William Gadsby Sermons (Complete)

19 The Benediction

A Sermon Preached By William Gadsby On Tuesday Evening, June 1st, 1841, In Gower Street Chapel, London, On taking Leave At The Close Of His Annual Visit.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”—2 Corinthians 13:14

If God is graciously pleased to grant you and me the sweet unction of the blessings contained in the passage read as a text, we possess the rarest blessings it is in the power of God to bestow upon creatures. Angels do not enter into the glorious mystery of some part of it; and therefore we have a song to sing more divinely glorious than that of the angels in heaven.

Some people tell us that it should not be read as a prayer of the apostle that this might be the case, but as a declaration that it is the case. But I am wonderfully mistaken if the heart of God’s people, at one time or another, would not give that statement the lie. For though these things are secured in the Person of Christ, can you, can I,—dare we, always say that we possess in our souls the sweet, melting, cheering grace of Christ and the communion of the Holy Ghost? Communion springs from union, and there must be both a giving and a realizing; and do you and I always feel a solemn coming in and a blessed going out of communion with the Holy Ghost? Alas! If we search our hearts, we shall often find that there is a different sort of communion, which staggers and confounds us, and often makes us wonder what sort of outrageous animals we are; for we really cannot make it out; at least I really cannot make out what sort of a creature I am, because of the worthlessness and wretchedness that I feel. And yet, to the honour of the Lord I would speak it, there are moments when there is a solemn coming in, by the power of the Spirit, and a solemn going out to the Lord, by the same; and then I want no mortal living to tell me that “the communion of the Holy Ghost” is “with me.” Now the apostle does not merely say, “This is secured in Christ,” but, “be with you.” It is a personal and a sweet and a blessed matter. And the real child of God, quickened and made alive by divine grace, wants the immortal blessings couched in our text to have a residence, a dwelling, a sweet springing up and a Divine flowing in his own heart; and then he knows something of what it is, for “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost to be “with him.”

I shall just make a remark or two upon the passage as it lies before me; and I shall speak, as far as God shall enable me, as standing on the verge of eternity; for perhaps you and I shall never see one another again in the flesh; but if we meet here,—that is, in “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,” if we meet in “the love of God,” if we meet in the solemn “communion of the Holy Ghost,” and if, through the divine teachings and operations of the Spirit, “the grace of Christ” is in us, “the love of God” is in us, “the communion of the Holy Ghost” is in us,—if we could be a million miles distant, we should stand before God on the same ground. Yes, brethren, if God takes some of us to heaven, and leaves others to grovel a little longer here below, we still stand before God, whether in heaven or on earth, upon the same solemn ground. And the event shall prove that we shall at last meet together in the mystery of everlasting, immutable love, to “dwell for ever with the Lord.”

Perhaps some of you will say, “The text does not lie exactly in proper order; it should begin with ‘the love of God,’ and then ‘the grace of Christ’ appears richly and blessedly to spring from that.” But I believe it lies in that order in which God teaches his people. Whatever view we may have of the love of God in the spring-head of grace or mercy, what is it that God reveals to the conscience which first springs up in our hearts and leads us to know something of the mystery of it! Did you ever know anything spiritually of the love of God till you felt a little of the grace of Christ? Is it not by being brought by the sweet teachings of the Spirit to have a little of the meltings and divine operations of the grace of Christ that we are led solemnly into the love of God? And so, through the channel of the grace of Christ, we “enter into rest;” and God is glorified in opening the mysteries of his everlasting love to our souls.

You may ask, “Who are they that are intended in the text?” Why, God’s heaven-born family. And mind one thing; as far as it stands in Christ, the whole elect are interested in it, whether they are born of God or not; but as far as it stands in the manifestation of it in our consciences, none are interested in it till God quickens their dead souls and brings them to a spiritual acquaintance with it. And it is the latter the apostle has in view,—that we may have a sweet, a blessed acquaintance with the mysteries of the gospel in our own hearts.

I. We will first, then, drop a hint or two upon the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
II. The love of God.
III. The communion of the Holy Ghost.

I. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And really what a cluster of divine blessings there is in this single expression! We may talk of the grace of a king, a fellow-creature; but here is the character set before us that is the wonder of heaven,—the Lord Jesus Christ, Lord of heaven and earth, God over all; in the glorious character of the Saviour, who saves his people, with the immortal openings of God’s love in confirming them manifestively in his saving office by the divine unction without measure,—the Christ, the Saviour, the anointed Saviour, who has grace to bestow upon rebels. And it is grace, the solemn grace of this glorious Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, which the apostle prays might be with the church.

And what is couched in this grace? Though I attempt to tell you, I shall tell you vast little about it; for we must die to know much about it; and every little God is graciously pleased to teach us only teaches us that we know very little; and the more we have, the more we know that we know but very little, and that we must enter into a state of immortal glory, really and truly to know much of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is one portion of Scripture upon this subject: “Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, for your sakes he became poor.” Now that text has set me fast many a time. How set me fast? I never yet have been able to get into the glory of the riches of Christ—fully and blessedly so; and I never yet have been able to get into the glory of the poverty of Christ Jesus, the riches and the poverty meeting together. A little measure of it in the conscience brings the soul to such divine humility that we are lost in holy amazement. So “rich,” that he is “the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of his Person;” so “rich,” that he has treasured up in himself all the immortal mystery that ever God did and ever God will reveal to the millions of his elect. It is all locked in his heart, treasured up in him; the fulness is there,—“full of grace and truth.” And so “poor,” that he had not where to lay his head; so “poor,” that he could call no where his home; so “poor,” that he met with worse treatment than foxes: “Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests;” so “poor,” that he had to wade through all the trials and distresses and temptations and miseries that devils and men and (perhaps I shall stagger you) sin, damnable sin, could lay upon him; and this, too, accompanied with the wrath of insulted Justice, the terrors of God; and so “poor,” that when overwhelmed in this misery, he had not a soul of the human race to sympathize with him. His disciples who were nearest him went to sleep; Judas betrayed him; a band of vagabonds met him to take him and torture him; he was cruelly mocked and scourged, and everything that was awful was poured upon him. And yet this very Person, who so emptied himself as to submit to this scorn and contempt, was the God of all worlds,—the Maker and Supporter of all worlds. The pillars of hell tremble at his bidding; devils acknowledge his might; and yet he so emptied himself in the solemn displays of his grace to his people as to be the sport,—the mark for the arrows and darts of devils, men, and sin. And this, poor tortured, poor tempted soul, to come down to thee; to come into thy case and circumstances; to be a sympathizing Friend with thee. Talk of an exalted Christ! It is very blessed to get in feeling to an exalted Christ through the poverty of Christ. To get to him through the channel of a bleeding, tortured, slaughtered, tempted, abused, scorned, despised, humbled Christ,—under the teaching of God the Spirit, to get to an exalted Christ, through this immortal channel of Divine grace, brings the soul into a state of solemn exaltation and deep humiliation at the same time.

Now here is a little measure of “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.” “For your sakes he became poor.” You and I have no cause to look with any degree of indignity upon the power of Satan and men who abused him. Neither devils nor men could have touched him, had he not put himself under the solemn gracious constraint of lying under their power in this sense, to come down to your case and circumstances, and so to sympathize with you.

