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arms of thy soul, faith and love, to Him, open thy heart to the new-born Saviour, even as Simeon longed for Him all his life, waited for Him as the consolation of Israel, and knew no other joy than that of seeing Him, and, when he saw Him, willingly departed. Such hearts must have Him, and surely have Him. If there be nothing in thy inmost soul but the most ardent desire, the most burning thirst after Him, He will certainly be in this thirst, and will so reveal Himself to thy longing, thirsting heart, that the joy of possessing Him will be to thee above all the joys of life; and thou wilt no longer live to the world, to thyself, to siu, but to Him who has given Himself for thee. And this child is born to us all. (Isa. ix. 6.) He is placed before the eyes of all in His word. He is offered to us and planted in our hearts by the declaration of the gospel. (James i. 21.) Then take Him up in thy arms, lift Him with faith and love out of the word, and lock Him into thy heart; for He can and will make thee blessed.
DECEMBER THE THIRTY-FIRST. “I said, days shonld speak.”—JOB xxxii. 7. “Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it.”—LUKE xiii. 8. “Yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.”—Gen. vi. 3. W HEN thy years speak, what dost thou hear ?
What does God hear of thee? What do thy brethren hear? The conclusion, the lesson
which thou art to draw from their speaking, will be no other than, Repent! All thy days call to thee, Improve! The Gardener comes to-day into His garden and seeks fruit. Now, if He place Himself before the tree of thy life, and ask thy years, especially this last year, what will they answer ? what will this year say of thee? Will He find the wished-for fruit ? He has bestowed many mercies on thee, has given thee mucb; and unto whom much is given, of him also shall much be required. If now the Father should say, Behold, these many years I come seeking fruit on this tree and find none; hew it down! What if this should be determined in heaven to-day ! And might it not be ? Wouldst thou not have deserved it? I would indeed. What then shall we do? We will turn to Jesus with all our heart without delay, fall down before Him on our face, as before our only Mediator, and Daysman, that He may intercede and pray the Father for us ; and He will say to the Father for us, for thee, and for me : Let it alone this year yet, till I dig about it and dung it, and then it will perhaps bring forth fruit. If not, thou shalt cut it down. Behold, thou hast the intercession of Jesus alone to thank for God's having granted thee so many years. But, perhaps, the coming one is the last. Therefore en ploy it so, cleave so to thy God and Saviour that He will not have cause to say : Cut it down ; why cumbereth it the ground ? God is very long-suffering; we see this from His patience in the time of Noab. He gave them a long respite; but, the longer the
respite, the greater their wickedness. At length He let loose His judgments. The same God lives still. Close, therefore, this year with special prayer, and fervent supplication, that God may not go into judgment with thee, but renew thy heart to true repentance and reformation, and give thee a heart and walk according to His will.
ABERDEEN: PRINTED BY ARTHUR KING & co.