The Attributes of God
Or, Jehovah Revealed
James Smith, 1863
New Park Street, London
Here is something . . .
for the saint — and also the sinner;
for the preacher — and also the hearer;
for the pastor — and also the people;
for the young — and also the aged;
in a word, something for all classes — and every reader.
It is intended . . .
to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ,
to set forth the true character of God,
to comfort troubled souls, and
to bring sinners to the enjoyment of salvation.
The person, work, and cross of Christ is its theme!
The glory of God, and the good of souls is its aim!
"The true bread from Heaven," is put into the reader's hand — but a spiritual appetite is necessary in order to its enjoyment. The Holy Spirit alone can give us that appetite — may he condescend to confer so great a favor, upon every one who shall read these pages. It is his office to glorify Jesus. He delights to exalt him, and to honor those who endeavor to give him the glory that is due unto his name. O that we were filled with the Holy Spirit! Then we would consecrate all our powers to God, and endeavor by all possible means, to bring sinners to "the obedience of faith."
Reader, what do you think of Christ? How do you feel towards him? Is he the chief object of your love? Does he appear to you to be "the chief among ten thousand," and the "altogether lovely one"? Is he precious to your soul? Are you living upon Him as the bread of eternal life? Is he to you, what the "manna" was to the Israelites, when it first fell around their tents?
His love to sinners is astonishing.
"His mercy is everlasting."
The merit of his sacrifice is infinite.
His "name is as ointment poured forth."
His smile is Heaven!
O that the Holy Spirit would . . .
unfold the glories of his person,
exalt "the riches of his grace,"
apply his atoning blood, and
bring many sinners to his feet
— by this little book!
Let this be our prayer — and then we shall neither write nor read in vain. But without the power, presence, and operation of the Holy Spirit — all our efforts will be without effect! Lord,
exalt your power,
display your grace,
honor your dear Son,
glorify your great name, and
devote us to your praise. Amen.
THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
To know God aright is the greatest consequence. For unless we know him — we cannot love him, exercise confidence in him, or render the worship he requires. That we may do so — he has revealed himself in his word, and especially in the person and work of his dear Son. The glory of God, is only seen in the face of Jesus Christ. "No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father — he has revealed him." John 1:18. And the revelation is so clear, the representation is so correct, that when Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." Jesus answered: "Don't you know Me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen Me — has seen the Father!" John 14:8-9
In the Son — the Father dwelt; and by the Son — the Father spoke and wrote. If therefore we would know the Father — we must study the Son who is "the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person," Hebrews 1:3. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself:" 2 Corinthians 5:19; and by Christ He is now made known unto us. To know Christ — is to know the Father; and to know the father in Jesus — is life everlasting. No subject therefore can be more important or more interesting to us. May the Holy Spirit condescend to unfold it to our minds, and give us the sweet enjoyment of it in our souls!
"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways — but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe." Hebrews 1:1-2. God revealed himself by a variety of instructive and precious NAMES. By these names he was known, and is still addressed by his people in prayer. They are full of meaning, and full of sweetness. Each name brings out and places in a clear light before us — some striking feature of the divine character.
We ought therefore carefully to study these names, and endeavor to derive from them the comfort which they are calculated, and intended to impart. Let us consider a few of them, and perhaps our meditation upon these may lead us to search out and dwell upon the rest. They are . . .
food for faith,
fuel for love, and
stimulus to hope.
The more we know of God — the more we shall credit his word, and exercise confidence in his veracity and faithfulness.
The more we know of God — the more we shall love his name, perfections, word, and works.
The more we know of God — the more we shall expect from God, and the more steadily we shall hope in him, amidst all the storms and trials of this mortal life.
O to know him . . .
in every name he bears,
in every character he wears,
in every relation he fills, and
in every office he sustains!
O that God would shine into our hearts, "to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ!" May we all, in the unveiled face of Jesus — behold as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord — and be changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. This would . . .
bring us into holy liberty;
raise us above the fears, snares, and temptations;
fill us with all joy and peace; and
make us abound in the exercise of hope and love.
Without this . . .
our fear will be slavish,
our faith will be feeble,
our love will be fluctuating, and
our devotion will be languishing.
Never shall we be . . .
thoroughly decided for God,
entirely devoted to God, or
very useful in the cause of God —
unless we have a clear, scriptural, experimental knowledge of God. Therefore let us . . .
search the word,
frequent the throne of grace, and
fill our meditations with the views which God has given of himself.
This is the way to . . .
encourage hope, and
abound in every good word and work!
If we diligently and prayerfully pursued this course — we would often sing with pleasure and holy gratitude:
My God, I am yours! What a comfort divine;
What a blessing to know, that Jesus is mine!
In the heavenly Lamb, thrice happy I am,
And my heart it does joy, at the sound of his name!
True pleasures abound in the rapturous sound;
And whoever has found it, has paradise found;
My Jesus to know, and to feel his blood flow.
'Tis life everlasting, 'tis Heaven below!
Yet onward I haste, to the heavenly feast;
That, that is the fullness; but this is the taste!
And this I shall prove, until with joy I remove
To the Heaven of heavens in Jesus' love.
The God of All GRACE
GRACE is the free favor of Jehovah, sovereignly fixed upon his people, and righteously communicating all spiritual and eternal blessings to them, for his own glorification. Every spiritual blessing flows from grace. Jehovah, the all-gracious God, is the fountain of all grace. His favor being fixed, he freely communicates to the unworthy and ill-deserving. He delights to give — as he delights to glorify himself. Grace is enthroned, and reigns "through righteousness unto eternal life — by Jesus Christ our Lord."
When coming to God for grace . . .
no recommendation is necessary;
every fear is groundless, and
all your doubts are sinful.
God must run counter to his word, act contrary to his nature, and dishonor his name — if he refuses his grace to any sincere seeker. "The Lord will give grace." "He gives more grace." He "gives to all men liberally, and upbraids not."
The grace that converts the sinner flows from him;
the grace that comforts the saint is his gift; and
the grace to serve him acceptably must be received from his hand.
He will be gracious to every praying soul — but he will not sell his grace. You must not bring your duties, your endeavors, or your feelings to procure it — or you will be surely disappointed. He gives grace freely to every empty, hungry, willing soul. If you are made willing to receive — that is one evidence that God is willing to give. You may ask immediately, and expect confidently — nor shall you be disappointed.
The God of all grace, has grace suited to all your needs, and adapted to all your circumstances.
Are you weak? Here is grace to strengthen you.
Are you sinful? Here is grace to sanctify you.
