« السابقةمتابعة »
thoughts,” is a true description of a complete so with thanksgiving. It will be the same likedereliction of religious principle; but it can, by wise with every other part of divine worship. The no possibility, be the case with a man, who has confession of sins in our liturgy, and perhaps in all the spirit of devotion, or any portion of that spirit, liturgies, is general; but our sins, alas! are partiwithin him.
cular: our conscience not only acknowledges a deBut it is not in our private religion alone, that plorable weakness and imperfection in the disthe effect and benefit of this principle is perceived. charge of our duty, but is stung also with rememThe true taste and relish we so much dwell upon, brances and compunctions, excited by particular will bring a man to the public worship of God; and, offences. When we come, therefore, to confess our what is more, will bring him in such a frame of sins, let memory do its office faithfully. Let mind as to enable him to join in it with effect; these sins rise up before our eyes. All language with effect as to his own soul; with effect as to is imperfect. Forms, intended for general use, every object, both public and private, intended by must consist of general terms, and are so far inpublic worship: Wanderings and forgetfulness, adequate. They may be rehearsed by the lips remissions and interroissions of attention, there with very little of application to our own case. will be; but these will be fewer and shorter, in But this will never be so, if the spirit of devotion proportion as more of this spirit is prevalent be within us. A devout mind is exceedingly stirwithin us; and some sincere, some hearty, some red, when it has sins to confess. None but a deep, some true, and, as we trust, acceptable ser-hardened sinner can even think of his sins withvice will be performed, before we leave the place; out pain. But when he is to lay them, with supsome pouring forth of the soul unto God in prayer plications for pardon, before his Maker; when he and in thanksgiving; in prayer, excited by wants is to expose his heart to God; it will always be and weaknesses; I fear also, by sins and neglects with powerful inward feelings of guilt and calawithout number; and in thanksgivings, such as mity. It hath been well said of prayer, that prayer mercies, the most undeserved, ought to call forth will either make a man leave off sinning, or "sin from a heart, filled, as the heart of man should be, will make him leave off prayer. And the same is with a thorough consciousness of dependency and true of confession. If confession be sincere, if it obligation.
be such as a right capacity for devotion will make Forms of public worship must, by their very it to be, it will call up our proper and particular nature, be in a great degree general; that is, must sins so distinctly to our view; their guilt, their be calculated for the average condition of human danger, their end; whither they are carrying us; and of Christian life ; but it is one property of the in what they will conclude ; that, if we can return devotional spirit, which we speak of, to give a to them again without molestation from our conparticularity to our worship, though it be carried science, then religion is not within us.
If we on in a congregation of fellow Christians, and ex- have approached God in his worship so ineffectupressed in terms which were framed and conceiv-ally as to ourselves, it is because we have not wored for the use of all. And it does this by calling shipped him in spirit; we may say of all we have up recollections which will apply most closely, done, "we drew near him with our lips, but our and bring home most nearly to ourselves, those hearts were far from him.” terms and those expressions. For instance, in What we have said concerning thanksgiving public worship, we thank God in general terms, and confession, is likewise true of prayer univerthat is, we join with the congregation in a general sally. The spirit of devotion will apply our prayers thanksgiving; but a devout man brings to church to our wants. In forms of worship, be they ever the recollection of special and particular mercies, so well composed, it is impossible to exhibit human particular bounties, particular providences, par- wants, otherwise than in general expressions. ticular deliverances, particular relief recently ex- But devotion will apply them. It will teach every perienced, specially and critically granted in the man, in the first place, to know how indigent, moment of 'want or danger, or eminently and how poor a creature without a continued exercise supereminently vouchsafed to us individually. of mercy and supply of bounty from God, he would These he bears in his thoughts; he applies as he be; because, when he begins to enumerate his proceeds; that which was general, he makes close wants, he will be astonished at their multitude. and circumstantial; his heart rises towards God, What are we, any of us, but a complication of by a sense of mercies vouchsafed to himself. He wants, which we have not in ourselves the power does not, however, confine himself to those fa- of supplying? But, beside those numerous wants, vours of Providence, which he enjoys above many and that common helplessness, in which we ali others, or more than most others; he does not partake, every man has his own sore, his own dwell upon distinctions alone; he sees God in all grief, his own difficulties ; every man has some his goodness, in all his bounty. Bolily ease, for distress, which he is sufiering, or fearing. Nay, instance, is not less valuable, not less a mercy, were worldly wishes satisfied, was worldly prosbecause others are at ease, as well as himself
. perity complete, he has always what is of more The same of his health, the use of his limbs, the consequence than worldly, prosperity to pray faculties of his understanding. But what I mean for; he has always his sins to pray against. is, that, in his mind, he brings to church mercies, Where temporal wants are few, spiritual wants in which he is interested, and that the most gene- are often the most and the greatest
. The grace ral expressions of thankfulness attach with him of God is always wanted. His governing, his upon particular recollections of goodness, particu- preventing, his inspiring, his insisting grace is lar subjects of gratitude; so that the holy fervour always wanted. Here, therefore, is a subject for of his devotion is supported; never wants, nor can prayer, were there no other; a subject personally want, materials to act upon. It is the office, and individually interesting in the highest degree; therefore, of an internal spirit of devotion to make a subject above all others, upon which the spirit worship personal
. We have seen that it will be of devotion will be sure to fix.
