November 17: Be Fully Persuaded

“Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. But why do you judge your brother? or why do you set at nothing your brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Let us not therefore judge one another any more; but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling-block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” Romans 14:5, 10, 13

The exercise of private judgment is the natural and inalienable right of every individual. Sanctified by the Spirit of God, it becomes a precious privilege of the believer. He prizes it more than riches, claims it as one of the immunities of his heavenly citizenship, and will surrender it only with life itself.

Christian love will avoid infringing, in the least degree, upon this sacred right. I am bound by the law of love to concede to my brother, to its fullest extent, that which I claim for myself. I am moreover bound to believe him conscientious and honest in the views which holds, and that he maintains them in a reverence for the word, and in the exercise of the fear of God. He does not see eye to eye with me in every point of truth—our views of church government, of ordinances, and of some of the doctrines are not alike.

And yet, discerning a perfect agreement as to the one great and only way of salvation—and still more, marking in him much of the lowly, loving spirit of his Master, with an earnest desire, in simplicity and godly sincerity, to serve Him—how can I cherish or manifest towards him any other than a feeling of brotherly love? God loves him, God bears with him; and Christ may see in him, despite of a creed less accurately balanced with the word of truth than mine, a walk more in harmony with the holy, self-denying, God-glorifying precepts of that truth. With an orthodoxy less perfect, there may be a life more holy.

With less illumination in the judgment, there may be more grace in the heart. How charitable in my interpretation, then, how loving in my spirit, how kind and gentle in my manner, should I be towards him. How jealous, too, ought I to be, of that independence of mind, in the exercise of which he may, notwithstanding, have arrived at conclusions opposite to my own.

Cherishing these feelings, Christians who differ in judgment, will be placed in a more favorable position for the understanding of each other’s views, and for the united examination of the word of God. Diversity of judgment, through the infirmity of our fallen nature, is apt to beget alienation of feeling; and consequently, the development of truth is hindered. But where harmony of affection is cultivated, there will be a greater probability of arriving at more perfect agreement in sentiment, thus walking in accordance with apostle’s rule—”I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you: but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment.”

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October 26: A Feeble Glance

“That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:7, 8

It was no little kindness in our God, that as one saving object, and one alone, was to engage the attention and fix the eye of the soul, through time and through eternity, that object should be of surpassing excellence and of peerless beauty. That He should be, not the sweetest seraph nor the loveliest angel in heaven, but His own Son, the “brightness of His glory, the express image of His person.”

God delights in the beautiful; all true beauty emanates from Him; “He has made all things beautiful.” How worthy of Himself, then; that in providing a Savior for fallen man, bidding him fix the eye of faith supremely and exclusively upon Him, that Savior should unite in Himself all Divine and all human beauty; that He should be the “chief among ten thousand, the altogether lovely.”

Adore the name, oh! praise the love of God, for this. In looking to Jesus for salvation, we include each Divine Person of the glorious Trinity. We cannot look unto Jesus without seeing the Father, for Christ is the revelation of the Father. “He that has seen me,” says Christ, “has seen the Father.” Nor can we contemplate Jesus exclusive of the Holy Spirit, because it is the Spirit alone who imparts the spiritual eye that sees Jesus.

Thus, in the believing and saving view a poor sinner has of Jesus, he beholds, in the object of his sight, a revelation of each separate Person of the ever blessed Trinity, engaged in devising and accomplishing his eternal salvation. Oh! what a display of infinite love and wisdom is here, that in our salvation one object should arrest the eye, and the that object should embody an equal revelation of the Father, who gave Jesus, and of the Holy Spirit of truth, who leads to Jesus, and that that object should be the loveliest being in the universe. God has deposited all fullness in Christ, that we might, in all need, repair to Christ. “Looking unto Jesus,” for our standing before God—for the grace that upholds and preserves us unto eternal life—for the supply of the Spirit that sanctifies the heart, and meets us for the heavenly glory—for each day’s need, for each moment’s support—in a word, “looking unto Jesus,” for everything.

