« AnteriorContinuar »
to consider that our Saviour should love and suffer so much for us. We shall look at Him on his cross, and weep. We shall look at our own hearts as the cause, and then weep again ; and our whole attention will be to Him and His service. Thus viewing Him, the world lessens in our eyes more and more. We feel our time too important to be taken up with any thing in it. We have nothing to do here, but to serve him in love, and watch against the sad remainders of our corruption, which so frequently remind us of our sinful condition. This is the proper state of a soul entirely attached to Jesus, the sweetest name that ever was heard !”–(Extract from a Letter by a Lady; in the Life of the Rev. Henry Venn, M. A. pp. 301, 302.)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance : against such there is no law.—Galatians v. 22, 23.
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love;
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.--Ephesians iv. 1—3.
Speaking the truth in love.-iv.15.
Truth and love, says an old writer, are, singly, the two strongest things on earth; and, united, are irresistible.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice :
And be ye kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.-iv. 31, 32,
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.—Philippians iv. 8.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.-iv. 11–13.
But now ye also put off all these ; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering : Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another,
if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
And above all these things, put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
Children, obey your parents in all things : for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers ; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.
Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal, knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.—Colossians iii. 8. 12–14. 18—22. iv. 1.
The graces pre-eminently requisite in conjugal and dou mestic life, are, Humility and Love. They belong, indeed, to every Christian ; being an essential part of that train of graces, which should ever adorn his spirit and conversation : here, however, in the nearest and most endearing relations of life, they have a peculiar place allotted to them.
But, what.Humility! and what Love! The wife, subject to her husband, as the Church is subject to Christ!
-and the husband loving his wife, even as Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it! (Ephesians v. 2133.) This is no common Humility, no common Love ! They are deep, and pure, and spiritual affections, beyond the power of nature; typifying one of the greatest of all mysteries, the union of Christ with His Church.
In all the other family-relations, the same graces are
to rule, respectively, in the superior and the inferior sta. tions : Love softening the gravity of the father, and the strictness of the master; Humility seconding the tenderness of the child, the dutifulness of the servant.
And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own' business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.—1 Thessalonians iv. ll.
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; I and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.—v. 23.
I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.-1 Timothy ü. 8.
Godliness with contentment is great gain.-vi. 6.
True godliness leads to contentment. An ungodly man discovers many sources of sadness and dissatisfaction : a 'godly man, on the contrary, dwells on every consideration that may tend to settle him into perfect peace.
The discontented man torments his imagination with such thoughts as these :-"I am not so well off as I once was ; or, as I deserve to be; or, as I might have been; or, as other persons of less merit are: nor am I so high as I yet aspire to be.” Thus, by making comparisons in a bad spirit, men succeed in rendering themselves wretched.
The humble, contented man says_“I am far better off than I deserve to be: I deserved Hell hereafter, disgrace here. Am I but little advanced ? True; but how many opportunities of self-improvement have I squandered away, in youth, and oftentimes since-time, talents, gifts wasted : in all this, it is my Saviour that I have grieved! Moreover, if the Lord has kept me back from honour, wealth, &c., he knew my spirit could not bear them safely: I might have
been tempted to forget Him, to launch out, and live for this world. My circumstances, moreover, being ordered of the Lord, I have special cause to believe that He intends His own glory by the appointment of them.-And then, what kind of lot did my adorable Redeemer choose on earth? Oh, how does that thought turn every murmur into silent raptures of wonder and love !”
Thus he, who has the mind of Christ, is hushed into true contentment, whatever be his situation; and, while he feasts on the promise of the world to come, most truly enjoys this.
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.—2 Timothy ii. 3.'
Flee also youthful lusts : but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
And the servant of the Lord must not strive ; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient.-ü. 22-24.
The great and arduous work committed to Ministers, is to labour to extend the Redeemer's kingdom, by endeavouring to save souls. If Satan can draw aside their attention to some needless controversy, or if he can provoke them to do their office in any angry temper, he knows that it is 80 much lost to their work of mercy. Oh, for more of the descending influences of the Holy Spirit on the altar of our hearts, to give all the fire and force of overcoming love! Social exercises of devotion, “ with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart,” contribute greatly to this most excellent spirit; while they tend also to expel all foul imaginations and tempers.