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"COMFORT YE, COMFORT YE MY PEOPLE, SAITH YOUR GOD."
"ENDEAVOURING TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT IN THE BOND OP PEACE "
"JESUS CHRIST, THE SAME YESTERDAY, AND TO-DAY, AND FOR EVER." "WHOM TO KNOW IS LIFE ETERNAL.
The Family Portion;
OR, WORDS OF SPIRITUAL CAUTION, COUNSEL, AND COMFORT.
No. 1,261, OLD SERIES.
66 'Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."-2 Cor. i. 4.
CAREFUL AND YET CARELESS.
"And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befal me there: save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God."-ACTS xx. 22-24.
BELOVED, in the opening portion of a new and untrodden year, we believe that there are few of the dear children of God who are not prepared to say, " Behold, I go bound in the spirit, not knowing the things that shall befal me." First, they have the testimony of Scripture-the words of their loved and loving Master Himself, "In the world ye shall have tribulation." Secondly, they have the example of the selfsame word, illustrative of the fact, that "it is through much tribulation they must enter the kingdom." Thirdly, they have their own personal experience in further confirmation. They know, with respect to the past, that it has been a vale of tears indeed through which they have travelled towards their Father's house above. Lastly, in proportion as they know their own hearts, they are made to feel that trial and sorrow and perplexity are as needful for the well-being of their souls, as food and raiment are necessary for the nourishment and protection of their poor frail bodies. They well know that the path of ease is a dangerous path; that it leads to carnal security, of which Satan is ever ready to take advantage. For the afore-mentioned reasons, therefore, the child of God is prepared for the crook or the cross, the trial or temptation, as being an indispensable requisite for his future well-being.
Moreover, there is a certain satisfaction in this, what we call preparedness for the future. Trial, when it comes-and he will be