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general of a more eminent stamp, of a more robust spiritual constitution, than the majority of the present race of professing Christians. It may be truly said, “There were giarts in the earth in those days.” But what made them so pre-eminent ? We answer, without hesitation, that it was their private intercourse with God; it was their dwelling in the secret place of the Most High, and abiding under the shadow of the Almighty. The closet was to them a hallowed place; it was truly consecrated ground. It was a Bethel to their souls, a spot which they found, like Jacob of old, to be none other than the house of God, and the very gate of heaven. It was Peniel, where they often wrestled even until the dawn of day, and, in consequence of their importunity, they had power with God, and prevailed. It was à Tabor, where spiritual transformations were frequently realized, which led them to say, “Lord, it is good for us to be here;" and, like Peter, they
would there have pitched their tents, and made it the place of their constant abode, had not the calls of active duty urged them to arise and depart. It was a Moriah, where the most remarkable interpositions were vouchsafed; it was the mount of the Lord, where His covenant was ratified, and His wonders seen; and, filled with rapturous joy, and inspired with holy confidence, they have shouted, “Jehovah-jireh ; the Lord will provide."
Christian, resolve to prize thy closet more, and to frequent it oftener. It is only thus that thou wilt become a follower of those who, through faith and patience, are now inheriting the promises. They found the advantage of drawing nigh to their heavenly Father, and, if thou wilt imitate their example, thou shalt not go unrewarded. The benefits will be great and manifold ; for, while others may be in a languishing condition, thy progress and profiting will be evident unto all.
“ Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear
much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”— John xv. 8.
The Father The essential glory of the
Divine Being admits of Glorified. neither limitation nor in
Shall the sun borrow beams from the glow-worm ? Or can the tiny taper add to the effulgence of his noontide splendour ? God would have been infinitely glorious in himself had not a single creature been called into esistence; such he was in the solitudes of eternity, before any of the bright legions of cherubim or seraphim were created. To his underived glory the adorations of angels add nothing, and from it the blasphemies of men on earth, or of devils in hell, detract nothing. “ If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him ?
? if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him? If thou bé
righteous, what givest thou him ? or what receiveth he of thine hands ?” There is thus an important sense in which he is altogether unaffected by our cbedience on the one hand, and by our rebellion on the other. The wickedness of men cannot hurt him, neither can the righteousness of men profit him.
At the same time, it is possible for us to glorify God. An individual of exalted rank may possess every blessing in abundance, so as to need nothing that we might be able to do for him ; and yet such an one may be honoured by us. In like manner, although the blessed God is in no wise dependent upon our services, we are permitted, notwithstanding, to shew forth the honour of his name, and make his praise glorious.
Not merely are we permitted to do so, but it is our incumbent duty, the neglect of which involves the greatest guilt, as well as the basest ingratitude. To glorify God is the great design for which we were formed, and, therefore, to lose sight of it is to miss the very end of our existence. What if the sun refused to diffuse its light and heat ? Would not the law of its creation be transgressed, since it was expressly designed for that purpose ? What if the showers refused to leave the clouds to fertilize the thirsty ground, or the earth to bring forth her treasures, after all the cultivation it had received ? What, however, would be merely unnatural in the inanimate creation, would in us be far more monstrous, inasmuch as we are capable of knowing our duty, and are under the highest obligations to perform it. Let, then, the sun refuse to shine, and the showers to descend, and the earth to yield its produce; but should they transgress the great law of their creation, let us see to it, by all that is binding in the authority of the Most High, by all that is solemn in the thought of our responsibility to Him, and by the appalling consequences which must ensue His claims are disregarded, that we transgress not that higher law under which we are placed,