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But inquirest thou, dear reader, who may thus commune with God in the sanctuary, the place of His holiness, as well as of His love? It is surely the privileged place of all who are in Christ as risen and glorified—the children's place—the home of every believer. But art thou well assured of thy place and portion in Christ, through faith in Him? Then know thy Father's love, who gave thee to Christ before the foundation of the world, that He might fit thee for the most holy place, even as He Himself is fit to be there. As the apostle plainly says, “ According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." (Eph. i. 4.) Christ, as the glorified Man, is the only standard of the sa lary. To be at home there in happy liberty, we must be as He is. But the verse just quoted would be enough for faith, were our hearts in simple subjection to the word of God. Here we learn His purposes of love concerning us, long before the world was made, and before sin or redemption are referred to; so that we may fall back and rest, not only on the cross, but on the heart in which we had a place before time was.

When in the light and power of this truth, through the presence of the Holy Ghost, we are at home in the sanctuary. We may fail for the moment, under a sudden overwhelming sorrow,

to realise that this is the way of love, but it cannot be anything else, however

He who spared nothing, not even His wellbeloved Son, that we might be reconciled to Him, and morally fitted for the presence of His holiness, is only accomplishing the purposes of His love. When we have well examined and weighed verses 3, 4, 5, and 6 of Ephesians i., and received the precious truths they contain as the words of the living God, the heart will be at rest for ever as to His thoughts, purposes, and faithful love. No calamity, however great; no affliction, however severe; no bereavement, however desolating, can alter these eternal realities. God's love, perfect and absolute, having its spring in His own heart, remains unchanged; the efficacy of redemption is unchangeable as the love which is its source; the glory of the exalted Saviour at God's right hand is surely established for ever, and we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Him; and is not the Holy Ghost in us the seal of all these blessings ?

severe.

And let us also bear in mind that these four verses are revealed as the thoughts of God about His children, before either sin, redemption, or the church is spoken of, so that their full accomplishment rests on no condition but the good pleasure of His own will, and the praise of the glory of His grace.

But ought we not, some may inquire, to judge ourselves when laid aside, or when the Lord is evidently chastening us, and inquire whether we may not have displeased Him with some of our past ways ? Selfjudgment is always right, and ought to be a daily thing with us, whether in health or in sickness ; indeed, without this, we must be practically unacquainted with the ways of the sanctuary. “If I wash thee not,” said the Lord to Peter, “ thou hast no part with me.” Communion would be interrupted. Daily defilements need the daily use of the water of purification. But such

ercise of soul ought not to weaken the believer's hold of the purposes of God. These were formed long before he failed, and can never be changed. Our sins and shortcomings were all judged in the cross of the blessed Lord, so that in place of these things, hateful as we may see ourselves because of them, filling us with doubts and fears as to our welcome in the sanctuary, they ought to deepen our faith, and increase our love to Him. These are the very things, faith says, even my unworthy thoughts and feelings, for which my Saviour died. But mark the effect of so looking at our shortcomings: we love Him more; the heart cannot refrain from exclaiming, Oh, what love to me! that He should have borne the judgment of God for my sins, and my every failure, in His own body on the tree; oh, how can I praise Him more! His precious blood cleanseth me from all sin, so that I can walk in the light even as God is in the light.

But as to inquiring or asking the reason why we are thus afflicted, the soul, in such a case, would be off the ground of faith. God gives no account of His ways. He reveals Himself in the sanctuary, but His ways are in the sea, His path in the great waters, and His footsteps are not known. But we must never lose hold of this grand truth-if we would be perfectly happy under trial—that, though God's ways are in the sea-meaning untraceablethey are never inconsistent with His perfect love as revealed in the sanctuary. The same love that gave me to Christ, faith would say, has plunged me in the deep waters, not that I may be overwhelmed, but that I may learn one of the highest expressions of His love, even that I may be a partaker of His holiness

be a

not merely that I may be holier, but that I may
partaker of His own holiness.;

The widowed heart, alone and desolate, feeble in body and oppressed in mind, may hear a whisper-Is this love ? But what is to be the reply? If in the sanctuary, there is but one-a firm and decided Yes ! —Yes! the feeble one replies, this is love-God's perfect love, that seeks, not the gratification, but the good, of its object. Thus the shield of faith is raised, and the fiery dart falls powerless to the ground. But supposing for a moment that the wicked suggestion were entertained, and the bereaved one were to begin and reason why God should thus afflict her; and begin to speculate as to what she had done, what she had neglected, and how she had not valued and improved her privileges; we venture not to say what the misery of that soul would be. The shield of faith is lowered, for the moment, and the whole soul is exposed to the fiery darts of the wicked.

But should we, some may still inquire, under every trial, even such as we may have brought on ourselves, take refuge in the perfect love of God ? Most assuredly! Flee at once to the sanctuary! Say of yourself what you please, but say of God that He changeth not—His lovo is the same. I have brought this on myself, I richly deserve it, you may say; but never forget that His love rules; and dishonour Him not by unbelief. Wave after wave may come; and when you have felt your feet touching the shore, and thought you were near to land, another wave has come and rolled you back into deeper and rougher waters than you had ever known before; still you can say, though well nigh over

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whelmed, It is the way of His love, the moral fitting of the soul for the “ far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” of which it will be the happy sharer for ever and for ever. And when you know that God is dealing with you in perfect love, and for the perfecting of your instruction—whatever the trial may be--you will rest in Him, and be happy, though suffering.

“ He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous” is surely a word of the deepest consolation to the bereaved or suffering one. Oh, child of affliction, think of that

. eye, benignant, sleepless, watching over thee! Restless, weary, suffering thou mayest be, but He cannot take His eye off thee. Thou art the object of His complacent delight, even as Christ is; and when thy day of suffering is past, thou wilt find more material for praise than days of health could have given. And even now we are brought into greater nearness to Him. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, and the written word, a medium of communion is opened between the soul and the sanctuary which seems to have annihilated distance. These are the realities of faith, through the presence of an ungrieved Holy Spirit.

The ear is now prepared to listen to Christ, not to the tempter, for it knows His voice. The Spirit only reveals Christ, as our Lord Himself says, “ At that day [the Spirit's day]ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” What nearness !—I in my Father, ye in me, I in you! And this we are given to know, not merely to believe, but to have a present conscious enjoyment of the blessed reality. Drawn aside, separated from the outer world, in a very real way, by suffering, what lessons to be learnt of His

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