Luke 12:32
It has been much debated whether God should be represented as the Sovereign or the Father of mankind. It has been but a foolish strife; it has been another case in which both disputants have been right and both wrong. God is the Sovereign of the world, and a great deal more than that; God is the Father of men, and a great deal beside. He is a royal Father, or a fatherly King. The Lord's Prayer might have taught us this: "Our Father... thy kingdom come." God is to us all and much more than all both these human relationships represent, only that one presents him in one aspect and the other in another. Here Christ invites us to think of him as a Sovereign; and we look at -

I. THE KINGDOM OF GOD, of which we may become citizens. "Seek ye [the citizenship of] the kingdom of God." Jesus Christ launched a perfectly new idea when he spoke of this kingdom. In his mind that was nothing less than a universal spiritual empire; a kingdom of peace, righteousness, and joy, wide as the world and lasting as time; a kingdom to be established without forming a regiment, or shaping a sword, or fashioning crown; a kingdom of God, in which all men of every land and tongue should own him as their rightful Sovereign, should cheerfully obey his righteous laws, should dwell together in holiness and in love.

II. THE ALLEGIANCE WHICH IS OUR SACRED DUTY. Christ summons us to citizenship. He says imperatively, "Seek ye the kingdom;" and he bids us seek entrance into it "rather" than pursue any earthly objects, rather than be anxiously concerning ourselves about temporal supplies. He indicates that this is something which has the first claim on our thought and on our endeavor. And so, indeed, it has. For God is that King

(1) without the exercise of whose sovereign power there would be no other kingdom, no subjects, no liberties, no riches, no honors, in fact, no being;

(2) to be disloyal to whom is the lowest depth of ingratitude, is the deliberate abandonment of the most bounden duty, the guilty severance of the most sacred tie. Being what he is to all men, and having done what he has wrought for all men, he rightly demands of us, through Jesus Christ, our fealty, our loyal service. To respond to this summons of the Savior and to become citizens of the kingdom of God, we must offer him something more than the honor of the bended knee, or the tribute of the acclaiming voice, or the service of the dutiful hand; we must bring the homage of the reverent spirit, the affection of the loving heart, the submission of the acquiescent will. And out of this inward and spiritual loyalty will proceed the praises of the tongue and the obedience of the life. Seeking the kingdom means a real returning of soul unto God and a consequent devoting of the rest of our life to his service.

III. CHRIST'S PROMISE OF SUFFICIENCY to all loyal subjects. "All these things shall be added unto you." It is well for the world that there is not attached to the service of Christ any very valuable and attractive treasures which are of this earth. If there were, we should have the Church choked with insincere and worldly minded members, paying as little devotion as they thought necessary for as much enjoyment and prosperity as they could reap. Christ has mercifully saved us from this calamity; but he has not found it needful to leave us without a provision for our need.

1. He has made present happiness an attendant upon virtue, and virtue is an appanage of piety.

2. But he has given us a promise and a pledge in our text. He assures to those who enter his holy kingdom not, indeed, luxury, not a large measure of prosperity and enjoyment on an earthly ground, but sufficiency. They who yield themselves to him and who live in his service may be well assured that they will want "no good thing;" nothing that would really make for their well-being will he withhold. All resources are at his disposal, and he will see that his children are supplied.

(1) Let none be kept out of the kingdom because they dread social or pecuniary evils; God will shield and save them.

(2) Let none who are in the kingdom despond, though circumstances are against them; at the right moment God will appear on their behalf; "goodness and mercy will follow them all the days of their life," and attend them right up to the gates of the heavenly city. - C.







