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ceived greater than that displayed in the conversion of St. Paul ? He then and there stretched forth His hand and seized--forcibly seized-the foremost of His enemies, and made him, in a moment, for ever His fastest friend and most faithful servant.

And what He could do then He has done, is doing, and can do at any time. Continually is it plain that He “rules in the midst among his enemies.” Continually is it plain that His

people shall be willing in the day of His power.”

How is it, then, that He does not put forth a power so Almighty in all cases? We know not; God only knows. It may be probably it is—the deepest thing of God, why one man's will is overborne, and he is forcibly drawn, and why another man's will is left to itself; why “two men are in the field : the one is taken, and the other left;" why “two women are grinding at the mill: the one is taken, and the other left.” How and why this comes to pass we know not. But then we do know that the reason is, not because the cross does not display love deep enough, or that the rod of Christ's power, i. e., the Holy Spirit, is not strong enough. And this, too, we are assured of, that the fault is not in the love of God to our fallen race. 80 loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish.” We are also as distinctly assured that God will have (i. e. wishes) all men to be saved, and that He willeth not the death of a sinner; and, indeed, He has not only said so, but, in condescension to our weakness, He has sworn it. “As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth.” What then is it that hinders souls being drawn to Christ when there is love enough, power enough, and desire enough on His part to draw all ?

6 God

We only know that it must be a something in us, not in Him.

To some Christ said, “ Ye will not come to me that ye might have life.” To others, St. Paul said, “Seeing ye hold yourselves unworthy of eternal life ?”

Let us then, each one for ourselves, see to it that now, whilst we are within the sphere of the attraction of the cross, we are drawn to the cross, and to Him Who

up upon

it. God has sent us into this world in order that He Who once came amongst us, and died on the us, may

draw us to Himself. It is His will that we should be drawn. Let it be our will to be drawn to Him.

Let us mistake nothing for this drawing to Christ crucified. The drawing is to One once lifted up on the cross for sin, and now exalted to give repentance and remission of sins. It is a drawing by the Spirit of God-by Him whom we call the Holy Spirit.

was lifted

cross for

In being drawn to the cross, if we be really drawn, we must be drawn from vice and sin to holiness and righteousness.

It is a drawing to One Who overcame the world by being lifted up, and by a Spirit not of the world, but of God and of Christ, sent into the world to subdue it.

If this be so, then, in being drawn to the Crucified, if we are really drawn, we must be drawn from the world.

It is an attraction, too, against nature, against our natural hearts and inclinations, against sinful habits; and so must be, at first at least, attended with pain and difficulty to ourselves.

It is an attraction to One Who was meek, and humble, and gentle, and lowly, and forgiving. And so there is this riddle, this paradox about it-that the nearer to Him, and consequently the higher we get, the less we think of ourselves, the more humble and less self-confident we must be, or we are assuredly not drawn to Him Who is meek and lowly, and Who was never more so, never more abased, than when He was crucified. Nay, sometimes it may be we shall feel that we are utterly unworthy even to be drawn to Him.

There was one who was once in a little ship with Christ, very near to Him in person, at a time when Christ had visibly exercised a stupendous act of power, and he prayed, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Surely this man, who could say to Christ, “depart from me,” must have been drawing away from Him! Oh no! Christ's all-piercing eye discerned under the seeming drawing away a real approach, and so He drew this man closer and closer, till he became His chief servant.

It may be so with some at the beginning of their being attracted to Christ; and so let nothing discourage us if we would be His. Certainly, let no sense of sin, no loathing of ourselves, discourage us for a moment.

Let us then say unto Him: “Lord, thy cross is high and lifted up: I cannot in my own strength ascend it; but thou hast promised, 'I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.' Draw me, then, from my sins to repentance, from darkness to faith, from the flesh to the Spirit, from coldness to ardent devotion, from weak beginnings to a perfect end, from smooth and open ways, if it be thy will, to higher and holier paths; from fear to love, from earth to heaven, from myself to Thee. And as Thou hast said, “No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him,' give unto me the Spirit Whom the Father hath sent in Thy name, that in Him and through Him I being wholly drawn may hasten unto Thee, and ‘go no more out' for ever.”

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VI.

THE PROMISED LEADING OF THE SPIRIT.

ST. JOHN xvi. 12. “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come,

He will guide you into all the truth.”

Christ may

In attempting to estimate the force of these words we are to remember that they form part of the last discourse of Christ; the last discourse, that is, of any length, which the Spirit has seen fit to preserve to us. have instructed His apostles at equal length, and with similar particularity, in the interval between the Resurrection and the Ascensionwhen (as we know from St. Luke's words) He was "seen of them forty days," and was "speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God”—but no notes or outlines of any such discourse have come down to us. On the contrary, all which He said after this comes to us in the shape of single sayings, or fragments. Looked at in this light, i. e., as forming part of the last of His discourses, not of the first, these words of the Saviour are very wonderful. We should rather have expected that such words would form a part

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