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in the light of the word and Spirit is quickening. It fills the mind with wonder, the heart with love, the conscience with peace, and the affections with holy delight. And the believer is hereby changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. In the gospel, as in a mirror, is Christ set forth as the brightnefs of his Father's glory and the exprefs image of his person. In the face, or person, of Jesus Christ revealed in the gospel the glory of God shines forth. Believers have a clear view of it, as they in a spiritual way take into their enlightened minds Jesus Christ. He dwells in their hearts by faith; and by the Holy Spirit's thus revealing Christ in the word to them and in them they are changed into the same image, which consists in a conformity to him. Yet it is by degrees: for, from our regeneration to our glorification, we are growing up into Christ. When he first manifested himself to us he apprehended us as his beloved ones, and took hold of us, as the objects of his Father's love, to work in us and to bestow all grace on us. And as he shines in us and reflects his glory on us, and as we take in increasing apprehensions of him; so we are in a gradual way changed from one degree of glory to another. This glorious image
of Christ is perfected by little and little, till we come to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. Paul speaking of his own conversion to the Lord says, "It pleased God, who sepa"rated me from my mother's womb, "and called me by his grace, to reveal "his Son in me"." Paul was a perfect man in Christ on the first day of his translation into the kingdom of God's dear Son. He had a full and complete knowledge of Christ. Whereas we, even all of us, are but growing by degrees, and sometimes very slowly, into the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour. And thus "The path of the just is as "the shining light, which shineth more " and more unto the perfect day." This evidently refers to Growth in Grace. And it receives its accomplishment as the Holy Ghost is pleased to lead us into more enlarged views of and acquaintance with Christ and spiritual things, which is effected by spiritual revelation or a new creating act of God within us. So says the apostle: apostle: "God, "who commanded the light to shine "out of darkness, hath shined into our "hearts to give us the light of the "knowledge of the glory of God in the "face of Jesus Christ"." The believer finds the reality of divine things, and m Gal. i. 15, 16.
n 2 Cor. iv. 6.
that they carry their own evidence to the mind; and by comparing his experience with the word, which treats on spiritual growth, he hath a knowledge and spiritual perception of his own growth in the things of God. He finds, as he is enabled to centre in Christ and live on him, as the fountain and spring of all his spiritual and eternal life and light, that the Holy Spirit is pleased to put forth his influential power and energy. In consequence of which such measures of life, light, holiness, consolation, and joy are produced, as evidently manifest growth in the fruits of faith, grace, and holiness. The believer's high prizings of Christ, his increasing estimation of the person of Jesus, and his spiritual desires after close and intimate fellowship with Christ are thus exprefsed by the apostle. "Yea doubt
lefs, and I count all things but lofs "for the excellency of the knowledge "of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I "have suffered the lofs of all things, "and do count them but dung that I
may win Christ, and be found in him, "not having mine own righteousness, "which is of the law, but that which is "through the faith of Christ, the righ"teousness which is of God by faith; "that I may know him, and the power "of his resurrection, and the fellowship
"of his sufferings, being made conform"able unto his death"."
O my soul! here is a subject which requires close consideration, and should lead thee to self-examination, that thou mayest know what thy real state is respecting spiritual Growth in Grace in the exercise of thy graces; and what real communion with CHRIST and growth into him thou hast in thy own experience. Look up to the ETERNAL THREE, and pour out thy heart at the throne of grace, saying, O thou INCOMPREHENSIBLE, ESSENTIAL, and EVER BLESSED JEHOVAH, thou GoD OF ALL GRACE! I beseech thee to look down from the habitation of thy holinefs and glory, and behold me, Holy Father! in the BELOVED, and help me to view and consider thee in thy high title, THE GOD OF ALL GRACE. me from thy word and by thy Spirit what grace is. Give me to conceive rightly how freely thou dost bestow all the blessings of thy love on me in Christ Jesus. Thou hast been pleased to shew forth thy greatnefs and goodness, the exceeding riches of thy grace, and thy kindness towards me IN CHRIST JESUS in the holy Gospel. Thou hast made me thine for ever: and thou, Lord, art become my God. According to thine o Phil. iii. 8, 9, 10.
own heart thou hast done all these great things for thy word's sake; and thou hast made thy servant to know them. Teach me, I beseech thee, more effectually to apprehend what thy word promises respecting Growth in Grace. Let me view thy promises concerning it. Grant me to mix faith with them, that I may receive thereby that grace which shall enable me to live on the fulness of Jesus. Send down thy Holy Spirit afresh into my heart to glorify thy Son, and lead me into communion with THYSELF in HIM. O Holy Ghost! be unto my soul all that is contained in thy own word of promise, wherein thou sayest, "I will be as the dew unto "Israel." Make fresh discoveries of CHRIST, as he is revealed in the word, to my understanding. Let me, under thy own divine and most gracious influences, grow into an increasing knowledge of his person, and into more bright views of his worth and excellencies. Breathe, O Holy Ghost! on my soul. Water me every moment, and make me as a fruitful garden, whose waters fail not, that I may appear to be the blefsed of the Lord. I ask it, Holy Father! for the honour of thy coequal Son, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be unceasing praise. Amen, and Amen.