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It was very meet that these words should fall first from the lips of "the Everlasting Son of the Father." Wrapt in the thick darkness of Gethsemane, His "soul exceeding sorrowful," He knelt down and prayed even with tears—“ Abba, Father, take this cup from Me." Thus, with dread solemnity, He consecrated these words for the use of His "brethren" for ever. Not that they will utter them under the pressure of extraordinary circumstances, but rather in a condition of primal blessedness. The moment they receive adoption, "God sends forth the Spirit of His Son into their hearts, crying-Abba, Father." O words of light and love!-albeit of two languages, yet conveying one meaning worth more than a thousand worlds-God their reconciled Father, and they "joint-heirs with Christ!" Such words are indubitable evidence of their sonship and sanctity, whether Hebrews or Greeks, kings or beggars.-Dr. DAVIES.
may seek Him with the same diligence and holy fear with which the Virgin-mother sought the blessed Jesus. But it often happens, too, that we give Him cause to remove Himself. Sometimes we are vain or remiss, or pride invades us in the darkness and unconsciousness of our spirits, and we have a secret sin which God would have us inquire after; and when we suspect everything, and condemn ourselves with strictest and most angry sentence, then, it may be, God will with a ray of light break through the cloud; if not it is nothing the worse for us; He withdraws a gift only, nothing of His love.-Bp. TAYLOR.
I know that as night and shadows are good for flowers, and moonlight and dews are better than a continual sun, so is Christ's absence of special use, and that it hath rare nourishing virtue in it, and giveth sap to humility, and putteth an edge on hunger, and furnisheth a fair field to faith to put forth itself, and to exercise its fingers in gripping it seeth what not.-RUTHErford.
It often happens that after spiritual employments God seems to absent Himself, and withdraw the sensible effects of His presence, that we
Absence.-The Holy Spirit's
What peaceful hours I once enjoy'd!
Return, O Holy Dove, return,
I hate the sins that made Thee mourn,
It is complete and irrevocable. He absolves fully, freely, and for ever, through His Son and our Saviour. And this He does not only legally but paternally. If He absolved us from our sins as a matter of justice only, then we might be admitted into heaven, but it would be rather as forgiven culprits; but He absolves us paternally, lovingly; therefore, when admitted into heaven, we shall be received as adopted children with all the cordiality and transport of a God !-Dr. DAVIES.
Absolution.-The Terms of
Mark well the terms On which our final absolution rests:Forgiveness such as that which here on earth To others we impart, the righteous Judge Will unto us accord at the dread day Of universal Judgment.-HAYES. Abstinence.—The Design of
Finding that deep and holy spirit-breathing was suspended during bodily enjoyments, godly souls have often interdicted the gratifications of the flesh, in order to help their spirits in the Godward direction.-Dr. PULSFORD.
Endeavour to have as little to do with thy affections and passions as thou canst and labour to thy power to make thy body content to go of thy soul's errands.-Bp. TAYLOR.
God is a Being who gives everything but punishment in over-measure. The whole divine character and administration, the whole conception of God as set forth in the Bible and in nature, is of a Being of munificence, of abundance, and superabundance. Enough is a measuring word -a sufficiency, and no more; economy, not profusion. God never deals in this way. With Him there is always a magnificent overplus. The remotest corner of the globe is full of wonder and beauty. The laziest bank in the world, away from towns, where no artists do congregate, upon which no farm laps, where no vines hang their cooling clusters, nor flowers spring, nor grass invites the browsing herd, is yet spotted and patched with moss of such exquisite beauty that the painter who in all his life should produce one such thing would be a master in art and immortal in fame, and it has the hair of ten thousand reeds combed over its brow, and its shining sand and insect tribes might win the student's lifetime. God's least thought is more prolific than man's greatest abundance.-BEECHER.
Acceptance.-The Importance of Divine
Acceptance with God lies at the very foundation of all religion; for there must be an accepted worshipper before there can be acceptable worship.Dr. H. BONAR.
Access.-The Master-Key of Divine
There are many locks in my house, and all with different keys, but I have one master-key which opens all. So the Lord has many treasuries and secrets all shut up from carnal minds with locks they cannot open; but he who walks in fellowship
with Jesus possesses the master-key which will admit him to all the blessings of the covenant; yea, to the very heart of God. Through the WellBeloved we have access to God, to heaven, to every secret of the Divine Mind.-SPURGEON.
