"Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until that day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes again." 1 Thes. 5:23

It is a striking and suggestive fact, that the Divine Perfection associated by the angels with their Advent Song when announcing the birth of Christ was, the attribute of Peace. They might have placed in the forefront of their proclamation of glad tidings, the Love of God in originating, or the Wisdom of God in planning, or the Power of God in executing the great expedient of saving man by the Incarnation of the Son of God. But no! they bore from heaven to the inhabitants of a sin-tainted world over which the dark waters of the curse fiercely surged, the olive branch of Peace. Their mission was a mission of peace, their commission was to proclaim a divine amnesty– peace from heaven, peace with God, peace between God and man. Listen to their song- how entrancing its strains which broke the silence of that stilly night, and which floated in such melody over the plains of Bethlehem– Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God: "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors."

Such is the Divine perfection we invite you to consider– God not only proposing peace with the subjects of a revolted empire, not only devising the scheme by which a peace honorable to Himself and available by man may be received, but revealing Himself divinely and essentially as "the God of peace." Our subject is a great and comprehensive one, fraught with blessed instruction and hope to those who, convinced of their natural enmity against, and revolt from, God, are anxiously and earnestly inquiring how they may return to God, and in what way propitiate His regard and be at peace with Him.

About to celebrate, as we are, the Advent to our world of earth's Great Visitant- the Incarnate God, the Divine Savior of men– it will not be an inappropriate subject of meditation, the attribute and character of God as- "The God of Peace." The passage from where our subject is selected is a prayer of the apostle on behalf of the Thessalonian saints. He had been addressing to their minds holy and earnest exhortations, urging sanctity of heart and holiness of life to the extent even of avoiding the "appearance of evil." Then, as if remembering the impotence of these saints, unaided by a higher power, to reach the lofty standard he places before them, he concludes his exhortation with one of the most expressive and touching prayers ever breathed from mortal lips- "Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until that day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes again."

What a prayer! what a motive! what an attainment!– perfect holiness unto the coming of the Lord! Thus the subject now engrossing our thoughts unites with our personal and complete holiness the two Advents of Jesus– the First Advent to make peace, and the Second Advent to consummate and crown it. The subject is of vital importance and of precious interest. The great event of human life is, to be at peace with God. So long as there is variance and alienation between God and the soul- holiness on the part of God separating Him from the sinner; enmity on the part of the sinner placing him in antagonism to God– there can be no peace, reconciliation, or fellowship. "How can two walk together except they be agreed?"

Oh, it is of the utmost moment that we know, and clearly understand, God's way of peace. And that thus knowing it, we are found walking in it in all the sweet consciousness of perfect reconciliation with God, holiness of body, soul, and spirit, the natural and the blessed consequent and fruit. Let us, then, briefly address ourselves to the opening up of this important subject, showing in the first place IN WHAT SENSE WE ARE TO REGARD GOD AS THE "GOD OF PEACE" and then, if our space permits, considering the prayer of the apostle founded thereupon.

Our first remark relates to God as, essentially the "God of peace." There could be no revelation of God in this particular apart from this fact. Peace with man originated with God. It was a divine thought, as its mode was a divine conception, and its execution a divine power. But this could only have been the case as it found its property essentially in God. If peace had not been a divine inherent, an essential perfection of God, no proposition of peace with men could have obtained a moment's hearing, and no expedient for its accomplishment the slightest shadow of success. Herein is seen the overflowing of God's mercy and grace to sinners!

With the injured, the outraged One– with Him against whom the appalling crime of revolt had been committed, against whose Being and government the sinner had uplifted his arm of treason and defiance, and poured out his deadly hate; originated the conception and the expedient, the offer and the proclamation of peace! Could this possibly have been the case had not peace been an essential perfection and quality of His nature? Oh, it is delightful, beloved, to trace the springs, the rivulets, the rivers of salvation up to the Divine and Infinite Ocean from where they flowed. To see GOD in our salvation, to refer it to His very essence, to know that, because He is what He is, there is salvation for the most lost of our race, pardon for the guiltiest sinner, peace for the greatest rebel that ever defied the power, trampled upon the authority, insulted the Majesty, and denied the very existence of God.

