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source of comfort to which the Spirit leads the soul. He comforts all the spiritual grief of a believer, dries up all his spiritual tears, by testifying of Christ, and that, according to the peculiar feature of the case. Our Lord told his sorrowing disciples this, “ But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me,” John xv. 26. Mark, he was to comfort their hearts by testifying of Jesus. Here is the true source of comfort. What higher comfort need we? What more can we have? This is enough to heal every wound, to dry up every tear, to assuage every grief, to lighten every cross, to fringe with brightness every dark cloud, and to make the roughest place smooth, that, a believing soul has Jesus. Having Jesus, what has a believer?
He has the entire blotting out of all his sins. Is not this a comfort? Tell us what can give comfort to a child of God, apart from this? If this fail, where can he look? Will you tell him of the world—of its many schemes of enjoyment of its plans for the accumulation of wealth-of its domestic happiness? Wretched sources of comfort to an awakened soul! Poor empty channels to a man made acquainted with the inward plague. That which he wanteth to know is, the sure pay
ment of the ten thousand talents--the entire can. celling of the bond held against him by stern justice -the complete blotting out, as a thick cloud, of all his iniquity. And, until this great fact is made sure and certain to his conscience, all other comfort is but as a dream of boyhood, shadow that vanisheth, a vapour that melteth away. But the Holy Ghost comforts the believer by leading him to this blessed truth-the full pardon of sin. This is the great controversy which Satan has with the believer. To bring him to doubt the pardon of sin, to unhinge the mind from this great fact, is the constant effort of this arch enemy. And, when unbelief is powerful, and inbred sin powerful, and outward trials are many and sore, and, in the midst of it all, the single eye is removed from Christ, then is the hour of Satan to charge home upon the conscience of the believer all the iniquity he ever committed. And how does the blessed Spirit comfort at that moment? By unfolding the greatness, perfection, and efficacy of the one offering by which Jesus hath for ever blotted out the sins of his people, and perfected them that are sanctified. O what comfort does this truth speak to a fearful, troubled, anxious believer, when, the Spirit working faith in his heart, he can look up, and see all his sins laid upon Jesus in the solemn hour of atonement, and no condemnation remaining. Dear child of God! poor, worthless as you feel yourself to be, this truth is even for you. O rise to it, welcome it, embrace it, think it not too costly for one so unworthy. It comes from the heart of Jesus, and cannot be more free. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Having Jesus, what has the believer more?
He possesses a righteousness in which God views him complete and accepted, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. Is not this a comfort? To stand “complete in him,"—in the midst of many and conscious imperfections, infirmities, flaws, and proneness to wander, yet, for the sorrowing and trembling heart to turn and take up its rest in this truth, that, “he that believeth is justified from all things,” and stands accepted in the Beloved, to the praise of the glory of divine grace, what a comfort! That, God beholds him in Jesus without a spot, because he beholds his Son in whom he is well pleased, and viewing the believing soul in him, can say, “Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.” The blessed Comforter breaks up this truth to the troubled soul, brings it to take up its rest in it; and, as the believer realizes his full acceptance in the righteousness of Christ, and rejoices in the truth, he weeps as he never wept, and mourns as
he never mourned over the perpetual bias of his heart to wander from a God that has so loved him. The very comfort poured into his soul from this truth, lays him in the dust, and draws out the heart in ardent breathings for holiness.
And, what a Comforter is the Spirit in seasons of temptation. Few of the children of God are ignorant, more or less, of Satan's devices. But few are exempt from the " fiery darts' of the adversary. Our Lord himself was not. Many, peculiar, and great are his temptations. They are often those which touch the very vitals of the gospel, which go to undermine the believer's faith in the fundamentals of Christianity, and which affect his own personal interest in the covenant of grace. Satan is the sworn enemy of the believer. His constant, unwearied foe. There is, too, a subtilty, a malignity, which marks not the other and numerous enemies of the soul. The Holy Ghost, in Rev. ii. 24, speaks of the “ depths of Satan.” There are · depths' in his malice, in his subtilty, in his sagacity, which many of the beloved of the Lord are made in some degree to fathom. The Lord may allow them to go down into those depths, just to convince them that there are depths in his wisdom, love, power, and grace, which can outfathom the “
depths of Satan."
-But, what are some of the devices of the wicked one? What are some of his fiery darts? Sometimes he fills the mind of the believer with the most blasphemous and atheistical thoughts, threatening the utter destruction of his peace and confidence. Sometimes he takes advantage of periods of weakness, and trial, and perplexity, to stir up the corruptions of his nature, bringing the soul back as into captivity to the law of sin and death. Sometimes he suggests unbelieving doubts respecting his adoption, beguiling him into the belief that his professed conversion is all a delusion, that his religion is all hypocrisy, and that what he had thought was the work of grace is but the work of nature. But by far the greatest and most general controversy which Satan has with the saint of God, is, to lead him to doubt the ability and the willingness of Christ to save a
The anchor of his soul removed from this truth, he is driven out upon a rough sea of doubt and anguish, and is at the mercy
of every wind of doctrine, and of every billow of unbelief, that may assail his storm-tossed bark. But in the midst of it all, from whence flows the comfort and the victory of the tempted believer? From the promise which assures him that, “ when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him," Isaiah