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Satan should help man to continue in a life contrary to God? The Devil preaches up God's mercy in such a way as most effectually to separate the soul from the Divine Mercy. Thus, and thus, preaches the great Deceiver: “God is so good, so merciful, that He will never turn a poor creature from His door. Take your pleasure a little longer, you will turn to Him by and by.” The soul likes the preaching, and has not the sense to say: This is the devil preaching to me God's mercy. But whence, except from Hell, could a soul be detained one moment from falling at the feet of God ?
There is then a plausible and an ensnaring hope, in which lies secreted the second death. And this has been Satan's method from the beginning, to carry on his deadly operations under the cover of that which is fair to look upon, and pleasant to the soul.
The hope that is of God has God in it, and carries in its bosom the germ of holy heaven. Satan insinuates a hope, which dispenses with a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness. And by beguiling the soul from “the Way of Holiness," effectually cuts it off from “the end, everlasting life.”
THERE is nothing monotonous in love to God.
It is by no means a lonely affection. It includes every thing which is good and lovely. Love to God excludes no delight which does not exclude Him. In loving all creatures, and finding pleasure in all created things, we only do what God does. “ The Lord rejoices in His works."
“For Thy pleasure they are and were created.” We shall find variety enough in God to enter
His Wisdom has no limits; His Love, no limits; His Beauty is not exhaustible. The sameness of God is that which, to all creatures, will be eternally new. His infiniteness is quite adequate both to renew us, and to give forth new manifestations of Himself for evermore. Our endless praise will have in it an endless freshness, for it will spring forth from ever fresh powers and affections.
We must not suppose that endless praise is the endless use of words. Praise re-invigorates itself by silence,-grows deeper and fuller by silence.
You really think, do you, that the Heaven of God and His holy ones consists in not being touched, nor affected by the follies, sins and miseries of His creatures? Why then was an angel sent to set a mark on the men who sighed and cried for the evils that were done around them? Was it because they were not, or because they were, in sympathy with Holy God and holy heaven? I tell you plainly that a Heaven of Indifference, moving for ever in the circle of its own satisfactions, and not grieving for the evils and sorrows of others, is not a Heaven that I can respect. God, in the Man of sorrows, teaches me a very different lesson about God and His heaven. I fancy your conception will be found to be that of some sublime Hindoo heaven, and not at all of a Christian Heaven. Know you not that Jesus was crucified, because in spirit God had been crucified from the foundation of the world? The fallen universe is God's Cross; and all Heaven is in sympathy with Him. God's joy and rest in Himself have never been disturbed, but His joy and rest in His creation have been greatly disturbed, yea changed into sorrow and labor. The manifestation of God in Heaven, quite as much as on earth, is Innocence, suffering, and “as it had been slain.”
ARE Hindoos more deeply devoted to their idolatry than Englishmen are to theirs ? If Englishmen could abandon the worship and service of the only living idol, they would find it comparatively easy to get the Heathen to cast their dead idols to the moles and to the bats. But if the authority of the grand idol, (self,) were to be repudiated in favor of pure Christianity, (selfsacrifice,) what would become of English society ? From centre to circumference, would it not break up, and be no more? Is not the British Empire as grand and proud a development of self-will, as the world ever saw ? If self-will were slain, English society would be found, (in much the same condition as a man with his back bone taken out,) not bordering on chaos, but chaos itself. It would be Genesis over again : “In the beginning English society was without form and void.” I will not bring down on me the curses of all Englishmen, by saying, that a totally new beginning of this sort is desirable ; and yet if one had the opportunity, it might be well to whisper into the ear of each, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, thine own self-will is the bar that threatens to separate thee from the Life of Jesus, which is the Eternal Life.
in them the same properties ; but they differ in their proportions. If the proportions are right the thing is good : if the proportions are wrong the thing is evil.
ASHES are born in the fire: yet nothing presents greater resistance to fire, or will quench it
Query: Is not all matter spirit-born ? yet it is matter that resists and quenches spirit.
“NATIONAL literature is now rather an unmeaning term ; the epoch of World-Literature is at hand, and every one must strive to hasten its approach."
THE three methods of relieving the spirit from the dominion of the flesh.
1.—“Sow your wild oats.” Let the flesh have its day. In due time sensualism will exhaust its resources. The worn-out flesh will give up the ghost, and the noble soul, delivered from her base partner, will be free to pursue her own