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thoughts are concerning His Word, His people, His ways, and His work. What think ye of His Word? Alexander the Great was so much in love with the works of Aristotle that he used to sleep with them under his pillow; and, upon one occasion, when a beautiful jewelled casket was taken amongst the spoils in battle, - he declared that it should be used only to contain the works of his favourite author. Thus wo see what great value was placed upon the writings of a heathen philosopher ; but we have to do with the words of Him “who spake as never man spake,” and who inspired holy men of old to write down those blessed truths which have been for the caution, counsel, and comfort of the people of God in all ages. “Oh, how I love Thy law," said one of old; it is my meditation all the day" (Psa. cxix. 97). saith he, “Thy law is within my heart"-a far better receptacle for the Word of God than honouring it with a place in the jewelled cabinet or costly library of a king.
"Oh, that I could have a Bible," said Martin Luther, " and I would crave no other gift!" When he obtained a copy, he showed his love for it by reading it through for years twice every year. But what think we of His Word ? If a letter comes to us. from one upon earth that we love, how carefully it is read and re-read! Every line is noted, thought over, and, if possible, acted upon. Does the Word of God receive from us that same attentive and loving reading? Do we feel that it is the Word of One we love, and whose commandments it gives us real pleasure to obey If so, it is one evidence that we think well of Christ
« Precious Bible ! what a treasure
Does the Word of God afford !
What think we of His people? Some esteem the saints as the filth and offscouring of all things,” and many are the attempts that have been made by wicked men to persecute them off the face of the earth : but, though they are despised by the multitude, they are highly esteemed by a few who look upon the people of God as the excellent of the earth. They love them with their hearts, and frequently manifest that love at times by kind and loving actions, when they see them pressed down with care and sorrow. Obadiah, we are told, took one hundred of the Lord's prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave, feeding them with bread and water. This he must have done at the risk of his own life, as doubtless Ahab's wrath would have fallen upon him had his. kind action been discovered. He also did it at a considerable
expense, for it was done in a time of famine. What caused him to act thus ? Was it not love to his God, who hath said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of these, the least of My disciples, ye have done it unto Me"?
Yes, in all the children of God there is a family feeling, which leads them to love one another as brethren, remembering how their Elder Brother, Christ, has set a glorious example for them to follow. Well might the Apostle John set down love to the brethren as one of the best evidences of the new birth
“ Love is the golden chain that binds
The happy souls above;
His bosom glow with love."
“Wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” Jesus Christ is the true wisdom, and all who walk in His ways find them in the end both peaceful and pleasant. Repentance, prayer, faith, love, and obedience are the paths by which the children of God, in all ages, have travelled to the Celestial City.
But the all-important question is, What think we of His ways ? Do we, like Nathanael, love to meet Him in
beneath sheltering fig tree? Do we love to weep tears of repentance at His feet, as did the poor woman in Simon's house ? Have we faith to believe in His power and willingness to save to the uttermost all that come unto Him, like the centurion, who said, “Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed ”? (Matt. viii. 8.) Do we, like Mary, love to sit at the feet of Christ and listen to His heavenly teaching, while He opens to us the Scriptures concerning Himself ? If we have been thus led to love His ways, it is another proof that we think well of Christ
" Jesus, Shepherd of Thy people,
Lead us through this desert land ;
By Thy power alone we stand.” What think we of His work ? The patriarch Isaac loved to go out into the field to meditate or pray at eventide, and what more helpful to prayer than a sweet vein of meditation
the work of Christ? In His work of creation alone there is a wondrous field for thought. His work of providence is still more wonderful, and, in tracing its marvellous workings, we can but say with the prophet, “O wheel."
But the work of redemption is the greatest of all His wonders -a work so stupendous that even the angels desire to look into it, but these sinless beings cannot dive so far into the mystery as the saints of God are enabled to do, and even they are only able in measure to comprehend the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge (Eph. iii. 19)
Stronger His love than death or hell,
The first-born sons of light
The length and breadth and height." It is said that, when Richard Whittington was Lord Mayor of London, he invited King Henry V. to a grand banquet at Guildhall. In the centre of the hall blazed å fire of fragrant cedar wood, which was presently rendered still more fragrant when the wealthy mayor took the bonds owing to him by the king for the amount of £60,000 (present value, £900,000) and cast them into the fire, thus releasing the monarch from his heavy, and at that time insurmountable, liabilities. May we not see in this incident a type of the wondrous work of Christ, who took the handwriting that stood against His saints and nailed it to His cross, thus cancelling their mighty debt and opening to them the gates of heaven, which otherwise must for ever have been closed against them? To meditate in spirit upon this wondrous work, under the influence of the Spirit of all truth, will cause the hardest-hearted sinner to fall down with tears of love and contrition at the feet of a precious Christ, and feelingly say with the poet
Suffering Saviour, Lamb of God,
How hast Thou been used !