I assign, therefore, as the first effect of a right our Lord justly notices the absurdity,) that they spirit of devotion, that it gives particularity to should really be heard for their much speaking. all our worship: 'It applies, and it appropriates. Actuated by the spirit of devotion, we can never Forms of worship may be general
, but a spirit offend in this way, we can never be the object of of devotion brings them home and close to each this censure. and every one.
Lastly, and what has already been intimated, One happy consequence of which is, that it the spirit of devotion will cause our prayers to prevents the tediousness of worship. Things have an effect upon our practice. For example; which interest us, are not tedious. If we find wor- if we repeated the confession in our liturgy with a ship tedious, it is because it does not interest us as true penitential sense of guilt upon our souls, wo it ought to do. We must allow (experience com- should not, day after day, be acknowledging to pels us to allow) for wanderings and inattentions, God our transgressions and neglects, and yet go as amongst the infirmities of our infirm nature. on exactly in the same manner without endeaBut, as I have already said, even these will be vouring to make them less and fewer. We should fewer and shorter, in proportion as we are pos- plainly perceive that this was doing nothing tosessed of the spirit of devotion. Weariness will wards salvation; and that, at this rate, we may not be perceived, by reason of that succession of be sinning and confessing all our lives. Whereas, derout feelings and consciousnesses which the se was the right spirit of confessional piety, riz. veral offices of worship are calculated to excite. thoughtfulness of soul, within us at the time, this If our heart be in the business, it will not be tedi- would be the certain benefit, especially in the case ous. If, in thanksgiving, it be lifted up by a sense of an often-repeated sin, that the mind would be of mercies, and a knowledge from whom they pro- come more and more concerned, more and more ceed, thanksgiving will be a grateful exercise, and filled with compunction and remorse, so as to be not a tedious form. What relates to our sins and forced into amendment. Even the most heart-felt wants, though not of the same gratifying nature, confession might not immediately do for us all though accompanied with deep, nay, with aillict that we could wish : yet by perseverance in the ing cause of humiliation and fear, must, neverthe- same, it would certainly, in a short time, produce less, be equally interesting, or more so, because it its desired effect. For the same reason, we should is of equal concernment to us, or of greater. In not, time after time, pray that we might thenceneither case, therefore, if our duty be performed forward, viz. after each time of so praying, lead as it ought to be, will tediousness be perceived. godly, righteous, and sober lives, yet persist, just
I say, that the spirit of devotion removes from as usual, in ungodliness, unrighteousness, and inthe worship of God the perception of tediousness, temperance. The thing would be impossible, if and with that also every disposition to censure or we prayed as we ought. So likewise, it real thankcavil at particular phrases, or expressions used in fulness of heart accompanied our thanksgivings, public worship. All such faults, even if they be we should not pray in vain, that we might show real, and such observations upon them, are ab- forth the praises of God, not only with our lips sorbed by the immense importance of the business but in our lives. As it is, thousands repeat these in which we are engaged. Quickness in disco- words without doing a single deed for the sake of vering blemishes of this sort is not the gift of a pleasing God, exclusive of other motives, or repious mind; still less either levity or acrimony in fraining from a single thing they like to do out of speaking of them.