Accidents.-God's Use of
There is not the smallest accident which may seem unto man as falling out by chance, and of no consequence, but that the same is caused by God to effect something else by; yea, and oftentimes to effect things of the greatest worldly importance, either presently, or in many years after, when the occasions are either not considered or forgotten.— Sir W. RALEIGH.
Do you ever reflect that your powers of accomplishment are direct mercies from heaven? God does a more wonderful thing when He holds all your faculties in such nice adjustment and perfect play that you win success, than He would have done if He had wrought the fruit of that success Himself by a miracle.-Beecher.
I find I can know but little of even the world before me; nor can I, independently, take a single step in it safely what then can I do with respect to the next world without my Bible? I find myself, indeed, in the midst of a system of deep moral disorder and perpetual vicissitude. If I listen to the philosophers, I hear them obtruding ten thousand opinions, which only tend to prove each other fools. Besides which, none of them offers anything that meets, and much less that relieves, my One cheering light only shines into this our moral darkness. It shews me the holy law I ought to obey, and declares my true character as a transgressor from the womb. I feel that very depravity and weakness in my nature which it describes. I have erred and strayed like a lost sheep, and feel no health in me. In such a state, dare I venture my soul upon conjectures and probabilities? Once, indeed, I was driven to lay hold on the only hope set before me in the Gospel, from imperious necessity; but, since, I feel drawn to embrace it for its excellence. If infinite wisdom, holiness, power, and love, unite in appointing my ransom only through a Saviour on His cross, God forbid that I should glory save in that alone. There I see the perfections of God harmonizedHis law magnified-the evil of sin exposed. I see the worth of the soul-the vanity of the worldand the grace and grandeur of the Gospel. With a dispensation so suited to my condition, can I hesitate? I tremble at the thought of being found negligent under a constitution in which God the
Father is willing to become my father; God the Son my redeemer; God the Spirit my guide, sanctifier, and comforter. Besides which, in this high and warranted friendship, I find not only motive but strength for proceeding soberly, righteously, and godlily in this present world, and confidence to assuredly wait for a better. I have, as well as others, looked around me for some other standing, but find I can abide possible consequences upon no lower ground. I will, therefore, neither be frowned nor flattered out of a privilege of which I am so distinctly conscious. A man may as well tell me I never received nourishment from bread, nor light nor warmth from the sun! Verily it is Christianity or nothing, or worse than nothing.J. BACON.
The best acquaintance is that which the soul makes with its God. He is the best of beings, and only the best of blessings can flow from acquaintance with Him.-Dr. DAVIES.
Act.-Counsel on an
When thy hand hath done a good act, ask thy heart whether it was well done.-Dr. FULLER.
Act.-The Imperishableness of a Great
A great act does not perish with the life of him who performs it, but lives and grows up into like acts in those who survive the doer thereof and cherish his memory.-SMILES.
Act.-No Merit in the Holiest
There is no merit in the holiest act; it is no title for acceptance with God, because the strength and wisdom by which any good or holy act is performed comes directly from God.-Bp. Bickersteth.
Action.-A Christian's Singular
A singular action of a sanctified Christian isto keep his heart the lowest when God raises his estates the highest.—W. SECKER.
Try to be a living energy, and not a dead weight in the spiritual world; to be a sunbeam, and not a murky cloud; to be an electric spark kindling fire in others' hearts, and not a wet blanket putting out and smothering the smoking flax.POWER.
Action.-Purpose in Relation to
If nothing more than purpose is thy power,
That action is unwarrantable which either
blushes to beg a blessing, or, having succeeded, dares not present thanksgiving.-F. QUARles.
The best actions we perform are often those of which we are unconscious; but this can never be unless we are always yearning to do good.— BEECHER.
Actions.-The Immortality of our
Your actions, in passing, pass not away; for every good work is a grain of seed for eternal life. St. BERNARD.
Actions.-The Source of Holy
All our actions are from God, as the beams from the sun, as the fragrance from the flower, as the sparks from the fire. The sun is dispersed by his beams, the flowers by their odour, the fire by the sparks from thence proceeding. God is seen in His creatures, admired in His works, but most glorified in His servants-the sons of men.— | SUTTON.
Actions-Valued and Rewarded.