Now some poor soul is ready to say, “Would ever Christ stoop so low, bear such indignity for such a vile wretch as I?” He did it for none but vile wretches. If there is not a vile wretch in this congregation, he did not do it for a soul of you. He never took this upon himself, he never thus “became poor,” for any but vile wretches. And, therefore, those who imagine they are not vile, nor base, nor wretched,—let them take their own heaven. God knows I never wish to be with them in it; they are welcome to it, with all the exaltation they can boast of in it. My glory is, under the blessed teachings of the Spirit of the Lord, to have a heaven that comes to me through the channel of a once slaughtered, agonizing, poverty stricken Christ, who is exalted now at the right hand of the Father, to bring the characters for whom he was then smitten to the blessed enjoyment of himself. And may this grace be with you,—”the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.” “For your sakes he became poor,” ye self- loathing, pulled-to-pieces sinners. There is not a set of men or women in the world that I love to have intercourse with but such as these. A whole-hearted, pretty, nice-stepping, neat-spoken, sinner in matters of eternity! I would as soon have to do with a bubble upon the water as with him. In matters of civil society, I desire to be as courteous as I can to all my fellow-sinners; but the characters I feel love to are poor, wretched, pulled-to-pieces sinners, groaning under the sense of their misery. And these are the very characters the Son of God was made poor for. And why? That they, “through his poverty, might be made rich.” Through his humbling himself, they are exalted; through his becoming “a worm and no man,” they are brought richly and blessedly to the enjoyment of the adoption of sons; through his weakness (for he was “crucified through weakness “) they are made “strong in the Lord and in the power of his might;” through his poverty, they are made “rich in faith” and manifestively “heirs of the kingdom” of God. And thus, through the homelessness of the Lord Jesus Christ, through his having no home, they are made to possess the blessedness of having “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away.” We have to travel, brethren, to our home and our exalted state through the solemn steps of a suffering God in our nature,—a tried Jesus in our nature; bearing our offences and dying “the Just for the unjust, to bring us unto God.” “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

But, then, we observe, further, “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ” couches in it what the Holy Spirit says of him: “Full of grace and truth.” Do you want the grace of prayer? It is in Christ. If that is “with you,” you find the same Spirit that breathed out to God at Gethsemane breathe out in your souls. “But,” say you, “I am in darkness, and sometimes I am afraid I shall die in darkness.” Aye, so am I too; the Lord knows I am. I do not know that death ever appears to me more terrific than when I feel a fear that I shall die in darkness; I do not want such a death as that. But I can tell you what the Lord has brought me to know a little of, and to feel a little satisfaction in, and that is, that if God should see good that I should die in darkness, I am but level with the Lord Jesus Christ. He was in darkness, and cried out in darkness, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? “Why, bless you, poor souls, we have solemn company when we have such company as this, have we not? Even in our dark moments, when we are able, in some measure, to feel that we are in such company, we trace a little of “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,” that he put himself so low as to be a pillow in death to his poor people, if they were dark there, that they might find rest in him eventually, and be led to glorify him. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

If you want faith, there is a fulness in him. And if you want patience, there it is. And I do not know sometimes whether that is not what I stand in need of more than anything else. I feel it every day. I have had afflictions, torturing afflictions, close afflictions, for more than twenty years, and one upon the heels of another, tearing my poor flesh and blood, till sometimes I think there is not a mortal under the heavens that stands more in need of patience; and I am ready to think that God gives me none at all,—I feel so dissatisfied with the Lord’s dealings. “And,” say you, “do you let folks see it?” Too much, at times, I assure you; and I am very much ashamed that ever I show it, or feel it. But so it is; and I feel in my very soul the necessity of the patience of the Lord Jesus Christ. O! How patient he was in his afflictions! If they reviled, he “reviled not again;” if they scorned, he scorned not again; he bore the insults of men with patience and submission. O brethren! May the patience of Christ be in your hearts and mine. Lord the Spirit! Pour the patience of Christ into our hearts, and detain it there, that we may be “patient in tribulation,” and that patience May “have its perfect work.” And if, under the sweet teachings of the blessed Spirit, we are brought there, we know something about “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

We want sometimes a little strength, to support us under troubles and afflictions. And I dare say here is some poor child of God who has thought before now that he had got a tolerable share of strength. I remember the time when I felt very grieved for a brother, one that I believed to be a child of God, because he seemed so very impatient in trouble; and I prayed the Lord to take some of his troubles off’ from him, and give me some of them; I thought I could bear them better than he. But it is a long time since I have prayed for any of other people’s troubles, I can assure you; I soon gave up that business. God taught me how weak I was, and how much I needed the strength of Christ. But then, in “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,” there is the strength of God,—”Christ, the power of God.” If we have “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ” with us and in us manifestively, we have the spirit of prayer and the spirit of praise, the spirit of love, the spirit of patience, the spirit of meekness, the spirit of humility, the spirit of strength, the spirit of brotherly kindness, the spirit of godly simplicity, the spirit of holy adoration, the spirit of deadness to the world, the spirit of union to one another in and through the blessed Redeemer. We have, in reality, the sweet unfoldings of the mystery of a Three-One God, in the heart and love and blood of Christ, to be with us and in us.

