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that is the birth moment. The word is the seed of divine life, deposited in the soul by the Holy Ghost. Thus we are born again. We are renewed in the very deepest springs of our moral being. We are introduced into the blessed relationship of sons, as we read in Galatians iv. " When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son”-marvellous grace !“ made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons,

God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."

Here, then, we have the true ground of obedience clearly and fully set before us. It is eternal life possessed, and eternal relationship enjoyed. There can be no legality here. We are no more servants on legal ground, but sons, on the blessed and elevated ground of divine love.

But we must remember that we are called to obe. dience. Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” is the very first breathing of a new-born soul. the question which emanated from the broken and penitent heart of Saul of Tarsus, when smitten to the ground by the manifested glory of the Son of God. Up to that moment, he had lived in rebellion against that blessed One; but now he was called to yield himself, body, soul, and spirit, to a life of unqualified obedience. Was there aught of the legal element in this ? Not a trace, from beginning to end. " The love of Christ,” he says, “constraineth us; because we thus

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judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead. And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” 2 Corinthians v.

Here, beloved christian reader, lies the grand motivespring of all christian obedience. Life is the ground; love the spring. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” And again, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” How precious! Who can adequately set forth the blessedness of this manifestation of Christ to the obedient heart ? Should we not earnestly long to know more of it? Can we expect it if we are living in the habitual neglect of His holy commandments? It is he that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me." Have we His conimandments? And are we keeping them ? How utterly worthless is mere lip profession! It is like the son in the parable, who said, “Igo, sir, and went not.” It is empty, hollow, contemptible mockery. What father would care for loud profession of affection on the part of a son who cared not to carry out his wishes ? Could such a son expect to enjoy much of his father's company or confidence ? Surely not; indeed it is more than questionable if he could value either the one or the other. He might be ready enough to accept all that the father's hand could bestow to meet his personal wants; but there is a very wide difference indeed between receiving gifts from a father's hand, and enjoying fellowship with that father's heart.

It is this latter we should ever seek, and it is the precious fruit of loving obedience to our Father's words. “If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings." Can aught, this side of heaven, be more precious than to have the Father and the Son coming to us, and making their mansion with us? Do we know what it means ? Do we enjoy it ? Is it common to all ? By no means! It is known only to those who know, and have, and keep the words of Jesus. He speaks of “his commandments” and “his words.” What is the difference ? The former set forth our holy duty; the latter are the expression of His holy will. If I give my child a commandment, it is his duty to obey, and if he loves me, he will delight to obey. But supposing he has heard me saying, “I like so-and-so,” and that he does that thing, without being directly commanded to do it, he gives me a much more touching proof of his love, and of his affectionate in. terest in all my wishes; and this, we may rest assured, is most grateful to a loving father's heart, and he will respond to this loving obedience by making the obedient child his companion, and the depositary of his thoughts.

But there is more than this. In John xv. we read, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you.”—Amazing truth !—“Continue (or abide] ye in my love." How is this to be

done?" If ye keep my commandments, ye shall continue (or abide] in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love."

Here we learn the wondrous truth that we are called to the very same kind of obedience as that which our adorable Lord and Saviour rendered to the Father, when He walked as a man on this earth. We are brought into full fellowship with Himself, both in the love wherewith we are loved, and the obedience which we are privileged to render. This is most blessedly confirmed by the Spirit in the First Epistle of Peter, where Christians are spoken of as “ Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” Chapter i. 2.

Let the reader carefully note this. We are elected of the Father, and sanctified by the Spirit to obey as Jesus obeyed. Such is the plain teaching of the passage. That blessed One found His meat and drink in doing the Father's will. His only motive for acting was the Father's will. “I delight to do thy will, 0 my God.” There was no opposing element in Him, as there is, alas ! in us. But, blessed be His name! He has linked us with Himself, and called us into blessed fellowship, both in the Father's love to Him, and in His obedience to the Father.

Marvellous privilege! Would that we appreciated it more! Oh, that we rendered a more loving obedience to all His precious commandments and sayings, that so He might manifest Himself to us, and make His abode

Blessed Lord, do make us more obedient in all things!

with us.

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REFLECTIONS ON THE EPISTLE OF JUDE.

We now return to the doxology in our epistle. The apostle, as we have seen, is not occupied in this epistle with the great outlines of truth, or with the work and efficacy of redemption, as Paul in the Epistle to the Romans; or with the nature and unity of the church of God, as in Ephesians. Nevertheless, he finds that in his communications which fills his heart with the most sweet and comely praise. It is really the mani. festation of what God is Himself, and in His marvellous and gracious dealings with man, that fills the Christian's heart with wonder and adoration. The Christian is expected to sing praises with the heart and with the understanding, and that continually. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks. unto his name." Hebrews xiii. 15.

Having traced, in the most energetic style, the crafty devices of the enemy, the corruption of the church, the apostasy and judgment of false professors; and having also pointed out the narrow path for the faithful, and the plain duty of every individual believer, our apostle now turns to God, in whom all his confidence is placed, and his heart rises in gratitude and praise as he contemplates His faithful love and tender care.

" Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy; to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.

Amen." While it is quite true that the people of God in all

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