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them as sinners to everlasting misery; they extol the vastness of that love, which so freely saves them from the wrath to come. With these holy views of the truth, they can each say from the heart,
“ My power is lost-the fault is wholly mine;
" Yet bid, me live-the glory shall be thine." Now if every faithful follower of Jesus can subscribe to these common points of Christian doctrine and experience, what is it that divides and separates the true family of Christ ?
Is it not the remaining corruption of our naturethe remaining darkness of our mind
and the subtle enemy of our souls ?
These are the foes which disturb the peace of the Church, and destroy much of her purity and spiritual prosperity.
0! that the Holy Spirit may purge away this old leaven of malice and wickedness, and fill us with sincerity and truth; that we may become a new lump; be all new creatures in Christ Jesus; shine as lights in the world; and so advance that kingdom of holiness upon earth, which is criminally impeded in its progress, and marred in its beauty, by the disfiguring contentions, strifes, and divisions of those who call themselves the followers of the Lamb.
In the revelation of mercy, as in the visible works of creation, there are mysteries which our finite minds cannot fathom; for what is man that he should be wise as his Maker ? And
how many dare to reject the oracles of God, because they cannot comprehend their elevated truths, or square their seemingly discordant statements with their preconceived systematic opinions.
The word of God is “as a city which is at unity with itself.” All is plain and clear to the divine Mind, who sees the end from the beginning, and who knows the infinitely varied movements of his own vast design.
We see but a small part of his ways. Many a wheel enters into those darknesses of his impenetrable counsel, which we cannot trace. But still it is moving onward in direct progression towards that glorious period, when the whole stupendous work of mercy shall be displayed to the Church triumphant in heaven, and call forth her eternal songs of praise.
There, in that bright world, those saints of God, who differed here below respecting some mysterious points of deep concealment, will see with one vision.
The darkness being gone, the veil being withdrawn, and the truth standing fully revealed to their enraptured souls, in all its beauty, symmetry, and perfection ; they will then utter no jarring sentiment; feel noun charitable emotion ; experience no shyness of approach; but wrapt in holy admiration and humble reverence before the thirone of God, every feeling will be love, and every view of the truth in perfect accordance with the mind and will of their Creator. There, with one heart and mouth they will glorify God and the Lamb, join in the same song, delight in the same work, being in every sense one in the presence of Him, who, when upon earth, interceded for his people: “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 may be made perfect in one." Well then might the apostle say to the Corinthians, when lamenting their unhappy dissensions : “ Are ye not carnal and walk as men;" as persons unconverted, as men destitute of the Spirit of Christ ?
While we remain in the body, differences of opinion on points confessedly mysterious must be expected ; but may not this be designed by infinite wisdom, for the exercise of charity and forbearance towards each other, provided the great essentials of genuine Christianity are maintained and practically believed ?
This incapacity of our minds to grasp the mighty design of everlasting love towards creatures helpless in themselves, and unable to come to God; (John vi. 44.) and yet chargeable with the guilt of not coming to him; (John v. 40.) should teach us humility and entire dependence on the Spirit of truth to direct' us aright in the way of life and salvation.
The more we know ourselves, the more we shall learn to renounce our own reasonings, and to follow simply the direction of thắt blessed word, which is given us to be a light unto our feet and a lamp unto our path. Jesus said: “I am the light of the world ; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
6 Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness, knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.”
Merciful Lord, be pleased to "cast thy bright beams of light upon thy church," that all thy people being enlighted by the doctrines of thy word, may so walk in the light of thy truth, that at length they may attain to everlasting life.
Preserve me thy unworthy servant from that unhallowed curiosity, which would presumptuously pry into those deep things, around which thou has thrown an impenetrable veil. Give me a mind enlightened to discover the truth as it is in Jesus ; and
a heart to love and practise the truth, as it is revealed to my soul. In the fulness of Christian charity enable me to say:
grace be with all them who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity ;” and to call every one a brother, who bears thy holy image, takes up his cross, and follows thee.
Sweet is the joy by those possess'd,
Jesus to them his peace imparts,
Thus, holy Lord, may I be blest,
XXVI. ON FOLLOWING THE LORD FULLY.
True humility is a sweet and blessed grace. It is the product of Almighty power. How calm is the humble soul? Whilst storms and tempests rage with unrelenting fury amongst the proud and haughty of mankind; a serene and lovely sky smiles over those who are clothed with humility. mote this desirable state of heart, it is very useful to study those characters, on which infinite truth has stamped a worth which revolving ages cannot diminish or impair. Such are Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Job, David, Daniel, and many others who shine like stars in the book of God.
We cannot but be struck whilst taking this survey, with the blessed testimony which God gave to Caleb. Num. xiv. 24. He is there said to be a man
“of another spirit," from the unbelieving Israelites around him; and to have “followed the Lord fully," at a time when the most awful defection took place amongst the professed people of God.
To follow the Lord fully, is indeed a great work; and yet, nothing less than this will bring us to hea.
The work is the Lord's. “By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves : it is the gift of God."
The unbelief of the Israelites was their sin, for which they suffered, not being permitted to enter into the promised land.
The faith of Caleb was the gift of God; and his privilege of being favoured with a fruitful possession in the land of Canaan in consequence of it, was of grace and not of debt.
This strictly applies to me in a spiritual sense.
O! for more, self-condemnation and self-abasement, when I see and feel the awful unbelief which dwells in my evil heart. And yet, if I have any reason to hope that the Lord has given me another spirit from the carnal world around me, or from what I once had: and if this new spirit evidences itself by an obedience to his holy command, and a delight in his will, to him be all the undivided praise !
To follow the Lord fully, I must have a lively faith in the promises of God made to me in Jesus Christ: I must experience the love of God shed abroad in my heart through the Holy Ghost given unto me; I must have a good hope through grace, a hope full of immortality : I must feel the sweet drawings of the Spirit, uniting me closer to Jesus in heart and affection : I must renounce all self-dependence and all creature dependence: I must renounce both my sins and my own supposed righteousness : I must quit the flattering vanities of the world, and labour to subdue the lusts of the flesh : I must be