66 As

abound in the fruits of righteousness, and live a life of glory with thee in heaven.

Though bodily exercise, apart from godliness, profiteth little ; yet, when connected with, and resulting from true piety, it profiteth much. Thus St. Paul declared to the Corinthians: “I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved."* His life, from the period of his conversion, was dedicated to the service of his Saviour. He deemed no labour too great, no toil too severe, no privation too painful, if only he could extend the Redeemer's kingdom, and be made instrumental in bringing sinners to Christ. He exhorted the Roman Christians to active service:

have yielded your

members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity, unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness, unto holiness."

The Corinthians he also admonished : “ Whether ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”+

His epistles abound with exhortations to activity in the cause of Christ, which may be summed up in the one addressed to the Hebrews : “ God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which


have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every


do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end : that


be not slothful but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises."

True believers are consecrated to the Lord. “Know ye not,” saith the Apostle," that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you ? || “ For ye are bought with a price : therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”**

one of

2 Cor. xii. 15.

+ Rom. vi. 19. # 1 Cor. x. 31. & Heb. vi. 10-12. || 1 Cor. iii. 16.

** 1 Cor. vi. 20.

Surely this is one of the unsearchable riches of Christ. What an inconceivable honour for a poor worthless sinner to be made an habitation of God through the Spirit. For, “thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."'* Every true believer is therefore humble and contrite, because with such the high and lofty One condescends to dwell. “To this man," saith the Lord, “ will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." + Oh! how gracious is our God. He “is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." I 6. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise,"8 was the prayer of David, when he supplicated for mercy.

The true believer is clothed with humility. Being filled with self-abasing views, he cries out with Job: “ I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” And with Jacob: “I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies."** Yea, with Paul he esteems him. self to be less than the least of all saints," the chief of sinners. ++

0! my soul, are these thy feelings and views? Art thou panting after Christ ?' Art thou hungering and thirsting after righteousness? Is sin thy burden? Is purity thy delight ?

The true believer in Jesus experiences more pleasure in crucifying a lust, than the sensualist does in gratifying it; which proves that the gospel, even in its most painful exercises, far exceeds the fleeting pleasures of sin. The pleasures of the wicked, if such they can be called, are like the transient meteor, while the enjoyments of the righteous resemble the

+ Isa. Ixvi. 2. * Psa. xxxiv. 18. S Psa. li. 17. || Job xlii. 6.

** Gen. xxxii. 10. tt Eph. iii. 8.; 1 Tim. i. 15.

Isa. lvii. 15.

shining light, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The gratifications of the wicked, in the end, bite like a serpent and sting like an adder; but the felicities of the godly, flowing from faith in Christ, and communion with the Father through him, yield their sweetness in a dying hour. Truly, then, may we say with David : “ Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.”* And with Solomon, “Wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”+

Happy, indeed, is the man who can say, in humility and sincerity, I desire above all things to love Jesus, and to repose my soul fully and entirely upon him. Where can I expect comfort, but from Him who is the fountain of felicity? Where can I find wisdom, but in Him in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge? Where can I obtain pardon and justification, but in and through Him who paid the price for my redemption, even his own most precious blood; and who obeyed that holy law, which demands a sinless obedience to all its requirements ?

How beautiful, how glorious, is the plan of human redemption, which amply provides for the honour of God and the happiness of man. Well may angels desire to look into this mystery of grace. I Surely nothing can more clearly prove the blinding, hardening, and rebellious nature of sin, than the manner in which this dispensation of mercy is received by a world of sinners. Jesus, the compassionate Jesus, daily knocks at the door of our hearts, and sweetly says, “If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." A promise this, of delightful communion and enjoyment of his love. But what reception does he meet with? Do we hail his approach with gladness? Do we throw wide open the doors of a willing mind? Do we say, Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. * Psa. Xxxvii. 37. + Prov. iii. 17. I 1 Pet. i. 12.

§ Rev. iii. 20.

Alas! no. We ungratefully bar the doors against him, by unbelief, and pride, and the love of sin, as if he were coming to destroy our comfort, and to rob us of our peace.

Oh! blind infatuation. Awful delusion ! Jesus comes indeed to destroy our false comforts, and to remove our false peace. He comes to dislodge the strong man armed, and to save us from indwelling sin. He comes to dispel the darkness from our minds, to show us our true state and character, and to deliver us from that fatal security, by which we are bound. He comes to take away that self-love which conceals us from ourselves ; which makes us fancy that all is safe and well, though there be but a step, and that a very short one too, between this destructive repose and everlasting torment.

0! how we should love this kind and heavenly Visitor, who comes to us on such an errand of love. Blessed Jesus! put forth thine hand and touch my sin-sick soul. Speak the word only, and thy servant shall be healed. O! thou all-gracious Redeemer, now that thou art in heaven, thy love and pity are the same; and my wants and weaknesses, my guilt and corruption, my helplessness and wretchedness, are so many pleaders with Thee to have mercy upon me! Thou hast said, “They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.”* Lord, I am sick, heal me. Thou hast said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”+ Lord, I am a sinner; the chief of sinners. me! Grant unto me repentance unto life, that I may turn from every evil way to Thee, the only true and living God. Lord, the work is all thine own, and the whole glory shall be thine. I will lay the crown at thy feet, and ascribe salvation unto Thee, who redeemed me through thy blood, when made a vessel of mercy; a pillar in thy temple, to go out no more.

* Matt. ix. 12.; Mark ii. 17.; Luke v. 31. + Matt. ix. 13. ; Mark ii. 17. ; Luke v. 32.

O save


« Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them

who shall be heirs of salvation ?”—Heb. i. 14.

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UNDER the Old Testament dispensation, the angels held a prominent part, as instruments both of mercy and judgment. When the Gospel kingdom was first established, they manifested their friendly agency.

The work of man's redemption employed, and still employs the angelic host, whose happiness is centred in doing the will, and promoting the glory of God. May our prayer ever be, “ Thy will be done, in earth, as it is in heaven.'

The angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary, and announced to her the honour of becoming the Mother of the Messiah, who should reign over the house of Jacob; and of whose kingdom there shall be no end. Well might he say,

6 Blessed art thou among women.”+

By the angel of the Lord, the tender fears of Joseph were removed, who told him that the child should be called Jesus, for he should save his people from their sins.

When born in Bethlehem, the glorious event was made known to the wondering shepherds by the angel of the Lord, who dissipated their alarm by words of love: “ Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord....... And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."S

The arrival of the wise men from the East to

Matt. vi. 10.; Luke xi. 2.

+ Luke i. 28. * Matt. i. 21. § Luke ii. 10–14.

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