Fear not, little flock.
I. AN AGREEABLE RESEMBLANCE. A flock (Psalm 79:13; John 10:27). The flock of Christ is —

1. A purchased flock (1 Corinthians 6:20; 2 Peter 2:1; Acts 20:28).

2. A flock washed in the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5).

3. A chosen flock (Matthew 20:16; Mark 13:20).

4. A marked flock (2 Timothy 2:19; John 13:35).

5. A patient flock — under provocations, and amidst sufferings and delays (Job 1:22; Romans 12:12; Luke 21:19; Hebrews 10:36; Hebrews 12:1, 2; Hebrews 6:12; Romans 2:7). Christ an example (1 Peter 2:21-25).

6. A harmless flock (Matthew 10:16; Philemon 1:2, 15).

7. A flock exposed to troubles and enemies (Ephesians 6:11, 12, 13).

8. A useful flock.

II. A DISTRESSING TRUTH. A little flock.

1. Small at its commencement.

2. Small at the present day, when compared with the great bulk of mankind.

III. A BENIGNANT ENGAGEMENT. "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

1. The kingdom of His power (Psalm 105:12, 13; Daniel 4:3).

2. The kingdom of His grace (2 Corinthians 3:18).

3. The kingdom of glory (1 Corinthians 6:9). This is heaven, and in this view of it conveys —

(1)The idea of power. A kingdom implies a sceptre, authority, and dominion.

(2)The idea of glory. It is the abode of glorified spirits. It is the abode of the celestial hierarchy. It is the abode of Jesus. It is the abode of God the Father.

(3)The idea of felicity (Revelation 7:9-17). It is our Father's good pleasure (Isaiah 63:16).He is our Father —

1. By right of creation (Malachi 2:10).

2. By right of preservation.

3. By right of redemption (Galatians 3:13; Job 19:25).

4. By right of adoption (Romans 8:15, 16). It is His good pleasure to give us the kingdom. It is not a debt but a gift — a free gift.

IV. A PROHIBITION. "Fear not." What is it that true believers are not to fear?

1. They are not to fear God with a slavish fear (Romans 8:15; 1 John 4:18). A filial fear they must have (Psalm 89:7; Hebrews 12:28; Psalm 34:9).

2. They are not to fear man (Isaiah 57:11; Matthew 10:28).

(1)The wrath of man (Psalm 124:1-3; Psalms 82:29).

(2)The power of man (Hebrews 13:6; Isaiah 36:29).

(3)The policy of man (Job 5:12, 13; 1 Corinthians 1:25).

3. They are not to fear the instruments of human cruelty (Isaiah 54:17).

4. They are not to fear suffering under affliction (John 14:33; Job 5:19-22; 2 Corinthians 4:17; Romans 8:10).

5. They are not to fear Satan (Romans 6:20).

6. They are not to fear death (Romans 8:38, 39; 1 Corinthians 15:55; 2 Corinthians 5:5).

7. They are not to fear hell (John 3:18; John 5:36; Isaiah 54:9).The reason why they ought not to fear —

1. It dishonours God.

2. It slanders His power (1 Chronicles 16:24).

3. It slanders His faithfulness (2 Timothy 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:24).

4. It slanders His wisdom (1 Timothy 1:17).

5. It slanders His care (1 Peter 5:7; Matthew 7:11; Isaiah 27:3).

6. It slanders their calling — they are called to be saints (Isaiah 51:2).

7. It slanders their cause, viz., religion, the cause of God (Deuteronomy 23:29).

8. It is hurtful to them — it distracts their minds (Luke 8:22-25).

9. It produces hypocrisy and dissimulation (Isaiah 57:11; Genesis 20:2-11; Genesis 26:19).

10. It enfeebles the soul (Isaiah 7:2).

11. It strengthens the enemy (Judges 3:2).

12. It discourages the saint (Deuteronomy 20:8).APPLICATION.

1. Are you comprised in this little flock?

2. Go on with undaunted courage, knowing that God will help you, and afterwards give you the kingdom.

(J. Blackmore)

