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become the teachers of others, we rather need to be taught again "the first principles of the oracles of God."* But, Lord, while we lament
" with shame and sorrow our imperfect acquaintance with thy word and will, we would at the same time urge our ignorance as the very plea why thou shouldest continue to impart thy gracious and plain instructions. Abide with us; for the partial yet blessed acquaintance which we have even now with thy doctrines and precepts, makes us intensely solicitous to come “in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."t Open unto us the Scriptures; expound unto us all that they contain concerning thyself; enable us to know thy love which passeth knowledge. Cause our hearts to burn within us, as thou talkest to us by the way.
“ Abide with us.” The trials and disappointments which we meet are heavy to bear. As we walk through the pathway of the world, we are often sad and cast down. Our cherished hopes have been blasted, and we seem friendless and forsaken. Wilt thou not draw near, and comfort us? Wilt thou not dispel our fears, and strengthen our faith? Wilt thou not so fill our hearts with thy presence, that there shall be no room left for corroding care and
† Eph. iv. 13.
# Heb. v. 12.
anxiety ? Abide with us. Many dangers are before us, nay, around us; and who but thou can deliver us from them? Many troubles are gathering in the distance, and to whom besides thee can we look for succour? Oh, go not from us, for trouble is nigh at hand, and there is none to help us. But our griefs will soon grow lighter if thou art with us; if thou wilt disclose to us the necessity and the result of the painful events which have befallen us; if thou wilt show us that the sources of our sorrow are really the springs of our joy.
“ Abide with us." A short and occasional visit from thee, O Lord, although it is far more than we deserve, cannot satisfy our desires. We want thee to dwell with us, not as a guest, but as a resident, to make our hearts thy home. “O the hope of Israel, the Saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for the night ?"* Oh, abide with us. Through the sunshine of prosperity and the gloom of adversity; in our mental conflicts, and our spiritual enjoyments; when the duties of life are pressing hard upon us, or when the shadow of the tomb is flung across our path, leave us not, neither forsake us, thou God of our salvation. So ardent is our affection for thee; so deep is our conscious
* Jer. xiv. 8.
ness of our utter helplessness and misery without thee, that we cannot bear that thou shouldest ever depart from us. Take what thou wilt away, only leave us thyself.
“ Abide with us. There are seasonspainful seasons—in our Christian experience, when, through misapprehension and unbelief, we lose the sweet realization of thy presence. Thou art near us; thou art with us : but our eyes are holden, and we do not know thee. The ignorance of our minds, and the mysteries of thy providence, cast a mist over our spiritual apprehension, so that we fail to discern thee. But our thoughts and our desires are still intently fixed upon thee; we long to behold again the light of thy countenance; and if thou wilt abide with us; if thou wilt pity our weakness, and our dulness of perception, and remain with us, our eyes will soon be opened, and we shall joyfully recognise thee, as our Master, our Friend, our Saviour.
" Abide with us. It is with the confidence of faith that we thus implore thy perpetual presence and friendship, for thou hast promised that if we love thee and keep thy words, thou wilt come unto us, and make thine abode with
Thou hast declared that thou art with us always, even unto the end of the world. Thou hast assured us that thou wilt never leave us.
* John xiv. xxiii.
With holy boldness, therefore, we come unto the throne of grace, and ask for the simple fulfilment of thine own words. Abide with us. Through life, in death, manifest thyself unto us as thou dost not unto the world. fellowship be with the Father, and with thee, his Son Jesus Christ. And when the journey of life shall end, receive us into one of the many mansions which thou art now preparing for thy disciples; that where thou art, there we may be also, and enjoy eternal and uninterrupted communion with thee.
Abide with me; fast falls the even-tide;
Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
I fear no foe with thee at hand to bless,
Rev. H. F. Lyte.