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former will discover to us our road, the latter will enable us to walk in it; and both together will carry us, in due time, to the “city of our eternal habitation."-IBID.
Truth and holiness afford to the sincere believer a pleasure more exquisite, as well as more solid and enduring, than that which a miser feels at the acquisition of his darling wealth. Let us no longer envy the joys of worldly men, no longer be chagrined at the prosperity of the wicked. The “true riches” we may always acquire; and, surely, as much as the heaven is higher than the earth, so much are heavenly joys above earthly, in kind, degree, and duration.-IBID.
Solomon took an inventory of the world, and all the best things in it: he cast up the account, and the sum total was VANITY.-IBID.
No external pressure can take away that spiritual “liberty" which the faithful Christian experienceth, when he hath made an open confession of the truth, and determined at all events to do his duty. Then he is no longer straitened by fear, but set at large by love. “The truth maketh him free,” and he “walketh in the liberty of the children of God;" a liberty which they only obtain “who seek his precepts,” and, by the performance of them, are rescued from the bondage both of tyrannical desires and slavish fears.-IBID.
A true penitent suffereth no time to be lost between his good resolutions and the performance of them. “Draw me,” saith the church; “we will RUN after thee.” (Cant.
(Cant. i. 4.) Andrew, Peter, and others,
stayed not for a second call from Christ, but followed him immediately upon the first. By deferring our return to duty, we lose many comfortable fruits, which it would have produced both in ourselves and others: while the difficulties of ever returning, and the danger of never returning, are daily and hourly increasing:IBID.
Christianity, be it remembered, proposes not to extinguish our natural desires, but to bring them under just control, and direct them to their true objects. In the case both of riches and of honour, she maintains the consistency of her character. While she commands us not to set our hearts on earthly treasures, she reminds us that we have in Heaven a better and more enduring substance" than this world can bestow; and while she represses our solicitude respecting earthly credit, and moderates our attachment to it, she holds forth to us and bids us habitually to aspire after, the splendours of that better state, where is true glory, and honour, and immortality; thus exciting in us a just ambition, suited to our high origin, and worthy of our large capacities, which the little, misplaced, and perishable distinctions of this life would in vain attempt to satisfy.—WILBERFORCE.
The title of Christian is a reproach to us, if we estrange ourselves from him after whom we are denominated. The name of Jesus is not to be to us like the Allah of the Mahometans, a talisman, or an amulet to be worn on the arm, merely as an external badge and symbol of our profession, and to preserve us from
evil by some mysterious and unintelligible potency; but it is to be engraven deeply on the heart, there written by the finger of God himself in everlasting characters. It is our sure and undoubted title to present peace and future glory. The assurance which this title conveys of a bright reversion, will lighten the burdens and alleviate the sorrows of life; and in some happier moments, it will impart to us somewhat of that fulness of joy which is at God's right hand, enabling us to join, even here, in the heavenly Hosannah: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing."-"Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”—IBID.
There is one class of dangers pertaining alike to every profession, every branch of study, every kind of distinct pursuit. I mean the danger in each, to him who is devoted to it, of over-rating its importance as compared with others, and again of unduly extending its province. To a man who has no enlarged views, no general cultivation of mind, and no familiar intercourse with the enlightened and the worthy of other classes besides his own, the result must be more or less of the several forms of narrow-mindedness. To apply to all questions, on all subjects, the same principles and rules of judging that are suitable to the particular questions and subjects about which he is especially conversant;-to bring in those subjects and questions on all occasions, suitable or unsuitable, like the painter Horace alludes to, who introduced a cypress tree into
the picture of a shipwreck ;-to regard his own particular pursuit as the one important and absorbing interest;—to look on all other events, transactions, and occupations, chiefly as they minister more or less to that ;-and to feel a clannish attachment to the members of that particular profession or class he belongs to as a body or class, (an attachment, by the bye, which is often limited to the collective class, and not accompanied with kindly feelings towards the individual members of it,) and to have more or less an alienation of feeling from those of other classes :--all these, and many other such, are symptoms of that narrow-mindedness, which is to be found alike in all who do not carefully guard themselves against it, whatever may be the profession or department of study of each.--WHATELY.
Let none compromise their principles. Let none concede to the practices of the world, from the mistaken notion of conciliating prejudices, or winning over the ungodly to religion. We must be singular if we would be holy; we must be consistent, if we would be useful. If we are faithful, we must indeed expect reproach ; if we boldly confess Christ before men, and steadily maintain that marked distinction which forms the line of separation between the church and the world, we must submit to have our names cast out as evil. But true Christians ought never to shrink from the cross.
Like Caleb, they should follow the Lord fully, when all else forsake him; and, like Joshua, they should declare, with humility and integrity of heart, in the face of a sneering world: “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” We must let men see
the foundation of our practice, and why we cannot do as others do. We must make them acquainted with our principles, and let them know what are those secret springs of action which cause us to move in a direction so opposed to theirs. This frank and ingenuous conduct may open the minds and touch the hearts of some, who, through grace, may be led to say: “We will go with you, for we perceive that God is with you." At all events, such upright dealing will bring comfort into our own souls, and preserve us from falling into those snares which Satan lays to catch the fearful and double-minded professor. But if we are habitually afraid of being decided ; if we endeavour to keep fair with the world ; if we want to live like the borderers between the two kingdoms of light and darkness, maintaining a sort of friendly intercourse with the inhabitants on either side of the line; if we are ashamed of avowing our principles before men, when duty and the honour of Christ call for such an avowal; then we may be assured, on the truth of the gospel, that we have no scriptural evidence of being the children of God; for thus saith our divine Saviour: “Whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before
Father which is in heaven.” “If we deny him, he will also deny us.”—ANON.
The true believer in Jesus has the sweetest enjoyment of life. He can eat his meat with singleness of heart, praising God. He can taste the sweets of Christian friendship, and domestic life. He can enjoy all the endearing charities of husband, father, brother. He can feel his heart expanding towards the poor, and find his joy in pouring the balm of consolation into the