I. THE PERSONS ADDRESSED. "Little flock."

1. Separated by eternal election.

2. Bought by particular redemption.

3. Effectually called.The word "flock" denotes —

1. Their patience.

2. Meekness.

3. Humility.

4. Harmlessness.

5. Comparatively few in number.

6. And little in the estimation of the world.

II. THE EXHORTATION. "Fear not."

1. Fear not the body of sin. "Thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged" (Isaiah 6:7).

2. The oppositions of Satan. " Through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14).

3. The besetments of the world. "We are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world" (1 Corinthians 11:32).Fear not, for —

1. Temporal mercies.

2. The efficacy of grace.

3. The faithfulness of God.

4. For Christ is all love.

5. The Spirit constant.

6. And heaven sure.

III. THE REASON ASSIGNED. "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you" —

1. The kingdom of grace here.

2. The kingdom of glory hereafter.It implies that it is —

1. Their Father's gift.

2. By His sovereign pleasure.

3. Delighting in them.

4. Rejoicing over them.

5. And supplying all things to them.

(T. B. Baker.)

Theological Sketch-book.
I. WHY THE LORD'S PEOPLE ARE CALLED A LITTLE FLOCK.

1. They are called a "flock," principally from the peculiar regard shown them by the Lord.

2. They are called a "little flock," because they are but few in number.

II. WHAT THEY HAVE TO FEAR. They are not exempt from the common calamities of life. In some respects they are more exposed to them than other people. They have reason therefore to fear —

1. Wants. Though man may provide for to-morrow, he cannot secure what he has provided. Hence all are so desirous of placing themselves as far as possible out of the reach of any disastrous contingencies. In making such provision the true Christian labours under many disadvantages. He cannot use those means of acquiring wealth which the generality of the world employ without any scruple. He cannot devote all his time and all his attention to secular engagements. On these accounts he may at times be tempted to indulge excessive care, and to harbour tears of want and embarrassment.

2. Sufferings. The flock of Christ are not only subject to the trials incident to our present state, but are liable to many sufferings peculiar to themselves. They are "as sheep in the midst of wolves."

III. WhY, NOTWITHSTANDING THEIR DANGERS, THEY SHOULD NOT FEAR. God has "provided for them a kingdom." God condescends call to Himself their "Father." And deals with them as His children. He has "prepared for them a kingdom" that is infinitely superior to all the kingdoms of this world. The glory of it cannot be expressed or conceived; nor will the duration of it ever end (Hebrews 12:28). This He has given to them for their inheritance. It is His determination to invest them with it, and His delight to preserve them for it. His almighty power is ever exercised for this purpose (1 Peter 1:4, 5). Yea, His whole heart and soul are engaged in accomplishing His gracious intentions (Jeremiah 32:41). This is a very sufficient antidote to all their fears.

(Theological Sketch-book.)

Each word of the text is full of encouragement and strength for weak and timid hearts.

I. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, BE ITS MEMBERS MANY OR FEW, IS VERY DEAR TO HIM.

II. THE FUTURE OF THE CHURCH IS NOT TO BE JUDGED BY ITS PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES AND SURROUNDINGS: THE POSITION IS THAT OF AN HEIR IN EXPECTATION OF HIS INHERITANCE.

III. THE NECESSITY OF BANISHING FEAR FROM A HEART THAT HAS SUCH KINGLY PROSPECTS.

(J. Kay.)

Essex Remembrancer.
I. INQUIRE INTO THE REASONS WHY THE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST ARE CALLED "A FLOCK," AND WHY "A LITTLE FLOCK." They are called a flock to show the peculiar regard which the Saviour has to them. They are a " little" flock, as compared with the multitude of the ungodly. Three reasons why it remains "little."

1. Because the method of admission into this flock is contrary to the enmity of the human heart.

2. The laws of this flock are too holy and self-denying for the generality of mankind. This therefore tends to keep it small.

