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become children or members of the family to freely into his family, calls them, loves them, which we respectively belong. But we are and deals with them as “ his sons and his not by nature born into the family of God. daughters, and they shall be owned as such An inspired apostle declares that " by nature “in that day when he makes up his jewels.” ye are the children of wrath, even as others” | These constitute in every age, and in every (Eph. ii. 3). While in a state of nature, we place, that true Church which Christ purare alienated from the family of God, and as chased with his own blood ; that special and “ children of disobedience” " the children peculiar people” whom God reckons as his of the wicked one,” members of the family of own, whom he hath “ formed for himself to the prince of darkness. Humbling as this shew forth his praise;" his own “family, ” truth is, it is one which our Lord preached to in which he delights, and who shall dwell those who prided themselves on being the with him for ever. Thus, all who are thus favourites of heaven; “ Ye are of your father spiritually born of God, are spiritually united the devil, and the lusts of



to each other as brethren and members of one will do” (John viii. 44).

Nor are

we family. truly members of the family of God merely The members of this family of God echibit by the outward sacrament of baptism. It is certain characteristic features which shew them indeed a great privilege to be thus introduced to belong to one family. They resemble each into the visible church ; but we must not other. They may differ in mere circumstanthink this of itself sufficient to constitute us tials. Some may be rich, others poor ; some real children of God. Too many give awful learned, others unlearned: but in essentials proof by their unholy lives, that, though intro- they are alike. Each resembles Christ in duced into the visible family of God, they are holiness; they all love holiness, and hate sin. destitute of that “inward and spiritual grace” They exhibit alienation and separation from which makes them really and spiritually the the world. They love the brethren; they all “ children of God by faith which is in Christ love prayer and the house of God, and canJesus." It is by spiritual regeneration of not be happy in the neglect of either. They the soul, the work of the Holy Ghost, that feel the same sorrow for sin, are exercised in we become the children of God, and true the same conflict against it. They all love members of his family. This is that great Jesus, whose name they bear; depend on him change, the necessity of which our Lord alone for salvation, and live to his glory. preached to Nicodemus—“ Marvel not that They are the subjects of the same fears, aniI said unto you, ye must be born again” mated by the same hopes, and look forward (John iii. 7). Where this great moral change to the same heaven as their home and inheriis wrought in the soul of man by the Holy tance. As a further confirmation of this stateGhost, a principle of spiritual life is received; ment, we may observesuch obtain from God as a new heart and a right The members of this family as they recogspirit”—they are “ renewed” and changed nise each other, feel that they are united to “in the spirit of their minds”—“if any man each other by spiritual and indissoluble ties. be in Christ he is a new creature, (a new This explains the fact, that no sooner do the creation); old things have all passed away, people of God perceive in others the evidences and all things have become new” (2 Cor. of a work of grace in the soul, than they feel v. 17). The love and reigning power of sin a spiritual union and affection towards such ceases in such regenerate souls. Holy de- as brethren. How interesting the manifestasires and affections prevail there; and such tion of this in the case of Saul of Tarsus. live “ holily, righteously, and godly, in this When first the timid and cautious Ananias present evil world.” How important is it was commanded by the Lord to go to him, then to have evidence in our own souls, that he hesitated and feared to do so, he was igwe have experienced this great change, with- norant of the change which God had wrought out which we cannot belong to the spiritual in the heart of the persecutor. family of God, and on which turns our im- sooner does he know the fact that Saul was mortal destinies! This connects us with God converted, than he hastens to him and thus as our Father, with Christ as our Redeemer, addresses him, “ Brother Saul.” When with the Holy Ghost as our Sanctifier, with Onesimus the runaway slave was converted, all the saints on earth and the glorified above the apostle calls him “ brother beloved in as our brethren, and with heaven as our ever- the Lord.” Thus it happens, and what lasting home and inheritance. To those who Christian is not conscious of it?) that when a are thus spiritually regenerated, and who by Christian visits a place and a circle unknown faith receive, and rest on Christ, as their Re- to him before, if he happens to meet with deemer, “ God gives power to become the those who love the Saviour, though strangers sons of God” (John i. 12). God “ puts to him, perceiving in them the marks of the them among his children.” He adopts them children of God, he feels at once united in

