The great first cause of our salvation is not our choice of the Lord Jesus, but his choice of us. The election of his people is with him. He takes the first step towards us. He has, however, chosen us not to be idlers, but fruit-bearers, not to be occasional workers, but persevering labourers. He has also chosen us to be men of prayer; and he would not have us formal worshippers but prevalent pleaders. Have the objects of the Lord’s choice been realised in us? How can we know our election except by fruits of holiness, and answers to prayer?
This command comes often, but never too often. We need to hear it again and again.
Therefore there is nothing to wonder at when men slander and abuse us; it is their ordinary manner of saluting every vessel which bears our great Captains flag.
Election secures us human hatred as well as divine love, but for the sake of the sweet, we joyfully accept the bitter. What we have most to dread is the smile of the world, for many have been fascinated by it and fallen into destruction.
Let us not reckon upon easy times. We are servants of a Master who lived amid reproach and died upon a cross. How can we expect those who crowned Him with thorns to crown us with roses?
Light when rejected in- creases sin. No apology remains for a man when his ignorance is removed. He who has had Jesus for his teacher and yet refuses to learn, is guilty of wilful ignorance, and deserves the severest judgment.
An opponent of Christianity cannot, therefore, be a sincere worshipper of God. A pure Theist in a country where the Gospel is preached, is an impossibility.
Our Lord’s miracles proved his mission, and rendered Israel’s rejection of him a most wanton rebellion against the light. So greatly did their sinning against the light add to their sin, that comparatively speaking, their sins were nothing till their conscience being enlightened, they were able to sin with an emphasis.
This is the Holy Spirit’s great work. What sweet witness does he bear in his people’s hearts! Do we know the power of that inward testimony? Let us examine ourselves upon this matter, as in the sight of God.
Yes, and we too, when the Holy Spirit has witnessed in us, may become witnesses to others concerning the Lord Jesus. But we must be with him to know him, and we must know him before we can witness concerning him.
My precious Lord, for thy dear name
I bear the cross, despise the shame;
Nor do I faint while thou art near;
I lean on thee; how can I fear?
No other name but thine is given
To cheer my soul in earth or heaven;
No other wealth will I require;
No other friend can I desire.
Yea, into nothing would I fall
For thee alone, my All in All;
To feel thy love, my only joy;
To tell thy love, my sole employ.