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"Ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins."-iii. 5.

"We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren."-iii. 14.

"We know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us."-iii. 24.

"Every one that loveth, is born of God, and knoweth God."-iv. 7.

"Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit." iv. 13.

"We have known and believed the love that God hath to us."-iv. 16.


By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments." -v. 2.

"If we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.' -v. 15.

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"We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not."-v. 18.

"We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness."-v. 19.


"We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may him that is true: and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."- -V. 20.


O! what a blessed knowledge is this. deeply it enters into the experience and feelings of true believers. Here is nothing cold and calculating, nothing frozen or formal, all is warmth and energy. Happy are they who can say with Peter: "Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee."* With John: "We love him, because he first loved us."+ And with Paul: "The love of Christ constraineth us."

With such declarations of the Apostles, recorded in the Sacred Scriptures for our encouragement and

*John xxi. 17.

+ 1 John iv. 19.

+2 Cor. v. 14.

pursuit after holiness, we need not be ashamed of Experimental Religion. The world's shame is the Christian's glory. Such was Paul's triumph. "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth."* "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."+

They know little of the religion of Jesus Christ, who cannot follow him through evil report as well as good report; who cannot deny themselves or take up their cross, bearing his reproach. "If we deny him, he also will deny us." The fear of man, and the love of the world, are the bane of our profession, and the ruin of thousands.

The words of our Lord should be impressed on the hearts of all his followers: "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent."§ So deeply did the Apostles enter into the intercessory prayer of their divine Master, that their hearts' desire was, that the knowledge of Christ crucified should become universal.

St. Paul prays for the Ephesian converts, that the blessings of spiritual illumination, spiritual strength, and faith and love, might be imparted in rich abundance. I" cease not," says he, "to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe." If this be not experimental godliness, where is it to be found?

But the tender-hearted Apostle does not rest here. He still prays, on his bended knees, for an increased

+ Gal. vi. 14.

* Rom. i. 16.
§ John xvii. 3.

2 Tim. ii. 12.

|| Eph. i. 16-19.

outpouring of the Spirit upon his beloved children in the faith: "I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that he might be filled with all the fulness of God."*

For the Philippians, he prays in the sweetest spirit of ministerial affection: "God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise of God."+

For the Colossians, he has the same overflowing tenderness of desire: I" do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son; in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins."

For the Thessalonians, he also pours out his heart before God: "The Lord make you to increase + Phil. i. 8-11.

* Eph. iii. 14-19.

Col. i. 9-14.

and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: to the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints."*

Let a minister of the gospel pray and preach in this fervent, exalted, spiritual, heavenly strain, and he would be branded by many, yea, it is to be feared even by some who call themselves "the successors of the Apostles," as an enthusiast. Would holy Paul have escaped such a censure, had he lived in these days? Is there no danger, lest spiritual religion be not once more buried beneath the superincumbent weight of those errors and idle ceremonies, from which we were happily delivered by our martyred Reformers?

There is in all men, naturally, a thirst for power. Every age has its "Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence,......prating against us," saith St. John, with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church."+

What is the advice of the Apostle to such holy, yet excommunicated believers ? "Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doth evil hath not seen God."‡


The Christian's path then is plainly marked out. He is to take up his cross daily. He is to count the If he be faithful to his Saviour, he must be a partaker of his Saviour's sufferings; so said our Lord: "If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you."Š

It is a painful truth, but one which cannot be concealed, because it is emblazoned in colours of blood on the page of Scripture, and on the page of the Church's history, that the greatest persecutors of * 1 Thess. iii. 12, 13. + 3 John 9, 10. + 3 John 11. § John xv. 20.

Christ, and of his true believing members, have been those who have sat in the seat of Moses, and in the chair of St. Peter! Who were so clamorous for the crucifixion of our Lord, as the chief priests, the scribes, and elders of the Jewish Church? Who, in after ages, were so bitter against the sheep of Christ, as those very ministers of the Christian Church who styled themselves Shepherds, but who were ravening wolves. Jesus cautioned his people against such characters, whether Jewish or Christian: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves: ye shall know them by their fruits."*

St. Paul foresaw, by the spirit of prophecy, the approaching apostacy: "Take heed," said he, addressing the elders of the Ephesian church at Miletus, "Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, 1 that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your ownselves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore WATCH."+

Yes! we have need to "watch and pray, lest we enter into temptation;" lest we forsake the standard of the cross, through the influence or the fear of man. The times are indeed fearful, when those, who once stood foremost in the cause of Christ, who were valiant for the truth on the earth, now desert his standard: when those, who once preached, in all its simplicity and purity, the gospel of the grace of God, are now drawn into the vortex of a system, which will disfigure our Reformed Churches by Papal ceremonies, and darken them by Papal doctrines. Is it not portentous of evil days, when sacraments are virtually put in the place of Christ?

*Matt. vii. 15, 16.

+ Acts xx. 28-31.

Mark xiv. 38.

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