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to government, the wrong in one age or country may be the right in another. In all these, or rather in all of them which concern our practice in our own times, it is the duty and the privilege of those whose understandings have been cultivated, and whose condition in life calls them to work with their minds rather than their bodies, to labour for themselves to find out truth. Certainly they will not in all things find it; even if no lurking prejudice interfere, yet deficient leisure, deficient knowledge, deficient acuteness, or judgment for where is the intellect that is not in some points deficient?-will assuredly in some one or more points draw or keep the veil before their eyes, and truth will be hidden from them. This is wisely ordered, as a lesson of humility and charity; but yet for their encouragement, in how many points will truth be found; and if found by such honest and earnest search, how deeply will it be valued! For the truth so gained settles itself quietly in our inmost minds, no longer exposed to question, no longer urging us to be violent in defending it, because we feel that we have no sure hold on it, but pure, and clear, and peaceable; a true light, declaring its descent from its heavenly Author. But he will not so gain it if he seeks

to reach it by the short road of human authority. Natural it is, I grant, to lean on this staff, whether in worldly matters or in spiritual, whether in philosophy or religion. It is natural, but it is vain; for such an authority is nowhere to be found; one is our Master, even Christ, and all we are brethren, well fitted to help one another, to instruct one another, to advise one another; but none of us, whether in old times or in modern, whether individuals or churches, whether fathers or councils, fitted to be an authority in matters of truth, fitted to convince the judgment, although they may justly, in all indifferent matters, claim to regulate our outward actions. None of us are fitted to be an authority, yet we are most fitted to be consulted in our several ways, either as evidence or as advisers: and the lover of truth will be as anxious to hear this evidence, to listen to and to weigh the advice or opinion given, as he will be careful not to yield to the authority; that is, to accept any decision on a disputed question merely for the sake of the name of the person giving it.

Having, then, the Christian's hope as an anchor of the soul, sure and stedfast, and knowing that this hope can only be kept alive by prayer and watchfulness; in other words,

by a holy life; knowing, also, that in this your hope no evil man is a partaker, and that all are joint partakers in it with you who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity; feeling strongly both by what Christ is divided, and by what he is not divided, go forth into the manifold contests and temptations of our time to advance your Master's kingdom, and to glorify his name. Seek all truth, so long as you hold by Christ's anchor, humbly, earnestly, fearlessly; be most resolute to win and keep it yourselves, most indulgent to those who mistake it; most firm in protesting against the presumption of those who, having, at the best, gained it by accident, but more often being themselves sunk in error, declare that they alone are possessed of it, and with a yet worse blindness make that pretended truth on which they have chanced to stumble the standard by which to judge of their Master's servants. Be of one party to the death, and that is Christ's; but abhor every other: abhor it, that is, as a thing to which to join yourselves; for every party is mixed up of good and evil, of truth and falsehood; and in joining it, therefore, you join with the one as well as the other. If circumstances should occur which oblige you practically to act with any one party, as

the least of two evils, then watch yourselves the more, lest the least of two evils should, by any means, commend itself at last to your minds as a positive good. Join it with a sad and reluctant heart, protesting against its evil, dreading its victory, far more pleased to serve it by suffering than by acting; for it is in Christ's cause only that we can act with heart and soul, as well as patiently and triumphantly suffer. Do this amidst reproach, and suspicion, and cold friendship, and zealous enmity; for this is the portion of those who seek to follow their Master, and him only. Do it, though your foes be they of your own household; those whom nature, or habit, or choice, had once bound to you most closely. And then you will understand how, even now, there is a daily cross to be taken up by those who seek not to please men, but God: yet you will learn no less, how that cross, meekly and firmly borne, whether it be the cross of men's ill opinion from without, or of our own evil nature struggled against within, is now, as ever, peace, and wisdom, and sanctification, and redemption, through Him who first bore it.




Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

THE story from which these words are taken is so well known to every one, to say nothing of our having just heard it read in this very afternoon's service, that it must be needless to repeat it again. I shall, therefore, only consider the verse so far as it contains a lesson for us now; and I shall venture, as I have done on former occasions, to apply some parts of it in a figurative sense, not, of course, supposing their real meaning to be figurative, but because they afford a more lively, and, therefore, a more impressive manner of briefly expressing moral truths, than if they were to be stated merely according to their letter.

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