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is removed, to see things as they are, and that he hath brought home any of his wanderers to his fold, 'on his shoulders rejoicing!'
'If you and I, my brother,' he added, 'had the faculty of discerning objects spiritually, we should discover many in this situation now, who appear, to every eye but his who knows his own under all disguises, as goats, from their behaviour; but yet are the real sheep of Jesus, which, by and by, he will gather out, and say to them as he did to the church of old, 'Come with me, my spouse, from the lions' dens, and from the mountains of the leopards.'
'Gracious Power I' he exclaimed, 'while speaking of thy long-suffering to thy people, oh! let me never forget, for how many years that long-suffering was extended to me? *iX~f
'And to me!' I cried A moment of silence followed, when my friend resumed his discourse. 'mm^tfixiAnt' i' ffrp&mti*
'I cannot help remarking, my friend,' he said, 'how wonderfully the Lord hath brought you on your way ; and particularly in the knowledge of divine things. Many there are, who, notwithstanding they are very precious plants, which the Lord's right hand hath planted, do not make great advances. But I may truly say of you, as the Apostle did of the church of the Thessalonians, 'your faith groweth exceedingly.' . . .. „
'Alas!' I replied, 'I fear I do not grow at all. I cannot perceive in myself any progress.' 'Do not say so,' he answered,' for this borders on unthankfulness. In our desires after greater measures of knowledge and grace, let us never overlook the less; nor, while we earnestly beg the Lord to bestow more, unthankfully forget what he hath already given. It is very true, as the Apostle observes, that our highest attainments in the present state, are only as the attainments of children; and that, 'if any man think he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.' Nevertheless, an apprehension of the very first principles in grace, nay, the circumstance of being matriculated in the school of Jesus, is an unspeakable mercy, which a whole life of thankfulness is not sufficient to acknowledge. » -'
'Look back my brother,' he added, 'from the first traces you can discover of God's manifestations in your mind, to the present period, and compare your situation then with now, and you will at once perceive what rapid advances you have been making in the divine life, under the teachings of God the Holy Ghost. And this is, in fact, the only method whereby to form a true estimate of ourselves. For when we draw conclusions from thepresent only, or calculate our growth merely by our desires of being finally saved, or when we erect as a standard, whereby to judge ourselves, the excellency of others more advanced : all these models, being ill-constructed and ill-chosen, must invariably induce mortifying views of ourselves by the comparison. This is not, therefore, the right plan by which we are to ascertain our state.—But if we so judge of our progress in grace, as we estimate proficiency in the works of nature, the method will be more accurate. In the vegetable kingdom, for instance, however certain an advance in growth may be, yet the most intense eye can never discern any one plant actually growing. But by the comparative observation of a few days, every one is enabled to discover that a progression has taken place.
'And while I am speaking of this subject of growth in grace, I would desire to add another observation, which is intimately connected with it. The Apostle says, 'grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.' Now, if I really grow in grace, (as increasing grace humbles more and more the soul,) I shall grow more sensible of my own worthlessness, and Christ's all-sufficiency; deeper views of sin in my fallen nature will induce all those gracious effects which tend to enhance the Saviour; a conscious sense of want, will awaken as conscious a desire of having those wants supplied; and every day's experience will make self more lowly, and Christ more exalted. This is to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord together. The progress of grace, therefore, connected with the progress of the knowledge of the Lord, must ever produce those effects. A little grace, like the dawn of day, when shining in the heart, enables the believer to discover by this twilight somewhat of the darkness around. In proportion as the light advances, he sees the objects clearer. But he then only becomes sensible of all the evils lurking within, when the meridian brightness is completed. Grace, in like manner, shining in its full lustre, discovers to us more clearly the corruptions of our nature; and while it accomplished this purpose, it answereth the other blessed purpose also, which the Apostle connects with it, of giving us ' the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ."
It became a matter of much satisfaction, I believe, to my fellow-traveller, as well as to myself, to behold the appearance of an inn on the road; for we both needed rest and refreshment, so that without any deliberation we entered the door.
'Can you accommodate us?' said my friend to the host, who happened to be near the passage as we approached the house. 'Certainly,' answered the man, and showed us into a room.
'You do not forget, my brother,' whispered my fellow-traveller to me,' which it was among the pilgrims passing through this world, who could not find this accommodation; there was no room for him in the inn. How sweetly is it arranged in all the various circumstances of life, to discover somewhat of his bright example going before us in almost every situation; not by way of reproach, but of pointing out to us, in numberless instances, the superiority of our accommodation to his!
'There is something in the very nature of an inn,' continued my friend,' which serves, as it appears to me, to promote the sacred purposes of a pilgrimage like ours, more effectual