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your manifold transgressions. In your recourse to Christ you give glory to the Father, and he who is well pleased in the person of his beloved, is well pleased also in all who are found in him.
Once more: the love which has not withheld the greater will bestow all minor blessings. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things ?" All needful blessings follow in the train of the Redeemer ; where he is welcomed into the heart, he brings with him the attendants on his steps, and no good thing will he withhold from them that love his name. If, then, in the cup of those who are believers in him there be any ingredient of bitterness, let them re gard it, not as poison, but the medicine needful for their soul. He that gave his own Son for us does " not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men;" he does it, not for his pleasure, but for our profit, that we may be made partakers of his holiness. That your path should be the path of peace, it is not necessary that it be strewed with flowers. A profusion of the pleasures of sense tends not to sharpen the eye of faith. The smiles of this world quicken not our aspirations for the light of his countenance. Temporal prosperity awakens not in the soul the hope of eternal joys. Then why bemoan the tribulations which encom
pass your path here, when they enhance, not diminish, your happiness hereafter? Why complain of the abundance of affliction, if, where affliction abounds, your consolations do much more abound? Why regard with despondency your weakness, if it is in weakness that the strength of Christ is perfected? Why mourn that in yourself you can do nothing, if you can do all things through Christ which strengthens you? It is not the will of God that his people should despond beneath the pressure of outward trials; they come to us all sanctified by the blood of Christ: to the Christian, the most adverse occurrence is an angel in disguise.
To conclude: a persuasion of the love of God in the provision of your Redeemer will enkindle in your hearts a return of love for him. Doubt the love which he has manifested for you, or imagine that he needs to be reconciled by the propitiation of your repentance, and you remove from you the only motive which is adequate to produce that repentance. “We love him because he first loved us ;" so long as he is regarded by you as your enemy, you will cherish an enmity towards him. Let a belief of his love obtain a place within your heart, and it will bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of his will.
And forget not, brethren, that in our redemp
tion by the blood of Christ the design of our God was to deliver us from this present evil world, that henceforth we should not live in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. Ye are not your own; ye are bought with a price; wherefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
Be sober, be vigilant ; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist, stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
THERE is a peculiar interest attending our perusal of the word of life, when we consider, in each case, the particular characters or the indivi. dual histories of those holy men of God who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. When in the book of Proverbs 1 we read the injunction, “ Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding,” this precept acquires an independent claim upon our attention,
· Prov. iii. 5.
from the known character of its author. To hear fools decry wisdom is no marvel; but these are the words of Solomon, of one to whom the Lord had given a wise and understanding heart, so that there was none like him before him, neither afterhim was any to arise like unto him. Heitis who here disclaims all reliance upon his own wisdom, and enjoins on us the precept, “ Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Again, when we see an apostle shedding tears over the hardened enemies of the truth, when we hear his pathetical declaration, “ Many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ,” 3 how intense an interest does the exhibition awaken in our souls when we remember that this is he who once went forth “ breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord,” 4 and himself stood conspicuous in the fiercest ranks of the enemies of the cross. Paul the Christian weeping over Saul the Pharisee! When, again, we hear the same apostle 5 affirm of godliness that it" is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is," as well as “ of that
2 1 Kings iii. 12. . 3 Phil. iii. 18. 4 Acts ix. 1.
51 Tim. iv. 8.