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proceeding from faith in thee (Matt. xxv. 34-40) shall then endure that terrible test, that this love only shall be owned by thee, that this love only shall be eternally blest; and therefore I will ever praise and love thee.
Glory be to thee, O thou beloved Son of God, to whom the Father has committed all judgment (John v. 22).
How can they that love thee, O Jesu, ever despond, though their love in this life is always imperfect, when at last they shall have love for their judge, love that hath felt and will compassionate all their infirmities? and therefore all love, all glory be to thee.
O may I so know that God is love, and that be that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him; that love with me may be perfected, so that I may have boldness in the day of judgment (1 John iv. 16, 17).
THE COMING OF THE GOSPEL IN THE
given unto us the earnest of the Spirit." In this earnest of the Spirit," of which they were the subjects, was that assurance which they possessed of their sonship into the divine family, attested to them, as well by the direct witness of the Spirit to their hearts, as by the fruits of righteousness which they brought forth, together with the hopethat hope of a realized gospel-full of immortality and future glory, which a sense of their sonship imparted unto them.
And let no one dare to say, that this is not to be experienced by the children of God. The apostle, by the words which he makes use of, evidently shows that the Thessalonians abounded in it; that they were full of it, yea, that they possessed much of it. He does not use language which implies doubt, or equivocation, but speaks directly and positively. And, if we look carefully into the scriptures, we shall find that real religiontrue piety-a justified state with God, is a state of happiness, yea, of real enjoyment. And how remarkably does this appear in St. Paul's prayer for the Ephesians: "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is THERE is, then, a deep and important meaning in named, that he would grant you, according to the the expression of the gospel's coming to a person riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might in the Holy Ghost. If a person would possess by his Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may heaven at last, he must be sanctified and made dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being meet for it on earth. The Holy Spirit must re-rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comnew his mind, spiritualize his affections, hallow the faculties of his soul, and conform the whole man to the image of God-bring every thought of his heart into subjection to the will of Christ. This work-this absolutely-necessary work to any one who would inherit eternal life-if not perfected with the Thessalonians, was being carried on in them: they were growing in grace, rising day by day unto perfect men, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
But, while the gospel came to the Thessalonians in power, and in the Holy Ghost, it also came to them" in much assurance," or, as it may be more literally rendered, "in full assurance and much of it." And this blessed assurance to them was the legitimate consequence of the gospel's coming to them in power, and in the Holy Ghost. Having been brought into a state of justification with God, and the work of sanctification being carried on in them, they had a full, conscious sense of their acceptance with God-that they were passed from death unto life, the Spirit bearing witness with their spirit that they were the children of God, having also a hope imparted unto them of eternal life-a hope of the enjoyment of the glory of God; for, being children (through being justified by faith), they became heirs-heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ--heirs "inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away." They possessed that of which the apostle speaks, where he says: "Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God: who hath also sealed us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." And again: "Now he, that hath wrought us for the self-same thing is God, who also hath *From "Scriptural Teaching; or a Pastor's Offering to is Feople;" by the rev. W. Blackley, B.A., domestic chaplain to viscount Hill. London: Hatchards. 1847. A volume which we think likely to be useful.-ED.
prehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height: and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." Who, after reading such a passage as this, with the attention it deserves, can say that religion is a dry, barren, unenjoyable thing? that it does not impart to its subject a conscious present blessedness, yea, a foretaste of heaven upon earth? No one, surely, will say it, but he who wishes it to consist in mere opinion. But in mere opinion it does not consist. It enters into the feelings and affections of a man. It lays hold of the mind, where it is possessed, and embues that mind with the peace of God which passeth all understanding. "The kingdom of heaven is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." Such the Thessalonians experienced it to be. And what was the result of such a reception of the gospel with them? A holy activity in the things of God. "We give thanks to God always for you all," says St. Paul, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father (knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God); for our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.' Thus, you see, receiving the gospel in the way we have spoken of, their faith worked, their love laboured, and their hope led to patience and perseverance. Their religion was of an operative kind: it consisted not in mere barren, uninfluential, opinion. And the apostle, in an after verse of the chapter, points out something of their work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope. "They became," he says, "followers of the apostles, and of the Lord;" believed the doctrines which they preached, pursued the course which
they exhorted them to, and took up their cross, and followed Christ through evil and through good report. Here was the work of faith in full and delightful operation. They counted all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus the Lord. They sought to know Christ, and the power of his resurrection, giving diligence to make their calling and election sure. And, while their faith worked, their love laboured; laboured for the glory of God, and the advancement of the Redeemer's kingdom, endeavouring, as far as in them lay, to bring others to an acquaintance with Jesus, whom, "though not having seen, they yet loved." "From them,” says the apostle, sounded out the word of the Lord, both in Macedonia and Achaia; and in every place their faith to God-ward was spread abroad." Here you see that their love to God produced love to their neighbour. In their travels into other districts than their own they sought to spread the savour of the knowledge of Christ, desiring others to enjoy the blessedness of the religion of the Saviour with themselves. "When thou art converted," said our Lord to Peter, "strengthen thy brethren." On this principle the Thessalonians acted. And mark you, it was in their character as private Christians in which they sounded out the word of the Lord in Macedenia and Achaia. A sufficient proof and example that the private Christian is to do good and extend a knowledge of the Redeemer's kingdom, according to his opportunity and ability, as well as the ministers of the Lord Jesus; and, at once too, a condemnation of those who forbid private Christians visiting the sick and the afflicted, and instructing and praying with them. There is no one order in the church of Christ that has the exclusive monopoly or privilege of attempting to do good. So far from it, I unhesitatingly say that he who knows the truth, and does not attempt to make known that knowledge which he possesses, may expect to be beaten with many stripes. The Christian's duty, in this respect, is pointed out by St. Paul in these words: "Among whom ye shine," or rather, "Among whom shine ye as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life."
