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helpful, forget not in thy prayers him who needs such service and help even more than thyself. The authors of such books are almost sure to be thought by strangers far better men than in truth they are. But a moment's consideration of the way in which all works of spiritual counsel must be framed would dissipate the delusion, as well as (it is earnestly hoped) justify the writers from the charge of hypocrisy. Such counsels are addressed, then, in the first instance, to the writer's own heart, on the assumption that his experience will be that of hundreds of others. They are virtually an attack upon his own faults, an exposure of his own weak points, a development of any thought in which he has himself found light, comfort, and encouragement. So far, therefore, from assuming that the writer is himself strong on the points on which he writes strongly, it should rather be assumed that these are the points on which he is really weak', while his conscience and his knowledge of the truth tell him that he ought to be strong. To no higher standard of goodness does such a writer lay claim than this;—that he himself strives to live up to the arduous requirements of Christianity; that he is painfully sensible of falling short of the mark; that, like Gideon's troop, he is often "faint," and "yet pursuing," and that, in the exercise of Christian sym

1 To show that I mean what I am saying, I may observe that chap. xv. is directed against a faulty habit of mind, of which I myself am only too conscious.

pathy, as well as from the desire of making full proof of his ministry, he longs to help those who are experiencing the same difficulties with himself, and to whisper into their ears (whether from the pulpit or the press) any words of light and comfort which may have reached his own soul from above. Without this low degree of Christian experience, no one could hope to make a successful appeal to the hearts and consciences of his fellow-men; and whatever his counsels may seem to import as to his own state, the present writer entreats the reader to give him credit for nothing more. For awful, indeed, are the responsibilities of making a high religious profession; and he who by such a profession lifts himself above the crowd, resembles Nelson, when appearing with all his orders at Trafalgar ;-he is only too likely to make himself a mark for the fiery darts of the great enemy. How shall we not tremble for the risks which are run by ordinary teachers of Divine truth, when even St. Paul (after and notwithstanding all the sacrifices he had made for Christ) felt that without self-control and mortification of the lower instincts he himself might "become a castaway"? Reader, pray that such may not be the doom of him who in these pages addresses you.


August 19, 1869.

E. M. G.




"Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are."-JAMES
v. 17.

"Of whom the world was not worthy."-HEB. xi. 38.


Loftiness of Elijah's character as a saint-his weakness as ex-
bibited in the Scriptures-a wrong estimate of saintliness seems
to put it out of our reach-I. The reason of this wrong estimate-
the trick of the eye in surveying a distant landscape, however
plain the trick of the memory in surveying a remote period of
life-why should not Christians now-a-days be as zealous and
devoted as the Apostles and primitive saints ?-all the forces
which made the Apostles saints are operative now-II. How the
Scriptures correct this mistaken estimate-instances of sinful infir-
mity in New Testament saints-quarrel of St. Paul and St. Bar-
nabas both parties in the wrong-even Apostles had their trials
of temper-erroneous notions of the moral effects of the Pente-
costal effusion-how these are corrected by Scripture in connexion
with St. Peter's history-The Holy Spirit in man's soul a growing
and expansive force the checks and drawbacks which Grace ex-
periences in our nature and circumstances-III. Our undervalua-
tion of saints while they are with us, and the causes of it-Death
often opens our eyes for the first time to the saintliness of the
departed-practical inferences from this-Conclusion. We are not
to think any height of sanctity above our reach-we only need the

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"He entered into the synagogue and taught and there was a
man whose right hand was withered.
And looking
round about upon them all, He said unto the man, Stretch
forth thy hand. And he did so and his hand was restored
whole as the other."- LUKE vi. 6. 10.


The declaration that faith is the gift of God, is construed by
some as though they could do nothing towards the attainment of
it, but must simply wait till it comes-narrative of the cure of the
withered hand adapted to correct this error-hand the organ of
touch-touch convinces us, more than other senses, of the reality
of matter-faith convinces us of the reality of things unseen-the dif-
ference between imagining spiritual truths and believing them-man
has a natural faculty of faith which can grasp things lying within
the horizon of time, but not beyond-how this is emblematized in
the narrative of the withered hand-the healing virtue, whereby the
cure was wrought, was in Our Lord-yet the patient was required
to do something, in order to derive this virtue into his hand-Our
Lord commanded him to do that which he could not do before
he was healed-and the patient understood that he must make an
effort to do it-the hand stretched towards Christ is the emblem of
prayer there are times when we feel we cannot pray-but our
policy then is to make an effort to stretch forth the hand-principle
is only shown in praying, when the course of prayer does not run
smooth—the realizing grasp of faith upon things eternal, not to be
had without a vigorous effort the reader counselled to make this
effort, and assured of success.


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