Are you oppressed? Here is grace to deliver you.
He has grace . . .
for all comers,
at all times, and
for all circumstances.
Come boldly then to the throne of grace, plead with "the God of all grace" — and you shall obtain grace to help you in every time of need. He waits to be gracious.
"But may I come just as I am, and at this moment?" Yes, just as you are — without money, and without price. Come at this moment, for there is no time for delay. His ear is open, he is at liberty to attend to you, and will surely do you good.
Grace is for the unworthy. Grace must be freely given — or it ceases to be grace. Grace is . . .
God's antidote for your miseries,
his answer to your objections,
his reply to your fears, and
his encouragement for your comfort, joy, and peace.
"For by grace are you saved through faith." "Justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," you are made an heir according to the hope of eternal life. To grace you are indebted for all that you possess, for all that you expect, and for all that you will enjoy in this world or that which is to come. Free grace will be . . .
your support in trials,
your comfort in afflictions, and
your antidote in death!
To "the God of all grace," you will remain an eternal debtor — happy under a sense of your obligations.
Beloved, have you ever felt the power of grace . . .
renewing your nature,
comforting your heart, and
consecrating your life to the Lord's service?
Do you now feel that you need grace, and desire to possess it? If so, you may obtain it. It is free to the vilest! It flows from God's throne like a river — and whoever will, may come and take of it freely.
Rich grace, free grace, most sweetly calls,
Directly come who will,
Just as you are, for Christ receives
Poor helpless sinners still!
'Tis grace each day that feeds our souls:
Grace keeps us inward poor;
And O that nothing else but grace
May rule for evermore!
A God Full of COMPASSION and MERCY
How different is the Lord's revelation — to the convinced sinner's expectation!
He apprehends wrath — but he hears of love!
He fears punishment — but he is informed of pardon!
He asks, Can the Lord be gracious to such a sinner? And behold! Jehovah proclaims himself, "a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth." Psalm 86:15. What delightful tidings are these, that Jehovah has . . .
a fullness of compassion,
the affection of a tender parent,
the sympathy of the kindest friend!
He pities our weakness — and listens to our feeble cries. He needs nothing in the creature to move him, for he has a fullness of compassion in himself. To this, the sinner may appeal, and will find him to be his friend. Can a God full of compassion turn away from the needy soul; or, refuse to receive the wretched and undone? Impossible! He will . . .
receive you graciously,
love you freely, and
will be glorified in pardoning, accepting and saving you forever.
O poor backsliding brother or sister — fear not to approach the throne of your dishonored God! He is full of compassion, and he has pledged himself in his word, to receive you and deal well with you. Read the parable of the prodigal — there the heart of God is opened, there his conduct is portrayed. There as in a mirror, you may see how it will be with you — when you take with you words, and return unto the Lord. Do not believe Satan's libels upon the character of your God — but receive his own testimony, confirmed as it is, by the witness of thousands of backsliders who are now safely housed in Heaven!
This view of Jehovah is comforting to us all. To know that he is compassionate, that he will have mercy; that he is "full of compassion," and "full of mercy" — ought to silence our fears and disperse our misgivings. Can a fullness of compassion be unkind? Can a merciful God, be anything but our friend? True, we may find it difficult to reconcile this revelation of his character, with some of his mysterious dealings; but this is on account of our ignorance and blindness. The day is coming, when we shall see that there was mercy in every trial, and compassion in every cross! This declaration of Jehovah's tenderness and benignity, will shine forth with the luster of a thousand suns; and we shall wonder at our ignorance, ingratitude and folly!
Jehovah is always "full of compassion ... and mercy." Let this truth sink down into our hearts. He is Jehovah and changes not — therefore "we are not consumed." Compassion ever reigns in his heart, and rules his conduct towards his poor, dependent, tried, and afflicted people. As his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel in the days of old — so is he touched with the feelings of our infirmities now. His affections are stirred for every mourning Ephraim, and he will have mercy upon all who seek his grace. His mercy is . . .
full and boundless — an overflowing fountain;
as free as the air,
as tender as a mother's heart,
and as worthy of Jehovah's name.
His mercy may be . . .
trusted without fear,
adored without idolatry,
and enjoyed without regret.
To its fullness — the guilty are invited;
of its streams — the fearful may take;
and by its efficacy — the vilest are saved!
His mercy has . . .
tenderness to encourage the sickly,
plenty to suit the needy, and
power to invigorate the strengthless and faint.
It is the mercy and compassion of the God who is infinite, incomprehensible, and eternal. His mercy is in exercise toward all who heartily desire to enjoy its benefits, and are made willing to depend upon its promised provision. The Lord is good, full of compassion, and gracious.
My Father knows my feeble frame;
He knows how poor a worm I am;
He knows, he knows it all.
The least temptation serves to draw
My footsteps from his holy law,
And make me slide and fall.
Of this I give him daily proof,
And yet he does not cast me off;
But owns me still as his.
He spares, he pities, he forgives,
The most rebellious child that lives
So great his goodness is.
And shall I thence a pretext draw,
Again to violate his law?
My soul revolts at this!
I'll love, and wonder, and adore,
And beg that I may sin no more
Against such love as his!
O love divine, to you I owe
Ten thousand praises here below,
And everlasting songs!
O take my body, spirit, soul,
Claim, and possess, and use the whole,
To you the whole belongs.
The God of HOPE
A sinner can hope for nothing good, as a sinner — without a special revelation from God. If he is left to impartial justice, he can expect nothing, "But only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God!" But Jehovah in Jesus is the God of hope. He lays a foundation for hope in the promises of his grace, and in his shed blood. He produces hope in the mind, by the operations of the Holy Spirit; and increases it, by the proofs of his goodness and love, which we daily enjoy.
If we look into self — we must despair; if we look at our works, the best of them — we must despond; but if we look at Jehovah as revealed in his promises, and through the person and work of our adorable Redeemer — we may hope! If we look in faith — we must hope.
If mercy pitying the miserable will lead us to hope — then here is a God plenteous in mercy!
If grace justifying and saving the ungodly will encourage hope — then here is a fullness of grace!
If unbounded love fixed upon the unworthy will inspire hope — then God, our "God is love!"
If the most solemn oath, the most gracious promises, and an infinite and eternal atonement — can lay a foundation for hope — then it is laid by our God in his most holy gospel!
The Lord, as the covenant God of his people, encourages the poor sinner to hope for, or expect . . .
a free pardon,
a full justification,
acceptance with God by his grace,
all necessary good things on earth, and
eternal glory at the end of his course!
