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remost in every plan devised for the real benefit of ankind. The fruitful Christian in poverty, however, iews the same mind by patience, industry, integrity, ad personal kindness to all around, ever being ready ». afford such help to others, as his own many wants ill allow. But there are different degrees of personal: eligion. If we are careless of prayer, and negligent of he Scriptures, and other means, we do not obtain that arge gift of the Holy Ghost which is the only efficient und energetic principle of this fruitfulness. As the Holy Spirit works within us, so shall we be fruitful in every good word and work. Let us then seek that Spirit diligently, so shall the seed grow, and the blade spring up, and the stalk be richly laden with the precious fruit, not merely having a scanty ear, here and there, but bringing forth plenteously. Thus let every part of our life be filled with fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ to the praise and glory of God.
This fruit is said to be brought forth with patience, that is, with constancy and perseverance day by day. There may be a shew of fruit in others for a season : the Christian only, endures and perseveres. With him there is first the blade, then the ear, and after that, the full corn in the ear. The progress of his religion is thus evident. There is not the full ripe fruit, as soon as the shoot appears. No; there is a gradual growth of the plant. Many a storm must beat around it, many a shower descend over it, many a beam of the sun shine upon it, before it is ripened, and brought to full maturity. Those beginning the Christian life, may be encouraged by this to persevere, amid every difficulty. Perhaps some of my readers may be disheartened by their unfruitfulness, and ready to give up every hope; but only persevere; you may at times seem retrogading
like little children in their learning, who for weeks erer, may appear to be going back; but still persevere, pray more, read the Bible, walk in the spirit more, and all shall yet be well. Storms and tempests may beat around you, but they shall only strengthen the roots of the divine life, and the warm beams of the sun shall not wither, but ripen the fruit.
We need not dwell on this fruitfulness as comforting the believer with a satisfactory evidence of his own salvation, preparing his soul for heaven, benefiting his fellow-creatures, and glorifying Him who gave his Son to die for us. It is manifest that this is the only truly happy character of the four descriptions noticed by our Lord.
But if neither the way-side, the stony, or the thorny. ground hearer obtain a real blessing, what is the state of those who wholly disregard this great salvation ? An emphatic and double condenination rests upon themThis is the condemnation, that lighl is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil.
May the whole subject lead us to watch over our hearts in hearing! If the author may judge of others by himself, there is a deal of the way-side, stony, and thorny-ground remaining, even in those who have in some degree obtained a better state. The ground which has been hitherto waste, wants culture; and that which has been cultivated, wants more cultivation : or, to speak without a figure, we all need more of the Divine Spirit; mure faith, humility, brokenness of heart, contrition, seriousness, and earnestness in hearing.
The Promised Universal Diffusion of Divine
IT is cheering, amid that wide-spread spiritual dark. ness which still covers so large a part of the earth, to recur to the promises of God's holy word, and look forward to that bright and happy period which has so long engaged the hopes and entered into the prayers of the whole church. It is a subject too nearly connected with this work, and too pregnant with hope and happiness, to be omitted.
Regarding the efforts of Christians of every denomination, and the success which God has given to every prudent exertion in every part of the world, the author observed some years since that it seemed as if the long, dark, and dreary night of Paganism was passing away. The more he has seen of the state of the world, the more be entertains this delightful hope. We may discern the general, the softening, the evident appearance of the dawn clearing away shades and darkness. We may behold manifest tokens that the Sun of Righteousness is arising with healing in his wings ou a benighted world. The first streaks of his approach already paint with lively hues the distant horizon ; the morning is spread on the mountains ; a cheering and comforting tinge glows in the Eastern sky; the Western catches
and reflects again the brilliant rays; the edges of the clouds grow brighter, and become gilt with resplendent lustre; and, while the shades of Pagan darkness recede, the people that walked in, that darkness shall, in every part, see the Light of Life, and rejoice in his glory, Would any stop his progress ? Men may sooner hinder the advance of the splendid luminary of the heavens than retard the march of that infinitely more glories and more beneficial Luminary which is the light to lighten the Gentiles, and shall yet be the glory of his people Israel.:
Nor is confidence here, either enthusiasm, or presumption. It is but sober, and reasonable expectation of the fulfilment of prayers, which every Christian fron the time of Christ has daily made; it is only unfeigned faith in divine promises perfectly clear and explicit. The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. Isa. xi, 9. They shall not teach etery man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all skall know me from the least to the greatest. Heb. viii, 11. While the church prays, Hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, God promises, as the happy result of all his dispensations, the kingdom, and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. Hitherto is the end of the matter. Dan. vii, 27, 28. Similar promises to a great extent might easily be added.
It will be evident, from these and other passages, that the conversion of the world is closely connected with the diffusion of divine knowledge. . . . It may be asked, What is THE PRECISE BLESSING
THAT WE EXPECT? and this may be the more reasonably asked, as there certainly have been many carpal and earthly expectations of a temporal kingdom and glory, which the word of God does not sanction. There are necessarily considerable difficulties in giving any opinions on unfulfilled prophecy; the only guide is the written word, and it has not pleased God to gratify curiosity in a variety of particulars. Yet enough is stated to cheer and gladden every Christian, and to animate him to the most strenuous efforts. But let us confine our views to that specific point, which is more directly connected with this Treatise, the diffusion of divine knowledge.
The knowledge of the Lord shall be GENERAL; it shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the sell. As the sea spreads universally over the bed or channel which it covers, so broad and so extensive shall this knowledge he over the earth. Jeremiah expresses it thus : They shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. However this may bave been partially accomplished, its extended fulfilment is yet to take place. Such promises may not intend universal conversion, but manifestly point out a general diffusion of divine knowledge in every land, and among all classes. Monarchs, rulers, and princes, shall be enlightened by divine truth, and rule according to the principles of the Divine Word. All in authority, noblemen, senators, judges, magistrates, ministers, and parents, shall be taught of the Lord. All in subjection; labourers, mechanics, servants, and children, shall not be rude, and ignorant, and openly wicked, but educated in the fear of God, and instructed and informed by scriptural knowledge. The knowledge of truth shall be DEEP as well