But no

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spirit to them as God's children, enjoys with l in all the relations of life, that Christian dethem the communion of saints, joys and con- portment, which will constrain all to acknowverses with them as brethren of the same ledge you as children of God! family. Nor need we wonder at this; for the But we proceed to notice, secondly, the cirbeloved disciple says, “we know that we cumstances of that part of this blessed family have passed from death unto life, because we which is in heaven. The apostle represents love the brethren” (1 John iii. 14). And the great body of the redeemed as a family, again,“ every one that loveth God' that be- a part of which is on earth, and a part in gat, loveth him also that is begotten of him” heaven. How interesting is this view! We (v. 1). This spiritual love of the brethren, said before, that all the members of this fais that "family affection of Christianity," mily were united in spirit to each other, by that spiritual tie, which unites the people of spiritual and indissoluble ties; and does not God to each other, as members of one family; this representation justify that observation? it is a bond of affection and union superior to Does he not clearly state, that the glorified and stronger than every other, and more du- redeemed from earth now before the throne in rable; it is formed of the elements of etern- heaven, and the redeemed now on earth, ity, it survives all the accidents of time, it still constitute but one family? the conneccannot be dissolved by the stroke of death, tion between them is still unbroken. Those it will exist for ever.

in heaven are in the situation of children Happy they who belong to the family of who have reached their Father's house; those God! They are the objects of the special on earth are in the situation of children not love and care of the Triune Jehovah. All yet arrived at home, but on their


thither, their chastisements and trials in this life are Still, they who are happy and safe at home, designed for their good. The chastising rod and they who are passing through tribulation is in the hand of a father who loves them, on their way thither, are but one family. and is, as one observes, but as the pencil by What a soothing and cheering consideration which he draws his own image in the Chris- is this to those bereaved of pious friends! tian's soul. All the previous promises of Go not, like Martha and Mary, to the grave the word, and all the privileges of the gos- to weep; they are not there, but with that pel, belong to the family of God. "All part of the family of God above, holy, happy, things work together for their good.” “If and safe. You miss them from


little children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint circle; but, though they are gone out of the heirs with Christ Jesus” (Rom. viii. 17). world, they have not gone out of the family. Who can compare prospects and expectations They are at home, you are yet in the wilderwith the meanest and poorest member of this ness; the stream of death alone separates ; family? The child of God may be poor, that stream once passed, and they will weldespised, and neglected among men, as come you on the shores of immortality, and Lazarus at the rich man's gate, but he is rich you like them also shall be happy for ever, in spiritual blessings now, and rich in and with them, in your Father's house glorious hopes; “now is he' a son of God, above. and it does not appear what he shall be: but Though the attempt were vain to give an when Christ who is his life shall appear, then adequate idea of the glory and happiness of shall he appear with him in glory.” He is that part of the family of God in heaven, yet

begotten again to an inheritance incorrup- | let us endeavour, by the aid of God's holy tible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, word, to contemplate it. Those happy and reserved in heaven” (1 Pet. i. 3, 4). Are glorified spirits are now far removed from a you, my readers, members of this blessed fa- world of sin and sorrow, which was to them mily? Are such your glorious expectations? a scene of much sorrow and tribulation, and “ What manner of persons ought ye to be, in are now in that “ better country,” where the all holy conversation and godliness ?” All this curse, and sin, and sorrow, are unknown. should give to your feelings, views, and con- They are now pure, disembodied spirits; they duct, a corresponding dignity and elevation. have left behind them those frail and sinful How inconsistent with the dignity and ex- bodies, which were often felt to be a clog, a pectations of children of God to walk as others weariness, and a pollution to their souls. do, to conform to the world, and set your af- They are no longer subject to ignorance and fections on earthly things! How constantly mistake; to them all mysteries in the word should you pray and endeavour to exhibit of God, and all the mysteries of Providence that holiness and elevation of character, of and grace, are now fully and satisfactorily feeling, and pursuit, which are the true cha- revealed; they see as they are seen, and know racteristics of God's children! How anxious as they are known; not now as through should you be to exhibit in prosperity and a glass darkly, but face to face. They enjoy adversity, under all the circumstances, and the communion of saints, unimpaired by