He encourages the saint to expect . . .
strength — according to his day;
supplies — according to his needs;
deliverance — out of every temptation;
and the sanctification — of every trial.
He encourages the believer to hope for his presence on a sick bed, and his comforts in a dying hour; and then to be with and like Christ, eternally — to enjoy holiness, happiness, and immortality! All this is freely promised, and shall be faithfully bestowed — upon all who believe in Jesus, and obey his word. Grace, free grace alone — will bestow these great and inestimable blessings — to the glory of "the God of hope".
O, believer, look at your God in this sweet and encouraging character; approach him as thus revealed, hoping to receive from him, according to his word — a supply of all your needs! Your poverty should encourage you to plead — and his promises should make you confident.
To distrust "the God of all hope" — must surely be sinful;
to tremble before him as a slave — must certainly be weakness;
to neglect his throne, slight his promises, and wander from his ways — must be highly ungrateful!
"Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say on the Lord." Let not your hope look for a foundation in self, in your works, or in anything conferred upon you; but let God himself, in his love, grace, mercy, faithfulness, holiness, oath, and veracity — be the basis of your expectations. These form a rock which nothing can shake — a foundation which nothing can remove!
If your hope rests here — you will steadily pursue your journey towards your Father's house, and cheerfully accomplish your work to his glory and praise.
Why drooping saint dismayed,
Does sorrow press you down?
Has God refused to give you aid,
Or does he seem to frown.
In darkness or distress
His love's the same to thee,
Without declension more or less,
Immutable and free!
The God of PEACE
Jehovah is the great author and giver of peace; the plan was drawn in his eternal mind, and was filled up by the Lord Jesus Christ. He made peace, by removing sin — the great cause of contention and disagreement, "Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree." He publishes peace in the everlasting gospel — and imparts it to the soul by the power and operations of the Eternal Spirit. He is emphatically, "the God of peace." The penitent sinner has nothing to fear in approaching him; he is arrayed in every inviting attribute, and employs a variety of figures to prove to the mind that he is willing to pardon. Man is enmity against God — but "God is love" to every returning prodigal. Man is a traitor to God — but God is "the God of peace" to every one who, laying down the weapons of rebellion, seeks the tokens of his love and grace.
Poor trembling sinner, why do you fear to draw near to God — why are you so cast down? Hear! He speaks to you, and says, "so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.... Fury is not in me!" He will "receive us graciously." He notices the agitation of your spirit, and the anxiety of your mind; there is nothing against you in his heart. Do you object, "My sins are so many, and my iniquities are grown up to Heaven?" He says, "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and will not remember your sins!" You have his faithful word, his inviolable oath, and the gift of his dear Son — to assure you that he is "the God of peace;" and to invite, allure, and encourage you to approach him with confidence and hope.
He has no pleasure in the death of a sinner — but he delights in mercy. There is nothing in the groans of the lost to charm him — but he is pleased with the penitent's prayer. He alone pardons iniquity, transgression, and sin. You do him wrong — when you think harshly of him; you grieve his Spirit — when you doubt and fear before him.
Poor tempted doubting Christian, your God is "the God of peace!" He . . .
bids you to approach him,
exhorts you to trust in him, and
invites you to cast all your cares upon him.
Your temptations make no change in his mind, nor can they affect the reconciliation made by Jesus. You were reconciled to God by the death of his Son. Jesus for you, "Made peace through the blood of his cross." Jesus is your peace. As such, he appears before the Father for you, and ever pleads your cause. He is your peacemaking Brother, Savior, and Friend! The peace made by his blood-shedding and death, is permanent; and he is your living, loving, acting Advocate at the bar of justice! He says, as tempted and tried as you are, "Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
If we did but heartily believe, that God is "the God of peace," we must . . .
enjoy more comfort,
exercise more confidence, and
walk with God humbly and gratefully.
A lack of faith on this important point, is at the root of our fear, distrust, and soul distress. And yet this fact is . . .
revealed in the plainest words,
confirmed by the most solemn acts,
and rests upon the most indisputable basis.
The deity of Christ, his gracious works, his merciful words, his kind promises, his meritorious blood, his victorious resurrection, his triumphant ascension, and his tender sympathies — all proclaim our God to be, "The God of Peace." Thus view him, when you approach him — and you will draw near in full assurance of faith.
Children of God redeemed by blood,
Raise your songs to Zion's God;
Made from condemnation free,
Grace triumphant sing with me!
Calvary's summit let us trace,
View the heights and depths of grace.
Count the purple drops and say,
Thus my sins were washed away!
Now no more his wrath we dread,
He has thus to Zion said,
"Since your Surety paid your score,
I behold your sins no more!"
The God of All COMFORT
No sinner has the least right to the smallest comfort: all is forfeited by sin — but may be recalled by justice. All our comforts, both temporal and spiritual — are favors conferred by the bounty of God. If we had our deservings — we would be 'wretchedness personified!' Sin removes us to an infinite distance from God — and just as far from comfort.
Jehovah is the center and circumference of comfort and happiness; the nearer to him — the happier we must be. But we willfully wandered, and are righteously banished: yet Jehovah has devised means that his banished ones should not be expelled from him. Jesus appears among us, suffers for us, and sends his gospel to us, "that he might bring us to God." The Most High God is revealed in a new covenant character, and proclaims himself "The God of all comfort — who comforts us in all our tribulation." He is the author of all the comforts enjoyed by his people, and giver of comfort to poor comfortless souls. We cannot be happy at a distance from God; nothing can possibly make us so.
We cannot come to God with confidence and satisfaction — but as we take into our minds the views he has given us of himself in the "glorious gospel." I have everything to fear from a God of vengeance — and therefore must fly from him, rather than draw near unto him. But I have nothing to fear from "The God of Comfort," who comforts those who are cast down; and therefore with courage and expectation — I come to him. Here is no terror to make me afraid, his hand will not be heavy upon me.
The Father is the author of all comfort,
the Son is the storehouse of all comfort, and
the Holy Spirit applies comfort to the heart, and is therefore styled "the Comforter."
The whole of Deity is thus presented to us in the most endearing light, in the most attractive form, in the most inviting words.
What is so much prized as comfort? Who ought to be so much loved, honored, and obeyed — as "The God of All Comfort?" By this revelation of God — we are drawn with cords of love, as with the bands of a man.
Comfortless soul — look not into yourself, at your duties, or at your circumstances for comfort; but look unto the Lord, he is "the God of all comfort." He comforts . . .
by his word,
by his ordinances,
by his presence,
by his servants,
and by his Spirit.
