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23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.

That object is edification - a building up of the mind in the confidence and comfort of the Truth. This is done by having the things of the Truth passed before us in such a way that the mind is able to lay hold of them with clearness and joy. Reading, prayer, singing, exhortation - all have this effect if rightly attended to. Foolish and unlearned questions avoid, and all strife exclude. Let the Word of Christ be ministered in its richness.

If there is no brother present capable of speaking to the edification of those who hear - a man may be able to speak to his own edification and not to that of others, the hearers are the judges - if no such brother is present, then let an absent brother do it. I have heard of spiritually encouraging letters from correspondents being read with advantage in such a case. Others have read extracts from Dr. Thomas' writings. Some read an address from Seasons of Comfort. Some object to this who would not object to Dr. Thomas or other writers speaking if present. It is an objection without reasonable ground.

Doubtless, it is best when the presence of brethren able to edify the rest renders all resort to such aids unnecessary, but where there are no such brethren, good sense and an ardent appreciation of spiritual things will sanction them.

Bro Roberts - Applying our hearts unto wisdom