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O blessed Jesus! O glorious Beloved! O altogether and inexpressibly-lovely Bridegroom, what do we not owe Thee? What hast thou not done for us? Are we not

“ Saved in the Lord, for ever sav'd,

And in life's bundle bound ?" Indeed we are. Thou knowest, precious Lord, that Thou hast most honourably saved us, eternally redeemed us, and everlastingly justified

Can we then be condemned ? Is it possible for us to miss of heaven? Can we fall short of the bliss of the glorified ? Is it possible, precious Jesus, for Thy loving and righteous Father to spurn us from His blest presence? Will He not ever view us in Thee, and in Thy perfection of beauty ? Can His wrath against our sin burn with greater intensity than does His love toward Thee and Thy purity? Has He not taken all His vengeance against Thee on our account? Can His wrath again burn like fire after consuming all Thy moisture, and drying thee up like a potsherd ? Art Thou not infinitely and eternally pleasing in Thy divine Father's sight? And are we not pleasing, too, in living oneness with Thee? Didst Thou not say to Thy Father, and to our Father, to Thy God, and to our God, 6 Thou hast loved them as Thou hast loved O wondrous ocean of divine love!

0. glorious channel of eternal mercy! O blissful river of everlasting delight! What can we we say of Thee, to Thee, and for Thee? Thou knowest, blessed and bleeding Lamb of God, that we would speak to Thee and of Thee in suitable terms; but we find “language is lame, and very far short of expression.' We need celestial eloquence to speak to Thee, Thou glorious Christ. We would adopt the pure language exclusively in testifying of Thy love and loveliness; but Thou knowest, 0 glorious Beloved, that whilst we dwell in tents of flesh-whilst we tabernacle in this dungeon of earth-our language savours much, very much, of Ashdod. But, when we shall get home, when we shall safely arrive at our blest destination, our human tongue and our native language shall all be left behind. The bird of paradise flutters exceedingly in her tightlyfastened cage of clay, and would gladly see the kind hand engaged in gently opening the mud-cottage door, and would be delighted to hear the welcome voice of love saying in sweetest accents, “ Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away." This would be thrice-welcome news; this would prove a highly-prized blessing of the first magnitude. But, Lord, we have no will but Thine. All the days of our appointed time will we wait, until our welcome change shall come. But Thou very well knowest, dearest Lord, that we are not at home here. We cannot make a home of a land of pits and snares; we cannot settle down in an enemy's country. The clime of this sinful world is not our spiritually-native atmosphere. We were born from above, and our heart was set beating for eternity; hence nothing of an earthly nature can satisfy its spiritual aspirations. Thou art the Author of this internal new life. Thou art the Source of this pure nature. Thou art the centre of this glowing affection.

“Thou art my heaven where'er I am

I've all in having Thee.” Our spiritual mind never thought of being captivated with the beggarly elements of this polluted world. We were not born of Thee, without being adopted to Thee. We were formed for Thyself, and we can alone be satisfied with Thyself. Our life in the Spirit is a pure life. It is


love-life, grace-life, and glory-life. Its food is love; its element is love, and its every breathing is a breath of love. Its prayers are prayers of

its songs are songs of love. But this pure child of pure love is in exile. All below is strange to it; all around is most contrary to it. It sighs to be unfettered; it cries to be delivered; it longs for a full, free, and final emancipation. Thou art well aware of all this, Thou glorious Author of this pure nature; Thou knowest that the earthly house of this tabernacle appears to Thy child but a sorry tent even for the time being; and were it not that it could look forward to a brighter future, how dissatisfied would it constantly be! But oh, blessed be Thy name, the time is not far distant when Thou wilt say, “Come up higher.”

“O glorious hour! O blest abode !

I shall be near and like my God,
And flesh and sense no more control

The glowing pleasures of my soul." Lord, we cannot tell a millionth part of the joys of the glory-land, but this we can joyously tell, we shall see Thee as Thou art, and we shall be everlastingly like Thee; we shall crown Thee Lord of all. Earthly ties and natural bonds will then be eternally left behind, and even now they have no seat in our spiritual affections; they have no claim upon us, and they have no right to us. Indeed, we can say—

“There's nothing here deserves our joy,

There's nothing like our God.” Communion with Thee, our only Beloved, is what we so much enjoy even here below; but, dearest Lord, we are often compelled to say with the poet

Communion with our God, how sweet!