How earnestly and impressively has God Himself vindicated this perfection of His being, as if jealous of its existence and anxious to assure the mind of the rebel sinner that if he but return from the error of his ways, relinquishing his hostility, and grounding his weapons of rebellion, he shall find no hand outstretched towards him but the divine hand of peace. "Fury is not in me; who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. These enemies will be spared only if they surrender and beg for peace and protection." Thus God declares that He is not an angry God, but a God of peace, all day long stretching out His hand to a gainsaying and rebellious race, waiting to be gracious. Oh, what a God is our God!

As ORIGINATING AND DEVISING THE PLAN OF PEACE with sinners, He is the "God of peace." The negotiation of peace between God and man could only have its origin in God Himself. The thought of a reconciliation between the offended Creator and the offending creatures, no created mind, human or angelic, would ever have conceived; to a creature's eye, the breach appears too great ever to be repaired, the gulf too wide ever to be passed; the difficulties in the way of a reconciliation of too vast proportions ever to be overcome. Divine justice must be perfectly satisfied, Divine holiness perfectly secured, the Divine government fully upheld, the Divine law honored and magnified. What mere created mediator, what arbitrator less than Divine, could have met and answered this demand? Who shall reveal Jehovah as the God of peace? Who shall loosen the seals of His decrees, and make known His eternal thoughts of reconciliation and peace to man?

Ah! angels and men might have wept through eternity before the divine, the impenetrable secret had been discovered, if the "God of peace" had not assumed the initiative in the great matter; if He had not taken the first and only effectual step in declaring to the fallen world that He had looked within Himself, and there found, in the person of His beloved Son, dwelling in the bosom of the Father from all eternity, the Peace-maker between God and man, even the man Christ Jesus.

We cannot be too conversant with the truth that, "Salvation is of the Lord." While there is, essentially, the human element in our redemption, there is, and must as essentially be, the Divine element. All God's works are impressed with His divinity, all "declare His eternal power and Godhead"– from the atom dancing in the sunbeam, to the Alp piercing the clouds– from the hyssop that springs out of the wall, to the cedar tree that is in Lebanon– all witness to the wisdom, power, and goodness of Him who made them. Is it to be supposed, then, that His greatest, His master-achievement– that work which reveals and illustrates, unites and harmonizes, every perfection- of His being and attribute of His character, every thought of His mind and feeling of His heart- the redemption of man by the Incarnation obedience and death of the Son of God– should not be so manifestly a Divine work as shall awaken the homage and praise of His own people, and as shall extort, even from His enemies, the tribute of their wonder and admiration?

It is no light thing, beloved, to have our faith well confirmed in the Divine Inspiration of the Scriptures of truth, and in the Divine origin of the salvation of the Church. In no other work of our God does He appear so full-orbed in every perfection as here. Here is no shading, no obscuration of our Divine Sun. In the work of creation God is, as it were, in partial eclipse. We see only parts of His ways, His "back parts." But in the salvation of the cross, in the great expedient by which peace, reconciliation, and love are restored between God and man, God is seen in His full meridian majesty, every perfection of His being exhibited, every attribute of His character revealed– His mind and heart fully unveiled.

What confidence does this give to the poor, trembling faith of the soul that ventures itself upon Christ, that humbly sues for pardon and peace at the cross of Jesus! Because salvation is of the Lord, and because the blood that cleanses is the "blood of God", and because the righteousness that justifies is the "righteousness of God", therefore Jesus is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him. We are fully justified, yes, commanded, unhesitatingly to accept the peace God has provided, and Christ has made, and the Spirit imparts, on the ground that our God is the "God of peace." If He from whom we have so deeply revolted, and against whom we have so greatly sinned, is the first to make the overture of peace, the first to extend the olive branch of amity, who are we that we should disbelieve and hesitate, demur and refuse? Will not our very refusal fully to accept in humble faith and gratitude the reconciliation God has provided, increase our sin and augment our punishment? Away, then, with all vain excuses and puerile fears concerning your warrant in the Gospel to accept the overture of God's pardoning mercy in Christ Jesus, and, in the language of the apostle, "Be reconciled to God."