He always has means at hand to convey comfort to the mind. Never expect to be happy — but as you live at the fountain-head of true comfort. Comfort from other quarters — is wine mixed with water, if not with poison! "Cease from men!" Turn away from self! Look away from all things below-and live at the throne of your God! He will comfort you seasonably, judiciously, and effectually; and keep you from idolizing your comforts, to the dishonor of himself.
Let your mind be taken up more with the God of comfort — than with the comforts of God. Trace up the streams of comfort to the fountain — and there pitch your tent and abide. He will comfort you as the prudent mother does her child, as the kind bridegroom does his bride, as the sympathizing friend does his afflicted companion.
The comforts he gives are both sanctifying and satisfying. His comforts . . .
make us in love with holiness,
and crucify us to the present world.
His comforts direct and fix the affections on things above, "where Christ sits on the right hand of God," where; "You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore!"
His comforts . . .
enlarge the heart,
nerve the soul, and
fire the affections —
making us to run in the way of his commandments with an enlarged heart.
Believer, keep this view of your God before the eye of your faith, make it the serious meditation, and exercise your mind upon it frequently! The honor of God, the maintenance of your tranquility, and your activity in God's ways — greatly depend upon it. May the God of all comfort allow you to enjoy the infinite variety of his comforts!
When earthly comforts die,
And thorns overspread the road;
Where, oh, where shall I fly,
But unto you my God!
When anxious thoughts arise,
And sorrows compass round;
Amid ten thousand enemies,
In you my help is found!
Then at your feet I'll bow,
And in your mercy trust;
If I am saved, how good are thou!
And if I perish, just!
Perish! it cannot be,
Since Jesus shed his blood;
The promise is both rich and free,
And he will make it good!
The God of PATIENCE
When we look around upon people and observe their ways, we see that there is . . .
not a sin prohibited — but they willfully commit it;
not a duty prescribed — but they cheerfully neglect it;
not a mercy bestowed — but they wickedly abuse it;
not an attribute of God's nature discovered — but they daringly insult it;
and that they have altogether become abominable, filthy, and condemned!
We ask, "How is it that the all-knowing, righteous and omnipotent Jehovah — bears with such daring, hardened, impenitent, and rebellious creatures; and instead of cutting them off, and consigning them to misery and despair — still supplies their needs, and continues his bounties?" The answer is, "He is slow to anger, long-suffering, great in mercy, and emphatically, the God of Patience."
If we turn our attention to the church — what do we behold?
Instead of unity — parties and divisions;
instead of love — envy and opposition;
instead of mercy — unkindness and selfishness;
instead of long-suffering — anger and revenge;
instead of peace — contention and jarring;
instead of gentleness and meekness — anger and unkindness;
instead of considering that we are all one in Christ, and seeking only his glory and the extension of his kingdom — separate interests are felt, and all seek their own in a great degree.
How different to the simplicity, unselfishness, purity, and self-denial of the primitive Christians! But how is it, that the Lord does not judge, disperse and confound us? Because he is "The God of Patience;" and our great intercessor still pleads, "Let it alone this year also!"
All the patience of the saint — is a gift from "The God of Patience." The Christian's patience . . .
is required as a duty,
is given as a privilege, and
is produced by the operation of the Holy Spirit, sanctifying our trials and tribulations.
Our impatience proves our apostasy from God at first; genuine patience proves our return to God again.
Jesus was the mirror of patience. "He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent — so he did not open his mouth!" He set us an example to suffer patiently, and to commit the keeping of our souls into the hands of God, as unto "a faithful Creator."
O, the length and breadth of love!
Jesus, Savior, can it be?
All your mercy's height I prove,
All the depth is seen in me!
The God of SALVATION
We are at best — a company of poor, lost, and ruined sinners. We have no power to help ourselves — nor will to apply unto another. But Jehovah has revealed himself as "The God of Salvation." His wisdom drew the plan, being prompted by his love. And to eternal love and infinite wisdom — we are indebted for that glorious scheme, which brings glory to God — and salvation to man.
"The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world." God appeared in human nature — to save his people from their sins. He labored, and suffered, and died, the just for the unjust — to bring us to God with honor, and to Heaven with certainty.
"He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." He has . . .
made an infinite atonement;
completely paid his people's debt;
blotted out the handwriting that was against them;
overcome the world;
spoiled principalities and powers;
opened the way into the holiest by his blood;
procured the Holy Spirit to be the quickener, sanctifier, and teacher of his church;
and ascended to Heaven, to plead their cause and silence their accusers!
The Holy Spirit comes in the name of Jesus, to honor his work by calling his people "out of darkness into his marvelous light."
Under his quickening — they live;
by his teaching — they become wise unto salvation;
through his operations — they are washed, sanctified, and justified.
He makes them his temples — and fits them to be the dwelling place of the Father and the Son. He . . .
exalts Christ before them,
honors Christ in them, and
endears Christ unto them! "Unto you therefore who believe — he is precious!"
Thus the Father draws the plan of salvation,
the Son executes it, and
the Holy Spirit applies it.
The Father chooses his people,
the Son dies for their redemption,
and the Spirit sanctifies and fits them for Heaven.
The Father gives them to his Son,
the Son ransoms them at an infinite price, and
the Holy Spirit claims them as personal property.
The Father employs his wisdom,
the Son sheds his blood, and
the Holy Spirit exerts his power.
The Father draws them,
the Son receives them, and
the Holy Spirit leads them into truth.
Thus the whole Godhead is manifested, and each glorious person appears interested and active in our salvation. The work of salvation is wholly of God. It is entirely of free and sovereign grace — a favor shown us without desert or deservings.
So also, our many deliverances as we travel through this 'wilderness' — are of the Lord. He delivers us . . .
from the world, and
from the power of sin!
"The salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble." "He shall deliver you in six troubles: yes, in seven there shall no evil touch you." "He will save."
His eye is upon us for good,
his heart beats towards us with love, and
his hand is stretched out to help, relieve and befriend us!
He is "The God of Salvation." He saves by his wisdom, his power, his providence, and his graces.
For we are saved . . .
from despondency and despair — by hope;
from the world and the shafts of Satan — by faith;
from indifference and carnal security — by love.
"Salvation is of the Lord!" Jonah 2:9
He is the author, worker, applier, and end of Salvation!
"Look unto me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other!" Lost sinner . . .
you are lost and ruined by sin;
you are led captive by the Devil at his will;
you are in imminent peril.