As a father considers the little services which his children do him not so much with regard to the value of those services, or of the advantages which he finds from them, as of the affection which they express in their little attempts and offers to serve him; so our heavenly Father considers more our hearts and affections than the things themselves which we have done, or, indeed, can doof which He stands in no need, but accepts of them as demonstrations of our love and duty. Thus all we have done with a sincere mind for His honour, either in private or public, will be put to our account, and will be separated from its dross. The imperfections will be forgiven, and what was good in us of our actions will be valued and rewarded; not according to the thing itself, but to the infinite bounty and goodness of Him with whom we have to do.-Bp. BUrnet.
The Lord Jesus, who "went about doing good, has left us an example that we should follow His steps." How many hands that hang down would be lifted up--how many feeble knees confirmed— how many tears wiped away-how many victims of despondency and infamy rescued by a close imitation of Jesus Christ! Go with your opulence to the house of famine, and the retreats of disease. Go, and furnish means to rear the offspring of the poor, that they may at least have access to the Word of your God. Go, and quicken the flight
of the angel who has "the everlasting Gospel to habits of admiration and enthusiastic reverence for preach unto the nations." If you possess not excellence impart to ourselves a portion of the wealth, employ your station in promoting "good-qualities we admire. Here, as in everything else, will toward men." Stimulate the exertions of humility is the surest path to exaltation.-Dr. others, who may supply what is lacking on your ARNOLD. part. Let the "beauties of holiness" pour their Instre upon your distinctions, and recommend to Admiration.-Counsel on
the unhappy that peace which yourselves have found in the salvation of God. If you have neither riches nor rank, devote your talents. Ravishing are the accents which dwell on "the tongue of the learned," when it "speaks a word in season to him that is weary." If God has denied you wealth, and rank, and talent, consecrate your heart. There is nothing to hinder your rejoicing with them that do rejoice, and weeping with them that weep; nor to forbid the interchange of kind and soothing offices. An action, a word, sweetened with love, has often been owned of God for producing the grandest and happiest effects.-Dr.
If we travel slowly, and loiter on the road, Jesus will go on before us, and sin will overtake us. If we are dilatory and lazy in the vineyard, the Master will not smile on us when He walks through His garden. Be active, and expect Christ to be with thee; be idle, and the thorns and briars will grow so thickly, that He will be shut out of thy door.-SPUrgeon.
Activity.-Resolutions for Increased
"Now for a swifter race," was the resolve of one over whose path sorrow was beginning to darken heavily. "Now for a busier and more active life," was the utterance of another as he rose from his knees, after pouring out the bitterness of his grief into the ear of God.-Dr. H. BONAR.
Adieu.-The Sweet Meaning of
Adieu-adieu! what means adieu?
It is a good thing to admire. By continually looking upward, our minds will themselves grow upward; and as a man, by indulging in habits of scorn and contempt for others, is sure to descend to the level of what he despises, so the opposite
Learn to admire rightly: the great pleasure of life is that. Note what the great men admired; they admired great things: narrow spirits admire basely, and worship meanly.-THACKERAY. Adoption.—A Beautiful Illustration of
I see an ark of bulrushes, daubed with slime and pitch, placed on the banks of the Nile, which swarmed with fierce crocodiles. Pharoah's daughter espies it, and sends her maidens to find out what there can be in it. Little Moses was there, with a face of miraculous beauty, to charm the princess of Egypt. She determined to adopt him as her son. But, behold a great wonder! On the brink of the river, where the three great crocodiles-the devil, sin, and death-have devoured their millions, there lay those who it was seen, before the foundation of the world, would be adopted into the court of heaven. The Gospel comes forth, like a royal princess, with pardon in her hand and mercy in her eye; and hastening with her hand-maidens, she glances at the thousands asleep in the perils of sin. They had favour in her sight; and she sent for her maidens, called Justification and Sanctification, to train them for the inheritance of the saints.-C. EVANS.
Adoption. The Course of
God the Father adopteth, as the fountain of adoption; God the Son, as the conduit; God the Holy Ghost, as the cistern; faith, as the mouth whereby it runs into our hearts.-T. ADAMS.
