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sin, when sighing, and crying, with ardent longing, we seek him, he will give us a fresh manifestation of his love-his great love. Again will he appear to us, disclosing the glories of his person, the beauty of his character, and the excellency of his salvation. Then we afresh perceive his glory, and beauty, and exact adaptation to us, and our love is drawn out to him anew.
Glorious as he appeared at first, every new manifestation of his grace seems to enhance his glory, and bring out some fresh and richer beauty. Then, our sense of our interest in him is sweetly renewed and deepened, and we claim him with confidence as our beloved, our Sa. viour, and our friend. The heart glows with the richest enjoyment, the bosom heaves with ecstatic delight, and the soul overflows with the most pleasurable emotions. how precious is Jesus now! How wonderful his love. How glorious his grace. How tender his mercy. How efficacious his blood. How magnificent his righteousness. Christ, and every thing in Christ-Christ, and every thing connected with Christmis unspeakably beautiful and glorious ; so that we want words to express our thoughts, and we want thoughts to embody our feelings, which are exquisitely delightful. Who can describe the rapture of a soul, which has been walking in darkness, mourning for the Sa. viour, but can now exclaim, “I have found him whom my soul loveth !"
Oh, The delightful effects of it are many and rarious. It gives us satisfaction, the desires find the object they have been seeking, the affections enjoy the richest feast, and the soul glides into a calm and delightful repose. We seem to want no more, but only the perpetuation and perfection of what we are now enjoying. It produces tenderness. We become more cautious and careful, and avoid every thing likely to grieve him, or disturb our enjoyment. We become more watchful over ourselves, and against temptations which may astray. We are more prayerful, spending more time with him alone, pouring out our hearts before him. And this tenderness of conscience, watchfulness of spirit, and prayerfulness of soul, will preserve and keep us from innumerable evils. It awakens gratitude-deep and soul stirring gratitude. Such gratitude as inspires us with the strongest confidence, fills us with the warmest love, animates us with glowing zeal, and makes the soul eloquent in his praise. It generates humility, deep and adoring humility. Humi. lity, which makes us loveable, and fires us with love to all about us. Humility which fills us with profound admiration of the con. duct and condescension of our Lord, and lays us in the dust at his feet. Humility, which inspires us with lofty expectations, of seeing more of his beauty, enjoying more of his presence, and of being ravished always with his love. O the blessedness of finding that lov. ed One again, and once more enjoying his presence, and the assurance of his love!
Believer, Jesus is not far from thee, when he is not enjoyed by thee. He only stands behind the wall. He is just beyond the watchman. We are not far from finding him, when we feel and lament his absence. He will soon turn again, and have compassion upon us.
If therefore you are seeking him, though discouraged for a time, press on, persevere, for you are sure to find him.
Every one that seeketh findeth.” The sinner who has never enjoyed his presence, if he seeks will find; and the backslider who has sinned away his presence, shall have it restored again.
Seek, seek then, for none can seek his face in vain. When Christ is found, after long seeking, and after deep searching of heart
, he is more precious, than as if found at once. We value that most, which costs us most. We enjoy that most which is only gained by much labour and effort. Never does the sun appear so bright, as after the long, cold, dreary night. Never is health so prized, as after a long season of painful sickness.
Never is water so sweet, as when the tongue fails for thirst. never is Jesus so precious, as after the long night of guilt, gloom, and desertion. Never is Jesus so precious, as after we have suffered from broken bones, a wounded spirit, and a troubled conscience. Never is Jesus so precious, as when the fire of God's wrath
So, has seemed to dry up our vital moisture, and the fiery law has almost brought us into the dust of death. The trump of Jubilee, was not so sweet to the embarrassed Israelite ; the act of emancipation, was never so delightful to the manacled slave; the proclamation of pardon was never so precious to the criminal, who expected to be executed in the morning; as is Jesus to the soul, when he manifests himself once more, after a long dreary season of desertion.
Reader, are you seeking Jesus P Whatever may be thy case, circumstances, or discouragements, never give over until thou hast found him. Find him you will, you must, if you seek for him with all your heart. And when you have found him, do not fear to own it, or neglect to acknowledge it, but in the language of the delighted spouse, ex. claim, “ I have found him whom my soul loveth!”
Look from on high, great God, and see
EXHORTATION AND ENCOURAGE.
THE Lord's servants are apt to get disheartened and discouraged. They fancy they are labouring in vain, and spending their strength for nought. They therefore need encouragement, even an apostle did, and therefore we find the Lord speaking to Paul, and saying, “ Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace ; for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee ; for I have much people in this city;" Acts xviii. 9, 10. We know not where the Lord's people are, but he does. Nor do we know whether we are to be used in converting souls, or whether our word shall turn unto us for a testimony. We know that we have a work to do for God, and we should do it; and if tempted to give way to discouragement, let us listen to,
THE EXHORTATION. “ Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace.” be opposition, persecution, and even death standing in the way, yet should we not fear. Paul was afraid at Corinth, as he tells them