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III. In the third and last place, how do the two systems bear upon the promotion of practical godliness ?

The answer to this question has been already in great part anticipated. If there exist a radical mistake as to what constitutes true godliness, or as to the principle from which that godliness must spring, its baleful effect must be seen in the whole style and manner of life. But we would present this point in still another light.

What are the motives by which the man who hopes to merit heaven by his own good works is prompted to obedience ?

They are low in rank, and weak in influence.

It is upon the principle of a barter, by which he hopes, at the price of so much obedience, to entitle himself to the reward of heaven. This motive is prudential and selfish ; and how does it operate ? It is opposed by other motives, promising a more immediate reward, and offering gratifications far more in accordance with the natural taste than the felicity of heaven ; and so it is often overpowered and forced to yield. And the man, finding that the law of God is generally conquered by the law of sin, falls back upon the conviction that a very imperfect obedience will meet the necessity of the case, and God in his mercy will be ready to pass by his errors and defects; and so he drinks his fill of worldly pleasure, indulges his vain imaginations as far as prudence and public opinion allow; once in the week takes his seat in the house of God, occasionally gives a small fraction of his superfluous wealth to aid the Church in her heavenly mission; when he has leisure reads a chapter or two in the Scriptures, and trusts that all will come right at the last. It may be that he has an easy and quiet end, and when he is gone men speak well of him, and the monumental marble is placed over his dust, publishing to the world his princely virtues and his unsullied reputation. But what is the account which he has gone to render in to God ? Of what self denials in the cause of Christ, of what inward victories over corruption, of what struggles of faith with sense, has he to tell ? Did the Spirit ever witness to him that he was born of God? Had he ever a living faith in Jesus the Saviour ?

But how is it with one who has received the spirit of adoption; who has received Christ into his heart by faith, and “lived, and moved, and had his being” in Him? The love of God, the highest of all motives, becomes the principle of his life. He does his duty, not because he hopes thereby to entitle himself to God's favor, but because “the love of God constrains him” to do it. He prefers holiness to sin, and is led on to obedience by the ruling preference of his mind. He does not ask, “ What is the least that is required of me as a Christian?" but, “How can I do most for Him who gave his life for me ?" He is never satisfied with any existing attainments, but is constantly reaching forward after a higher conformity to the image of God; and when he has done

tem of grace.

all, he says in sorrow, “I am an unprofitable servant." His loftiest obedience falls so far short of what he sees to be the divine standard of excellence, as to make him feel that after all, he must trust only in the merit and righteousness of God his Saviour for acceptance and salvation.

Such is the fruit of that system, of which Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, when it is rightly understood and truly received. The doctrine may be abused, and men may say, as they did in the days of St. Paul, “I will oontinue in sin, for grace abounds; but never by one who knows any thing experimentally of the sys

The grand principle of that system is, death to sin in all its degrees and forms; and "how can they who are dead to sin, live any longer therein ?” And the dominion of sin is never radically destroyed through any other agencies than those which proceed from the cross of Christ. Satan can be dispossessed of his sovereignty only by Him who went down into the grave to meet him, and there wrenched the bloody sceptre from his hand.

Arise, then, sinner, and possess thy rest. Come to the Saviour, and you shall find peace to your soul. What the law cannot do, what your own efforts cannot accomplish, he will do

Whatever may be the darkness of your mind, he will give you light; however greviously and deeply you may have fallen, he will lift you up. Come to the Saviour, with

for you.

“All your sins against your God,

All your sins against his laws,
All your sins against his blood,
All your sins against his cause-
Sins as boundless as the sea !
And hide them in Gethsemane!”

SERMON DLVI.

BY REV. JESSE GUERNSEY,
PASTOR OF THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, DERBY, CONN.

THE COMPARATIVE BLESSEDNESS OF THE CHRISTIAN'S

OLD AGE.

“Now also when I am old and gray-headed, O God, forsake me not.”—Psalu lozi. 18

An obvious remark in entering upon the discussion of our subject is, that the aged disciple is happy in the contemplation of his life's history.

We are so constituted, that every evil deed, is in a measure, the instrument of its own punishment, and every act performed in obedience to conscience and to God the occasion of its own reward. Commit a deed of wrong, and he has ordained that, as an evil seed, it shall take root in the soil of your being, and unless grace interpose to prevent the result, shall henceforth blight and curse your existence by the bitterness of its fruit. Perform an act which God approves, and, by his decree, it shall be & seed whence shall spring a tree of happiness of immortal growth. This Heaven-ordained connection between evil done and evil ever afterwards suffered by the doer between good performed and good ever afterward enjoyed by him who has performed it - is secured through the medium of memory, in combination with the conscience. Though sin is often anticipated with pleasure, it is never remembered but with self-reproach. Though duty is often looked forward to with trembling, it is never looked back upon as performed but with emotions of gladness. The memory of a life spent in wickedness is a garner of evil, ever pouring out its hoard of bitterness on the soul, and yet ever full ; while that of a life devoted to the service of God is a treasure of bliss, as abundant as the wants of the soul, and as enduring as its immortality.

