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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Need to get to a meeting and speak to someone right away? Below is a list of online meetings and resources to help you find a meeting and fellowship.

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Daily Recovery Readings – June 21, 2014

Just For Today
June 21, 2014
New Levels Of Honesty

“We have been experts at self-deception and rationalization.”
Basic Text, p. 27

When we come to our first meeting and hear that we must be honest, we may think, “Well now, that shouldn’t be too difficult. All I have to do is stop lying.” To some of us, this comes easily. We no longer have to lie to our employers about our absence from work. We no longer have to lie to our families about where we were the night before. By not using drugs anymore, we find we have less to lie about. Some of us may have difficulty even with this kind of honesty, but at least learning not to lie is simple – you just don’t do it, no matter what. With courage, determined practice, the support of our fellow NA members, and the help of our Higher Power, most of us eventually succeed at this kind of honesty.

Honesty, though, means more than just not lying. The kind of honesty that is truly indispensable in recovery is self-honesty, which is neither easy nor simple to achieve. In our addiction, we created a storm of self-deception and rationalization, a whirlwind of lies in which the small, quiet voice of self-honesty could not be heard. To become honest with ourselves, we first must stop lying to ourselves. In our Eleventh Step meditations, we must become quiet. Then, in the resulting stillness, we must listen for truth. When we become silent, self-honesty will be there for us to find.

Just for today: I will be quiet and still, listening for the voice of truth within myself. I will honor the truth I find.

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Daily Reflections
June 21, 2014
FEAR AND FAITH

The achievement of freedom from fear is a lifetime undertaking, one that can never be wholly completed.  When under heavy attack, acute illness, or in other condition of insecurity, we shall all react to this emotion – well or badly, as the case may be. Only the self-deceived will claim perfect freedom from fear.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 263

Fear has caused suffering when I could have had more faith. There are times when fear suddenly tears me apart, just when I’m experiencing feelings of joy, happiness and a lightness of heart. Faith–and a feeling of self-worth toward a Higher Power -helps me endure tragedy and ecstasy. When I choose to give all of my fears over to my Higher Power, I will be free.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
June 21, 2014
A.A. Thought For The Day

Intelligent faith in that Power greater than ourselves can be counted on to stabilize our emotions. It has an incomparable capacity to help us look at life in balanced perspective. We look up, around, and away from ourselves, and we see that nine out of ten things that at the moment upset us will shortly disappear. Problems solve themselves, criticism and unkindness vanish as though they had never been. Have I got the proper perspective toward life?

Meditation For The Day

A truly spiritual man or woman would like to have a serene mind. The only way to keep calm in this troubled world is to have a serene mind. The calm and sane mind sees spiritual things as the true realities and material things as only temporary and fleeting. That sort of mind you can never obtain by reasoning, because your reasoning powers are limited by space and time. That kind of a mind you can never obtain by reading, because other minds are also limited in the same way.  You can only have that mind by an act of faith, by making the venture of belief.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may have a calm and sane mind. I pray that I may look up, around, and away from myself.

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As Bill Sees It
June 21, 2014
This Matter of Honesty, p. 172

“Only God can fully know what absolute honesty is. Therefore, each of us has to conceive what this great ideal may be–to the best of our ability.

“Fallible as we all are, and will be in this life, it would be presumption to suppose that we could ever really achieve absolute honesty. The best we can do is to strive for a better quality of honesty.

“Sometimes we need to place love ahead of indiscriminate ‘factual honesty.’ We cannot, under the guise of ‘perfect honesty,’ cruelly and unnecessarily hurt others.  Always one must ask, ‘What is the best and most loving thing I can do?’”

Letter, 1966

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Walk In Dry Places
June 21, 2014
Remember the Golden Key
Living in the Spirit

Whenever trouble arises, the first thing to do is to turn it over to our Higher Power. We can take all necessary practical steps to solve a problem, but we don’t need to decide what the answer may be. Do this, and you’ll soon be out of your difficulty.