Thus has God simplified our life of faith in His dear Son. Severing us from all other sources, alluring us away from all other dependencies, and weaning us from all self-confidence, He would shut us up to Christ above, that Christ might be all and in all.

For the weakness of faith’s eye remember that Christ has suitably provided. His care of, and His tenderness towards, those whose grace is limited, whose experience is feeble, whose knowledge is defective, whose faith is small, are exquisite. He has promised to “anoint the eye with eye-salve, that it may see,” and that it may see more clearly.

Repair to Him, then, with your case, and seek the fresh application of this divine unguent. Be cautious of limiting the reality of your sight to the nearness or distinctness of the object. The most distant and dim view of Jesus by faith is as real and saving as if that view were with the strength of an eagle’s eye.

A well-known example in Jewish history affords an apposite illustration: the wounded Israelite was simply commanded to look to the brazen serpent. Nothing was said of the clearness of his vision or the distinctness of his view; no exception was made to the dimness of his sight. His eye might possibly be blurred, the phantoms of a diseased imagination might float before it, intercepting his view; no, more, it might already be glazing and fixing in death! Yet, even under these circumstances, and at that moment, if he but obeyed the Divine command, and looked towards, simply towards, the elevated serpent, distant and beclouded as it was, he was immediately and effectually healed.

Thus is it with the operation of faith. Let your eye, in obedience to the gospel’s command, be but simply raised and fastened upon Jesus, far removed as may be the glorious object; and dim as may be the blessed vision, yet then “looking unto Jesus,” you shall be fully and eternally saved: “Being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood.”

October 8: Only Believe

“But to him that works not, but believes on him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 4:5

Faith has to do with the understanding and the heart. A man must know his lost and ruined condition before he will accept of Christ; and how can he know this, without a spiritually enlightened mind? What a surprising change now passes over the man!

He is brought, by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, to a knowledge of himself. One beam of light, one touch of the Spirit, has altered all his views of himself, has placed him in a new aspect; all big thoughts, his affections, his desires, are diverted into another and an opposite channel; his fond views of his own righteousness have fled like a dream, his high thoughts are humbled, his lofty looks are brought low, and, as a broken-hearted sinner, he takes his place in the dust before God.

Oh wondrous, oh blessed change! to see the Pharisee take the place, and to hear him utter the cry, of the Publican—”God be merciful to me a sinner!”—to hear him exclaim, “I am lost, self-ruined, deserving eternal wrath; and of sinners the vilest and the chief.” And now the work and exercise of faith commences; the same blessed Spirit that convinced of sin presents to the soul a Savior crucified for the lost—unfolds a salvation full and free for the most worthless—reveals a fountain that “cleanses from all sin,” and holds up to view a righteousness that “justifies from all things.”

And all that He sets the poor convinced sinner upon doing to avail himself of this, is simply to believe. To the momentous question, “What shall I do to be saved?” this is the only reply—”Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.” The anxious soul eagerly exclaims—”Have I then nothing to do but to believe?—have I no great work to accomplish, no price to bring, no worthiness to plead?—may I come just as I am, without merit, without self-preparation, without money, with all my vileness and nothingness?” Still the reply is, “Only believe.”

“Then, Lord, I do believe,” exclaims the soul in a transport of joy; “help my unbelief.” This, reader, is faith—faith, that wondrous grace, that mighty act of which you have heard so much, upon which so many volumes have been written, and so many sermons have been preached; it is the simple rolling of a wounded, bleeding heart upon a wounded, bleeding Savior; it is the simple reception of the amazing truth, that Jesus died for the ungodly—died for sinners—died for the poor, the vile, the bankrupt; that He invites and welcomes to His bosom all poor, convinced, heavy-laden sinners.

The heart, believing this wondrous announcement, going out of all other dependencies and resting only in this—receiving it, welcoming it, rejoicing in it, in a moment, all, all is peace. Do not forget, reader, that faith is but to believe with all the heart that Jesus died for sinners; and the full belief of this one fact will bring peace to the most anxious and sin-troubled soul.

