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THE PILGRIMAGE JOURNEY. Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land

which I shall shew thee.—ACTS vii. 3, 5. In what respects do God's call of and promise made to Abraham resemble the call of and promise made to His people in Christ Jesus ? When God calls His people in Christ Jesus, He first calls them out of a state of nature into a state of grace; then He calls them to come out of the world, and separate themselves to His service. “Come out from

among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” ( 2 Cor. vi. 17). They are also to come out from their kindred. "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt. x. 37). “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred fold, and shall inherit everlasting life” (Matt. xix. 29; also x. 29, 30; and Luke xiv. 26). In this their call resembles that of Abraham.

The promise made to the people of God also resembles the promise made to Abraham. The Lord gave to him the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession. “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever (Gen. xiii. 15). Canaan is to us a type of the heavenly inheritance, laid up in store for us through Christ. In my Father's house are many mansions : if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (John xiv. 2).

. "To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter i. 4, 5). “To give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified'. (Acts xx. 32). “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col. i. 12). “Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance : for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Col. iii. 24). They which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance” (Hebrews ix. 15). Abraham received the promised land as an inheritance or possession direct from God, without previously having any right or title to it through his ancestors; the Canaanite being in the land up to the time of his seed taking possession; but we, by virtue of our relationship with our elder Brother, have a right and title to the glorious inheritance which He hath purchased for us. In this there appears to be a point of difference.

Although God gave Abraham the land of Canaan for a possession by promise, yet, as Stephen here tells us, “ He gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on. Abraham kept moving about, first pitching his tent in one place, then in another, building an altar wherever he went, and calling upon the Lord. This is to teach us that we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth, that here we have no continuing city, but that we should seek one to come, and earnestly long to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven; also that in every place we should raise our Ebenezer, and

say, " Hitherto hath the Lord helped us."

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The Spirit of God is the Spirit of love; and that which comes from love comes from God.

Wayside Notes.

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TAKING HOLD OF GOD'S STRENGTH. "Let him take hold of my strength, that he may

make
peace

with me." ISAIAH xxvii. 5. BELOVED! what a manifestation of the mercy and goodness of a covenant God we have in His giving His children so many exceeding great and precious promises for their comfort and support; "for whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." And amidst the glorious declarations of His word, what a precious expression is before us, Let him take hold of my strength!" what a suitable word for the weak and tried members of His family! Dear reader, do you find yourself among the trudging troop of "faint, yet pursuing ones?May the Lord the Spirit, then, draw out the fulness of this sentence for us, that our faith may be strengthened in Him who is able to bear us up, and willing to carry all our cares, that with grateful hearts we may glorify “God, whose

mercy

endureth for ever." As a dear one writes to us, “Oh, how sweet it is when an unction from the Holy One rests upon us and our labours ! it is then blessed work to speak, to write, to hear, to read, and to enter the holy of holies in fellowship with Father, Son, and Spirit. Oh, for this unction! Lord, grant it to us."

Now, there can be no doubt that the expression here used by Jehovah Himself is prophetical, and thus descriptive of the last days—days which, if we mistake not, are not merely close at hand, but which we have already entered upon. The words are very striking: “In that day the Lord with His sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and He shall slay the dragon that is in the sea. And we have but to turn to the Revelation of St. John, to discover that this is only figurative language to describe the destruction of that old serpent the devil, and with him Rome papal—"the dragon which rose out of the sea,” together with all earthly potentates that are opposed to the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. Read Rev. xix. 15—22; Rev. xii. 3 ; Rev. xiii. 1, 2—11; Rev. xx, 1, 2—10.

While in that great and terrible day of the Lord, and every day till it arrives, the dear people of the Lord are encouraged to hold on to Jehovah's strength, who will bear them up and through all. And as already, beloved, we find enough to cast us down, we will turn from the prophetical to the experimental view of this gracious invitation, looking first at what it betokens on the part of God in the manifestation of His power—“Let him take hold of my strength ;” and then what it betokens on the part of His children, in their participation of the strength of Jehovah-—" that he may make peace with me.

