RPM, Volume 13, Number 1, January 2 to January 8, 2011

Some Concluding Thoughts

By Abraham Booth

From the book entitled, The Reign of Grace.

"Are you a child of God and an heir of the kingdom? endeavour, by a conscientious attendance on all the public means of grace, and by maintaining communion with your heavenly Father in every private duty, to make a swift progress in vital religion, and in real holiness; remembering, that holiness is the health, the beauty, and the glory of your immortal mind. Seek after it, therefore, as a Divine privilege, and as a heavenly blessing. Watch and pray against the insurrections of indwelling sin, the solicitations of worldly pleasure, and the assaults of Satan's temptations. Watch, especially, against spiritual pride and carnal security. As to the former, rejoice not in your knowledge, or gift, or inherent excellencies; no, nor yet in your Christian experiences. Be thankful for them, but put them not in the place of Christ, or the word of his grace; so as to make them the ground of your present confidence, or the source of your future comfort. For so to do, is not to rely on the promise of God, and to live by faith in Jesus Christ; but to admire your own accomplishments, by which you differ from other men, and to live upon your own frames. The consequence of which most commonly is, either pharisaical pride, imagining ourselves to be better than others; or desponding fears, as if, when our frames are flat and our spirits languid, there were no salvation for us. The peace and comfort of such professors must be uncertain to the last degree. But as a guilty, perishing sinner, as having no recommendation, nor any encouragement, to believe in Jesus, or to look for salvation by him, but what is contained in the word of grace, depend upon him, live by him. The more you behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, the more will you see of your own vileness. The more you grow in real holiness, the more sensible you will be of the power of your own corruptions, and of the imperfections attending all your duties. You will be more and more convinced that if the gospel did not warrant your dependence on Christ, under the character of a sinner, you could have no hope, even after ever so long and zealous a profession of religion. You should live under a continual remembrance, that you are still an unworthy, a guilty, a damnable creature; but accepted in Christ, and freed from every curse. That will keep you truly humble, and provoke to self-abhorrence: this will make you really happy and excite to praise and duty.

Watch against carnal security and spiritual, sloth. Forget not that you have many enemies. Be sober, therefore, be vigilant. Time is short and absolutely uncertain. Husband well your precious moments. Lay them out for God. Be careful that the fruits of gratitude to your infinite Benefactor may adorn your whole behaviour. Make the holiness and usefulness of the life of Jesus your fair example: copy after that brightest of patterns. Remember, that the eyes of God, of angels, of accursed spirits, and of men, are all upon you. Both friends and enemies inspect your conduct and mark your steps. How necessary then is watchfulness and circumspection! lest, falling into sin, your spiritual joys be impaired, your friends and allies be grieved, and your adversaries triumph. Having received the earnest of your future inheritance; having had some joyful foretastes of that immense bliss, of which you, O Christian, are an heir; make it your constant business, as it is your indispensable duty, to live above the world, whether your temporal circumstances be affluent or penurious, prosperous or adverse. Let your conversation be in heaven, as becomes a citizen of the new Jerusalem. It is your duty and blessing to live in the prospect of the world to come, and as on the confines of it. Converse much with the Eternal Mind, in prayer, and praise, and holy meditation: so shall you contract a blessed intimacy with that sublime Being whose favour is better than life, whose frown is worse than destruction. By such an intercourse with God, you will taste more exquisite delights than all the pleasures of sin can boast; than all the riches of the world can bestow. Yes, believer, by such converse with God, you shall find your mercies sanctified, and your afflictions alleviated; your holy dispositions invigorated, and your corrupt affections weakened. Be it your constant endeavour that, whenever your fair, your glorious, your heavenly Bridegroom shall come, he may find you ready; having your loins girt, your lamp burning, and waiting for his glorious advent. So shall your soul be peaceful, your life useful, and your death triumphant."

This article is provided as a ministry of Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill). If you have a question about this article, please email our Theological Editor.

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