Soul and body bruised.
In Thy bitter passion ;
See Thy great salvation.
Our hard hearts to soften ;
For we need it often." Do we, in these respects, think well of Christ ? Can we see a beauty in Him, and all that concerneth Him, which language fails to describe ?
The Church in the Canticles draws a wonderful picture of what she thought of Christ, comparing Him to all that is most beautiful and precious in the world, such as flowers, spices, gold, precious stones, marble, ivory, and the cedars of Lebanon ; but failing to fully set forth His worth, she said, “Yea, He is altogether lovely!” and this is the feeling of all saints when the glories of Christ are opened to their view.
Those who truly think well of Christ are led to do so because He has first thought well of them. Yea, so precious were they in His eyes
that He died to redeem them, and is now gone to prepare a place for them, that where He is there they may be also ; and, for the encouragement of all that think
He has declared that they shall be His in that day when He makes up His heavenly jewels (Mal. iii. 16, 17)
“ Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills my breast ;
And in Thy presence rest.”
THE TWO NATURES. A WELL-KNOWN missionary tells us of a poor African woman who once said to him, groaning heavily, that she had two hearts, a new and an old, and they were so constantly contending, the one saying, “Come to Jesus," the other saying, “Stay away"—the one bidding her do good, and the other bidding her do evil-that she knew not what to do. He read to her the seventh chapter of the Romans, and showed that the Apostle felt the same things. When he came to the verse, “ O wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?” she said, “ Ah! massa, that me, and me know not what to do ;” and when he afterwards added the words, “I thank God through Jesus Christ," and explained them, she burst into tears of grateful joy. What comforted her may well comfort all similarly tempted and sorrowing ones.
THERE is no affliction, how great soever, though, with respect to natural means, unremovable and unmitigable, yet, if it be sanctified by divine grace, a Christian, even while he is so afflicted, has more cause of joy than grief- more reason to bless God for it, than to repine and complain. “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. v. 18). He turns afflictions into benefits, and our affectionate praises are due on that account.-Bates.
DIVINE PRESERVATION AND HELP. “ I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved : He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy Keeper : the Lord is thy Shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil : He shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”—PSALM cxxi. We have in this Psalm a sweet view of our safety. Nothing can by any means hurt those whom the Lord keeps. Dangers, both temporal and spiritual, stand thick in our way, but the Lord is our Keeper and our Shade; and, though spiritual dangers are, no doubt, principally intended in this Psalm, yet I cannot but think that temporal dangers are also included.
This day, May 2nd, 1819, the Lord most wonderfully preserved us from imminent danger while going to His house. Going down hill upon a swing trot, the horse made a beat, and down it came in an instant. We—that is to say, my husband, myself, and poor infirm child-all fell out of the cart. In a moment of time I found myself lying upon the horse, and felt one, if not both, my companions roll after me. I felt an ejaculation arise in my mind thus, “ Lord, preserve us !” I lay upon the horse until my husband was up and secured the child, and then as quick as possible came to my relief, for I had but one hand to help myself with, having lost the use of the other for a time by my rheumatic complaint. When we were all up, we found that neither of us had received the least injury; no, not the slightest injury imaginable. Neither had the horse cut its knees; it received a slight injury on the chest and shoulder, but nothing further. It is worthy of remark that the poor animal lay as still as possible, till my husband took hold of her to lift her up, as our safety greatly depended
Nor were either of us very much frightened. This also I consider a great mercy, but the Lord's surprising goodness seemed to take off the fright altogether. Thus did the Lord preserve man and beast, to the great display of His omnipotence and omnipresence, for if we had fallen upon a bed of down, we could not have received less injury. “Bless the Lord, O my soul.” Ye saints who love His name, bless Him with
I have by this providence learned that it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man;" yea, that“ it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.”
A few days before, I had rode out with an acquaintance who
upon this as