But oh, the hours, how few !
When we can sit at Jesus' feet,

And foxes not pursue.” But soon the shadows of earth will flee away, the mists of corruption will eternally recede from our view, and the thrice-welcome voice of Thee, our precious Beloved, will echo in our soul, will vibrate in our heart, “Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” How delightful will it be then! How blissful will it everlastingly remain then! How more than satisfied with Thy likeness shall we be then! We shall not envy angels : we shall be perfectly satisfied with our precious Jesus.

“Our Jesus still shall be our theme

Whilst in this world we stay;
We'll sing our Jesus' lovely name

When all things else decay.” But, beloved, we must stay our pen. How true it is that love's theme will never wear out, and how equally true it is that our spiritual tongue will never tire out in singing, “Ünto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."

This is exclusively the family song. None can learn it but the redeemed, and none can sing it but those who are quickened into life in oneness with Christ who is our life. I can sing it, beloved! Bless God for the inexpressible mercy. You can sing it also, can you not? If your


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harp be now upon the willows, may the Lord constrain you to take it down.

“Loud, to the praise of love divine

Bid every string awake.”

I need not say how pleased I shall be with another of your glowing epistles, although I cannot well claim one, unless it be upon the unalterable ground of mutual relationship to our Beloved. With our united best and spiritual love, Believe me, affectionately yours,



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QUIET THOUGHTS AT EVENTIDE. And He left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and He lodged

there.—John xxi. 17. THERE is something touchingly sweet in the expression “ lodged," reminding us of that melting passage, “ The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head”- again, “ There was no room for Him in the inn." Lord of all, yet must He lodge as the meanest beggar! “For your sakes He became poor.” Can we at all grasp the wonderful thought, the Infinite becoming as it were (if we may use such a word), dependent upon His creatures for a night's shelter, while at the same time we know the hearts of all were in His hands?

Lodged! Yes, it was only a brief respite, a very temporary cessation from toil. With the morning light “ the Sun of righteousness” would again go forth to pursue unweariedly, unremittingly His labour of love. Ah! there was no real home for the Master upon earth, and shall there be for His servants ?

Let us seek to realize that we are not as yet come to the rest,” that we are but “pilgrims and strangers" passing to "the city which hath foundations," while we strive by the Spirit's help to “use this world as not abusing it,” remembering that "the fashion of this world passeth away."

Has the thought ever occurred to us what a blessed season that must have been for the “family of Bethany" while Jesus “lodged" there? Can we not imagine how, through the day, each member longed for the evening when He should return to them; and, as the sun set and the shadows lengthened, watched for the loved form, listened for the well-known footstep? Then how the busy Martha must have delighted to anticipate and supply every want of the weary Saviour, while Mary experienced a yet deeper joy in hanging upon the precious words which fell from His lips.

Are not our hearts often saying, “Oh, that Jesus would even so come and lodge with me! Oh, that I were privileged to sit at His feet in these quiet evening hours, listening to His gentle loving teachings, and by that close communion drinking more and more deeply into His Spiritbecoming more and more conformed to His image! The disciples" strained Him, saying, Abide with us” (He had only “made as though He would have gone farther”). “And He went in to tarry with them.” Is He not " that same Jesus?" “ Jesus Christ the same yesterday and to-day and for ever," as willing to visit and abide with His dear children now He "waits that He may be gracious." "Behold, I stand at the door, and


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knock, if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with me.”

Dear fellow-pilgrim, is it not very sweet to sit down at the close of the day (especially if that day has been one of trial and temptation, disappointment and care), and think, “I am'a day's march nearer home,' one day nearer seeing and being with Jesus; the little troubles of to-day are engulphed in the Red Sea of time past, I shall see them again no more for ever.' It is true, much of the journey of life may yet remain to be traversed, still 'I am nearer home to-night than I ever have been before,' I am nearer to the close than when I started afresh this morning. I may meet with many and similar obstacles, but I shall never again be called to surmount the hills and avoid the dangers of to-day's path." It is even so, one day at the time and soon, perhaps sooner than we expect, we shall find the "weary pilgrimage" over, and the “messenger at the doors ;” perhaps almost before we are aware we shall be "come unto Jordan,' and our feet “dipped in the brim of the river,” the waters will “ stand on an heap," and we shall gaze on the "pearly gates" of the celestial city. Oh, then let us be very willing to abide His time; if we are loving and longing to be with Him, how much more intensely is He loving and longing to receive us! As much as the Infinite is above the finite, His is unerring wisdom, and, while He is preparing a place for His children, He is also preparing His children for their place. He is watching the furnace, and will only leave His gold in the fire until He can see upon it the reflection of His own blessed Image; then He will fulfil the precious promise, “I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am there

