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Iheard another voice from heaven, saying, come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues;Rev. 18:4
But, what is the great and infallible security against being led away by the heresies around, and the discovery of the false spirits which come forth to deceive? There is but one, and a sure one it is, which never hath failed, neither can fail, amidst all the present errors of the day, or all that may arise; namely, the regeneration of the heart, or the being born of God. Where God the Spirit hath quickened a sinner, which was before dead in trespasses and sins, this precious child of God hath in himself a full testimony to his sonship, in being born of God, and a confirmation also, that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, being God and Man in One Person, the Christ of God.
Reader! look into your own heart, and see whether it be not a most firm and unquestionable security against this, and every other error, of either ancient or modern heresy or heretics. If so be the Lord the Holy Ghost hath regenerated you, and the Spirit witnesseth with your spirit, that you are born of God. For then hath he taught you the plague of your own heart. And what artifice of men, or devils, can bear up against this divine teaching, when you yourself also daily feel, and know how that heart is forever interrupting your spiritual pursuits, and warring against 'your soul! So, in like manner, when God the Holy Ghost hath taught you who Christis, and the efficacy of his blood and righteousness; when you have felt the sovereignty of his grace, the completeness and fullness of his finished salvation; have known the love of God, the sweetness and suitableness of his promises, and been fed by them from day to day, can an host of heretics persuade you that these precious things are false, and that Jesus Christ, the Son of God is not come in the flesh? Oh! how gracious hath our God been, to provide such blessed securities for his people against all perilous times like the present!
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Isaiah 40:1
The chief instrument employed by God in the comforting of His mourners is His Holy Word. Listen to the confession of the Psalmist, "This is my comfort in my affliction; for Your word has quickened me," (Ps. 119:50). The same continuing conflict is experienced by all the people of God, and to them the consolations of the Spirit with the comforts of the word ever abide, and are ever the same. That term, "Your word," embraces God's decree, determination, promise, and performance. We see it set forth in Rom. 15;4: "For whatever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." This is blessedly true to us because they testify to our hearts of the Consolation of Israel, of what His Father, "the God of all comfort," has made Him to us. The abiding Comforter sweetly reveals this in the second verse of our chapter, "Speak comfortably to Jerusalem," that is, to the heart, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished," Christ has done all the fighting with Satan, sin and death, and, "we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us," "that her iniquity is pardoned." All Zion's iniquity in the lump was removed in one day when Jesus put it away by the sacrifice of Himself. How comfortable the privilege to say with the Psalmist, "Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and do not forget all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquities," (Ps. 103:2,3). How many? "All your iniquities." How clearly Paul states this in Col. 2:13: "having forgiven you all trespasses." Well might dear John Kent sing with all his heart, and so may I,
"Here's pardon full for sin that's past, It matters not how black the cast; And, O my soul, with wonder view, For sins to come here's pardon too."
Where are the sins of God's people? Hezekiah says, "You have cast all my sins behind Your back," (Isaiah 38:17). The soul says, "Sought for, they shall not be found," (Jer. 50:20). Micah says, "You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea," (Micah 7:19). Not in the shallows, but where they can never be seen or re-appear. The soul that once enjoys the comfort of that, is very uncomfortable without the enjoyment of it. And what a blessing to know that we are now receiving double favors, favors more abundant, in spite of all our sins. "Yours, O Lord, is the glory!"