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I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.-All true and lively faith begets love; and thus that heavenly light is the vehicle of heat: and as, by this means, true faith has a tendency to the practice of obedience, so all true obedience depends upon faith, and flows from it; but it also proceeds from love, because faith first produces love, and then works by it. All knowledge of mysteries is vain, and of no value, unless it have an influence upon the affections, and thereby on the whole conduct of life. The luminaries of heaven are placed on high; but they are so placed, that they may shine, and perform their periods, for the benefit of this earth.LEIGHTON.
There is no true faith in the doctrine of salvation, unless it be attended with this magnetic force by which it draws the soul to God. One would think it should be impossible, where this effect is not produced, that there should be so much as an historical faith; and surely it is contrary to, and inconsistent with, the rational nature, to see so desirable and excellent a good laid down as it were before us, and freely offered, without running most freely to embrace it, with open arms, and an ardent impetuosity of soul.
The faith therefore of vulgar and merely nominal Christians is quite dead, and deserves not the name of faith at all. I mean that which is not sufficient to excite them earnestly to desire and expect that Divine grace. which they say they believe. True and lively faith is the eye of the inner man, which beholds an infinitely amiable God, the lucid and perpetual
fountain of grace, and by the view is immediately kindled into the most fervent love. That Divine light which is sent from heaven into the soul, is the vehicle of heat too, and, by its ardent rays, presently sets the heart on fire; the flame rises sublime, and bears all the affections of the mind with it to that consummate beauty which it renders visible.-LEIGHTON.
Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you.-If we neglect the opportunities of grace, and refuse to hear the voice of Christ in the time of mercy and divine appointment, we may arrive at that state of misery, in which Christ will refuse to speak one word of comfort to us; and the homilies of the Gospel shall be dead letters, and the spirit not at all refreshed, nor the understanding instructed, nor the affections moved, nor the will determined; but because we have, during all our time, stopped our ears, in his time God will stop his mouth, shut up the springs of grace, that we shall receive no refreshment,
or instruction, or pardon, or felicity.
Leader of faithful souls, and guide
Who would on thee alone rely;
Strangers and pilgrims here below,
This earth, we know, is not our place; We hasten through the vale of woe,
And, restless to behold thy face, Swift to our heavenly country move, Our everlasting home above.
Rais'd by the breath of love Divine,
on him; but because of the
We urge our way with strength renew'd; Pharisees they did not confess
The church of the firstborn to join,
him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
43 "For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
We travel to the mount of God. With joy upon our heads, we rise To meet our Captain in the skies.
42 ¶ Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed
44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
45 And he that seeth me, seeth him that sent me.
46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not," I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him:
the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
50 And I know that his com
mandment is life everlasting : whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
9 Is. liii. 1. Rom. x. 16.-r Is. vi.9, 10. Mat. xiii. 14.-s Is. vi. 1. ch. vii. 13, & xi 22.-u ch. v. 44 - Mark ix. 37; 1 Pet. i. 21-y ch. xiv. 9.-≈ v. 35, 26; ch. iii. 19; & viii. 12; & ix. 5, 39.-a ch. v. 45 ; & viii. 15, 26-6 ch iii. 17.- Luke x 16.-d Deut. xviii. 19; Mark xvi. 16-e ch. viii, 38; & xiv. 19.-ƒ Deut. xviii. 19.
See Matthew XIII. 14, 15, in
And Chapter VIII. 12,
CHAP. XIII. 1—17.
3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began
8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, if I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
11 For' he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.
12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
14" If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your
feet, ye also ought to wash to his laws and appointments in all one another's feet.
15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his Lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
things, to have every action and every word under a rule and law, and the
penalty to be so high, even eternal death. All this, to a carnal or haughty mind is hard; not only every action and word, but even every thought too, must be subject, not so much as thought free, "every thought is brought into captivity," 2 Cor. x. 5, as the apostle speaks, and so the licentious man accounts it; not only
17 * If ye know these things, the affections and desires, but the happy are ye if ye do them.
a Mat. xxvi. 2.- ch. xii. 23; & xvii. 1, 1.-c Luke xxii. 3; ver. 27.-d Mat. xi. 27 ; & xxviii. 18. ch. iii. 35; & xvii. 2. Acts ii. 36. 1 Cor. xv. 27. Heb. ii. 8.-e
eh. viii. 42; & xvi. 23.- Luke xxii. 27. Phil. ii. 7,8. Cor. vi. 11. Eph. v. 26. Tit. iii. 5. Heb. x. 22.-k ch. xv.
↑ Gr. he.-g See Mat. iii. 14.-h ver. 12.- ch. iii. 5. 1
3.- ch. vi. 64.-m Mat. xxiii. 8, 10. Luke vi. 46. 1 Cor. viii. 6; & xii. 3. Phil. ii. 11.-n Luke xxii. 27.Rom. xii. 10. Gal. vi. 1, 2. 1 Pet. v. 5.-p Mat. xi. 29. Phil. ii. 5. ! Pet. ii. 21. 1 John ii. 6.-9 Mat. x. 24. Luke vi. 40. ch. xv. 20.-r James i. 25.
READER.-If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye ought also to wash one another's feet. The best measure of grace is humility for, the more grace still the greater humility; and, no humility no grace. Solomon observed of old, and St. James took it from him, that, "God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble;" Prov. iii. 34; James iv. 6; so as he, that is not humble, is not so much as capable of grace; and he that is truly humble, is a fit subject for all graces. -HALL.
If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.-This is the power of religion, the new impress of God upon the heart, and obedience and resignation to him, to be given up to him as entirely his, to be moulded and ordered as he will, to be subject
very reasoning and imaginations are brought under this law.
Now, to yield this as reasonable and due to God, to own his sovereignty, and to acknowledge the law to be holy, and just, and good, to approve it, yea to love it, even there where it most contradicts and controuls our own corrupt will, and the law of sin in our flesh, this is true spiritual obedience; to study and enquire after the will of God in all our ways, what will please him, and having found it, to follow that which is here called "the way of his commandments;" to make this "our way" and our business in the world, and all other things but accessaries and bye-works; even those lawful things that may be taken in, and used as helps in our way. As the disciples passing through the corn plucked the ears, and did eat in passing, as a bye-work, but their business was to follow their Master. And whatsoever would hinder us in this way, must be watched and guarded against. To effect that, we must either remove and thrust it aside, or if we cannot do that, yet we must go over it and trample it under foot,
were it the thing or the person that is dearest to us in the world. Till the heart be brought to this state and purpose, it is either wholly void of, or very low and weak in, the truth of religion.-LEIGHTON.
Oh! where are souls to be found amongst us, that represent their own original, that are possest with pure and sublime apprehensions of God the Father of Spirits, and are often raised to the astonishing contemplation of his eternal and blessed being, and his infinite holiness, and greatness, and goodness, and are accordingly burnt up with ardent love? And where that holy fire is wanting, there can be no sacrifice, whatsoever our invention, or utterance, or gifts may be, and how blameless soever the externals of our life may be, and even our hearts free from gross pollutions; for it is scarce to be suspected that any of us will suffer any of those strange, yea, infernal fires of ambition, or avarice, or malice, or impure lusts and sensualities to burn within us, which would render us priests of idols, of airy nothings, and of dunghill gods, yea of the very "god of this world, the prince of darkness." Let men judge us and revile us as they please, that imports nothing at all; but God forbid any thing should possess our hearts but he that loved us, and gave himself for us; for we know we cannot be vessels of honour meet for the master's
use, "unless we purge ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit," and empty our hearts of all things beside him, and even of ourselves, and our own will, and have no more any desires or delights, but his will alone,