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Fruitful Christians.

Fruitful Christians.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE

BY REV. H. J. WILMOT-BUXTON, M.A.,


S. MATTHEW vu. 16.
"Ye shall know them by their fruits."

BY REV. H. J. WILMOT-BUXTON, M.A.,


S. MATTHEW vu. 16.
"Ye shall know them by their fruits."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 28, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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FRUITFUL CHRISTIAS. BY REV. H. J. WILMOT-BUXTO, M.A., S. MATTHEW vu. 16. "Ye shall know them by their fruits." TREE is known by its fruits. If you take me into your garden and show me a fruit tree, and tell me it is the finest and handsomest tree you possess, I admire its straight trunk, and spread ing branches, and wealth of leaves ; but I have a question to ask. I ask What sort of fruit does it bear? And if you tell me that this tree is the tallest and finest in your garden, but that it never bears fruit, I do not think much of it as a fruit tree. So is it with the Christian. He may be a very fair and good Christian to look upon, he may profess his faith very loudly, he may say the Creed in Church very correctly, and sing psalms and hymns with a very musical voice, but I want something more than this, I want to know how he acts and speaks to his neighbour, whether he loves his fellow-men, whether he brings forth fruit. If he does not, then, in spite of his profession, he is acting a part, he is a Christian only in name. A man may go 12 Fruitful Christians. to Church all his life, and take part in the services, and yet be cruel, selfish, and unjust to his brethren. You must not say that you are true followers of Christ merely because you are baptized and attend to the outward forms of religion, the test is whether you bring forth the fruit of love, whether you love God, and show it by loving your neighbour. Outside Christianity is of no use. The kingdom of God is within you, and must show itself by outward acts and words of loving
 
kindness. Orpah kissed aomi, her mother-in-law, but Ruth clave unto her. That kiss seemed very loving and kindly, but how did it help poor, lonely aomi ? Out ward profession of Christianity without love is like Orpah s kiss. If we are truly followers of Christ we ring out distinctly the note of love. Let us understand exactly what love means. Things are often called by wrong names. A man betrays the confidence and trust of a weak, confiding woman, and calls it love. A man profanes the sanctity of home life, and renders husband and wife miserable, and calls it love. But it is not love, it is lust ; and as it has been well said, love is an angel, and lust is a devil. Love is divine, love is of God. It does not come to us by nature. aturally we hate each other, and are jealous and envious of each other. Love is a gift, and like every good gift, cometh down from God. When our Lord Jesus Christ was about to ascend to His Father, He promised to send the Holy Spirit upon His followers, and that Holy Spirit was to Christians. 13 bestow gifts. These gifts enable us to bring forth fruits of the Spirit, and the very first and greatest is love. Our Lord told His disciples that there should be one sign by which the world should know them as His followers. " By this shall men know that ye are My disciples, if ye love one another." There is no word about learning, or eloquence, or power, or influence, or mighty works ; all these without love are nothing worth. What, think you, is the greatest hindrance to the growth of Christianity in the world ? The want of love
 
among those who profess and call themselves Christ ians. It is no wonder that some refuse to believe in the teachings of the Gospel when they can point out people who speak cruelly and spitefully of their neighbours, who rejoice over another s misfortune, who cheat and over-reach their brethren, who quarrel and decline to be reconciled, who refuse to kneel in the same spot in Church with a poor acquaintance, and yet all the while call themselves by the name of Christian. Yes, it is this want of affection amongst those who ought to love as brethren which is the great obstacle in the way of the Gospel. How then can we show our love to our neighbour ? First, we can show sympathy. We can enter into the feelings of others. That is more than angels can do. Angels can pity us, and do pity us, but they cannot enter into our sorrows and trials. There is a picture by a famous artist which represents an angel standing by the Cross of Jesus, and feeling 14 Fruitful Christians. the points of the thorns which had crowned the Saviour. There is a look of wonder on the face of the angel, who is trying to understand what suffering means. o one can realize suffering who has never suffered. We do not expect the holy angels to understand the aches and pains of this troublesome world, but we go to Jesus in our troubles, because He has been through it all poverty, pain, loneliness, misunderstanding, ingratitude, false judgment, agony, both of mind and body. As He can sympathize to the uttermost with us, He gives us divine love that we may sympathize with our brethren. There are people who appear to be very good Christians in many respects ; they are attentive to the duties of religion, they lead pure and upright lives, but they are just like a statue carved in stone on a Church wall, perfectly cold and hard. You would never think

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