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against our general principle. Real Chris. tians cannot live in the neglect of prayer; nay, more, those who do not possess the spirit, and live in the babitual performance of the duty, are in the gall of bitterness and the bonds of iniquity. The moment a man begins to live in the neglect of prayer, that moment he should take the alarm.
May it then be said of you as it was of Saul of Tarsus, Behold he prayeth! If so, then you like him may be a chosen vessel. Maintain a constant and uniform intimacy with the throne of grace, and for the sake of our great High priest, God will put his fear into your hearts, and you shall not depart from him. Draw nigb unto God, and he will draw nigh' unto you. Keep near to the fountain head, and with joy shall you draw water ont of the wells of salvation.
LOVE TO THE BRETHREN.
"THE eminent Dr. Owen, speaking of the primeval state of man, remarks, that the whole beauty of the creation below consisted in man's loving God above all, and all other things in Him, and for Him, according as they did participate His glory and properties.” That was a hopeless hour when the golden chain that bound God to many
and man to God and to each other, was broken. Adam, where art thou? Adam heard, and was afraid. - The earth was cursed, and refused to yield her strength. Sin polluted all the joys of Paradise; apostate man became the heir of misery, and henceforth dwelt in darkness, cherishing the seeds of malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
Upon this dismal gloom, not a ray has dawned but from the cross of Christ. It is the prerogative of the gospel of Jesus to publish the glad tidings of great joy; and while it proclaims, “GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, to restore peace on earth, and good will to man." This Gospel breathes the spirit of love. Love is the fulfilling of its precepts, the pledge of its joys, and the evi. dence of its power. “We know," saith the apostle, “that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.”
The love of the brotherhood is not one of the native affections of the carnal mind. This cold degenerate soil, bears no such heavenly fruit. The affection which Christians exercise toward each other as Christians, is the offspring of brighter worlds. It is a principle of celestial birth. “Love is of God, and every one that loveth, is born of God, and knoweth God.”
Brotherly love is an affection which is! limited to particular characters. There can be no doubt but the children of God are kindly affectioned toward all men. Chris
tian benevolence runs parallel with rational being. Genuine love to our neighbor is extended to all, according to their character and circumstances. It blesses those who curse us, and does good to those who hate us. This, however, is not the distinguishing nature of brotherly love. Brotherly love differs materially from the love of benevolence. It is the love of good men, and for their goodness only. It extends only to the followers of Christ. It is an affection which is directed toward the excellence of religion. It is complacency in holiness.
There is something in the character of every child of God that reflects the image of bis heavenly Father. It is this that attracts the eye and wins the heart. There is something which is amiable and lovely. And it is this loveliness that gives a spring to the affections and draws forth the hearts of God's people towards each other, as they are drawn forth toward God Himself. The chil. dren of God are partakers of the divine nature. From bearing the image of the earthly, they now bear the image of the heavenly. God has imparted to them a portion of His own loveliness. He has formed them new creatures. Of his free and distinguishing grace, He has made them, as they are styled by the Wise Man, more excellent than their neighbors. Hence they are lovely. They are the excellent of the earth. God loves them; Christ loves them; the Holy Spirit loves them; angels love them; and they love
each other. It is around them that the virtues cluster; from them that the graces of heaven are reflected; though shaded, and very often darkened, by the most debasing and reproachful sing.
Love to the brethren is also an affection which rests upon the union which believers sustain with Christ. The Lord Jesus, together with all true believers, forms one mystical body. Christ is the head, and they are the members. From him the whole body, fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effèctual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unTO THÉ EDIFYING OF ITSELF IN LOVE." This union is represented by the apostle not only as the foundation of that communion which believers maintain with Christ, but of that which exists between believers themselves. The same bond which unites beliey. ers to Christ, binds them to each other. The love which is exercised toward the head, extends to the members. The union itself necessarily involves an union of affectiou. Those who love Christ, love those who are like him, and those who are beloved by him. Here all distinctions vanish. Name and na. tion, rank and party, are lost in the common character of believers, the common name of Christian. Jew and Gentile, bond and free, rich and poor, are one in Christ Jesus, They have “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is
above all, and through all, and in them all.” Actuated by the same principles, cherishing the same hopes, animated by the same prospects, laboring under the same discouragements, having the same enemies to encounter, and the same temptations to resist, the same hell to shun, and the same heaven to enjoy; it is not strange that they should love one another sincerely, and often with a pure heart fervently. There is an unity of design, a common interest in the objects of their pursuit, which lays the foundation for mutual friendship, and which cannot fail to excite the "harmony of souls.” The glory of God is the grand object which commands their highest affections, and which necessarily makes the interest of the whole the interest of each part, and the interest of each part the interest of the whole. They rejoice in each other's blessedness. There are no conflicting interests, and there need be no jarring passions. In a common cause, in a common cause which in point of importance takes the place of every other, and all others, the affections of the sanctified heart are one.
Love to the brethren, though in practice not always distinguished, yet in theory is easily distinguishable from all those affections and attachments that are purely natural. Men may love Christians, merely because they imagine that Christians love them. This, like every other affection that is purely sellislı, is a worthy of the Chris