Now do you know anything of this? Could I wish you better than pray with the apostle, if I should never see you again, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you?” Brethren, God help you to pray for me, that it may be with me; and me for you, that it may be with you; that we may this night have our consciences loaded with the grace, the matchless grace, of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that it may have an abiding place in our hearts, that so we may trace our interest in him, and live to the praise of his Name, who Las done such mighty wonders for us. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

II. “And the love of God.”

Now, if I know anything of “the love of God,” and I believe I do, I know that I was brought to a sweet enjoyment of that love through “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.” And there is one thing I can say,—that though the child of God may and frequently does doubt his interest in Christ, yet there are doubts, fears, suspicions, bondage, and distress, which do not amount to the point of questioning his interest in the love of God. “O,” say you; “if I believed l was interested in the love of God, I should have no doubts nor fears nor suspicions.” You do not know what you are talking about, and you had better hold your tongue till you do. If ever God brings you feelingly and spiritually to know your interest in “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God,” and you have to come through sharp conflicts, you will have fears and doubts and miseries, and yet at the same time, if it were put close to your conscience, you could not, at all times, call in question your interest in Christ. I do not mean to say that you may not say you do, because you do not always speak the truth, you know. We sometimes keep back a little of the truth, in order to get a little pity from our brethren. “But,” say you, “I wish you would describe a few of the doubts and fears and suspicions we can have and yet know our interest in the love of God; what can they be?” I will tell you what it has been with me, and what, if I live long, I am afraid it will be again. I have feared, for one thing, that one day or another I shall be left to tumble some horrible thing out which makes me groan within,—that it will not keep its place even within, but that it will come out, and that after all I shall bring my own character, the church over which God has made me overseer, and the cause of God with which I am connected, into contempt and disgrace. “O! You have no cause to fear that,” say you. “Why, God has kept you these fifty years, and he is sure to keep you to the end.” But what feeds, at times, my fear is, he has suffered some of the most eminent of his family to dishonour themselves and the cause of truth; and why not me? He suffered David to do it; he suffered Solomon to do it; he suffered Peter to do it; and why not me? O! How my soul trembles, at times, lest it should be sounded through half the empire: “That Gadsby has become a public disgrace and nuisance in his character, and has dishonored the cause of God!” And yet, while I feel, at times, dreadful fears of this nature, I dare not call in question my interest in the Lord; but believe that if I were suffered to do that, his blessed Majesty would restore me. But then I would rather die, I would rather die to-night, than do it. O! It is torturing to the mind; and yet the enemy of my soul and my fleshly feelings and unbelief get sometimes such hold of me that if you would give me the world I cannot help fearing that I shall live to be a spectacle of contempt, and that it will be said of me,” Is this the man that made the earth to tremble?” O! My soul has trembled before God under such feelings! And therefore I need “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God,” not only to be secured in Christ, but to be “with me;” to support me, to keep me, to prop up my soul, to awe my mind, and to preserve me from the damnable snares which my corrupt nature and a tempting devil would lead me into, if God’s grace did not keep me. And that has been a blessed text to me sometimes: “My grace is sufficient for thee, and my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Now I might name other things; but perhaps this will be a key sufficient to unlock a variety of things to your souls, where you may have great fears, great faintings, great distress, and yet not doubt your interest in the Lord Jesus Christ. So that if you have the blessedness of having an interest in Christ, that will not quit you of all fear and all distress. And I should say it was presumption, if it did; because we are such poor wretches that we stand upon very, very fickle ground, as far as self goes, and are just safe as God keeps us and no further. And so the church are brought to know the truth of that declaration, that there is an inheritance, incorruptible and undefiled, “reserved in heaven for them that are kept.” Do you know any thing of this “keeping?” Keep yourself! Well, I am glad you have not to keep me; for if I had no better keeping than your keeping and my men keeping, I should be a very devil outwardly, and that soon. But as I am led solemnly, by the blessed teaching of God the Spirit, to trace the keeping of the Lord, and in that channel to trace the love, the immortal love of God, and that love in some blessed measure “shed abroad in my heart by the power of the Holy Ghost,” I find it a blessed fountain of mercy, a spring-head more prizeable than a thousand worlds.