But help is laid on JESUS who is "MIGHTY TO SAVE!" He has sent to you the word of salvation, "That whoever believes in him should not perish — but have eternal life." "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast!" Salvation is a favor which God confers on the unworthy, and is a favor he never denied to anyone who ever sought it at his throne. If you wish to be saved, and are willing to be saved by grace — he says, "Ask — and it shall be given you; seek — and you shall find; knock — and it shall be opened unto you! For every one who asks — receives; and he who seeks — finds; and to him who knocks — it shall be opened!"
When Jesus' glorious name I hear,
My peace and joys abound;
Freedom from guilt and slavish fear,
Flows from the blissful sound!
Salvation from wrath of God,
From Satan, sin, and death;
Salvation through his precious blood,
By grace through living faith!
How vast the benefits divine,
Which I in Christ possess,
He makes his grace and glory mine,
And calls to holiness!
'Tis not for works which I have done,
Or shall hereafter do,
But he of his abounding love
Salvation does bestow!
The God of TRUTH
When we reflect seriously upon the immortality, sinfulness, and value of the soul; and think deeply upon the solemnities of eternity — we feel the importance of truth in reference to religious matters. We must be eternally saved — or eternally lost; be happy beyond description — or miserable beyond conception, forever. We want a rock on which to build with certainty — a sure foundation on which to rest with satisfaction; we want to march beyond the reach of doubt, or suspicion.
The word of God presents itself to us in this interesting state — it professes to be a message from "The God of Truth." Not a line of it was written at random, not a word or a letter inconsiderately dictated. The Scripture is the mind of God thrown into an intelligible form.
The word of God had been present with God from eternity. It contains nothing but what had lain in the bosom of Deity, before he spoke the world into existence. Every precept, promise, threatening, doctrine, history and prediction — was considered by God from eternity, before it was dictated to be written in time. It is the offspring of divine wisdom, and supported by every glorious perfection in Jehovah's nature. He cannot deny, rescind, or falsify his word. It is more stable than the pillars of Heaven! It must have its accomplishment, for Jehovah is the "God of truth."
He will ever prove true . . .
to every name he wears,
to every character he sustains,
to every relation he fills,
to every promise he has given.
If God has promised there can be no reason to doubt; how can he be God, "The holy God," "The faithful God" — if he fails to fulfill his word?
"Surely God will crush the heads of his enemies, the hairy crowns of those who go on in their sins!" Psalm 68:21. Not one of God's threatenings cannot possibly fail of its accomplishment. Lost sinner! What a fearful thought is this! All of God's curses are pointed against you! The artillery of Heaven, loaded with the wrath of God, point at you! And God cannot be the God of truth — unless they are discharged at you! Only Jesus can shelter you from this dreadful portion, he is the hope set before you in the Gospel — and unless you find refuge in him, the God of truth must, according to his word, punish you with everlasting destruction!
Believer, God has no after-thoughts. He knew what you would be, when he made those precious promises on which you depend, and gave those sweet assurances in which you trust. He will fulfill them to the very letter! He is to you,
"The God of Truth,"
the author of truth,
the center of truth,
and the fulfiller of truth.
He fulfills the word of his servants, and confirms the counsel of his messengers. His name, his character, his glory — are all staked upon his word. He will prove that "God is not a man — so he does not lie. He does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken — and failed to act? Has he ever promised — and not carried it through?" Numbers 23:19. Here you may rest; it is firm footing; on this you may rely without the least reason for fear. Israel's God is "The God of Truth."
Jehovah is a God of might!
He framed the earth, he built the sky;
And what he says is true and right,
"The Strength of Israel will not lie!"
The GREAT and MIGHTY God
The more we have to do with man — the more his littleness, fickleness, and emptiness appear. But the more we read, think, or have to do with God — the more His greatness, majesty, and infinite sufficiency is discovered! He proclaims Himself, "the Great and Mighty God, the Lord Almighty is His name — great in counsel and mighty in work!" Infinity, omnipotence, and eternity — find a home and a center only in Him.
"His Greatness is unsearchable!" There is more in the works of His hands — than the angels ever discovered! There is more in the words of His mouth — than mortals ever conceived. His glory is great unto and above the heavens. "Behold your God!" Isaiah 40:9
Look at His goodness — it runs an endless round supplying millions, and supporting all created existences. O how great is His goodness!
Look at His grace — saving innumerable multitudes from Hell; saving them at the greatest expense, in the freest possible way; saving them to the highest honor and greatest glory! O the exceeding riches of grace!
Look at His judgments. He sweeps the ancient world with His broom of destruction! He makes the cities of the plain into a Hell on earth! He overthrows Pharaoh and His army in the Red Sea! He encaverns Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and their households in the belly of the earth!
O if we could look into Hell, or listen for a moment at the door of the bottomless pit — how dreadful would His judgments appear! We cannot fathom them — but we must exclaim with the apostle, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements, and His ways past finding out!"
Look at His power. He speaks a world into existence, sustains it, supports every creature upon it — and perhaps millions of worlds beside it. All these things are alike easy for Him. Difficulty is with man — not with God. "Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the Heaven and the earth by Your great power and stretched out arm! Nothing is too hard for You!"
Look at His wisdom. It is infinite. Read it in creation's ponderous folio! Then turn to the glorious plan of grace. Here is a display of "the manifold wisdom of God." Angels are learning it — and we can scarcely make out its alphabet at present! But we have . . .
God for our teacher,
eternity for our duration, and
Heaven for the place where we shall fully learn the greatness of the wisdom of God.
Look at His holiness. It is so bright that no mortal eye has seen, or can see it — in its unveiled glory! "Now we see but a poor reflection!" We have but some faint discoveries — for He is . . .
glorious in holiness,
fearful in praises,
constantly doing wonders!
Look at His mercy. It is a boundless ocean — without bottom, bank or shore!
The manifestations of mercy are innumerable!
The proofs of His mercy are like mountains piled on mountains, reaching to the heavens!
The overflowing of His mercy has supplied the needs of unnumbered multitudes.
"Who is so great a God as our God?"
He is a mighty and awesome God — yet so glorious and kind that the feeblest petitioner need not fear!
Great God! Your glories shall employ
My holy fear, my humble joy;
My lips in songs of honor bring,
Their tribute to the eternal King.
O tell me, with a gentle voice,
"You are my God," and I'll rejoice
Filled with your love, I dare proclaim
The brightest honors of your name.
