girdle. Never fear, neither to die as thou hast lived, and art living, in a believing frame in Jesus. This is as much suited to a dying time, as it is to a living time; for with this thou mayest go out of the world, as safe as living in it. “To live is Christ, and to die is gain.” God’s covenant love, and God’s covenant promises in Jesus, are the same. They are, both in death and life, fixed and sure. When Jesus therefore comes, when the Master calls for thee, wilt thou feel reluctant? What, reluctant to go to Jesus? Is this thy love, thy kindness to thy friend? Forbid it, dearest Lord! No, my precious, blessed Jesus, open the gate of death to me when thou pleasest, where thou pleasest, and how thou pleasest. Sure I am thou wilt be present, and that is enough for me; and when the ground of all sensible comforts is sinking under me, Oh for a vigorous effort of faith communicated by thee, that I may drop the body, and leap at once into thy arms, with the last cry of faith, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit, for thou hast redeemed me, Oh Lord, thou God of truth.”

Proverbs 11:15

“He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretyship is sure,”—Prov. xi. 15.

Blessed Jesus, well is it for me that thou didst not hate to become a Surety; for hadst thou so done, and refused the vast undertaking, I must have perished forever. And hadst thou consented to have become a Surety only for friends, and those only that loved thee, still here again I should have been lost: but when thou condescendedst to become Surety for me, Oh Lord, it was not simply for a stranger, but for a rebel, a hater and despiser of thee, and of try great salvation. Oh the love of God that passeth knowledge! And how, blessed Jesus, didst thou indeed smart, and wert crushed and broken, when for my dreadful debt of sin, which surpassed all the angels of light to pay, it pleased the Father to bruise thee, and to put thee to grief. Oh matchless love of a most compassionate Saviour! Me. thinks I still see thee taking my place under the angry eye of God’s broken law. Methinks I see thee striking my worthless name out of the bond of the covenant of the law of works, and putting thine own in. Methinks I still hear thee, like another Judah, who in this was evidently try type, saying to God and the Father, “I will be Surety for him: at my hands thou shalt require him.” Oh Lamb of God! I bless thee as my Surety. I acknowledge thee as my glorious Sponsor. I was a stranger, indeed, and thou hast owned me, and brought me home. I was in debt and insolvent, and thou hast cancelled the whole in the blood of try cross. “I was naked, and thou hast clothed me; sick, and in prison, and thou hast visited, healed me, and brought me out.” I was lost, and thou hast redeemed and saved me. “Oh what shall I render unto the Lord for all the benefits he hath done unto me? Bless the Lord, Oh my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”

Romans 5:3

"Knowing that tribulation worketh patience." - Rom. v. 3.

Have former trials been blessed to thee, my soul? Why then depend upon it, this, be it what it may, will be also. The covenant love and faithfulness of God in Christ are both the same now, as they ever were. If the Lord hath hitherto been making all things work together for good, so will he now. Only pause and consider why it must be so. Thy God is the same God as ever is he not? And his love to thee the same, because it is in Jesus; his covenant the same, his promises the same; the blood and righteousness of the Lord Jesus in efficacy the same. Well then, as all the perfections of God are engaged for God's people, certain it is, that no trial to his people can arise which he knew not, nay, which he appointed not, and for which he hath not made a suitable provision. Well then, what trouble of thine can be so great, as to counteract and overcome divine strength? What burden so heavy that Jesus cannot bear? What afflictions so painful that Jesus cannot soften? What grief so scorching as to dry up the streams of God's love? Hear then his words: "In your patience possess ye your souls." My soul, rest in this. Let past experience bring thee present confidence. See that all the fresh springs of patience flow from Jesus. Wait patiently for the Lord, by believing in him; and, depend upon it, thy present tribulation, of what sort or kind so ever it is, will terminate, like every former, in bringing glory to God and comfort to thy soul.

Psalm 106:8

"Nevertheless, he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known." - Psalm cvi. 8.

