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less powers of persecution have lived, and from time to time asserted themselves with dreadful effect. No one who knows any thing of Churchhistory can wonder at the Master's words, that many of "the children of the kingdom" will be finally "cast out" into that wrathful, fiery element in which they indulged so eagerly.
"His servants ye are to whom ye obey." If you act under the love, mercy and gentleness of Christ, then you are His. If you act under the self-will, anger and hardness of the devil, then you are his. Every soul becomes joined to that source whence he derives his spirit.
IV. What are we to understand by the strange law, that the meek and beautiful should hide the terrible? Is it absolutely and necessarily an evil? By no means. In improper hands edgetools may do much harm; but their design and end are for good. The terrific element of fire is not in itself evil. Where there is fire there is danger; but without fire there is no possibility of good. Life is a fire, love is fire, joy is fire, all glory in heaven and all beauty on earth are from fire. Fire is universal, and of universal service. But whatever serves unto highest ends, if uncontrolled, or used amiss, becomes fearful for
mischief and destruction. If there were not heat in the earth, as well as in the sun, it would bring forth neither flowers, nor bread. If there were no passions in human nature, mankind would neither have graces nor virtues. There must be latent fire, to receive fire. There must be love, to receive love. The love of God becomes productive through the love of man. Growth is the result of a meeting between solar fire and the latent fire of the earth. Spiritual life is the quickening of a spiritual fire. Hell is a spiritual fire, under the devil: Heaven is a spiritual fire, under God. Let inclination and self-will use your passions, and they will work your confusion and ruin; give them to God, and they become your glory. Men with little fire in their nature, may be useful; glorious, or even charming, they can never be. Men with strong fiery forces in their nature, which, under meek control, serve to brighten their faces, to give largeness of heart to their measures, warmth to their words, and energy to their works, are much more than useful. There is a charm as well as a use, in sunshine. So these men are more than valued; they are admired. Men, women, and children acknowledge their attraction. They are God's glorious servants. When such men minister God's Truth, they turn many to.
righteousness. Not in this dull world only, but in Heaven itself, where all is glory, they shine as suns. Wherefore the Church is not to be reproved for her fiery ardor; too much of which she never had, she cannot have. Christ utters no complaint that His ministers are "a flaming fire." But He charges them to take heed as to the spirit which commands their zeal. For many exercise authority and power in the Name of Christ, and yet "know not what spirit they are of."
Many." In Thy Name we have done many wonderful works."
Christ. "I know you not, depart from Me." "His servants ye are to whom ye obey."
The devil has no greater delight than to make the Name of the Lord Jesus a cloke and an apology for his own hellish spirit.
The meekness, sweetness, and beauty of Christ, are the more admirable, because they cover awful energies. To suppose that in Hell, there are fiery forces exceeding those which Christ carries in His Bosom, is a great mistake. As there is more fire burning in the world, to good account, every day, than in all the destructive fires of the world in a whole year; so there is far more fire in the glory and joy of heaven, than in the torment and destruction of Hell, But, under the innocence of
Christ, there are mightier and more terrible energies than heaven can conceive, or hell could endure.
With the utmost adoration, and godly fear, I record the substance of Job's words as supremely applicable to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Out of Him comes Bread, the Universal Bread of Life; but within Him is the Source of all fire.
Let Him redeem us from sin and the devil,— let Him subject our passions to Himself,-and our humility and meekness will become the hiding-places of an energy which the powers of hell can neither dispute, nor resist.
"And there was war in Heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels." The latter prevailed not; but the former prevailed; for in them was the Life of the Lamb.
He is "KING of kings and LORD of lords."
AIDS TO THOUGHT.
"IN the declining age of a state," said Lord Bacon, "mechanical arts and merchandise do flourish." What the nation waning, when mechanical arts and merchandise are flourishing? Nine men out of ten would say the very opposite. But unquestionably my Lord Bacon is right. a truly great age, the souls of men are absorbed with great principles, they are stirred up to attack ancient wrongs and revered abuses, they are intent to sow the earth with truth and righteousness. Great faith makes great men;-men who can in no wise sell themselves into world-slavery. Their souls are not at liberty for mechanical inventions, nor are they sordid enough to be ambitious for the profits of commerce. They are inspired with a divine idea of human life. In a truly heroic age, men have too much to do with God and Truth, to become distinguished worldlings. How can mechanics and merchandise be carried to their utmost pitch of perfection, unless men devote their whole souls