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A Book for all Characters and all Times.
By the Late
REV. JAMES SMITH,
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW;
100. S. 124.
To glorify God, by doing good to men, is the great end of the present life; and it is only as we keep the eye on this object, that we answer the design of God in our creation and salvation. The Lord has formed us for himself, that we may show forth his praise. God aims at our welfare in connexion with his own honour, in all that he does; and in proportion as we are taught by his Spirit, influenced by his love, and ruled by his word, we shall dothe same. Self must be dethroned, that Jehovah may be exalted. Selfishness must be crucified, that benevolence may be displayed. God must be imitated in his moral perfections if we would prove our relationship to him, or union with him. "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful." Thus spake Jesus to his beloved disciples. "Be ye imitators of God as dear children," is Paul's exhortation to his brethren at Ephesus. And thus we are exhorted by the Holy Spirit, through him.
To bring souls to Christ is of immense importance, and to stir up believers to assist in doing so, is only second in importance to it; and such is the aim and object of this book. Yes, to glorify God by bringing souls to Christ, and to stir up believers to engage in this great work, is the object we have in view. Reader, we wish to render you holy and happy; and this can only be done by leading you to receive Christ as your Saviour, and then engaging you heartily and constantly in his cause. It is only
in doing good, that we expect to get good; and it is only as we aim at God's glory in all that we do, that we can benefit the souls of others, or secure solid happiness to ourselves.
In this work you will find variety, and yet harmony; law, as well as gospel; works, as well as faith; love, as well as light; bright beams as well as dark clouds. We wish to awaken conscience, to arouse the affections, to lead to the Saviour, to consecrate to God, to engage in his service for his praise. Time flies, death is working in us, and eternity is just before us; let us, therefore, work while we have the opportunity, as it will soon be gone for ever. Reader, are you in Christ? Have you the Spirit of Christ? Are you labouring for Christ? Is it your object and aim to bring sinners to Christ? Ponder these questions well. They are deeply solemn, and of the last importance. It you are a stranger to experimental religion, may the Lord make this little work a blessing to you. If you are a believer in Jesus, enjoying nearness and fellowship with him, lift up thy heart to God, that he would accompany this feeble instrument with his own powerful blessing. Oh, Thou that usest the weak things of this world, and things that are despised, use this little book for the glorifying of thy rich grace: and render it the means of leading thousands of souls to Jesus, for thy great mercy's sake. Amen.
"He careth for you."-1 PETER V. 7.
HE Christian's life is very much made up of cares and comforts; cares spring from earth, comfort comes from heaven; cares prove him a sinner, holy comforts prove him a believer; cares flow in from a variety of quarters, true comfort from only one; cares come naturally, but comforts supernaturally. We shall be sure to have cares; but shall we have comfort? This depends on God's grace, which gives it; and our faith, which receives it. Cares must be cast on our God, or they will prove a burden too heavy for us; they will depress, bewilder, and make us wretched. But here is our comfort, we have always One to care for us; and the very one which of all others we would wish to do so. "The Lord careth for you."
For whom? For you, who are begotten again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; who are born