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cherubim, with his flaming sword, guards it from unhallowed hands; for all the ransomed throng, having entered through the gates into the city, the New Jerusalem, have right to the tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God, and may eat, and live for ever. Oh! that my portion may be THYSELF, for whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth I desire in comparison of thee.
Spirit of Holiness! descend and dwell,
O! shed abroad thy love within my heart,
Reveal the Saviour to my longing soul;
Be every day devoted to thy fear;
Be every moment sacred to thy will;
Then, when I draw towards earth's remoted bound,
Oh! may my soul with Christ my Lord be found,
John iv. 14.
IV. MEDITATION AND PRAYER FOR THE SAVING
KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.
"I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy
"Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law."-Psa. cxix. 18.
WHILE passing through this benighted world, how happy is the man who can say with David: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." While surrounded with errors of every name, how privileged are we, of this highly favoured land, who possess the pure unadulterated Scriptures of truth. Oh! that the word of Christ may dwell in us richly in all wisdom. Then we shall know how to choose the good, and refuse the evil. We are too apt to draw our opinions from the writings of men, rather than from the word of God; and to range ourselves under certain theological leaders, rather than follow the mind and commands of Christ. Thus parties are formed in the Church; and charity expires on the field of battle.
Would I reach the FOUNTAIN OF TRUTH, I must pass by all uninspired men, however venerated for antiquity; however renowned for wisdom and piety. I must pass by Milner, Scott, and Simeon,Owen, Watts, and Doddridge,-Hooker, Hopkins, and Reynolds,-Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer,— Luther, Melancthon, and Calvin,-Tertullian, Chrysostom, and Basil,-Clement, Polycarp, and Ignatius,-yea, the whole army of saints and martyrs, till I come to the Light of the World, the adorable Jesus, whose word is THE TRUTH; and to his inspired Apostles, who were guided by the Holy Spirit into all truth, and whose writings alone contain the mind and will of God under the gospel dispensation.
Here I arrive at the the true Rule of Faith. fying, and consoling. Here I come to the Promiser of light and guidance. "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God." Here I am told the happy result of searching the Scriptures. The Bereans "were more noble than those of Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so; therefore many of them believed." They did not receive the declarations even of Paul and Silas with a blind submission, but searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things which they spake, were so, that is, in accordance with the predictions of the Prophets. This search was not displeasing to God, for faith is his gift, and many of them believed. The beloved Apostle has commanded us to guard against being entrapped by error: "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world." Our blessed Lord has given us the same caution with respect to their character: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."
source of truth. Here I find Here all is luminous, puri
How are we to try the spirits? Isaiah tells us: "To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this rule, it is because there is no light in them." How are we to form our judgment of character? Our Lord has taught us: "Ye shall know them by their fruits." "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit; neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit; wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.'
The judicious Hooker has forcibly expressed his opinion on the subject of Tradition: "When the question is, whether we be now to seek for any revealed law of God otherwhere than only in the sacred Scripture; whether we do now stand bound in the sight of God, to yield to traditions urged by the Church
of Rome the same obedience and reverence we do to his written law, honouring equally and adoring both as divine? Our answer is,-No. They that so earnestly plead for the authority of Tradition, as if nothing were more safely conveyed than that which spreadeth itself by report, and descendeth by relation of former generations unto the ages that succeed, are not all of them (surely a miracle it were if they should be) so simple as thus to persuade themselves; howsoever, if the simple were so persuaded, they could not be content perhaps very well to enjoy the benefit as they account it, of that common error. What hazard the truth is in when it passeth through the hands of report, how maimed and deformed it becometh, they are not, they cannot possibly be ignorant. Let them that are indeed of this mind, consider but only that little of things divine which the heathens have in such sort received. How miserable had the state of the Church of God been long ere this, if, wanting the sacred Scripture, we had no record of his laws but only the memory of man receiving the same by report and relation from his predecessors."
O! how delightful it is to open the Book of God, with the full assurance that there all is TRUTH; pure, unadulterated Truth :-What, then, must we think of that Church, which would debar her members of this inestimable gift of God?
Time was, when the Holy Bible, like a prisoner, was fastened by a chain in our Parochial Churches; but now it is furnished with wings, and flies from east to west, from north to south, proclaiming the gospel of the grace of God.
This blessing may be withdrawn if we slight or abuse it. Dark clouds are gathering around us. Oh! that we may be found faithful; that we may have an humble, teachable spirit; a prayerful frame of mind, to receive the revelations of God's will with an earnest desire, through the Spirit, to live under its influence. Then will Christ be formed in us the
Hope of glory, then we shall be prepared to dwell with him in glory everlasting.
When I read the blessed Scriptures of truth, what amazing love and mercy do I find contained in one single promise! How inconceivably great, then, is the whole treasure which lies concealed in this sacred volume. Like the rich ore in the mountain, the most precious lies the deepest, but when found it well repays the labourer's toil. When I read the writings of pious men, whether ancient or modern, I must always peruse them with caution, and bring them to the test of Scripture. Tradition is useful for establishing a fact; but must not be exalted into the tribunal of Scripture; for Christ himself hath declared, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”*
Those who read the Scriptures with little attention, receive little comfort from them. But the Christian, who not only reads, but marks, learns, and inwardly digests them; who peruses them with prayer for God's Spirit to understand them, and then meditates upon them day and night, finds them a well of salvation; they become his delight and his counsellor, and by them he is made wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Lord! open my understanding that I may understand the Scriptures; that I may know thee the only true God as therein revealed; and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent, as my Sacrifice, my Righteousness, my Example, to know whom is life eternal.
Teach me to know myself, the vileness of my nature, the depravity of my heart, the sinfulness of my life, that I may fly out of myself to Jesus, for pardon, peace, and holiness.
Teach me to know, by blessed experience, the work of the divine Spirit, that being convinced of sin, all pride and self-love may die in me; and being led to the cross of my Redeemer, love and gratitude