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POSSESSION AND PROFESSION:
THOUGHTFUL AND THE THOUGHTLESS,
A SUGGESTIVE COMPANION FOR SUMMER STROLLS
A ROVING BEE,
WHO HAS FLOWN OVER MANY FLOWERS AND SOUGHT TO EXTRACT
There may be much profession without possession, but there can be
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MAL. iii. 2. Who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth?
PROV. viii. 21. That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance
'Tis not for man to trifle! life is brief,
And sin is here.
Our age is but the falling of a leaf,
A dropping tear.
We have no time to sport away the hours,
Not many lives, but only one have we-
How sacred should that one life be,
That narrow span!
Day after day filled up with blessed toil,
Hour after hour, still bringing in new spoil.
In the course of our reading, we should lay up in our minds a store of goodly thoughts, in well-wrought words, which would be a living treasure, always within us, and from which, at various times, and in shifting circumstances, we might draw comfort and guidance.-A. Helps.
PRINTED BY NEILL AND COMPANY, EDINBURGH.
As it was in the days of Solomon, so it is now, "of making many books there is no end;" and no one ought to inflict another on the reading public without earnest pains and definite purpose. Only those should write who have ideas which crave an outward vent-ideas which have given a powerful impulse to their own lives, and an intense longing that others should receive the same influence.
Such words will probably find echoes in many hearts, and are not sent or written in vain. Such words seem to be photographs from the "Sun of righteousness," from Him who is the giver of every good gift, "with whom the light dwelleth" (Dan. ii. 22). Artists tell us that photographs gradually lose their colour and effect when shut up, and require to be afresh displayed in a strong light. Therefore some of these soul-photographs have been searched out from a variety of portfolios, and carefully arranged
in a favourable light to invite thoughtful attention. May He who first inspired all that is good in them, now "spread his light upon them" (Job xxxvi. 30), and shine into our hearts with a fresh and living power, and write there all in them which is according to His Word, so that our lives may reflect their lustre, and "shine more and more unto the perfect day."
One cause of the marvellous and multiform errors of the present day, which are "leading captive" so many, is that multitudes are satisfied with the shell of Profession, and seek not the kernel of Possession, they know not that deep peace which would "keep the heart and mind." Their views of truth are so vague and unsettled, they are an easy prey in these "perilous times, when" if it were possible, "the very elect would be deceived;" and even they may fall for a time "to try and purify them" (Dan. ii. 35). Many claim the promises who have never earnestly examined their title to them, which alone is an interest in Christ's death, proved by a conformity to Christ's life.
May He who "hath chosen the weak things to confound things which are mighty" (1 Cor. i. 27), use this book instrumentally to turn away others
from the false light and blinding glare of the fanciful and fascinating theories of those who "compass themselves about with sparks that they have kindled " (Isa. 1. 11), and who "rebel against the true light" (Job xxiv. 13); and to lead us to the earnest study of His Word. So may we enjoy vital union and communion with Him who " is light, and in whom is no darkness at all" (1 John ii. 5); and, amidst this world's confusion and strife of tongues, may He "keep us secretly in His pavilion," and may His voice of love and power say to each of us, " Come, my people, enter thou into thy chamber, and shut the door about thee, hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast."
After I had arranged these extracts, it was suggested to me to put the names of the authors. I have now done so, as well as I could remember; and I beg kind indulgence for any inaccuracy.