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ing in their minds their reverence for divine truth, or their impressions of the necessity of Christian holiness. Are we prepared then to deal with unsparing justice towards these and similar offences? Are we anxious to see, in all their deformity, our selfishness, pride, irritation, uncharitableness, which is dishonesty, and every other unholy affection, whether it has only lurked in our hearts, or been actually manifested in words or deeds injurious to our neighbour? and above all, would we confess the guilt, and deplore the consequences of having in any way hurt the spiritual interests of others, not only imploring the forgiveness of such offences, but sincerely seeking to be preserved from them in all time coming? And let us see to it also, that we are not living in the practice of sin, or in the neglect of duty, about which our conscience may never have given us any uneasiness, just because, from the prevailing practices of society, we may have been taking for granted that we may safely do what the Bible forbids, or leave undone what
made, and such a supplication offered up, there is | an earnest desire to be kept from these sins, and an honest purpose, in the strength of promised grace, stedfastly to resist them in all time coming. Where this is awanting, where there is any thing like a mental reservation in favour of a sinful indulgence, or of some modification of such an indulgence, it gives a character of insincerity to the whole transaction; and their own conscience, as well as Scripture, will testify, that they cannot sincerely expect to be heard; or if they can possibly so far delude themselves as to hope that they will, it is an unfounded hope, of which they will, sooner or later, see reason to be ashamed. In such circumstances, so far from "washing their hands in innocency," they are willingly retaining the unclean thing by which they have been defiled. To be so washed, they must not only be sprinkled with that blood which cleanses from the guilt of all sin, but sanctified also, by that Spirit who can alone remove the pollution of sin; and both these must be the subject of sincere, earnest, and believ-it requires. And let us not allege that these are ing prayer.
These principles are very plainly laid down in the Bible, and comprehensively stated in the text. Let us therefore apply them to our own character and state. In the prospect of compassing the Table of the Lord, are we prepared to subject ourselves to the same scrutiny that David did? and while confessing our sins in the hope of finding mercy, are we honestly desirous also of forsaking them? And let us not be satisfied with being able to reply generally to this question, that we do hope for pardon by the blood of Christ, and that we desire also to walk as Christians ought to walk. Let us examine our character, the state of our heart, and the tenor of our life, as they refer both to God and our fellow-men, calling to our remembrance those offences against both, of which our conscience did at the time accuse us, but which we may have too easily and too speedily forgotten. And on recollecting any such offence more immediately committed against God, any gratification in thought or deed which we know to have been forbidden in his Word, any rebellious feeling against his dispensations, or any neglect of the homage due to him, for the sake of some worldly object, which, for the time, held the supremacy of our affections; let us enquire whether we are ready to acknowledge such offences, without palliation or disguise, and are as honest in supplicating his grace to cleanse us from its past pollution, and preserve us from its future influence, as we are in imploring the pardon of its guilt. And, in like manner, let us ask, whether we are prepared to deal as honestly by ourselves, in regard to the offences with which we may have been chargeable against our fellow-men. We cannot fail, if we are faithful to ourselves, to recollect many such sins,-occasions on which our pride, or anger, or some other selfish and ungodly principle was called into activity, and times, it may be, when we may have reason to fear that we said or did something to injure the moral or spiritual character of others, by weaken
sins of ignorance. With the Word of God in our
WATCHMEN IN THE EAST.
the mechanical contrivances used to supply the want of
charge. On these latter occasions, the exclamations are always addressed to their comrades, and generally con
house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary
and bless the Lord."
Second band of watchmen answer. "The Lord bless thee out of Zion-the Lord that made heaven and earth."
sist of some expressions in the form of a dialogue tend- | ye servants of the Lord, who stand in the night in the ing to encourage one another in the discharge of their cheerless and monotonous task ;-some watchword, or set form of words, similar to what a traveller informs us is used by the watchmen of the caravans in the Desert, who, in going their rounds, exclaim when they meet, "God is merciful," while the other responds in the same elevated tone, "Blessings be on you," or, "Mind yourselves." The responsibility of these officers is very great, for whatever outrages are perpetrated, the watchman who is on duty at the time is required to make rigid satisfaction-in cases of robbery, by payment of an equivalent for the stolen goods, and in cases of murder, with his own blood; and hence, those who are appointed to this office are obliged, both from a sense of duty, and from dread of the serious consequences of negligence, to be constantly perambulating the streets, and making the most vigilant efforts to prevent the occurrence of any disorder.
