"But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who, by reason of use, have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."Heb. v. 14.
My soul! of what age art thou in the divine life? It is high time to inquire: high time to know. And the information is not far to attain, if thou dost wish it. A state of full age not only can receive, and relish the strong meat of the gospel, but really desires it, longs for it, and can be satisfied with nothing else. And what is the strong meat of the gospel? Surely the person, the work, the glory, the grace, the love, the every thing that is in Jesus, which belongs to Jesus, and flows from Jesus. And depend upon it, that if thy spiritual senses are so frequently exercised upon Jesus, as to relish this food, to delight in it, yea, to loath all else, there will be a sweet savour of Jesus in thy whole life and conversation. And in the exact proportion that thou takest a fulness of this spiritual food, so may thine age be estimated. All we hear, all we see, all we read of, or meet with, of Jesus, will be food to the soul. Jesus is as the sweet flower of the field: and faith, like the bee, gathers from it, and brings home, both the golden honey and the wax to the hive, and lives upon it: so that then Christ is in the heart, dwells in the heart, as the apostle terms it, by faith, and is "formed in the heart the hope of glory." Now, where there is no fulness of age, yea, no age at all, not a babe in Christ, nor even born again, the strong meat of the gospel can neither be received, taken in, nor enjoyed. An unawakened heart is not only incapable of strong meat, but is disgusted at it. Persons of this kind may hear of Jesus, and apparently, for the time seem pleased. For as all men, when they die, would desire to go to heaven, so a discourse about it, may amuse, as a subject at a distance. But there is nothing within them, with which the subject can incorporate: no digestive powers to receive such strong meat; and consequently no relish. A shower of rain in a dry season may wet the surface, but if it soak not to the root, the plants find no good. My soul! what saith thine experience to these things? Hath the Lord so manifested himself to thee in all his glory, that nothing short of Jesus can satisfy thee? Hast thou found a transforming power accompanying this view of Jesus, so that, by faith, his glory hath excited thy desires to partake of him? And do the daily hopes which arise from such thoughts and views of thy Lord, so give rest, comfort, and joy to thee, that these refreshments are like "the spiced wine of the pomegranate?" Blessed Redeemer! may I be able to ascertain the real ripeness of my age by testimonies like these; and sure I am, in this view and enjoyment of Jesus, I shall find cause to give thanks, yea, unceasing thanks, to "God and the Father, who thus maketh us meet to be partakers of the inheritance with the saints in light."From THE POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.