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Christian Pilgrim's Friend.
“Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for their's is the kingdom of Heaven,” Mat. v. 3.
OR, Christian Pilgrim's Friend. “Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for their's is the kingdom of Heaven," Mat. v. 3. “ The Election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded,” Rom. xi. 7,
JANUARY 1, 1847.
One among the rest of the advantages of vital godliness is, that it rests not upon anything outward, or upon anything temporal, for all who worship, who serve God acceptably, must serve him in spirit and in truth; such and such only love the God whom they serve, and they are soul and body his for
their hope enters into that inheritance which is in heaven, and which fadeth not away; they have foundations eternal upon which to build. Though, therefore, the earth be removed, and the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, yet the foundation of God standeth sure; having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his, and from all their iniquities and idols will he cleanse them.
Knowledge, love, joy, peace, will accompany us, not only when all outward means shall be out of our reach, but also when “ mortal life shall cease.” But take the formalist, or mere letter professor, strip such of their forms and of their talk about religion, what have they left? what real humbling knowledge of sin and self? what know they of the quickening, reproving, refreshing power of the holy Spirit of God? what know they of hungerings and thirstings after Christ? what know they of pardon sealed home upon the conscience, of peace with God, of being rooted and grounded in his love, and of being established
in his holy fear? To these essentials of godliness they are strangers, they do not spiritually know the scriptures nor the power of God; theirs is a religion which will not go with them through the swelling of Jordan, except it be to bear testimony against them.
But those who do receive the truth in the love thereof, will, when they leave this world, take perfection with them they are complete in him. As we can thus give up this life without parting with one grain of vital godliness, so we could have diseontinued the Gospel Ambassador, without ceasing to be equally concerned for our own and others' welfare ; but if this work be a means, however humble, that the Lord is pleased to own, and to enable us to go on under the conviction of these points, we should not feel justified in ceasing to labour in this department.
Real, solid, and lasting profit is our object; we like to receive scriptural reproof, rebuke, chastening, aye, and even scourging, Heb. xii. 6, such as shall make us more and more in earnest with our own souls, and with the souls of others, and such as shall make us more interested, more lively in the ways of wisdom, that we may not merely walk, but run in the way of his commandments. And then we also like the scriptures to be opened up to us, and for the doctrine thereof to descend as the rain and distil as the dew. We like to be softened in our hearts, to be visited with salvation, for the word of Christ to dwell in us richly, and to be by a close acquaintance with these things, enabled to trust the Lord for everything temporal, for he knoweth we have need of these things, and has said they shall be added. While we desire to look not at the things which are seen, for these are temporal; but at things which are not seen. for these are eternal.
The reproof and the refreshing, which we like most, we repeat, must be Scriptural, and therefore the reproof which comes from the legalist or from an offended party, is not reproof; it is reproach. They, the legalists, reproach us in our testimony of our state by nature, knowing it as we do, to be a state of death, of rottenness, vileness, helplessness, guiltiness, and abomination.