January AM

* 01/01/AM

"They did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year."
                                                   --Joshua 5:12

   Israel's weary wanderings were all over, and the promised 
rest was attained. No more moving tents, fiery serpents, fierce
Amalekites, and howling wildernesses: they came to the land
which flowed with milk and honey, and they ate the old corn of
the land. Perhaps this year, beloved Christian reader, this may
be thy case or mine. Joyful is the prospect, and if faith be in
active exercise, it will yield unalloyed delight. To be with
Jesus in the rest which remaineth for the people of God, is a
cheering hope indeed, and to expect this glory so soon is a
double bliss. Unbelief shudders at the Jordan which still rolls
between us and the goodly land, but let us rest assured that we
have already experienced more ills than death at its worst can
cause us. Let us banish every fearful thought, and rejoice with
exceeding great joy, in the prospect that this year we shall
begin to be "for ever with the Lord."

   A part of the host will this year tarry on earth, to do 
service for their Lord. If this should fall to our lot, there is
no reason why the New Year's text should not still be true. "We
who have believed do enter into rest." The Holy Spirit is the
earnest of our inheritance; He gives us "glory begun below." In
heaven they are secure, and so are we preserve in Christ Jesus;
there they triumph over their enemies, and we have victories
too. Celestial spirits enjoy communion with their Lord, and this
is not denied to us; they rest in His love, and we have perfect
peace in Him: they hymn His praise, and it is our privilege to
bless Him too. We will this year gather celestial fruits on
earthly ground, where faith and hope have made the desert like
the garden of the Lord. Man did eat angels' food of old, and why
not now ? O for grace to feed on Jesus, and so to eat of the
fruit of the land of Canaan this year!

* 01/02/AM

"Continue in prayer."
                                                --Colossians 4:2

   It is interesting to remark how large a portion of Sacred
Writ is occupied with the subject of prayer, either in
furnishing examples, enforcing precepts, or pronouncing
promises. We scarcely open the Bible before we read, "Then
began men to call upon the name of the Lord;" and just as we are
about to close the volume, the "Amen" of an earnest supplication
meets our ear. Instances are plentiful. Here we find a wrestling
Jacob--there a Daniel who prayed three times a day--and a David
who with all his heart called upon his God. On the mountain we
see Elias; in the dungeon Paul and Silas. We have multitudes of
commands, and myriads of promises. What does this teach us, but
the sacred importance and necessity of prayer? We may be certain
that whatever God has made prominent in His Word, He intended to
be conspicuous in our lives. If He has said much about prayer,
it is because He knows we have much need of it. So deep are our
necessities, that until we are in heaven we must not cease to
pray. Dost thou want nothing? Then, I fear thou dost not know
thy poverty. Hast thou no mercy to ask of God?  Then, may the
Lord's mercy show thee thy misery! A prayerless soul is a
Christless soul. Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant,
the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying
saint falling asleep in Jesus. It is the breath, the watchword,
the comfort, the strength, the honour of a Christian. If thou be
a child of God, thou wilt seek thy Father's face, and live in
thy Father's love. Pray that this year thou mayst be holy,
humble, zealous, and patient; have closer communion with Christ,
and enter oftener into the banqueting-house of His love. Pray
that thou mayst be an example and a blessing unto others, and
that thou mayst live more to the glory of thy Master. The motto
for this year must be, "Continue in prayer."

* 01/03/AM

"I will give thee for a covenant of the people."
                                                   --Isaiah 49:8

   Jesus Christ is Himself the sum and substance of the 
covenant, and as one of its gifts, He is the property of every
believer. Believer, canst thou estimate what thou hast gotten in
Christ? "In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."
Consider that word "God" and its infinity, and then meditate
upon "perfect man" and all his beauty; for all that Christ, as
God and man, ever had, or can have, is thine--out of pure free
favour, passed over to thee to be thine entailed property
forever. Our blessed Jesus, as God, is omniscient, omnipresent,
omnipotent. Will it not console you to know that all these great
and glorious attributes are altogether yours?  Has he power?
That power is yours to support and strengthen you, to overcome
your enemies, and to preserve you even to the end. Has He love?
Well, there is not a drop of love in His heart which is not
yours; you may dive into the immense ocean of His love, and you
may say of it all, "It is mine." Hath He justice? It may seem a
stern attribute, but even that is yours, for He will by His
justice see to it that all which is promised to you in the
covenant of grace shall be most certainly secured to you. And
all that He has as _perfect man_ is yours. As a perfect man the
Father's delight was upon Him. He stood accepted by the Most
High. O believer, God's acceptance of Christ is thine
acceptance; for knowest thou not that the love which the Father
set on a perfect Christ, He sets on thee _now_? For all that
Christ did is thine. That perfect righteousness which Jesus
wrought out, when through His stainless life He kept the law and
made it honourable, is thine, and is imputed to thee. Christ is
in the covenant.

     "My God, I am thine--what a comfort divine!
     What a blessing to know that the Saviour is mine!
     In the heavenly Lamb thrice happy I am,
     And my heart it doth dance at the sound of His name."

* 01/04/AM

"Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ."
                                                  --2 Peter 3:18

   "Grow in grace"--not in one grace only, but in _all_ grace.
Grow in that root-grace, _faith_. Believe the promises more
firmly than you have done. Let faith increase in fulness,
constancy, simplicity. Grow also in _love_. Ask that your love
may become extended, more intense, more practical, influencing
every thought, word, and deed. Grow likewise in _humility_. Seek
to lie very low, and know more of your own nothingness. As you
grow _downward_ in humility, seek also to grow _upward_--having
nearer approaches to God in prayer and more intimate fellowship
with Jesus. May God the Holy Spirit enable you to "_grow in the
knowledge of our Lord and Saviour_." He who grows not in the
knowledge of Jesus, refuses to be blessed. To know Him is "life
eternal," and to advance in the knowledge of Him is to increase
in happiness. He who does not long to know more of Christ, knows
nothing of Him yet. Whoever hath sipped this wine will thirst
for more, for although Christ doth satisfy, yet it is such a
satisfaction, that the appetite is not cloyed, but whetted. If
you know the love of Jesus--as the hart panteth for the
water-brooks, so will you pant after deeper draughts of His
love. If you do not desire to know Him better, then you love Him
not, for love always cries, "Nearer, nearer." Absence from
Christ is hell; but the presence of Jesus is heaven. Rest not
then content without an increasing acquaintance with Jesus.
Seek to know more of Him in His divine nature, in His human
relationship, in His finished work, in His death, in His
resurrection, in His present glorious intercession, and in His
future royal advent. Abide hard by the Cross, and search the
mystery of His wounds. An increase of love to Jesus, and a more
perfect apprehension of His love to us is one of the best tests
of growth in grace.