According to the rigid, and in many cases sanguinary laws of the East, to which we have already adverted, the office of a watchman is neither a sinecure nor is it an easy task, as he is responsible for the safety both of the persons and things he is appointed to guard, and must pay, without the hope of mercy, the penalty of the utmost farthing, either with his fortune or his life, for whatever disasters happen, if it be proved that the occurrence took place in consequence of his having failed to give the alarm, or not taken due precautions to prevent the mischief. The reader of the Scriptures will remember the tremendous effect with which the fervid imagination of Ezekiel employs this circumstance to pourtray the responsibility of the spiritual watchmen who are stationed upon the bul warks of Zion, and whose duty it is to proclaim aloud to the people the warnings, reproofs, and admonitions of the Word of God. “O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul." (Ezekiel xxxiii. 8, 9.) *
BY THE REV. ALEXANDER MOODY, A.M. As men live, so do men die. Within twenty-four hours of the death narrated in our last, another member of the human family had fled to the unseen world with widely different feelings; would that we could add with a widely different fate. He was not ignorant of the doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To his youthful training, an inquisitive mind aided by no contemptible talent, had added a considerable stock of theological learning. His reading had been chiefly of our old divines, and his knowledge was not more extensive than his sentiments were sound. Where scarcely any society existed of a higher class, and where in his own rank of life any tolerable acquaintance with such subjects was sufficient
The knowledge of these customs, which exist in the present day in almost all countries of the East, affords an obvious explanation of many circumstances mentioned in the history, and many allusions made in the sacred books of the Jews, as among that people institutions of the same nature evidently prevailed. We may learn from the preceding observations what is meant (Judges vii. 19; Matthew xiv. 25.-xxiv. 43; Luke xii. 38.) by the first, second, third, and fourth watch, these being the successive periods into which, reckoning their night to begin from our six o'clock, they were accustomed to divide that portion of time, and we may easily discover, too, how natural it was for them to use that term as a general expression for the night season, as in Psalm lxiii, where the Psalmist speaks of the time he spent in devotion," When I meditate on thee in the nightwatches.' To the loud and frequent cries with which the return of these intervals was made known, the Prophet Isaiah alludes in lii. 8, where he says, "the watchmen shall lift up the voice;" in lxii. 6, where he speaks of them “ never holding their peace day nor night, crying aloud, and keeping not silence;" and also in lvi. 10, where, in speaking of careless and unfaithful watchmen, he describes them as "dumb dogs, dreamers, that love to slumber." The vehemence of these nocturnal exclamations of the watchmen, would frequently awake those that were asleep; and as to persons thus suddenly roused, the quarter of the night announced as having elapsed, would seem to have passed in the oblivion of their slumbers with the rapidity of a moment, we may perceive the exquisite force and beauty of the simile in Psalm xc. 4, "A thousand years are in thy sight but as a watch in the night." The custom of the watch-ly rare, we regarded him as some acquisition. It was men crying aloud in the course of the watches, and that, too, by saluting each other when they met, in the form of a set dialogue, was observed also by the ancient officers of this description among the Jews-the watchword being then, as it is still, we have seen, among the watchmen of the caravans, some pious sentiment, in which the name of Jehovah was specially expressed; Two remarkable instances of this occur in Scripture, the one is in Isaiah lxii. 6, where, speaking of the watch men of the Temple, who were always Levites, and among whom the same regulations subsisted as among other watchmen, he addresses them under the poetical description of, "Ye that make mention of the Lord," i.e., ye whose watchword is the name of Jehovah. The other instance is in Psalm cxxxiv, the whole of which, as is justly observed by Bishop Lowth, is nothing more than the alternate cry of two different divisions of the watch. The first watch addresses the second, reminding them of their duty; the second answers by a solemn blessing. The address and the answer seem both to be a set form, which each division proclaimed aloud at stated intervals to notify the time of night:
evident that his mind had found its chief exercise in religious inquiry; and on the various points of Christian doctrine his judgment was clear, his reasoning acute, his conversation interesting and animated. Nor did he converse like a man who had a mere speculative knowledge of momentous truth. He spoke with seriousness and fervour, with reverent inquiry and docility, and took a pleasure in dwelling on repentance, justification by grace, and the other fundamental doctrines of our faith. On these subjects, his views were perhaps as correct as an orthodox creed thoroughly studied could
In some places of the East, particularly Persia and Hindostan, watchmen are included among the officers that compose the household establishment of the grandees, and one of them (the number being generally four, corresponding to the watches of the night,) is stationed near the bed of his master to guard it, and be ready, whenever he requires it, to tell him how far the night is advanced. officers, we are told by Josephus, were in the court of Ahasuerus. For on that night on which the king could not sleep, and on which he called for the records of his kingdom, and there was read over to him the conspiracy which Mordecai had discovered; the historian adds, "the king bade the scribe who was reading stop, and hav ing inquired of those that were appointed for the purpose, what hour of the night it was, and having been informed it was already day, he ordered, that if they found any of his friends were already come and standing before the court, they should tell him, that he
First band of watchmen.-" Bless ye the Lord, all might instantly bestow some reward on Mordecai."