God tells us, in one place, that “the love of God is shed abroad in the heart.” Now the love of God,—Father, Son, and Spirit, is one immutable, eternal, unalterable love, fixed upon his people and kept upon his people. It never was taken from them; it never will be taken from them. “Having loved his own which were in the world, he loves them to the end.” But, then, here is another branch of the blessed manifestation of this,—to have that love “with us,” “shed abroad in our hearts;” to have it there to sweep away guilty fear, and to bring us to that blessed feeling and the sweet enjoyment of that “perfect love, which casteth out fear,” slavish fear. Now says the apostle, “the love of God be with you;” that blessed love, that leads us to love God, leads us to love his Word, leads us to love the Person of the Father and the Person of the Son and the Person of the Holy Ghost,—leads us to love the church of God as our brethren, as our nearest companions; that love which makes sin look ugly and hateful and awful, and makes us abhor it; and that love which clasps Christ in the conscience, wraps him up in the heart, and brings to bathe in him, and to find him “a fountain opened” to our soul, that so we may know the blessedness of this truth, “He loved me and gave himself for me.” “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God be with you.”

Why, then, brethren, if I never see you again, my prayer is, that this grace and this love may be with you. O what riches it will be! What honour it will be! What glory it will be! There is nothing under heaven like it; and there is nothing in heaven above it, only a greater measure of it; and thus, when we get out of this vale of tears, we shall only be complete in him, and swallowed up in this grace and in this love. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God be with you.”

III. But we pass on, further, to notice “the communion of the Holy Ghost.”

We have already hinted that communion springs from union; if there be no real union, there can be no sweet communion. Now the church of the living God, and every member of the mystical body of Christ, are all united to Christ, bone of his bone, body of his body, flesh of his flesh; and when his blessed Majesty is speaking of it, he says, “The head cannot say to the foot, I have no need of thee.” Is there a “foot” here now? Perhaps there is some poor member of the mystical body of Christ, that finds himself but a “foot,” and can seldom be half a minute out of the dirt in his own feelings; for if he gets out of it one moment he gets into it the next; and so he goes hobbling on, and can never get higher than a “foot,” and is ready to conclude the Lord will never have any thing to do with him because he is on such low ground. Come, poor soul, thy Christ cannot do without thee. I was going to say, and I will say,—He would not be a complete Christ mystical in heaven without thee. No. He cannot part with a “foot;” he cannot part with a joint. And every part of this mystical body is to be supplied; and the supplying is couched in the communion. Now here is the union which makes the mystical body united together as one body. So that though you be only a joint, you are still part of the body; and if you be any part, ”you belong to the body. If you be but a hair, you belong to the body. I do not mean a wig, as I have more than once said, which free-will and Arminianism can dress and trim up very prettily; I mean the hair of the head, which grows in the body; and not one hair shall perish. No. In this sense “the very hairs of the head are all numbered,” and our blessed Jesus will not part with a joint, will not part with a foot, will not part with a hair, will not part with a single member of his mystical body. They are one church, one body; he is one Head and they are one body; and, blessed be his holy name, he loves them as he loves himself. Now having this union, the Spirit of the living God meets the church of the living God upon this ground,—for he is to “glorify Christ” and “take of the things of Christ and show them unto us;” and, therefore, the apostle says, “The communion of the Holy Ghost be with you.”

What is this “communion?” He communicates life, and you feel; then his blessed Majesty draws forth that life into exercise, and you communicate, if I may so speak, or pour it back again from whence it came,—pour it out in feeling, pour it out in confession, pour it out in supplication, and sometimes pour it out in thanksgiving. He communicates the Spirit of prayer; for “the Spirit helps our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Why, then, there is “communion” carried on. We receive this from him; and, under his divine teaching, we pour it out back again in sighs and groans and moans and pantings and breathings after mercy, in “thirsting for God, the living God,” and in pouring out our souls unto him for the mercies we need.