* 01/05/AM

"And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the
light from the darkness."
                                                   --Genesis 1:4

   Light might well be good since it sprang from that fiat of 
goodness, "Let there be light." We who enjoy it should be more
grateful for it than we are, and see more of God in it and by
it. Light _physical_ is said by Solomon to be sweet, but
_gospel_ light is infinitely more precious, for it reveals
eternal things, and ministers to our immortal natures. When the
Holy Spirit gives us _spiritual_ light, and opens our eyes to
behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, we behold
sin in its true colours, and ourselves in our real position; we
see the Most Holy God as He reveals Himself, the plan of mercy
as He propounds it, and the world to come as the Word describes
it. Spiritual light has many beams and prismatic colours, but
whether they be knowledge, joy, holiness, or life, all are
divinely good. If the light received be thus good, what must the
_essential_ light be, and how glorious must be the place where
He reveals Himself. O Lord, since light is so good, give us more
of it, and more of Thyself, the true light.

   No sooner is there a good thing in the world, than _a
division is necessary_. Light and darkness have no communion;
God has divided them, let us not confound them. Sons of light
must not have fellowship with deeds, doctrines, or deceits of
darkness. The children of the day must be sober, honest, and
bold in their Lord's work, leaving the works of darkness to
those who shall dwell in it for ever. Our Churches should by
discipline divide the light from the darkness, and we should by
our distinct separation from the world do the same. In judgment,
in action, in hearing, in teaching, in association, we must
discern between the precious and the vile, and maintain the
great distinction which the Lord made upon the world's first
day. O Lord Jesus, be Thou our light throughout the whole of
this day, for Thy light is the light of men.

* 01/06/AM

"Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you."
                                                   --1 Peter 5:7

   It is a happy way of soothing sorrow when we can feel--"HE 
careth for me." Christian!  do not dishonour religion by always
wearing a brow of care; come, cast your burden upon your Lord.
You are staggering beneath a weight which your Father would not
feel. What seems to you a crushing burden, would be to Him but
as the small dust of the balance. Nothing is so sweet as to

               "Lie passive in God's hands,
               And know no will but His."

O child of suffering, be thou patient; God has not passed thee
over in His providence. He who is the feeder of sparrows, will
also furnish you with what you need. Sit not down in despair;
hope on, hope ever. Take up the arms of faith against a sea of
trouble, and your opposition shall yet end your distresses.
_There is_ One who careth for you. His eye is fixed on you, His
heart beats with pity for your woe, and his hand omnipotent
shall yet bring you the needed help. The darkest cloud shall
scatter itself in showers of mercy. The blackest gloom shall
give place to the morning. He, if thou art one of His family,
will bind up thy wounds, and heal thy broken heart. Doubt not
His grace because of thy tribulation, but believe that He loveth
thee as much in seasons of trouble as in times of happiness.
What a serene and quiet life might you lead if you would leave
providing to the God of providence! With a little oil in the
cruse, and a handful of meal in the barrel, Elijah outlived the
famine, and you will do the same. If God cares for you, why need
you care too? Can you trust Him for your soul, and not for your
body? He has never refused to bear your burdens, He has never
fainted under their weight. Come, then, soul! have done with
fretful care, and leave all thy concerns in the hand of a
gracious God.

* 01/07/AM

"For me to live is Christ."
                                              --Philippians 1:21

   The believer did not always live to Christ. He began to do so 
when God the Holy Spirit convinced him of sin, and when by grace
he was brought to see the dying Saviour making a propitiation
for his guilt. From the moment of the new and celestial birth
the man begins to live to Christ. Jesus is to believers the one
pearl of great price, for whom we are willing to part with all
that we have. He has so completely won our love, that it beats
alone for Him; to His glory we would live, and in defence of His
gospel we would die; He is the pattern of our life, and the
model after which we would sculpture our character. Paul's words
mean more than most men think; they imply that the _aim and end
of his life_ was Christ--nay, his life itself was Jesus. In the
words of an ancient saint, he did eat, and drink, and sleep
eternal life. Jesus was his very breath, the soul of his soul,
the heart of his heart, the life of his life. Can you say, as a
professing Christian, that you live up to this idea? Can you
honestly say that for you to live is Christ? Your business--are
you doing it _for Christ_? Is it not done for self-
aggrandizement and for family advantage? Do you ask, "Is that a
mean reason?" For the _Christian_ it is. He professes to live
for Christ; how can he live for another object without
committing a spiritual adultery? Many there are who carry out
this principle in some measure; but who is there that dare say
that he hath lived wholly for Christ as the apostle did? Yet,
this alone is the true life of a Christian--its source, its
sustenance, its fashion, its end, all gathered up in one
word--Christ Jesus. Lord, accept me; I here present myself,
praying to live only in Thee and to Thee. Let me be as the
bullock which stands between the plough and the altar, to work
or to be sacrificed; and let my motto be, "Ready for either."

* 01/08/AM

"The iniquity of the holy things."
                                                  --Exodus 28:38

   What a veil is lifted up by these words, and what a 
disclosure is made! It will be humbling and profitable for us to
pause awhile and see this sad sight. The iniquities of our
public worship, its hypocrisy, formality, lukewarmness,
irreverence, wandering of heart and forgetfulness of God, what a
full measure have we there! Our work for the Lord, its
emulation, selfishness, carelessness, slackness, unbelief, what
a mass of defilement is there! Our private devotions, their
laxity, coldness, neglect, sleepiness, and vanity, what a
mountain of dead earth is there!  If we looked more carefully we
should find this iniquity to be far greater than appears at
first sight. Dr. Payson, writing to his brother, says, "My
parish, as well as my heart, very much resembles the garden of
the sluggard; and what is worse, I find that very many of my
desires for the melioration of both, proceed either from pride
or vanity or indolence. I look at the weeds which overspread my
garden, and breathe out an earnest wish that they were
eradicated. But why? What prompts the wish? It may be that I may
walk out and say to myself, 'In what fine order is my garden
kept!' This is _pride_. Or, it may be that my neighbours may
look over the wall and say, 'How finely your garden flourishes!'
This is _vanity_. Or I may wish for the destruction of the
weeds, because I am weary of pulling them up. This is
indolence." So that even our desires after holiness may be
polluted by ill motives. Under the greenest sods worms hide
themselves; we need not look long to discover them. How cheering
is the thought, that when the High Priest bore the iniquity of
the holy things he wore upon his brow the words, "HOLINESS TO
THE LORD:" and even so while Jesus bears our sin, He presents
before His Father's face not our unholiness, but his own
holiness. O for grace to view our great High Priest by the eye
of faith!

