« EdellinenJatka »
says "We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly." We have the same promises, and the same helps, as they had-promises exceeding great and exeeding precious, containing a free grant in Christ of all spiritual blessings—a full warrant to make use of them for life and godliness, with commands and encouragements to trust and not be afraid of any enemies, or of any dangers: Because he is faithful who has promised to be with them-to guide them with his counsel to keep them safe by his power to bless them with his love-and never to leave them nor forsake them: so that in all difficulties and troubles, they may go on their way rejoicing, until faith and patience have done their perfect work. To this purpose, a Divine, whose praise is in all the churches, has given his testimony: "It is an everlasting spring of comfort, and encouragement unto the people of God, both in prayer, and unto prayer; they pray to him, who is mighty, mighty to do what they pray for. The Lord's promises are our richest
inheritances, and that not only because he hath promised greater and better things than are in the compass of any man's power to make good, or in the compass of any man's understanding to comprehend; but because he will certainly be as good in performance, as he hath been in promise: for he is in one mind concerning all that he hath promised. He will be merciful as he hath promised, and pardon sin, as he hath promised, and sanctify all our troubles, as he hath promised; he will give us his Spirit, as he hath promised, and save us eternally, as he hath promised." A great Layman thus confirms the same truth-"Were God but believed in what he says, all the temptations of Satan, and the doubtings of our unbelieving hearts, would be silenced and brought to nothing. What exceeding folly is it in our hearts, that God, who never deceived any that trusted in him, should be distrusted by any, and not believed by all. He is the God of truth: so is his word the word of truth. And not any soul, that ever tried God by trusting him upon his word, but found him so. Oh! then take
God's word, and our hearts will be quiet. Though the heathen do rage, yet they imagine but a vain thing. In this glorious doctrine, free grace in God is the fountain, full satisfaction to divine justice the way, but perfect salvation and redemption to all his elect body in Christ, the end. And truly when a soul can say, My Beloved is mine, and I am his, he hath spoken all at once. I know no other light nor rule, but the word and Spirit to make out any thing of God to any soul. The glory of the great day will be-God is mine, and I am his."
Some scripture encouragements for the triumph of faith. ALL the old testament words which we translate triumph, signify great joy felt in the heart, and expressed outwardly in word or deed; a jubilee of joy, even joy in the highest, as near as it can be to the joy of heaven. In the new testament the word is used but twice: First, for what Christ engaged to do for us, and secondly for what Christ engaged to do in us. For us he undertook to fight our battles against all our enemies-sin, the world, Satan, death and hell. And the Captain of our salvation has gained. a complete victory, and had a most glorious triumph over them in his own person-when he blotted out the hand writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and he took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them
openly, triumphing over them in that same cross. And he still goes on conquering and to conquer. By the preaching of his cross and passion, his resurrection and ascension, he is to this very day exalting the honours of his victory and triumph in the hearts and lives of his redeemed, giving them such a share in his conquests, that they ought to be ever praising him with joyful lips. Now thanks be unto God, who always causeth us to triumph in Christ. This was the apostle's happy experience. He found that the gospel, and his preaching of it, and the great success which attended it, were the fruits of Christ's presence with him, and blessing upon him : Therefore to him he gave all the glory. So do we still. We see the triumphs of the crossspread far and wide, and we praise him for our day of gospel grace. The crucified Saviour in his majesty rides on prosperously in the chariots of salvation, and his enemies fall under him. In the day of his power he makes them a willing people. They submit to his sceptre, and acknowledge him to be their Lord and their God. Under his banner they