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us in this way, and it raises us to glory, honour, and immortality.
Its cleansing power—“It cleanseth from all sin.” It cleanses from the guilt of sin, however great and condemning. It cleanses from the pollution of sin, however loathsome and infectious. It cleanses from the love of sin, though, like Saul of Tarsus, that love should be hurrying us on to the destruction of others, as well as ourselves. It cleanses from the practice of sin. Having named the name of Christ, we depart from all iniquity. It cleanses from sins past, and present, though as numerous as the stars of heaven. And it cleanses from future sins, inasmuch as it takes their condemning power, and penal consequences away. Thus cleansed, we may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, and expect to join the glorified in heaven.
The parties benefited—“Us” who believe, for the Apostle John is speaking of himself and other Christians. They who are thus cleansed, confess their sins; they believe the word of Christ; they trust to the cleansing efficacy of His blood ; His righteousness is their only covering, and His word is their only rule.
The unspeakable Gift presented in the gospel enriches only those who accept of it; the great atonement made benefits only those who receive it; and the righteousness wrought out is upon them that believe, and them only. Hence the
THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.
essentiality and importance of faith. believeth not shall be damned."
“ He that
THE GUIDE OF MY YOUTH.
" Wilt thou not from this time cry unto Me, my Father, Thou art the
guide of my youthp"-Jer. iii. 4.
The inhabitants of Judea had cast off their allegiance to Jehovah, and gone after idols. He had in consequence visited them in judgment, by withholding the showers of heaven, and sending them no latter rain. Still He was anxious to reclaim them and bring them back to His service. Hence His earnest pleading, “Wilt thou not, from this time, cry unto Me?" and the grand design of it, “ My Father, Thou art the guide of my youth.”
Think of the earnest pleading. It supposes that we have the power, and ought to have the will to serve God. Religion is a matter of voluntary choice, and, dear reader, thou must decide for thyself, and thou wilt be responsible if thou dost refuse or delay. Wilt thou love sin, and wilt thou not love and serve God? When Jehovah says “Live,” “Why will ye die ?” He fixes a time for thee to begin religion, “From this time.” Thou hast hitherto been neglecting God and religion, but thou art to do so no longer. The present time is God's time, and when He says, “Now,” thou art not to say “By and by;" when He says, To-day, thou art
THE GUIDE OF MY YOUTH.
not to say, To-morrow. The present time is the best time, for the longer the delay, the greater the difficulty. Thy guilt will be greater, and thy heart will be harder to-morrow than to-day. It may be the only time. Solemn thought! The summons of death may be put into thy hand to-night, or if thou delayest till thine own time come, thou mayest call, but God will not
He prescribes the way by which thou art to decide, “Cry unto Me.” Thou art to begin and serve God by prayer. Prayer comprehends all religious duty, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Prayer should be earnest. It must be a cry to God, who alone can help and save. Thus came Manasseh, thus came the poor publican, and thus came the expiring thief, and wilt thou not thus cry?
The design of this pleading is to persuade thee to cry,“My Father, Thou art the guide of my youth.” God is my Father by creation, He is my Father in Christ, and He is my Father by choice and covenant. How wonderful that such an ungrateful and rebellious child should be urged to claim so kind a Father, and be welcomed to His love and His family! He is my guide. He guides me by His word, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” If I am in doubt about the way, the Bible is the map which points it out, and shows me all the dangers and by
paths. He guides me by His Spirit. He irradiates my understanding with the light of heaven, and kindles in my soul its holy raptures. In pursuing the voyage of life, He fills the sails, and wafts me to the desired haven. He guides me by the instructions and examples of the good. They take a deep interest in the young,
watch over their education and their conduct, and warn them against evil, and encourage them in good ; and happy should young persons be who are thus privileged. If they profit by such guidance, they will have length of days unto their mind. He is the guide of my youth. Youth is the season of inexperience and thoughtlessness; when a guide is most needed, least desired, and yet most likely to be useful. The school of experience seems the only one in which the young will learn, and the wages of this school are frequently so dear as to cause bankruptcy of character for life. My young reader, your cares may now be light, and you may never think of futurity and the consequences of evil conduct. Remember, therefore, that God sees you, and claim Him as the guide of your youth. Youth is the season of strong temptations. Wise in their own eyes, confident of their own ability, and impatient of restraint, they readily follow evil, and if left to themselves will bring their parents to shame.