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Lo, I come! and oh blessed assurance, thou wilt in no wise cast me out. Thou art faithful who hast promised; thy word is truth, that gracious word on which thou hast caused me to hope: "Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out."
I want, Almighty Saviour, a greater conformity to thee; to have more of thy Spirit; more of the temper and disposition of a new-born soul. When I read of that power of faith, that fervency of love, that assurance of hope, that purity of heart, that gentleness of manners, that simplicity of life, which distinguished many of the primitive Christians from the world around them, I long for a portion of that spirit which dwelt in them, which caused them to adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things. Oh that I may be a follower of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Thine arm is not shortened; the fountain of thy love is not dried up. Like thyself, it is eternal;-ever flowing, ever overflowing to bless a ruined world! Thy mercy is from everlasting to everlasting, upon them that fear thee. Thy grace is, in every age, sufficient for every coming sinner. Sufficient to convert the soul; sufficient to carry on the work of evangelical obedience; sufficient to complete and crown the whole with heavenly glory. Oh with what joy will the top-stone be raised, with shoutings, Grace, grace unto it.
"Why art thou cast down, O my soul; why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."
God is the Lord by whom we escape death. Conversion is his work. Of myself I can do nothing -nothing that is pleasing in his sight, or profitable to my own soul. But, this moral inability forms no excuse for sin. My inability to glorify God arises from the corruption of my fallen nature; from the darkness of my understanding, the perverseness of my
will, the depraved state of my affections; and therefore is justly deserving of eternal condemnation. All mankind come into the world in this helpless state. "The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and good works to faith and calling upon God: wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us when we have that good will."* How gracious, then, are these words of Christ: "Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out." As if he had said: Come unto me, ye trembling sinners, be not afraid; I will give you all that Come unto me, I you want; will supply all your need out of my fulness; Come unto me, I will bless you with all spiritual blessings; I will strengthen you by my Spirit, I will comfort you with my promises; yea, I will never leave you, till I have done that which I have spoken to you of :—for, “where I am, there shall also my servant be."
O, Eternal God, I would praise thee for thine unspeakable mercy, for thy saving power, in applying the precious balm of the Covenant to my wounded conscience; I would bless thee for taking of the things of Christ and showing them unto me; for revealing Christ, as my all-sufficient Saviour; for drawing me to his Cross; for uniting me to him by faith as a branch in the true Vine; for making me a member of his mystical body; for working in my heart a holy longing after thee. Oh! how can I find words to speak all thy praise. But alas, in the midst of these mercies, I feel deeply humbled in thy sight. That law in my members which warreth against the law of my mind is continually opposing thy work of grace. When I would do good, evil is present with me. I am daily taught by painful experience that my heart is deceitful above all
things that I cannot stand a moment except thou sustainest me; that I cannot take a single step towards heaven, but as thou guidest me. The whole work of my salvation is all thine own; and to Thee be ascribed the everlasting glory.
Under this feeling of impotency, how encouraging are thy words, O divine Redeemer-" Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out." Make me as willing to be saved, as thou art willing to
The enmity of the carnal mind is ever directed against the work of Christ. The moralist, the formalist, the worldling, and the sensualist, are alike opposed to the humbling, purifying doctrines of the Cross. Holiness is offensive to the unrenewed mind. The more spiritual any religious exercise or book is, the more it is disliked. Give some truly scriptural volume to a lover of the world, and how will he receive it? After glancing his eyes over a few of its pages, he will lay it down with a contemptuous smile. He will pity the enthusiast who wrote it, and the enthusiast who admires it. Give him some newlylaunched novel, some work replete with wit and humour, and he will devour its contents, even though it require the midnight oil to finish it. Here, all his heart is engaged, all his passions are excited,imagination adds wings to his flight, and, soaring into the regions of fancy, into the fairy-land of unreal life, he sinks into his slumbers, regardless whether he awake in time or in eternity!
O how awful is the state of every unconverted soul! "Death is the detector of the heart." When he knocks at the door, when he shakes his dart over the dismayed worldling, what terror seizes upon his mind! Some, indeed, have no bands in their death. Sin has so seared the conscience and hardened the heart. They go as the ox to the slaughter, insensible of the blow which awaits them. But, the moment the stroke is given, the moment Eternity is opened before them, O who can tell the horrors of the
disembodied spirit, while hurrying down into the dreadful abyss of everlasting woe? O thou perishing sinner, ere it be too late, while the door of mercy is open, while the voice of love is heard-listen to the Saviour's words,-pray for grace to obey his call: "Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out." "The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst, come; and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
With joyful steps, approach the Gospel sound,
Jesus the Lord invites you from his throne;
The heavenly Shepherd claims you for his own.
Fear not ye trembling souls, whom sins oppress,
To seek and save our wretched guilty souls,
The powers of hell-and opens heaven for you.
Come, trembling sinner, let not fell despair
Detain thy footsteps from the bleeding Cross;
Fill'd with the hope of everlasting joy,
XII.-EARNEST DESIRES FOR CHRIST.
"With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early."-Isa. xxvi. 9.
FEW persons are insensible to the happiness of friendship, though few, comparatively, possess a real friend. Worldly friendships are often little better than "confederacies in vice, and leagues in pleasure." Amidst refined society, where all the decencies of life are practised, and the finer sensibilities of the heart encouraged, friendship may assume its native character in a disinterested affection. But still the lovely charm is wanting. Christian friendship alone is the true panacea for human woes. Its kindly influence seems to make an almost Paradise regained. Cemented by the love of Christ, Christians possess the elements of true felicity. They have been described as one soul in two bodies, actuated by the same principle, walking by the same rule, and directed to the same end. Many requisites are needed to make a Christian friend. Selfishness is the bane of real friendship. It cannot live in such an atmosphere. Like tender plants, it thrives best in its native soil. A heart filled with the love of Christ, a mind clothed with humility, a spirit endued with that charity which seeketh not her own, is peculiarly fitted for the growth of Christian friendship. Here it expands its lovely flowers, and bears its precious fruits.
In the midst of this ever-changing, faithless world, there is a Friend that loveth at all times, a Brother that is born for adversity. Jesus is his precious name. Love is his endeared character. His faithfulness never fails. He is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. In the midst of disquietude, he can give rest. In the midst of sorrow, he can give comfort. In the midst of weakness, he can impart