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128

XXXV

DIVINE VISITATIONS

“Thou knowest not the time of thy visitation.”—Luke xix. 44.

GOD visits us in opportunity. The dawn of opportunity is the unveiling of His presence. When the door opens upon the way of sacrifice and enlargement, He is there! No longer does He visit us in bodily form; He comes in the form of circumstance. He speaks to us in the voice of events. We may behold His comings and goings in the movements of our day. We may see Him in a tendency, we may hear Him in a challenge, we may find Him in the midst of upheaval and unrest. He comes to us in the brightness of some glorious hope, being “clothed with light as with a garment”; and he comes to us in the shadow of some chilling disappointment, visiting us “in the night seasons.”

It is therefore a fine attainment in grace to be able so to interpret events as to discern 129the presence of the Lord. We are advancing in the school of the Spirit when we know the time of His visitation, when we can look upon the robe of light or the pale of darkness, and say, “It is the Lord!” But when events have no divine significance, when they are empty as a drum, life becomes a very hollow procession—indeed, it is scarcely a procession at all, but just a disorderly assemblage of blind and warring instincts, rushing out of the night and into the night again.

To recognise the divine visitation, and to discern the Visitor! To know Him as He comes to the door! “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” How may we know His knock? “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” “With what measure ye hear it shall be measured to you again.” We need the consecrated ear, and the ear is sanctified in the consecrated heart. When the heart is sanctified all the senses are awake to the presence of the Lord. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

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