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of our high nature,—his circumspection would grow clear and watchful, and his apprehensions tender,--the elements these of conscience, the representative of God, and the organ of His Spirit in man ;-his soul would come forth every night and sit on her clear tribunal, and ere long the man would grow afraid to offend, as if there were a higher power within him, and distinct from himself. In worldly prudence, in religion, here is an equivalent to the most distinct confession and its obligation, on the principle of selfconsistency, to amendment; whilst progress is reported, and the points to be corrected clearly marked. To a quicker conviction of the tempting folly or sin when it again approaches, is added a strong suggested argument from the severe occasions of self-rebuke; nice self-honour becomes a caution against vice,—the tender feeler of the soul-a shrinking apprehension from selfstigmatised guilt; and to such a man there is a higher value in that Heaven which holds us above anxieties of duty,--above all temptations to low vice.
SOMETHING EASIER TO BE CONSIDERED
The first and unceasing requisite towards exciting the love of God in man, and maintaining it, is a strong representation of Divine goodness incalculable, heightened to the human heart by a rueful detail of our own sin and rebellion and unhappiness, again stamping the incontrovertible character of love on Him who forbears in the one, who is reconciled in the second, who is our
heaven in the third, who hath saved us in all. And in no mode of instruction, nor in any season, is this inculcation to be forgotten; impressed in its benefits which they can understand on infants' minds, and in its deeper characteristics ever as they grow up; made to conquer indifference, and peculiarly impressed on every moment of excitement; inwoven in curiosity and every suggestion of the soul, that when every cloud passes by and obstructions cease for a little, it may be mirrored in the heart, in the pure depths of our aflections.
AN ARGUMENT, AND ITS CERTAIN RESULT.
THE declaration of our Saviour is borne out by experience, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God.” Habits of just thought, as well remarked by Paley, grow from good habits of action. It is only to undepraved hearts of natural and good issues, to men who acknowledge in their lives the restraint of Christian precepts, that their value, and that stamp of divine excellence which makes up the strong internal evidence in their favour, can have their weight; vice versa, these are nothing to the sensualist. The powers of his understanding are weakened by vice, and the tender apprehension of whatever is excellent. To the tacit rejection of religion implied in his daring to do what that religion forbids, is superadded this si. lent argument in his mind in favour of continued indulgence—the second act, in virtue of its nu. merical name, takes for granted that the question was settled on a former occasion, that religion
has no right to interfere ; the same happens in a third instance, and in a fourth, with an increasing power of precedent; and so on, till at last the plea is lost sight of, having been found good in so many instances. In the upshot is a being callous to moral and religious arguments, or perhaps a literal infidel. And reason and imagination, these godlike powers, become ministers of a base propensity. Faith shuts her eyes and dies within him. He cannot wish for the Heaven of God and of the Holy Jesus,—and of the Spirit, that Watchful Fire, that lives above stain,--and of the Angels, beautifully styled in their purity of obedience and feeling, the Ardours of Heaven, —and of the sanctified from among men,“ dovehearted saints and prophets eagle-eyed,” walking pure from degraded sin,
“High in salvation and the climes of bliss."
THE TRULY WISE MAN.
With men, indeed, a little science may make a great show; but he only is wise in God's esteem who is wise unto salvation. Give me a man as full of policy as was Ahithophel, of eloquence as was Tertullus, of learning as the Athenians were in Paul's time. If with Ahithophel he plot against the people of God, with Tertullus have the poison of asps under his lips, with those Athenians be wholly given to superstition ; for all his policy, eloquence, and learning, one may be bold to call him fool in scripture language. The learned logician, whom Satan daily deceiveth by his sophistry, and keeps from offering up to God reasonable service, is no better than a fool for all his skill. Nor the subtle arithmetician, who hath not learned to number his days, that he might apply his heart to saving wisdom. No, nor the cunning orator, who, although he be of singular abilities in the art of persuading men, is of Agrippa's temper himself, but “almost persuaded to be a Christian."
THE BELIEVER'S PRIVILEGE.
The Gospel's glory is, that it is the ministration of the Spirit. The great privilege of believers is, that the Lord manifests himself to them as he doth not to the world. When he manifests his authority in the command, it is then powerful; when he manifests his goodness and truth in the promise, it is full of sweetness; when he manifests his wrath in the threatening, it awes the soul; when he manifests his glory in the face of Christ, it is ravishing, reforming, attracting.
THE WAY TO A FULL CONVICTION OF THE
The life of the active Christian is the labour of the bee, which all day long is flying from the hive to the flower, and from the flower to the hive; but all his business is confined to fragrancy, and productive of sweets. There are many promises made to perseverance in the divine life, and this is one-" Then shall we follow on to know the Lord : his going forth is prepared as the morning, and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”
fled; and what do we behold in their room, but the funeral pall and shroud, a palace in mourning, a nation in tears, and the shadow of death settled over both like a cloud ! O the unspeakable vanity of human hopes! The incurable blindness of man to futurity! ever doomed to grasp at shadows, to seize with avidity what turns to dust and ashes in his hand, “ to sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.”
A HAPPY LIFE.
The happiest life of individuals, and the happiest state of society, is that which affords the fewest remarkable events. To live quiet and respected, to be peacefully useful in our circle, to possess a clear conscience, to enjoy communion with God our Saviour while we live, and to die at peace with God and man, form the substance of all that a wise man can desire as to this world.
DUTY OF LOOKING FOR AN ABIDING CITY.
SINCE we stay not here, being people but of a day's abode, and our age is like that of a fly, and contemporary with that of a gourd, we must look somewhere else for an abiding city, a place in another country to fix our house in, whose walls and foundation is God, where we must find rest, or else be restless for ever. For whatsoever ease we can have or fancy here, is shortly to be changed into sadness or tediousness. It goes away too soon, like the periods of our life ; or stays too long, like the sorrows of a sinner. Its