This is essentially the formula of the Gold Key as taught by Emmet Fox. It is also the core idea os Steps three and Eleven. It is a manner of living one’s life iwht the constant knowledge that a Higher Power is always part of it.

We should also condition ourselves to believe that our Higher Power has been with us all along and will continue to show us the way. Nothing depends on our being “spiritual” or “saintly” or perfect in behavior. With all our shortcomings, we are and ever will be children of God.

My Higher Power is always with me today, supplying whatever I need for the accomplishment of any good purpose.

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Keep It Simple
June 21, 2014

The future is much like the present, only longer.
—Dan Quisenberry

In many way we don’t know what the future holds. But in terms of recovery, we know the future holds the Twelve steps. They will be with us for life.

We should never fall into the trap of thinking we “know” the program. We’ll never know all the truth and love the Steps hold for us. “Knowing the Steps” is a project we’ll never finish. As we change , the Steps change. As the seasons come and go, the same field or the same tree becomes a different picture.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, I pray for Your help as I work the Steps and continue my recovery. Help me discover new treasures.

Action for the Day: I will ask long-time members of my program how they keep the program fresh and alive.

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Each Day a New Beginning
June 21, 2014

There is no such thing as conversation. It is an illusion. There are interesting monologues, that is all.
—Rebecca West

How often we want to be heard, to be truly listened to by our spouse, our children, friends and co-workers. And we deserve to be fully attended to. So do the other persons in our lives who come to us to be heard. We let our minds wander in the midst of important messages. And we may miss the very phrase that we need to hear-the answer to a problem, perhaps. Our minds wander, randomly, looking for a place to light, unconsciously searching for peace, the serenity promised by the Twelve Steps.

Living fully in the present, soaking up all the responses of the life we are immersed in for the moment, is the closest we can get to our higher power, our God. Being there–fully–is conversation with God. How can we know all that God intends for us to know if we don’t take advantage of God’s many messages? Every moment of every day offers us information, divine information. Each time we turn our minds away to self-centered thoughts, we’re refusing the chance to grow.

As I come together with friends and family today, I will remember to listen for God’s message. I will hear what I need to hear if I will but listen.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
June 21, 2014
The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner’s obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

This was my introduction to this “understanding fellowship” although it was to be more than a year later before our Society was to bear the name, Alcoholics Anonymous. All of us in A.A. know the tremendous happiness that is in our sobriety, but there are also tragedies. My sponsor, Jackie, was one of these. He brought in many of our original members, yet he himself could not make it and died of alcoholism. The lesson of his death still remains with me, yet I often wonder what would have happened if somebody else had made that first call on me. So I always say that as long as I remember January 8th that is how long I will remain sober.

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
June 21, 2014

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

Disagreeable or unexpected problems are not the only ones that call for self-control. We must be quite as careful when we begin to achieve some measure of importance and material success. For no people have ever loved personal triumphs more than we have loved them; we drank of success as of a wine which could never fail to make us feel elated. When temporary good fortune came our way, we indulged ourselves in fantasies of still greater victories over people and circumstances. Thus blinded by prideful self confidence, we were apt to play the big shot. Of course, people turned away from us, bored or hurt.

pp. 91-92

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Xtra Thoughts
June 21, 2014

Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.
–Art Linkletter

It is in the silence of the heart that God speaks.
–Mother Teresa

“Our entire life–consists ultimately in accepting ourselves as we are.”
–Jean Anouilh

“You are infinitely lovable, infinitely desirable, because the One who most desires and loves you is also infinite.”
–Deepak Chopra

You will find that the spiritual energy will permit you to perform tasks far beyond your conditioned capacity in terms of time and accomplishment.
–John-Roger

Gratitude is the memory of the heart.
–Italian Proverb

God, help me stay serene, confident, and joyful as I go through my day.
–Melody Beattie

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
June 21, 2014
LIES

“The cruelest lies are often told in silence.”
–Robert Louis Stevenson

In treatment I said that I did not “tell” many lies – and although this was not true (hence a lie), it missed the fact that most of my lies were “lies of silence”. It was what I did not say that produced the confusion; the pretended self-confidence that hid the pain and shame;  the half-spoken truth that harbored the disease.

