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the name they affixed to Jehovah alone ; and no wonder they attempted to stone him for the supposed blasphemy: and to his most beloved disciple, he said, “ Fear not, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”. One of the attributes of the divine nature is immutability; all created beings change, even the sincere Christian, though he is new created in Christ Jesus, and his spiritual life will not be taken from him, is liable to change from the influence of temptation, and the remaining corruptions of his heart; so that he mournfully cries out with Job“O that it were with me as in time past, when thy candle shined upon my head.”'
Jesus Christ the same to-day as well as yesterday, intimates the heart-cheering truth, that he is a present help. How unworthy a Christian's character is unbelief! How unworthy is worldly anxiety. His Almighty friend is with him to-day to allot him his daily share of temporal and spiritual good. But even the knowledge that his heavenly Friend was the same yesterday, and at present, would be insufficient for his complete satisfaction, were it pot added, and for ever. Here is the climax or highest point of the Christian's expectation. His God and Saviour will be his everlasting portion. Our Lord knew the hearts of his disciples when he prayed, they might be with him where he was,
that they might behold his glory." He knew their love to him was so great, that nothing short of an assurance of being ever with him could complete their desires.
Is Jesus Christ inde ed “the same yesterday, to-day and for ever ?” and does he invite his poor, weak and guilty creatures to friendly communion with him? Then how great is the folly of those, who seek chiefly the friendship of a perishing world? The gospel is not a system of arbitrary commands, but an equitable requisition of duties, calculated to promote our best interests for time and eternity. The Christian's is the most reasonable servicewhat can be so reasonable as seeking the friendship of an all-wise and powerful being? What pains do men take to purchase riches, honours, and pleasures, which if procured, are in their very nature mutable. Conscience, ease and liealth, is frequently the sacrifice. In their nature too they are unsatisfying. Look at the rich, the honourable, and the sensual ; they are restless for more riches, honours, and gratifications. But ask the believer who has sought the friendship of bis Saviour, and · he will tell you how easily it was procured. Without money and without price was it offered to his acceptance, and when by the same almighty grace which offered it, he was made willing to accept it, how richly did it supply the deficiency of every other good.
If from these few imperfect hints, a reader is disposed to consider the friendship of Christ'worthy of his seeking, it only remains for me to point out the means by which it may be obtained. These being all of his own appointment, must he effectual to answer their purpose. First, you must discover your own character as in the sight of God. This can only be done by comparing your conduct and dispositions with his holy and perfect law. From a strict and impartial self-examination, accompanied with fervent prayer, none ever returned unaffected with deep humiliation, and a sense of spiritual wants. Having discovered the need of his friend. ship, an application for his help naturally follows; but as it would be highly absurd to apply to, or trust to the promise of an earthly benefactor, without seeking a knowledge of him, and an assurance of his ability to fulfil his engagements; so the most rational believers are those, who examine the most closely into the character, the offices, and the mission of their Lord and Saviour. They diligently "search the Scriptures, which testify of him." Here he is nost emphatically found of those who seek him. They often find him in chapters where they least expected, hid as it were behind a cloud of Jewish rites and ordinances ; till in the full blaze of the gospel history of his incarnation, life, death, resurrection and ascension, they with the apostles of old, are fully convinced they have indeed found him, of whom Moses and the prophets wrote. If
my dear reader you have proceeded thus far, you surely must next desire to be oftener in company with this heavenly friend ; for who does not desire the presence and conversation of his friend? Who does not frequent the places where he is most likely to meet him ? Now this gracious friend does not confine himself to any place, though he absents himself as respects his favourable presence, from the haunts of sin or vain amusements. There let it be recollected he is present, in the character of the righteous Judge, the enemy of wicked doers. In the path of duty the Christian may rest assured his Lord stands near him as his friend; observing all his honest and industrious pursuits, and granting his blessing, so far as may be consistent with other wise designs of his providence respecting him. However or wherever he is thus lawfully engaged, he may cheerfully trust, and look up to him for succour. He is then to be sought in the way of active duty, and private meditation, and these two may be more closely united than is generally imagined. It is true, there are many occupations in which they are incompatible. The tradesman in his shop, and the mechanic at his work, must usually direct the full force of their thinking powers to their business, and rest satisfied with the Sabbath hours for devout meditation : but those engaged in country avocations, are in this respect highly favoured. The pious husbandman finds his plough, his reaping hook, his scythe, and
his thrashing flail, no impediments to serious thought : And from frequent meditation on divine subjects, the greatest pleasure and profit may be derived. In this manner the affections are directed to heavenly objects. Merely to think of heaven as our home, and Jesus as our friend who has purchased the inheritance, is not sufficient for the
purpose of weaning us from the world, and exciting the gratitude due; we must picture to. our imaginations the glory of the state, and the various means by which we are introduced to it, if we would comply with the apostle's injunction, “ Set your affections on things above.” And who can meditate upon the interesting theme of a Savi. our's love, without experiencing some return? Wha can consider him as leaving the heavenly abodes of bliss, to become a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief-follow him in his works of grace and mercy -dwell on the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth, and know that he did all for us men, and for our salvation, without exclaiming“What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits ?" To hearts thus exercised in the work of meditation, the public services of religion doubly profitable.
With what delight do they attend to their minister while he enlarges upon the subjects they have before considered ; and throws new light, from sources of information his superior learning