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whole nature magnetised with the nature of God. With our whole nature thus infused, fired, animated, and magnetised with the very impulses and inspirations of God's nature, we are under their protection. We are lifted into a higher sphere of life. The man of cultivated taste and mind can never be allured or imposed upon by the coarse, rude, sensual enjoyments and pleasures of the country clown. He is protected, and under the shadow of the higher and superior tastes, sensibilities, and influences of education. So with the man that dwells in the secret place of God's communion; he is under the protection and shadow of God's presence and friendship, fortified and guarded with the very nature of God.
Thirdly : We have indicated what it is to dwell in the secret place of God's love. In that position we get our best, strongest, and supreme affections impregnated and energised with the love of God. We live under its shadow and protection. By its high and holy and potent influence we are preserved from the love of low, base, temporal, inferior things. God holds our heart, and like a garrison fortified with soldiers, so it is protected and defended because filled with the love of God. The love of God is a force superior far, mightier far, than any the world can ever command or muster. Against the heart protected and defended by the love of God, therefore, the love of the world can make no advance.
Fourthly: We have indicated what it is to dwell in the secret place of God's purpose. In that position our energies, our sympathies, our interests, our intentions, and our pursuits are all enlisted and engaged in co-operating with Gud in bringing about the desire of his heart and the great pleasure of his will. In our labours and toils, our efforts and struggles to destroy sin and to establish holiness, whether it be in our own hearts, in the lives and conduct of our children, or in the spirit and practice of the world, we are under the protection and shadow of the most High, because we are identified with God's purpose. The same protection, there
fore, which God extends over it He must extend over us. To assail us is to assail that which has the mighty energies of God engaged and employed for its protection and defence.
We see, then, that the security and protection of him that dwells in the secret place of the most High is no arbitrary, contingent, uncertain sort of thing. It has all the certainty of fixed, positive, unfailing law. Let this, then, be our aim, our prayer, our one desire, to get into the secret of God—the secret of God's word-God's friendship-God's love and God's purpose, so as to get our minds filled with God's thoughts—our spirits animated with God's disposition, our hearts possessed with God's affections, and our souls filled with God's aims and God's purposes, and nothing can harm us. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, which we shall then have. Our minds will be "kept in perfect peace, because stayed on God." The Lord will be the strength of our life. Poplar.
SUBJECT : The Supernatural Unfolding, and Man under
Delusion. “And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear."--Matt. xiv. 26.
Analysis of Homily the Seben Handred and forty-Eighth. I. THE ALLEGEI) MIRACLE.
First: Look at its reality. And perhaps we shall best see this by considering what can be said against it. (1.) Some would have us believe that the whole thing is a conscious and deliberate fabrication. But, First—There is no conceivable motive to induce such an invention. The disciples knew that to magnify Jesus was to rouse against themselves either scorn or vengeance. Secondly—The character of the men is against the imputation. Whatever they were during the lifetime of Jesus, after the resurrection there was not one
of them that betrayed a spirit so mean and base as the supposition involves. Thirdly-There are none of the marks of fabrication in the narrative. You cannot help feeling that the man believed what he wrote, whether others believe it or not. (2.) Some would have us believe that the incident grew out of the disposition of the disciples to see their Lord a wonder-worker. But just the reverse was the case. On this occasion they never thought of Jesus coming to them, and when He did come they thought it was a spirit. If it is said that they were afterwards changed, let me ask, what can so well account for the change as the reality of the miracles? (3.) Some would have us believe that we owe the miraculous part of the incident to the time that elapsed before the circumstance was recorded. But if anything in their lives was likely to be well remembered by the disciples, and accurately related, was it not that night on the sea when every moment they expected would be their last? There is internal evidence that there was no confusion in the writer's mind. He sees the scene distinctly, and all the detail of it. Secondly: Look at its greatness. You cannot allow the miracle without the confession that Jesus was more than
II. THE SUPPOSED APPARITION.
First : An acknowledgment of the existence of a spiritworld is here made, and the belief of the race in it is suggested.
(1.) All the faiths of the world suggest it. Of all the religions of the past and the present, there is not one that does not assume a spirit-world.
(2.) The greatest poets of the nations suggest it. Read Homer, Virgil, Dante, Goethe, Shakespeare, &c., and a spiritworld is hovering around you at once. Even some of the greatest sceptics have been unable to write poetry without bringing spirits upon the scene.
(3.) The superstitions of peoples suggest it. See how the consciousness of a spirit-world came out in the Hebrew. So
rank was the practice of raising the dead, &c., that a law was passed to put it down. Both Greece and Rome were overrun with sorcerers, and the people accepted them, just, because they accepted a spirit-world. Travellers and missionaries have stories to tell of the superstitions of the people in relation to spirits in all parts of the earth. Not long ago, in the most enlightened nations in this world, people laid their hands upon a table and forthwith believed that spirits were hovering around them, and waiting to tell them both the age that their grandmother attained and the hour of her decease, and suchlike wonders. More recently, people went in their carriages and paid their guineas to hear spirits play the banjo, &c. But does all that outrage reason more than the philosophy that smiles at the belief in the existence of a spirit-world?
(4.) Personal experiences suggest it. You can all imagine yourselves in circumstances where you could not help feeling the presence of a spirit-world. You are a greater coward than you think. It is easy to laugh at ghost stories, &c., at the fireside. Suppose yourself alone at midnight in an old castle, in the depth of a gloomy forest, as you hearkened to the strange unearthly noises and explored the gloomy vaults from which they came, and thought of the ghastly work that had been wrought in the dungeons, &c., you would be more than flesh and blood if you did not assume the existence of a spirit-world.
Secondly: We are bere reminded that there is usually fear in the supposed presence of spirits. The disciples
were troubled.” But why should there be fear ? (1.) It will not do to say that it is because a disembodied spirit is a mystery; for mystery is oft attractive. (2.) It will not do to say that fellowship with the spirit-world is unnatural. Nothing ought surely to be more natural. (3.) It will not do to say that the fear arises altogether from a misconception of the relation we sustain to the spirit-world. That accounts for it in part only. True, it is a misconception about an eclipse of the sun, a comet, &c., that fills men with terror
on first beholding. But why, under such circumstances, do men fancy that wrath is meant towards them ? Just because there is a sense of guilt ; and that explains fear in connection with the spirit-world.
III. THE UNRECOGNISED SAVIOUR.
It was Jesus whom they took to be a spirit. How often we make the same mistake!
First: What is chastisement ? We take it for the spirit of retribution, &c. And how distressful is the thought ! Brethren, it is Jesus coming on the wild waves to save us from an awful danger. For “whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth," &c.
Secondly : What is Death? We think sometimes that it is a hard relentless spirit that comes to tear us from all we love ; sometimes that it is a spirit of destruction that comes to annihilate. How awful are such thoughts? Brethren, it is Jesus coming to save us from sin and sorrow, &c. What means this, “ Watch and pray, for in such an hour,” &c.; and this, “I will come again, and receive you,” &c. ; and this, “Behold, I have the keys of Hades and Death,” &c. Preston.
H. J. MARTYN.
Thinkings by a Broad-Bibleman,
SUBJECT : Bible Nurses.
than from the blows of its enemies ; but, most of all, has it suffered from the timid or injudicious and overweening kindness of its friends. The Bible is well able to go without crutches, and yet how many simple Christians are never satisfied unless they can prop it up without reference to the soundness of their facts or the reasonableness and con