Communication is the key to any spiritual relationship and a sick silence creates the ultimate blasphemy. God created you and me to relate. In the interchange of our ideas is the miracle born. A sick, angry and ego-centered silence is our shouted “no” to God.

O Lord of the paradox, let me see how the lie of silence can be used to destroy my world.

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Bible Scriptures
June 21, 2014

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
Ephesians 6:11

“For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”
I John 3:20b

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13

“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.”
Luke 6:27-28

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
John 15:13

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Daily Inspiration
June 21, 2014

Set aside time for quiet because it is here that you will come to know yourself and to know God. Lord, the distractions and interruptions of my day are many, but for a few moments each day we will talk.

When life seems hard and filled with troubles, look for reasons to be thankful. Lord, Your beautiful presence is always with me.

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A Day At A Time
June 21, 2014
Reflection For The Day

“Direct” is a key word in the Ninth Step.  There are times, unfortunately, where many of us are hopeful that indirect amends will suffice, sparing us the pain and supposed humiliation of approaching people in person and telling them of our wrongs.  This is evasion and will never give us a true sense of breaking with the wrong-doings of the past.  It shows that we’re still trying to defend something that isn’t worth defending, hanging on to conduct that we ought to abandon.  The usual reasons for sidestepping direct amends are pride and fear.  As I make amends to others, do I realize that the real, lasting benefits accrue to me?

Today I Pray

May I be sure that the best reward for coming on straight as I try to repair my damages is, after all, my own.  But may I avoid making amends purely for my own benefit — to be forgiven, to be reinstated, to flaunt the “new me.”  Ego-puffing and people-leasing are not part of the real “new me.”  God save me from opportunism.

Today I Will Remember

No puffery or people-pleasing.

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One More Day
June 21, 2014

One cloud is enough to eclipse all the sun.
–  Thomas Fuller

Sometimes a beautiful day suddenly falls to pieces because of a criticism from a friend or being stuck in traffic before an important appointment.  Later we may have wondered why one small happening could overshadow other happy events.

Quite possible the answer lies within us and our expectations.  if we expect each day and all our relationships to be without mishaps or misunderstandings, we set ourselves up to be disappointment.  If we direct our energies toward pleasing our friends and relatives at the expense of our own needs and values, we are placing too much responsibility in their hands.  We can have more rewarding days when our expectations are realistic.  Each day will have unexpected delays or unappreciated remarks, but they are just a scattering of clouds in a bright, wide, wonderful sky.

I will have more realistic expectations.

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One Day At A Time
June 21, 2014
A Person of Worth

“It is funny about life: if you refuse to accept anything but the very best you will very often get it.”
–W. Somerset Maugham

Upon entering recovery, I found it ironic, even strange, that I was so very good at taking care of others and helping them secure the help that they needed, yet often in my life I have not done this for myself. I would grow depressed and very frozen in anger, grief, and fear. Why wasn’t I ever able to care properly for myself? At what point did I begin to expect the worst as my own allotment in life?

It is possible that I dreamed of a “rescue” or an intervention of some kind that would “save me.” It is likely that my Higher Power knew of my tendencies for magical thinking. He caught my attention by the introduction of someone who knew of a program that would point me in a realistic direction. In this program, I would be taught to take small actions — “One day at a time” — that would encourage and re-build my shattered self-esteem. I now am in possession of a wonderful program that has given me tools for recovery and change so that I can learn to treat myself as well as I treat others.

One day at a time…
I no longer accept anything but the best, as it will indirectly affect my recovery. This is my new mindset: that I am a person of worth.

~ January K.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day June 21

“The god that people reject is not the true god, it is a god they have conjured up apart from proper education, and understanding. In such cases, the least Fools Crow will do is to call their assumptions into question, and force them to re-evaluate their position.”
—Thomas Mails on Fools Crow, LAKOTA

Inside of every person – man, woman, and child – is the knowledge that there is a Supreme Being. Many of us have been taught that the Creator is a punishing God. We have been taught about feelings of guilt and shame when we do things wrong. We have been taught that God gets angry and disappointed with us. The Elders teach us that the Creator is a loving and forgiving God. He loves us during our good days and He loves us during our bad days. He doesn’t know how to do anything but love. If I really want to find out about the true God, I only need to ask in prayer. There is one thing that God cannot do and that is refuse help to one of His children who asks.

My Creator, I ask You to be a part of my life everyday. Whisper to me Your wisdom. Let me feel Your presence. If I am doubtful and afraid, show me, in terms I can understand, You are real.

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Journey To The Heart
June 21, 2014
You’re Right Where You Need to Be

You’re right where you need to be– on your path, guided, in just the right place for you today.

Many times on my journey I stopped short, convinced I would never find the place I was trying to find, only to discover that it was right in front of me all the time. I had gone there instinctively. Gone right where I needed to go, right where I was heading.

There is a part of us that knows where we need to be and understands where we really want to go. There’s a place in us that has the map, even if our eyes and conscious mind can’t see it, can’t figure it out, or aren’t certain it’s there.

If you’re spinning in circles, feeling lost and confused, trying to figure out where you need to be and not all that certain where you’re going,stop. Breathe deeply. Look around.

You’re right where you need to be. Maybe you’ve been there all along.

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Today’s Gift
June 21, 2014

To be able to invite pain to join in my experience and not have to control my life to avoid pain is such a freedom!
—Christina Baldwin

If we really stopped to think about it, we would be astounded to discover how much of our time is spent trying to avoid pain. We are afraid to say what we think or tell others our needs because we fear rejection. We are afraid to face the pain of our own anger. We are afraid of telling others who we are. When we are afraid of opening up to others for fear they will hurt us, we are not free, we are prisoners of our own fears.

Pain is a natural part of life, and we are gifted with the ability to feel it. Pain teaches us, makes us work harder sometimes, and it helps us appreciate pleasure.

When we accept pain, and stop exhausting ourselves trying to avoid it, we will be free to live life more fully and without so much worry.

How has my own fear limited my freedom?

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The Language of Letting Go
June 21, 2014
The Good Feelings

Let yourself feel the good feelings too.

Yes, sometimes, good feelings can be as distracting as the painful, more difficult ones. Yes, good feelings can be anxiety producing to those of us unaccustomed to them. But go ahead and feel the good feelings anyway.

Feel and accept the joy. The love. The warmth. The excitement. The pleasure. The satisfaction. The elation. The tenderness. The comfort.

Let yourself feel the victory, the delight.

Let yourself feel cared for.

Let yourself feel respected, important, and special.

These are only feelings, but they feel good. They are full of positive, upbeat energy – and we deserve to feel that when it comes our way.

We don’t have to repress. We don’t have to talk ourselves out of feeling good – not for a moment.

If we feel it, it’s ours for the moment. Own it. If it’s good, enjoy it.

Today, God, help me be open to the joy and good feelings available to me.

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More Language Of Letting Go
June 21, 2014
Calm yourself first

Calm yourself.

Many incidents will come to pass in our lives. Sometimes, things happen to get our attention, to point the next lesson out, to help guide us along our path. Sometimes, things just happen.

Our emotional responses to the world are important. How do you feel? What do you like? What don’t you like? Have you been denying something, something taking place before your eyes? What we sense, what we feel, and, more important, what we know deep inside is an important part of our spirit, our connection to the Divine.

It’s important not to underreact. It’s important not to overreact.