Adoption.-The Dignity of
How high is this dignity! To be called the sons of God! this is our prerogative royal. We tell you not of a kindred imperial, adopted into some of the Cæsar's families; nor of David matching into the house of Saul, which seemed to him no small preferment; we blazon not your arms with the mixture of noble ingressions, nor fetch your You lineal descents from heroes and monarchs. are made the sons and daughters of God: this is honour amply sufficient.-T. Adams.
Adoption.-The Two-Fold Witness to
As the stream and current of a river is doubled and trebled in the swiftness of the motion, and in the depth and breadth of it, when the rain-water, or the waters of a land-flood, join themselves in the same motion with it, making together one and the same
stream; in like manner, when the apprehension or persuasion in a man of his being a child of God magnifies itself at a high rate against fears, and doubtings, and jealousies in every kind, it argues a conjunction of both spirits--the Spirit of God and the spirit of man himself.-J. GOODWIN.
I adore and praise, O Lord! Thy greatness, Thy power, wisdom, and goodness, which shine in all Thy works of creation and providence. They all show forth the majesty of Thy glory, and are placed and move in such comely order, that Thou Thyself rejoicest in all Thy works, and art perfectly pleased even in that which gives us grief and trouble. O God! how excellent is Thy lovingkindness-Bp. PATRICK.
Adoption.-The Unalterableness of
Beware, my soul ! beware lest thou in fatal slumber lie,
And, like the five, remain without, and knock and vainly cry;
To crown the blessedness of the spirit of adoption-it is unchangeable and eternal. While earthly affections are changing every hour, dropping into the grave in the lengthened series of advancing years, as flower after flower disappears from the garden-ground at the approach of winter this continues the same; and he who is But watch, and bear thy lamp undimmed, and a partaker of it has not only, amid the changes of Christ shall gird thee on this world, one sure and unalterable blessing, but His own bright wedding-robe of light-the glory the very years which often bring darkness upon the of the Son.-Canon MOULTRIE. domestic hearth, putting out one by one the lights of earthly love in the silence of death, brings this nearer every hour to its bright, glorious, and everlasting perfection.-BARBER.
What, O Lord! can be likened unto Thee? Nothing in love, and might, and glory; I must therefore love nothing like Thee; Thou alone art the adorable Jehovah. If I justly love that which ¦ is good, I must necessarily love Thee more than all things in this world; for Thou art infinitely better than all things in this world.-HORNECK.
Primeval Beauty! in Thy sight,
See all their brightest glories fade:
A worm, a leaf, a blast, a shade!
O God! what dost Thou see in me? Nothing but misery, nothing but rags, nothing but poverty; and yet thou lovest me! O love which cherubim admire and seraphim adore! It passes understanding; it goes beyond my cognizance ; it confounds my reason. I will sing of love, I will speak of love; my very dreams shall be employed about it. Oh that I could write panegyrics of it! -HORNECK.
Advent.-Awaiting the Second
Behold! the Bridegroom cometh in the middle of the night,
And blest is he whose loins are girt, whose lamp is burning bright;
But woe to that dull servant whom the Master shall surprise
With lamp untrimmed, unburning, and with slumber in his eyes!
Advent.-The Design of the First and Second
The advent of Christ is two-fold: first-He came to sanctify the creature, and He will come again to glorify it. If creation be represented as rejoicing at the accomplishment of the former, how much greater will the joy be at the approach of the latter! And not only they, but ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan within ourselves, waiting for the redemption of the body, when, at the renovation of all things, man, newmade, shall return to the days of his youth, to begin an immortal spring, and be for ever young. -Bp. HORNE.
Advent. The Expectation of the Second
Christ's advent was the expectation of nations, this next is the expectation of Christians. "Look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh." Our eyes are still drooping in this valley of tears; but we look for the precious beams of the Sun of Mercy, that shall dry them up. No Jew did ever more earnestly wish for the Jubilee ; no servant so desireth the end of his years; no stranger so longs to be at home; no overladen soul so groaneth for ease; no soldier so heartily contendeth to have his wars determined with conquest, as the saints expect the promise of the coming of Jesus Christ. It is the strength of their hopes, the sweet object of their faith in the midst of all sorrows, the comfort of their hearts and the heart of their comforts, the encouragement of their wearied spirits, the life of their encouraged souls, the continual period and shutting up of their prayers.-T. ADAMS.
Advent.-Indifference respecting the Second
We do not think enough of Christ's second adWhat would be said of the wife who, when her husband was away in another country, could be