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1766.) STEADFASTNESS IN THE FAITH. love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.' How does it happen then that so many love the world, and yet remain perfectly at ease with respect to the state of their souls ? I can attribute this to nothing but to the fatal blindness and desperate deceitfulness of the heart, and to the temptations of Satan, the father of lies. This arch deceiver is ever persuading us to think, and to live, and to act in direct opposition to the sacred oracles of truth, in some point or other ; well aware that as long as we are the willing servants of any known sin, so long are we his ; as the Apostle emphatically expresses it, “ Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey ?? It is because the god of this world hath blinded their eyes, that worldly people are so contented and satisfied with themselves ; and hence it is that the religion of the heart is so much despised amongst us, and that engaging in the round of ceremonies and formal services passes for the whole ligion. The Gospel, however, is the power of God unto salvation ; and when its influence is truly felt, it purifies the heart, sets it upon God, and is as inconsistent with the love of this vain world, as light is with darkness. This accounts at once for all the opposition which has been raised against it. The Lord says, 'Son, give me thine heart;' and when the heart, deeply affected with the love of the Redeemer, yields itself up to God, Satan has no more place there : this he well knows, and therefore stirs up the enmity of the world to use its utmost efforts to shake the pillars of the kingdom of God within the soul. This is evidently the cause why inward vital religion is so much rejected and despised, and why that dull, stupid, inefficacious lip-labour, in which worldly people are so fond of trusting, passes current amongst uls.
O that God may open the eyes
of all who are thus deluded, and show them that nothing but the love of God in the heart can avail before him, and that every thing else is false and counterfeit ! O
may God then, my very dear friend, by his Spirit shed abroad his love in our hearts, and cause us to live more and more under its holy and heavenly influence ! Happy they who, like Mary, have chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from them! They have abundant cause to rejoice before God on account of what he hath done for their souls, in as much as he has enabled them to know the things which belong unto their everlasting peace, and to prefer the service of Jesus to all that the world can present. Doubtless the world condemns their choice, and has been telling them that they are sadly lost to their friends and acquaintances, and, with an affected sort of pity, would fain again entangle them in its snares. But they are happy, let the world form what opinion of them it may, for the Spirit of God and of glory resteth on them; and whatever they may meet with from the contempt of an unbelieving world, they shall rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is their reward in heaven. • Remember,' saith our blessed Lord, the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Lord; if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.' These words of our Lord are sufficient consolation to every believer. Under their influence let us, my dear friend, learn daily that glorious lesson, to count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord ;' and think it our highest honour, that as we can do so little for Christ, we should be called in some way or other to suffer for him, till he
43 gives us our discharge, and takes us to share in the triumphs of that victorious faith which overcometh the world. May this be our happy lot ! I rejoice you had resolution and fortitude to resist all places of public amusement at Bath, and that you were enabled to see the vast danger you were in of being again entangled by the world, whose delights you now happily find to be so truly empty, and so greatly disproportionate to the moral capacities of the soul, that they are no more capable of yielding any solid contentment to an immortal mind, than the glow-worm glistening in the hedge is capable of giving light to the universe. Let us remember, that whatever we make our chief delight, to the neglect of Christ and his salvation, as it is vanity in the fruition, so it shall surely be very bitterness in the end. But if the blessed Jesus say to us, · Be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven you—if he add that precious promise, * I will never leave you nor forsake you'—if he in the hour of death receive our departing souls into his tender and compassionate bosom—if in the day of judgment he bid us enter into the joy of our Lord-if this be our portion, we cannot but be truly happy. Let me warn you not to give way to unbelieving doubts and fears, which are highly dishonourable to God, and most destructive to your own peace
and comfort. God's Spirit has been striving much of late with you, and will, I am persuaded, not suffer you to rest short of a true conversion. Do trust him, he will certainly perfect the work he has begun. I do from the very bottom of my heart bless the Lord, who is dealing so kindly with you. Every one of your spiritual complaints is, in my mind, matter of rejoicing on your behalf, and your case is the common one of all God's children. What if your duties are imperfect, your graces at times weak, and your comforts fail; is not
Christ still the same? Is he not able and willing to pardon the imperfections of your duties, and to strengthen your graces, and to cause your consolations to abound ? He is showing you that you must live wholly upon him. This is one of the most important lessons he has to teach you; and whatever brings it to your experience is a great and valuable blessing. What can make Christ so precious as seeing our continual need of him? What can endear him so much to our hearts as a full persuasion that we cannot do any one thing without him ? My dear friend, you seem not to have perfectly learned this lesson. Let not
Let not your faith be discouraged by a sense of fresh wants, but live closer and nearer to the Lord Jesus. Look
him as a full Saviour, and rest satisfied that he can save to the uttermost. Here you may build upon a foundation which cannot possibly fail you. Strive to make use of this blessed Immanuel upon all occasions ; by faith and prayer carry your wants, your sins, your infirmities to him, that he may deliver you from them all. May the Lord teach and enable you to do this by his word and Spirit! The justified person shall live by faith ; and, says the Apostle, the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God. May you, my dearest friend, know this truth in
your mind, love it in your heart, and enjoy it in your experience every moment of your life, and then all the present evils of which you complain shall work together for your good.”
MISS HILL'S FURTHER ADVICE.
Lady Glenorchy continues to suffer inuch from various causes -Miss Hill,
in two letters, endeavours to comfort her-Death of Lord and Lady Sutherland–Miss Hill writes Lady Glenorchy on the occasionLady Glenorchy, from bad health, leaves home_Miss Hill, in one letter, laments her indisposition-And in another, discovers much fidelity and affection to Lady Glenorchy-Details her own experience -Lady Glenorchy is exposed to reproach-Miss Hill gives her advice and opinion on the subject.
LORD BREADALBANE, although he did not enter into the ideas of Lady Glenorchy in matters of religion, highly respected her integrity and talents ; and entertained for her the greatest esteem and affection to his latest hour, which extended to no great distance from her own. Lady Glenorchy, however, suffered much from other causes, and wrote to her friend Miss Hill on the subject, who immediately directed her, in the two following letters, to the best of all consolationsthose which are drawn from religion.
“ January, 1766. “You say you have troubles of various kinds. Of whatever nature they may be, I most sincerely sympathize with you ; but you may be persuaded that you have not one which you could do well without. Even in the midst of the greatest tribulations, while they are besetting us, and falling heavy upon us on every side, true Christians can triumph, having peace
with God, and rejoicing in hope of his glory. They who