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as alone able to satisfy its boundless desires. It delights to dwell on his character as displayed in the works of creation, of providence and redemption. It is filled with awe of his power and majesty, with admiration of his wisdom, with humility in contemplating his purity, with dread of his justice, and with gratitude for his mercy. It rejoices in submission to his will. It relies with confidence on his strength. It trusts implicitly in his promises. It longs to be made the humble, yet cheerful instrument of carrying into effect, within its own limited sphere of action, his wise and benevolent purposes.
The believer, under the influence of this divine love, often soars to Heaven on the wings of devout meditation, and becomes swallowed up in the view of the riches of the goodness of God, through a crucified Saviour. He is lost in holy admiration of the wisdom which devised, and the benevolence which executed, the wonderful plan of Redemption. He remembers, too, at what price he was bought, and by whom it was paid. Jesus appears to him “ the chief among ten thousand, and altogether lovely." Christ dwells in his heart by faith ; and being thus rooted and grounded in love, his unceasing prayer and endeavour is to be enabled “ to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that he may be filled with all the fulness of God."
The same love which thus directs the affections of the believer to his God and Saviour, enkindles them also with good will and charity toward his fellow-men. He forgets not the declaration of the Apostle, “ If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar : for he that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen ?" " If we love one another, God dwelleth in us.” The believer, therefore, is careful to “put on, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long suffering.” And these dispositions towards his fellow-men, and especially towards those who are of the household of faith, he manifests by assiduously and affectionately endeavouring to promote their best interests, both spiritual and temporal. He 6 visits the widows and the fatherless in their afflictions.” He feeds the hungry, and clothes the naked. Above all, he is anxious to administer the bread of life to those who are ready to perish. How does he long that all men should “ taste and see that the Lord is gracious !" How would he persuade those who labour and are heavy laden,” who are sick of the vanities and delusive pleasures of this world, and burdened with a sense of their guilt, to resort to Jesus Christ, and "find rest unto their souls !” And while he sees how many neglect the invitation of the Gospel, and reject that Saviour whose blood was poured out to procure remission of sins, and the hope of pardon and reconciliation to God for our miserable race, how
is his “ heart sore pained within him !” How often does he take up the language of the prophet of old, “ Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains.” “But if will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride.”
Such are the characteristics of that Divine love which exists in the heart of every sincere believer. This love displays the oneness of the Christian character. It is the effect and also the evidence, of that fellowship of the saints which they enjoy with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. It is the principle, the very heart's blood, of their spiritual life, nourishing and animating the whole process of their growth in grace. It beats in every pious breast, although its impulse is often checked, and sometimes suspended, by remaining corruption and sin. Then is experienced the moral lethargy of the soul. Then is such a death-like hue cast over all the features of piety, that scarcely any traces of its existence remain. But it has not for ever fled. It is again quickened into action by the life-giving Spirit of God. The Christian, thus reanimated, once more breathes the air of heaven, and becomes "strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” He pursues his journey heavenward with alacrity and delight ! “ Wisdom's ways" again become to him. 66
ways of pleasantness, and all her paths peace.” Think it not strange, therefore, my brethren, that the principle of Divine love, on which rests
the oneness of the Christian character, is subject to so much irregularity in its operations, and displays itself under such a variety of forms. The present is a state of imperfection and sin. The believer is sanctified but in part. The most pious are not yet freed from the weaknesses and corruptions of a depraved nature. But, blessed be God, such will not always be the condition of those who have put their trust in Jesus, and have been born again in his image. Even now, as they make progress in the divine life, and engage with increasing ardour in the common cause which they have espoused, how are their “ hearts knit together in love," while the differences of sect or party, or denomination, melt away, and are forgotten ! but the time will arrive, when their resemblance to each other will be more striking ; when their communion will be more intimate and delightful ; when they shall enjoy complete and uninterrupted fellowship with each other, and with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. For they shall“ all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”
And now, would to God that I could press this subject, with all its importance and interest, upon such of you, my dear hearers, as have no fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ ! On earthly objects, where all is deceitful and transitory, where all is "vanity and vexation of spirit,” you fas
ten the desires of your immortal souls. The world, which has so often disappointed or betrayed you, and of which you so often complain, is still your chief good. Your fellowship is with mammon and his deluded followers. And what does such a communion promise you ? The enjoyment, perhaps, of sensual pleasure, the accumulation of wealth, the distinctions of rank, or the honours of fame. But consider, I pray you, that these are transient as the morning cloud, and as the early dew. Life itself is a vapour that appeareth for a little while, and then vanisheth away.” So that, could you enjoy this world to the full measure of your desires, how like a dream, short and shadowy, must still be your happiness ! But this is not the worst view of your case.
" No man can serve two masters : for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.' “ The friendship of the world is enmity with God: whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world, is the enemy of God.” “ For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness ? And what communion hath light with darkness ? And what concord hath Christ with Belial ?” Do not, I beseech you, continue to be so engrossed with the cares of this life, or so devoted to its sinful pleasures Let me entreat you to remember and feel the momentous truth, that we are all by nature children of wrath, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the