Gambar halaman

tient continuance and long suffering, and fervent prayer for God's assistance. . When you see another tempted, deal with him gently, support him with compassion, and administer comfort and spiritual consolation.

Let us not despair on account of the sharpness of our own temptations, for to some life is a continual conflict, others have few and gentle trials. All must be right, for they are from God, who knows us intimately, and will render them all subservient to the happiness of his chosen servants. Take refuge in God. Esteem no trials trivial and small, for many saints stumble at small things, who come off victorious in great troubles.

Let all temptations lead us to pray more fervently, and the greater the conflict the greater the crown; for God will never forsake his own, nor let us be tempted beyond what we are able to bear.



« Thy kingdom come.”

These few words express or imply all that boundless benevolence can desire; and were it possible to personify benevolence, these are the words which she should be represented as uttering.

The kingdom, for the advancement of which we are here taught to pray, is that spiritual kingdom which Christ came to establish. It is styled the kingdom of God, and the kingdom of heaven, in allusion to a prediction of the prophet Daniel. In the days of these kings, says he, the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these, and it shall stand forever.

The nature and design of this kingdom, as well as its future extent, are largely and particularly described by the inspired writers. Our Saviour has informed us that it is not an external kingdom. The kingdom of God, says he, cometh not with observation; neither shall they say, lo here! or lo there! for behold the kingdom of God is within you. He has also assured us, that his kingdom is not of this world; and we also learn from one of his apostles, that it consists in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

It is, therefore, a spiritual kingdom ; its throne is erected in the souls of men; its laws are the benevolent precepts and doctrines of the Gospel; and its subjects those on whose hearts these laws are indelibly inscribed by the finger of God. When, therefore, we pray that this kingdom may come, we pray for the universal prevalence of Chritianity, and for the removal or renovation of everything which tends to retard or limit its progress. We pray that the Gospel of Christ may be known and believed, its precepts understood and obeyed throughout the world ; that his religion may soon become the only religion of man; and that its effects, righteousness, peace, and joy, may universally prevail.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

It is the value of virtuous and religious principles, in enabling us to derive the full enjoyment and advantage from those relations and affections, by which a wise Providence has connected us together. Dearly as friends and kindred may already love one another, and valuable as may appear to them their present interchange of kind offices, it is only by remembering their common interests and duties as citizens of a heavenly country. It is only by making virtue and religion the common bonds of union, that they will secure its stability and perfect its joy. “The house of the righteous shall stand.” It is our religion which infuses the vigor of immortality into our affections. It is religion which secures a peaceful home on earth, and while it prepares us for heaven, gives us, in the temper and comfort of our mutual intercourse, a foretaste of heavenly enjoyments.

Let all those who would have their friends, their relations, their children, love them with that affection which will not pass away, make their house the house of the righteous. Let them in their coinpany, in their conversation, in their conduct, behold, admire, and enjoy the presence and the influence of virtue and religion.

Are we, then, truly anxious for the best interests of our household ? for the true honor and lasting welfare of our families ? Let us see to it that our instructions and counsels to them are such as will naturally proceed from their anxiety; that we ourselves be clearly seen to value and love those principles which we would have them cherish; show ourselves really walking in the way which we pronounce best, and desirous by every means of persuasion and affectionate allurement, to gather all whom we love into a company of fellow travellers to heaven.

Together let us seek that balm which flows for every wound of the dejected heart. Together let us implore from the Giver of all good the spirit of heavenly wisdoin, the spirit of virtuous fortitude and religious

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »