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away our sins.”
and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. “Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” 6 Ye know that he was manifested to take
“He that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
“We have known and believed the love that God hath to us.
God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."
66 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” • We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."
Had these been the words of an uninspired believer, would they not, by many, have been condemned as enthusiastic and presumptuous ? Even in the face of these blessed declarations of St. John, so descriptive of his own state, and of those to whom he wrote, an inward experience of the love and faithfulness of Christ, combined with a humble assurance of an interest in his atonement, is still treated as the visionary dream of over-heated enthusiasts.
But infidelity and indifference can never remove the rock on which our hopes are fixed. He who enjoys the sunshine of spiritual joy, can never be persuaded that he is wrapped in midnight darkness. Job, in the twilight of divine revelation, could say: “I know that my Redeemer liveth.”* Paul, in the blaze of Gospel day, could add :-" I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day."4 And John, to strengthen his testimony, declared—“ Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that our joy may be full." What precious words—that our joy may be full. Job. xix. 25.
+ 2 Tim. i. 12. 11 John i. 3, 4.
Can it then be unscriptural or presumptuous to take the comfort of God's word, if his love be shed abroad in our hearts; if his will be the rule of our conduct; if to please him be our sincere intention and delight ? “ As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." If we feel the godly motions of the Spirit drawing us from evil, and inclining us to good, shall we call it all delusion? Surely this must be a dishonouring of the Spirit, which none can commit, but those who are destitute of his grace. Blessed Saviour, make me wise unto salvation through faith in Thee. May I ever take thy word as my rule and guide. May I ever repose on thy faithfulness and care. Then, in the midst of abounding error, and abounding wickedness, I shall hourly experience the blessedness of the promise : “ The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him.”
Jesus, who hung upon the Cross,
And shed his blood for me,
In every flower I see.
The stars which gild the night,
Proclaim the Saviour's might.
The birds which fill the air;
Bespeak the Saviour's care.
But Man, of all his works below,
Lies nearest to his heart;
A never failing part.
The objects of thy love and care,
In safety shall abide
And near thy sacred side.
No harm shall ever reach their souls ;
No power, their hope destroy;
To give them endless joy.
From Satan's power set free,
Then reign in heaven with Thee.
-THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE
“Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and
sold all that he had, and bought it.”—Matt. xii. 46.
The language of true believers in Christ, though they be separated by oceans, and are personally unknown to each other, is experimentally the same. The humble follower of Jesus, who loves the Saviour amidst the heats of Africa, or the frosts of Labrador; who looks to him by faith, surrounded by the worshippers of Buddhu, or the devotees of Mahomet, will be actuated by the same Spirit, governed by the same word, have the same inward conflict, and enjoy the same strength and consolation which his brethren in Christ experience, who enjoy the advantages of intellectual light, and who live in a land of Bibles and churches.-The delightful accounts which the Missionaries write of these converted Hottentots, Greenlanders, Hindoos, and Mahomedans, prove the truth of the Gospel, and display the power and grace of God.
This verifies, also, St. Paul's declaration :“ There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations; but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal."*
The poor converted negro is not endued with the same intellectual gifts as the learned but pious Professor of Theology; and yet, their spiritual graces are the same. Both are taught by the same Spirit to know themselves as sinners; both are led to Christ as their only Saviour; both have grace given to them, to love and serve him ; to confess him before men ; to fight the good fight of faith, and to lay hold on eternal life. And, oh! wonderful revelation of the grace of God! their eternal glory and happiness shall be the same. “ I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”+
The Church universal is spread over the face of the whole earth. Outward rites may differ, but the inward work is the same. There
be a differences of administration, but the same Lord.” O! that we saw more of the unity of the Spirit in the
“ Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity," was the truly catholic prayer of St. Paul, whose heart was large enough to embrace all who bore the image of the Redeemer, and who worshipped him in spirit and in truth-while he commanded Timothy to turn away from such as had the form of godliness, but denied the power thereof; and to withdraw himself from men of corrupt minds, who supposed that gain was godliness.
No outward service can be acceptable to God, if destitute of faith and love. The religion of Christ is the religion of the heart.-In such a world as this, and composed as we are of body and spirit, Forms are needful, to impress our minds, to fix our atten* 1 Cor. xii. 4—7.
+ Rev. vii. 9, 10.
bond of peace.
tion, and to enable Christians to unite in worship with each other. But, outward forms, however imposing, are but like a dead carcase, if unaccompanied by a spirit of love. “0, Lord, who hast taught us that all our doings without charity are nothing worth, send thy Holy Ghost, and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever liveth is counted dead before thee. Grant this, for thine only Son Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.”
There is in all men a natural thirst after happi
Their tastes may vary, but their pursuit is the same. This search never fails to end in disappointment, because they do not seek for it where alone it can be found. Did we see men seeking for costly pearls among the pebbles of the British shore, we should smile at their folly.
To the anxious pursuers after happiness, the Almighty speaks in mercy :-“ Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."* The fruitless effort of these vain pursuers is forcibly described :-“Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David."
True happiness flows from true wisdom. But where is wisdom to be found ? —that wisdom which can enrich, ennoble, and bless the soul ? “The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not in me. It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. The gold and the crystal cannot equal
Isa. lv. 1.