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HOLY SCRIPTURES AND FROM VARIOUS
THE LOVE OF GOD. AND Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord :
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Mark xii. 29, 30.
Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him
because he hath known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will hear him: yea, I am with him in trouble: I will deliver him, and bring him to honour. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him My salvation.
Ps. xci. 14-16.
Whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in Him.
1 John ü. 5.
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy
of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Jude 20, 21.
It is vain to hope that we can derive any comfort from God, if we never turn to Him but when the hour of trial comes. If we are strangers to our heavenly Father, to His nature, His spirit, His works, and His word, what comfort can we hope for from Him in the hour of need ? Days and months and
pass before can enter into free communion with our fellowman; and do we hope that we can at once have free communion with the blessed Spirit of God; that He will at once impart the joys and comforts of heaven to souls that are earthly and sensual, because they cry out to Him when they find that vain is the help of man? Blessed, indeed, be His name, the fire may at last purify, but long and grievous must be the ordeal ; long must the sinner contend with his own hard and selfish heart; long strive in vain to free himself from the ignorance in which sin has bound him; long doubt and well nigh despair whether the grace
of God can ever visit, or His comfort cheer, a heart so stained with sin. No! If we would be the friends of God, and have His present help in
trouble; if we would avoid the agony which despair of His grace in union with our worldly troubles must bring, we must become His friends betimes ; we must labour by grace to make our souls fit temples of His Holy Spirit, and to drive away all the evil passions of a corrupt nature. His goodness and His glory must be our morning theme and our evening meditation; and daily must we strive more and more to fashion ourselves after the Divine image, to nourish all holy tempers, and to make our immortal souls our chief object, and to assist in doing God's work in the world, by promoting God's glory and winning souls to Him.
Blessed, thrice blessed, if, by so giving up ourselves to the guidance of God's Word and Spirit, we become the friends and children of God! For then, when the storms of life burst upon us, we shall have a refuge, a shelter, a home; we shall have a Friend to whom we can go with the blessed certainty of having every trouble hushed and every tear dried. When earthly friends are scattered to their own and leave us alone, yet we shall not be alone, for He is with us. We
may speak to Him as dear children, and say, “Doubtless, Thou art our Father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not !” “ Though father and mother forsake us, Thou wilt take us up.” “ Thou wilt guide us with Thy counsel, and after that receive us into glory." Thou wilt lead us by the green pastures, and refresh our weary souls with the waters of comfort. In life Thou wilt be our friend, in death our hope, and our portion for ever! Rose.
In every part and portion of their existence Christians feel that a Father's
upon them, and that His hand is dealing forth joy to them. When the heart of science is thus kindled, how joyful are her studies, how manifold, how endless! How pure, how calm the pleasures of art, addressing themselves to a chastened, reformed, and exalted sense of beauty! How precious the wisdom of age ! How cheerful the sallies of youth! How blessed and holy the endearments of affection and friendship !
The keeping of God's commandments is the best argument that we love Him. Bp. Kidder.
By entering into good life we enter into the favour and friendship of God, engaging His infinite power and wisdom for our protection, our succour, our direction and guidance ; enjoying the sweet effluxes of His mercy and bounty ; we therewith become friends to the holy angels and blessed saints; to all good men, being united in a holy and happy consortship of judgment, of charity, of hope, of devotion with them; we become friends to all the world, which we oblige by good wishes, by good deeds and good example ; we become friends to ourselves, whom we thereby enrich and adorn with the best goods, whom we gratify and please with the choicest delights.
Isaac Barrow. Let us " acquaint ourselves with God, and be at peace.” This is “piety and religion in the strictest sense,” considered as a habit of mind; an
habitual sense of God's presence with us; being affected towards Him, as present, in the manner His superior nature requires from such a creature as man: this is to walk with God. Bp. Butler.
The genuine love of God includes all those mingled sentiments of fear, awe, admiration, veneration, gratitude, and love, which the contemplation of such a perfect character as that of the Deity naturally and necessarily suggests.
The greatest saint is he who is always thankful to God. Thankfulness is the perfection of all virtues. Therefore make a rule to yourself to thank and praise God for every thing that happens to you. Thus you turn every seeming calamity into a blessing.
God, who is invisible, can no otherwise be shown to be the object of our love, than by our delighting to obey and imitate Him in acts of righteousness and charity and universal goodwill towards mankind, who are visible and always
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.
John i. 1-3.