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I.

The Will of the Lord.

"Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is."-EPH. v. 17.

WHAT a world of trouble and of suffering would have been spared to the Church of Christ if those who profess to be its members had only taken pains to master and apply to their own conduct even this one precept of the Apostle! How would it have simplified the religion we profess, and taken the sting out of the various questions and controversies which have divided our Master's flock, if both sides had only been careful to remember that the end and object of every act of religious service and article of belief are to help us to obtain truer and better views of our relation to God, and consecrate ourselves more wholly and entirely to the performance of His will!

Ah! yes, it will be said, but that is just the question about which men contend. What is the will of God? We all acknowledge that the object of our religion

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is consecration to the will of God, but each of us seems to have a different view of what the will of God may be supposed to be, and of the steps that ought to be taken by those who desire to see it done.

No doubt all Christian men are agreed in thinking that the end of religion is consecration to the will of God, but where is the infallible guide to be found who can show us what the will of God is? In the marginal references we are directed to the fourth chapter of the First Epistle to the Thessalonians, where we read, "This is the will of God, even your sanctification;" and to the twelfth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, where we are advised to "present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service, and not to be conformed to the fashion of the age in which we live, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God," or, as it is suggested we may read it in the margin of the Revised Version, "that we may prove what is the will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect." Well, it may still be said, You need not have taken so many words to prove that consecration to the will of God means consecration to everything that is good and acceptable and perfect. We know that well enough; we know that His will is that we should

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