This conducts us to an essential part of our subject- GOD'S METHOD OF PEACE, the plan of reconciliation by which He has written His name as the "God of peace," as He nowhere else has written it. Concerning the NECESSITY of a Divine plan of peace, we need not enlarge. We must rather, seeing our space is limited, and how important it is that we have scriptural and clear views of God's way of peace, assume the fact as proved, than attempt its proof. All that we can venture to state is, that the wide severance between God and man created by the fall, renders a Divine method of reconciliation necessary, if peace be at all restored.

Prior to the fall, all was love and fellowship between the Creator and the creature. Every faculty of man was in harmony and communion with every perfection of God. The reign of perfect holiness was the reign of perfect love. Oh, what a paradise of peace and beauty was Eden! Not an alienated affection, or a discordant feeling, or a dissonant thought, or a jarring note! The song of peace filled every grove with melody, and the aroma of love every bower with sweetness. Oh, what will the New, the renovated Earth and Heaven be when sin shall be extirpated, love restored, and peace enshroud with her balmy wings a world in which will dwell righteousness!

But we have now to deal with a fallen race, a depraved nature. God is at variance with man, on the ground of Holiness, Justice, and Truth, and until these perfections of His nature are honored, and harmonized with Love, Mercy, and Grace, there can be no reconciliation on His part with man. Such is the wide and terrible breach, such the two extremes of being- the Infinitely holy and the totally sinful- between whom a reconciliation is to be effected. And how shall this breach be healed? By what expedient shall beings so opposite in nature, so extreme in purity, be reconciled and brought into a state of at-one-ment, without compromising holiness on the one hand, or in the least degree condoning the offence on the other? Such was the great problem the solution of which Deity alone could supply.

An expression of the inspired apostle gives us a clue to the unravelment of the great and glorious mystery. "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself." Here we are at once referred to Christ as embarking in the great work of the Peacemaker, undertaking and accomplishing His divine and pacific mission. Hence to Him belong, and most justly, the high and honorable titles of, "Our Peace," "The Prince of Peace," "The Arbitrator, laying His hands on both." It was the greatest work He ever embarked in, the adjustment of the claims of justice, holiness, and truth, with the yearnings of love, mercy, and grace, so as to maintain the dignity of God's moral government intact, and yet effect a full and perfect reconciliation between God and man.

But our divine and gracious Peacemaker- blessings forever on His name!- was in all respects fitted for the undertaking. Absolutely divine, God could negotiate terms of peace, through His beloved Son, strictly honorable and glorifying to Himself. Perfectly human, He was fitted to undertake the work of making peace on the part of man, and He is denominated the "One (and there is only One) Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus." Thus our beloved Lord partook of the nature of both the parties between whom He mediated. As God, He mediated for God; as man, He mediated for man.

The question arises, 'In what way does the Lord Jesus become our peace?' The answer to this question leads us at once to the great plan of atonement. He presented to God a full, honorable, and accepted Atonement for our transgression. The only thing that could separate between God and man was sin. This removed- removed in a way that would secure the interests of justice and holiness- peace was made. By the offering of Himself as a sacrifice for sin, by His obedience to the law, and by His death-penalty to justice, He presented a full equivalent to all the demands of the divine government, bearing our sins, suffering, bleeding, dying, and so making peace by the blood of His cross.

And now, by the great sacrifice of Christ once for all, we are one with God, one with Him in mind, one in affection, one in will, one in fellowship, God and the believing sinner brought into a state of at-one-ment by the Atonement of "Christ who is our peace." "But now you belong to Christ Jesus. Though you once were far away from God, now you have been brought near to him because of the blood of Christ. For Christ himself has made peace between us Jews and you Gentiles by making us all one people. He has broken down the wall of hostility that used to separate us. By his death he ended the whole system of Jewish law that excluded the Gentiles. His purpose was to make peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new person from the two groups. Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death, and our hostility toward each other was put to death. He has brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and to us Jews who were near."

The great practical question which arises at this stage of our subject is, does God stand TO US in the relation of the "God of peace?" Is He at peace with us through Christ Jesus, and are we at peace with Him? It is of the utmost moment that we believe and are sure that our peace is made with God, and that we are in a state of friendship with Him. This peace is not a thing made by us- for no sinner can make his own peace with God- it is a peace made by Christ the Mediator for all those who believe, and is available to us as we accept the terms of God's reconciliation, which are that we believe in Him whom He has sent. "This is the commandment, that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ."