Such did the Thessalonians: they held forth the word of life-sounded out the word of God through Macedonia and Achaia. O that all would do the same! And, blessed be God, many are doing it. And, where they cannot go forth themselves, they are sending others, as it were in their stead, to unfurl the banner of the cross, and
from the wrath to come." Much more is implied in this waiting for God's Son from heaven than we can now enter into. It includes a resigned submission to the trials which came upon them for their Master's sake, a perseverance in welldoing, a looking in faith for continued strength from on high, a watchfulness of preparation for the death-summons from the Lord, a looking for the future state of glory to recompense them for all their trials and labours and sufferings and worldly sacrifices. All this, and much more, is included in their waiting for God's Son from heaven. They did not expect their all of happiness and enjoyment now they walked by faith, and not by sight.
Happy Thessalonians! We may say of them as the psalmist said of Israel: "Blessed are the people that are in such a case; yea, happy are the people whose God is the Lord."
I trust, my brethren, as we have been proceeding, you have been applying the subject to yourselves; comparing your own state with that of the Thessalonians, and viewing too the high state of enjoyment to which it is the privilege of the Christian believer to attain. I trust the gospel has come to, at least, some of you, in the way that it did to the Thessalonians; and that you, like them, are repeating, day by day, your acts of faith and labours of love, and proceeding forward, in your way to heaven, in the "patience of hope." If, however, it is not so, let me exhort and beseech you to give attention to these things, that it may be so-to seek to realize the gospel's being made the power of God unto your salvation through believing on the Lord Jesus Christ with your heart unto righteousness. Seek to know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death. So shall you be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
May it be so with each of you for the Redeemer's sake!
THE LORD'S PRAYER, AS IT RESPECTS OUR DUTY TOWARDS GOD:
BY THE REV. JOHN HALL, B.D.,
to bring men to the obedience of the faith. And Honorary Canon of the Cathedral, and Rector of St:
largely are many contributing of their abundance, pouring into the treasury of the Lord of their ability, that the word of the Lord may be sounded forth where the name of Christ has not been known; thus making to themselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that, when they fail, they may receive them into everlasting habita
But the apostle not only speaks of the work of faith, and labour of love, of the Thessalonians, but of their patience of hope. "They themselves show us," he says, "what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us
LUKE xi. 2.
"And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.”
