"Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:13.
THE real believer in Jesus is a gracious man. He is a "living soul." He is the partaker of a new and a divine nature, and is the depository of a heavenly and a precious treasure. But grace is a thing foreign to the natural state of a man. His possession of it is not coeval with his birth, nor can it be his by right of hereditary law. No parent, however holy, can transmit a particle of that holiness to his posterity. But see how this mystery is cleared up in the conversation which Jesus held with the Samaritan woman, as He sat wearied upon the mouth of Jacob's well: "Jesus answered and said unto her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, Give me to drink, you would have asked of him, and he would have given you living water." This is the grace of which we speak, and this is the source from where it flows into the hearts of all the truly regenerate. It is in you, Christian reader, a "well of water," a springing well, mounting upward, and ascending to the source from where it rises. Blessed words—"springing up into everlasting life"! As the first blush of morning is a part of the day, so the least dawn of grace in the soul is a portion of heaven.
What an exalted character, and what an enviable man, is the true Christian! All the resources of the Triune God unite to replenish this earthen vessel. No angel in heaven contains a treasure half so costly and so precious as that poor believing sinner, who getting near to the Savior's feet, and bathing them with tears of penitence and love can look up and exclaim, "Whom have I in heaven but You? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside You." But what deep humility ought to distinguish the true Christian, as a real professor of the grace of Christ Jesus! The grace which you possess is a communicated grace. All that is really holy and gracious in us springs not from our fallen nature, but, like "every good and perfect gift, comes down from the Father of lights." It is the spontaneous outflowing of the heart of God—the free unmerited bestowment of his sovereign mercy. Then what meekness of heart, what profound humility of mind, ought to mark you! What a prostration of every form of self, self-confidence, self-seeking, self-boasting—should there be, as reasonably becomes those who have nothing but what they have received, and whom free and sovereign grace alone has distinguished from others!