September 30: The Abiding Word

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31, 32

In proportion to a believer’s simple, filial, and close walk with God, will be his deep and spiritual discoveries of truth. “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God.” The more steadily he walks in God’s light, the clearer will he see the light. The nearer he lives to the Sun of Righteousness, the more entirely will he be flooded with its glory, and the more vividly will he reflect its brightness. The more simply and entirely the believing soul lives on Christ, the more enlarged, experimental, and practical will be his ideas of all truth.

The central fact of the Bible is, Christ crucified. From this, as their center, all the lines of truth diverge, and to this, as by a common attraction, they all again return. To know Christ, then—to know Him as dwelling in the heart by His own Spirit —is to have traversed the great circle of spiritual truth. What is His own testimony? “He that has seen me, has seen the Father.” “I am the Father’s great revelation. I have come to make Him known. To unveil His attributes, to illustrate His law, to pour forth the ocean fullness of His love, and to erect one common platform on which may meet in holy fellowship God and the sinner—the two extremes of being. Learn of me; I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

Not only will a spiritual perception of the beauty and fitness of the truth be the result of a close and filial communion with God, but the assurance that God’s word is truth, and not fiction, will increase. And to be thoroughly established in this is no small attainment.

To know that God’s word is true—to cherish no doubt or hesitancy—to give Him full credit for all that He has said—to repose by simple faith upon the promise, and on the faithfulness of Him that has promised—is a blessing earnestly to be sought, and, when found, diligently to be kept.

To quote the striking words of the apostle, “He that believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself.” He has the inward witness to the truth. He needs no outward demonstration. He is in possession of a sort of evidence to the truth of God’s word which scepticism cannot shake, because it cannot reach it. He may not be able to define the precise nature of his evidence; his reply to the unbelieving objector is, “It must be felt to be known, it must be experienced to be understood.

This evidence is not the result of a labored process of thought. I arrived not at it by mathematical reasoning. I was convinced by the Eternal Spirit of sin, fled to Christ, ventured my all upon Him, and now I know of a surety that God’s blessed word is truth.” And not more completely was his sophistry confuted, who attempted to disprove the doctrine of motion, by his opponent immediately rising and walking, than a humble, spiritual, though unlettered believer may thus put to silence the foolishness and ignorance of men.

Their sophistry he may not be able to detect, their assertions he may not be able to disprove, yet by a walk holy and close with God he may demonstrate to the unbelieving universe that Jehovah’s word is true.

Christian professor! are you one of Christ’s true disciples, following Him closely, or are you walking at a distance from Him? A distant walk will as certainly bring darkness into the soul, with its painful attendants—unbelief—loss of evidence—hard thoughts of God—slavish fear—as if an individual were to close every inlet of a habitation to the rays of the sun, and sit down amid the gloom and obscurity with which He has enshrouded Himself.

There is no true spiritual light but that which beams from the Sun of Righteousness, and to this every inlet of the soul must be open. To enjoy this light, then, a believer must dwell near the Sun—he must live close to Christ; he must live the life of daily faith upon Him—he must look away from himself to Jesus—he must walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing—he must be found prayerful and diligent in the means; while, rising above them, he draws all his life, light, and peace from the God of the means.

Oh, what losers are they who walk as Peter walked—at a distance from their Lord; what seasons of endearing communion—what tokens of love—what visits of mercy they rob themselves of! What losers are they who neglect the means of grace—closet prayer—church fellowship—the communion of saints—the blessed ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s supper—these channels, through which a covenant God conveys such untold blessings into the soul of His dear child; for “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him;” and to fear Him is not to dread Him as a slave, but as a child to walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

“Oh, send out Your light and Your truth; let them lead me, let them bring me unto Your holy hill and to Your tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yes, upon the harp will I praise You, O God, my God.”

July16: Only Believe

“Only believe.” Mark 5:36

Precious and significant are the words of Jesus, the very same words that He spoke when on earth. Did those lips, glowing with more than a seraph’s hallowed touch–lips into which grace without measure was poured–ever breathe a sentence more touching, more simple, or more significant than this, “Only believe”?