God is LOVE
Jehovah, as a covenant God — is pure, unmixed love — to his people in Christ. This is plainly stated and clearly proved, in his holy word. And though it may at times, be difficult to reconcile some of his mysterious dispensations with his love; yet the fact remains — however confused our minds may be upon the subject. He proved the truth of it:
1. By the gift of his Son to be our Savior! He so loved — as to give his only begotten Son to live, to suffer, to labor, and to die for us!
2. By the gift of the Holy Spirit, to regenerate our hearts and sanctify our natures.
3. By the gift of his holy word, the whole of it in general — but the precious promises in particular. They being all Yes and Amen in Christ — prove that God is Love.
His love has been eternally fixed upon his people, and will remain fixed forever! No changes that occur in this world can change the nature of God. He is in one mind, and who can turn him? He is the same, and never changes. He is without "variableness" or the "shadow of turning."
His love is as infinite as his nature, as vast as eternity. He sovereignly chose his people in Jesus — because he loved them; and with a determination to love them for evermore.
His love has united him to his people — and nothing shall separate them from him! The plan of salvation — is a plan of love. The scheme of providence — is a scheme of love. Every comfort and every trial, every gift and every bereavement — flows alike from his love.
He hates, loathes, and abhors sin everywhere — but specially in the objects of his love. And therefore he chastens, afflicts, and tries them — to increase their hatred to sin, and devote them entirely to himself. He will not allow of a rival — he is a jealous God. Having set his whole heart upon us — he will have us set all our hearts upon him. He . . .
delights in our persons,
takes pleasure in our prosperity, and
will sanctify us wholly, "spirit and soul and body."
Love prompts him to . . .
listen to our prayers,
regard our sighs,
and pity our groans!
And in love, he answers our petitions — and pours down blessings on our heads.
All his dealings with us are love. There is love in the rod — as well as in milk and honey. There is love in the frown — as well as in the heart-refreshing smile.
His love is . . .
and impartially just!
Thus it appears in the great work of redemption, and in every Christian's experience, wherein he abounds towards us in all wisdom and prudence.
"God is love!" Let this encourage us at all times, and yield us comfort in the darkest path. Let this be the constant object of our faith — and the subject of our meditation.
And let us remember that if we sin — that it is against love; against infinite, eternal, unmerited love!
May God's love for us be . . .
the grave where we bury our fears,
the altar on which we present our thanksgivings,
the fountain in which we bathe for refreshment,
and the subject we delight to enjoy and proclaim!
Perfect love has power to soften
Cares that might our peace destroy;
Nay, does more — transforms them often,
Changing sorrow into joy!
God of love, this blessing grant,
'Tis the sum of all I want.
Sovereign love appoints the measure,
And the number of our pains;
And is pleased when we find pleasure
In the trials he ordains.
God of love to me impart,
Perfect love to rule my heart!
"The Lord our RIGHTEOUSNESS"
It is God who justifies." There can be no justification without a righteousness. By nature we have none, nor can we procure such — unless Jehovah becomes incarnate, is made under the law, honors the precept by obeying it, and removes the threatening by enduring it. "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, to every one who believes." The righteousness by which we are justified, is "the righteousness of God."
Immanuel was made sin for us, "who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." All that the law required of us — he performed; all that justice demanded of us — he paid. God is now well pleased for Christ's righteousness sake, for he magnified the law and made it honorable.
This obedience of Christ, is revealed in the gospel, to be received by faith, and whoever will may take it freely. It is called "The gift of righteousness." It justifies us completely and forever. It is the work of God bestowed on needy man; it flows from grace, and becomes ours by believing. "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."
Convinced soul, you feel sin, you fear wrath, you doubt mercy — but cheer up! Through Jesus Christ is preached unto you, the forgiveness of sins — and by him all who believe are justified from all things. The Righteousness of Christ is all that is necessary for your justification. This is set before you in the gospel, and you have only to receive it as God's free gift, and be thankful for it.
Do you feel unholy? He "justifies the ungodly." Are you unable to do any good thing? "God imputes righteousness without works." This is his name whereby he is now known, "The Lord Our Righteousness." Jeremiah 23:6.
All that the law requires — he presents.
All that the sinner needs — he bestows.
Only receive him, trust simply in him — and everlasting life is yours.
The righteous judge is your justifying friend — for the offended God is your gracious Savior. He says, "I have blotted out your sins as a cloud! Look unto me and be saved." Enter into Christ, as Noah into his ark! Flee to this Savior as the manslayer to the city of refuge! Embrace this glorious provision of your gracious God, and you may sing, "I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness — as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels!" Your title to Heaven is clear, your acceptance with God is certain.
Righteousness is by believing — not by working. Our own doings must be renounced. Our faith must receive Jesus, as our Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification and Redemption. And we must venture entirely on him for life and salvation. One act of precious faith brings justification, because it receives Christ: "For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And you are complete in him!" Look not at self, at your doings, or your sins! If these keep you from Jesus; but look unto him, trust also in him, and peace, and contentment, and glory are yours.
My God how perfect are your ways!
But mine polluted are;
Sin twines itself about my heart,
And slides into my prayer.
Let others in the gaudy dress
Of imagined merit shine;
The Lord shall be my righteousness,
The Lord forever mine!
"I am the Lord who HEALS you." Exodus 15:26
My need not only pardon — but healing.
We are not only condemned — but we are sick.
Sin is the sickness of the soul; it is a mortal disease; no creature can possibly cure it; but God says, "I am Jehovah-Rophi" — the Lord your healer. He not only justifies — but he sanctifies; the former remits our punishment, the latter fits us to enjoy our freedom. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin. This blood is sprinkled upon the conscience by the Holy Spirit, and this divine agent is freely given by the Father to all who ask him. There is no healing — but by the blood of Jesus; no application of that blood — but by the Holy Spirit. Our sanctification is his work, he heals all our diseases.
He brings home the word to the heart — and it works effectually. "Sanctify them through your truth — your word is truth." He produces faith and fixes it on Jesus, his righteousness and blood; "purifying their hearts by faith." He leads us into fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And his holy fellowship carried on under his divine teaching, brings health and peace.
The foundation of soul health is laid in "regeneration," and is manifested by our desiring "the sincere milk of the word, that we may grow thereby." Trials and troubles are medicine intended to produce this desirable good; he chastens us "for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness."
My poor sin-sick brother, or sister, look to the Lord alone for healing; Jesus is like the "brazen serpent which Moses had made." "That whoever believes in him should not perish — but have eternal life."
