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still less experienced, by many who have it frequently in their mouths). Who is he that answers this character ? Who is a man of a catholic spirit ? One who loves as friends, as brethren in the Lord, as joint-partakers of the present kingdom of heaven, and fellow-heirs of His eternal kingdom-all, of whatever opinion, mode of worship, or congregation, who believe in the Lord Jesus; who love God and man; who, rejoicing to please and fearing to offend God, are careful to abstain from evil, and zealous of good works. He is a man of a truly catholic spirit, who bears all these continually upon his heart; who, having an unspeakable tenderness for their persons, and an earnest desire for their welfare, does not cease to commend them to God in prayer, as well as to plead their cause before men; who speaks comfortably to them, and labours, by all his words, to strengthen their hands in God. He assists them to the uttermost of his power, in all things, spiritual and temporal. He is ready to spend and be spent for them ; yea, to lay down his life for his brethren.
8. How amiable a character is this! How desirable to every child of God! But why is it, then, so rarely found? How is it that there are so few instances of it? Indeed, supposing we have tasted of the love of God, how can any of us rest till it is our own! Why, there is a delicate device, whereby Satan persuades thousands that they may stop short of it, and yet be guiltless. It is well, if many here present are not in this snare of the devil, taken captive at his will."
“O yes," says one, “I have all this love for those I believe to be the children of God. But I will never believe he is a child of God, who belongs to that vile congregation! Can he, do you think, be a child of God, who holds such detestable opinions? Or he that joins in such senseless and superstitious, if not idolatrous worship?” So we justify ourselves in one sin, by adding a second to it! We excuse the want of love in ourselves, by laying the blame on others. To colour our own devilish temper, we pro
nounce our brethren children of the devil. O beware of this ! And if you are already taken in the snare, escape out of it as soon as possible. Go and learn that truly catholic love, which is not rash or hasty in judging;—that love which thinketh no evil, which believeth and hopeth all things :—which makes all the allowance for others, that we desire others should make for
Then we shall take knowledge of the grace of God which is in every man, whatever be his opinion or mode of worship. Then will all that fear God be near and dear unto us in the bowels of Jesus Christ.
9. Was not this the spirit of our dear friend ? And why should it not be ours? O thou God of Love, how long shall Thy people be a by-word among the heathen? How long shall they laugh us to scorn, and say—“See how these Christians love one another” ? When wilt Thou roll away our reproach? “Shall the sword devour for ever? How long will it be ere Thou bid Thy people return from following each other?” Now, at least, “let all the people stand still, and pursue after their brethren no more!” But whatever others do, let all of us, my brethren, hear the voice of him that "being dead, yet speaketh!” Suppose ye hear him say—“Now at least, ‘be ye followers of me as I was of Christ!' Let brother no more lift up sword' against brother, neither ‘know ye war any more!' Rather ‘put ye on, as the elect of God, bowels of mercies, humbleness of mind, brotherly kindness, gentleness, long-suffering, forbearing one another in love.' Let the time past suffice for strife, envy, contention; for biting and devouring one another.' Blessed be God, that ye have not long ago been consumed one of another! From henceforth hold ye 'the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
10. O God, with Thee no word is impossible: Thou dost whatsoever pleaseth Thee! O that Thou wouldst cause the mantle of Thy prophet, whom Thou hast taken up, now to fall upon us that remain! “ Where is the Lord God of Elijah ?”
Let his spirit rest upon these thy servants! Shew Thou art the God that answerest by fire! Let the fire of Thy love fall on every heart! And because we love Thee, let us love one another with a love stronger than death. Take away
from us " all
anger, and wrath, and bitterness; all clamour and evilspeaking." Let Thy Spirit so rest upon us, that from this hour we may be "kind to each other, tender-hearted: forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ's sake, hath forgiven us!”
1 Servant of God, well done!
Thy glorious warfare 's past,
And thou art crown'd at last ;
In thy Redeemer's breast.
2 In condescending love
Thy ceaseless prayer He heard,
To thy complete reward :
Thy beauteous feet were shod,
And caught thee up to God.
3 With saints enthroned on high,
Thou dost thy Lord proclaim,
Salvation to the Lamb!
In ecstasies of praise,
Thou seest thy Saviour's face.
4 Redeem'd from earth and pain,
Ah! when shall we ascend,
With our translated Friend!
And when in Thee complete,
To triumph-at Thy feet !
Theron and Aspasio.
Theron. May I then believe, firmly believe, assuredly believe, that Jesus the Mediator, and all the rich benefits of His mediation, are mine? Pardon me, Aspasio, for reiterating the question. I am really, with respect to the obedience of faith, too much like that Saxon monarch, who, for his remissness and inactivity, was surnamed The Unready.*
Aspasio. I do more than pardon, my dear Theron. I feel for him, and I sympathise with him. If there is some of that Saxon prince's disease running in his religion, I am sure there is too much of it in mine; and I fear it is an epidemical distemper. But let us reflect a moment. Suppose any neighbour of substance and credit should bind himself by a deliberate promise to do you some particular piece of service; if he should add to his promise, a note under his own hand; if he should corroborate both by some authentic pledge; if he should establish all by a most awful and solemn oath; could you suspect the sincerity of his engagement, or harbour any doubt with regard to its execution ? This would be most unreasonable in any one; and to your generous temper, I am very certain, it would be impossible. Let us remember that God has given us all this cause for an assurance of faith and Nay, I will defy the most timorous and suspicious
THERON AND ASPASIO.
temper, to demand from the most treacherous person on earth, a gréater, stronger, fuller security, than the God of infinite fidelity has granted to you and me. After all this, one would think, diffidence itself could no longer hesitate, nor the most jealous incredulity demur, Shall we, can we withhold that affiance from the unchangeable Creator, which we could not but repose on a fallible creature ?
Ther. You rouse and animate me, Aspasio. O that I may arise, and with the Divine assistance, shake off this stupor of unbelief! Certainly, it can never be honourable to God, nor pleasing to Christ, nor profitable to ourselves.
Asp. If it be, then cherish it; maintain it; and never relinquish it. But how can it be honourable to God? It depreciates His goodness; it is a reproach to His veracity; nay, the apostle scruples not to affirm, that it makes Him a liar (1 John v. 10). Whereas, they who believe His testimony, glorify His faithfulness; glorify His beneficence; and as John the Baptist speaks,“ set to their seal that God is true” (John' iii. 33). I have been informed, that when the late Elector of Hanover was declared by the Parliament of Great Britain, successor to the vacant throne, several persons of distinction waited upon his Highness, in order to make timely application for the most valuable preferments.
Several requests of this nature were granted, and each was confirmed by a kind of promissory note. One gentleman, particularly, solicited for the Mastership of the Rolls. Being indulged in his desire, he was offered the same confirmation which had been vouchsafed to other successful petitioners. Upon which, he seemed to be under a pang of graceful confusion and surprise; begged that he might not put the royal donor to such unnecessary trouble; at the same time protesting, that he looked upon his Highness's word as the very best ratification of his suit. With this conduct, and this compliment, the Elector was not a little pleased. “This is the gentleman," he said,