Originally addressed to an afflicted parent, who sought His compassion and His help in behalf of a little daughter lying at the point of death, they seem to be especially appropriate to every case of anxiety, of trial, and of need. Alas! how many such will scan this page–how many a sigh will breathe over it, how many a tear will moisten it, how many a mournful glance will light upon it!

Be it so; there comes back a voice of sympathy responsive to each sad heart–not man, but Jesus speaks–”Only believe”–in other words, “only trust.” What is faith, but trust? what is believing in Jesus, but trusting in Jesus? When Jesus says, “only believe me,” He literally says, “only trust me.” And what a natural, beautiful, soothing definition of the word faith is this!

Many a volume has been written to explain the nature and illustrate the operation of faith–the subject and the reader remaining as much mystified and perplexed as ever. But who can fail to comprehend the meaning of the good old Saxon word trust! All can understand what this means.

When, therefore, Jesus says–as He does to every individual who reads these words–”only believe me,” He literally says, “only trust me.” Thus He spoke to the anxious father who besought Him to come and heal his child: “only believe–only trust my power, only trust my compassion, only trust my word; do not be afraid, only trust me.” And thus He speaks to you, believer. Oh, for a heart to respond, “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears!”

Trust implies, on our part, mystery and ignorance, danger and helplessness. How wrapped in inscrutability, how shadowy and unreal, is all the future! As we attempt to penetrate the dark clouds, what strange forebodings steal over our spirits. Just at this juncture Jesus approaches, and with address most winning, and in accents most gentle, speaks these words, “Only believe–only trust me!

Trust me, who knows the end from the beginning; trust me, who has all resources at my command; trust me, whose love never changes, whose wisdom never misleads, whose word never fails, whose eye never slumbers nor sleeps–only trust me!” Enough, my blessed Lord, my soul replies. I will sit myself down a loving child, a lowly disciple at Your feet, and, indistinct and dreary as my future path may be, will learn from You how and where I may trust You all my journey through.

June 22: Resurrection Life

“The God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus.” Hebrews 13:20

How beautifully the apostle associates the two blessings! He is now truly the “God of peace” – the pacified God, the reconciled Father; and the evidence of it is His raising up His dear Son from the grave. Thus what a bright view does this truth unfold to us of God!

When we retire within ourselves, we see much to engender dark views of, and distrustful feelings towards, Him. But when faith travels to the grave of Jesus, and we see it empty, we have such an overwhelming evidence of the perfect reconciliation of God, of His thoughts of peace towards us, that instantly faith triumphs, and all our gloomy, trembling apprehensions of His character vanish and disappear. He is the “God of peace,” because Jesus is a risen Savior. And in proportion as you lay hold by faith of the resurrection-life of Christ, you will have that pillar to sustain you upon which rests the whole fabric of salvation.

The peace of God will fill your heart, as you know from experience the power of the Lord’s resurrection in your soul. The power of Christ’s resurrection, in fact, lies in a sense of pardoned sin, in our apprehension of complete justification, in the living hope of eternal glory. Jesus saves to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him, because he is a risen and a living Savior, and ever lives to make intercession in behalf of all His people.

Oh, deal believingly with a risen Christ! The same resurrection-power which brought back to life again the Head of the Church is exerted in effecting the spiritual resurrection of the Church itself. The true believer is already risen. He was once dead in sin, and entombed in the grave of his iniquities. But a power- the same which awoke the death-slumber of Lazarus- has darted from the tomb of Jesus, and has quickened Him to a new and a deathless life.

Oh, were we more directly to trace the mighty energy of the Eternal Spirit in our souls, raising us from the region of death to life and immortality, to that stupendous fact of redemption- the resurrection of Christ from the dead- how would it exalt our views of its importance, and fill our souls with its glory!

What must be the power of our Lord’s resurrection, that can even now awake the profoundest sleep of spiritual death! When the Spirit of God puts forth His own grace to raise a soul from the grave of sin, oh, forget not it is in virtue of a risen, living Savior.

Despair not of the spiritual life of any, though they may have laid in the grave so long as well near to have quenched all hope of their conversion, since Christ has risen from the dead, and is alive, to give life in answer to the prayer of faith. “The second Adam is a quickening Spirit.”