You earnestly desire to know that you are on terms of amity with God, and perhaps have long sought to possess the precious, priceless jewel of peace in your soul– its divine and richest treasure. Your heart is dissatisfied, your mind is anxious, your conscience far from repose. You regard God more in the light of an angry, offended God, than of a reconciled Father. You obey Him from slavish fear, rather than from filial love. His commands are as a heavy yoke to your neck, rather than wings to your soul, bearing it onward and upward in the path of filial obedience and heavenly joy. The great want and craving of your soul is- peace, peace with God.

Everywhere and earnestly have you in vain sought to meet this want, and have failed. You have sought it in the diligent and successful pursuit of wealth, and "your gold and your silver is cankered; and their rust is a witness against you." You have sought it in the pleasures and gaieties of the world, and you but "sowed to the wind and have reaped the whirlwind." You sought it in the love and fellowship of the creature, and God shattered the vase, and the beautiful flower faded. You sought it in the walks of literature, in the researches of science, and in the creations of art, but the shadow of peace fled your grasp, and left your heart colder and more desolate than ever. You have perhaps sought it in the less pure and refined enjoyments of lust, and the fruit you plucked from the upas tree of sin, fair and inviting as it was, has proved bitter as the apples of Sodom.

But, make one effort more in a new and an opposite direction- seek it in Christ, and seeking, you will find it. The moment that your penitent and believing heart accepts Jesus as your Savior, the Lord as your righteousness, Christ's sacrifice as your hope, you will then have found repose from the oppressive consciousness of guilt, release from the galling tyranny of sin, deliverance from the fear of death and the dread of judgment.

Again, that which more immediately brings peace into the sin-wounded and guilt-troubled conscience is, THE PEACE-SPEAKING BLOOD OF CHRIST. The blood of Abel called for vengeance; the blood of Jesus pleads for pardon, and speaks peace. There is no balm for the wounded conscience but the Atonement, no healer but Christ, and no healing but His blood. All other remedies cry, "Peace, peace, when there is no peace"- it must be Christ, and Christ only. All your legal endeavors, all your religious duties, all your pious alms and ceremonial observances, will bring no real healing to your conscience, no true peace to your mind, no divine joy and comfort to your soul. Your peace with God must be procured by the cross, and must flow from the wounds of Jesus, in whom God is reconciled and pacified for all that we have done. And now, God's command is, "Let him take hold of my strength (Christ), and be at peace with me; and he shall be at peace."

The few remaining pages of the present chapter must be a reply to the question- to whom does the "God of peace," through Christ, speak peace? God speaks peace, through Christ, TO THE SIN-TROUBLED SOUL. If it were possible for God to regard one gracious soul with a deeper interest and more especial favor than another, it is the soul of whom He thus speaks "The high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: "I live in that high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts." "To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word."

Can you, my reader, discern in your soul any reflection, however faint, of this gracious character? Do you see in yourself some lineaments of resemblance, however faint, to this divinely-drawn, this gracious portrait? Are you humbled in the dust for sin, seeing and confessing at the cross your nothingness, emptiness and poverty? Then, God extends to you, in Christ Jesus, the scepter of peace, and bids you approach, touch it and be at peace with Him. There exists not in the heart of God in Christ Jesus an unappeased feeling or an angry thought towards a poor, broken-hearted sinner. His marvelous language towards you is, "I know the thoughts I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of anger." Cheer up, then, sin-distressed, guilt-burdened soul! God is at peace with you in Jesus, and it is your high and holy privilege to walk in a sense of pardoned sin, of Divine acceptance, and gracious adoption, your heart singing in the ways of the Lord, as you travel homeward, to be forever with Christ.

God in Christ speaks peace to the afflicted soul. What does He say to such?- "O you afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted; I, even I, am He that comforts you. As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you." Beloved, it is worth all the tempest and billows through which we pass, to see Jesus coming to us in the dark night of our woe, walking upon the broken waves of our sorrow, and saying, "It is I; do not be afraid. Peace, be still."

