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the day is its own evil. Follow His plan ; look not on anxiously ; look down at your present footing, “lest it be turned out of the way :" but speculate not about the future. I can well believe that you have hopes now which you cannot give up, and even which support you
in your present course. Be it so: whether they will be fulfilled or not is in His hand. He
may be pleased to grant the desires of your heart; if so, thank Him for His mercy : only be sure that all will be for your highest good; and “ as thy day, so shall thy strength be." There is none like unto the “God of Jeshurun, who rideth
upon the heavens in thy help, and in His excellency on the sky. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." He knows no variableness, neither shadow of turning; and when we outgrow our childhood, we but approach, however feebly, to His likeness, who has no youth nor age, who has no passions, no hopes, nor fears, but loves truth, purity, and mercy, and is supremely blessed because He is supremely holy.
Lastly, while we think of Him, let us not forget to be up and doing. Let us beware of indulging a mere barren faith and love, which dreams instead of working, and is fastidious when it should be hardy. This is only spiritual childhood in another form ; for the Holy Ghost is the author of active good works, and leads to the observance of all lowly deeds of ordinary obedience as the most pleasing sacrifice to God.
Work, true work, done honestly and manfully for Christ, never can be a failure. Your own work, my brethren, which God has given you to do, whatever that is, let it be done truly. Leave eternity to show that it has not been in vain in the Lord. Let it be but work, and it will tell.
F. W. Robertson.
Christianity is to be considered as
a trust deposited with us in behalf of others, in behalf of mankind, as well as for our own instruction. No one has a right to be called a Christian who does not do somewhat in his station towards the discharge of this trust.
“ Christ died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again:” not seeking their own private advantage, but should “live unto Him” by employing their lives in promoting His Gospel and kingdom.
We must live in this world as in a holy temple of God, always worshipping Him, though not with our lips, yet with the thankfulness of our hearts, the holiness of our actions, and the pious and charitable use of all His gifts.
If you are no labourer or tradesman, if you are neither merchant nor soldier, consider yourself as placed in a state in some degree like that of good angels, who are sent into the world as ministering spirits, for the general good of mankind; to assist, protect, and minister for
them who shall be heirs of salvation. For the more you are free from the common necessities of life, the more you are to imitate the higher perfection of angels.
As God has given you five talents, in your time, leisure, health, and fortune, it is your duty to turn them into five more.
Christian progress is only possible in Christ. It is a very lofty thing to be a Christian ; for he is a man who is restoring God's likeness to his character ; and therefore the Apostle calls it a “high calling." What the world calls virtue is a name and a dream without Christ.
F. W. Robertson.
Religion lives only in the heads of some persons, while something else has possession of their hearts ; and therefore they continue from year to year mere admirers and praisers of piety, without ever coming up to the reality and perfection of its precepts. This arises from the indiscreet use of lawful things. It is for want of religious exactness in the use of innocent and lawful things that religion cannot get possession of our hearts. And it is in the right and prudent management of ourselves as to these things that all the arts of holy living chiefly consist. Law.
It is the spirit and piety of the Apostles, and their love of God that you are to imitate, not the particular form of their life. Act under God as they did, glorify your own state with such love to God, such charity to your neighbour,
such humility and self-denial as they did ; and then, though you are only teaching your own children, and St. Paul is converting whole nations, yet you are following his steps, and acting after his example.
“Do you complain of your want of faith ?” said the devout Pascal. ** Live as though you had it, and the inward principle of faith will assuredly follow."
The road to right feeling is right conduct. Act rightly, and you will soon come to feel rightly. “If any one will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God.”
T. K. Arnold.
The disposition of faithful Christians may be thus described :-" That in all lowliness of mind we set lightly by ourselves, that we form our temper to an implicit submission to the Divine Majesty, beget within ourselves an absolute resignation to all the methods of His providence, in His dealings with the children of men ; that in the deepest humility of our souls we prostrate ourselves before Him, and join in that celestial
* Great and marvellous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty ! just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints? Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name ?'”
Victory over temptation is the witness of thy heavenly birth!
Every man's virtue is best seen in adversity and temptation.
Bp. Jeremy Taylor. In Christian life every movement and every act is an opportunity for doing this one thing, of becoming Christlike. Every temptation to evil temper which can assail us to-day will be an opportunity to decide the question, whether
shall gain the calmness and the rest of Christ, or whether we shall be tossed by the restlessness and agitation of the world.
Infinite as are the varieties of life, so manifold are the paths to saintly character; and he who has not found out how directly or indirectly to make every thing converge towards his soul's sanctification, has as yet missed the meaning of this life.
F. W. Robertson.
RESIGNATION. Blessed are they that mourn : for they shall be comforted.
Matt. v. 4.
Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto
souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.
Matt. xi. 28-30.
In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
John xvi. 33.