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us all the graces of the Holy Spirit, such as love, joy, patience, meekness. So great are the present enjoyments of salvation, that they may be felt, but cannot be described. Think of its anticipations. We hope for the end of our faith, even the salvation of our souls. Salvation secures heaven, where we shall be with Christ and like Christ; where all evil shall be absent,—no sin, no sorrow; no death there, and where all good shall be present-perfect knowledge, perfect love, and perfect bliss ; and where the absence of evil and the possession of good shall be without end. “In Thy presence is fulness of joy, at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
Salvation, its source—“Through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.” So important is this sentence, that it occurs at least twelve times in the New Testament. Grace means favour, and the grace of Christ is very nearly the same thing as the love of Christ. We are not saved by rites and ceremonies; we are not saved by works and efforts, but by the grace of the Lord Jesus. He makes this grace known to us. The gospel is a revelation of grace, and grace came by Jesus Christ, while the law came by Moses. By His own ministry, and the ministry of the apostles, this grace was revealed, and that it might reach us, it was recorded, and has been preserved. How many are in darkness, while we know the grace of the Lord Jesus! He
ASSURANCE OF SALVATION.
bestows grace on us. It is by His grace given unto us, that we have justification and salvation. This grace abounds; it is sufficient for us; we believe through grace; we are saved by grace, and without grace we are lost. Christ was our example of grace.
Wherever He went He showed that His heart was full of grace; His looks were looks of grace, His words were words of grace, and His actions were actions of grace. Let us catch His spirit, and imitate His example.
Salvation, its assurance—“We believe.” This believing is not the faith of the gospel, but the reflex act of faith, that we shall be saved. This assurance we have by believing the promise of salvation. To every believer in Christ it is promised, “ Thou shalt be saved,” and this promise, as well as all the promises, which are yea and amen in Christ, we must believe. If we believe in Christ, we shall be saved; but if, in addition, we believe the promises, we shall have the comfort and assurance of salvation. This assurance we have by the witness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. He is a beam of glory from heaven, and makes us feel that heaven is already begun. And this assurance we have from a life of holy obedience. Assurance without obedience is enthusiasm or presumption. “Hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.”
DUTY TO PARENTS.
“Honour thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon
the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."-Exod. xx, 12.
The young owe so much to their parents and guardians, and their duties and obligations to them are so important, that these have a conspicuous place in the Decalogue. The fifth commandment is the first written by the finger of God on the second table of the law. Here we have a great duty—and an encouraging promise.
The great duty is, “Honour thy father and thy mother,” The word “honour" includes reverence, and the young should reverence their parents in their thoughts. Thought is the fountain of word and action. How many think that their parents are too strict and severe! They are impatient of restraint, while restraint is essential to their happiness. If we only thought of the anxieties and toils of our parents for our good, if we only thought of the ten thousand talents we owe them for their efforts and sacrifices to help us, we could not but love them and cherish due reverence. We must reverence them in our words. Respectful language and kind words will commend us to all, while they are essential and dutiful to parents. “He that curseth father or mother let him die the death.” Some young
DUTY TO PARENTS.
persons are respectful to their father, but not so to their mother; let such observe that this commandment requires equal honour to both. The word, “honour” includes obedience. In all things not sinful, our obedience to our parents should be cheerful and uniform. We should receive their instructions, and submit to their corrections and disposal in life. They have experience, but we have none. They have authority over us, but we have none over them. They have large stores of knowledge, while we are but beginning to learn. They can warn us of dangers of which we never dreamt, and guide us to duties which we would otherwise neglect. The word “ honour” includes gratitude. Gratitude to parents should be felt, expressed, and proved by actions. We should comfort them in affliction by kind words and kind actions. We should help them in difficulty and grudge not our aid. We should support them in poverty and lighten their cares, and we should nurse them in old age. These duties we owe to both parents alike, as their claims on us are equal. Sons and daughters, who thus honour their parents, will be loved by all. Ancient history records, that a certain city was besieged, and at length obliged to surrender. In the city there were two brothers, who had in some way obliged the conquering general ; in consequence, they received permission to leave the city before it was set on fire, taking with them as much property as each could carry. Accordingly, the two generous youths appeared at the gates of the city, one of them carrying his father, and the other his mother.
An encouraging promise—“That thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” This promise had, doultless, a primary reference to the settlement of the Israelites in the land of Canaan, but it has also a continual and universal reference. It secures prosperity and long life in every age, Eph. vi. 23. What young person does not desire prosperity and length of days ? Let him be dutiful to his parents, and he will have them. Let him neglect and despise his parents, and he is generally punished in this world, as well as in the next. The Rev. Philip Henry, speaking once of a son that was very undutiful to his mother, charged some of his children to observe the providence of God concerning him. “Perhaps I may not live to see it, but do you take notice, whether God do not come upon him with some remarkable judgment in this life, according to the threatening implied in the promise added to the fifth commandment.” He himself lived to see it fulfilled not long after in a very remarkable manner. Dutiful children never lose their reward. They enjoy it in their own minds, in the gratitude of their parents, and in a better world.