Yes, even the winds and the waves of soul-distress, of heart-sorrow, of life's adversities, obey Him! The voice of Jesus quells the storm of sin's conviction, stills the tempest of life's adversity, calms the troubled mind, and peace, like a river, flows into the soul. If, then, God is leading you through deep and dark billows, if He is feeding you with the "bread and the water of affliction," and His discipline is such as to drape the serene and sunny picture of life with cloud-veil and storm, believe, only believe, that, when the "floods have lifted up their voice, the floods lift up their waves," the voice of Jesus "on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yes, than the mighty waves of the sea," and that, in the greatest perplexity, in the most overwhelming calamity, in the profoundest grief, He will speak peace to your soul; and "when He gives quietness, who then can make trouble?"

And, amid the corroding cares of domestic life, the anxieties of business, the pressure of need, the forebodings of evil, the foreshadowing of calamity, the distant mutterings of some gathering storm, how peacefully God in Christ can keep you! And when the "strife of tongues," the envenomed tooth of malice, the whisperings of envy, the spirit of jealousness and all uncharitableness would wound your heart, destroy your peace, and rob you of comfort- assailing character, reputation, usefulness– God, your reconciled Father, will put you within the curtained pavilion of His love, in the secret place of His perfections, and keep you there, safe, calm, and even cheerful, until the calamity be passed. "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You; because he trusts in You."

This page may meet the eye of some who are postponing the great matter of their peace and reconciliation with God to a dying hour, or, perhaps, to a period beyond it, when they vainly suppose that their good works will already have preceded them to eternity, as pleas and arguments with God. False and fatal delusion! My reader, your peace, if ever made with the holy Lord God, must be made in this world. If death cites you to God's bar with the weapons of rebellion against Him in your grasp, with all the signs of hatred and treason against God staring and thick upon you, your doom of woe is irrevocably fixed "where the worm never dies, and the fire is unquenched."

If you are not at peace with God through Christ Jesus here, you will be at war with Him, and He with you forever hereafter. The kingdom of heaven is entered in this world, and as we grow in grace, we have a more abundant entrance into it now, until the white-robed angel of death comes, and opens the door of our imprisoned soul, and we ascend fully and triumphantly to enter into it in glory. Hasten, then, to be at peace with God by accepting Christ in faith. The blood of Christ applied to your soul alone can bring you to a state of peace with God. No doings of your own, no human merit, no religious rites and ceremonial, will bring peace to your soul. You may travel from Church to Church, from minister to minister, from duty to duty, from ordinance to ordinance, and each and all will exclaim, "Peace is not in us."

But go just as you are to Jesus; wash by faith in His peace-speaking, conscience-healing blood, and "the peace of God, which passes all understanding," will flow in gentle waves into your soul. "Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny." Oh, then, accept without a moment's delay God's way of peace, and lay not your head upon your pillow until you have thrown down your weapons of rebellion and have become reconciled to Him through Christ Jesus. Oh, to die an enemy of God! Oh, to meet Him with hate in the heart, and with the weapons of defiance in the hand! What will He say? "And now about these enemies of mine who didn't want me to be their king—bring them in and execute them right here in my presence."

HAVE YOU LOST YOUR PEACE? Rest not until it is restored by a renewed application of the peace-restoring blood of Christ to your conscience. You may have broken your covenant of peace with God, but He has not broken His covenant of peace made with you in the Son of His love, and never will. "For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, says the Lord that has mercy on you."

Avail yourself of the rich and precious legacy of peace Jesus your Mediator and Surety has bequeathed you in His last Will and Testament. The terms of this covenant are– "peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." Christs' last thoughts and words and deeds were those of peace. Present your claim and ask your share of this precious, priceless bequest, for if you believe in and love Him, you may be assured that He remembered you in His Will, and left you this legacy. And as He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven for the express purpose of being His own Administrator, He is prepared, in answer to your prayer, as "the God of peace Himself, to give you peace always, by all means."

Is God pacified towards you for all that you have done for Christ's sake? Then seek to cultivate PEACE WITH YOUR FELLOW-CREATURES. You cannot walk in the sweet enjoyment of God's peace, and harbor at the same moment in your heart hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness towards a, fellow-being, especially a fellow-saint. Impossible! Go and be reconciled to your brother. Make your peace with your sister. Confess your own fault, and forgive his or hers. Think of the infinite patience of God towards you; think of the ten thousand talents which you owed, but which He has cancelled; of the "seventy times seven" which He has forgiven you; of the peace and joy of His pardoning love, so often shed abroad in your heart; and think of a dying hour, and of the final and eternal meeting in heaven with your brother, and go and extend to him the olive branch of peace, and forgive him, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you.

