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As long as the solemn question of the soul’s eternal salvation is left in dark uncertainty there will be little, if any, freedom of spirit to think of that which interests Christ or concerns His glory, apart from the bare matter of the sinner’s peace and safety. On the other hand, when one who professes to have the knowledge of this great salvation gives evidence in walk and ways of cold indifference to those interests, it manifests either a very shallow work in the soul or no real work at all, For be sure of this, that the work of the Spirit in a soul is as great a reality as the work of Christ for that soul, and that in whomsoever He (the Spirit) dwells, His activity will always tend to the glory of Christ. “He shall glorify me,” said the blessed Lord; “for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you” (John 16:14). In case this should fall into the hands of a troubled soul, it may be well to add here, for his comfort, that peace does not depend upon our being satisfied with the work of the Spirit in us, but upon God’s satisfaction in the work of Christ for us, and as this rests eternally the same, the ground of our peace is unchanging too. “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). But it is for those who have recently been brought to the knowledge of salvation that this little book is intended, though it is the earnest prayer of the writer that its pages may graciously be used of God to the exercise and blessing of every reader who loves our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. How I should like, before we proceed further, to fill your heart (if it is not already full) with the warm and heavenly rays which shine forth from that little sentence in John 13:1, “Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end!” “His own!” What a precious thought! His, not only by creator-right and redemptiontitles, but His by gift from the Father, “thine they were, and thou gayest them me” (John 17:6). And so precious is this thought to His own heart that seven times over in that remarkable out-breathing of His soul to the Father (John 17) He makes mention of it. Is this not enough to fill your heart, dear reader? ‘Tis true you are left for a little while in this cold, dark world, but you are “loved” by Him, and loved through everything, right on “to the end.” Never dream, I pray you, of asking Him to increase His love toward you. He never could love you more, and He never will love you less. Blessed be His name, His love is like Himself-infinite and eternal. “Love that no tongue can teach, Love that no thought can reach; No love like His. God is its blessed source, Death ne’er can stop its course, Nothing can stay its force; Matchless it is.” Now I need not say that you are not the only one in this poor world loved by Christ and saved by His precious blood. There are other joint-heirs, “many sons,” that have God’s eternal glory as their bright destiny; and I am desirous of saying a few simple words to you about your path in connection with these, your fellow-Christians- ”His own”-left with you in the world. But I would first say, BE RIGHT WITH GOD IN SECRET, and would earnestly press upon you the deep importance of personal piety, and wholehearted devotedness to Christ, apart from the question of any other saint on earth. May the Holy Spirit of God make this plain to you. Depend upon it, to be right with God in your closet is of equal importance to being right with Him in public, among your fellow-Christians. Take a simple illustration. Will not a good servant see to the proper condition of the glasses, etc…before he puts them in their places on the master’s table? and will not the soldier look well that his accoutrements are in a bright and worthy state before he steps into rank among his comrades? Mark, I am not going to say a word against right order, but rather to urge its importance. Yet I do see the necessity of pressing upon you a prior thing. What would any master care for the most exact order of laying a table if the knives and forks, etc., were in a dirty and unsatisfactory state, and the servant himself in disgraceful untidiness? Or what captain be satisfied with the punctuality and regularity of his men, if their rifles were dirty and their bayonets rusty? Of course, a servant who cared for the approval of His master would neglect none of these things. Now pause here for a moment, and let me ask myself and you a practical question: Is there anything in your heart which you are well aware would not have a place there for an instant if your blessed Lord and Master had it all His own way with you? Let us honestly face that question, and be very jealous lest there be a single selfish reserve in our hearts from Him. A Christian who cherishes such a reserve is virtually saying, “Lord, I can trust Thee with my safety, but cannot trust Thee with my happiness.” Oh, let us consider Him more, dear reader! “He sold all that He had,” and gave His precious lifeblood too, for the joy of making us “His own;” and having done and suffered all this for us, He now gives everything to us, and makes a feast for His own heart in doing it. What a Giver! What a Lover! Blessed, thrice blessed Saviour! Help me to praise Him, and let us exalt His name together. Well, the more you become at home with Him, to use a familiar expression, the more you will joyfully anticipate being with Him at home, and the greater heavenly glow and fervour will your testimony have until you get there. No amount of effort will bring about this state; but in keeping His company, and beholding Him in glory, where He now is, you will be “changed into the same image from glory to glory,” and thus reflect His moral beauty here below. The more practically we become like Him, the louder our lives speak for Him. Whenever you find that your appetite for secret communion with Him is diminishing, you may be pretty sure that one or more of the “little foxes that spoil the vines” are finding an undisturbed lodging-place in your heart. Therefore, search diligently, and spare them not, or else bid farewell to your joy and spiritual prosperity. But go at once to Him, and say, with full surrender of your own will, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me ((Margin, way of pain or grief), and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psa. 139: 23, 24). Ever may it be- “Our only grief to give Him pain, Our joy to serve and follow Him.” What a delight it is to one that loves the Lord to have the consciousness in his soul that he is ministering pleasure to the heart of Christ! It is then that the brightest offer the world can make you but crumbles into dust and ashes at your feet.

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