Carry all your trials to Jesus — he will hear you, relieve you, and send his word and heal you. His blood is the true "Balm of Gilead," and he is the "Physician there." "Without money and without price" are his terms: he waits to listen to and receive your petitions, and heal your souls. But he will be sought unto; he will be believed; he will be trusted. He says, "Only believe and you shall see the glory of God. Whatever you ask in faith, believing, you shall receive."
Let nothing keep you from this Great Physician.
If you cannot go as you wish — then go as you can;
if you cannot pray — then groan;
if you cannot groan — then sigh;
if you cannot sigh — then look.
He will be very gracious, he will arise and have mercy on you.
Great Physician, give us faith to apply to you, and applying heal us for your mercy sake! Reader, is this your desire? Are you indeed convinced that your soul is in an unhealthy state, and are you willing to be made whole by the Lord Jesus Christ? If so, he is ready to heal you. He bids you to come unto him; and coming, he will apply to you his precious blood, give you his Holy Spirit, and restore you to soul-health!
Lord, I despair myself to heal.
I see my sins but cannot feel
True sorrow, until your Spirit show
My unbelief, the source of woe.
Speak gracious Lord, my sickness cure,
Make my infected nature pure:
Peace, righteousness, and joy impart,
And give Yourself unto my heart.
"So Abraham called that place: The Lord Will Provide." Genesis 22:14
We frequently fear, and give way to our doubts — without the least cause. Our God is all-sufficient, he has Heaven and earth at his command; he is full of pity and tender mercy. He has made provision for all our needs, and has promised that he will withhold no good thing from us. He will give us grace and glory, and bestow all needful good beside. It is ours to believe, expect, and obey — it is his to provide and supply our needs. We "are compassed about with a great cloud of witnesses," who all testify to his faithfulness, sufficiency, and love. He is most present — when most needed; most kind — when we are most tried. He requires that we should trust him, and give him credit for veracity; but how frequently do we doubt, or manifest impatience? He appeared for Abraham, for Elijah, and for Daniel, in the last extremity; and why? Because they believed in their God.
He is able to supply us — for he has all things at command; he is willing — for he has given us his word; he is sure to do so — for he cannot lie, deceive, or deny himself. He provides for the ravens, the lions, and the sparrows — and do you think he can neglect his saints? What! When he has . . .
loved them from eternity,
given his Son to die for them,
proclaimed himself a Father to them, and
assured them that he will never leave them nor forsake them!
"Look unto the generations of old, did ever any trust in the Lord and were confounded?" "For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endures to all generations."
"He knows our frame;"
he notices our needs,
he remembers his promises,
he honors our faith,
he answers our prayers,
and he fulfills his word.
"Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!"
The saints should never be dismayed,
Nor sink in hopeless fear;
For when they least expect his aid,
The Savior will appear!
Tried believer, your God is never at a loss. He does according to his will in Heaven, earth, and Hell. He cannot be unkind, for his very nature is love. He says, "call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me." Call upon him, then, plead with him, wait upon him, look for him, trust in him — and "God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Though troubles assail and dangers affright,
Though friends should all fail, and foes all unite;
Yet one thing secures us, whatever betide:
The Scripture assures, "The Lord Will Provide."
The birds without barn or storehouse are fed;
From them, let us learn to trust for our bread.
His saints what is fitting shall ne'er be denied,
So long as 'tis written, "The Lord Will Provide."
When Satan appears to stop up our path,
And fill us with fears, we triumph by faith;
He cannot take from us though oft he has tried,
This heart cheering promise, "The Lord Will Provide."
He tells us we're weak, our hope is in vain,
The good that we seek we ne'er shall obtain;
But when such suggestions our spirits have plied,
This answers all questions, "The Lord Will Provide."
No strength of our own or goodness we claim,
Yet since we have known the Savior's great name,
In this our strong tower for safety we hide,
The Lord is our power, "The Lord Will Provide."
When life sinks fast, and death is in view,
This word of his grace, shall comfort us through;
No fearing or doubting, with Christ on our side,
We hope to die shouting, "The Lord Will Provide."
The FAITHFUL God
It has ever been one of the brightest traits in Jehovah's character, that he has proved himself faithful — notwithstanding the faithlessness of his people. This rock has never been shaken, this foundation cannot be removed, this truth cannot be invalidated — that our God is a faithful God. In every age of the world, in all the trying circumstances in which the church has been placed, and in every individual believer's experience — God has been found faithful.
On the mount of danger,
on the ocean of perplexity,
or in the field of conflict —
the saints have ever found the Lord with them, according to his promise; and appearing for them, in answer to their prayers.
The history of the church may be read, the conduct of our God may be minutely investigated — and not the least reason to doubt, or the smallest ground for unbelieving fear can be found. God is . . .
faithful to every sinner, who ever called upon his name;
faithful to every saint, who ever trusted in his word;
faithful to every name he bears;
faithful to every relation he fills;
faithful to every office he sustains!
The whole church shall join to proclaim him, "The Faithful God."
Here, believer, on the faithfulness of God — you may rest with unshaken confidence — here you may repose with unwavering faith! Nothing can tempt him to . . .
falsify his word,
dishonor his name, or
disappoint his people.
His love forbids it — his faithfulness renders it impossible. He "cannot lie." "He cannot deny himself." "He is faithful who promised." Here Abraham rested and found repose; amidst all his changes of place, circumstances, and feelings. A faithful God sustained, supplied, and cheered him — through all the rough journey of life; and a faithful God rejoiced his heart on the bed of death.
Creatures may change — and will change; but the faithfulness of our God is more stable than the pillars of Heaven, and more firm than the deep foundations of the earth, "Heaven and earth shall pass away — but my words shall not pass away!"
On this rock — lay the foundation of your hope.
On this divine attribute — fix your faith.
On this security — venture your everlasting all.
The faithfulness of God will produce a summer's calm — in the stormy bosom; and a joyful expectation — in the doubting breast.
The faithfulness of God is . . .
the confidence of angels,
the dread of devils,
the terror of impenitent sinners, and
the source of a believer's confidence.
God will . . .
deliver in danger;
supply in need;
support in weakness; and
be a friend to the trembling sinner
— because, he is "the faithful God."
"He is faithful who has promised."
Heaven is promised — and Heaven shall be possessed.
Holiness is sought — and holiness shall be enjoyed.
Happiness is anticipated — and shall be realized; for "God is faithful."
God is faithful . . .
to correct your follies;
to restrain your foes;
to sanctify your trials;
to relieve your distresses; and
to make all grace abound toward every humble, dependent, praying soul. "Know therefore that the Lord your God, he is God, the faithful God, who keeps covenant and mercy with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations!"
