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The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I haveloved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.- Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. GOD is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.- Although my house be not so with GOD; yet, he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure; for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow. Nevertheless, the foundation of GoD standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his. And let every one that nameth the name of Christ, depart from iniquity. Blessed be the GOD and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time. Jer. 31. 3. 1 Cor. 1. 8, 9. 2 Sam. 23. 5. 2 Tim. 2. 19. 1 Pet. 1. 3—5..|| Jer. 32. 40. 1 John 2. 27, 28. Heb. 13. 20, 21.
Does your hope excite in you desires and efforts to persevere ? Is any other hope safe?
64. What directions and promises respect trusting in God?
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord. Trust in the Lord, and do good, so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself, also in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in him and he shall bring it to pass. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him. Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.- Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green, and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. Ps. 4. 5. and 37. 3-5, 40. and 55. 22. Is. 26. 3, 4. Jer. 17.7, 8. || Ps. 25. 2. and 31. 19, 20. and 56. 3, 4. Eph. 1. 12, 13. Can you repose entire confidence in GOD? Can you commit your all to him?
65. How is love to God manifested?
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in GOD, and Gop in him. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love: Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of GOD; and every one that loveth him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of GOD, when we love GOD, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of GOD, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous.- Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.- Love worketh no ill to his neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 1 John 4. 16, 18. and 5. 1-3. 1 Cor. 13. 4-7. Rom. 13. 10. || 1 Tim. 1. 5. 1 John 2. 5, 15. and 4. 20, 21. ITS PRIVILEGES. Ps. 145. 20. Rom. 8. 28. 1 Cor. 2. 9.
Is your love for GoD scriptural? Is it manifested by keeping his commandments?
66. What are signs of self deception and hypocrisy ?
There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. Which say, stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others. Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, GOD, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. But wo unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint, and rue, and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of GoD: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Prov. 30. 12. Is. 65. 5.
Luke 18. 9-14. and 11. 42. || Mat. 23. 25, 27, 28, 33. and 15. 7-9. Job 27. 10. (m)
Do you think highly of your own moral goodness? Are you more solicitous how you shall appear to men than how you appear to God?
67. What is the character and destination of those that fear the Lord?
Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth GOD, and him that serveth him not. Mal.. 3. 16-18. || Prov. 22. 4. Is. 50. 10. Ps. 147. 11.
How wonderful that redeemed sinners should be the chief treasure of Jehovah ! Are you prepared by grace to be a gem in the New Jerusalem?
68. What is the language of those who glorify God in their bodies and in their spirits?
Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but GOD is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.- I have set the Lord always before me: because he is on my right hand, I shall not be moved.- Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.- Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk: for I lift up my soul unto thee. Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my GoD: thy Spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Ps. 73. 24-26. and 16. 8. and 32. 11. and 143. 8-10.
Ps. 62. 7. and 63. 1-4. and 92. 1, 2, 4. and 118. 23, 24. and 119. 5, 14-16, 32, 64, 111, 128, 133, 166. and 145. 1, 2. and 146. 2. and 116. 12. and 139. 17, 18. Hab. 3. 17, 18.
Do you habitually look to God as your guide? Have you chosen him for your portion?
69. What was St. Paul's manner of life, before he became a Christian, as described by himself?
(m) See Appendix, Note M.
My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews, Which knew me from the beginning, (if they would testify) that after the most straitest sect of our religion, I lived a Pharisee. I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities. Acts 26. 4, 5, 9, 10, 11. Phil. 3. 4-6. 1 Tim. 1. 12-16. Gal. 1. 13, 14.
Did sincerity justify Paul when doing wrong? Will sincerity justify you in error, if you have means of knowing the truth?
70. What was Paul's manner of life after he became a Christian?
But I keep under my body and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away. For we are the circumcision, which worship GoD in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of GOD by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the de.. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect. but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not my self to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 1 Cor, 9. 27. Phil 3. 3, -14, and 4. 13. || Acts 24. 16. 2 Cor. 1. 12.
Was not St. Paul a new man when he became a Christian? Like him do you keep your body under?
71. What was the Apostle's language in view of sufferings, especially for Christ's sake?
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. And now behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying, that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. Phil. 4. 12. Acts 20. 22-24. || and 21. 11-14. Rom. 5. 3-5. 2 Cor. 4. 8-18.
Could you remain unmoved by persecution for attachment to Christ? Is his cause dearer to you than life?
72. What was Paul's language in view of death?
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Tim. 4. 6-8. || and 4. 18. Phil. 1. 20-24.
Were you dying could you look back and say, "I have kept the faith?" Could your hopes securely fasten on the crown of righteousness? If you wish to die like the apostle, must you not live like him?
73. What blessings are promised to "the poor in spirit ?"
For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever. He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. For thus saith the high and lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.- Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Ps. 9. 18. and 102. 17. Is. 57. 15. and 66. 2. Mat. 5. 3. || Ps. 72. 12. Jer. 20. 13. Job 5. 15, 16.
Are you poor in spirit? How happy must the contrite be!
74. What blessings are promised to mourners in Zion? Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.