In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
 For this cause, I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
Those whom God advances to honourable employments, he makes low in their own eyes; and where God gives grace to be humble, there he gives all other needful grace. How highly he speaks of Jesus Christ; the unsearchable riches of Christ! Though many are not enriched with these riches; yet how great a favour to have them preached among us, and to have an offer of them! And if we are not enriched with them it is our own fault. The first creation, when God made all things out of nothing, and the new creation, whereby sinners are made new creatures by converting grace, are of God by Jesus Christ. His riches are as unsearchable and as sure as ever, yet while angels adore the wisdom of God in the redemption of his church, the ignorance of self-wise and carnal men deems the whole to be foolishness.
It becomes us to submit to him, not to reply against him. Would not men allow the infinite God the same sovereign right to manage the affairs of the creation, as the potter exercises in disposing of his clay, when of the same lump he makes one vessel to a more honourable, and one to a meaner use? God could do no wrong. However, it might appear to men. God will make it appear that he hates sin. Also, he formed vessels filled with mercy. Sanctification is the preparation of the soul for glory. This is God’s work. Sinners fit themselves for hell, but God prepares saints for heaven; and all whom God designs for heaven hereafter, he does for heaven now. Would we know who these vessels of mercy are? Those whom God has called; these not of the Jews only, but the Gentiles. Surely there can be no unrighteousness in any of these Divine dispensations. Nor is God’s exercising long-suffering, patience, and forbearance towards sinners under increasing guilt before he brings utter destruction upon them. The fault is in the hardened sinner himself. As to all who love and fear God, however, such truths appear beyond their reason to fathom, yet they should keep silence before him. The Lord alone made us differ; we should adore his pardoning mercy and new-creating grace and give the diligence to make our calling and election sure.
Whatever God does, must be just. Wherein the holy, happy people of God differ from others, God’s grace alone makes them differ. In this preventing, effectual, distinguishing grace, he acts as a benefactor, whose grace is his own. None have deserved it; so that those who are saved, must thank God only; and those who perish must blame themselves only, Hosea 13:9.
The nature of true Christian sympathy, is not only to feel concern for our friends in their troubles, but to do what we can to help them. The apostle was often in bonds, imprisonments, and necessities; but in all, he learned to be content, to bring his mind to his condition, and make the best of it. Pride, unbelief, vain hankering after something we have not got, and fickle disrelish of present things, make men discontented even under favourable circumstances. Let us pray for patient submission and hope when we are abased; for humility and a heavenly mind when exalted. It is a special grace to have an equal temper of mind always. And in a low state not to lose our comfort in God, nor distrust his providence, nor take any wrong course for our own supply. In a prosperous condition not to be proud, or secure, or worldly. This is a harder lesson than the other; for the temptations of fulness and prosperity are more than those of affliction and want. The apostle had no design to urge them to give more, but to encourage such kindness as will meet a glorious reward hereafter. Through Christ we have grace to do what is good, and through him we must expect the reward; and as we have all things by him, let us do all things for him, and to his glory.
The necessaries of life bound a true Christian’s desires, and with these, he will endeavor to be content. We see here the evil of covetousness. It is not said that they are rich, but they will be rich; who place their happiness in wealth, and are eager and determined in the pursuit. Those that are such give to Satan the opportunity of tempting them, leading them to use dishonest means and other bad practices, to add to their gains. Also, leading into so many employments, and such a hurry of business, as leave no time or inclination for spiritual religion, leading to connections that draw into sin and folly. What sins will not men be drawn into by the love of money!
People may have money and yet not love it; but if they love it, this will push them on to all evil. Every sort of wickedness and vice, in one way or another, grows from the love of money. We cannot look around without perceiving much proof of this, especially in a day of outward prosperity, great expenses, and loose profession.
The design of Christ in giving himself for us is that he may purchase to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works, and true religion is the strongest bond of friendship. Here are earnest exhortations to several Christian duties, especially contentment. The sin opposed to this grace and duty is covetousness, an over-eager desire for the wealth of this world, with envy of those who have more than ourselves. Having treasures in heaven, we may be content with mean things here. Those who can not be so, would not be content though God raised their condition. Adam was in paradise, yet not contented; some angels in heaven were not contented; but the apostle Paul, though abased and empty, had learned in every state, in any state, to be content. Christians have reason to be contented with their present lot. This promise contains the sum and substance of all the promises; “I will never, no, never leave thee, no, never forsake thee” In the original there are no less than five negatives put together, to confirm the promise: the true believer shall have the gracious presence of God with him, in life, at death, and for ever. Men can do nothing against God, and God can make all that men do against his people, to turn to their good.
Remember, these articles are messages given unto a humble servant as a Watchmen sounding the Trumpet of impending danger ahead. May our Father abundantly fill your plates. God’s blessings Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hands. Psalm 149:6