render them; we do not say that they were as clear as if they had been sealed by the teaching of the Spirit. He prayed frequently, if not habitually, in his family, and occasionally with some of the more seriously disposed amongst his neighbours, by whom we understood him to be regarded as excelling in devotional exercise. The public ordinances of grace he seemed to appreciate, and to observe them with self-application. His mental working and experience were marked and striking, his convictions of guilt were overwhelming, his desires for
The man we have described was no hypocrite, no antinomian, no scoffer, no formalist. How many are there who stand well in their own eyes, and in the eyes of the Christian world, of whom it would be hard, after the most painful search, to find as much good to say as we have said of him. Nevertheless, he was a sinnerthe slave of sin-of such sin as, if a man indulge, "he cannot enter the kingdom of God." He was a drunkard. He did not daily, indeed, put the inebriating cup to his lips, for he often abstained for weeks together; but then, ever and again, he returned in a time of temptation, "like the dog to his vomit, and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." He thus enjoyed the pleasure of sin for a season; and when the revel was ended, he was " of all men most miserable." We have then seen him pacing up and down his apartment the image of wretchedness. He could not work, he could not read, he could not walk abroad, nor find diversion from his grief and dismay. For days in succession he trembled in the presence of an angry God-God, whose house then he dared not enter, whose Word he had not courage to open, whose throne of grace he would not venture to approach. His only resource was to beseech others that they would pray for him, and their assistance he most piteously craved. A self-condemned and relapsed offender, he stood afar off and smote upon his breast," and it was long before he had confidence to present the petition, " God be merciful to me a sinner." Anew he resolved, repented, supplicated, strove, resisted the tempter, and seemed for a while to "abstain from all appearance of evil;" but ere another moon had run her rapid course, he was the same guilty and trembling wretch again, the prey of miserable remorse, well-nigh the victim of despair.
No peculiarity of circumstances can form an excuse for any vice; and yet it was easy to see that to this temptation he was peculiarly exposed. He had served for many years in the army, at a time when he had probably not laid to heart the concerns of his soul, and had there contracted habits which it was difficult for him now to lay aside. His long skeleton frame bore marks of the emaciating influence of Southern suns, by exposure to which, his system had been so enervated as to cause a craving for excitement which he had not moral vigour sufficient to resist. Finding by sad experience the weakness of his firmest resolutions, ne thought of uniting himself to a Temperance Society, and had he seen his way clearly, he would have counted light any sacrifice it might have cost. But he reasoned thus:-" I make resolutions now, and when I break them I am almost distracted with a sense of guilt; if I shall bind myself by this solemn promise, I may be tempted sooner or later to break it too, and if ever that should happen it is all over with me, I should be driven to despair, I could not live; however advisable such a step may be for others, it is too hazardous for me, I cannot venture it." If his power of acting had borne any proportion to his power of reasoning, his character would have been not merely consistent with itself, but superior to most. As it was, his knowledge will probably be accounted an enhancement of his sin, and he will be condemned by many as doubly criminal, because "he knew his Lord's will and did it not." For ourselves, we rather wished to regard him as one whom Satan had
led captive only by putting forth an unusual effort of subtlety and power.
