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“ Have you ever been called to mourn?”
“ Yes, but we have found it good to be afflicted. We have buried dear children, but we had given them to the Lord. While they were with us, we considered them as his. They were dear to us, but it was right that they should be early removed from earth. Our concern is with the survivors.”
“Do you not fear every day, that death may seize these?” “Death is the servant of our Redeemer, who never
We pray for the continued life of our children, yet endeavour to say-Thy will be done.' Infinite Wisdom cannot do wrong. Submission is our duty and pleasure.”
“Are you not a great way from the house of God?"
“ Yes, but we regard it a privilege to make efforts, that we may enter his gates with praise.”
Let us now leave this humble abode, and seek the husband and father. On one side of our path, the tender corn is beginning to appear-on the other, the fields exhibit a beautiful green--and yonder, the gentle lambs are enjoying the sunny pasture. A little onward is the man whom we are seeking- but listen--the praises of Jehovah are falling from his lips; his hands are employed in labour, but his heart is attuned to the honour of his Redeemer. We will come near him. He meets us with a smile, and enters at once into our feelings. We hear not a word about hard times they are not hard times to him, for he is honest, industrious and happy. The smiles of Jehovah rest upon him.
In this retired place, where rocks, hills, valleys, aòd mountains appear in their most unfinished aspect, is found one of the truest specimens of happiness, which the earth can furnish; and the secret of the whole, is, God's favour is there. Think not, reader, that I have been painting for you a fancy sketch-it is a true likeness.
Are you in search of happiness? Seek it not in wealth, or honours, or learning. The world does not yield it. It can be found at the feet of Jesus, and not elsewhere. In him may you trust, and enjoy his smiles for ever.
WALKING WITH GOD.
How do we feel honoured, if permitted to travel in company with some of the mighty and noble of this world. If a poor man happens to be in the same stage or boat with a nobleman, he tells of it with pride as long as he lives. But what is all this honour to the honour of walking with the King of kings and Lord of lords ? And yet every man may have this high honour, this glorious privilege. “Enoch walked with God.” “Noah walked with God.”
What is it to walk with Godd? To walk with God
1. It is to be reconciled to him. “How can two walk together, except they be agreed?” But man, by nature, is unreconciled to God. The Bible represents him as an alien and an enemy. The first thing then, towards walking with God, is to become his friend, to be reconciled to him. No unconverted, unrenewed person is prepared to begin to walk with God. Walking with God implies-
2. Entire confidence in God. How could men travel comfortably together, if there was a want of confidence in each other? One would be afraid that the other would rob, or mislead, or in some way injure him. In order to a happy companionship, there must be full confidence. Paul assures us, that it was “by faith" that “ Enoch walked with God.” It is wonderful how much stress is laid on faith in the Bible, and how well pleased God was with its exercise. “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." “He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” " Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be savedl." Enoch, before his translation, had this testimony, “that he pleased God.” But, without faith, it is impossible to please him : “for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” The stronger the Christian's faith, therefore, the closer is his walk with God.
3. Walking with God implies--that the mind is full of God. If an ordinary man is walking with a great man, he is thinking about his honourable companion all the while. So the Christian, who walks with God, is thinking of God's character as exhibited in his word, and works, and providence. He admires his greatness, his power, his wisdom, his eternity, his benevolence. He thinks of God as the Creator of all worlds, and all beings; as the Preserver of the universe, of matter, and of mind; as the Moral Governor of angels and men; as the Author of salvation for our lost world; as God incarnate. His soul is full of God while he walks with him.
4. He who walks with God, has habitual communion with him. As two men, when travelling together, are always conversing, or in an attitude for conversing with each other; so the Christian, who walks with God, is habitually holding sweet intercourse with his heavenly Father, or preserves his soul in a prayerful or communing frame. * Is he in his study, or his store, or his shop, or his house, or his closet, or the sanctuary, or his family, or on his farm, travelling or resting, he does not forget that God is by his side. He feels that,
« Awake, asleep, at home, abroad,
He is surrounded still with God;" and he breathes out his fervent desires into the ear of him whom his soul loveth.
5. He who walks with God, has the same kind of feelings on moral subjects that God has. As all sin is hateful to God, so it is hateful to him who walks with God. As God hates idolatry, profaneness, Sabbath-breaking, disobedience to parents, murder, adultery, theft, perjury, covetousness, pride, envy, jealousy, drunkenness, lasciviousness, an evil eye, concupiscence, inordinate affection, grinding the face of the poor, oppression, and every other want of conformity unto, and transgression of the law of God; so he who walks with God, abhors and avoids all these and every other sin, as he does a known and avowed enemy of God and man. And as God loves conformity to his lawholiness, purity of heart and life, so does he who walks with God love virtue and moral purity; and he endeavours to purge out from his own affections, and words, and actions, everything which is vicious and impure.
He shows his hatred of what is wrong, by avoiding it himself, and by discountenancing it in others. On whatever subject God has expressed his views, he sympathizes with God in his feelings and conduct.
6. He who walks with God, will endeavour to do all things to the glory of God. As he who is in company with a ruler, shows his respect for him on all suitable occasions, so he that walks with the Ruler of all worlds, will endeavour to do him honour on all occasions. He cherishes an habitual sense of his august presence and glorious majesty, and carefully avoids what would give him offence, and seeks to do whatever He would have done. In a word, “whether he eats or drinks," or works, or talks, or travels, or rests, or prays, or “whatever he does,” he seeks to “do all to the glory of God.”
Now, the man who thus walks with God, has the best companion in the universe, and is the happiest man while he sojourns here below.
The man who humbly walks with God on earth, is the most useful man.
Such will have God to walk with them through the valley of death, and they will fear no evil, having his rod and staff to lean upon.
Such will be permitted to walk with Christ, clad in white robes, on the banks of the river of life, and through the streets of the New Jerusalem.
Who, then, will not now begin to walk with God, if he has not begun before. And who, that has set out, will not sing,
« O, for a closer walk with God,
A calm and heavenly frame ;
That leads me to the Lamb?"
POWER OF THE GOSPEL.
The Gospel is wonderful in its power of imparting support and consolation amid the most trying scenes of life, and during long continued suffering. This is a power which belongs to no false religion, but is peculiar to Christianity. And it is often by means of these sorrows and affiictions that some of the loveliest traits of Christian character are made to shine out more fully to the honour of the grace of God. The following is an illustration in point. It is the case of a female who had been long afflicted, and when inquired of by one who desired to know her history, she replied to the remark, “I am informed that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ.” “It is my wish, sir, to serve and obey him.” “How long have you been in this helpless condition?" 66 About forty-three years." Her age was greater than I had judged it to be from her appearance. When about seven years of age, she had gone to bed one night in good health, but next morning she awoke, having lost entirely the use of her feet; and this she never afterwards recovered.
I inquired if the Gospel enabled her to submit without repining, to her lot. She replied that she had nothing that furnished occasion for repining; that goodness and mercy had followed her all the days of her life; she had much cause to be thankful, but there was little reason to talk about submitting to her lot, for she felt that she had nothing to submit to. Her heavenly Father had dealt kindly by her. She was comfortable on earth, and hoped for a crown of glory in heaven. When I heard such sentiments from the lips of this helpless female, I was ready to exclaim, blessed Gospel! When Jesus was on earth, he caused the lame to leap for joy; and still the lame rejoice in the name of Jesus.
The minister of the place informed me, that this interesting person was remarkable for her liberality in the support of religious institutions. Being very expert in the use of her needle, she had the command of considerable resources, much of which she consecrated