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and virtue, or moral courage, by which difficulties are overcome, the old nature kept in check, victory gained over the enemies of our faith, and communion with God maintained.

This expression, so important to be understood, “Is really not to glory and virtue," says one, “ but by his own glory and by virtue.What serves to make it plain is this :—" Adam was not called' when in paradise. When innocent, he was not called by God's own glory and by virtue. What Adam was bound to do was just to stay where he was. That is, he was responsible to do the will of God, or rather, not to do what God prohibited in his case ... Our calling is by God's own glory. The whole principle of Christianity is just this. It takes the believer out of the place in which he naturally is; and therefore it is spoken of as a calling.

The christian “calling" supposes that the gospel, when received, deals with the soul by the power of the Spirit of God; and that he who receives it is called out of the condition in which man is plunged by sin; not put back again into the position of Adam, but taken into another position altogether. It is no longer a question of man on earth; he is called by God's own glory and by virtue. It is by God's own glory, because if God saves, He calls to stand in nothing less than that glory."

And observes another, “Thus we have the call of God, to pursue glory as our object, gaining the victory by virtue-spiritual courage. It is not a law given to a people already gathered together, but glory proposed, in order to be reached by spiritual energy. Moreover, we have divine power acting according to its own effi

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cacy, for the life of God in us, and for godliness. Now in connection with these two things-namely, with glory and with the energy of life, very great and precious promises are given to us; for all the promises in short are developed either in the glory or in the life which leads to it. By means of these promises we are made morally partakers of the divine nature. Precious truth! Privilege so exalted, and which renders us capable of enjoying God Himself as well as all good."*

Such is the call of divine grace; and here, all is strictly individual. Each believer is called to walk according to this new standard, the glory of God, and this new energy, moral courage. The effect of sin is to rob God of His glory, as it is written, “ All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” But the effect of the call of grace by the gospel of Christ, who glorified God on the earth, is to place the believer in the unclouded beams of the divine glory, in all the moral fulness of Christ Himself, and there to find his home and rest for ever. What a prospect! What a future ! And for such feeble failing ones as we now are! Need we wonder at the apostle saying, in view of this, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord ?” 2 Corinthians v. 8.

But blessed beyond expression as all this is, it is not enough practically for the believer. Jude says, “Build,” build an edifice as it were for the service of the Lord and the glory of His name. Peter says, "add,” add to all this, to what? These exceeding great

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Synopsis, vol. v. p. 434. Introductory Lectures to the Catholic Epistles, p. 272.

and precious promises, whereby ye are partakers of the divine nature, with all its privileges and blessings. " And besides this," as he says, “ giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue.” This is the most important addition and gives reality to all the rest. Without this difficulties are not overcome, and communion with God is interrupted. “And to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter i. 3-8.

" TO DIE IS GAIN."

“CHRIST shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour : yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ which is far better.” Philippians i. 20-23.

There is one word in the above quoted beautiful testimony of the apostle, which the Lord gave for comfort and sustainment of heart in a time of sore bereavement. A time when the deepest, and truest human sympathy seemed perfectly powerless, attempting as it appeared to do, to fill the blank in, and comfort the heart which lay so sorely crushed, by the severance from one round whom its deepest and tenderest affections were so strongly entwined.

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• The heart knoweth its own bitterness, and a stranger intermeddleth not with it,"' in such a season of sorrow. But "he who made the ear shall be not hear? He who formed the eye, shall he not see?” And we may surely add, He who framed the heart shall He not know, and be able to fathom its deepest and most hidden recesses, so far beyond the reach of human sympathy and love ? Assuredly He can; and it is His joy to come in at such a time, and by His Spirit, minister that which exactly meets the unutterable longings, as well as soothes the wild bitter agony of the broken heart.

Thus the first gleam of light which broke into the thick darkness of those first days of agony, was conveyed by those four little words, " To die is gain." And, day by day, the Lord brought the thought of his “gain" home with such increased power and certainty to the soul, that it enabled one, not merely to bow to His will, but to thank Him for taking one (who was far dearer than life) to the joy, and rest, and unspeakable blessed. ness of His presence. Away from all sorrow and possible loss here, to the certainty of eternal“gain" above !

It is with the earnest desire in this world of bereaved homes and breaking hearts-to be “able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God,” that we desire to meditate upon this one little word “

GAIN," and have our hearts occupied with the present and eternal blessing of those dear to us, who have gone to be " with Christ."

True it is—"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things

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which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God;" and it is our sweet privilege and consolation to let in, so far as they are revealed to us, the joys and blessedness of “the home over there.” So that already its calm fair light may be filling our souls, and leading us to find all our repose in His presence, where those we love are, though "absent from the body,” present—at home-with Him there! Human reason and imagination must utterly fail to picture their perfect happiness. But faith gazing up into an opened heaven, can see the Welcomer and Receiver of all His people—as of Stephen—and rest in the assurance that “ in his presence is fulness of joy," so that the ready words rise to our lips

“Great gain is thine, beloved one, exchanging

Thy sorrow's hour, for everlasting joy ;
And we, in thought, o'er all thy gladness ranging,

Find praise to God, our seemliest employ."

We little know the trials they have been removed from; nor, how truly, “the righteous have been taken away from the evil which would have sorely crushed their sensitive hearts. What storms they have been sheltered from! What sorrows spared ! Time only reveals these things to us; but faith shews us, now and at once their perfect and present blessing, in the presence of the Lord !

Let us look back for a moment at the past. Was not every thought and desire of our hearts linked with their joy? Were we not made glad by their pleasure,

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