those circumstances which hindered and Ghost, without which we cannot belong to marred it on earth; no difference of opinion, this happy family? Let us also bear in no sectional peculiarities, now operate as bar- mind that a holy “ meetness” is necessary to riers to communion. In the heavenly temple prepare us to join the glorified above; for they are happily united with many who were is without holiness no man shall see the their fellow-worshippers on earth, and with Lord,” or be admitted to the society of “ many from whom they were here separate in innumerable company of angels, and the worship; in that celestial temple they now serve spirits of the just made perfect” in the God and the Lamb, as they desired, without heavenly state. If we properly considered weariness, without imperfection, without this, it would demonstrate to us the folly of interruption. They are now beyond the the hope cherished by some, that though they reach of temptation to evilthey live in sin and vanity here, they shall be longer struggle with the corruptions of a united with the holy and blessed hereafter; sinful heart—they are no longer oppressed it would lead us to search and try our hearts with uncertainty, or doubt, or fear, as to and our ways; it would lead us to 'earnest that spiritual state—they now enjoy perfect prayer to God to regenerate our souls by his holiness—they are now with the Saviour Holy Spirit, and to advance us from day to whom they loved ; they behold his unrevealed day in that holiness of heart and life which glories, as heirs in possession—they enjoy alone can prove us the children of God in God, and are the rejoicing joint-heirs with this life, and make us " meet for the inheriChrist in the glories of eternity. And as they tance of the saints in light;" it would guard still continue members of that blessed family us against spiritual sloth, and excite us to of God, a part of which is yet on earth, we holy diligence as “ followers of them who may infer from this, that they feel a lively in through faith and patience are now inheriting terest in that part of the family still below; the promises.” their sympathies and recollections are not an- This subject powerfully addresses itself to nihilated—to thein, doubtless, unknown to those who are parents, and whom the provius, various channels of information as to the dence of God has placed at the head of a family; family on earth are opened ; they joy when how anxious should such feel, that those who fresh menibers return to it by repentance; are so closely connected with them by the ties they welcome home to glory the members of of nature, should be made partakers with it as they arrive from earth; they watch and them of the grace of God; that thus walking rejoice in the spread and triumphs of the gos- as a family, or as heirs together of the grace pel in our world, as by this means God's of life in this world, they may hereafter elect are gathered in, and from time to time together be heirs in possession. Every large accessions are made to this family, and Christian parent must not be anxious only look forward with glorious and assured for his own salvation, but also for the salvahope to that happy day when the family tion of the children which God has given shall be complete--when the last heaven- him. He is concerned that “ the whole born member shall be added to it, when family” may be in heaven : he cannot enthe whole fainily shall be in heaven; dure the thought of resigning one of his when his ransomed and sanctified | family at death for ever, or of missing one church, Christ shall “ see in it the tra- at the right-hand of God, or in the assembly vail of his soul, and be satisfied," and shall of the glorified in heaven. How diligently, “ present it to his father, a glorious church, then, by example, and precept, and prayer, not having spot or wrinkle or any such should Christian parents labour for the salvathing.” Then the mystery of God will be tion of their families, that “the whole finished—then the whole family will be in family” may be in heaven! And what a heaven, a happy, uniteil, glorious family for source of consolation will this be to such, unever!

der those bereavements which agonize their This subject should lead us all to examine hearts, to consider though “ Joseph is not, our own hearts and lives, to ascertain whe- and Simeon is not,” and beloved Benjamin is ther we belong to the funnily of God. On taken also; that they are not lost, but only liearing of the present blessings and the gone before them to heaven; and that, in future glories of this family, who is God's good time, “the whole family" will not led to offer up the prayer -“ Make meet there, where the pang of sorrow and us, O Lord, to be numbered with thy separation is unknown, and where there is saints in glory everlasting !" Vain is the no more death.” Happy parent, who, in the hope of forming a part of the glorious family last great day, shall have with joy to present above, if we do not belong to the family of his “whole family" before “the Judge of God below. Have we experienced that all,” and say—“Behold, here am I, and the spiritual regeneration of soul by the Holy children whom thou hast given me!"


