"For which of you intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost?"Luke xiv. 28.
Ponder, my soul, over this very striking similitude of thy Lord's, respecting the divine life. The figure of a builder is most aptly chosen; for the christian builder is building for eternity. And the figure of a warrior, which our Lord also joins to it, is no less so, for the battle is for life, and that life is eternal. Hast thou counted the cost? Hast thou entered upon the work? Is the foundation-stone, which God hath laid in Zion, the rock on which thou art building? Pause and examine. Be the cost what it may; the loss of earthly friends; the parting with every worldly pursuit; the scorn, contempt, and derision of all mankind; yea, the loss of life itself: if these come in the way of competition, art thou ready to give them all up?When thou hast answered these inquiries, go on, and see that thy foundation be really fixed on Christ. If so, it must have been previously sought for, by digging deep into the natural state in which thou wast born. Jesus must have been first discovered, as most essentially necessary, and most essentially precious, before the spiritual building of the soul was made to rest upon him. And, when found, unless the whole of the building rest entirely upon him, it will, as a column out of its centre, still totter. Oh! it is blessed to make Christ the all in all of the spiritual temple; blessed to make him the first in point of order; blessed to make him the first in point of strength, to support and bear the weight of the whole building; blessed to make him the grand cement, to unite and keep together, in one harmonious proportion and regularity, every part of the building; and blessed to bring forth the top-stone of the building, by his strength and glory, crying," Grace, grace unto it." Precious Jesus! may it be found that I have so sat down, counted the cost, and formed my whole plan, in thy strength, and to thy praise; that whatever oppositions, like the Tobiahs and Sanballats of old, I may meet with in the work, I may feel the sweetness and encouragement of that blessed scripture, and exult with the prophet: "Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain!" Zech. iv. 7.From the POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.
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