3. Another reason why the flock of Christ is small, is the opposition and persecution it meets with from a sinful world.

II. POINT OUT THE VARIOUS SOURCES OF FEAR TO THIS, AT PRESENT, LITTLE FLOCK. They are not exempt from the common calamities of life; yea, in many respects, and for wise reasons, they are more exposed to them than other people: "Many are the afflictions of the righteous."

III. ENDEAVOUR, UNDER THE INFLUENCES OF THE SPIRIT, TO REMOVE ALL NEEDLESS FEARS FROM THE FLOCK OF CHRIST, BY REMINDING THEM OF THE PROPERTIES OF THAT KINGDOM WHICH CHRIST HAS PROMISED.

1. A peaceful kingdom.

2. A holy kingdom.

3. An eternal kingdom.

(Essex Remembrancer.)

Essex Remembrancer
I. WE REMARK THE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST ARE COMPARED TO A FLOCK OF SHEEP. The property of the ancients consisted for the most part in the number of their cattle, especially in their flocks of sheep. And the Lord's portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance. His people are the purchase of a Saviour's blood, and the called of His grace. He is the great Shepherd, who gave His life for the sheep. Like sheep, moreover, they are meek, and inoffensive, and harmless; they imbibe the Spirit of the Shepherd, which is a Spirit of peace and love; imitative of Him, "who when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, threatened not, but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously." These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. In their collective capacity, as a flock, they do not bite and devour one another, like wolves among sheep; but feed and lie down together in green pastures, as the property of the same master, the partakers of the same privileges, and the expectants of the same immortal happiness.

II. THIS FLOCK OF CHRIST IS FOR THE PRESENT COMPARATIVELY SMALL.

III. THE FLOCK OF CHRIST ARE AT TIMES THE SUBJECTS OF DISTRESSING ANXIETIES. They sometimes fear lest their temporal wants should not be supplied. At other times they fear they should not hold out to the end, but make shipwreck of faith and of a good conscience; and that having begun in the spirit they should end in the flesh. They are at times anxious lest they should bring a reproach upon their profession, and cause the good ways of the Lord to be evil spoken of. And never do their fears rise higher than when they witness some professors, who seemed to be pillars, depart from Zion's ways, and either embrace pernicious errors, or fall into many foolish and hurtful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.

IV. A GLORIOUS KINGDOM AWAITS THE FLOCK OF THE REDEEMER AFTER DEATH.

V. THEIR HEAVENLY FATHER GREATLY DELIGHTS IN HIS FLOCK, AND WILL TAKE A HOLY SATISFACTION IN PUTTING THEM INTO POSSESSION OF HIS ETERNAL KINGDOM AND GLORY.

VI. IT HIGHLY BECOMES THE FLOCK OF CHRIST TO DISMISS THEIR FEARS, AND TO BELIEVE THAT GOD WILL NOT PERMIT THEM TO WANT ANY GOOD THING IN THEIR WAY TO THE KINGDOM.

(Essex Remembrancer)

I. AN ENDEARING APPELLATION.

II. A SALUTARY CAUTION.

1. Fear not suffering.

2. Fear not affliction.

3. Fear not the temptations of Satan.

4. Fear not death.

III. A CHEERING ASSURANCE.

(W. J. Brock, B. A.)

I. Consider HOW CHRIST'S PEOPLE CAME TO BE HIS FLOCK.

1. By the express commandment of God.

2. By the purchase of His atoning death.

3. By actually bringing His people into His fold.

II. Consider THE DESIGNATION HERE GIVEN OF CHRIST'S PEOPLE. "Little flock." Let it be considered, not as a point of dry arithmetic, or of dogmatical and uncharitable condemnation of others, but as a melancholy fact, that should awaken yourselves. Is it so that Christ's flock is a little flock? then the way of the multitude of mankind is not the way for you to follow if you would be saved, but you must follow the way of the peculiar people.

III. THE ENCOURAGING EXHORTATION here addressed by Christ to His little flock. "Fear not."

1. Believers have no reason to fear want. It is one of the offices of the Good Shepherd to feed His flock. They shall, in general, have whatever degree of worldly prosperity may be conducive to God's glory and their own good.

