Page images

shed! How humbling, how elevating the joys we felt! Jonathan sent David away in peace, with his blessing, to enjoy safety. Jesus never, strictly speaking, sends us away, and yet we leave his presence with the peace of God in our hearts, with the divine blessing resting upon our souls, and saved in the Lora with an everlasting salvation.

There is a secret in religion, which no one knows, which no one can know, but the believer. It is made up of confidence in God, peace flowing from God, power imparted by God, and joy akin to the joy of God. Alas ! how many professors are like Jonathan's lad, of this divine secret, they know not anything. They never felt their danger, were never drawn to the feet of Jesus, never witnessed his sympathy, or felt his love. They pick up the precept, as the boy picked up the arrow, and go away into the city; while the believer comes forth to enjoy soul-humbling, soul saving communion with Jesus. The best part of religion is realised and enjoyed by the soul, when it is alone with God. Then our pardon is sealed. Then our fears are scattered. Then our hopes are confirmed. Then our hearts are broken with a sense of his love. Then we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Then the soul seems to flow into the bosom of God, and the love of God flows into the heart, under the operation and direction of the Holy Ghost. O Bacred seasons! O delightful manifestations!

O what elevating emotions we then enjoyed! We can only conceive of heaven as the perfection, and perpetuation of the same.

Beloved, is there any secret in your religion ? Any thing that you cannot put into words, or make intelligible to the carnal man? Or does your religion consist merely in ceremonies, services, and the performance of religious duties? If the latter, it is sad legal drudgery; and you are only in the position of a servant, working for life, which you will never obtain by working. If the former, your religion is pleasant, attractive, and delightful; and you are no more a servant, but a son ; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. You have the Spirit of adoption within you, the presence of Jesus with you, and the prospect of glory before you. Your sweetest seasons, are often when alone with God; your highest joys flow from a sense of union with Christ, and perfect acceptance with God; and you serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him. You have Christ formed in the heart, you hold the promise of eternal life in your hand, and you rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Reader, rest not in a common. place religion. Be not satisfied without heart-work. See to it that you have the grand secret, as it is written, "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and be will show them his covenant."


A CHRISTIAN man lay dying. Slowly did the work of death go on, Severe were his bodily sufferings, and dark and gloomy the state of his mind. His friends tried to rally and comfort him, but their efforts were in vain. They feared he would die in the dark, depart and leave no sign that God was with him. The room was now still and quiet, and the dying man lay calm with his eyes closed. They knew not if he slept or no. They watched him in silence. At length, a smile began to play on his countenance, and his appearance entirely changed. He looked the image of peacefulness and joy. He opened his eyes, and looking on those around him, he said, I have had a view." A view of what, inquired a dear friend,

A view of Calvary," was the reply. Once more the Christian had seen the cross. Once more he had looked upon his Saviour, as suffering and dying in his stead. That sight cleared

away all gloom from his spirit, and imparted joy and peace

to his soul. How could he be sad now, he saw Jesus dying for his sins, dying as his substitute, dying that he might never


die. In the death of Jesus, he saw that sin was put away, his peace was made, and a title to eternal life was given him. The sight of Jesus, dying the just for the unjust, cleared his skies, strengthened his faith, invigorated his hopes, and he felt he could die happyor rather fall asleep in Jesus, without fear.

Reader, have you ever had a faith's view of Jesus on the cross? Have you ever been led as a poor lost sinner, to look to Jesus, as the serpent-bitten Israelites looked to the brazen serpent, for life, everlasting life! If not, I pray God, that whilst reading these lines thou mayest. A view of Calvary, or of Jesus dying instead of sinners, that they may never die, will remove all guilt from thy con. science, chase away all the clouds of gloom from thy mind, and give thee sweet and holy peace. It will end thy opposition to God, and the conflict felt in thy soul about submitting unreservedly to his righteousness. It will introduce the sweetest tranquillity into thy soul, and produce devout and holy gratitude to God. No guilt can remain on the conscience, while we look at Jesus as crucified for our sins. No doubts of God's love can live, when we gaze upon Christ, as the sacrifice for our sins. For if Jesus died for us, then our guilt is expiated. If Jesus was given of God to die in our stead, then God must love us, and love us with a love that passeth knowledge. But we see this to be the case, when by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, we get a view of Calvary.

Believer, is thy soul cast down? Are you in gloom and sadness ? Turn thine eye to Calvary. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a view of the wondrous Sufferer on the cross, the great Sin-bearer dying for thy crimes. This will chase away thy gloom and disperse thy sadness. This will soothe thy troubled spirit, and impart joy to thy sorrowful heart. In all thy temptations, in all thy conflicts, in all thy sufferings from whatever quarter they may come; turn from them to Jesus, carry them to Calvary, there you will get them sanctified, and at length removed. Pore not over the depravity of thy heart. Dwell not on thy short comings. Listen not to the accusations of the great enemy of souls. But at once, and as often as thou art cast down, from whatever cause, turn again to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. On the bed of sickness, when aches, pains, and weakness, make life a burden, look to Calvary. In the hour of death, when about to exchange worlds, in that most solemn hour of man's existence here below, look, look to Jesus as delivered for thy offences, as punished in thy stead, as putting away thy sin, by the sacrifice of himself. Think of the dying Christian, whose expressions caused these lines to be written, all was dark with him, all was doubt and dread, until the Spirit pointed him to Calvary, and then all was confidence, and light, and joy. O to have a view of Jesus, of Jusus on the cross, when

« PreviousContinue »