I have often considered, and as often found pleasure in the consideration of the very honourable testimony which the Holy Ghost hath given to the faith of the patriarchs, both in the old and new testaments. What wonders were wrought by faith! "They walked with God! They endured (saith the sacred writer) as seeing him who is invisible." They communed with God, and were as conscious of his spiritual presence, and spiritual society, as we are of sensible objects. Hence, by these acts of frequent communion, their souls found a growing likeness. The more they loved God, the more their minds were led by grace into an increasing confortnity to what they loved. This assimilation is a natural consequence, even among natural things. He that walketh with wise men will be wise. We naturary imbibe the manners, the sentiments, yea, the very habits of those with whom we like to associate. How much more must a frequent intercourse and communion with the Lord, and under his spiritual teaching, induce a conformity to the most fair, most lovely, and most beloved object of the soul! "Beholding (saith the apostle) as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." Are these things so? Then it is explained to thee, my soul, wherefore it is that thou goest so lean, and art yet so poor in the divine life. Thou dost not, as Enoch did, keep up a continual communion with Jesus. Pause this evening, over the subject, and see if this be not the case. All the days of thine unregeneracy, before thou wert first brought acquainted with God in Christ, were spent in a total ignorance of God. There was then no communion with him; yea, not even the desire of communion. But when God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, shined into thine heart, then was first given to thee the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ. Recollect then, what were thy feelings when the day-spring from on high first visited thee. Didst thou not flee to Jesus, as the man-slayer hastening for his life to the city of refuge? Oh! how feelingly wert thou made to value the very name of a saviour! How earnestly didst thou seek him above thy necessary food! And if thou hast since intermitted those visits to Jesus, and lost a sense of thy daily want of him; can it be a subject of wonder that this leanness of soul is induced in thee. Will not a distance from, and a shyness of Jesus produce a poverty in spiritual things, as much as the want of food to the body will bring on a leanness and a decline in corporeal things? Learn then, this evening, an unanswerable reply to all thy complaints, and the complaints of the church at large. Wherefore is it that believers live so much below their privileges, but because they live so much below the enjoyment of sweet communion with Jesus? If worldly concerns swallow up our time, as the earth did Korah and his company; if we are satisfied with a mere form of prayer in our morning and evening retirement, and in our family worship before God, while destitute of the power of godliness; if we are still but little acquainted with the Lord, and seldom go to court, to behold the King in his beauty, and to be favoured with his smiles; it is no longer a matter of surprize, that from keeping so poor an house, we are so poor in enjoyment. Oh! for grace to walk with God, as Enoch walked! Make me, thou dear Lord, jealous above all things of my own heart. Let every morning, with the first dawn of day, call me up to holy communion with thee. And let every night toll the bell of reflection, to examine what visits I have had from thee, and what visits I have made to thee; and let nothing satisfy my soul but the continual walk of faith with thee; that from an increasing knowledge of thee, increasing communion with thee, and increasing confidence in thee, my soul may be growing up into such lively actings of grace upon thy person, blood, and righteousness, that a daily walk of communion with my Lord, may be gradually preparing my soul for the everlasting enjoyment of him; and when death comes, though it make a change of place, yet will it make no change of company; but "awaking up after thy likeness, I shall be fully satisfied with it."From the POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.
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