* 01/09/AM

"I will be their God."
                                                --Jeremiah 31:33

   Christian! here is all thou canst require. To make thee happy 
thou wantest something that shall satisfy thee; and is not this
enough? If thou canst pour this promise into thy cup, wilt thou
not say, with David, "My cup runneth over; I have more than
heart can wish"?  When this is fulfilled, _"I am thy God_," art
thou not possessor of all things? Desire is insatiable as death,
but He who filleth all in all can fill it. The capacity of our
wishes who can measure? but the immeasurable wealth of God can
more than overflow it. I ask thee if thou art not complete when
God is thine? Dost thou want anything but God? Is not His
all-sufficiency enough to satisfy thee if all else should fail?
But thou wantest more than quiet satisfaction; thou desirest
_rapturous delight_. Come, soul, here is music fit for heaven in
this thy portion, for God is the Maker of Heaven. Not all the
music blown from sweet instruments, or drawn from living
strings, can yield such melody as this sweet promise, "I will be
their God." Here is a deep sea of bliss, a shoreless ocean of
delight; come, bathe thy spirit in it; swim an age, and thou
shalt find no shore; dive throughout eternity, and thou shalt
find no bottom. "I will be their God." If this do not make thine
eyes sparkle, and thy heart beat high with bliss, then assuredly
thy soul is not in a healthy state. But thou wantest more than
present delights--thou cravest something concerning which thou
mayest exercise _hope_; and what more canst thou hope for than
the fulfillment of this great promise, "I will be their God"?
This is the masterpiece of all the promises; its enjoyment makes
a heaven below, and will make a heaven above. Dwell in the light
of thy Lord, and let thy soul be always ravished with His love.
Get out the marrow and fatness which this portion yields thee.
Live up to thy privileges, and rejoice with unspeakable joy.

* 01/10/AM

"There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness."
                                                 --2 Timothy 4:8

   Doubting one! thou hast often said, "I fear I shall never 
enter heaven." Fear not! all the people of God shall enter
there. I love the quaint saying of a dying man, who exclaimed,
"I have no fear of going home; I have sent all before me; God's
finger is on the latch of my door, and I am ready for Him to
enter." "But," said one, "are you not afraid lest you should
miss your inheritance?" "Nay," said he, "nay; there is one crown
in heaven which the angel Gabriel could not wear, it will fit no
head but mine. There is one throne in heaven which Paul the
apostle could not fill; it was made for me, and I shall have
it." O Christian, what a joyous thought! thy portion is secure;
"there remaineth a rest." "But cannot I forfeit it?" No, it is
entailed. If I be a child of God I shall not lose it. It is mine
as securely as if I were there. Come with me, believer, and let
us sit upon the top of Nebo, and view the goodly land, even
Canaan. Seest thou that little river of death glistening in the
sunlight, and across it dost thou see the pinnacles of the
eternal city? Dost thou mark the pleasant country, and all its
joyous inhabitants? Know, then, that if thou couldst fly across
thou wouldst see written upon one of its many mansions, "This
remaineth for such a one; preserved for him only. He shall be
caught up to dwell for ever with God." Poor doubting one, see
the fair inheritance; it is _thine_. If thou believest in the
Lord Jesus, if thou hast repented of sin, if thou hast been
renewed in heart, thou art one of the Lord's people, and there
is a place reserved for thee, a crown laid up for thee, a harp
specially provided for thee. No one else shall have thy portion,
it is reserved in heaven for thee, and thou shalt have it ere
long, for there shall be no vacant thrones in glory when all the
chosen are gathered in.

* 01/11/AM

"These have no root."
                                                     --Luke 8:13

   My soul, examine thyself this morning by the light of this 
text. Thou hast received the word with joy; thy feelings have
been stirred and a lively impression has been made; but,
remember, that to receive the word in the ear is one thing, and
to receive Jesus into thy very soul is quite another;
superficial feeling is often joined to inward hardness of heart,
and a lively impression of the word is not always a lasting one.
In the parable, the seed in one case fell upon ground having a
rocky bottom, covered over with a thin layer of earth; when the
seed began to take root, its downward growth was hindered by the
hard stone and therefore it spent its strength in pushing its
green shoot aloft as high as it could, but having no inward
moisture derived from root nourishment, it withered away. Is
this my case? Have I been making a fair show in the flesh
without having a corresponding inner life? Good growth takes
place upwards and downwards at the same time. Am I rooted in
sincere fidelity and love to Jesus? If my heart remains
unsoftened and unfertilized by grace, the good seed may
germinate for a season, but it must ultimately wither, for it
cannot flourish on a rocky, unbroken, unsanctified heart. Let me
dread a godliness as rapid in growth and as wanting in endurance
as Jonah's gourd; let me count the cost of being a follower of
Jesus, above all let me feel the energy of His Holy Spirit, and
then I shall possess an abiding and enduring seed in my soul. If
my mind remains as obdurate as it was by nature, the sun of
trial will scorch, and my hard heart will help to cast the heat
the more terribly upon the ill-covered seed, and my religion
will soon die, and my despair will be terrible; therefore, O
heavenly Sower, plough me first, and then cast the truth into
me, and let me yield Thee a bounteous harvest.