I. ON THE PART OF GOD IN THE MANIFESTATION OF HIS POWER.

“Let him take hold of my strength.” What an exhibition we have here of the Lord's

Marvellous condescension and mercy.—We read of the Queen of England visiting her sick and wounded soldiers, and the other day of her being

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seen at the bedside of a poor afflicted 'woman. These are gracious acts, and must endear her to her subjects; but we have to record more gracious acts than these, namely, the King of kings administering to the comfort of

poor guilty sinners. Yea, more, the Lord of lords not merely ministering to, but marrying, a bankrupt bride, and taking all her debts and burdens upon Himself. Wonder, O heaven, and be astonished 0 earth, at such marvellous condescension and mercy! It does melt one to think of it, and, when one realizes a personal participation in such grace, one sings feelingly,

“When Thou, my righteous Judge, shalt come,
To fetch Thy ransomed people home;

Shall I among them stand ?
Shall such a worthless worm as I,
Who sometimes am afraid to die,

Be found at Thy right hand ?”
Is it possible that 1, such a worthless worm as I, shall be found there?
Oh, to grace how great a debtor! Oh, to Jesus be all the praise! And,
then, what a manifestation there is in this expression of

Great love.-The mother knows the child only when it is born. The father, of course, sees it then for the first time. Did it ever strike you, herein is another remarkable contrast between the finite and the infinite! God knows His children long before they are born into this world, as His servant David declared : “ Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned when as yet there were none of them.” And as He knows them thus, so has He set His love upon them. This also He declares: “Yet now, hear, O Jacob, my servant, and Israel whom I have chosen. Thus saith the Lord that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; fear not, O Jacob, my servant." and again : “I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jesus was set up from everlasting to be the Head of His Church, and His Church was set up in Him, elected, chosen, loved, to be redeemed, sanctified, and glorified. Good old truths these, but greatly despised in the present day! Oh, it is sweet to rest upon Jesus; unutterable love to His bride the Church. Herein I see that which can be depended upon. My love to Him, alas ! alas ! how fluctuating ! His love to me, blessed be His name, ever the

Well may I desire to lay firmly hold of the gracious arm of His strength.

And, then, not merely is there great love veiled in this expression, "Let him take hold of my strength ;'' but also Almighty power, My strength."-Yes it is a strength that will never

In all the ailments and changes of life, He is the same faithful Friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Earthly brothers—ah, and even spiritual brethren-often change concerning us; and those with whom we have taken sweet counsel, from some trifling matter, turn against us. But not so; Jesus He will never fail us, His power and strength is almighty.

And then, when friends and relatives are true to us, it is only for life; we cannot hold our earthly joys longer than this. The loving ones we loved best vanish away, and leave the vacant chair beside the wintry hearth; but Jesus remains: “He is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever;” and, after all, He is the one thing needful.

same.

fail us.

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And His, too, is almighty power to protect His pilgrims throughout their journey. No weapon that is formed against His people shall prosper. Jeroboam found this out to his cost, because the servant of the Lord prophesied against the altar that he had set up; the wicked king put forth his hand, saying, “Lay hold on him," and his hand which he put forth against him dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him; and glad was he to beseech the man of God to pray to his God that it might be restored.

Then, further, there is in the strength of Jehovah

Divine security.The growing feeling among worldlings is, that nothing is secure; and we hear it commonly observed, “We do not know where to put our money; it seems as if no one was to be trusted.” But, when we turn from the world, and look up to the throne of our God, here we have divine security, and are told that, “Blessed is the man that putteth his trust in the Lord.”

Beloved, have you not often reaped a lap-full of blessings from thus simply relying on Jesus to direct you and guide you in the little affairs of your life ? Have you not again and again felt it is the Lord who has done it all for you? Not unto us, not unto us, but unto His dear name be all the praise. Oh, there is a sweet secret here—in that simple clinging to Jesus' strength—and feeling that verily you have none of your own; this is safe and secure walking!