the fear of displeasing him. So again, every time Moreover, the spirit of devotion reconciles us to we hear the third service at church, we pray that repetitions. In other subjects, repetition soon be God would incline our hearts to keep his comcomes tiresome and offensive. In devotion it is mandments; yet immediately, perhaps, afterdifferent. Deep, earnest, heartfelt devotion, na-wards, allow our hearts and inclinations to wanturally vents itself in repetition. Observe a per- der, without controul, to whatever sinful temptason racked by excruciating bodily pain; or a per- tion entices them. This, I say, all proceeds son suddenly struck with the news of some dread from the want of earnestness in our devotions. ful calamity; or a person labouring under some Strong devotion is an antidote against sin. cutting anguish of soul; and you will always find To conclude; a spirit of devotion is one of the him breaking out into ejaculations, imploring from greatest blessings; and, by consequence, the want God support, mercy, and relief, over and over again, of it one of the greatest misfortunes, which a uttering the same prayer in the same words. No- Christian can experience. When it is present, it thing, he finds, suits so well the extremity of his gives life to every act of worship which we per. sufferings, the urgency of his wants, as a con- form; it makes every such act interesting and tinual recurrence to the same cries, and the same comfortable to ourselves. It is felt in our most call for divine aid. Our Lord himself, in his last retired moments, in our beds, our closets, our rides, agony, affords a high example of what we are our walks. It is stirred within us, when we are saying: thrice he besought his heavenly Father; assembled with our children and servants in faand thrice he used the same words. Repetition, mily prayer. It leads us to church, to the congretherefore, is not only tolerable in devotion, but it gation of our fellow Christians there collected; it is natural: it is even dictated by a sense of suffer- accompanies us in our joint offices of religion in ing, and an acuteness of feeling. It is coldness of an especial manner; and it returns us to our affection, which requires to be enticed and grati- homes holier, and happier, and better; and lastly, fied by continual novelty of idea, or expression, or what greatly enhances its value to every anxious action. The repetitions and prolixity of phari- Christian, it affords to himself a proof that his saical prayers, which our Lord censures, are to be heart is right towards God: when it is followed understood of those prayers which run out into up by a good life, by abstinence from sin, and enmere formality and into great length; no senti- deavours after virtue, by avoiding evil and doing ment or affection of the heart accompanying them; good, the proof and the satisfaction to be drawn but uttered as a task, from an opinion (of which from it are complete.
THE LOVE OF GOD.
stant referring of our enjoyments and our hopes to his goodness. This is in a great degree a matter of habit; and, like all good habits, particularly
mental habits, is what every person must form in We love him, because he first lored us. himself and for himself by endeavour and perse
1 John iv. 19. verance. In this great article, as well as in others
which are less, every man must be the author to RELIGION may, and it can hardly, I think, be himself of his train of thinking, be it good or bad. questioned but that it sometimes does, spring from I shall only observe, that when this habit, or, as terror, from grief, from pain, from punishment, some would call it, this turn and course of thought, from the approach of death; and provided it be is once happily generated, occasions will continusincere, that is, such as either actually produces, ally arise to minister to its exercise and augmenta. or as would produce a change of life, it is genuine tion. A night's rest, or a comfortable meal, will religion, notwithstanding the bitterness, the vio- immediately direct our gratitude to God. The use lence, or, if it must be so called, the baseness and of our limbs, the possession of our senses; every unworthiness, of the motive from which it pro- degree of health, every hour of ease, every sort ceeds. We are not to narrow the promises of of satisfaction, which we enjoy, will carry our God; and acceptance is promised to sir.cere peni- thoughts to the same object. But if our enjoytence, without specifying the cause from which it ments raise our affections, still more will our hopes originates, or confining it to one origin more than do the same; and, most of all beyond comparison, another. There are, however, higher, and wor- those hopes which religion inspires. Think of thier, and better motives, from which religion may man, and think of heaven; think what he is, and begin in the heart; and on this account especially what it is in his power hereafter to become. are they to be deemed better motives, that the re- Think of this again and again: and it is impossiligion which issues from them has a greater pro- ble, but that the prospect of being so rewarded for hability of being sincere. I repeat again, that sin- our poor labours, so resting from our past troubles, cere religion, from any motive, will be effectual; so forgiven for our repented sins, must fill our but there is a great deal of difference irf the pro- hearts with the deepest thankfulness; and thankbability of its being sincere, according to the dif- fulness is love. Towards the author of an obliga. ferent cause in the mind from which it sets out. tion which is infinite, thankfulness is the only
