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such a person would feel as a man—as a son of Adam ought to feel—he will cheerfully give of his large means, to the relief of suffering humanity, both at home and abroad. To feel and to act otherwise, would be perfectly unnatural.
And besides these claims which afflicted society has upon him as a man, there are others which belong to him as a Christian man. By the law of benevolence, as found written in God's own book, he is most solemnly and imperatively bound to consecrate his superabundant wealth to the cause of Christ. His first duty is to provide for the wants of himself and family, and his next and only duty is, in this regard, to give all he has besides, to the cause of charity and Christian benevolence. To hoard up larger means still, under such circumstances, for the mere gratification of himself, children, or friends, or for all combined, is absolutely wrong and sinful. It is contrary to the whole spirit of the Gospel, from first to last, and at utter variance with all scriptural notions of a man's fitness for the kingdom of heaven. The possession of a spirit of benevolence —of practical good-will to our fellow men—the world over, is justly regarded as one of the best evidences of our having experienced the great saving change, and of our being made meet for the kingdom of heavenly glory. No wealthy man has any reason to suppose that he is a hopeful candidate for heaven, while he loves, with all his soul,, « the almighty dollar,” and employs all his vast means for show and self-indulgence. Such a man will come short of heaven, or the Gospel is not true. How is it possible for such an one to enter into the holy, benevolent world above, and be happy there, when his little, selfish soul, has never been warmed into the glowing, God-like charity of the gospel ! Such a soul has a coldness and deadness about it, that would chill all heaven, if permitted to enter within the gates.
And may we not add, that a good man is bound to do all the good he can, with his spare means, during his lifetime. This is important, both as it regards himself and others. To himself, it is an excellent discipline, whereby the seeds of selfishness are more and more rooted out of his naturally selfish heart, and the principle of love-—of love to God and love to man-more abidingly and securely planted in his regenerated soul.
And then the cause of Christian benevolence which he has espoused, is much more likely to be promoted by his means while he lives, than after he is dead. He is to consider himself God's steward, during his natural life. Some good men, of large means, make liberal bequests to objects of charity, in their
last will and testament. But knowing that in many cases the testator's design, from some cause or other, is never carried out, would it not be best for the interests of the causes the good man seeks to promote, that he should give more largely during his lifetime ?' By so doing he would see for himself that his charities were not turned into some foreign channel but appropriated to the very objects of his pious sympathy and regard. Often a man's will is disregarded, and his means, sometimes accumulated by hard toil, go in directions he little dreamed of, and not unfrequently to the direct accomplishment of the purposes of sin. It is wisest and best, therefore, to give liberally whilst one lives, where the ability exists, and thus satisfactorily and certainly discharge a very important duty connected with our tewardship
How solemn a thing it will be for us to die, dear reader, and to appear before God in judgment! The very thought of our stewardship ending, and ending soon, and ending suddenly perhaps, should make us most anxious to be prepared for our final account. What can be more important than a suitable preparation to meet our Judge ?
HARMONY IN A FAMILY.
1. We may be quite sure that our will is likely to be crossed in the dayso prepare for it.
2. Every body in the house has an evil nature as well as ourselves, and therefore, we are not to expect much.
3. To learn the different temper of each individual. 4. To look upon each member of the family as one for whom Christ died. 5. When any good happens to any one to rejoice at it. 6. When inclined to give an angry answer, to lift up the heart in prayer. 7. If from any cause we feel irritable, to keep a strict watch upon ourselves.
8. To observe when others are suffering, and drop a word of kindness and sympathy suited to their state.
9. To watch for little opportunities of pleasing, and to put little annoyances out of the way.
10. To take a cheerful view of everything, and encourage hope. 11. To speak kindly to servants, and praise them for little things when you can. 12. Io all little pleasures which may occur, to put self last. 13. To try for “the soft answers that turneth away wrath." 14. When we have been pained by an unkind word or deed, to ask ourselves. “Have I not often done the same thing and been forgiven ?"
15. Io conversation not to exalt ourselves, but to bring others forward.
16. To be gentle with the younger ones, and to treat them with respect, remembering that we were once young too.
17. Never judge one another, but attribute a good motive when we can. 18. To compare our manifold blessings with the triding annoyances of
"LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.” The prayer of our Saviour, when its spirit and breathings take hold upon the soul of man, transforms him into a perfect man in Christ Jesus ; it represents to us every trait of a christian sanctified, as exhibited in the life of its Author. These words—"Lead us not into Temptation"—carry in them a worldwide significance to every professing christian. As they came from the lips of the Saviour himself, they are words of spirit and of life, and are the true touchstone of every christian's character.—The mirror in which he may see the longings of his soul for the true interest of Christ's kingdom, and feel their power, if he will but look at them, through the telescope of living faith. Here is the sad misfortune of thousands of professing christians, who refuse to look at these words in the exercise of a living faith, and are satisfied to feed upon husks, from which they can derive no nourishment, from invisible and eternal realities, for their souls. They endeavor to banish them from their thoughts, as they cause, when they wish to enjoy the pleasures and gratifications of the world, a consciousness of guilt, which points them on the one hand to the path in which they are commanded to walk, both by their profession and the word of God; and on the other hand they see the whirlpool into which they can most effectually throw themselves into the souldestroying influence, by compromising the path of duty for the pleasures of the world.
