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Read not so many chapters, but take a passage or verse in the morning and feed on it all day while at school or work. It will be sweeter than honey in the soul. Better be ignorant of other books and know the treasures of God's book. A Bible Christian will be wise and strong and steadfast.
SECRET PRAYER is as vital to the soul as breath to the body. You cannot live without it. You will only gasp and die. Here all true Christians live in close communion with Christ. Open the day with prayer. It will brighten all its hours. Lift up your heart in silent prayer all through the day. Ask guidance and help in the time of need. You can telegraph the Throne and get reply in an instant. One very important thought is urged on you at the start, always pray vocally when alone. Try to have your “closet" a secret place. Then speak aloud your prayer. Do not merely think a prayer, but form it in audible words. The reflex effect of your own words spoken aloud will double the intensity and sincerity of prayer. Do not hurry. Take time to speak reverently with God and calmly listen and wait for what he shall say to you in answer. Do not ring the doorbell of heaven and then run away before your call can be answered. • Wait patiently for him." If the head of a family, at once begin and maintain family prayer.
OTHER MEANS OF GRACE. Whatever other meetings you attend, public preaching, prayer meeting, and class meeting cannot be neglected without great loss. Be constant at these services. You must feed your soul if you would grow in grace. The preaching will instruct, the prayer meeting inspire, and the class meeting strengthen you in piety. In these social meetings commence at once to take part. Confess Christ. Declare what great things God hath done for thy soul. Begin; say a few words. Repeat a verse of Scripture or a line of a hymn. A dumb child is pitiable. Learn to speak and pray by repeated efforts. Never yield to the notion that you cannot. You can if you will try. Pero severe. It is a victory worth winning. It means strength, joy, usefulness. It will tend to keep you from backsliding.
ON GUARD. The Saviour commands us to “watch as well as pray. Enemies and difficulties will be in the way. Be on your guard. Old habits will perhaps harass you. Do not dally with them, but break their bondage. Be a new man in Christ. Old associations may be a peril. Sever any friendship that would hinder your highest Christian welfare. Probably more young converts are wrecked by the evil influence of companions than by any other
Let only Christ's friends be your intimate friends. Those who scoff or laugh at holy things are enemies of Christ and dangerous to your welfare. Pray for them, but avoid them.
Temptations will vex you. Everybody has them. Do not be discouraged. Christ was tempted. Temptation is . not sin. The yielding is sin. Be on your guard-never yield. Doubts will come. They come to all. They may befog you for the moment, but keep looking unto Christ in prayer, sail steadily on, studying your Bible chart, and you will come out of the fog clearer and stronger than ever in faith.
DUTY, NOT FEELING, to your standard of action. Weak and wavering are the
COUNSEL TO. CONVERTS.
Christians who fulfill religious obligations only when they feel like it. Fickle as the wind is feeling as a guide in Christian life, while steadfast as the march of a planet is the mandate of duty. Christian living is faithful obedience to every teaching of Christ, because it is right. Right doing develops right feeling. Never, never hinge your service on feeling, but let what is right guide your obedience as loyally as the magnetic needle points to the pole star.
This will make you a joyful Christian. The joy of doing right is your strength. People who live by emotion may be “happy ” when feeling “happens” to move them pleasantly, but joy is no accident. Christian joy springs from harmony with God's will in service. “ Happy is a heathen word, while joy is a Christian grace. Go to your Bible to learn duty, don't hearken to feeling. This will make you a working Christian, a growing stalwart soul. You work, not because you feel like it, but because you ought to work for Christ. You speak and pray because it is right. You are strong to resist sin, however alluring, because you hear the voice of God behind you—“Thou shalt say, No.” Seek the aid of the Holy Spirit in living according to these fundamental principles, and you will march onward and upward in a certain and steady spiritual life. You will make no shipwreck. Probation will end in honor. The Church will want such reliable disciples, and you will want a home in the Church until your life on earth wins a coronation before the Throne.
YOUR CHURCH HOME. OU have joined the Methodist Episcopal Church on
probation. We expect you to become a full mem. ber in due time. We believe you could not have a better Church home. You have been converted under her influence. She is your mother. She will love and nurture you with tenderest sympathy and affection. Her doctrines and type of spiritual life, we believe, will best promote your Christian growth in holy things. The measure of holy character a Church tends to develop in her members is the highest evidence that she is a true Church of Jesus Christ. Other Churches may allure you with flowery paths of indulgence in worldly pleasures. Do not be deceived. What are you seeking? Pleasure and indulgence of natural desires, or likeness to Christ? If the former, the world offers you the greatest freedom outside any Church. If the latter (true piety), then the Church that is least like the world will be most like Christ. Your Saviour should be your Guide and Teacher. He says, “ If any man will be my disciple, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." “ Follow me," not follow the world. If you cheerfully accept the teachings of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the Christian life, we are confident you will attain the highest religious experience here and the fullest preparation for heaven hereafter.
Study the teachings of Methodism in this Companion, and compare them diligently with the teachings of Christ, and if you find they agree cleave to them for eternal life. Be intelligent, steadfast, loyal Methodists. Do not be readily moved by the appeals to an "easy" Christian life. If, however, you desire above all things to live and be like Jesus, you will find no better home than in the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Christ so commands. He also was baptized.
That which satisfies your conscience. The mode is not vital. Our Church guarantees each candidate his choice of modes, and he should claim that which satisfies his (not another's) conscience.
4. Does our Church approve and recognize the validity of Infant Baptism?
No. Explain the fact of baptism already received ; then always require him, on reception into full membership, to ratify and confirm the baptismal covenant. This satisfies conscience.
NOTE.—The author for twenty-five years pursued this method and found it entirely satisfactory to those baptized in infancy. 6. Does baptism precede full membership? Most certainly.
7. May the probationer receive the Lord's Supper before baptism?
He should partake of the Sacrament on every occasion, but secure baptism as early as possible.