2. But want is not the only thing which they may be ready to fear: they may fear the various other afflictions and calamities of life; and yet they have no reason to fear them. He will keep them from all troubles that would be injurious to them, and He will assist them, and bear them safe through those through which He has determined that they shall pass.

3. Nor need Christ's people fear that they shall be overcome by their spiritual enemies, or be left to fall finally from grace. They are, indeed, beset with many spiritual dangers, but they have a mighty and faithful helper.

4. Nor need they fear death.

5. Nor need they fear coming short of heaven.

(James Foote, M. A.)

If you were asked, my dear children, what commandment in the Bible comes the most often, do you think you should know? Shall I tell you which commandment God gives most frequently? "Fear not." He says this more than eighty times — I believe eighty-four times; this is much oftener than any other commandment. "Fear not." You know if we are afraid, it looks as if we did not trust God. If anybody is afraid in the dark, if anybody is afraid of thunder, if anybody is afraid of going to bed alone, if anybody is afraid of robbers, if anybody is afraid of wild beasts, if anybody is afraid that God will not forgive him (when he asks Him), if anybody is afraid that God will not guide him all along till he gets to heaven — then he does not trust God. Now we must look to see to whom it is that God says, "Fear not." It is called, what? "Little flock." Now, why is it called "little"?

1. Perhaps it is because there are so few in it, there are very few. A young man told me the other day that he was seven years at Eton, and he did not believe all the time that there was one real Christian there. Now, he could not tell. Very often religious boys are to be found where you do not think they are, and he might have made a great mistake. Very often God's people are hidden people. We cannot tell; but I am sure there are very few, — and I never knew a school yet, where there were a great many. There are but few, and so it is a "little flock." If you turn to Jeremiah, you will see how God makes a "little flock," — you will not wonder it is "little "when you read that. "I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion" (Jeremiah 3:14). So you see there are only to be "two" or "three." Nobody naturally tries to love God; and if nobody seeks to love God, or to care about his soul, he must not wonder at "the flock" being so "little."

2. Do you not think the reason is, not only because so few love God, but because there are so many "little " lambs in it? there are so many children in it (Isaiah 40:11). Do you not think they are called "a little flock" because everybody in that "flock" thinks so "little" of himself? Everybody who is a Christian thinks "little" of himself, or ought to do so. If anybody thinks much of himself he is by no means a Christian. "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." What a good God must that great God be in heaven, who made the sky and stars, and who sits upon that beautiful throne in glory, and gives to such poor creatures as we are "the kingdom"! There was once a great Roman emperor going through Rome in grand triumph, surrounded by all his attendants, — his courtiers and his soldiers; he himself was riding in a chariot, accompanied by sound of trumpets, — oh! so grand! The emperor was in the midst of that great procession, when a little child came out of the crowd, ran up to this great man, and of course he was put back, — they cried out, "Go back, little child — go back — go back! He is your emperor!" And the little child said, "Yes, he is your emperor, but he is my father." Oh! how beautiful it is to say of the Lord, "He is my Father!" "Your Father!" How did He become your Father? (See Jeremiah 3:19.) God has one child; that is, Jesus. Nobody can be God's child who is not joined to Jesus — a member of Jesus — united to Jesus. Then you become indeed God's child. When we are joined to Jesus, then He is our Father in a sweeter sense. So that if you wish to be able to say, "Our Father, which art in heaven," you must love Jesus, follow Jesus, be like Jesus, and be united to Jesus. And oh! what a pleasant thing to have God's eye upon you. Now we must look at the last thing. What is He going to "give us"? Do you know? He will "give us the kingdom." Then I suppose He gives us everything — the greater and the less. In Romans 14:17, it is said, "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." Thus we have "the kingdom of heaven" in our hearts when we have "righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." If we have that, then we have good hope, and when we die we shall go to heaven. And, my dear children, do you know you are all trained to be "kings"? I wonder how the Prince of Wales is trained. I should think he must be always thinking, "Oh, I am going to be a king." And that is what you ought to be thinking. "You should say, "I am going to be a king." Yes, every child, who is a Christian, is going to be a "king." "Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." You have heard of Charlemagne, — he ordered that when he died, there should be a chapel built just like the chapel of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem; and that he should not be buried like other men, but like a king, and so he said, "Do not lay my body down, but set me upon a throne, and bury me like a king." He was to have a room set apart for him at the side of the chapel, and there was to be a Bible opened and laid by his side when he was dead, and the sword of Charlemagne was to be laid on the other side — and upon his head a crown of gold, and a robe over his shoulders. So he was buried. Years afterwards, the Emperor Otho went to see how Charlemagne looked; the chapel was opened, and he went in to see him, — and what did he see? He was crumbled up into dust. There was the cowl; the crown was not destroyed, but was saved. There was Charlemagne, one of the greatest kings that ever lived — there he was, all dust. Now I will tell you of another man. There was a poor miserable-looking old man, who lived in an almshouse — I will not say where — and the poor old creature had the palsy, and if you bad seen him you would have heard his shoes knocking together with the palsy; and he was sitting in his chair when a gentleman went to see him, and said, "Well, my friend, how do you do?" "Oh! I am waiting-waiting." "Are you waiting for me?" "No, I am waiting for my Master; for Him to bring me my crown." "Bring you your crown?" "Yes, I am going to be a king." "How do you know that?" "Because Christ has said it — 'Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.'"