* 01/12/AM

"Ye are Christ's."
                                            --1 Corinthians 3:23

   Ye _are_ Christ's." You are His by donation, for the Father
gave you to the Son; His by His bloody purchase, for He counted
down the price for your redemption; His by dedication, for you
have consecrated yourself to Him; His by relation, for you are
named by his name, and made one of His brethren and joint-heirs.
Labour practically to show the world that you are the servant,
the friend, the bride of Jesus. When tempted to sin, reply, "I
cannot do this great wickedness, for I am Christ's." Immortal
principles forbid the friend of Christ to sin. When wealth is
before you to be won by sin, say that you are Christ's, and
touch it not. Are you exposed to difficulties and dangers?
Stand fast in the evil day, remembering that you are Christ's.
Are you placed where others are sitting down idly, doing
nothing? Rise to the work with all your powers; and when the
sweat stands upon your brow, and you are tempted to loiter, cry,
"No, I cannot stop, for I am Christ's. If I were not purchased
by blood, I might be like Issachar, crouching between two
burdens; but I am Christ's, and cannot loiter." When the siren
song of pleasure would tempt you from the path of right, reply,
"Thy music cannot charm me; I am Christ's." When the cause of
God invites thee, give thy goods and thyself away, for thou art
Christ's. Never belie thy profession. Be thou ever one of those
whose manners are Christian, whose speech is like the Nazarene,
whose conduct and conversation are so redolent of heaven, that
all who see you may know that you are the Saviour's, recognizing
in you His features of love and His countenance of holiness. "I
am a Roman!" was of old a reason for integrity; far more, then,
let it be your argument for holiness, "I am Christ's!"

* 01/13/AM

"Jehoshaphat made ships of Tharshish to go to Ophir for gold:
but they went not; for the ships were broken at Ezion-geber."
                                                 --1 Kings 22:48

   Solomon's ships had returned in safety, but Jehoshaphat's 
vessels never reached the land of gold. Providence prospers one,
and frustrates the desires of another, in the same business and
at the same spot, yet the Great Ruler is as good and wise at one
time as another. May we have grace to-day, in the remembrance
of this text, to bless the Lord for ships broken at Ezion-geber,
as well as for vessels freighted with temporal blessings; let us
not envy the more successful, nor murmur at our losses as though
we were singularly and specially tried. Like Jehoshaphat, we may
be precious in the Lord's sight, although our schemes end in

   The secret cause of Jehoshaphat's loss is well worthy of 
notice, for it is the root of very much of the suffering of the
Lord's people; it was his alliance with a sinful family, his
fellowship with sinners. In 2 Chron. 20:37, we are told that the
Lord sent a prophet to declare, "Because thou hast joined
thyself with Ahaziah, the Lord hath broken thy works." This was
a fatherly chastisement, which appears to have been blest to
him; for in the verse which succeeds our morning's text we find
him refusing to allow his servants to sail in the same vessels
with those of the wicked king. Would to God that Jehoshaphat's
experience might be a warning to the rest of the Lord's people,
to avoid being unequally yoked together with unbelievers! A life
of misery is usually the lot of those who are united in
marriage, or in any other way of their own choosing, with the
men of the world. O for such love to Jesus that, like Him, we
may be holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners; for
if it be not so with us, we may expect to hear it often said,
"The Lord hath broken thy works."

* 01/14/AM

"Mighty to save."
                                                   --Isaiah 63:1

   By the words "to save" we understand the whole of the great 
work of salvation, from the first holy desire onward to complete
sanctification. The words are _multum in parro_: indeed, here
is all mercy in one word. Christ is not only "mighty to save"
those who repent, but He is able to make men repent. He will
carry those to heaven who believe; but He is, moreover, mighty
to give men new hearts and to work faith in them. He is mighty
to make the man who hates holiness love it, and to constrain the
despiser of His name to bend the knee before Him. Nay, this is
not all the meaning, for the divine power is equally seen in the
after-work. The life of a believer is a series of miracles
wrought by "the Mighty God." The bush burns, but is not
consumed. He is mighty to keep His people holy after He has made
them so, and to preserve them in his fear and love until he
consummates their spiritual existence in heaven. Christ's might
doth not lie in making a believer and then leaving him to shift
for himself; but He who begins the good work carries it on; He
who imparts the first germ of life in the dead soul, prolongs
the divine existence, and strengthens it until it bursts asunder
every bond of sin, and the soul leaps from earth, perfected in
glory. Believer, here is encouragement. Art thou praying for
some beloved one? Oh, give not up thy prayers, for Christ is
"mighty to save." You are powerless to reclaim the rebel, but
your Lord is Almighty. Lay hold on that mighty arm, and rouse it
to put forth its strength. Does your own case trouble you? Fear
not, for His strength is sufficient for you. Whether to begin
with others, or to carry on the work in you, Jesus is "mighty to
save;" the best proof of which lies in the fact that He has
saved _you_. What a thousand mercies that you have not found Him
mighty to destroy!

* 01/15/AM

"Do as thou hast said."
                                                 --2 Samuel 7:25

   God's promises were never meant to be thrown aside as waste 
paper; He intended that they should be used. God's gold is not
miser's money, but is minted to be traded with. Nothing pleases
our Lord better than to see His promises put in circulation; He
loves to see His children bring them up to Him, and say, "Lord,
do as Thou hast said." We glorify God when we plead His
promises. Do you think that God will be any the poorer for
giving you the riches He has promised? Do you dream that He will
be any the less holy for giving holiness to you? Do you
imagine He will be any the less pure for washing you from your
sins? He has said "Come now, and let us reason together, saith
the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white
as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as
wool." Faith lays hold upon the promise of pardon, and it does
not delay, saying, "This is a precious promise, I wonder if it
be true?" but it goes straight to the throne with it, and
pleads, "Lord, here is the promise, 'Do as Thou hast said.'" Our
Lord replies, "Be it unto thee even as thou wilt." When a
Christian grasps a promise, if he do not take it to God, he
dishonours Him; but when he hastens to the throne of grace, and
cries, "Lord, I have nothing to recommend me but this, 'Thou
hast said it;'" then his desire shall be granted. Our heavenly
Banker delights to cash His own notes. Never let the promise
rust. Draw the word of promise out of its scabbard, and use it
with holy violence. Think not that God will be troubled by your
importunately reminding Him of His promises. He loves to hear
the loud outcries of needy souls. It is His delight to bestow
favours. He is more ready to hear than you are to ask. The sun
is not weary of shining, nor the fountain of flowing. It is
God's nature to keep His promises; therefore go at once to the
throne with "Do as Thou hast said."

* 01/16/AM

"I will help thee, saith the Lord."
                                                  --Isaiah 41:14

   This morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of
us: "I will _help_ thee." "It is but a small thing for Me, thy
God, to _help_ thee. Consider what I have done already. What!
not help thee? Why, I bought thee with My blood. What! not help
thee? I have died for thee; and if I have done the greater, will
I not do the less? _Help_ thee! It is the least thing I will
ever do for thee; I _have_ done more, and will do more. Before
the world began I chose thee. I made the covenant for thee. I
laid aside My glory and became a man for thee; I gave up My life
for thee; and if I did all this, I will surely help thee now. In
helping thee, I am giving thee what I have bought for thee
already. If thou hadst need of a thousand times as much help, I
would give it thee; thou requirest little compared with what I
am ready to give. 'Tis much for thee to need, but it is nothing
for me to bestow. '_Help_ thee?' Fear not! If there were an ant
at the door of thy granary asking for help, it would not ruin
thee to give him a handful of thy wheat; and thou art nothing
but a tiny insect at the door of My all-sufficiency. 'I will
help thee.'"

