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As new-born babes, desire the fincere milk of the
word, that ye may grow thereby.—1 Pet. ï. 2.
HE scriptures are continually exhorting us to put off the old man-to be renewed in the spirit, and to be born again. In conformity to thefe gospel-ideas, the apostle Peter introduces the beautiful allusion in the text, in which he recommends to his converts, as new-born babes, the sincere milk of the word.—The beauty and apte ness of this allusion is very striking.
It consists, first, in the simplicity of the food. Most of the food we use undergoes various kinds of mixtures, and different modes of dressing : but milk is so simple a kind of food, that it requires neither mixture nor cookery; and is therefore properly an emblem of the fincere word of truth.
Then again, its nourishing quality makes it still more an emblem of that gospel, which nourishes to everlasting life.
Its sweet, balsamic nature, makes it efficacious in the cure of many bodily disorders, as the gospel is a remedy for those of the soul.
Even its spotless white, without any tincture of colour, brings it still nearer the idea of gospel-purity.
Then again, the manner in which the child takes this nourishment, carries on the allusion very happily. He takes it with that eagerness which shews his love for it: he loaths all other food in comparison: though he is fed with it every day, the repetition never cloys him; and his growth shews how well it agrees with his constitution. This mode of the child's receiving, its food, is a just exhibition of the true, religious mode of accepting the gospel. It is not often that a single allusion illustrates a subject in so many different points of view.
We both labour, and suffer reproach, because we
trust in the living God.--. Tim. iv. 10.
THAT holy and indefatigable labourer in the vineyard of the Lord, the Writer of this epistle, tells his beloved convert, Timothy, in this pafsage, that trust in God enabled him to undergo all the labours and distresses of his apostleship. His labours and distresses were abundant. Our labours are insignificant, and our distresses, commonly, mere trifles, in comparison with his. It is true, we have not that firmness—that heavenly aid, and apostolic vigour, which St. Paul had. But our sufferings are in proportion to our abili. ties; and we have the same ground for going cheerfully through our labours, and for bearing our distresses, which this holy apostle had. We may all, if we please, trust in the living God.
All the attributes of God administer comfort to man, except his justice. Here we naturally
red. That man, with all his guilt about him, should stand before infinite justice, presents an idea which cannot but make an awful impression. Yet even here we have great room to trust in the living God. His justice, infinite as it is, is tempered by mercy equally infinite; and-tơ this is added, the powerful mediation of a blessed Redeemer.
But among all the grounds of comfort which we receive from our gracious Creator, with regard both to this world and the next, the contemplation of his wisdom, and his promises, is the most reviving. The former fets our mind at rest in this world, the latter carry us happily to the next.
The wisdom of Providence, which orders all the events of this world with such unerring certainty, as to be most beneficial not only to mankind in general, but to every individual in particular, should be a constant argument with us to submit to every event, however harsh it may appear. If we fully trust in an unerring Provi. dence, it will be impossible not to acquiesce: if we do not acquiesce, it is impossible we can fully trust. At the same time let us consider, that this full trust in the unerring providence of God,
is the only way to secure our happiness among the disasters of life. Nothing else can administer a full remedy for the many sufferings we must unavoidably feel.
The other great comfort, which a trust in the living God procures for us in the distresses of this world, is, that they will end in the happiness of the next. We have God's promise for this hope, which turns into certainty. I speak of such only as obey God; and indeed they are the only perfons who seek for comfort from these divine fources.
This trust therefore in the promises of God, is our grand comfort in the distresses of life. It is the leading-star which carries us to Bethlehem; and makes all our journey to that blessed residence of our Redeemer, full of happy expectation,