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sorrows, and wounded for our transgressions, Jesus Christ the righteous, reckoned amongst the unrighteous and malefactors; to see Him stripped naked, and scourged, and buffeted, and nailed, and dying: and all for us ; this is the thing that will bind upon us strongly, all the duties of Christianity and of our particular callings, and best enable us, according to our callings, to bind them
Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name : the upright shall dwell in thy presence.—PSALM cxl. 13.
Those who maintain that holy exercise which enables them to walk in the presence of God, exhibit true simplicity of spirit; they aim at setting the Lord before them in all they do, seeking neither their own interest, their own gratification, or their own pleasure: they resemble the magnetic needle which points always to ward the north, turning neither to the right hand or to the left: and if by some strange violence, it is for a moment in the slightest degree moved aside, it is incessantly agitated until it regains its right position.
BISHOP HALL.-0 blessed Saviour, what strange variety of conceits do I find, concerning thy thousand years' reign! What riddles are in that prophecy, which no human tongue can read. Where to fix the beginning of that marvellous millenary, and where the end? and what manner of reign it shall be, whether temporal or spiritual, on earth or in heaven, undergoes as many constructions as there are pens that have undertaken it. And yet, (when all is done,) I see thine apostle speaks only of the souls of thy martyrs reign
ing so long with thee, not of thy reigning on earth so long with those martyrs. How busy are the tongues of men; how are their brains taken up with the indeterminable construction of this enigmatical truth ; when, in the mean time, the care of thy spiritual reign in their heart is neglected! O my Saviour, while others weary themselves with the disquisition of thy personal reign here upon earth for a thousand years, let it be the whole bent and study of my soul to make sure of my personal reign with thee in heaven to all eternity
And when he was demanded of the Pharisees when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation ; neither shall they say, Lo here! or lo there! for behold the kingdom of God is within you. LUKE xvii. 20, 21.
AUGUSTINE.—I went out of the way like a wandering sheep, seeking that externally which was within me;
I traversed the street and the ways of this great world, looking after thee, my God, and I found thee not, because I sought thee not aright, and therefore did not arrive at the spot where thou art to be found; I sought thee without and thou art within me, I sought thee afar off and thou art near at hand; I should have met with thee at once had I sought thee where thou art.
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is the Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands ; neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things: and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined
the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation ; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us. Acts xvii. 24, 25, 26, 27.
LEIGHTON. “Oh what a weariness is it to live amongst men, and find so few men; and amongst Christians, and find so few Christians; so much talk and so little action; religion turned almost to a tune and air of words; and amidst all our pretty discourses, pusillanimous and base, and so easily dragged into the mire, self and flesh and pride and passion domineering, while we speak of being in Christ and clothed with him, and believe it, because we speak it so often and so confidently."
Thou know'st who only bows the knee;
WHITE ON PRAYER, (ABRIDGED.)—“But there is one feature in the Christian character, in which I cannot but fear that there has not been an advance at all proportioned to the progress discernible in so many others; and yet one of such paramount importance, that on it, above every other, the progress of Divine life in the believer's soul is suspended; nothing can compensate for its neglect, which will assuredly be followed and chastised by a decline and decay in every spiritual grace, and, if persevered in, by every appalling symptom of approaching spiritual death. I mean the habit of private prayer, of devout communion, in retirement with the Father of our spirits, entering into our chamber and shiutting the door, and praying to our Father in heaven, who heareth in secret; coming before him
in all the confiding and grateful affection of children, in whose hearts the spirit of adoption has been shed abroad, whereby we are privileged to cry, Abba, Father; approaching a reconciled God through his dear Son, in such a spirit; to spread out before him all our wants and wishes; to pour all our griefs and anxieties into his compassionate ears; to confess to him all our sins, and confide to him all our sorrows; seeking to be supported by his strength, sanctified by his spirit, guided by his counsel, and gladdened by his consolations. There has not, I fear, been a progress in this department of the Christian system, at all proportionate to that discernible in many others. We live in an age of decidedly increased knowledge, zeal, exertion in Divine things-yea, and increased social prayer; but do we live in an age of increased secret prayer? I fear not, and to this single fact may be, I think, mainly attributed the many glaring inconsistencies and blemishes that disfigure the aspect of the professing Church of Christ. Prayer is the Divinely appointed means of sustaining spiritual life in a believer's soul, and by shedding on all within, the influence of Divine grace, imparting to all without, the impress of the Divine image. It is the gathering of the celestial mannathe feeding on the living bread which came down from heaven, to nourish the soul to everlasting life; and for the Divine nourishment thus obtained, nothing can be safely substituted.”
I will be as the dew unto Israel. (Hosea xiv. 5.) As the dew falls when all is still, when all is wrapt in silence; so it is in the silence of all flesh with its noisy workings, that this sacred unction distils upon the soul
and causes it to grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass; as shouers that water the earth. Psalm lxxii. 6.
A sedate and composed mind is necessary in order to know ourselves and to know God, as it is stated in Psalm xlvi. Be still and know that I am God! Such wisdom both deserves and demands a vacant soul: it will not, as it were, thrust itself into a corner, nor inhabit a polluted or unquiet breast. God was not in the whirlwind, nor in the fire, but in the still small voice. (1 Kings xix. 12.) The Holy Spirit is peaceful and serene, but wicked men are turbulent and stormy, driven like the sea, whose waves are tossed about, and throw up continually mire and dirt. Impurity is the inseparable attendant of this inquietude; but the wisdom that is from above, is first pure, then peaceable (JAMES iii. 17); and in that blessed country to which it teaches us to aspire, there is the most perfect and everlasting union of purity and peace.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
PSALM xxiii. 4.
At death the saints are engaged in the last and one of the most eminent works of faith, even the committing of themselves into the hands of God, when they are launching forth into a vast eternity, and entering into that new state which will make so great a change upon them in a moment. But 0 with what encouragement may, a Christian throw himself into the arms of that