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Through desire, a man having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth
with all wisdom. Prov. xviii. ]. But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, &c.
Gal. v. 22, 23. THROUGH pride and self-will, a man having separated himself from
the written word of God, and the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, seeks to set up and pull down, and to establish every thing according to his own wisdom, self-interest, or ambition, instead of humbly following the truth as it is in Jesus. Self-will never becomes a Christian, and much less a reviling those who differ from us.
The Lord was not in the strong wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire ; but in the still small voice. 1 Kings xix. 11, 12. He that taketh offence at every thing that differs from him, shows great weakness. It is written,“ Destroy it not.” Isa. lxv. 8. Though the grape be young, there is wine in the cluster. All spiritual exercises are good; and brotherly love renders them beautiful and lovely. The Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ breathes love to him, holy joy in his salvation, and a divine and peaceable temper, with long-suffering, and gentleness towards the weakness and infirmities of all around us. The fruit of the Spirit is real good. ness in heart and life, a steadfast faith in a precious Jesus, a partaking of his divine meekness, temperance, &c. By these things let us daily try our own spirit, instead of sitting in judgment on the spirit of others. Lo! what an entertaining sight
When streams of love, from Christ the Are brethren that agree;
Descend to ev'ry soul, (spring, Brethren whose cheerful hearts unite And heavn’ly peace, with balmy wing, In bands of piety!
Shades and bedews the whole.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one
another. John xiii. 35. " God is Love; and every one that loveth is born of God;" if we love
one another as brethren in Christ, and love all Saints as Saints, not because they are of this or that party; and if we love not in word only but in deed, and show the truth of our love by works and labours of love, this a solid proof to ourselves and to
ers that we are real disciples of Jesus. It is a clear testimony that we have truly learned Christ, and that we have his Spirit and his Love shed abroad in our hearts; that we are of the family and household of faith, and shall enjoy all the family privileges. This is a better evidence, and more convincing to all around us of what we are, than all knowledge, gifts, attainments, and outward privileges whatever. O God of love, cause me to love thee, and all thine; the poor, the weak, and the feeble, as well as the strong; for all are thine!
Let party-nåme's no more
The Christian world o'erspread;
Are one in Christ, their Head.
Let mutual love be found ;
With mutual blessings crown'd.
Who the same Lord obey.
Resemble that above,
And ev'ry hcart is love!
Wutch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Matt. xxiv. 42. To watch is the wise exercise of a gracious soul,- who is sensible of his own
weakness, loves bis Savioui, and fears to grieve his Spirit; who is well acquainted with the depth of corruption in his fallen nature; is well apprised of the invisible powers of darkness, and hearkens to the voice of his kind and adorable Shepherd. This watchfulness discovers an awakened attention to our spiritual concerns, and has the love of Christ for its motive, and is attended with a constant dependence on Christ for protection from dangers, and for strength against all enemies, together with supplies of grace in every time of need. If our religion be only in outward profession, it may pass without watching ; but if it be true grace in the heart from Jesus Christ, that sacred treasure will need to be guarded by circumspect watchfulness, The exhortation is to all God's childrco, necessary in every condition, in every stage of a Christian’s life ; in youth, manhood, old age; in prosperity and adversity, in the seasons of consolation, and in the times of temptation; in company, and alone. O blessed Jesus, help me to watch and pray; let me be always ready; keep me in thy love, and preserve me by thy power, till my change shall come!
Lord, help me to watch,
And help me to pray;
By night and by day.
The world and the Devil
Are spreading their net;
And full of deceit.
As the hart panteth after water-brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God. Ps. xlii. 1, 2.
Divine Answer: Ho! cvery one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that huth no money ; come ye, buy and eat ; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Hearken dili. gently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul de light itself in futness. Isa. Iv. 1, 2. THERE is a great difference between a legal and a faint-hearted soul;
the former is puffed up with self-righteousness; the latter humbly thirsts after Christ's righteousness; therefore he is not under the law, but has grace already. It is only the child, or the new man actually born, that can cry and thirst. And though he cannot so fully believe it, yet to have grace, is one thing, and to feel and enjoy it, is another. Therefore, let not the weak be confounded, which is done very easily, the enemy himself contributing to it, as much as he can: but let it be declared, even to the weakest, that they have saving grace, when they are brought to be earnestly panting and made truly willing to receive all without price. Matt. v. 3.
Eternal wisdom has prepar'd
A soul-reviving feast,
The rich provisions taste.
To this triumphal feast,
And brings immortal blessings down
For each redeemed guest.
For favours so divine ?
To be for ever thine.
How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my
heart daily? Ps. xii. 2. - God's Answer: Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplicution,with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. Phil. iv. 6. Commit thy ways unto the Lord ; trust also in him, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. Ps. lv. 22. For he has done won. derful things; his counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. Isa.
xxv. 1. "Be careful for nothing,” is a wall against a thousand troubles. But
if we give room to any care and unbelief, it is like a leaven that spreads through all our actions. Therefore we ought never to despair in our lawful calling, but rely in all things on the good providence and faithfulness of God; firmly believing that he will never fail to carry us through the most difficult and intricate circumstances, though there should be ever so little appearance for it in our own eyes.
He that can dash whole worlds to death,
And make them when he please.
Fulfils bis great decrees.
As that which built the skies }
The voice that rolls the stars along,
Speaks all the promises
And heav’n was stretch'd abroad :
And he was Abram's God.