   O my soul, is not this enough? Dost thou need more strength
than the omnipotence of the United Trinity? Dost thou want more
wisdom than exists in the Father, more love than displays itself
in the Son, or more power than is manifest in the influences of
the Spirit? Bring hither thine empty pitcher! Surely this well
will fill it. Haste, gather up thy wants, and bring them
here--thine emptiness, thy woes, thy needs. Behold, this river
of God is full for thy supply; what canst thou desire beside? Go
forth, my soul, in this thy might. The Eternal God is thine

       "Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismay'd!
       I, I am thy God, and will still give thee aid."

* 01/17/AM

"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion."
                                               --Revelation 14:1

   The apostle John was privileged to look within the gates of 
heaven, and in describing what he saw, he begins by saying, "I
looked, and, lo, a Lamb!" This teaches us that the chief object
of contemplation in the heavenly state is "the Lamb of God,
which taketh away the sins of the world." Nothing else attracted
the apostle's attention so much as the person of that Divine
Being, who hath redeemed us by His blood. He is the theme of the
songs of all glorified spirits and holy angels. Christian, here
is joy for thee; thou hast looked, and thou hast seen the Lamb.
Through thy tears thine eyes have seen the Lamb of God taking
away thy sins. Rejoice, then. In a little while, when thine eyes
shall have been wiped from tears, thou wilt see the same Lamb
_exalted on His throne_. It is the joy of thy heart to hold
daily fellowship with Jesus; thou shalt have the same joy to a
higher degree in heaven; thou shalt enjoy the constant vision of
His presence; thou shalt dwell with Him for ever. "I looked,
and, lo, a Lamb!" Why, that Lamb is heaven itself; for as good
Rutherford says, "Heaven and Christ are the same thing;" to be
with Christ is to be in heaven, and to be in heaven is to be
with Christ. That prisoner of the Lord very sweetly writes in
one of his glowing letters--"O my Lord Jesus Christ, if I could
be in heaven without thee, it would be a hell; and if I could be
in hell, and have thee still, it would be a heaven to me, for
thou art all the heaven I want." It is true, is it not,
Christian? Does not thy soul say so?

                 "Not all the harps above
                 Can make a heavenly place,
                 If God His residence remove,
                 Or but conceal His face."

All thou needest to make thee blessed, supremely blessed, is "to
be with Christ."

* 01/18/AM

"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God."
                                                   --Hebrews 4:9

   How different will be the state of the believer in heaven 
from what it is here! Here he is born to toil and suffer
weariness, but in the land of the immortal, fatigue is never
known. Anxious to serve his Master, he finds his strength
unequal to his zeal: his constant cry is, "Help me to serve
Thee, O my God." If he be thoroughly active, he will have much
labour; not too much for his will, but more than enough for his
power, so that he will cry out, "I am not wearied _of_ the
labour, but I am wearied _in it_." Ah! Christian, the hot day
of weariness lasts not for ever; the sun is nearing the horizon;
it shall rise again with a brighter day than thou hast ever seen
upon a land where they serve God day and night, and yet rest
from their labours. _Here_, rest is but partial, _there_, it is
_perfect_. _Here_, the Christian is always unsettled; he feels
that he has not yet attained. _There_, all are at rest; they
have attained the summit of the mountain; they have ascended to
the bosom of their God. Higher they cannot go. Ah, toil-worn
labourer, only think when thou shalt rest for ever! Canst thou
conceive it? It is a rest _eternal_; a rest that "remaineth."
Here, my best joys bear "mortal" on their brow; my fair flowers
fade; my dainty cups are drained to dregs; my sweetest birds
fall before Death's arrows; my most pleasant days are shadowed
into nights; and the flood-tides of my bliss subside into ebbs
of sorrow; but _there_, everything is immortal; the harp abides
unrusted, the crown unwithered, the eye undimmed, the voice
unfaltering, the heart unwavering, and the immortal being is
wholly absorbed in infinite delight. Happy day! happy! when
mortality shall be swallowed up of life, and the Eternal Sabbath
shall begin.

* 01/19/AM

"I sought him, but I found him not."
                                          --Song of Solomon 3:1

   Tell me where you lost the company of Christ, and I will 
tell you the most likely place to find Him. Have you lost
Christ in the closet by restraining prayer? Then it is there
you must seek and find Him. Did you lose Christ by sin? You
will find Christ in no other way but by the giving up of the
sin, and seeking by the Holy Spirit to mortify the member in
which the lust doth dwell. Did you lose Christ by neglecting
the Scriptures?  You must find Christ in the Scriptures. It is
a true proverb, "Look for a thing where you dropped it, it is
there." So look for Christ where you lost Him, for He has not
gone away. But it is hard work to go back for Christ. Bunyan
tells us, the pilgrim found the piece of the road back to the
Arbour of Ease, where he lost his roll, the hardest he had ever
travelled. Twenty miles onward is easier than to go one mile
back for the lost evidence.

   Take care, then, when you find your Master, to cling close to 
Him. But how is it you have lost Him? One would have thought you
would never have parted with such a precious friend, whose
presence is so sweet, whose words are so comforting, and whose
company is so dear to you! How is it that you did not watch Him
every moment for fear of losing sight of Him? Yet, since you
have let Him go, what a mercy that you are seeking Him, even
though you mournfully groan, "O that I knew where I might find
Him!" Go on seeking, for it is dangerous to be without thy Lord.
Without Christ you are like a sheep without its shepherd; like a
tree without water at its roots; like a sere leaf in the
tempest--not bound to the tree of life. With thine whole heart
seek Him, and He will be found of thee: only give thyself
thoroughly up to the search, and verily, thou shalt yet discover
Him to thy joy and gladness.