When something comes up, calm yourself. Feel your emotions. Don’t move into denial. Feel each wave of each feeling. Allow your thoughts to pass through you. But the key is not to act on these emotions. Let them pass through you first.

Your power comes from being centered and clear. That’s where your answers, insights, and lessons will come from,too.

The first thing to do when something happens is feel what you feel.

The second is calm yourself. From that place of calm, you’ll be guided into your next step.

God, teach me to take guided action, not action motivated by turbulent emotions.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
June 21, 2014

In the life of the Indian there is only one inevitable duty – the duty of prayer – the daily recognition of the Unseen and Eternal. He sees no need for setting apart one day in seven as a holy day, since to him all days are God’s.
—Ohiyesa, Santee Dakota

Some of our past troubles came from our naive arrogance. We failed to acknowledge anything beyond ourselves. Whatever was unseen or eternal remained invisible to us. We were skeptical, scientific, task-oriented, self-centered, and unreflective. It’s like we had been racing down a country highway at top speed, hardly tuned in to the rich vitality of life that surrounded us. When we stopped the car and explored the road banks, we could suddenly smell the grasses, hear birds singing, perhaps see a whole community in an anthill, or watch a darting squirrel.

Coming to believe in a Power greater than ourselves is not something we create on our own. It is largely a matter of shifting our attention, of being open to the spiritual. We don’t need to force it. We need only be willing to quiet ourselves and notice. Ultimately, every moment is sacred.

Today, may I live from moment to moment.

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Daily TAO
June 21, 2014
Solstice

      When the true light appears,
      The entire planet turns to face it.

The summer solstice is the time of greatest light. It is a day of enormous power. The whole planet is turned fully to the brilliance of the sun.

This great culmination is not static or permanent. Indeed, solstice as time of culmination is only a barely perceptible point. The sun appears to stand still. Its diurnal motion seems to nearly cease. Yesterday, it was still reaching this point; tomorrow, it will begin a new phase of its cycle.

Those who follow Tao celebrate this day to remind themselves of the cycles of existence. They remember that all cycles have a left and right, an up side and a down side, a zenith and a nadir. Today, day far surpasses night, and yet night will gradually begin to reassert itself. All of life is cycles. All of life is balance.

So celebrate, but be not proud. For whenever you electorate high achievement, the antithesis is also approaching. Likewise, in misfortune, be not sad. For whenever you mourn in grief, the antithesis is also approaching. Those who know how to reach the peak of any cycle and remain glorious are the wisest of all.

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 Food for Thought
June 21, 2014
Discipline

If we think of discipline in terms of punishment, we miss the more constructive meanings of the word. Discipline is order, training, practice, and study. Without it, our lives are ineffective and full of chaos. Before we came to OA, our eating patterns were probably chaotic. We may have been short of order in other areas, too.

Discipline is a tool, which produces self-respect and a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. When we discipline ourselves to eat three measured meals a day, we achieve physical and emotional results, which make our spirits, sing! The discipline of the OA program liberates us from the tyranny of self-will and self-indulgence.

As we develop trust in our Higher Power, we begin to see that the hardships and difficulties we face are means to spiritual development. Through them, we acquire self-discipline and strength. Our lives become ordered according to God’s plan.

Make me willing, Lord, to accept the discipline of an ordered life.

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In God’s Care
June 21, 2014

It is well, when one is judging a friend, to remember that    he is judging you with the same godlike and superior impartiality.    ~~Arnold Bennett

It’s amazing how well we know our friends and how we think they should behave. And isn’t it interesting that what we want others to do always benefits us in some way? When we are upset with people, it’s usually because they have failed to fulfill an assignment we have mentally given them – or because their errors are a little too much like our own.

We couldn’t fairly or accurately judge people without knowing an infinite number of things about them. And we would have to know how those things influenced their judgment. Too, we would have to be sure that our perception was without flaw before we could judge fairly.

