Sivut kuvina

honour his dear Son, and magnify the riches of his grace in glory by him. The devil himself is wounded by his sword, bound by his chain, and trampled under his feet; as you read, “ The Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan, the crooked serpent, even leviathan, that piercing serpent, and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea,” Isa. xxvii. 1. He bound him with his chain, Rev. xx. 1; he trod upon the lion and adder, and the young lion he trampled under feet, Psalm xci. 13. Therefore cleave thou to Christ, and let his whole revealed mind and will be thy rule. Moses and his legal works, Elijah and his fiery zeal, willingly withdrew, as good servants ought, from the mount while the disciples were with Jesus, Matt. xvii. 8. And, when you hear men pointing the hardened and impenitent sinner to the blood of Christ, and sending happy souls to Moses' law for a rule and a yoke, regard not every. Lo here, and Lo there;' but go to Christ for both your rule and your yoke. If thou art a believer, go not to Sinai, but cleave to another mount, as Isaiah tells you in his vision; “ And it shall come to pass in the last days [mark that], that the mountain of the Lord's house [that is Christ, compare with Dan. ii. 35;] shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall say,

Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will


go, and

and my

teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem,” Isa. ii. 2, 3. There is your rule, Christian, the law and the word; see that thou go not to Moses for a yoke; but “stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not again entangled with the yoke of bondage,” Gal. v. 1. And take

your yoke and rule from your only master and ruler, as he commands us : “Come unto me, all ye that labour (under the legal yoke), 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

ye shall find rest unto your souls; for my yoke is easy,

burden light.” When


hear men telling you that they know of no other rule than the decalogue, nor of any other assured hope of salvation than that those who endure to the end shall be saved, tell them to take their Bibles and look again. A heart-felt union kept up by faith, prayer, and watchfulness, is the only way to be fruitful. If thou sufferest thyself to be beguiled out of this, and art led to Moses, thou wilt soon get the yoke of bondage on thy neck; and when that is fixed by legal preaching thy heart will get hard; thy spirit will get narrow and contracted, 2 Cor. vi. 12; thou wilt be racked with cruel jealousy; inwardly galled at the happiness, prosperity, or success of another; , and wilt then be prating about the merit of good works, while thy own soul is secretly led captive by the devil at his will, and thy conscience accusing thee for it; but, being hardened, thou wilt not regard conscience. Thou wilt then hold the closest communion with those who are bound in the spirit of bondage with thee; and all thy conversation will be railing at those who are more happy in the Lord than thyself. Yea, thou wilt at times obscure plain truth; or even dare to pervert the word of God, in order to entangle others in thy own bondage; because their heavenly frames will gall your bitter spirits. Thus a company of Moses's advocates pull one another into the bush together. I have been through all these blind straits, and know them as well as any one that shoots in secret at me. And I know that this is the foolishness of him that “perverteth his way, and his heart fretteth against the Lord,” Prov. xix. 3.

The Lord favour us with access to himself, and with the fructifying showers of special grace, that we may enjoy, and not abuse, our liberty, and be made fruitful in Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Bring thou all thy internal and external trials to the will of God in the promises, as the only rule to lay them to, and the only rule to explain them by; and keep thyself in the enjoyment of God's love in Christ Jesus. It is love that fulfils the commandments, and that will influence thy life and walk: all fruits without this root will surely wither; “ Let thine heart keep my commandments.” And it is the love of God in the

[blocks in formation]

more can ye, except ye abide in me. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without me ye can do now thing.” But he that leads my soul to Moses is sure to destroy all my fruitfulness : from the Lord, not from the law, is my fruit found, Hos. xiv, 8. All the fruits that the law produces are sour grapes, untimely fruits, wild figs, and eye-service; and are produced from the fear of a criminal, and therefore justly called dead works, which must all be purged away by the blood of Christ before the soul can be saved.

It is a strait path that lies between a loose profession and a legal working: but the soul that is blessed with a divine unction from above has a sufficient leader to guide him into all truth, This I found in my own experience, when my judgment was much confused, and my under, standing very much beclouded; yet I felt an inward teacher; for, if the legalist got hold of me, and I drank into his spirit, then I fell to work at mortifying my corruptions in my own strength; temptations then began to operate, sin prevailed, and I got into bondage, and found enmity to God himself spring up in my heart. And if, on the other hand, I listened to some loose professors, who cried out against my preaching up

convictions by the law, and the feeling sense of pardon, peace, and love, by faith in Christ, then I lost all my peace and comfort. Thus the blessed inward teacher led me when I could not see my way; and

« EdellinenJatka »