THE Lord's prayer, like the decalogue, consists of two parts; the first part relating to God, and the second to man. Our duty towards God is our first duty as the creatures of God; and the correspondence which subsists between the first four commandments, which describe our duty towards God, and
the first part of the Lord's prayer, in which we are taught what we are to ask of him with regard to himself, is very remarkable. The decalogue is the rule or directory of our conduct, both with regard to God our Creator and to our fellow-creatures. The Lord's prayer also teaches us our duty towards God; the manner in which we are to regard him, the reverence which we owe to him, the dominion which belongs to him, and the obedience which is due, and ought to be paid to him. It points out, likewise, our dependence upon him, and what we most need from him, because of being fallen creatures. The directions given in these two summaries of the will of God respecting man are so few and so simple, that those who disregard them cannot but be inexcusable before God. But, notwithstanding this is the case, it is found, alas! that they are generally neglected by mankind; that "God is not in all the thoughts" of the multitude of those who are bound to him by every tie of gratitude for the blessings which they have received, and of interest with respect to their own comfort and happiness, to render the most implicit obedience to his holy will and command
of iniquity, and who die in their sins, he will be found to be the Avenger of sin. But to the children of men who are living in this world, he makes himself known as the Father of mercies and the God of all grace, through Jesus Christ his beloved Son, our Redeemer and Mediator. It is therefore declared by the apostle (1 John i. 1, 2): "If any man sin,' or be convinced in his own conscience that he is a sinner, and confesses his sins with humility and penitence, and with faith in "the blood of Jesus Christ" the Son of God, which "cleanseth from all sin" in the sight of God, "we" sinners "have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins, for the sins of the whole world;" so that whosoever will may come and partake of the benefit of his atonement, and find in and through him pardon and peace with God, may be justified or accounted righteous before God, and so be admitted into his most holy presence through Christ, to "have access by" the "Spirit unto the Father" (1 Eph. ii. 18). When therefore it is declared (Gal. iv. 4, 5) that, "when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to The text is the first part of the Lord's redeem them that were under the law, that prayer, in which we are taught to ask for we might receive the adoption of sons,' "it is those benefits to be conferred upon mankind added (verse 6), "Because ye are sons, which are for the glory of God. The manner God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son in which we are to regard our Creator is the into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father;" first thing brought before us: When we so that through Christ, we can call upon pray, we are to say, "Our Father which God as 66 our Father," who is reconciled art in heaven." We are to call upon God as to us and at peace with us through his "our Father;" which shows that we are to beloved Son. And of the privileges concome before him as his children, acknow- ferred upon us through Christ it is said: ledging his rightful authority over us, as our "Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but Parent, and cur dependence upon him, and a son; and, if a son, then an heir of God looking for the exercise of his pity and com- through Christ" (Gal. v. 7); one who is passion. A little child feels its dependence restored to all the privileges that had been upon its parents for all its supplies, and for lost by the transgression of the holy, just, protection from every thing hurtful. It cries and good law of God. But that which for the supply of its wants, and it is sensible is now to be observed is, that through of the goodness which relieves its necessities. Jesus Christ our Saviour we are permitted It is pleased when its wants are supplied, to draw nigh to God as "our Father,' and learns, as its mind opens, to submit to and to believe that he "will receive" us, the authority of its parent-to do as it is bid." and will be a Father unto" us, and If it feels itself to be in any danger, it runs we shall be acknowledged as the sons and to its parent for protection, and has no doubt daughters of the Lord Almighty" (1 Cor. vi. in that case of its safety. This is what we 18); so that, we shall find that, "like as a should think of Almighty God when we father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth address him as "our Father." But sin has them that fear him" (Ps. ciii. 13). caused us to overlook this character of Almighty God. We have thrown off the yoke of subjection to his authority, and are there fore afraid of him. We are disposed to regard him as the Avenger of sin, rather than as the Father of mercies. To those, indeed, who continue in sin, who live in the practice
While we address the Lord God as Our Father," with submission and affection, we are to consider him as being "in heaven;" which denotes that "his kingdom ruleth over all" (Ps. ciii. 19). We call the firmament or expanse which surrounds our globe by the name of "heaven." The sun shines
make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
in the heavens, and diffuses its light over the whole hemisphere of our globe; but the heaven in which God is said to dwell is far beyond the starry sky. Solomon addressed him: "Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee" (1 Kings viii. 27). In reference to this he asks, "Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord" (Jer. xxiii. 23). As the psalmist observes: "The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven. His His eyes behold, his eyelids try the children of men" (Ps. xi. 4). And again: "The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his sanc-"our Father," and permits us to call upon tuary he looketh upon all the inhabitants of him as such, that we may seek and partake the earth. He considereth all their works" of his fatherly blessing and protection. (Ps. xxxiii. 13). As there is nothing hid from the light and heat of the sun in consequence of its being in the heavens, so "all things" upon the earth" are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do" (Heb. iv. 13); who says, "The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool" (Isa. lxvi. 1).
But since it is also declared respecting him, "Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens" (Ps. xxxvi. 5); and, "As high as the heaven is above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him," we may understand, by his being "in heaven," that while he is out of our sight he is still within hearing. He is looking upon all mankind from heaven, looking upon all their actions, looking into all their hearts, hearing every word they speak, and knowing every thought that passes through their minds. Thus "He looketh down from the height of his sanctuary; from the heaven doth the Lord behold the earth." His being " in heaven," then, denotes his superintendence over all things, and his knowledge of all events. There is nothing hid from his all-seeing eye, there is nothing that passes in the world of which he is ignorant or not cognizant. The psalmist says: "O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me" (Ps. cxxxix. 1-5). And be asks: "Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I
The first petition which our Saviour directs his disciples to present before their "Father," who is "in heaven" is, "Hallowed be thy name." This shows us the reverence and humility which should ever possess our minds with regard to him whom we worship. His name is not to be made use of in a light, trifling, or careless manner. It is to be held in the highest estimation, as most sacred. How great and glorious is he who “bath prepared his throne in the heavens!" (Ps. ciii. 19). How mean and insignificant are we, his creatures, in comparison with him! That it is a matter of great importance that the children of men should hallow the name of the Lord God," the Father of heaven,' appears from its being said in the third commandment, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." Yet what numbers of persons are there, who make light of this holy commandment, and make use of the name of the Most High God in the most profane manner, notwithstanding the awful declaration that he "will not hold" them "guiltless!" Thoughtless men may excuse themselves as they please for their contempt of their Creator: but they will find that his commands are not to be disregarded with impunity.