He communicates faith; for he is the “Author and Finisher” of it. This faith is “the substance of things hoped for” in the conscience; and the same blessed Spirit enables faith to go out of the believer, as it were, in solemn acts, upon the truth of God, the Persons of God, the love of God, the cross of the Lamb, the mysteries of redemption, the fulness that is in Christ; and, as the Spirit shows to faith and hangs out to faith these blessings, faith brings them into the conscience and settles them in the heart. I have sometimes thought that faith is like a busy bee amongst the flowers in such weather as this; it goes and sucks virtue from every flower and brings it back,— comes loaded into the conscience and drops honey into the heart; and then that same faith enables us to pour it out into the Lord. (Song 4:11) And this is “the communion of the Holy Ghost.” The Holy Ghost leads faith into the promises, into the doctrines, into the glorious mysteries of the love of God, in the grand openings of it; and faith brings it into the conscience, brings virtue and honey out of it, and the soul realizes it, and gives it back to the Lord to be in his keeping. For really, if the Spirit of the living God were to give us ever such a stock of faith or prayer or love or any other grace, and to say, “Now I leave you to manage it; you have a stock, and I will give up my operations and my teachings and you must manage it,” I believe you would lose every particle of it within four and twenty hours; and if God never brought you to feel that you area fool in religion, you know nothing of the power of vital godliness. But if he has brought you to feel that, do not you see how much you need the constant communion of the blessed Spirit? You need him to be constantly dropping blessings, drawing forth the grace he communicates, constantly enlivening, constantly teaching, constantly showing you Jesus, constantly cherishing you with the mysteries of the love of God and the great solemn realities of his blessed revelation; and thus to have “the communion of the Holy Ghost.” And as he is graciously pleased thus to lead you, how sweet it is (is it not?) to go back again with this, and to cast it into the hands, and keeping of a faithful God! We know something then of what David meant when he said, “I pour out my soul unto the Lord;” as if he had unsouled himself,—given the Lord his soul to keep, and had no care (if I may so speak) about the keeping of his own soul. And so the church is led to say, under the teachings of the Lord the Spirit, “0r ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib;” and by these communications the Lord Jesus Christ says to his church, “Thou hast ravished my heart;” or, as some read it, “Thou hast unhearted me.” The Spirit communicates Christ so blessedly to the conscience that he leaves Christ, if I may so speak, no heart of his own, drops the heart of Christ into the church, and leaves the church no heart of their own, but gives it to Christ. Thus the church and Christ give their hearts to one another; and they are thus knit together and united together by the blessed Spirit of God, to carry on this immortal communion,—”the communion of the Holy Ghost.”

Now do not you find sometimes in your souls a little of this work carried on in secret silence betwixt God and your conscience? Have you never been secluded from society,—when no eye saw you but God’s, and have you never felt in reality for a few moments that the Spirit was really letting God down into your hearts and that the same blessed Spirit was really drawing your heart up into God, and effecting such union and communion that your very soul was led to say, “This is my Beloved and my Friend?” Well, here is “the communion of the Holy Ghost.” And as we are brought, in the life and power of Jesus, to know something of this blessed communion, we shall feel a oneness with each other and with the Lord which none but God can maintain.

Thus I have dropped a hint or two upon the passage. And now, brethren, all that I can say is, Farewell. Perhaps—but I will not make use of that word, I leave it to God—I might say, finally farewell. I leave that with God; he knows better than I. But I feel myself so unfit to travel; such a poor, old, broken, moping creature that I seem as if I had lost all spring of action, as it respects my body, and am ready to think my traveling days are ended. Be it as it may, I cannot, if I were sure I should meet you again a hundred times, leave you with any better blessing than praying in my very soul that “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Ghost may be with you.” May the Lord God of Israel bless your souls with this; and may it be our happiness to enjoy the life and power of vital godliness in our hearts.