May 26: When Mercy And Truth Collide

“For all the promises of God in him are yes, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20

It pleased a gracious and sin-pardoning God to meet our guilty and conscience-stricken parents, immediately after the fall, with the comforting and gracious promise that the “seed of the woman”- His eternal Son, the everlasting Mediator- should “bruise the serpent’s head.” On this divine assurance of recovering and saving mercy they rested.

Believing in this, as they doubtless did, they were saved, “the first fruits unto God and the Lamb.” They rested, let it be emphatically spoken, not upon the bare letter of the promise, but upon its substance; not merely, upon the grace promised; but upon the truth of God in the promise. The bare letter of a promise is no resting-place for a believing soul; it can convey no solid consolation and support.

Thus far, and no further, did the Jews get, to whom pertained the promises. This is all that they saw in the types and promises which set forth “God’s unspeakable gift.” They rested in the mere letter. They saw not Christ in them; and, seeing not Christ to be their substance and glory, to them “the promises of God were made of none effect.” Now God has fulfilled His ancient promise. The word He spoke to Adam, He has made good to the letter to us, His posterity.

It is true, the vision of grace and glory seemed for a while to tarry, but it tarried only for its appointed time. It is true, the vista was long and dreary, through which patriarchs, seers, and prophets beheld it. The star of hope was often scarcely seen in the dim distance, and frequently seemed for a moment entirely quenched in darkness. Time rolled heavily along- a period of four thousand years elapsed; but, true to His word, faithful to His promise, “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”

Oh, how gloriously did the truth of Jehovah shine in the person of the babe of Bethlehem! How did it gather brightness as the holy child Jesus increased in stature and in favor with God and man! And to what meridian splendor did it blaze forth, when on Calvary it united with holiness and justice, in finishing the great work of the Church’s redemption!

Then was it that “mercy and truth met together, righteousness and peace kissed each other.” Jesus is the grand evidence that God is true. Faith needs, faith asks no more. Here, as on a stable foundation, it rests. Its eye ever “looking unto Jesus,” it can thread its way- often sunless and starless- through a dreary, and an intricate wilderness. It can travel through trials, endure temptations, bow meekly to disappointments, bear up under cross providences, and sustain the shock of fearful conflicts, trusting in the God of the covenant, resting on His promise and oath, and implicitly believing His word, because it sees in Jesus an ever-living witness that God is true.

April 25: A True Religion

“Do you believe on the Son of God?” John 9:35

The application of this question, reader, must be to your conscience. Have you “like precious faith” with that which we have attempted to describe? Alas! it may be that you are that tree which brings not forth this good fruit. Yours may be a species of fruit somewhat resembling it; but do not be deceived in a matter so momentous as this. “You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” That is, you assent to the first proposition of true religion- the being of God; this is well, because your judgment assents to that which is true. And still you have not gone beyond the faith of demons! They believe, and yet horror inconceivable is but the effect of the forced assent of their minds to the truth- they “tremble.”

Oh, look well to your faith! There must be, in true faith, not only an assent, but also a consent. In believing to the saving of the soul, we not only assent to the truth of the word, but we also consent to take Christ as He is there set forth- the sinner’s reconciliation with God. A mere intellectual illumination, or a historical belief of the facts of the Bible, will never place the soul beyond the reach of hell, nor within the region of heaven. There is a “form of knowledge,” as well as a “form of godliness;” and both existing apart from vital religion in the soul constitute a “vain religion.” Again we press upon you the important inquiry, Have you the “faith of God’s elect”?

Is it a faith that has stained the glory of self-merit, and laid the pride of intellect in the dust? Is it rooted in Christ? Has it transformed you, in some degree, into the opposite of what you once were? Are any of the “precious fruits” of the Spirit put forth in your life? Is Jesus precious to your soul? And to walk in all circumstances humbly with God- is it the earnest desire of your heart? If there is no sorrow for sin, no going out of yourself to Jesus, no fruits of holiness, in some degree, appearing, then is yours but a “dead faith,”- dead, because it is a part and parcel of a nature “dead in trespasses and in sins,”- dead, because it is not the fruit of the quickening Spirit- dead, because it is inoperative, even as the lifeless root transmits no vitality and moisture to the tree- dead, because it never can bring you to eternal life.

