Parish Papers eBook

Norman Macleod
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 266 pages of information about Parish Papers.
of the graces of the Christian life, are not foretastes only, but earnests also, and pledges of the coming fulness, the first-fruits of the approaching harvest.  “We shall be like Him!” Oh blessed consummation, before which everything else vanishes in comparison!  Our souls cleansed from every stain of guilt, and made white in the blood of the Lamb; and washed, too, from all the pollution of sin with the waters of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, shall be “faultless,” “not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.”  The pure and holy God resting on us as His own work through His Son and Spirit, shall rejoice in that work as perfect; and every redeemed soul will be as a mirror in whose transparent depths the Divine glory is seen reflected.  Oh comforting and exalting thought! that the weakest and most imperfect, yet true child of God, who possessed any real faith or real love, is thus at last “glorified together with Christ”—­their confessions of sin for ever over; their sense of their own emptiness lost in a sense of Christ’s fulness; their ardent longings for unsullied holiness gratified as no faith or foretaste here realised, even feebly, in their hours of most pious fervour!  Should it not delight us to think of even one whom we have known and loved really possessing such joy as this; and ought we not to give united thanks to God for their happiness with God, even while we sorrow for their loss to ourselves during our earthly pilgrimage?

IV.

OUR SOCIAL LIFE.

Man is a social as well as a sentient, intellectual, and moral being; and as such he will have joy in the presence of God in heaven.  We are made for brotherhood.  It was in reference to this original craving of the heart for society that God said of man when he came perfect from His hands, “It is not good for him to be alone.”  The fact of solitariness is, indeed, unknown in God’s intelligent and moral universe.  With reverence, I remark, that God has existed as Father, Son, and Spirit, three Persons in the unity of the Godhead.  We cannot, indeed, conceive of God, whose name is love, existing from eternity without a person like Himself as an object of His love.  Certain it is, however, that for the creature to have joy in himself alone, is impossible.  Isolation would, in time, produce insanity.  The heart will lavish its affection upon the lowest forms of animal creation, or upon ideal beings, rather than feed upon itself.  But there can be no solitude to him who knows there is a God, nor who possesses any religion; for religion is love to God.  And even where the society of men is shunned, and solitude fled to by the weary, this is often, after all, but an unconscious protest in favour of brotherhood; the bitterness of one who, having sought it from men in vain, feels as if robbed of his brother’s affections, which he had a right to possess as a portion of his inheritance.

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Project Gutenberg
Parish Papers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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