Pause, my soul, over this verse, and observe how thy gracious God took occasion, from the misery of Israel, and even from their unworthiness, to magnify the riches of his grace. Israel had highly sinned: they had provoked the Lord; and their provocations were aggravated, from the spot where they were committed, for it was at the sea, even at the Red Sea, that memorable sea where the Lord had made a path for their deliverance. And wherefore, then, did he save them? Wherefore did not the Lord drown them in the depths of the sea, for their unbelief and hardness of heart? This sweet scripture gives the reason. "He saved them for his name's sake." His name was engaged in covenant promises, and his glory was magnified in making good his engagements, notwithstanding all their undeservings. And what saith this doctrine to thee, my soul? There is a nevertheless with thee also, from God's covenant engagement in Christ and to Christ, thy glorious covenant head, notwithstanding all thy unworthiness and provocations. Though I fail in all, God's covenant fails in none. Though my unbelief breaks out like Israel's, even at the red sea of Christ's blood; yet the efficacy of that blood is still the same, and the Father's engagement to his dear Son, by virtue of it, never can fail. His own love is the standard of his grace, and not my deservings; his name's sake, and not my merit, the rule of his favour towards his people; and all in Jesus. Fold up, then, this blessed scripture, my soul, for thy daily meditation, and learn to bless the freeness of that grace which hath for its object the glory of God's name, and no motive for thy salvation, but God's glory in Christ Jesus.

Revelation 22:2

"The tree of life." - Rev. xxii. 2.

Lead me, O Holy Ghost, by the hand of faith, this morning, into the paradise of God, and cause me to sit down under the tree of life; and for a while, before the world breaks in upon me, enable me to meditate on its beauties, its loveliness, and its fruit. Is it not Jesus which I behold in this charming similitude? Surely Jesus is to me the tree of life, for I have no life but in him! And it is not only he which gave me life at the first, but preserves it, maintains it, and will preserve it forever. He saith himself, "Because I live, ye shall live also." And as he is himself the life of my soul, so everything in him is the promoter of my life. His fruit also is all my sustenance, all I want, all I desire, all I can truly enjoy. .He bears twelve manner of fruits. Yes, for there is in him both fulness and variety: pardon, mercy, and peace, in the blood of his cross; favour with God, affection with men; the Spirit's gifts, graces, influences; comfort in this life, happiness and joy in that which is to come. And every month these fruits abound. Yes, he saith himself, "fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold: and my revenue than choice silver." "I will cause them that love me to inherit substance; yea, I will fill all their treasures." Nay, the very leaves of this tree of life are for the healing of the nations. And how healing indeed is Jesus, in his word, his ordinances, his providences, his promises, his dispensations! Neither is this all: the tree of life grows in the midst of the street, and is open in every gospel ordinance; both to Jews and Gentiles, both to bond and free. He is also on either side the river. The church above, though sitting under the full enjoyment of him, doth not keep him wholly to herself. Blessed be his name, he is as much for the glory and happiness of his church here below, on this side the river of death. And is this tree of life, this Jesus, mine? Oh the vast privilege! I bless thee, Oh thou Holy Spirit, for giving me the knowledge of him now by faith: and ere long, I hope to sit down forever in the paradise of God, in the unceasing enjoyment of him, from whence I shall arise no more, but dwell under his branches forever.

Luke 22:17

"Take this and divide it among yourselves." - Luke xxii. 17.

Precious Lord, such was thine unbounded love to thy people that thou gavest all to them! And, dearest Jesus, what didst thou reserve for thyself? And how wisely was thy love manifested! To every one grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ; for the purchase of redemption, in the case of all, cost thee the same. If, indeed, a lamb of thine be weak, or diseased, or torn, or scattered, thou wilt take it to thy bosom, while thou wilt gently lead those that are with young. But every one, and all, shall have thy care; all, as their several wants may be. Here then, Lord, to thy table I would come. Thy death hath confirmed all thy purchased blessings. And in the holy supper I would seek grace, that my right may be confirmed in them. Before God, and angels, and men, I would take the seal of thy gift. In thy blood thou hast signed them: in the word of thy gospel thou hast recorded them: in the ordinances of thy church they are published and brought forth: and by thy Spirit thou givest the tokens and the pledges of them to thy redeemed. Witness for me, then, ye angels of light, that I accept of all in Jesus and in his free gift, the purchase of his blood, and the tokens of his love. Sweeter are they to my mouth than honey and the honeycomb. Blessed Jesus, thy love is better than wine.

Malachi 3:3

"And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver. And he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." - Malachi iii. 3.