* 01/20/AM

"Abel was a keeper of sheep."
                                                   --Genesis 4:2

   As a shepherd Abel _sanctified his work to the glory of God, 
and offered a sacrifice of blood upon his altar, and the Lord
had respect unto Abel and his offering_. This early type of our
Lord is exceedingly clear and distinct. Like the first streak of
light which tinges the east at sunrise, it does not reveal
everything, but it clearly manifests the great fact that the sun
is coming. As we see Abel, a shepherd and yet a priest, offering
a sacrifice of sweet smell unto God, we discern our Lord, who
brings before His Father a sacrifice to which Jehovah ever hath
respect. Abel was hated by his brother--hated without a cause;
and even so was the Saviour: the natural and carnal man hated
the accepted man in whom the Spirit of grace was found, and
rested not until his blood had been shed. Abel fell, and
sprinkled his altar and sacrifice with his own blood, and
therein sets forth the Lord Jesus slain by the enmity of man
while serving as a priest before the Lord. "The good Shepherd
layeth down His life for the sheep." Let us weep over Him as we
view Him slain by the hatred of mankind, staining the horns of
His altar with His own blood. _Abel's blood speaketh_. "The Lord
said unto Cain, 'The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto Me
from the ground.'" The blood of Jesus hath a mighty tongue, and
the import of its prevailing cry is not vengeance but mercy. It
is precious beyond all preciousness to stand at the altar of our
good Shepherd! to see Him bleeding there as the slaughtered
priest, and then to hear His blood speaking peace to all His
flock, peace in our conscience, peace between Jew and Gentile,
peace between man and his offended Maker, peace all down the
ages of eternity for blood-washed men. Abel is the first
shepherd in order of time, but our hearts shall ever place Jesus
first in order of excellence. Thou great Keeper of the sheep, we
the people of Thy pasture bless Thee with our whole hearts when
we see Thee slain for us.

* 01/21/AM

"And so all Israel shall be saved."
                                                  --Romans 11:26

   Then Moses sang at the Red Sea, it was his joy to know that 
all Israel were safe. Not a drop of spray fell from that solid
wall until the last of God's Israel had safely planted his foot
on the other side the flood. That done, immediately the floods
dissolved into their proper place again, but not till then. Part
of that song was, "Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people
which thou hast redeemed." In the last time, when the elect
shall sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and of the
Lamb, it shall be the boast of Jesus, "Of all whom thou hast
given me, I have lost none." In heaven there shall not be a
vacant throne.

              "For all the chosen race
              Shall meet around the throne,
              Shall bless the conduct of His grace,
              And make His glories known."

As many as God hath chosen, as many as Christ hath redeemed, as
many as the Spirit hath called, as many as believe in Jesus,
shall safely cross the dividing sea. We are not all safely
landed yet:

           "Part of the host have crossed the flood,
           And part are crossing now."

The vanguard of the army has already reached the shore. We are
marching through the depths; we are at this day following hard
after our Leader into the heart of the sea. Let us be of good
cheer: the rear-guard shall soon be where the vanguard already
is; the last of the chosen ones shall soon have crossed the sea,
and then shall be heard the song of triumph, when all are
secure. But oh! if one were absent--oh! if one of His chosen
family should be cast away--it would make an everlasting discord
in the song of the redeemed, and cut the strings of the harps of
paradise, so that music could never be extorted from them.

* 01/22/AM

"Son of man, What is the vine tree more than any tree, or than a
branch which is among the trees of the forest?"
                                                  --Ezekiel 15:2

   These words are for the humbling of God's people; they are 
called God's vine, but what are they by nature more than others?
They, by God's goodness, have become fruitful, having been
planted in a good soil; the Lord hath trained them upon the
walls of the sanctuary, and they bring forth fruit to His glory;
but what are they without their God? What are they without the
continual influence of the Spirit, begetting fruitfulness in
them? O believer, learn to reject pride, seeing that thou hast
no ground for it. Whatever thou art, thou hast nothing to make
thee proud. The more thou hast, the more thou art in debt to
God; and thou shouldst not be proud of that which renders thee a
debtor. Consider thine origin; look back to what thou wast.
Consider what thou wouldst have been but for divine grace. Look
upon thyself as thou art now. Doth not thy conscience reproach
thee? Do not thy thousand wanderings stand before thee, and tell
thee that thou art unworthy to be called His son? And if He hath
made thee anything, art thou not taught thereby that it is grace
which hath made thee to differ? Great believer, thou wouldst
have been a great sinner if God had not made thee to differ. O
thou who art valiant for truth, thou wouldst have been as
valiant for error if grace had not laid hold upon thee.
Therefore, be not proud, though thou hast a large estate--a wide
domain of grace, thou hadst not once a single thing to call
thine own except thy sin and misery. Oh! strange infatuation,
that thou, who hast borrowed everything, shouldst think of
exalting thyself; a poor dependent pensioner upon the bounty of
thy Saviour, one who hath a life which dies without fresh
streams of life from Jesus, and yet proud! Fie on thee, O silly

* 01/23/AM

"I have exalted one chosen out of the people."
                                                   --Psalm 89:19

   Why was Christ chosen out of the people?  Speak, my heart, 
for heart-thoughts are best. Was it not that He might be able
to be our brother, in the blest tie of kindred blood? Oh, what
relationship there is between Christ and the believer! The
believer can say, "I have a Brother in heaven; I may be poor,
but I have a Brother who is rich, and is a King, and will He
suffer me to want while He is on His throne? Oh, no! He loves
me; He is my Brother." Believer, wear this blessed thought, like
a necklace of diamonds, around the neck of thy memory; put it,
as a golden ring, on the finger of recollection, and use it as
the King's own seal, stamping the petitions of thy faith with
confidence of success. He is a brother born for adversity, treat
Him as such.

   Christ was also chosen out of the people that He might know 
our wants and sympathize with us. "He was tempted in all points
like as we are, yet without sin." In all our sorrows we have His
sympathy. Temptation, pain, disappointment, weakness, weariness,
poverty--He knows them all, for He has felt all. Remember this,
Christian, and let it comfort thee. However difficult and
painful thy road, it is marked by the footsteps of thy Saviour;
and even when thou reachest the dark valley of the shadow of
death, and the deep waters of the swelling Jordan, thou wilt
find His footprints there. In all places whithersoever we go, He
has been our forerunner; each burden we have to carry, has once
been laid on the shoulders of Immanuel.

      "His way was much rougher and darker than mine
      Did Christ, my Lord, suffer, and shall I repine?"

Take courage! Royal feet have left a blood-red track upon the
road, and consecrated the thorny path for ever.