Strive to promote FAMILY PEACE. Be a peacemaker there! It is one of the saddest pictures of domestic life, and one of the most painful and humiliating evidences of fallen humanity– the strifes and feuds, the enmity, alienation, and division, which too often are seen marring and shading the domestic circle. The smallest trifles will be allowed to engender differences of judgment and alienation of affections and unholy jealousies of heart, where there should exist the most perfect confidence, the freest communion, and the warmest and holiest love. A picture, a jewel, a piece of plate, a slight misunderstanding, after death has removed the family head and broken up the domestic circle, has often been allowed to sever and separate those who, as the ties of family lessened one by one, should but have drawn all the closer together in affection, union, and sympathy. Do all, then, that is in your power to cultivate in yourself, and to promote in others, family peace. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."

CHRISTIAN UNION among the members of different branches of Christ's one Church is a sweet fruit of our peace with God through Christ. "The God of peace" has but one Family, and but one Church; and it is His will that members of this one Family and of this one Church should "lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love. Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace. We are all one body, we have the same Spirit, and we have all been called to the same glorious future."

Thus walking in Christian love and union with Christ's members of other communions than our own, we shall walk worthy of, and glorify Christ, bring peace into our own souls, and impart extension and strength to the bond of peace which should knit and unite in one mystical body the whole Church of the elect. Oh, were the peace of God more in our own souls, our aim would ever be to "live peaceably with all men,'' especially with the "household of faith." We should not think that we are coming down from some high altitude of ecclesiastical eminence, and are conferring a distinction and an obligation on a Christian Church, or on a Christian brother, by the extension of our right hand of fellowship and love; but that we were honoring ourselves, and, above all, were honoring Christ, by cultivating the "communion of saints" with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.

And what a PRAYER does the apostle blend with this expressive title of our God! He prays for the entire sanctification of the Thessalonian saints: "Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until that day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes again." Who that has felt the peace of God flowing through Christ into his soul longs not to experience the answer to this prayer for holiness in his own soul? The believer, standing between the two Advents of Christ, finds in both the most powerful persuasives to universal holiness. From the cross of Jesus, where the Prince of Peace died, and from the throne of Jesus, where the Prince of Peace lives, he draws the most, powerful motives to yield himself up unto God, body, soul, and spirit. The cross, in its dying love, and the throne in its living, glory, constrain him to "deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live godly, righteously, and soberly in this present world."

Thus, while our God is the "God of peace," He is the God of holiness; and all in whose hearts the peace of God, which passes all understanding, reigns; hunger and thirst after righteousness, and are made, through trial, suffering, and sorrow, "partakers of His holiness." Thus the peace which God gives, which Jesus procured, and which the Holy Spirit speaks, is a holy, sanctifying peace; and he who lives in sin, and yet affirms that he is walking in peace with God through Christ, is deceiving and deceived. "And now, may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, all that is pleasing to him. Jesus is the great Shepherd of the sheep by an everlasting covenant, signed with his blood. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen."

Let us remember that God's way of peace is our way of holiness. "You meet him that rejoices and works righteousness, those who remember You in Your ways." The path of peace is ever found parallel with the path of evangelical purity and obedience. And walking in this path, God, as the "God of peace," meets His children, and says to them, "Peace be with you!" Oh, walk closely with God, keep the conscience beneath the blood, live above the world and the creature, and your peace will flow like a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea.

"Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until that day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God, who calls you, is faithful; he will do this." 1 Thes. 5:23-24

"Let us hail the blissful morning-
Dawn of peace to sinful earth!
Which the promised Savior gives us,
By a new and wondrous birth;
And, with angels,
join in hymns of holy mirth.
'Twas for us the King of Glory,
For a manger left His throne
Bore the curse–then went to heaven,
In a nature like our own
Blessed compassion!
To a world of rebels shown!
Lord, we praise You for Your mercy,
And would spread Your name abroad,
Until each tongue, and tribe, and nation,
Know You as their Savior God
And rejoicing,
Feel the virtue of Your blood."