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decidedly pious life, and can therefore form no idea what spiritual or divine life in the soul really is ; and as they have no anxious desire to advance in holiness, they are careless and indifferent to examine or ascertain whether they are growing in grace, or even whether they have any. Such a one is deceiving himself: he may not be a hypocrite, nor intend to act hypocritically—the truth is, he does not think or feel as he ought. But be assured, if you have not the Spirit of Christ, you are none of his.
Many persons think they worship God, whose hearts are far from him. They have only come within the borders of his sanctuary—they have none of the spirituality of the true worshipper—they enter not within the veil—they do not discern, with the eye of faith, the excellency, the fair beauty of the Lord, though they visit his temple. Thus may any one admire a noble building dedicated to the service of God. He may go round about it, and mark well the towers thereof, and after viewing the interior, may acknowledge that the edifice is perfect and complete; but he only sees the superstructure-he never examined the foundation-he knows not where is the chief stone. But the Christian sees him who is invisible; and he will hereafter see the King
in his beauty. He is illumined by that light which is life to the soul-which brings to the most abject penitent such an efful. gence as assures his heart he shall dwell in uncreated light. O that I could persuade you to have your hearts established by faith, to prove your own selves, whether you are in the faith-whether you have received the truth, in the love of it—whether you have really partaken of that hid. den manna which shall nourish your souls : then should you know, and feel, that the Lord is gracious; and would assuredly have the anticipation of that eternal life, reserved for all those who delight in holiness, and which is prepared for all who here hunger and thirst after righteousness.
To those who have made some progress in a Christian course, and have a wellgrounded hope that their divine life is not only begun, but advancing, I would urge, to cherish all holy dispositions, and be active in the discharge of every duty“ Stir up, the grace that is in you.” Be careful to keep alive, by devout meditation and prayer, the divine flame of light and loye; keep in lively exercise every Christian grace which can elevate the soul, and adorn the Christian character; and avoid every thing which is calculated to deaden
a true devotional spirit. Be continually pressing forward to the mark of the prize of your high calling. Are you sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise ? walk as child. ren of the light and of the day. And if at any time, from the power of remaining corruption, you find the difficulty of keeping the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, be more watchful-more prayerfulkeep a stricter guard over yourselves, and avoid in future everything which has proved a temptation or a snare to you.
I would lastly observe, that there is an, error to which many persons are liable, and which is a dangerous presumption, that they have attained to such an advancement in spiritual life, that they apply what St. Paul saith to the Romans as belonging to themselves, before they are possibly justified—“'That there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” But I beseech you, my friends, to be more strongly impressed with the truth and force of the practical conclusion of the verse, which is said of those only who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. For they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. And recollect those words of our Saviour, spoken to them all, “ If any man will come after
me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
Let us all, then, seriously examine our. selves, whether we are so walking and living by faith in our blessed Redeemer, and abid. ing in him-taking his most holy life for our example, his word for our guide, and daily aspiring after the same mind which was in him—then shall you go on from strength to strength, and shall receive the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. And when he who has been your light shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory. Which God of his infinite mercy grant, &c.
St. Matth. v. 9.
Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be
called the children of God.
In reading over and contemplating the beatitudes of our Lord, it is remarkable that the greater 'number, as they relate chiefly to each individual in a peculiarly personal manner, appear intended and calculated for perfecting the Christian character. Accord. ingly, therefore, as the graces and virtues enumerated are cultivated and possessed, will the promised blessings annexed be enjoyed; and by the exercise of these heavenly dispositions in ourselves, will the sayour, as it were, be diffused to all around us. But that now selected for our consideration, is like the fifth beatitude, in regard to the merciful, of by far the most extensively practical importance to society at large; and perhaps the character of a peace-maker is one which we rarely meet with, even