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Lord.”*

nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our

“ Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”+ - What I do, thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter."I

Blessed Lord, be pleased to impart the spirit of wisdom and revelation, that I may know Thee as my covenant God and Father, and Jesus Christ as my friend and Saviour ; that I may receive the truth in love, not daring to dive into thy decrees, those secret things which thou hast wisely concealed from man. Teach me what I ought to do; show me the path of life, and enable me to walk therein. Give me an increase of faith and love, of peace and joy, till my soul, made happy in thy love, shall take its flight beyond the shadows of this world, to where the glories of redemption will be unfolded to the Church triumphant, amidst songs of never-ending praise.

Would you be happy here below ?

Let not your heart on earth remain ;
Can fleeting pleasures, mixed with woe,

A solid happiness contain ?

Would you be happy here below ?

Beware of pleasure's gilded snare,
Its painted vanities forego,

Which end in tears and dark despair.

Would you be happy here below ?

Seek not the wealth which worldlings prize, A nobler treasure seek to know,

Eternal in the blissful skies.

Would you be happy here below ?

Avoid false honour's empty name- -$ A glare, a momentary show,

Which leads to everlasting shame.|| Rom. viii. 38. + Psa, xlvi. 10. * John xiii. 7. S John V. 44.

|| Dan. xii. 2.

Would you be happy here below?

To heaven direct your warm desire,
There, let your constant footsteps go;

There, let your wishes all aspire.
Would you be happy here below?

0! love the Saviour-Prince of Peace;
Then anguish you shall never know,

Your joy in Him will never cease.

THE PRECIOUSNESS OF CHRIST.

“ Unto you which believe, he is precious."-1 Pet. ï. 7.

cious.+

+

ST. PETER, inspired by the Holy Ghost, has taught us what is truly precious.

“ Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, ..but with the precious blood of Christ.""*

“ To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious.''+

“ Unto you therefore which believe, he is pre

0! that Christ may ever be precious to my soul in all his offices, characters, and relations, which he bears in the covenant of grace to his believing people. Faith, which receives Christ into the heart, is also a precious gift of God. Thus writes the Apostle:

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."

“ Ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much * 1 Pet. i. 18, 19. + 1 Pet. ii. 4. # 1 Pet. ii. 7.

§ 2 Pet. i. 1.

more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”*

.His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises ; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”+

The experience of God's children is the same in every age. David, in the overflowings of his love, sang : How precious (marginal reading) is thy loving-kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.”

- How precious are thy thoughts unto me, God! how

great is the sum of them !" If we have tasted that the Lord is gracious, we shall daily feel him to be precious. His righteousness is our garment of salvation. His Truth our shield and buckler. All this blessedness we freely enjoy, without money and without price. O what can be more transporting than the assurance that Christ is mine, and I am his. What should we be without Christ? Miserable and undone! To make us value the Saviour, the Spirit makes us feel our ruined state. He shows us our wretchedness, and causes us to feel it, that we may long for deliverance. Were we not sinners there would be no need of a Saviour, for the whole need not a Physician, but they that are sick. Jesus came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. He came to seek and to save that which is lost. Hence we find, that to feel our malady, to feel our peed of Jesus, is requisite to our believing application of Him, and our believing dependence

66 Unto you therefore which believe, he is precious." * 1 Pet. i. 6,7. + 2 Pet. i. 3, 4. Psa. Xxxyi. 7.

§ Psa. cxxxix. 17.

upon Him.

Some persons are apt to think that something must be done, in order to render them meet to receive grace; that something like a price must be brought in their hand. This is the leaven of Popery, the leaven of self-righteousness. This is the barrier which prevents many from coming to Christ. O! the deeprooted legality of our fallen nature! They cannot conceive that Jesus will receive the vilest who come unto him. Hence they try to remove their leopard spots, their Ethiopian blackness, by outward reformation, while the corruption lies deep within. Wearied with the vain attempt to keep the innate evil from ripening into outward acts of wickedness, they are led through grace, to throw themselves in self-despair at the feet of Jesus, crying-“God be merciful to me a sinner."* “ Lord save me, or I perish.”+ And are they repulsed? Oh! no! The loving heart of the Saviour receives them; the loving arms of the Saviour embrace them, as the father did the returning prodigal; they obtain a full forgiveness, through faith in his blood; they are clothed with the robe of his righteousness; they receive the ring of reconciliation ; a feast of fat things is provided for them; and they are filled with peace, and purity, and joy.

Thus, while nature is always moving in a circle, and never reaching the centre of happiness, grace, by a direct line, leads the sinner at once to Christ

. “As many are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."I The Spirit always leads the sinner to the Cross, where we are admitted into the family of God; for, says St. Paul, “ Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”'S

How invaluable is a childlike spirit ; to feel our will acquiescing in the will of God. This spiritual feeling is the work of the Holy Ghost, whose office it is to guide us into all truth. No power of reason, no stretch of intellect, no determination of the will, left to its natural action, can raise us above the effects * Luke xviii. 13. + Matt. viii. 25. I Rom. viji. 14.

§ Gal. iii. 26.

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of the Fall: As water, by its own power cannot rise above its own level, no more can we.

To receive Christ into the heart by faith is the sole operation of the Spirit; for St. John declares,that “as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God"* Christ is the author and source of all blessedness. Where can rest be found but in Him whose precious name is Emmanuel, God with us? None who trust in him shall ever be confounded. To suppose such a thing, would be to contradict his own word. It is the natural unbelief of our hearts which keeps us away from Christ, and consequently from holiness and happiness. Did all the world truly believe, all the world would assuredly be saved ; for the command of Christ to his disciples was, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be "saved.”'f If all had believed the word of his

grace, all would have been saved, to whom the Apostles declared the unsearchable riches of Christ.

There are many shades in the moral character of mankind, some lighter, some darker, but all, without exception, are naturally unbelievers in heart, and whilst remaining in this awful state, they exclude themselves from those blessings which a merciful God hath provided for us through the gift of his Son. How precious is faith, and because precious, how rare a thing it is! The boasted virtues of worldly morality are as common as the pebbles in the brook ; while the graces of the Spirit, like precious stones, are only here and there to be seen.

0! that my heart were overflowing with love to Jesus, and ardently longing for his salvation. He is precious to them that believe. Do I esteem Christ as the pearl of great price ? Am I willing to part with all that the world and the flesh hold dear, to * John i. 12, 13.

+ Mark xvi. 15, 16.

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