Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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Evening Portion written by Robert Hawker

"The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."—I Pet. iii. 4.

My soul! where is this to be had? Hast thou considered it in its importance, or in its attainment; whence it cometh, and on whose account it is given? Sit down, this evening, and ponder over it. What is a meek and quiet spirit, but grace, in all its blessed properties and saving effects, keeping the heart and mind through Christ Jesus? Now mark some of the many precious things belonging to it. The fountain of it is God; for "every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning,'' James i. 17. It is also the purchase of Christ's blood, and the fruit of the Holy Ghost; and so infinitely important in its operation, that believers are said thereby "to be made partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust," 2 Pet. i. 4. And what a lustre doth the possession of it impart to the whole man? Being a portion of the same Spirit which was given to the manhood of Jesus without measure; it produces a resemblance and similitude in the character of every renewed soul to him. As a fair and beautiful countenance gives a loveliness to the natural form, so grace is that which gives the whole that can be called blessed, or engaging to the spiritual. Hence a poor man with grace in his heart, is infinitely more lovely in the sight of God, than the persons of the great void of it, though the blood of kings were to flow through their veins. It is this which is the source, and it is this which gives the finishing gracefulness to the whole man. And as it flows from God, so all its tendencies are to God. Next to the person of Jesus, the grace of Jesus, is, or ought to be, the one earnest object and desire of every soul. Until we have this ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, every man by nature, in the sight of God, is of no esteem. There can be nothing lovely or desirable in the unregenerate. "lie that liveth in pleasure, is dead while he liveth," saith the scripture, I Tim. v. 6. And however, to our view, the actions of such may carry with them much moral sweetness, yet as those actions are not quickened from the Spirit of grace, they are no other than as flowers strewed over the bodies of the dead. They are of no esteem in the sight of God. The person must be first sanctified by grace, and then the action follows. The Lord had respect first to Abel, and then to his offering; but as to Cain, as he had no respect, so neither could his offering be acceptable; Gen. iv. 4, 5. My soul! what saith thy experience to these things? Hast thou this precious grace, this saving grace, this sanctifying grace, which flows at once from God the Father's gift, the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ, and the regenerating influences of God the Holy Ghost? Are those blessed effects wrought in thee, which saving grace is sure to work? Is God's glory your delight; his Christ your Christ; his salvation your salvation? Hast thou felt the renewing, transforming, confirming, establishing principles of grace, flowing in from the Spirit of Jesus upon thy spirit, so that the new man is "renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that created him?" In a word, hast thou so beheld, as in a glass," the glory of the Lord, that thou art changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord? "If, my soul, thou hast these blessed tokens, these ornaments of a meek and quiet spirit, which are in the sight of God of great price: then dost thou possess that which all the world can neither give nor take away. "It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. "Precious Jesus! it is the purchase of thy blood, it comes from the sovereign gift of God the Father, and is the earnest of the Holy Spirit! Lord, seal my soul with it "to the day of eternal redemption!"

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