What though the hosts of Hell engage
With mingled cruelty and rage?
A faithful God restrains their hands,
And chains them down with iron bands!
Bound by his word, he will display
A strength proportioned to our day:
And, when united trials meet,
Will show a path of safe retreat.
Thus far we prove that promise good,
Which Jesus ratified with blood:
Still he is gracious, wise, and just;
And still in him let Israel trust.
I Will Be a FATHER unto You
"Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:17-18
The gospel calls us to separate from the world, and unfits us to enjoy its follies and its pleasures. This often exposes us to its scoffs, and at times to severe privations. But when forsaken by relatives, and persecuted by strangers — the Lord promises to be our Father. He . . .
watches over us for good,
cares for us under all circumstances,
and bids us cast all our cares on himself.
As a Father, he superintends all our concerns, and takes interest in all that exercises our minds. His affections yearn over us with tenderest compassion and warmest love. "Like as a father pities his children — so the Lord pities those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust." He gives us every encouragement to trust his word, and expect every blessing at his hands.
He may correct our follies — but it is always done out of love to us. Every trouble flows from his love — and is intended to endear us to him, and glorify his grace. He will not allow us to be tried above that we are able — but will deliver us according to the greatness of his mercy.
To whom should we look in trouble,
from whom should we expect relief, or
in whom should we trust for deliverance
— but to the Lord! He is a father unto us, and we are his sons and daughters. He has provided a good home for us, and will bring us safely to it. Surely we ought to . . .
confide in his love,
rejoice in his grace,
and live at his throne.
He may not prevent trials — but he will sanctify them; and as a father is present with a sick child to administer to its needs — so will the Lord be present with us. He will support us under them — and then deliver us from them. He makes our salvation and spiritual good — the end of his providence; and our fitness for glory — the the object of his care. He abounds toward us in all wisdom and prudence; he will not give us food — when we need medicine; nor liberty — when he sees we should run into danger. He forgets the wrongs we do to him — but never forgets his promises to us. We cannot be too low for his promise to reach us; nor too poor for his grace to supply us. Better be in the arms of a father — than in the arms of a giant. But Jehovah has more than a Father's love, and more than a giants strength! "And underneath are the everlasting arms!" Here is support, comfort and confidence.
O trust in God for the future — that you may enjoy your present mercies. If you doubt in reference to the future — your bread will be that of sorrow, and your drink the waters of Marah.
Pray for what you need,
expect all you will need, and
be contented with whatever God sends!
"Godliness with contentment is great gain." You cannot need anything — but your Father has it. You cannot need it at any time — but your Father sees you need it. Nor can you need anything at any time — but your Father has promised to bestow it.
His resources cannot be exhausted;
his mind cannot change;
his promise cannot fail;
nor can you be left destitute and wretched!
Why then are you distrustful? God says, "I will be a Father unto you." Let this silence your complaints, conquer your fears, and give you rest. He will be as good as his word — not "one jot or one tittle" shall ever fail. Only . . .
separate from the world,
devote yourself to his service,
aim at his glory,
walk by his holy word — and
he will perform a father's part! You will never be an orphan, or be left destitute of what is really necessary. Seek to honor him — and he will provide for your every need!
Our Father sits on yonder throne,
Amidst the hosts above;
He reigns throughout the world alone,
He reins, the God of love!
He knew us — when we knew him not;
Was with us — though unseen:
His favor came to us — unsought;
His love has wondrous been.
He keeps us now, securely keeps,
Whatever foe assails,
With vigilance that never sleeps;
With power that never fails!
He gives us hope that we shall be,
Before long with him above;
The fullness of his glory see,
And celebrate his love.
Then let us, while we dwell below
Obey our Father's voice;
To all his dispensations bow,
And in his name rejoice.
How sweet to hear him say at last!
You blessed children come:
The days of banishment are past
Your Father calls you home!
I Will Be Glorified
This is Jehovah's determination, and this is his design . . .
in all the works of his hands,
in all the doctrines of his grace,
in all the promises of his love,
in all the operations of his Spirit, and
in all the trials and comforts of his children.
We should constantly aim to glorify God in all things — for in so doing, we would escape many trials, temptations and distresses. He will be glorified . . .
in pardoning our sins,
in accepting our persons,
in supplying our need,
in correcting our follies,
in sanctifying our natures,
and in leading us safely to glory.
From this object — nothing can divert him; he pursues it with a steady aim, and at all times. When we do so — we are safe; if we could do so perfectly — we would be perfectly happy. His glory and our good, are inseparably connected; if we neglect the former — we miss the latter.
But HOW can we glorify God?
Are you poor? God is glorified by your trust, contentment, prayers, and industry.
Are you rich? He is glorified . . .
by the consecration of your property to his service;
by your imitating the example of Jesus, going about doing good;
and by your gratitude for such great mercies.
Are you sick? He is glorified . . .
by your submission to his will;
by your praying, "Tell me why you contend with me?"
and by your patience under the painful rod.
Are you in deep trials? He is glorified . . .
by your reliance upon him;
by your wrestling with him; and
by your humbling yourself before him.
Are you severely exercised by a sense of your sinfulness and unworthiness? He is glorified . . .
by your dependence on his word;
by your accepting of his free invitation; and
by your looking through all to the Lord Jesus for life and everlasting salvation.
In a word, he is glorified by your faith, love, humility, hope, confidence, fear, joy, patience, zeal for his honor, and suffering for his cause!
He will be glorified — therefore we must . . .
be stripped of self,
be crucified to the world,
die to the law,
be in communion with Jesus,
walk by faith, and
trust his heart — where we cannot trace his hand.
He will be glorified — therefore we must be . . .
emptied from vessel to vessel, and
travel to Heaven, by a path of tribulation.
Let us then seek to walk by that comprehensive rule. "Whether therefore you eat or drink, or whatever you do — do all to the glory of God!" Let us then aspire to the state of the primitive Christians, who could say, "None of us lives to himself, and no man dies to himself. For whether we live — we live unto the Lord; and whether we die — we die unto the Lord. Whether we live therefore, or die — we are the Lord's." For them — to live was Christ, and to die was gain.
Let us seek his glory in all things, at all times — and . . .
our peace will be great,
our comforts will abound,
our death will be happy,
and eternity will be glorious!
Your love in sufferings, be my peace,
And love in weakness, make me strong;
And, when the storms of life shall cease,
Your love shall be my Heaven and song!