But, if we consider his name as denoting all the gracious attributes by which he made himself known when he proclaimed his name to his servant Moses: "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin" (Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7), and not utterly cutting off the transgressors of his holy law, we are required to hallow his name by seeking to partake
for ourselves of the blessings which are set before us in it. But, alas! how is his name in this respect slighted, disregarded, and despised by the sinful children of men! How small is the number of those who earnestly seek for the blessings which are made known to us in the name of the Lord! May it not be in vain that we are made acquainted with it! Let us earnestly seek to partake of its blessings, to the consolation and rejoicing of our souls.
As the third commandment corresponds with the first petition of the Lord's prayer, so it may be said that the first and second commandments coincide with the address of it. If we are permitted to call upon the Lord God Almighty as "our Father," it is the greatest impiety to pray to other invisible beings, to treat them as God, by invoking or addressing them in any way. The one living and true God in three Persons is the only omnipresent and omniscient Being in the universe, the only hearer of prayer. To call upon any others is to "have other gods before him," or in his presence; whether it be in conjunction with him, or instead of him. The invocation of saints, as it is called, is "idolatry to be abhorred of all faithful Christians." And, if we are directed to look upwards to the Lord God, as being "in heaven," and are assured that, although he is out of sight, he is within hearing, all attempts to excite devotion in our minds by means of images, or imaginary representations of God or of other beings, must be most hateful to him who is "a jealous God," and "will not give" his "glory to another, nor" his "praise to graven images" (Isa. xlii. 8).
The second petition of the Lord's prayer is, "Thy kingdom come." Here an intimation is given that he whom we address in prayer is the great King of heaven and earth; but that rebellion has been successfully raised against him, and therefore his kingdom in this world, his dominion over it, is not established as it ought to be. Au usurper has obtained possession of the kingdom of God in this world, who is called "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Eph. ii. 2.) He is also called "the god of this world, who blindeth the minds of them that believe not" (2 Cor. iv. 4). But the time will come when the God of heaven will take to himself his great power, and reign. To this period his church and people are to look forward; and for the coming of his kingdom they are to pray continually to their heavenly Father. It is painful to see how extensively and powerfully Satan rules over the children of men. This appears in their utter disregard
of the commandments of God, and in nothing more than in their profaneness and sabbathbreaking. The sabbath-the sacred day of rest from labour, the holy day of Godaffords a representation of the rest, the peace, and the holiness of heaven. The sabbath is, therefore, set apart for the promotion of those objects which are connected with the kingdom of God, or of his reigning over the children of men. It is to be a day of public worship, on which the worship of heaven is anticipated by those who meet together in his house of prayer to worship at his footstool, who is seated on the throne of glory; to give thanks to his name, and to receive the instruction of heavenly wisdom from his holy word. If the psalmist could say, "A day in thy courts is better than a thousand" elsewhere (Ps. lxxxiv. 10), how ought we to prize the ordinances of the house of God, respecting which he has graciously promised: "In all places where I record my name, I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee" (Exod. xx. 24). The sabbath is to be devoted to the service of God as a day of rest from worldly toil and labour, and a day on which we are to seek for communion and fellowship with the Lord our God in the spirit of our minds, and are to be engaged especially in blessing and praising his holy name for his goodness vouchsafed to us in "giving us richly all things to enjoy" (1 Tim. vi. 17). We should on the sacred day of rest review the goodness of God to us in the blessings of his providence, and the blessings of his grace, in providing for the wants of our bodies and the wants of our souls; and we should express our gratitude to the Giver of all good for the "goodness and mercy" which "have followed us all the days of our past lives" (Ps. xxiii. 6). We should thus manifest ourselves to be the children of our heavenly Father by our thankfulness for his goodness to us; and we should beseech him to rule in us and reign over us; and also to set up his throne in the hearts of all around us, as their King and their God, to the glory of his holy name. "There remaineth a rest to the people of God" (Heb. iv. 9) in his eternal kingdom and glory, of which the sabbath on earth is a type, an anticipation and foretaste, to them that believe in him with their whole hearts.
The third petition in the Lord's prayer relates to the obedience which is to be paid to him Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven." His will is done in heaven, by those who surround his throne in glory, with readiness and alacrity. The psalmist says to them: "Bless the Lord, ye his angels that excel in strength, that do his