Of what value, then, is it? Cut it down! why should it use up the ground? If, then, you have never brought forth the good fruit of prayer, and repentance, and Faith, you are yet in the old nature of sin of rebellion, and of death.

March 27: Help Our Unbelief

“We walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Cor. 5:7.

This walk of faith takes in all the minute circumstances of every day’s history; a walking every step by faith; a looking above trials, above necessities, above perplexities, above improbabilities and impossibilities, above all second causes; and, in the face of difficulties and discouragements, going forward, leaning upon God. If the Lord were to roll the Red Sea before us, and marshal the Egyptians behind us, and thus hemming us in on every side, should yet bid us advance, it would be the duty and the privilege of faith instantly to obey, believing that, before our feet touched the water, God, in our extremity, would divide the sea and take us dry-shod over it.

This is the only holy and happy life of a believer; if he for a moment leaves this path and attempts to walk by sight, difficulties will throng around him, troubles will multiply, the smallest trials will become heavy crosses, temptations to depart from the simple and uptight walk will increase in number and power, the heart will sicken at disappointment, the Holy Spirit will be grieved, and God will be dishonored.

Let this precious truth ever be before the mind, “We walk by faith, not by sight.”

December 10

“Jesus says unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father but by me.” John 14:6

NOT the least costly blessing, flowing from the vital power of the atoning blood, is the life and potency which it imparts to true prayer. The believer’s path to communion with God is called the “new and living way” because it is the way of the life-blood of the risen and living Savior. There could be no spiritual life in prayer but for the vitality in the atoning blood, which secures its acceptance. Not even could the Holy Spirit inspire the soul with one breath of true prayer, were not the atonement of the Son of God provided. Oh, how faintly do we know the wonders that are in, and the blessings that spring from, the life-procuring blood of our incarnate God!

Touching the article of prayer—I approach to God, oppressed with sins, my heart crushed with sorrow, my spirit trembling; shame and confusion covering my face, my mouth dumb before Him. At that moment the blood of Jesus is presented, faith beholds it, faith receives it, faith pleads it! There is life and power in that blood, and lo! in an instant my trembling soul is enabled to take hold of God’s strength and be at peace with Him, and it is at peace. Of all the Christian privileges upon earth, none can surpass, none can compare with, the privilege of fellowship with God. And yet how restricted is this privilege in the experience of multitudes! And why? simply in consequence of their vague, imperfect, and contracted views of the connection of true prayer with the living blood of Jesus. And yet, oh, what nearness to, what communion with, the Father, may the meanest, the feeblest, the most unworthy child at all times and in all circumstances have, who simply and believingly makes use of the blood of Christ! You approach without an argument or a plea. You have many sins to confess, sorrows to unveil, many requests to urge, many blessings to crave; and yet the deep consciousness of your utter vileness, the remembrance of mercies abused, of base, ungrateful requitals made, seals your lips, and you are dumb before God. Your overwhelmed spirit exclaims, “Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat! I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.” And now the Holy Spirit brings atoning blood to your help. You see this to be the one argument, the only plea that can prevail with God. You use it—you urge it—you wrestle with it. God admits it, is moved by it, and you are blest!

Let, then the life-power of the blood encourage you to cultivate more diligently habitual communion with God. With sinking spirits, with even discouragement and difficulty, you may approach His Divine Majesty, and converse with Him as with a Father, resting your believing eye where He rests His complacent eye—upon the blood of Jesus. Oh the blessedness, the power, the magic influence of prayer! Believer! you grasp the key that opens every chamber of God’s heart, when your tremulous faith takes hold of the blood of the covenant, and pleads it in prayer with God. It is impossible that God can then refuse you. The voice of the living blood pleads louder for you than all other voices can plead against you. Give yourself, then, unto prayer—this sacred charm of sorrow, this divine talisman of hope.