Alas! of how few families can we indulge bosom of which were to be seen many vessels, of difthis glorious hope-that the whole family will ferent dimensions, some at anchor, others majestically be in heaven! How few families do we be ploughing the waves towards their destined ports:

one, from the lightness of its structure, and the rahold, all the members of which are on the pidity with which it glided onwards, particularly atLord's side! One appears decided for God | tracted my attention. Beautiful vessel! I thought; in the family; the rest are the servants of sin

your white sails fanned with heaven's soft, vigorous and the world. Are there not among my read- breeze, how full of hope is your present course! but

who can tell how speedily yon bright sky will be overers the careless and unconverted members of cast with dark clouds, and the tempest rage rudely religious families? The pious parents and re- around ? Could my voice be heard, I would urge those latives of some of you now form a part of the

whose lots are cast in yon frail bark to seek for their glorified family of God above. While they pilot him who stilleth the raging of the seas, who to

And were alive on the earth, you were witnesses you, too, Christian mariner, just embarked on life's of their faith and holiness; you they often eventful ocean, seek to be guided by him continually; counselled to forsake sin, to turn away from then, whatever storms arise, low securely you may the vanities of the world, and give up your

rest, knowing that your Father is at the helm! But

I must no longer linger; time will not tarry for me, selves to the service of your God and and I shall not, if I do not hasten onwards, reach my Saviour; often—though you knew it not, destined point ere the shadows of evening close they prayed for your conversion in private; around me. they joyed when they took you with them to

I now began to descend the side of the cliff, and saw the house of God, and saw you scated by Fanny Clare lives ?" I said to a little girl, who was

the white cottages of the village. “Do you know where their side. They are gone to join the family sitting at the door of one of the cottages, with her above. Are you following them? Death lace-pillow on her lap, over which the bobbins were has made a separation between you and

thrown with a rapidity which makes the eye of the

observer to dazzle. “l'll shew you where her lives," them; can you endure that that separation

was the answer ; "but hers in the 'cline, and the doctor should be for ever? Can you endure the idea says her can't live." She took me up a narrow lane, of seeing them happy and glorious at the

at the end of which I saw a small cottage, which I soon right hand of the Judge at the last day; entered, and was presently welcomed by a kind, but

“You while you, separated far from them, shall sorrowful smile, from a

are, ma'am, the lady Mr. H. said he would send to stand miserable, rejected, and condemned, on my poor child, I suppose?" "Yes," I replied, “1 the left! My brethren, let us all seek the should like to see her.” “She is coming down digrace of God in earnestness and in truth; rectly; I fear,” she added with a sigh, “ for the last let us seek now to belong to the family of said, " the sight of a stranger may agitate her: I will

“Perhaps," I God, and then shall we be “numbered with go away for a short time, and then return when she is them in glory everlasting.'

settled.” “O no," she was about to answer, when the sound of a feeble voice calling “Mother,” summoned her to assist the poor invalid in descending the stair

case. I had time, while alone, to look around me, and FANNY CLARE.

observe the many innocent decorations of the room in "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound which I sat: every thing bespoke industry and neat

thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it ness,-that lovely ornament of the female charactergoeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit."-John, iii. 7. which, in whatever rank it be found, sheds around "I wish you would walk to C-to-morrow, to visit that charm which the apostle urged, when he said, Fanny Clare," said Mr. II., at whose house I spent “Let all things be done in order.” I now remember the summer of 18~-; "she cannot live much longer." the festoons, formed with shells strung together, which The afternoon of the next day I wound my way, hung over the dresser, un which sone pewter-plates through some very fine scenery, towards the hamlet in were ranged, shining so brightly, that I could see my which lived the object of my walk. The first part of own face reflected in them: the piece of coral, and my road lay through long shady lanes, the hedges of curious star-fish, which decorated the mantelpiece, which, richly adorned with woodbines, eglantines, and all these are as clearly presented to my mind's eye, as other wild flowers, were here and there (it would if it were only yesterday I had looked on them. How seem, intentionally) broken, to afford to the passing wonderful the power of memory over our minds, and traveller a view of the great expanse of ocean, which the connexion of events caused by it! As I write rolled at the foot of the cliff's over which the road these things, simple as they are in themselves, I extended. After quitting the lanes, I began to ascend seem, by the recollection of them, as they then struck one of the highest points of rock which is to be my inquiring gaze, to step back years of my life for seen on the Devon coast: it rises majestically from ever gone by; the remembrance of scenes and expeamid the waves of the sea, which continually (though riences connected with them crowds tumultuously on without power to weaken its firm foundation) beat my mind. li seems, for a moment, that I am again around its base. The white chalky sides are covered in that little cottage, far from my family, in the very in many parts with creeper's, whose varied hues form situation I then filled, instead of being in my father's a lovely contrast to the barren heights which they house, enjoying the sunshine of his smile. adorn. This cliff appears to me an apt emblem of that one Rock 'on which the believer builds all his

Recollection ! what a word! hopes for time and eternity; for there it stands, has

'Tis surely sent from heaven:

Often it wakeos joyous light, stood, and so long as the earth remains, it seems, shall

Then by it sorrow's given. stand, unchangeably the same. I soon reached the summit of the rock, where I paused to rest, and con

Recollection ! 'tis by thee

We look on lov'd ones none ; template the scene before me: my eyes wandered

'T would seem they almost speak to us over thirty miles' distance of ocean, on the smooth

Of joys for ever flown.

the cottage.

I'll never see it more:

Recollection ! 'tis by thee

his people's comfort, “ I will never leave thee," I left
My childhood comes again :
It seems but a long yesterday
Of mingled joy and pain.

Several days passed before I could again go to

C-- When I reached the cottage, I found no
I'm sitting in the very place
Where first I learnt to pray:

one in the room below, but on calling at the foot But O, how chang'd is everything,

of the narrow staircase, I was invited to go up, Since that long-distant day!

which I immediately did. When I entered the little

chamber, the first object which attracted my attenI'm chang'd, and much I loy'd is gone:

tion was Fanny, who lay in a broken slumber on The thought is sad, and yet there's joy

the bed. Had it not been for the hectic glow which By recollection's power.

tinged her cheek, I might have concluded that this There's sadness when I think of earth,

was the slumber of death. “Do not disturb her," I But joy to think of heaven;

said, in a whisper to ber mother: “bas she been long O recollection ! 'tis by thee

sleeping ?” “Oh, no, ma'am," she answered, “the True lappiness is given !

cough will not let her.” "Is she your only child ?"

"No, ma'am, I have two more ; a son at sea, and the I was not long left to my own reflections: in a few moments Fanny Clare stood (or her mother, rather,

young woman you saw with the children.” Where is

her husband ?" I asked. “He is a fisherman, and supported her) before me. We soon formed a kind of couch for her of the chairs, on which, assisted by obliged to be absent during great part of the day from pillows, she lay for some time, unable to speak from

home.” From the expression which passed over the the violence of the cough, caused by the exertion of might be oftener here ; but she did not then tell me

woman's face, I thought she could have added, he coming down stairs. It seemed as if it would rend her delicate frame asunder. When she was a little

what I afterwards heard, that Fanny had been long recovered, I opened the Bible I had with me : at the

neglected, by a husband to whom she had ever proved

herself an affectionate and attentive wife. sight of it a sniile brightened her face. “I will read to you some of these precious words,” I said ; "they she lay

sleeping before us, when her mother looking

We continued to watch Fanny for some minutes as are comfort for every hour: they tell us of Him who is gone to prepare mansions for us, in a country where ma'am, how can I part with my child ? she has always

earnestly and sorrowfully on her, said to me, "Õ we shall never say, 'I am sick.' Doubtless," I added,

been a blessing to me; she was my comfort when her you now find this book afford much comfort." “ Yes,” she answered, with as much fervency as

poor father was drowned at sea : and her poor babes, weakness would allow, "it does comfort me." I then

too, what will become of them ?” I could only say,

"The Lord gave, and he now sees fit to take away your read to her the fourteenth chapter of St. John's Gos.