God, of course, is the only competent judge of anyone. Only God knows everyone’s past, present, and future. Only God can be fair. What, then, are we doing in the judge’s chair?

    My only judgment is that I’m not competent to judge anyone.

 

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Day By Day
June 21, 2014
    Dealing with problems

Eventually we reach a point in recovery where one trying incident doesn’t have to ruin the whole day. We reach a point where we’re less sensitive or emotional. We learn to take each day with everything in it. We learn to take each day with humor, acceptance, and love.

This is not to say that we become doormats; it just means we’re going to find ways to calm down and not complicate existing problems. Just for today, let’s leave all our trials and complications to our Higher Power.

Am I learning to be less sensitive or emotional?

Higher Power, when I start to feel the pressure of today’s tribulations,
help me remember that you can handle anything.

    My plan for handling problems today is…

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Daily Zen
June 21, 2014

Hermits hide from mankind
Most go to the mountains to sleep
Where green vines wind through woods
And jade gorges echo unbroken
Higher and higher enraptured
On and on simply free
Free of what stains the world
Minds pure like the white lotus

– Han-shan

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Faith’s Check Book
June 21
A Woman’s War

The Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.
(Judges 4:9)

Rather an unusual text, but there may be souls in the world that may have faith enough to grasp it. Barak, the man, though called to the war, had little stomach for the fight unless Deborah would go with him, and so the Lord determined to make it a woman’s war. By this means He rebuked the slackness of the man, gained for Himself the more renown, and cast the more shame upon the enemies of His people.

The Lord can still use feeble instrumentalities. Why not me? He may use persons who are not commonly called to great public engagements. Why not you? The woman who slew the enemy of Israel was no Amazon but a wife who tarried in her tent. She was no orator but a woman who milked the cows and made butter. May not the Lord use any one of us to accomplish His purpose? Somebody may come to the house today, even as Sisera came to Jael’s tent. Be it ours not to slay him, but to save him. Let us receive him with great kindness and then bring forth the blessed truth of salvation by the Lord Jesus, our great Substitute, and press home the command “Believe and live.” Who knoweth but some stout-hearted sinner may be slain by the gospel today!

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This Morning’s Meditation
June 21

“Thou art fairer than the children of men.”
—Psalm 45:2.

THE entire person of Jesus is but as one gem, and His life is all along but one impression of the seal. He is altogether complete; not only in His several parts, but as a gracious all-glorious whole. His character is not a mass of fair colours mixed confusedly, nor a heap of precious stones laid carelessly one upon another; He is a picture of beauty and a breastplate of glory. In Him, all the “things of good repute” are in their proper places, and assist in adorning each other. Not one feature in His glorious person attracts attention at the expense of others; but He is perfectly and altogether lovely.

Oh, Jesus! Thy power, Thy grace, Thy justice, Thy tenderness, Thy truth, Thy majesty, and Thine immutability make up such a man, or rather such a God-man, as neither heaven nor earth hath seen elsewhere. Thy infancy, Thy eternity, Thy sufferings, Thy triumphs, Thy death, and Thine immortality, are all woven in one gorgeous tapestry, without seam or rent. Thou art music without discord; Thou art many, and yet not divided; Thou art all things, and yet not diverse. As all the colours blend into one resplendent rainbow, so all the glories of heaven and earth meet in Thee, and unite so wondrously, that there is none like Thee in all things; nay, if all the virtues of the most excellent were bound in one bundle, they could not rival Thee, Thou mirror of all perfection. Thou hast been anointed with the holy oil of myrrh and cassia, which Thy God hath reserved for Thee alone; and as for Thy fragrance, it is as the holy perfume, the like of which none other can ever mingle, even with the art of the apothecary; each spice is fragrant, but the compound is divine.

“Oh, sacred symmetry! oh, rare connection
Of many perfects, to make one perfection!
Oh, heavenly music, where all parts do meet
In one sweet strain, to make one perfect sweet!”

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