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

I. THE EXHORTATION: "Fear not, little flock." If it had not been expressly said by St. Luke, that Jesus spake these words to "His disciples," we should have had no doubt to whom they were addressed, from the title which He gives them, "little flock." Let us then represent to ourselves a little flock of sheep travelling through a wide and barren wilderness; and let us suppose that, thus circumstanced, they could be sensible of their situation, and of the wants and perils to which they were exposed. Would they not have many causes of alarm? Would there not be many things which would excite their fears?

1. In the first place, they would be terrified at the thought of the cruel and ravenous enemies with which they were surrounded. Every moment they might be surprised by the roaring lion, or the prowling fox, or the hidden serpent, without any means on their part of escape or defence. Beset by such adversaries, they might reasonably fear that every day would be their last.

2. Again, ignorant of the road by which they must travel through this wilderness, and arrive at those rich and fertile pastures, after which they were seeking, they could not but fear being entangled and lost by the way. Here would be a continual source of anxiety and apprehension.

3. Once more, the apprehension of want and famine would be another fruitful source of uneasiness. Such we may reasonably conclude would be the fears and anxieties of the "little flock," in the circumstances supposed: and now let us apply these things to the spiritual flock, to the people of Christ, the sheep of His pasture, and the lambs of His fold. And let us see whether they have not like grounds and causes for fear. The world is to them a wilderness; a wilderness through which they are travelling towards a better country, that is, a heavenly; a land of heat and drought, beset with dangers, and filled with their enemies. Another ground of fear to the people of Christ is their ignorance and unaquaintedness with the way in which they should go; their readiness to be discouraged at the difficulties in their road; and their propensity to turn aside, and to wander into other paths. How often do they find themselves in such situations, that they can scarcely discern the path of duty, and see the course which they ought to follow I The failure of provision by the way, of those means and accommodations which are necessary for the support and comfort of the present life, is still another fruitful cause of anxiety and alarm.

II. THE ARGUMENT BY WHICH IT IS ENFORCED: "For it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Surely there is enough in this passage to allay the fears and to comfort the hearts of the most timorous and desponding.

1. In the first place, let the people of Christ call to mind, that God is their Father, Our Lord, speaking to them in the text, says," your Father." Being members of Christ, they are children of God.

