James Smith, 1856
Certainty, on all matters of importance, is very desirable, and will be sought by every careful, cautious person. In the present day, when profession is so common, and deception works so secretly--a mistake as to the true state of the soul is more than possible. We fear that many take it for granted that they are all right, when they are not. Let us, then, spend several minutes in thinking upon this point.
Mistaken as to the state of my soul! Is it possible? It is.
Mistaken as to the state of my soul! Would it not be dangerous? It would.
Many have lived and died mistaken, and some have discovered their mistake when it has been too late to rectify it. If I am in a good, safe, and satisfactory state--it will be manifested by four things.
First, Christ will live in the affections.I shall love him. Love him above gold and silver, above health and pleasure, above every earthly thing. I shall fear to offend him, or grieve his loving heart. He will be the supreme object of my desires. As such I shall think of him, walk with him, and seek to enjoy him. I shall set my affections on things above, and not on things of the earth. Jesus will be the object of my highest love; and when my heart is cold toward him, or my affections wander from him--I shall grieve, sigh, groan, moan, and pray for the quickening and reviving power of the Holy Spirit, to bring me into a better state.
Reader, do you love Jesus? Do you love him supremely? If so, you are in a good state.
Secondly, Christ will rule in the conscience.He will be acknowledged as the only Lord of conscience, and his precepts will be its only law. We shall conscientiously endeavor to please him--and as conscientiously avoid offending him. Conscience will be tender of his honor, jealous of his glory, and concerned to advance his praise. If Christ rules in my conscience--I shall . . .
Reader, does Jesus rule in your conscience? Is your conscience sacredly kept for him? Is it tender, and habitually jealous of his honor? If so, you are in a safe state.
Thirdly, Christ will have possession of your heart.You have surrendered it to him as an act of homage, as an act of love. He dwells in you. He walks in you. Your heart is considered his lawful throne, his chosen palace. As the result of his dwelling in you--you have secret and intimate communion with him. You tell him all--all that tries, troubles, and exercises you. You tell him all--all that pleases, gladdens, and delights you.
He is . . .
the crown of your life,
the object of your trust, and
the subject of your sweet and frequent meditation.
He is your all, and to him you look for . . .
justification before God,
fitness to appear in the presence of God,
and boldness at the judgment-seat of God.
Reader, if Christ has full and permanent possession of your heart, you are in a happy state.
Fourthly, Christ will have your talents for his service.When the heart was surrendered--then all was surrendered. If Jesus has the heart--then nothing is withheld from him. The life is the index of the heart. By the outward actions--we learn what is passing within. Love to the person of Christ--renders it sweet to obey the precepts of Christ. If Jesus has secured my salvation by his death--then I shall seek to glorify his name in my life. My person, my time, my talents, my all--will be placed at his disposal. I shall feel most happy when most active in his service. The heart and the life should agree, and if we are in a good state--such will be the case. "By their fruits you shall know them," said our Lord; and when the life is a copy of the life of Christ, and the talents are employed in the Savior's cause--then we are in a holy state.
Dear friends, let nothing satisfy us, but certainly. If we do not feel certain as to our state before God, let us set our hearts upon it, and seek for it as for hidden treasure.
Does Jesus . . .
live in our affections,
rule in our consciences,
dwell in our hearts, and
get honor by our lives?
If so--all is well.
Let us impartially examine.
Let us fervently pray.
Let us make sure work for eternity.
We cannot be too sure or too safe.
But we may rest short of the refuge, we may build beside the rock, we may cry, "Peace and safety," when there is no good ground for it. May God's Word be our only standard. May the holy and ever blessed Spirit search us, and try us, and then bear witness with our hearts--that we are in a good, a safe, a happy, a holy state. This is a real blessing, a privilege worth more than the whole world can bestow. May every one of our readers be privileged to enjoy it, for the Redeemer's sake.