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ever fit it may be that punishment should be inflicted, the execution of the punishment resides in the hands of a higher power. There is One who has taken justice under His protection, and will not fail to administer it impartially. Therefore let us follow the example of the Lord, who righted not Himself, but made intercession for the transgressions committed against Himself to Him that judgeth righteously. But, above all, let us keep in mind the apostle Paul's injunction :-“Be ye kind and tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”
“The hireling fleeth because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine."-JOHN 8. 13, 14.
HE Good Shepherd here describes his characteristic
features, and they are particularly worthy of the consideration of those who have undertaken the like pastoral charge. “The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep;" and, as the whole contains each of its parts, so it is evident that He is equally willing to resign not only life itself, but all that makes life sweet and desirable when the interest of the flock requires it. Have I, even in part, this spirit of fidelity to the flock committed to my
charge? This should be the self-interrogation of the ministers of Christ in all ages, and at the present time. What sacrifices am I willing to make-what infractions of my personal comfort--for the good of the meanest of my charge? With what boldness do I give expression to the truth, notwithstanding the discouragement and disapprobation of the flock itself ? With what conscientiousness is my time laid out? 18 it measured by the interest of the flock, or of myself ? If by theirs, then may I entertain a comfortable hope that I am a good shepherd; and (should circumstances demand my life) God might grant, that as my day, so my strength should be. But if I should not be able to give this answer, have I not good reason to fear that he who is unfaithful in the least may be unfaithful also in much; and that should the hour of real danger and serious sacrifice arrive, he may prove himself a hireling, who careth not for the sheep?
They watch for souls, for which the Lord
Did heavenly bliss forego;
In raptures, or in woe.
All to the great tribunal ste,
The account to render there; And shouldst Thou strictly mark our faults,
Lord, where should we appear ?
The Third Sunday after Easter.
ALMIGHTY God, who shewest to them that be in error the light of Thy truth, to the intent that they may return into the way of righteousness; Grant unto all them that are admitted into the fellowship of Christ's Religion, that they may eschew those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
“ Having a good conscience ; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ."-1 PET. iii, 16.
is no doubt of it, but the best answer to calumny is a consistent life. There is something so much more weighty in deeds, more than in words, that, in the language of St. Peter, “it puts to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” I do not think that a good man, whose character is attacked, or to whom principles which he does not hold are attributed, should, as a general rule, proceed further than a mere denial of the allegations, with a calm explanation of the reasons which disprove them. Nay, sometimes, his better course will be simply to disregard them. Words will never answer the purpose of works. And it is not true, except in particular cases, that silence is an implied admission of the facts; on the contrary, a bustling eagerness for defence upon such occasions shows the instability of one's ground, while the silent disregard evinced by one who proceeds in his consistent course, argues a certain solidity of character which is conscious of its integrity. Let us then pray God, by his Holy Spirit, so to guide us in the way, that men may see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven.
“ A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come : but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.”JOHN xvi. 21.
SAW a patient dying in consumption, or some
lingering disorder which advanced with a sure and steady step. Love to a Saviour was there, and real knowledge of His love; but at the same time deep