Wednesday, 21 September 2011

PERUSING THE WORD

It is in perusing the word that we converse with the Father in his secret decrees and purposes; with the blessed Redeemer in his great undertakings, sufferings, and soul-comforting discourses; and with the blessed Spirit, who spoke by the patriarchs, prophets, and apostles.

Yea, I have often found the sweetest companions, and the greatest company, when I have been alone.

It is by the Spirit's operation, by the bond of love, by a unity of sentiment, and by a unity of the faith of God's elect, that we come "to the general assembly and church of the first-born which are written in heaven..." (Hebrews 12:23).

It is by our arraignment and justification that we come to God the judge of all; and by the Spirit's operation that we come to "...the spirits of just men made perfect" (Hebrews 12:23)

Believing in Jesus for life and salvation, is coming to the Mediator of the new covenant; and receiving the atonement by faith, is coming "to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel" (Hebrews 12:24).

By William Huntington

AN ABLE MINISTER OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

"An able minister of the New Testament" is one that has received the spirit of promise, one that has felt and enjoyed the truths, blessings, and promises, of the gospel in his own heart, and so tells to others what God has done for his soul.

He has the Spirit, and is a minister of the Spirit.

He is a partaker of grace, and a good steward of it.

He is pardoned and preaches forgiveness.

He is justified, and preaches righteousness.

He believes, and therefore speaks.

He is quickened, and holds forth the Word of life.

He is free, and preaches liberty to others.

He made his own calling and election sure, and therefore shuns not to declare the whole counsel of God.

Christ is revealed in him; and he bears him and preaches him amongst the Gentiles.

He has felt the savour of his name as an ointment poured forth, and therefore is instrumental in making manifest the savour of his name in every place.

He has salt in himself, and his words are seasoned with salt, to season others.

He is illuminated, and lets his light shine before men.

He is a candle on the stick, and gives, light to all that are in the house.

Such an one, in the hands of Christ, is an able minister of the New Testament.

By William Huntington

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

PROVING THE WORK

"But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing of himself alone and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden,"
(Galatians 6:4-5)

THE work mentioned in my text is not the works of the law. No, no, no; for the Scripture says, "By the works of the law shall no flesh living be justified."

But the work here mentioned is faith.

Hence we find the apostle says, "Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith. Prove your own selves," (2 Corinthians 13:5); and here it says, "Let every man prove his own work"

Thus it is plain that this is the work of faith.

"But, then," say you, "how shall we know that we have faith?"

Why, if you have these six things in you which faith always attends:

1. Faith purifies the heart (Acts 10:43); "Whosoever believeth in him shall receive the remission of his sins."

2. It is prevalent with God in prayer (1 John 5:14-l5); "And this is the confidence we have in him."

3. It overcomes the world (1 John 5:4); "Now this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith."

4. Faith attends the Spirit's witness (1 John 5:10); "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself."

5. Peace in the conscience (Romans 15:23); "Peace in believing through the power of the Holy Ghost."

6. It attends the preaching of the word (1 Thessalonians 1:5); "For our Gospel came not unto you in word only, but in power;" and elsewhere it says, "The word preached did not profit, not being mixed with faith" (Hebrews 4:2).

The next thing is to prove this work; to prove the work of God.

1. The Bible says, "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6). Well, say I. I am the person; for I "hunger and thirst after righteousness." Then this proves it.

2. "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten" (Revelation 3:19). Now if I am rebuked and chastened,this proves it; and thus I prove my own work by the word of God.

The next thing is this rejoicing. It is common for people in a natural state, when on a death bed, to send for the minister, and he reads over a few prayers to them; and if conscience begins to lash them, then he administers the sacrament to them, and thus patches up a false peace, and the sick person rejoices in the testimony of another.

But what is all this?

Supposing, on the one hand, every one of you were to tell me I was a child of God, and my conscience cursed me, and told me I was not, what signifies your testimony?

"Why, no," say you. And, on the other hand, suppose every one of you cursed me, and told me I was not, what should I care for that if the Spirit bore witness that I am a child of God?

I care not what you say. And thus I rejoice in myself alone, and not in another.

I will now show you in a three-fold sense how every man shall bear his own burden.

You may say you think it is wrong, for Paul says, "Bear ye one another's burdens."

"O," say you, "that's the moral law;" but I answer, "No;" for the moral law never commands me to bear another's burden.

But Isaiah says, "He bore our sins in his own body on the tree;" and we are to take pattern by him, so if a brother is in distress of soul, by my telling him of my having been in the same state, and praying to God to deliver him as he did me, I make his trouble my own; and this is well-pleasing; for it is the law of love. It was nothing but the self-moving love of Christ that occasioned him to bear our sins.

But this burden in my text is different, as I shall show you in a threefold sense.

1. It is a daily cross: "Let him deny himself, and take up his cross," (Matthew 16:24)

2. The depravity of our nature: "We that are in this tabernacle do groan;"(1 Corinthians 5:4)

3. Bodily afflictions and trials.

Thus I have endeavored to show the meaning of the text, and I add no more.

By William Huntington

Monday, 5 September 2011

A HAND-BASKET PORTION

They have a common saying in the Weald of Kent, when the daughter of a farmer is married. If it be enquired what portion the father gave, the answer is:

"He gave not much money; but is always sending them something - there is always something from the farmhouse."


Then the observation usually is:

"Aye, her's is a hand-basket portion, which is generally the best; for there is no end to that."


Even so our Everlasting Father gives to His poor children a hand-basket portion - a basket being that which we generally fetch our daily provisions in: and God sometimes puts His blessing even in the basket, and then it seldom comes home empty; as it is written:

"Blessed shall be thy basket."
(Deuteronomy 28:5)

Our blessed Saviour eyed this promise on the mount. When He was going to feed five thousand men, beside women and children, with five barley loaves and two small fishes, it is said:

"He looked up to heaven, and blessed and brake..."
(Mark 6:41)

And that blessing was enough; for they were all filled, and there were twelve baskets full of fragments. Thus the blessing appeared in the basket; and that made the Saviour so fond of the fragments as to give this strict charge to His disciples:

"Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost."
(John 6:12)

Thus, too, the proverb of the hand-basket portion appears true; and our blessed Saviour Himself lived on it while He dwelt below; yea, the whole Levitical tribe lived on the hand-basket portion; for the shewbread, that was set hot before God on the golden table, was brought in a basket. So that God Himself has highly honoured the basket.

I am firmly of opinion that the hand-basket portion is the best, both for soul and body; because it keeps us to prayer, exercises our faith, engages our watchfulness, and excites to gratitude.

By William Huntington

HAPPY IS THAT SOUL!

Happy is that soul that credits God.s promise; places his confidence in Him for the fulfilment of it; makes use of the means God has appointed; daily pleads His promise in the humble prayer of faith; patiently waits His time; daily watches His hand; lives in a holy expectation of a daily supply of spiritual and temporal mercies from the God of his salvation; and who is humbly thankful to God for every favour that flows through the atoning blood and prevalent intercession of a dear Redeemer!

By William Huntington