ye may be also...


PAUL'S VOW. " Having shorn his head in Cenchrea; for he had a vow."-Acts xviii. 18. HERE is another proof of St. Paul's willingness to conform in minor matters to the customs of the Jews, and this truly catholic spirit is still further manifested in the twenty-first chapter, where, at the instigation of James and the Elders, he entered into the Temple with four men which had a vow upon them, and purified himself with them.

The particular nature of Paul's vow in the eighteenth chapter is not revealed, but the manner of performing a vow is set forth in Numbers vi., where we find the vow of the Nazarite fully explained. Probably it was a vow of separation unto the Lord which Paul had taken, and which enjoined that the hair of the head should be suffered to grow, “until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the Lord” (Num. vi. 5). But, if he became defiled by a dead body, “then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day shall he shave it" (9th verse).

This appears to be the only explanation we can gather of Paul's conduct, where the Holy Ghost has left us so entirely without information; yet it teaches us the lesson so often set before us by the Apostle, that in small matters we may conform to the prejudices of our brethren in Christ in other denominations than that to which we belong.


Though your comforts be gone, yet you are a child of God, though a comfortless one; and an heir, though a comfortless heir; a saint, though a comfortless saint (Jer. xxxi. 18—20).

OMNIPOTENT POWER. For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee ; for I hare

much people in this city."-Acts xviii. 10. The first part of this verse is very precious to the people of God who can take refuge in His omnipotence, and feel satisfied that no evil can touch them unless permitted by Him, and, even should that be allowed, His sustaining grace is still there to carry them through every trial. “In six troubles I will be with thee: yea, in seven, there shall no evil touch thee.' And in Jeremiah i. 19: “They shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee." And again, that gracious promise of our Lord is so entirely applicable to every state and condition we may be placed in, “Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world.

In the last part of the verse the doctrine of election is unmistakably set forth, “For I have much people in this city," and this truth would add greatly to the encouragement of the Apostle in his arduous labours and sufferings for Christ's sake.

From this we should learn to “be not weary in well-doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not,” remembering the promise, “My grace is sufficient for thee; my strength is made perfect in thy weakness."

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THE GREAT PROPITIATION. In the first epistle of John, chapter ii. 1, we have these remarkable words : “My little children, these things write I unto you, that

sin not. And any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous : and He is the propitiation for our sins." There are some interesting points presented to us here; the purpose of the apostles' writing, the means employed, the persons addressed. The pur

. pose and object in view we have told us in these words: “I write unto you, that ye sin not.” That is, not indulge in sin; and live in the practice and habit of it, as the unregenerate. He does not mean that they could live actually free from sin, in a state of perfection; "for there is not a just man upon earth that liveth and sinneth not,” and God's saints to the last will confess that they are unprofitable servants. But now of the means employed. “These things write I unto you, that ye sin not." And the chief thing is the pardon of sin; a sense of this realized and enjoyed will bring men from sin, when nothing else will. But further, the persons addressed, “My little children;" not that they were His children naturally or spiritually, or that it was children literally He addressed, but a term expressive of union, as much as to say, "My brethren :" because they were God's children, therefore they were His brethren. But several things were implied in this term, as, first, it might signify they had much to learn ; that they were dependent like little children, that they stood in need of correction : and, lastly, it implied relationship : because, if children, then they had a father. Hero was the relationship between God and them-a blessed relationship, which could never be dissolved. Now we come to the case supposed; and what is that? “If any man sin.” And not a very hard case to suppose

But there is a good deal concluded in this supposition, because it is prospective. If any man do sin-shall sin. Now who are here


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