The purest motive of human action is the love species of love that can exist. of God. There may be motives stronger and But, moreover, the love of God is specifically remore general, but none so pure. The religion, presented in Scripture as one of the gifts of the the virtue, which owes its birth in the soul to this Holy Ghost. The love of God shed abroad in motive, is always genuine religion, always true the heart is described as one of the works of the virtue. Indeed, speaking of religion, I should call Spirit upon the souls of Christians. Now whatthe love of God not so much the ground-work of ever is represented in Scripture to be the gift of religion, as religion itself. So far as religion is the Spirit, is to be sought for by earnest and pedisposition, it is religion itself. But though of re- culiar prayer
. That is the practical use to be ligion it be more than the ground-work, yet, being made of, and the practical consequence to be drawn a disposition of mind, like other dispositions, it is from, such representations; the very purpose prothe ground-work of action. Well might our blessed bably for which they were delivered: the mere Saviour preach up, as he did, the love of God. It point of doctrine being seldom that in which is the source of every thing which is good in man. Scripture declarations rest. Let us not fail thereI do not mean that it is the only source, or that fore; let us not cease to entreat the Father of goodness can proceed from no other, but that of all mercies, that the love of him may be shed abroad principles of conduct it is the safest, the best, the in our hearts continually. It is one of the things iruest, the highest. Perhaps it is peculiar to the in which we are sure that our prayers are right in Jewish and Christian dispensations (and, if it be, their object; in which also we may humbly hope, it is a peculiar excellency in them) to have for that, unless obstructed by ourselves, they will not mally and solemnly laid down this principle, as a be in vain. ground of human action. I shall not deny, that Nor let it be said that this aid is superfluous, elevated notions were entertained of the Deity by forasmuch as nature herself had provided suffisome wise and excellent heathens; but even these cient means for exciting this sentiment. This is did not, that I can find, so inculcate the love of true with respect to those who are in the full, or that Deity, or so propose and state it to their fol- in any thing near the full, enjoyment of the gifts lowers, as to make it a governing, actuating prin- of nature. With them I do allow that nothing ciple of life amongst them. This did Moses, or but a criminal stupefaction can hinder the love of rather God by the mouth of Moses, expressly, God from being felt. But this is not the case with formally, solemnly. This did Christ, adopting, all; nor with any at all times. Afflictions, sickrepeating, ratifying, what the law had already de- ness, poverty, the maladies and misfortunes of life, clared; and not only ratifying, but singling it out will interrupt and damp this sensation, so far as from the body of precepts which composed the old depends upon our actual experience of God's institution, and giving it a pre-eminence to every bounty. I do not say that the evils of life ought other.
to have this effect: taken in connexion with a fu. Now this love, so important to our religious ture state, they certainly ought not; because, when character, and, by its effect upon that, to our sal- viewed in that relation, afflictions and calamities vation, which is the end of religion; this love, I become trials, warnings, chastisements; and when say, is to be engendered in the soul, not so much sanctified by their fruits, when made the means by hearing the words of others, or by instruction of weaning us from the world, bringing us nearer from others, as by a secret and habitual contem- to God, and of purging away that dross and defileplation of God Almighty's bounty, and by a con- I ment which our souls have contracted, are in truth
amongst the first of favours and of blessings: ne namely, humanity of temper subsisting along with vertheless, as an apostle himself confesses, they the most criminal licentiousness, and under a total are for a season grievous ; they are disheartening; want of personal self-government. The reason is, anul they are too apt to produce an unfavourable that the principle of conduct, though excellent as effect upon our gratitude. Wherefore it is upon far as it goes, fails in comprehensiveness. Not so these occasions most especially, that the aid of with the love of God. He, who is influenced by God's Spirit may be required to maintain in our that, feels its influence in all parts of duty, upon souls the love of God.
every occasion of action, throughout the whole Let those, therefore, who are conscious to them- course of conduct. selves that they have not the love of God within The thing with most of us to be examined into them as they ought to have it, endeavour to ac- and ascertained is, whether it indeed guide us at quire and to increase this holy principle by seri- all; whether it be within us an efficient motive. I ousness of mind, by habitual meditation, by de- am far from taking upon me to say that it is essenvout reading, devout conversation, devout society. tial to this principle to exclude all other principles
These are all aids and helps towards inducing of conduct especially the dread of God's wrath and upon the mind this most desirable, nay, rather let of its tremendous consequences : or that a person, me call it, this blessed frame and temper, and of who is deterred from evil actions by the dread of fixing us in it: and forasmuch as it is declared in God's wrath, is obliged to conclude, that because Scripture to be shed abroad in the heart by the he so much dreads God, he cannot love him. I Spirit of God, let us labour in our prayers for this will not venture to say any such thing. The best gift.