2. In the second place, let them recollect that this their Heavenly Father has prepared an inheritance for them; and what kind of an inheritance is it? Such an inheritance as the children of such a Father might well expect to receive; a royal inheritance; a " crown," a "kingdom." Suffice it in one word to say, that the inheritance is such as their Heavenly Father, the God of all power and love, has prepared for His dearly-purchased and His dearly beloved children.

3. In the third place, let them reflect, that with respect to this kingdom, great and glorious as it is, beyond all our thoughts and conceptions, yet it is their Father's "good pleasure to give it them." He has prepared and provided it for them. He has promised it to them: and it will be His delight and His joy to put them into possession of it. It is His good pleasure that they should have it; and that, not because they have deserved it, not because they have done anything to purchase it, or can ever do anything to make Him an adequate return for it — no; but because He delighteth in mercy, and hath pleasure in the felicity of His chosen. "It is His good pleasure to give them the kingdom." It is a royal gift. Now, then, my brethren, let us see how the argument, thus opened, applies to the case before us, and enforces the exhortation in the text. "Fear not, little flock"; fear not that you shall be left to wander in the wilderness without protection, guidance, and provision by the way. Have you not in heaven a Father — an Almighty Father, who loves you with the tenderest love; watches over you with the most anxious care; and desires your happiness with even more than a Father's heart? And will He ever leave you or forsake you? Besides, hath He not provided an inheritance for you? Hath He not designed, hath He not promised, to make you inconceivably blessed with Himself for ever; and is it possible that He will not bring you safely into the possession of this inheritance? Oh! be ashamed of your unbelief. Be ashamed of your fears.

(E. Cooper.)

The true followers of Jesus Christ have always been a little flock, compared with the rest of mankind.

I. Then the majority may be on the wrong side.

II. Then weakness does not of necessity involve danger or defeat.

III. Then heaven is God's gift, and not the reward of works.

IV. Then God does not judge by appearances.

V. Then God, who promises the kingdom, will surely keep His word.

VI. Then the Christian should be hopeful and happy. In life's fiercest tribulations, we should never forget that God's promises are worthy of our strongest confidence, and our constant trust.

(T. Kelly.)

Christian Age.
A sense of security seems indispensable to happiness. A habit of foreboding, of thinking something evil is ever about to happen cannot but seriously mar our comfort and satisfaction. This constant dread of impending ill is by no means an uncommon, but a very common thing. We cannot well avoid a natural looking ahead for danger when travelling, but perhaps the less we have of that the more perfect our enjoyment. To be in the presence of one who is continually imagining something ill is near, is very trying to our own peace of mind. For a mind once habituated to foreboding becomes very fertile in its imaginings and will create a great danger from some very trifling occurrence. For such a mind there would seem to be no rest night or day. Constant anxiety is eating up its vitality, which soon becomes exhausted, involving, too, the body in its terrible progress towards dissolution and death. A cure for this harassing temper of mind is the cultivation of a sense of security by a constant looking unto God for guidance and strength. A reliance on Him and a willing obedience to Nature's laws will do far more for our happiness than ought beside. Even the dearest friends will fail us at times, yea often, and the truest source of joy must be ourselves purified and lifted by a constant looking unto our Heavenly Father.

(Christian Age.)

Mrs. G was one day visiting an aged man, a friend of her father, and one who was associated with him in early life. Though differing widely in sentiment, the two old men still felt a deep interest in each other. Mr. S — had been one of those who ran after the world to overtake it. All that it can give, he had obtained. Now he inquired after the state of his friend, whom he knew to be in circumstances of far less external comfort than himself. As he listened to the story of his patience and suffering, and of his cheerfulness with which he could look forward, either to a longer pilgrimage in this world, or to the hour of death, his conscience applied the unexpressed reproach, and he exclaimed, "Yes, yes, you wonder I cannot be as quiet and happy too: but think of the difference; he is going to his treasure, and I — I must leave mine!"

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