Yes, hold me, and I shall be safe;

And let me ever be,
Through the intricate maze of life,

Clinging to none but Thee.
Oh, keep me by Thy mighty love

Still in the narrow way,
Until the darkness of this world

Melts into perfect day.”
And, then, we must not overlook that in this gracious expression, there is,

Blessed encouragement.-"LET HIM take hold of my strength,” as if the Lord would say, he is too weak to face what he must face alone; his strength would prove perfect weakness in the trial. « Let him take hold of my strength. We know what a boon this is in temporal matters, when some real friend, knowing our neccessity, in the spirit of genuine benevolence, says, " Then, let him draw upon me the amount he requires." Never will one forget a case in point in one's own experience when, in a time of much depression, a dear Christian man, now gone home to glory, said, “ Then let him draw from my bankers the amount,” and afterwards cancelled our promissory note with "nothing to pay." Oh, the love and esteem we felt for that dear man of God, far beyond what we have ever been able to express! But, if this is the case in temporal affairs, what is it to have in eternal matters such a friend as Jesus, who says, "Let him draw from my fulness; let him draw from my strength ;" and this, too, said with the sweetest encouragement for the weak one to take advantage of it, “ Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest;' and, here, as if He would say, " Come unto me, weak one, lay hold of my strength; I am willing and able to carry you and all your concerns ;

Blessed Lord, we do desire then to adore Thee, that Thou hast left upon record such a gracious invitation to Thy followers, even to the very weakest, “Let him take hold of my strength ;” and we do feel that Thy words are replete with “condescen

roll your burden upon me.

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sion and mercy;" they do set forth Thy great love to Thy people, they do remind them of Thine “almighty power" to carry them through all they may meet with in their pilgrimage--they do embody that “divine security” which is to be found nowhere else but in Thee, and they do afford a blessed encouragement for the very least to lay hold of Thy strength!

“How safe are all the chosen race

Preserved in Christ, their Head.” And now to thinkII. WHAT THIS GLORIOUS EXPRESSION BETOKENS ON THE PART OF THE LORD'S

PEOPLE IN THEIR PARTICIPATION OF JEHOVAH'S STRENGTH. It reminds them of their

Great need.-Ah! beloved, the longer we live in this wilderness-world, the more we are feeling our need of Jesus; the closer we get to eternity, the greater seems to be our emptiness, need, and nothingness. Is our felt condition before the Lord driving us to a simple clinging to our Redeemer, a dependant, hanging upon Jehovah's arm? Especially do we feel this as infirmities creep on: as the dear Birmingham pilgrim writes us, " Ah, my brother, when strength and energy are alike failing, and one's mental powers seem at times very dormant, oh, then, what an unspeakable mercy it is to feel the hidden life springing up within, and thus renew our spiritual strength !” Ah, it is indeed. The aged saint, who has weathered many a wintry storm, feels more than ever that Jesus must be on board to the end; for there is as much--yea, even more-need for His support and guidance as the vessel nears the eternal shores, than when it was pushed off to breast the first waves of the voyage of life, Still needy,will be the felt condition before the Lord. “I can still only cling to my Lord's strength,” will be the cry. And then such a position tells of

High living.—Those who hang upon God's strength must be dwellers on high :-as the prophet Isaiah affirms, “ He shall dwell on high : his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks : bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.”

What a different idea of “high living" worldlings have to the children of God! They think it consists in a well-spread table, and in sumptuous eating and drinking. But the children of God have food far beyond all this ; they live upon “angels' food ;" as their divine Master said, “I have bread to eat that ye know not of.” In some measure they can say, have we; for Thou dost supply us with spiritual bread, and give us honey out of the rock.” Hence their enjoyment, when the Gospel is faithfully preached in its fulness, a rare thing in these days, but very precious living to hungry souls; hence their happiness when the word is unfolded by the power of the Spirit, and it becomes meat and drink to them; hence the sweetness that is realized when one gets a little communion with the saints—a little converse by the way with kindred spirits. This is high living, which brings with it a peace of mind “which passeth understanding." And then those who are found holding on to the Lord enjoy

Hallowed intercourse with Jesus.—Hanging upon the arm brings us close to the heart: and such reliance shows relationship; for Jesus will let none but His bride hang there. And how joyous to be realizing sweet communion with Him! Oh, we would not be without this secret, joy for ten thousand worlds; "the seeing Him who is invisible," the walking with God, the

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