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DAILY READINGS FOR A YEAR.
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of
the Child, His name was called Jesus.-LUKE ii. 21.
Jesus, Thou Joy of loving hearts !
Thou Fount of life! Thou Light of men!!
We turn unfilled to Thee again.
Thy Truth unchanged hath ever stood;
Thou savest those that on Thee call;
To them that find Thee, all in all !
We taste Thee, O Thou Living Bread,
And long to feast upon Thee still !
And thirst our souls from Thee to fill
Our restless spirits yearn for Thee,
Where'er our changeful lot is cast;
Blest, when our faith can hold Thee fast.
O Jesus, ever with us stay!
Make all our moments calm and bright!
From St. BERNARD.
And we have known and believed the love that God hath
to us.-1 John iv. 16.
Think, then, if the delights of close and cordial friendship be so great, what delight we shall have in the friendship of the Most High, and in our mutual amity in Jesus Christ, and in the dearest love and comfort in the saints! Surely this will be a closer and stricter friendship than ever was betwixt any friends on earth.
And these will be more lovely, more desirable friends than any that ever the sun beheld ; and both our affections to our Father and our Saviour, but especially His affection to us, will be such as here we never knew. As spirits are so much more powerful than flesh, that one angel can destroy a host, so also are their affections more strong and powerful. We shall then love a thousand times more strongly and sweetly than now we can; and as all the attributes and works of God are incomprehensible, so is the attribute and work of love. He will love us many thousand times more than we, even at the perfectest, are able to love Him. What joy, then, will there be in this mutual love :-BAXTER.
I entreated Thy favour with my whole heart; be merciful unto
me according to Thy word.-Psalm cxix. 58. When thou kneelest down in secret or public prayer, let it be in hope to get thy heart nearer God before thou risest from thy knees. When thou openest thy Bible or other books, let it be with this hope, to meet with some passage of divine truth, and some such blessings of the Spirit with it, as may raise thine affections nearer heaven, and give thee a fuller taste thereof. When thou art setting thy foot out of the door to go to the public ordinance and worship, say, “ I hope to meet with somewhat from God that may raise my affections before I return. I hope the Spirit may meet me. I hope that Christ may appear to me in the way, shine about me with light from heaven, and let me hear His instructing and reviving voice, and cause the scales to fall from my eyes, that I may see more of that glory than I ever get saw. I hope my Lord will take my heart in hand, and bring it within the view of rest, and set it before His Father's presence, that I may return, as the shepherds from the heavenly vision, glorifying and praising God for all the things I have heard and seen."-BAXTER,
And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord, standing on
the right side of the altar.-LUKE i. 11. How far would I go to see one of those blessed angels which appeared to Abraham, to Lot, to John, etc., or to speak with Enoch, with Elias, with any saint who had lived with God, especially if he would resolve all my doubts, and describe to me the celestial habitations! How much more desirable must it needs be to live with these blessed saints and angels, and to see and possess as well as they. It was a happy dwelling that the twelve apostles had with Christ. To be always in His company, and see His face, and hear Him open to them the mysteries of the kingdom; but it will be another kind of happiness to dwell with Him in glory. ... It will be another kind of privilege which I shall enjoy when I see Him in His glory, and not in His wounds, and shall have a fuller sense of His love than John did here. If they that heard Christ speak on earth were astonished at His wisdom and answers, and wondered at the gracious words that proceeded from His mouth, how shall I be affected then, to behold Him in His majesty !-BAXTER.
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious
promises.—2 Peter i. 4.
Reader, I entreat thee to ponder it why God should reveal so much of His counsel, and tell us beforehand of the joys we shall possess, but only that He would have us know it for our joy. If it had not been to make comfortable our present life, and fill us with the delights of our foreknown blessedness, He might have kept His purpose to Himself, and never have let us know tilt we come to enjoy it, or have revealed it to us till death hath discovered it, what He meant to do with us in the world to
But it hath pleased our Father to open His counsel, and to let us know the very intent of His heart, and to acquaint us with the eternal extent of His love; and all this that our joy may be full, and we might live as the heirs of such a kingdom. And shall we now overlook all as if He had revealed no such matter? Shall we live in earthly cares and sorrows as if we knew of no such thing, and rejoice no more in these discoveries as if the Lord had never written it? Hath God sealed thee a patent of heaven, and dost thou let it lie by thee as if thou hadst forgot it? Oh that our hearts were as high as our hopes, and our hopes as high as these infallible promises !-BAXTER.