Whilst this is the case with many, there are others who seem careless or forget the prayer that has been left upon record by their Saviour, in order that christians might conform their outward life to all its precepts, which should be the manifestation of the inward or divine life of the soul. Such have reason to fear and tremble, that their hopes of salvation are based upon a false foundation, and their hearts are deceiving them. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Had they that attachment to the Saviour and the good of souls, that the Jew had to Jerusalem, they would not be forgetful of that close and intimate union which exists between Christ and the believer; but would exclaim with the Psalmist, “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.” This would be a living manifestation of the christian's inward longings and sincere desire to do all things with an eye single to God's glory. His first thought, on entering into the world to enjoy its pleasures, would to pray to a throne of heavenly grace, to know whether it would be in conformity to God's will, or the setting of a good example to others.
Whilst there are many who have a form of godliness, but deny its power, there are others who make louder pretensions, claim to have both the form and the power, and pray, “lead us not into temptation," who no sooner leave the throne of grace, than, in going into the world, are swallowed up by its carcs, and forget the petition just offered, and rush into temptation, and by so doing, give the lie to their christian character, and becoine a stumbling-block over which thousands of the ungodly plunge into everlasting burnings.
Is it not, then, solemn mockery, ye who profess Christ and pray that he would strengthen you by his grace and save you from the evil influences and tendencies in the world, and immediately when temptation is thrown within your reach to run headlong into it, without forethought and consideration ? Most undoubtedly. Many pray "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us," and who openly avow, if injured in any way by a fellow christian, that they will forgive, but cannot forget. They will remember and cherish it in their hearts, to excite and enrage the passion of malice against the one from whom the injury has been received. Suppose God should act thus towards us-to forgive, and yet not forgetwould we not think that God were not the God represented to us in scripture ? Yet, blessed be his holy name, he not only forgives, but also forgets—blots our sins from the book of bis remembrance, and writes our names "in the Lamb's book of Life.” Every one who utters this petition in this spirit prays to God to forgive him his sins in this world, but to keep them on record, that they may be remembered against him in the day of judgment. All will acknowledge, upon reflection, that this is mockery, if we remember the words, "as we forgive.”. If so in this case, so also in the other. For our conduct to agree with and conform to the spirit and example of Christ, we must be as willing to forget as well as to forgive the injuries aimed at our character, because these two words are inseparable ; so also must we be willing when we pray "lead us not into temptation," to shun the haunts of vice and immorality, and crucify the lusts of the flesh and the seeming pleasures and amusements of the world, for the glory of God and the furtherance of the Redeemer's kingdom, if we would be sincere in what we say.
There is a wide difference, christian reader, in throwing yourself voluntarily into temptation, as when you go to the Theater, Circus, Ball-room, and all such haunts of vice and immorality,– where men degrade themselves and throw around those who
patronize them an influence, which does immense injury to your spiritual growth in grace and the cause you have espoused, and where temptation meets you unwillingly and unconsciously on your part. "In the former case it is your own choice, and you take pleasure in rolling sin as a sweet morsel beneath your tongue; whilst in the latter case it is almost certain to meet with a resistance, which effort by your inward desire and the grace of God you may be able to overcome. Is it then in conformity with your profession to visit such places, which all good men, lovers of the Redeemer's kingdom, condemn and proncunce haunts of wickedness and moral pests of society ? Let not flesh and blood decide this question, but let conscience speak its inward convictions. Does the spirit of the Gospel permit you to patronize such places of frivolity and wickedness, where the cultivation of a spirit of devotion is destroyed by the unhallowed and profane scenes of the stage? if so, then you can pray, "lead us not into temptation” and give countenance to, and lend your example in their encouragement, but not otherwise.
But let us attend to the word of the Gospel, and sce whether it permits christians thus to trifle with the words, "lead us not into temptation,” and encourage at the saine time, such haunts, without proving deleterious to the spiritual life of the soul. " What fellowship hath righteousness, with unrighteousness ? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols ?" "Ye are the light of the world." Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
" Abstain from all appearance of evil.” “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” 66 Ye cannot serve God and mammon." “ If you live after the flesh, ye shall die : but if ye through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." • They that are in the flesh cannot please God.” For the works of the flesh, see Gal. 5: 19. 21 and Eph. 5: 1. 18. “ Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
From these passages, all who have the spirit of Christ, may solve without mistake what is the spirit of the gospel, and what is their duty in reference to visiting such dens of obscenity. Would you be willing to pass from such places into the presence of your judge? At such an idea, of going to the Theater, Cir. cus, or Ball-room, to close your earthly existence, you would