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God, no deep, inward craving after that meat which the world knows not of. And have we been so alarmed at this symptom that we have made haste at once to seek its cure?

The fact of the Scriptures furnishing nutriment and upbuilding to the soul, is the most real experience of which we have knowledge. None of us "by taking thought, can add one cubit unto his stature." But how many, by taking in God's great thoughts, feeding on them and inwardly digesting them, have added vastly to their spiritual stature. We have noticed especially, in the lives of Christians, how some long-neglected but freshly-revived truth has marvellously quickened and built up the soul. Its newness has created a strong relish in the believer, and so imparted a mighty impulse to his spiritual growth. How true this has been of such doctrines as those of "Justification by Faith," "The Witness of the Spirit," and the "Coming of the Lord." The revival of these doctrines has constituted distinct eras of reformation in the Church, but previously, also, marked eras of renewal in the individual soul. We may take the last-mentioned as the one most recently revived. The biographer of Hewitson says of him: "He not only believed in the speedy appearing, but loved it, waited for it, watched for it. So mighty a motive power did it become that he ever used to speak of it afterward as bringing with it a kind of second conversion.” Yes; and how many Christians of our day know

what this means! truth; so does it come in to repair the waste in our spiritual life, to build up new tissue, and to put new blood into our heavenly man.

Such is the vivifying power of

The same may be said of prayer and meditation. They have mighty renewing power. They quicken our life, and multiply within us the joy of the Lord, which is our strength.

In these days, when the closet has become so contracted and the Church so expanded; when Christians have learned to find their edification so largely in the public services, in the music, and art, and eloquence of the sanctuary, and so little in the still hour of communion, it is quite hard to believe that the greatest enjoyment is possible in solitude with God. We read of Columkill bidding farewell to his hermit's cell and homely fare to take the honours and emoluments of the bishopric of Iona, yet exclaiming tearfully: "Farewell, Arran of my heart! Paradise is with thee; the garden of God is within sound of thy bells." And as we read this we say, forsooth, "This is monkish sentimentalism." But what when we find sober Protestant saints like the one just quoted, Hewitson, writing: "Communion with Christ is the only source of satisfaction, the only source of lasting joy. I have enjoyed more even this morning from beholding the loveliness of the glory of Christ, as revealed to me by the Spirit, than I have done from the world during the whole of my life"? Or, to rise to a still more incredible

altitude, what if we listen to that mighty interceder with God, John Welch, of Scotland, crying in one of his seasons of rapt communion, “O Lord, hold Thy hand; it is enough; Thy servant is a clay vessel, and can contain no more"? Surely, this is strange language to most of us. But if we turn to the Scriptures of our Lord, we may find a possible key to such alleged experiences; for when we ask our Master why He has revealed such wonderful things concerning our union with Him, and our share in the Father's glory, He answers, "These things have I spoken unto you that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."* And when we ask Him why He has given us this wonderful privilege of prayer in His name, He replies, " Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." best, we have been able to get only a half measure of this divine joy, let us not discredit those who have exclaimed, "My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life."

If, at

We have spoken of daily renewals, and we are persuaded that no real growth and development in Christian life is possible without these. There is still another kind of renewing to which we would call attention. "The times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord," which the Scriptures promise, hold out a very blessed and assuring hope. This expression, of course, has literal reference to the * John xv. II. † John xvi. 24.

return of the Lord from glory, and His joyful reunion with His Church. But there are even now seasons of extraordinary communion with the Lord, when, through the Holy Spirit, He is pleased to manifest Himself to the soul in such unwonted power that they may be truly called "times of refreshing." We find records of these in the lives of almost all devoted saints. As nature has its annual as well as its diurnal renewals, when the sun returns in spring-tide blessing and quickening, so has grace its special times of revival. Then it is that the Heavenly Bridegroom visits the soul, by the Holy Ghost, speaking in tenderest accents: "Rise up, my love, my fair For lo, the winter is past, the The flowers appear on the

one, and come away.

rain is over and gone. earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in the land. The figtree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away." Ah! how often have the poetic strains of this Song of Solomon been translated into the real prose of living, practical experience. The chill of winter has settled over the Church; instead of melting penitence, the tears of other days have frozen into icicles, and are hanging about the sanctuary-cold and glittering formalities taking the place of that holy tenderness which pleads with God "with strong crying," and What warns men men "night and day with tears." servant of God has not had sorrowful experiences of

this condition of things? Then it is that pastors and brethren should seek for a special refreshing from the Lord's presence. The ordinary tenor of spiritual life will not answer now. The power of God must be laid hold of-special power for special weakness and need, And "blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," that He can renew what he has begotten, and restore the joy of His salvation. to those who have backslidden into the joy of this world. Christmas Evans, the fervent Welsh preacher, has left us the record of a most gracious visitation of this kind:

"I was weary of a cold heart toward Christ and His sacrifice and the work of His Spirit; of a cold heart in the pulpit, in secret prayer, and in the study. For fifteen years previously I had felt my heart burning within me, as if going to Emmaus with Jesus. On a day ever to be remembered by me, as I was going from Dolgelley to Machynlleth, and climbing up toward Cadair Idris, I considered it incumbent on me to pray, however hard I felt my heart, and however worldly the frame of my spirit was. Having began in the name of Jesus, I soon felt, as it were, the fetters loosening, and the old hardness softening, and, as I thought, the mountains of frost and snow dissolving and melting within me. This engendered confidence in my soul in the promise of the Holy Ghost. I felt my whole mind relieved from some great bondage; tears flowed copiously, and I was constrained to cry out for the gracious visits of God, by restoring to my soul the joy of His salvation, and that He would visit the churches in

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