child : faith enables us to add, .blessed be the name pel; she listened with earnest attention to the first part of it, in which our Lord comforts his disciples, by fore he says, " Come up here.'” As she stood weeping

of tlie Lord. He has a nobler work for her, theretelling them, that in his “ Father's house are many

before me, I thought, how strong are the feelings of a mansions." She repeated "many mansions," as if not quite understanding the meaning of the words. parent! there is no earthly love so free from selfish“Yes,” I answered, “a mansion, or place of rest and slighted often by the object on whom it is lavished, it

ness; it is a love which is quenched only by death ; comfort, suited to eyery one who shall have come out of great tribulation; and our great Redeemer invites

returns again and again, and knows no change from

misconduct, absence, or any other cause. But there all to come: his words are, Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy-laden, and I will give you

is a love stronger still: many waters cannot quench

that love ; it is the love of Him who inhabiteth eterrest."" But she answered, “Can it be for me? I have been such a great sinner !" I replied, “ Jesus

nity, dwelling in light which no mortal eye can behold. Christ came into the world to save sinners." A

Daily experience proves to us the strength of that slight noise at the door interrupted me; it opened,

love. When the billows of sin, affliction, and trials of

various kinds, threaten to overwhelm the troubled and a young woman entered, carrying an infant about a twelvemonth old, while a little child held her gown :

mind, the bright beacon of love is discerned through

the darkest cloud ; and the eye which by faith is they came eagerly forward from behind a screen, which hid me from them, but stopped suddenly at the steadily fixed thereon, finds "Peace, which passes all

understanding." Fanny opened her eyes, and fixing sight of a stranger. The poor invalid raised her eyes, and smiled sweetly on them. I have often thought

them on me, said, “ I feared, ma'am, you would not the smile with which a mother welcomes her child,

come again." I told her how much I had wished

to be with her before, but could not. Her sleep had especially the youngest, has in it a sweetness peculiar

refreshed her, and she listened with earnest attento itself. The present scene was one of much interest: the baby made an effort to spring towards its

tion to those passages in the Revelation which give mother, but her feeble arms could no longer support

us such bright descriptions of heaven. “When," I the precious burden, and the little creature was gently, it near to us or distant-and expect to remain there

said to her, we are about to visit a strange placembe but tirmly restrained by the young woman.

I saw the coral lip raised, and the colour mount into the soft

even only a short time, how anxious we are to learn cheek of the infant; he uttered a faint cry, and then, habit it! The land to which I cannot but feel assured

every thing we can about it, and the people who inas if conscious that his grief would pain her who had caused it, he laid his head on the shoulder of his nurse,

you are going is heaven.”-Here she interrupted me, and remained quiet. Are these your little ones ?" I

saying, with an expression of earnest inquiry I never asked ? “Yes, ma'am," she replied; "and it is for

can forget, “ Dear lady, how can I be certain that I the sake of these dear babes, had it been the blessed

am going to heaven?" “ Because," I replied, “I feel will of Him who has laid me thus low, that I desire

certain that you are trusting simply in that Saviour to remain here." With confidence I could answer

who has promised to take you there. You say you her from the words of promise ; " Leave thy fatherless

have been a great sinner:-Jesus died to save sin

listen to his own words: I am come to children to me.” She seemed comforted. Truly, in this blessed volume, there is a balm for every wound.

seek and to save that which is lost;' again, I am

come that ye might have life.' Through Jesus, then, “That word of promise, how it flings abroad

Jesus, our adorable Redeemer, we have a good hope. Its perfume o'er the Christian's thorny road!"--Cowper.

It is our anchor, by which I mean, that just as you Fanny now seemed too weak for further conversa- see the anchor your husband casts into the sea keeps tion. After commending her to Him who has said for the vessel fixed to one spot of the ocean, so a good


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