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for the acquisition of worldly profit; but in devising means for carrying on the cause of truth, and for spreading the knowledge of a crucified Redeemer throughout the earth.
Our prospects will be new. The darkness being past, and the true light now shining, we shall see the distant radiance of the heavenly Zion, and behold with the telescopic eye of faith, the land which is very far off.
Our privileges will be new. God will be now our reconciled Father. Jesus, our elder brother, Saviour and friend. The Holy Ghost, our sanctifier and comforter. Angels, our ministering spirits. And heaven, our eternal home.
Our portion will be new. All those exceeding great and precious promises, which in Christ are yea, and in him amen, to the praise and glory of God, will be ours. We shall be heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ. We shall be the citizens of the New Jerusalem, and inherit that kingdom, which is incorruptible and undefiled, prepared for all the new creatures in Christ Jesus, before the foundation of the world.
To sum up all this blessedness, we shall experience in this world, a progression in holiness, and in world to come, a perpetuity of bliss.
Blessed Lord ! my soul longs for this rich grace, this unspeakably glorious state. O! suffer me not to lie a moment longer in nature's darkness, but speak thou the word, and light shall start into existence. Then, shall the lineaments of the new creature, formed to thy glory, be daily unfolding themselves in greater likeness to thyself, till the happy hour shall arrive, when every remnant of corruption shall be for ever destroyed, and my soul be made perfect in thy everlasting kingdom.
Lord, what I want, and still implore,
Oh! could I reach this blissful state!
Then, when the sacred drops descend
With holy love and humble joy,
XXV. ON CHRISTIAN UNITY.
We read much in the New Testament about Christian unity. The strength and beauty of the Church consists in the oneness between Christ and his people.
How powerful were the pleadings of our great Advocate for the unity of his redeemed people ! “ Holy Father, keep through thine own name, those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one as we are ;" “ that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them: that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they inay be made perfect in one; and that the
world may believe that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."
St. Paul also dwells much on this important subject: “By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body-and have all been made to drink into one spirit.” “ Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind." 66 I beseech
you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you: but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judginent." 6 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another, according to Christ Je. SUS ; that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
From our Lord's intercessory prayer we learn, that all who are the subjects of grace, are the gift of the Father to the Son; that to such, the Son gives eternal life ; that the beginning of this eternal life is to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he has sent; that this knowledge is imparted by Jesus Christ through the teaching of the Spirit of truth, the Comforter; that this knowledge is of a sanctifying nature ; that it leads to a separation from the world, and an union to each other; that these happy souls are kept from the evil that is in the world, and preserved unto eternal glory.
Hence all strife, divisions, and contentions, disfigure the beauty and tarnish the glory of the church of God.
St. Paul sharply reproves the Corinthian church for their want of unity: “Ye are yet carnal : for whereas there is among you envying and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" Whilst to the Ephesian converts, he gives this beautiful exhortation : “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you, that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
It may be asked: "Is it possible that all who profess to believe in the truths of the Bible, will ever be brought to see every thing in the same light, and to follow in every minute particular the same track of thinking and acting ?"
This unity may, and ought to be maintaired, in the grand essentials of the Gospel. And a beautiful union of faith and practice, of sentiment and feeling, does exist amongst real Christians, of all denominations, however they may differ about the terms and explications of some abstruse doctrines, or respecting the outward forms and modes of Church government: “for the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power." 66 It is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
When these holy characters freely unbosom their hearts to each other, and discourse together on experimental and practical subjects ; they find themselves standing on one common ground -connected by one common tie--united in one common cause---and drinking into one and the self-same spirit.
They all mourn over, and are deeply humbled on account of the corruption of their nature and the sin of their lives. They all feel the plague of their own hearts, and so groan being burdened. They all are conscious of their utter inability to save themselves. They all know that they are naturally
without strength. They are all enabled, through grace, to look unto Jesus, the eternal Son of God, as their only Saviour, whose blood cleanseth them from all sin; whose merits, received and applied by faith, form their only justifying righteousness; whose intercession for them prevails with God; whose promised gift, the Spirit of truth, dwells in their hearts, causing them to cry with filial love and confidence, Abba, Father.
They all know and feel that they thus become the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus; and enjoying the presence and grace of their heavenly Father through the Son of his love, they are all enabled to resist the devil, to crucify the flesh, to renounce the world, and gradually to perfect holiness in the fear of God.
They all confess how low their highest efforts fall beneath the elevated standard of Gospel holiness; yet forgetting the things which are behind, they press forward towards those things which are before; and long for that happy period, when having laid down their bodies of sin and death, they shall shine in spotless purity in the courts above.
With these feelings and impressions, they all confess themselves to be pilgrims and strangers upon earth. Their hearts are set upon things above. They sympathize with each other's sorrows, and gladden with each other's joys. They love to bear each other's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
As they all believe in the glorious doctrine of the Trinity in Unity; and in the divine and human nature of Jesus Christ; so they unitedly confess themselves to be sinners saved by grace through faith in a crucified Redeemer, and ascribe all their salvation from first to last, to the free, unmerited mercy of God in Christ. Thus, whilst they acknowledge the justice of that sentence, which condemns