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had sent to carry him ” (ver. 27). Thus was his heart set at rest. He had before him, while yet in faminestricken Canaan, the evidence of the abundance of Egypt, the first-fruits of which he now enjoyed. “It is enough,” of verse 28, may bring to our minds what we are told concerning Ruth, who, experiencing the kindness of Boaz on her first gleaning in his field, "was sufficed.” “Bread enough and to spare ” was a true utterance of the prodigal, as he thought of the Father's house.

The Spirit of God has been given since Christ's ascension that we may be guided into all truth, that we may know things to come, and that the things of Christ may be shewn unto us. (John xvi. 13-16.) He is thus the "first-fruits” (Rom. viii. 23), through whom we already have anticipation of the joys which will be ours in their fulness at the redemption of the body.

That, that is the fulness,

But this is the taste," is sung by many who perhaps think the “ taste" is not to be regarded with much favour. But let them remember that it is a taste of the fulness itself, a present realization by faith, in measure, of those blessings which our Father will delight to bestow upon us in eternity.

All hesitation to set forth on the part of Jacob was henceforth at an end. “I will go," he says. Thus does

” the Spirit, through whom alone we can know that we are “ risen with Christ,” detach our hearts from earthly things, and enable us to “set our affection on things above." (Col. iii. 1, 2.) Through Him we are strengthened to “haste unto the coming of the day of God” (2 Pet. iii. 12), and to run with patience the race that is set before us.”

May God deign to bless this feeble pourtraying of some of the ways of Christ, to whom be glory and blessing for ever and ever!

J. C.

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PURPOSE OF HEART.

It is very evident from the whole of Scripture that God takes great account of the attitude of the heart toward Himself, and has true delight in beholding in His people a steady determination to please Him.

One prominent feature of the blessedness of the future will be the constant service of the redeemed, without even the temptation to the least turning aside. But blessed as this must be, it will be an added joy to possess any token of approval as those who have served God faithfully on earth, where all true service implies more or less of conflict.

It will ever be one of the peculiar glories of the blessed Son of God that He lived in this world and served God, without for a single moment wavering in thought or purpose.

What was stated of Him on one occasion was always true—“He stedfastly set His face.” He came into the world with the word in His heart, “I delight to do Thy will, O my God;" for thirty years in obscurity

O and lowly toil His sole business was to please God; and then in His public ministry, in spite of the coldness and enmity of those around Him, and the opposition of the powers of darkness, He unflinchingly pursued His course. In the wilderness Satan endeavoured to turn Him from this God-appointed path by the presentation of what, simply looked at in itself, would have been pleasant to man, but He repelled the tempter with the Word of God. In Gethsemane the prince of darkness was permitted again in a special manner to assault Him, and this time apparently he tried to move Him by bringing before

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Him the painfulness and awfulness of what He must endure to accomplish the will of God; but here also the Lord's strong weapon against Satan was absolute submission to His Father, whose servant He had become. And in the stedfastness of that obedience by which He has redeemed us to God, He has also set us an example.

To walk as He walked is the business of those who are His (1 John ii. 6), but one secret of such a walk is fixedness of heart and stedfastness of purpose.

And though in this matter, as in all others, He who in grace became God's servant must shine pre-eminent amongst all who by grace are made such, yet will He have around Himself many who have patiently followed Him in spite of the threefold opposition of the world, the flesh and the devil. Distinguished amongst such will be that servant of Christ who finishes his wondrous argument on the certainty and the glories of resurrection with the exhortation, " Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

In reading such words as these from Paul's pen we cannot forget that his own life was in accordance with them; and one secret of his stedfastness was this, that he was a man of one purpose. He could say to Timothy, “ Thou hast fully known my purpose.” (2 Tim. iii. 10.) From the moment the Lord called him by His grace, and revealed Himself to him, Paul had before him a definite aim, from which nothing turned him. What that was we learn from 2 Cor. v. 9, where, after expressing perfect confidence in the Lord touching the great things in store for His people, he says, “Wherefore we are ambitious that whether present or absent we may be well pleasing unto Him." This was the great aim of Paul's soul, the one

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unwavering purpose of his heart. He knew he was labouring for eternity, he knew that the commendation given by Christ at His judgment-seat would be an eternal reward, and nothing less than this could he seek. Hence his comparative indifference to the judgment of men (1 Cor. iv. 3.), and hence, too, his ready endurance of what would have overwhelmed a man of less determination. (2 Cor. xi. 23–29.) And how fully he was enabled of the Lord to carry out his purpose we learn from his last recorded words, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” (2 Tim. iv. 7, 8.

Barnabas, too, knew the value of a true purpose, and he sought to cherish it in his fellow-saints. (Acts xi. 23.) Sent forth to Antioch by the Church in Jerusalem, and seeing the grace of God manifest among the Gentiles, he overcame all his Jewish prejudices, and was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.”

Such an exhortation given in the power of the Holy Spirit was never more needed than it is now.

This is a day of great activity, much is stirring around us; much true work for God is being done, and much of a very doubtful character. And side by side with this is the strong tide of worldliness that has already carried aside many who once seemed to know something of the simplicity of Christ. In the midst of all this there is but one safeguard for any of us ; and that is, cleaving to the Lord with purpose of heart.

Let us be intent upon gaining His approval, and we shall be content to walk in a lowly, and, if He so will it, a hidden path, and shall not

be ensnared by that which, though bearing His name, is not according to His word, nor shall we be drawn aside by the world in spite of its varied attractions.

We shall see it as it is, and not as it appears, and we shall see its end too. May God save us from half-heartedness, and make us like Joshua and Caleb, who, when others were turning aside and discouraging their brethren, “wholly followed the Lord ” (Num. xxxii. 12), and so were approved of Him as men of faith.

The failure of God's ancient people is traced to the solemn fact that they were "a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.” (Ps. lxxviii. 8.) Consequently there was no stability of conduct, no evenness of behaviour. When they were moved by some special token of God's presence, as the dividing of the sea and the destruction of the host of Pharaoh, there was an outburst of enthusiasm. Then believed they His words; they sang His praise;" but so transient was the impression that “they soon forgat His works; they waited not for His counsel ; but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.” (Ps. cv. 12-15.) Having no settled purpose, and no fixedness of heart, they were turned aside by every temptation, and were moved by every impulse.

One of the solemn features of the present day is lack of stability. Many children of God may, in a time of excitement, under some powerful influence, be very active and diligent, but as soon as the excitement is over their ardour cools, and there seems to be no power for the steady plodding course of ordinary service, that patient continuance in well doing which is spoken of as the proper pathway to glory and honour and immortality. (Rom. ii. 7.) Such a path will certainly not lead to popularity, but it

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