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ship in the promises of the Gospel; our joint inheritance of pardoning grace, our identity of interest in the death of the Redeemer, our equal dependence on the power of the Intercessor.

Blessed courtesy! Not that ambiguous and calculating sort which purchases homage by condescension, and barters smiles for applause, but such as a Christian gentleman acknowledges to be due to those who minister to his comforts, and are the essential parts of his family, whose situation consigns them to an atmosphere of dense ignorance, where intelligence is merged in prejudice, as light is lost in vapour, and the low details of animal existence leave little leisure from busy vacancy for profitable thinking.

Blessed charity! Not that promiscuous and indolent sort which blends the deserving and undeserving in its degrees of universal amnesty, or which perpetuates suffering by injudicious bounty, scattering rather than distributing; but that right and rational principle which considers spiritual comfort and Christian communion as the heritage and birth-right of man in every station; which delights in the fellowship of prayer, in the extension of Gospel privileges, in the increase of petitioners before the throne of mercy, and in peopling and crowding the great scene and area of grace, mercy, and thanks

giving. COURTESY and CHARITY thus scripturally understood, resting on an EQUALITY thus spiritually acknowledged, harmonize all diversities of estate in the same act of self

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abasement. The master, kneeling before his servant, is on the same floor with him as a sinner; the servant, kneeling with his master, is on the same eminence with him as a Christian. There are those who laugh at all this, as there are those in lunatic hospitals who laugh at their own wretchedness; but the life of those prayerless buffoons so soon passes from madness to sadness, from farce to tragedy, that their ridicule is only an appeal to the compassion of the real Christian. Unawed by such weak enemies, and without inquiring who laughs or who approves, he prays, and still prays at the accustomed seasons with his family. Whatever may be the dispositions or doubts of his household or his visitors; though some may lounge, and some refuse to listen, he will summon all within his gates to the family altar as a matter of course. Whether they will hear or forbear, ridicule or respect, his practice varies not. Nothing interrupts him; through good and evil report his righteous resolution flows on continuously and tranquilly. Like the stream from the sanctuary in the vision of the prophet, it increases in depth

and abundance till it issues in the great and wide receptacle of living waters, leaving behind it whatever drift or defilement may have floated on its surface.

In a good man's house prayer is the product of every event of the family out of the ordinary course. A journey accomplished; a danger escaped; a birth, a death, a marriage; every infliction, every blessing, every providence, every visitation, every instance in the family history in which God has made known his power by ministering to man's helplessness, or the wayward heart has been recovered by his grace; all these vicissitudes are subjects of commemoration and prayer in the house of one who faithfully follows up his baptismal dedication in a consistent course of practical loyalty and devoted service. The posterns of such a house have the sprinkling of the sacrifice, which denotes its privileges, and preserves it from surrounding contagion. In such a house, the secret is found out of combining seriousness with cheerfulness, service with freedom, duty with delight. Happy home! where prayers are victorious over tears, and trust is too strong for despair; where God is a daily guest, and his angels a nightly guard

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SECTION III.

THANKSGIVING.

PRAYER, in its general sense, includes thanksgiving." A feeling of thankfulness is always present to the mind of a genuine Christian. Thankfulness, as a commutative sentiment between man and man, is occasional, brief, and fugitive; but between man and his God it implies the state and character of the mind. So sweet and so happy is this frame, that to pray to be thankful is a most reasonable act of the Christian worshipper. To pray for a thanksgiving heart is to pray for a great distinction and precious privilege: for it is, indeed, " a joyful and pleasant thing to be thankful." It is to be in a constant jubilee in those deep retreats of the bosom where the soul sits in sequestered communion with God. This happy privilege must come, however, in its order; it must succeed to various precursory attainments. It is not of the genuine sort as it displays itself upon the surface of conversation, making a part of the expletives of religion. Some men have a pleasant way of adverting to providential mercies that may be serviceable in seasoning their remarks; while by the light and airy manner in which the

topic is touched, the imputation of over-righteousness is tastefully avoided. Spiritual thankfulness is a pervasive principle, refreshed from the fountains of feeling, and living in constant efflorescence and verdure. It joins the general song of nature; and like that, is perpetual; rejoicing with "the little hills," and with the "firmament declaring his handy-work."

It is pleasant to associate with persons thus uniformly thankful to God. There is peace, sweet peace in their borders: peace within, and peace all around. No one can witness it without wishing for it. How then is it to be attained? By imitation, by adoption, by assuming its language and tones? Certainly not by any such compendious methods. It is among the fruits of the Spirit, and belongs to the renewed and sanctified heart: it is to be arrived at by a process and by steps. To estimate the mercies of Jehovah, and to feel all our grounds of thankfulness, we must begin with duly "regarding the power of his wrath." Our lost estate, our utter helplessness, our natural destitution, the exigence of God's most holy law, the perfection and symmetry of his immutable justice, the worm that dieth never, and the fire that for ever burns, must all come in vision to the prostrate soul, before it can know how properly to appreciate

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