* 01/24/AM

"Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler."
                                                    --Psalm 91:3

   God delivers His people from the snare of the fowler in two
senses. _From_, and _out of_. First, He delivers them _from_ the
snare--does not let them enter it; and secondly, if they should
be caught therein, He delivers them _out of_ it. The first
promise is the most precious to some; the second is the best to

   "He shall deliver thee _from_ the snare." How? Trouble is 
often the means whereby God delivers us. God knows that our
backsliding will soon end in our destruction, and He in mercy
sends the rod. We say, "Lord, why is this?" not knowing that our
trouble has been the means of delivering us from far greater
evil. Many have been thus saved from ruin by their sorrows and
their crosses; these have frightened the birds from the net. At
other times, God keeps His people _from_ the snare of the fowler
by giving them great spiritual strength, so that when they are
tempted to do evil they say, "How can I do this great
wickedness, and sin against God?" But what a blessed thing it is
that if the believer shall, in an evil hour, come into the net,
yet God will bring him out of it! O backslider, be cast down,
but do not despair. Wanderer though thou hast been, hear what
thy Redeemer saith--"Return, O backsliding children; I will have
mercy upon you." But you say you cannot return, for you are a
captive. Then listen to the promise--"Surely He shall deliver
thee out of the snare of the fowler." Thou shalt yet be brought
out of all evil into which thou hast fallen, and though thou
shalt never cease to repent of thy ways, yet He that hath loved
thee will not cast thee away; He will receive thee, and give
thee joy and gladness, that the bones which He has broken may
rejoice. No bird of paradise shall die in the fowler's net.

* 01/25/AM

"I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the
praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath
bestowed on us."
                                                  --Isaiah 63:7

   And canst thou not do this? Are there no mercies which thou 
_hast experienced_? What though thou art gloomy now, canst thou
forget that blessed hour when Jesus met thee, and said, "Come
unto me"? Canst thou not remember that rapturous moment when He
snapped thy fetters, dashed thy chains to the earth, and said,
"I came to break thy bonds and set thee free"? Or if the love
of thine espousals be forgotten, there must surely be some
precious milestone along the road of life not quite grown over
with moss, on which thou canst read a happy memorial of His
mercy towards thee? What, didst thou never have a sickness like
that which thou art suffering now, and did He not restore thee?
Wert thou never poor before, and did He not supply thy wants?
Wast thou never in straits before, and did He not deliver thee?
Arise, go to the river of thine experience, and pull up a few
bulrushes, and plait them into an ark, wherein thine infant-
faith may float safely on the stream. Forget not what thy God
has done for thee; turn over the book of thy remembrance, and
consider the days of old. Canst thou not remember the hill
Mizar? Did the Lord never meet with thee at Hermon? Hast thou
never climbed the Delectable Mountains? Hast thou never been
helped in time of need? Nay, I know thou hast. Go back, then, a
little way to the choice mercies of yesterday, and though all
may be dark _now_, light up the lamps of the past, they shall
glitter through the darkness, and thou shalt trust in the Lord
till the day break and the shadows flee away. "Remember, O
Lord, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses, for they
have been ever of old."

* 01/26/AM

"Your heavenly Father."
                                                 --Matthew 6:26

   God's people are doubly His children, they are His offspring 
by creation, and they are His sons by adoption in Christ. Hence
they are privileged to call Him, "Our Father which art in
heaven." Father! Oh, what precious word is that. Here is
_authority_: "If I be a Father, where is mine honour?" If ye be
sons, where is your obedience? Here is _affection_ mingled with
authority; an authority which does not provoke rebellion; an
obedience demanded which is most cheerfully rendered--which
would not be withheld even if it might. The obedience which
God's children yield to Him must be _loving_ obedience. Do not
go about the service of God as slaves to their taskmaster's
toil, but run in the way of His commands because it is your
_Father's_ way. Yield your bodies as instruments of
righteousness, because righteousness is your Father's will, and
_His_ will should be the will of His child. _Father_!--Here is
a kingly attribute so sweetly veiled in love, that the King's
crown is forgotten in the King's face, and His sceptre becomes,
not a rod of iron, but a silver sceptre of mercy--the sceptre
indeed seems to be forgotten in the tender hand of Him who
wields it. Father!--Here is honour and love. How great is a
Father's love to his children! That which friendship cannot do,
and mere benevolence will not attempt, a father's heart and
hand must do for his sons. They are his offspring, he must
bless them; they are his children, he must show himself strong
in their defence. If an earthly father watches over his
children with unceasing love and care, how much more does our
heavenly Father? Abba, Father! He who can say this, hath
uttered better music than cherubim or seraphim can reach. There
is heaven in the depth of that word--Father! There is all I can
ask; all my necessities can demand; all my wishes can desire. I
have all in all to all eternity when I can say, "Father."

* 01/27/AM

"And of his fulness have all we received."
                                                     --John 1:16

   These words tell us that there is a fulness in Christ. There 
is a fulness of essential Deity, for "in Him dwelleth all the
fulness of the Godhead." There is a fulness of perfect manhood,
for in Him, bodily, that Godhead was revealed. There is a
fulness of atoning efficacy in His blood, for "the blood of
Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin." There is a
fulness of justifying righteousness in His life, for "there is
therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ
Jesus." There is a fulness of divine prevalence in His plea,
for "He is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto
God by Him; seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for
them." There is a fulness of victory in His death, for through
death He destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the
devil. There is a fulness of efficacy in His resurrection from
the dead, for by it "we are begotten again unto a lively hope."
There is a fuIness of triumph in His ascension, for "when He
ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and received
gifts for men." There is a fulness of blessings of every sort
and shape; a fulness of grace to pardon, of grace to
regenerate, of grace to sanctify, of grace to preserve, and of
grace to perfect. There is a fulness at all times; a fulness of
comfort in affliction; a fulness of guidance in prosperity. A
fulness of every divine attribute, of wisdom, of power, of
love; a fulness which it were impossible to survey, much less
to explore. "It pleased the Father that in Him should _all_
fulness dwell." Oh, what a fulness must this be of which _all_
receive! Fulness, indeed, must there be when the stream is
always flowing, and yet the well springs up as free, as rich,
as full as ever. Come, believer, and get all thy need supplied;
ask largely, and thou shalt receive largely, for this "fulness"
is inexhaustible, and is treasured up where all the needy may
reach it, even in Jesus, Immanuel--God with us.