My soul, contemplate this gracious office of thy Jesus, and then see, whether he hath as graciously wrought it on thee. Jesus found our whole nature, when he came to save it, wanting refining and purifying indeed. By the operation of his holy word, and by the influences of his blessed spirit, he brings the souls of his people into the furnace of purification. By the fire of troubles, of afflictions, of persecutions, he melts down their stubborn nature there. By the Spirit of judgment, and by the Spirit of burning, he purgeth their dross, taketh away their tin, and forms all his people into vessels of mercy and sanctification; that he may at length present them unto himself, a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that they may be without blame before him in love. And what endears him to his people under this blessed character as their Refiner is this, that all the while the process is going on, Jesus sits by, watches over them, tempers the fire in exact proportion to what it should be, and suffers not the enemy to fan it a jot more than his love and wisdom see it fit to be. Is this the case, my soul, with thee? Are all the fiery trials thou hast gone through, regulated, kept under, and blessed, by thy Jesus, to so much good? Oh my foolish heart, how have I repined in my affliction, because I saw not Jesus's hand in the appointment, nor discerned his love carrying me through it. Blessed Refiner, henceforth give the to see thee. And do thou sit in this most needful office over my soul, that as all true believers are of the royal priesthood, being sons of Levi, and made kings and priests to God and the Father, never may my soul come out of the furnace of thy purification, until that I am enabled, by thy grace, to offer to the Lord an offering in the blood and righteousness of Jesus, whereby alone I can find acceptance with God in grace here, and glory hereafter.

Isaiah 33:21

"But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ships pass thereby. " - Isa. xxxiii. 21.

See, my soul, how thy God condescends to represent himself to thee as thy God, under various similitudes, so as to strengthen thy faith and thy confidence in him. He that is thy gracious Lord, is also thy glorious Lord; for he is both a sun and a shield; and he that gives grace, will give glory; one is the earnest of the other. Well, then, this glorious Lord will be there. Where? Why in Jesus, in thy Jesus, God in covenant with him. "He will be unto thee a place of broad rivers and streams." What is that? Why as Jerusalem had no navigable rivers, or seas, to defend her from the approach of enemies all around; so God's people are unprotected by nature, or by art, and lie open to their foes. But what they want in nature; shall be abundantly made up to them in grace. And as they have no art nor contrivance in themselves, God's wisdom and love will provide true counsel for them. Since they have no sea for their frontier, God in covenant love will himself be their sea, their ocean, their bulwark. And what galley or ship shall pass God to attack his people? Surely none can. And observe, my soul, as God himself will be rivers, and broad rivers too, to defend, so will he be streams to provide, and full streams to provide plentifully all possible blessings. Hallelujah. Shout, my soul, as the church of old, and say, "A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon, is my Beloved."

Isaiah lxiii. 8.

"For he said, surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour." - Isa. lxiii. 8.

Oh what a tenderness of expression is contained in these words! Jesus not only takes his people into relationship with him, but undertakes for their faithfulness. In the birth of God's everlasting purpose, this was done from everlasting; so that in one and the same moment, we are his people, his children, his brethren, his wife, his redeemed, his fair one, made comely in his comeliness, and in his blood cleansed, and in his righteousness justified before God. And observe, my soul, the grounds of this relationship: surely, he saith, they are my people. Not only as God's workmanship and property, but as his purchase. Not only in first giving them being, but in giving them new being in Christ Jesus. The Lord hath taken them into covenant with him in Christ, and granted them a charter of grace and salvation in Jesus. Sweet and precious thought. God the Father, whose right they are by creation, hath given them to his Son. And Jesus hath made them his, both by his own purchase, and the conquests of his grace therefore he hath an interest in them, and in all that concerns them. Surely, saith Jesus, they are my people, my jewels, my treasure, my hidden one. And observe further, how he speaks for them as well as of them they will not lie. How is this? Why, they are children of the covenant. And because he hath undertaken for them, therefore he was their Saviour. Oh the preciousness of such a Saviour, to every circumstance, to every state, in every way, and upon every occasion in life, in death, in time, and to all eternity. Jesus, thou art indeed a Saviour, thou art truly called Jesus, for thou hast saved, and thou wilt save, thy people from their sins.

Genesis 49:19

"Gad, a troop shall overcome him; but he shall overcome at the last." - Genesis 49:19