Scripture, it is true, speaking of the love of God, The next consideration upon the subject is the hath said that “perfect love casteth out fear;" but fruit and effect of this disposition upon our lives. it hath not said that in the soul of man this love is If it be asked how does the love of God operate ever perfect: what the Scripture hath thus dein the production of virtuous conduct, I shall an- clared of perfect love is no more than what is just. swer, that it operates exactly in the same manner The love of God, were it perfect, that is to say, as affection towards a parent or gratitude towards were it sạch as his nature, his relation, his bounty a human benefactor operates, by stirring up a to us deserves ; were it adequate either to its object strong rebuke in the mind upon the thought of or to our obligation, were it carried up as high as offending him. This lays a constant check upon in a perfectly rational and virtuous soul it might our conduct. And this sensation is the necessary be carried, would, I believe, absorb every other accompaniment of love; it cannot, I think, be se- motive and every other principle of action whatparated from it. But it is not the whole of its in- ever, even the fear of God amongst the rest. This fuence. Love and gratitude towards a benefactor principle, by its nature, might gain a complete not only fill us with remorse and with internal possession of the heart and will, so that a person shame, whenever, by our wilful misbehaviour, we acting under its influence would take nothing else have given cause to that benefactor to be displeased into the account, would reflect upon no other conwith us; but also prompts us with a desire upon sequence or consideration whatever. Possibly, all occasions of doing what we believe he wills to nay probably, this is the condition of some higher be done, which, with respect to God, is in other orders of spirits, and may become ours by future words a desire to serve him. Now this is not only improvement, and in a more exalted state of exista restraint from vice, but an incitement to action. ence; but it cannot, I am afraid, be said to be our Instructed, as in Christian countries mankind condition now. The love of God subsists in the generally are, in the main articles of human duty, heart of good men as a powerful principle of acthis motive will seldom mislead them.
tion : but it subsists there in conjunction with other In one important respect the love of God excels principles, especially with the fear of him. All all moral principles whatever; and that is, in its goodness is in a certain degree comparative; and comprehensiveness. It reaches every action; it I think, that he may be called a good man in includes every duty. You cannot mention an- whom this principle dwells and operates at all. other moral principle which has this property in Wherefore to obtain; when obtained, to cultivate, the same perfection. For instance, I can hardly to cherish, to strengthen, to improve it, ought to name a better moral principle than humanity. It form the most anxious concern of our spiritual is a principle which every one commends, and life. He that loveth God keepeth his commandjustly: yet in this very article of comprehensive-ments; but still the love of God is something more ness it is deficient, when compared with the love than keeping the commandments. For which of God. It will prompt us undoubtedly to do kind, reason we must acquire, what many, it is to be and generous, and compassionate things towards feared, have even yet to begin, a habit of contemour friends, our acquaintance, our neighbours, and plating God in the bounties and blessings of his towards the poor. 'In our relation to, and in our creation. I think that religion can hardly subsist intercourse with, mankind, especially towards in the soul without this habit in some degree. But those who are dependent upon us, or over whom the greater part of us, such is the natural dulness we have power, it will keep us from hardness, of our souls, require something more exciting and and rigour, and cruelty. In all this it is excellent stimulating than the sensations which large and But it will not regulate us, as we require to be re- general views of nature or of providence produce; gulated, in another great branch of Christian duty, something more particular to ourselves, and which self-government and self-restraint. We may be more nearly touches our separate happiness. Now exceedingly immoral and licentious in sinful in- of examples of this kind, namely, of direct and dulgences, without violating our principle of huma- special mercies towards himself, no one, who calls nity; at least, without specifically violating it, and to mind the passages and providences of his life, without being sensible of violating it. And this can be destitute. There is one topic of gratitude is by no means an uncommon case or character, falling under this head, which almust every man,
MEDITATING UPON RELJGION.
