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the Father gave up the only beloved to die for the world? Does she not bid the guilty but repenting heart that doubts if that sacrifice, could be made for
so stained with guilt, remember that He came to die for sinners ? Does she not bid us remember that He that died for sinners, lives for them, prays for them, offers up their prayers to the eternal Father? Does she not call upon us to lift up the heart that is cast down under the sense of sin, to give thanks, as it is 'meet and right to do, for the victory which has been won for us, and with angels and archangels and all the glorious company of Heaven, to laud and magnify' him that has conquered Death and Sin for
But yet more, does not the Church of Christ remind us in that solemn service of the blessed purposes for which it was ordained, and tell us that we who approach with faith to that high communion shall have our bodies made pure by our Lord's body and our soul washed with His most precious blood, that we shall evermore dwell in Him and He in us?
Oh! my brethren, what promises and prospects are these!
Do we hail and accept them with joy? or do we neglect and despise them? Does the voice of prayer never come from our lips ? are our ears closed to the sound of the Word ? is God's table spread in vain for us? in all our round of busy life, is there no hour of calm and quiet thought, of holy meditation ? And then do we complain for ourselves, and complain for the world at large ? do we think that the Lord's arm is shortened that it cannot save, and His eařs dull that He will not hear? What
could God have done more that He hath not done for His vineyard'? Promises, exhortations, strivings, assistance, His Word, His Sacraments all are given. And do we think that promises, exhortations, strivings, assistance, His Word, His Sacraments, will be given in vain, and no vengeance follow ? Vain thought! Be not deceived, God is not mocked! A day will come when a merciful God will shew that He is a just God: a day when we shall find no place for repentance, though, like Esau, we seek for it with tears. "Then it will be too late to knock when the door is shut; too late to call for mercy, when it is the time for justice', too late indeed when we have passed to that state where hope never comes, where repentance is useless, and amendment impossible.
Let not this be our case, my brethren. God has endowed us either by nature or by grace, with faculties which enable us to discern and appreciate the beauty of holiness. He has set before us a sufficient rule, and a perfect pattern of all that is lovely and pure. Yet more, he has given us the means of walking by the rule, and imitating the pattern, of raising ourselves in the scale of moral beings, day by day, and year by year, till however deep or deadly the taint of our original nature, and however frail and weak our hearts may yet be, we may by patient continuance in welldoing emancipate ourselves from the foul thraldom of sin, rise into the glorious liberty of the children of God, and in our measure and degree be holy as He is holy, and perfect as He is perfect. Shall we close our eyes to the glorious vision, neglect the rule, despise the pattern, reject the proffered aid, live in a low, base, and odious servitude, to corruption and sin, and never look, hope, soar heavenward ? Shall we be content to resign the heavenly for the earthly, the spiritual for the animal, and all the glorious privileges of holiness and hopes of Heaven for the sordid and melancholy concernments of a passing and corrupted world ? What must be the guilt and shame of rational and moral beings who have the means of improvement in their hands, and refuse or neglect to use them, who might go on in perpetual succession from one stage of improvement to another, and who yet remain through their whole lives unadvanced and unimproved, contented to creep where they might soar, and, yet worse, contented to revel with lost spirits in the foulness of sin, when they might rise with heavenly spirits, to the perfection of holiness.
These words, my younger brethren, spoken in this place, may possess little interest for you. They present no question for the understanding to discuss, no difficulty for it to solve. But if I were to think only of the progress of your understanding, I would yet say, despise not these plain and practical exhortations. Be assured that the plain and practical exhortations which point out to you the one only road to the improvement of your moral nature, point out to you also the only road to the elevation of your intellectual being For whatever may be the acuteness, or the penetration of the understanding while the heart is yet unconverted, there is 'no clear discernment, no full comprehension, no firm and permanent grasp
great and abiding truths for any but the moral and spiritual man. Mysteries are revealed unto the meek', says the Son of Sirach. The Spirit of the Lord will not enter into a polluted soul, but he that keepeth the law, getteth the understanding thereof and the perfection of the fear of the Lord is wisdom'.
But it is of something better and higher than the triumphs of intellect, it is of the progress of the moral being which I now speak. And I beseech you to remember what you may become even in this low world of care, and what gracious offers of help are made you by One who is equally able and desirous to confer the aid He offers. If His grace then is sufficient for us, sufficient to make us creatures worthy to know and love, and worship such a Creator, again I beseech you not to let it be offered in vain. For if year it is offered in vain, if year after year this culture is wasted on a barren tree and an unkindly soil, if year after year we bring forth no fruit, how long will the eternal Lord of the Vineyard endure with us? when will He issue the dread command, ‘Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground'? Oh! spare us, Lord, a little while, shut not thy merciful ears to our prayer, still for a little while send forth thy light to lead, thy grace to guide us, deliver us not yet, Oh! Lord, into the bitter pains of eternal Death !
MAN'S NEED OF A SANCTIFYING PURPOSE.
1 CORINTH. X. 31.
Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
In the verses immediately preceding that in which the text is written, the great Apostle has given the resolution of one of those cases of conscience about which he had obviously been consulted by his Corinthian 'converts. Living, as they did, in the heart of a heathen city, and surrounded by friends and neighbours still sitting in the darkness of heathenism, they must have been often exposed to much that was painful to their feelings, and might be perilous to their own peace, as well as a source of temptation and distress of mind to their Christian brethren. Had they renounced all commerce with those whose heathen practices shocked them, they must needs have gone out of the world. Yet in remaining in it, they must often have been witnesses, and, to outward appearance, not disapproving witnesses of practices op