Is there nothing, my soul, in this sweet promise, that suits thy case and circumstances? Was not Gad one of the children of Israel? And are not all the seed of Israel interested in the promises? Was the tribe of Gad for a time brought down, and brought under, by a troop of foes? And are not all the seed of Israel oppressed and brought into subjection? Was not that glorious Israelite, the great Captain of our salvation, made perfect through suffering? Think, my soul, what troops of hell assaulted him. But was the issue of the battle with him doubtful? Neither is it now. In his blood and righteousness all the seed of Israel shall be justified and overcome by the blood of the Lamb. What then, though there be troops of lusts within, and legions of foes without? Troops from earth, and troops from hell, may, and will, assault thee; but look unto Jesus. It is said of his people of old, that they had an eye unto him, and were enlightened, and their faces were not ashamed. So now, Jesus undertakes for thee, and for thy faith, He saith, I will be an enemy to thy enemies, and an adversary to thine adversaries. God the Father is looking on: angels are beholding; all heaven is interested. Nay, hadst thou but eyes to see, thou wouldest behold, like the prophet's servant, mountains around, thee, full of horses and chariots of fire, all engaged for thy defense. Shout, then, for the battle is already obtained by Jesus for all his people. Though a troop may overcome the Gadites of the Lord, yet shall they overcome at the last. "Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

John 4:16

"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us." - 1 John iv. 16.

Who hath known, and believed, in terms equal to the greatness of the mercy itself, the love of God to the poor sinner! God's love must be an infinite love, and consequently the display of it must be infinite also. God, we are told, " Commendeth his love to us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Had God loved and delighted in saints that loved him, this would have been love. Had God taken the holy angels into a nearer acquaintance with him, this would have been love. But when he raised beggars from the dunghill, and took rebels from the prison to sit upon his throne, and at a time when his justice would have been magnified in their destruction; to prefer sinners, haters of God, and despisers of his grace; to bring them into the closest and nearest connection with him, in the person of his dear Son; and all this by such a wonderful plan of mercy, as the incarnation and death of Jesus; who hath ever calculated the extent of such grace? Who hath thoroughly known or considered, or believed, in any degree proportioned to the unspeakableness of the salvation, the love that God hath to us? Oh Lord, add one blessing more. Cause my cold heart to grow warm in the contemplation of it; and let it be my happiness to be daily studying the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of God, which passeth knowledge, that I may be filled with all the fulness of God.

John 14:14

"If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it." - John xiv. 14.

Is it so, blessed Jesus, that if I go to the Father in thy precious name; my petitions shall be certainly heard, and answered? Lo, then, I come. I feel my faith and confidence emboldened in this gracious assurance. And as thou knowest, Lord, this day, what is most suited for me, let thy wisdom choose, and let thy love bestow, that very grace and mercy, be it what it may. And let a throne of grace witness for me, that I seek it wholly on Christ's account. I consider it as good as given, from the high love my God and Father bears towards his dear Son, as my Surety and Saviour. And although in the moment that I ask with this boldness of faith, I see and knoll - in myself, that I have nothing to recommend me to thy favour, as in the least meriting that favour, but much, very much, to make me an object in meriting thy displeasure; yet looking up in Jesus, depending upon his blood and righteousness, and wholly asking in his name, and for his righteousness sake only, I am encouraged to hope that I shall not ask in vain. Oh then, Lord, hear for Jesus's sake, and let my petition and prayer be answered, that the Father may be glorified in his Son.

Isaiah 53:10

"It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief." - Isa. liii. 10.

The depths of wisdom were explored to furnish redemption, and to find a person competent to accomplish it; and when found, the depths of love were broken up, to make it complete. My soul, read over the mysterious volume which the Lord hath in part opened before thee. It cost the Father his thoughts from all eternity, to appoint a plan, by which, consistently with leis holiness and his justice, thou mightest be saved. It cost the Father his Son, his dear Son, his only Son, before that thou couldest be redeemed. Jesus must die ere thou canst live. Pause over the subject as it is here expressed. "It pleased the Father to bruise him." Jesus, who was in himself holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; he, who knew no sin, must be made sin; he who never merited wrath, must be made a curse. Read on; Jesus must die! and by whom? Not by Jews, nor Gentiles only; not simply by high priests and governors among men; but by God the Father. He must bruise him, and put hint to grief; for though Jesus was taken, and by wicked hands crucified and stain, yet all this, we are told, was "by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God." And is there yet another chapter of wonders in this mysterious volume? Yes; what can it be? Namely, that all this was for sinners, for rebels, for enemies; nay, my soul, for thee. Wonder, O heavens, and be astonished, O earth! Had our whole nature been bruised to all eternity in the mortar of divine wrath, for the sin of our nature; what would all this have been to the sufferings, agonies, and death of the Lamb of God? And didst thou die for me, O thou unequalled pattern of love and mercy, and by try stripes is my soul healed? Precious Jesus!

Matthew 28:6

"Come, see the place where the Lord lay." - Matt. xxviii. 6.