* 01/28/AM

"Perfect in Christ Jesus."
                                              --Colossians 1:28

   Do you not feel in your own soul that perfection is not in 
you? Does not every day teach you that? Every tear which
trickles from your eye, weeps "imperfection"; every harsh word
which proceeds from your lip, mutters "imperfection." You have
too frequently had a view of your own heart to dream for a
moment of any perfection _in yourself_. But amidst this sad
consciousness of imperfection, here is comfort for you--you are
"perfect in _Christ Jesus_."In God's sight, you are "complete
in Him;" _even now_ you are "accepted in the Beloved." But
there is a second perfection, yet to be realized, which is sure
to all the seed. Is it not delightful to look forward to the
time when every stain of sin shall be removed from the
believer, and he shall be presented faultless before the
throne, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing? The Church
of Christ then will be so pure, that not even the eye of
Omniscience will see a spot or blemish in her; so holy and so
glorious, that Hart did not go beyond the truth when he said--

                 "With my Saviour's garments on,
                 Holy as the Holy One."

Then shall we know, and taste, and feel the happiness of this
vast but short sentence, "Complete in Christ." Not till then
shall we fully comprehend the heights and depths of the
salvation of Jesus. Doth not thy heart leap for joy at the
thought of it? Black as thou art, thou shalt be white one day;
filthy as thou art, thou shalt be clean. Oh, it is a marvellous
salvation this! Christ takes a worm and transforms it into an
angel; Christ takes a black and deformed thing and makes it
clean and matchless in His glory, peerless in His beauty, and
fit to be the companion of seraphs. O my soul, stand and admire
this blessed truth of perfection in Christ.

* 01/29/AM

"The things which are not seen."
                                           --2 Corinthians 4:18

   In our Christian pilgrimage it is well, for the most part, 
to be looking forward. Forward lies the crown, and onward is
the goal. Whether it be for hope, for joy, for consolation, or
for the inspiring of our love, the future must, after all, be
the grand object of the eye of faith. Looking into the future
we see sin cast out, the body of sin and death destroyed, the
soul made perfect, and fit to be a partaker of the inheritance
of the saints in light. Looking further yet, the believer's
enlightened eye can see death's river passed, the gloomy stream
forded, and the hills of light attained on which standeth the
celestial city; he seeth himself enter within the pearly gates,
hailed as more than conqueror, crowned by the hand of Christ,
embraced in the arms of Jesus, glorified with Him, and made to
sit together with Him on His throne, even as He has overcome
and has sat down with the Father on His throne. The thought of
this future may well relieve the darkness of the past and the
gloom of the present. The joys of heaven will surely compensate
for the sorrows of earth. Hush, hush, my doubts! death is but a
narrow stream, and thou shalt soon have forded it. Time, how
short--eternity, how long! Death, how brief--immortality, how
endless! Methinks I even now eat of Eshcol's clusters, and sip
of the well which is within the gate. The road is so, so short!
I shall soon be there.

           "When the world my heart is rending
           With its heaviest storm of care,
           My glad thoughts to heaven ascending,
           Find a refuge from despair.
           Faith's bright vision shall sustain me
           Till life's pilgrimage is past;
           Fears may vex and troubles pain me,
           I shall reach my home at last."

* 01/30/AM

"When thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the
mulberry trees, then thou shalt bestir thyself."
                                                --2 Samuel 5:24

   The members of Christ's Church should be very prayerful, 
always seeking the unction of the Holy One to rest upon their
hearts, that the kingdom of Christ may come, and that His "will
be done on earth, even as it is in heaven;" but there are times
when God seems especially to favour Zion, such seasons ought to
be to them like "the sound of a going in the tops of the
mulberry trees." We ought then to be doubly prayerful, doubly
earnest, wrestling more at the throne than we have been wont to
do. Action should then be prompt and vigorous. The tide is
flowing--now let us pull manfully for the shore. O for
Pentecostal outpourings and Pentecostal labours. Christian, in
yourself there are times "when thou hearest the sound of a
going in the tops of the mulberry trees." You have a peculiar
power in prayer; the Spirit of God gives you joy and gladness;
the Scripture is open to you; the promises are applied; you
walk in the light of God's countenance; you have peculiar
freedom and liberty in devotion, and more closeness of
communion with Christ than was your wont. Now, at such joyous
periods when you hear the "sound of a going in the tops of the
mulberry trees," is the time to bestir yourself; now is the
time to get rid of any evil habit, while God the Spirit helpeth
your infirmities. Spread your sail; but remember what you
sometimes sing--

        "I can only spread the sail;
        Thou! Thou! must breathe the auspicious gale."

Only be sure you have the sail up. Do not miss the gale for
want of preparation for it. Seek help of God, that you may be
more earnest in duty when made more strong in faith; that you
may be more constant in prayer when you have more liberty at
the throne; that you may be more holy in your conversation
whilst you live more closely with Christ.

* 01/31/AM

"The Lord our Righteousness."
                                                --Jeremiah 23:6

   It will always give a Christian the greatest calm, quiet, 
ease, and peace, to think of the perfect righteousness of
Christ. How often are the saints of God downcast and sad! I do
not think they ought to be. I do not think they would if they
could always see their perfection in Christ. There are some who
are always talking about corruption, and the depravity of the
heart, and the innate evil of the soul. This is quite true, but
why not go a little further, and remember that we are "perfect
in Christ Jesus." It is no wonder that those who are dwelling
upon their own corruption should wear such downcast looks; but
surely if we call to mind that "Christ is made unto us
righteousness," we shall be of good cheer. What though
distresses afflict me, though Satan assault me, though there may
be many things to be experienced before I get to heaven, those
are done for me in the covenant of divine grace; there is
nothing wanting in my Lord, Christ hath done it all. On the
cross He said, "It is finished!" and if it be finished, then am
I complete in Him, and can rejoice with joy unspeakable and full
of glory, "Not having mine own righteousness, which is of the
law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the
righteousness which is of God by faith." You will not find on
this side heaven a holier people than those who receive into
their hearts the doctrine of Christ's righteousness. When the
believer says, "I live on Christ alone; I rest on Him solely for
salvation; and I believe that, however unworthy, I am still
saved in Jesus;" then there rises up as a motive of gratitude
this thought-- "Shall I not live to Christ? Shall I not love Him
and serve Him, seeing that I am saved by His merits?" "The love
of Christ constraineth us," "that they which live should not
henceforth live unto themselves but unto Him which died for
them." If saved by imputed righteousness, we shall greatly value
imparted righteousness.

This document (last modified January 03, 1996) from Believerscafe.com