who is tolerably faithful and exact in his self-recol
SERMON IV. lections, will find in events upon which he has to look back; and it is this: How often have we been spared, when we might have been overtaken and cut off in the midst of sin! Of all the attri- Have I not remembered thee in my bed: and butes of God, forbearance, perhaps, is that which thought upon thee when I was waking ?-we have most to acknowledge. We cannot want Psalm lxui. 7. occasions to bring the remembrance of it to our thoughts. Have there not been occasions, in The life of God in the soul of man, as it is which, ensnared in vice, we might have been de- sometimes emphatically called, the Christian life, tected and exposed; have been crushed by punish- that is, or the progress of Christianity in the heart ment or shame, have been irrecoverably ruined? of any particular person, is marked, amongst other occasions in which we might have been suddenly things, by religion gradually gaining possession of stricken with death, in a state of soul the most the thoughts. It has been said, that, if we thought unfit for it that was possible! That we were about religion as it deserved, we should never none of these, that we have been preserved from think about any thing else; nor with strictness, these dangers, that our sin was not our destruc- perhaps, can we deny the truth of this proposition. tion, that instant judgment did not overtake us, is Religious concerns do so surpass and outweigh in to be attributed to the long-suffering of God. Sup-value and importance all concerns beside, that did posing, what is undoubtedly true, that the secrets they occupy a place in our minds proportioned to of our conduct were known to him at the time, it that importance, they would, in truth, exclude can be attributed to no other cause. Now this is every other but themselves. I am not, therefore, a topic which can never fail to supply subjects of one of those who wonder when I see a man erthankfulness, and of a species of thankfulness, grossed with religion: the wonder with me is, which must bear with direct force upon the regu. that men care and think so little concerning it. lation of our conduct. We were not destroyed With all the allowances which must be made for when we might have been destroyed, and when our employments, our activities, our anxieties, we merited destruction. We have been preserved about the interests and occurrences of the present for further trial. This is, or ought to be a touch- life, it is still true, that our forgetfulness, and neging retiection. How deeply, therefore, does it be- ligence, and indifierence about religion are much hove us not to trifle with the patience of God, not greater than can be excused, or can easily be acto abuse this enlarged space, this respited, pro counted for by these causes. Few men are so tracted season of repentance, by plunging afresh busy but that they contrive to find time for any into the same crimes, or other, or greater crimes? gratification their heart is set upon, and thought It shows that we are not to be wrought upon by for any subject in which they are interested: they mercy : that our gratitude is not moved ; that want not leisure for these, though they want leithings are wrong within us; that there is a de- sure for religion. Notwithstanding, therefore, sinplorable void and chasm in our religious prin- gular cases, if indeed there be any cases of being eiples, the love of God not being present in our over-religious, over-intent upon spiritual affairs, hearts.
the real and true complaint is all on the other side, But to return to that with which we set out: reli- that men think not about them enough, as they gion may spring from various principles, begin in ought, as is reasonable, as it is their duty to do. various motives. It is not for us to narrow the pro. That is the malady and the misehief. The cast mises of God which belong to sincere religion, and turn of our infirm and fleshly nature lean all from whatever cause it originates. But of these on that side. For, first, this nature is affected principles, the purest, the surest, is the love of chiefly by what we see. Though the things God, forasmuch as the religion which proceeds which concern us most deeply be not seen; for from it is sincere, constant, and universal. It will this very reason, that they are not seen, they do not, like fits of terror and alarm (which yet we do not affect us as they ought. Though these things not despise) produce a temporary religion. The ought to be meditated upon, and must be acted love of God is an abiding principle. It will not, upon, one way or other, long before we come aclike some other, (and these also good and laudable tually to experience them, yet in fact we do not principles of action, as far as they go,) produce a meditate upon them, we do not act with a view to partial religion. It is co-extensive with all our them, till something gives us alarm, gives reason obligations. Practical Christianity may be com- to believe that they are approaching fast upon us, prised in three words; devotion, self-government, that they are at hand, or shortly will be, that we and benevolence. The love of God in the heart shall indeed experience what they are. is a fountain, from which these three streams of The world of spirits, the world for which we virtue will not fail to issue. The love of God are destined, is invisible to us. Hear St. Paul's also is a guard against error in conduct, because account of this matter: "We look not at the it is a guard against those evil influences which things which are seen, but at the things which mislead the understanding in moral questions. In are not seen; for the things which are seen are some measure, it supplies the place of every rule. temporal, but the things which are not seen are He who has it truly within him, has little to learn. eternal." " We walk by faith, not by sight; faith Look steadfastly to the will of God, which he who is the evidence of things not seen." Some great loves God necessarily does, practise what you be invisible agent there must be in the universe; lieve to be well pleasing to him, leave off
' what you the things which are seen were not made of believe to be displeasing to him: cherish, confirm, things which do appear." Now if the great Austrengthen the principle itself which sustains this thor of all things be himself invisible to our senses, course of external conduct, and you will not want and if our relation to him must necessarily form many lessons, you need not listen to any other the greatest interest and concern of our existence, monitor.
then it follows, that our greatest interest and con