The aged Christian, if this be true, cannot but be happy in the contemplation of his past conduct and influence.

His happiness is not, indeed, unmixed and perfect. Though his history has been marked and moulded by a deep and uniform desire for conformity to the Saviour's image, he remembers that sin bas lurked in his heart, and, through his heart, found its way into the life. He recognizes, as he casts his eye back over the path of his Christian pilgrimage, many a point at which his feet strayed from the straight and narrow way-many a point at which duty neglected, or evil indulged, attested the imperfection

of his love. This he laments with sorrow sincere and deep : for this he implores the forgiveness of a gracious and covenant-keeping God.

But while there is here and there a page of sorrow in his history, it is contemplated, as a whole, with gladness. It contains the record of long years of allegiance and service, rendered in the spirit of obedience and love to his ever-loved and glorious Master. It contains the record of many an earnest conflict with temptation, and of many a victory won, through grace, over its utmost power. It contains the record of many a purpose which had its origin in a love that embraced both God and man; of many a scheme of usefulness, the adaptation of whose every part to its end tells of a heavenly guidance, and proves the bestowal of a heavenly blessing. It contains the record of his activity in scattering the good seed of the kingdom, and of rich fruits of righteousness already gathered as the result, and to be gathered in growing abundance for ever. It contains the record of many & plant of grace nurtured by his hand, and destined, through his instrumentality, to an everlasting bloom in the paradise above. Happy the man who, from amid the feebleness of declining years, may look back over the pathway of such a history, and recognize it as his own! What a volume of blessedness is expressed, when from the lips of such an one is heard the inspired and inspiring language of an early disciple: “I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith!”

How different this from the words of self-reproach which often force themselves from the lips of one who, having grown old in sin, has become distinctly and painfully conscious that his earthly course is well nigh run! He has lived for the pursuit of selfish and worldly ends, and no matter how successful he may have been in their attainment, now that he stands on the brink of the grave, bearing the marks of age in every feature, and trembling in every limb with its weakness, his soul is haunted by the consciousness that, so far as all the higher and better purposes of his being are concerned, his life has been thrown away. burden of wretchedness is rolled upon his heart, under whose crushing weight he sinks to the tomb. Thus

Thus & cloud of woe draws its curtains around his trembling, sbrinking spirit, amid whose darkness and gloom the flickering Jamp of his life goes out. In view of the emotions of the aged disciple, as compared with those of the aged rejector of Christ, one may well exclaim: " 'Let me die the death of the righteous' not only, but let me live his life, that I may enjoy his old age !"

2. He is happy in the contemplation of the blessings which have marked his history.

The kindness of his heavenly Father has not only strewn his

Thus &

SERMON DLVI.

BY REV. JESSE GUERNSEY,
PASTOR OF THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, DERBY, CONN.

THE COMPARATIVE BLESSEDNESS OF THE CHRISTIAN'S

OLD AGE.

“Now also when I am old and gray-headed, O God, forsake me not.”—Psalilai. 18

An obvious remark in entering upon the discussion of our subject is, that the aged disciple is happy in the contemplation of his life's history.

We are so constituted, that every evil deed, is in a measure, the instrument of its own punishment, and every act performed in obedience to conscience and to God the occasion of its own reward.

Commit a deed of wrong, and he has ordained that, as an evil seed, it shall take root in the soil of your being, and unless grace interpose to prevent the result, shall henceforth blight and curse your existence by the bitterness of its fruit. Perform an act which God approves, and, by his decree, it shall be a seed whence shall spring a tree of happiness of immortal growth. This Heaven-ordained connection between evil done and evil ever afterwards suffered by the doer – between good performed and good ever afterward enjoyed by him who has performed it — is secured through the medium of memory, in combination with the conscience. Though sin is often anticipated with pleasure, it is never remembered but with self-reproach. Though duty is often looked forward to with trembling, it is never looked back upon as performed but with emotions of gladness. The memory of a life spent in wickedness is a garner of evil, ever pouring out its hoard of bitterness on the soul, and yet ever full ; while that of a life devoted to the service of God is a treasure of bliss, as abundant as the wants of the soul, and as enduring as its immortality.

The aged Christian, if this be true, cannot but be happy in the contemplation of his past conduct and influence.

His happiness is not, indeed, unmixed and perfect. Though his history has been marked and moulded by a deep and uniform desire for conformity to the Saviour's image, he remembers that sin bas lurked in his heart, and, through his heart, found its way into the life.

He recognizes, as he casts his eye back over the path of his Christian pilgrimage, many a point at which his feet strayed from the straight and narrow way-many a point at which duty neglected, or evil indulged, attested the imperfection

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