Lord, I would desire grace to accept the call, for it is always profitable to have faith in lively exercise: I would pray that my meditation might frequently take wing, and view the memorable sepulchre of my Lord. Did Jesus once lay in the grave? Surely death never had such a prisoner before! But did Jesus lay so low for me? Am I shortly to lay there? Sweet consoling thought! The grave is now softened, and the chambers of death are perfumed with the fragrancy contracted from his holy incorruptible body. But is there not another place where the Lord lay? And doth not the angel invite his people to see him there also? Yes, Jesus lay in the bosom of the Father from all eternity. And doth he not lay there now, and will he not through all eternity? But can I see him there? Yes; - for if by faith I behold Jesus as the Christ, the Sent, the Sealed of the Father; in seeing him, I see the Father also. He saith this himself, John xiv. 9. And again, John xiv. 20. "At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you." Blessed assurance! Jesus is one with the Father, and all his people one with him. And as he is in the bosom of the Father, so are they in his, and there shall dwell for ever and ever. Hallelujah. Amen.

2 Corinthians 8:23

"Whether our brethren be inquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ." - 2 Cor. viii. 23.

What a blessed account is here given of the children of God to all inquiries concerning them. See, my soul, whether thy experience corresponds to it, and mark their character. They are not only brethren to one another, but to Christ also; for we are told that he is not ashamed to call them brethren. Precious condescending, Saviour! Moreover, they are the messengers of the churches. What is that? A messenger, in scripture, is called also an angel. And if the brethren of Jesus do know, and can speak of him as his people should, then are they like angels come down from the court of heaven, to relate what they have seen and known, of the King in his beauty, and their hearts glow with a warmth of earnestness to proclaim his glory, and his love to poor sinful creatures here below. Neither is this all. For they are the glory of Christ. Mark this, my soul, and dwell with rapture upon it. A true believer in Jesus is the glory of Jesus. Not only because he gives glory to the Redeemer for his grace; but because Jesus derives glory from his redemption. Not only because the poor sinner hath everlasting happiness from Jesus; but Jesus hath everlasting glory from that poor sinner's salvation. Never lose sight of this, my soul, when thou goest to Jesus. Indeed, indeed, Jesus is glorified in receiving thee, in pardoning thee, in blessing thee, in giving to thee of his fulness. And the Father is glorified in this great salvation by his Son. Oh what encouragement is this to faith; what inducement to come to Jesus! Lord, how ought I to blush when I think how little glory I give to thee in not seeing that thy church and thy people are thy glory, in being saved and redeemed by thee.

John 6:45

"It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." - John vi. 45.

Mark, my soul, these precious words of thy Jesus. It was one of the old testament promises, that all God's children should be taught of him. And as this condescension of God, in teaching, implied the Father, so the blessed consequence and effect of it should be, that every one thus taught proved his being a child, and inclined his heart to come to God in Christ as a Father. My soul, art thou come? Art thou looking to, leaning upon, trusting in, walking with, and seeking for Jesus? Is he the Lord thy righteousness, thine only righteousness, thine only hope, thine only confidence? Dost thou, like the apostle, count all things else but dung and dross to win Christ, and to be found in him? Courage then, my soul! These are blessed tokens of thine adoption character. None but God the Father, by his Holy Spirit, could have taught thee these things. None but He, that revealed his Son in the heart of the apostle, could have been thy teacher. Thou hast both heard and learned of the Father, and in proof thereof thou art come to Christ for life and salvation. Fold up then this precious scripture in thy bosom for thy daily use, and examine thine interest in Christ continually, by a mark so sure and infallible. And remember what the Lord Jesus hath said, as a collateral testimony to the same blessed truth: "All that the Father giveth me (saith Jesus) shall come to me: and him that cometh I will in no wise cast out."

Psalm 65:1

"Praise waiteth for thee, Oh God, in Zion." - Psalm lxv. 1.

Is this the language of my heart? Am I indeed waiting until that Jesus be ready to receive my poor praise? Hath God the Holy Ghost prepared my heart? Oh then, hasten to him, my soul, with thy morning offerings, poor as they are; for sure I am, Jesus is waiting to be gracious. God will accept both thee and thy offering in him the Beloved. Go forth to meet him as early and as often as thine heart can wish: depend upon it, thy Redeemer will be beforehand with thee, and is waiting thy coming. Neither thy praise nor thy prayer can outrun his love; for both are the blessed effects of his grace, and of his own quickenings. Precious Jesus, grant me to come as often as I need thee. And, Lord, if thou wilt grant me this blessing, I shall never be from thee, for I need thee every moment.