To a man of such a character, a visitation like that of cholera could not but be peculiarly alarming, viewing it as the judgment of God against a guilty people, himself the guiltiest of all; and being well aware that he was one of the likeliest victims of the disease, and that disease to him was almost certain death. When the scourge began to be severely felt, he was, in common with others, slightly indisposed, (sickness of greater or less severity being then so prevalent, that I suppose I was almost a solitary instance of entire exemption.) He was afraid, and his fear of death being apparently stronger than his fear of sin, he betook himself to ardent spirits as a remedy or preventive of disease. Had he anticipated the hazard of indulging to excess, he would undoubtedly have shrunk from the poisoned cup, but he probably imagined that the very solemnity of such a season would serve as a salutary restraint and sufficient safeguard. He tampered with temptation; he touched, he drank, he was overcome. Intoxication confirmed the previous symptoms of complaint into malignant disease, and he lay stretched on a bed from which he was never to rise. Of all the sufferers, none found a smaller share of sympathy than he. By the sober and respectable, he had been despised as a drunkard; by the thoughtless and profligate, he must have been laughed at as a hypocrite. By all, he was now condemned as a self-destroyer, who for his folly deserved to die; nor had he any family, for whose sake an interest might have been excited in himself. To us, again, he was the most interesting of all the patients, and his life the most precious of all for his own soul's sake.
At any other time, the information of his sickness— sickness so fatal-sickness so procured, would have been a dreadful stroke, bringing as it did a death-blow to the fondly cherished hope of seeing "him that had the legion sitting at the feet of Jesus, and in his right mind." But then there was no time for thought, and unexpected distresses had become so frequent, as to render them the subject of daily expectation. I repaired to his house, and found him anxiously looking for my arrival. I learned with regret, that he had refused the advice of the medical attendant, and was resolved to receive no medicines; without, at the same time, being otherwise careless in the use of such means as might avail for his recovery. All means, however, he regarded as useless, having no expectation of being restored to health; and even had he looked on recovery as possible, he received the stroke as an immediate judgment from God, which He alone could remove. So strong was his conviction that death had found him, that although tremblingly afraid to die, he seemed to have ceased from all anxiety to live. But if he was careless of a body which must inevitably perish, he was all the more earnest for his soul which he felt to be incapable of death. In this respect he afforded a proof, that strength of mental desire might easily rise superior to that lethargic disposition to which many of the patients yielded. Another instance of the same kind occurred in the case of a female, who died, if I remember rightly, on the same night. In a state of much weakness, I was surprised, not at the readiness merely, but the eagerness and avidity with which she took the medicines given her. I remarked it to her husband, who had been most regardless of her happiness in health, but nursed her now with ceaseless and unwearied attention, and I shall not soon forget the earnestness of his look, and the emphasis of his voice, when he replied, "She has a strong desire to live." Whatever may have been the spring of this desire, it served to prove that the working of the mind might triumph over the weakness of the body; and that the indifference to things eternal, so generally manifested, was not attribut able to disease. And so it was in the case of the indi
vidual before us: there was in him no lethargy, no apathy, no indolence. He trembled from head to foot; the bed shook beneath him. My beart was rent with his lamentable entreaties for supplication on his behalf. He desired me not to pray for his recovery; he seemed afraid lest time should be wasted on such petition, time, which to him was now too short and too precious, to be spent in asking that which could not be obtained; but earnest were his beseechings to plead for the salvation of his soul. It was just a case in which one could have wished to forget every other call upon compassion, and to have kneeled by his bedside while ebbing life remained, helping him to pray; or to have gone from him only to weep in secret places," and plead with the merciful One, if haply his sins might have been forgiven ere his term of grace expired. It was cruel to be torn away, to be forced, by the wants of many others, to tear one's self from him who was most of all, perhaps alone of all, alive to his own wants. And such our separation literally was. When I rose to bid him a last farewell, be seized my hand in his long bony fingers, and trembling in every limb, besought me not to forget him at a throne of grace; nor would he let me go, till at length with great difficulty I extricated myself from his agonizing grasp.
I had witnessed one of the most affecting scenes that the world presents,-an awakened sinner summoned into judgment; and doubly affecting to me, in the removal of an object of much solicitude, of mingled fear and hope. Had I seen him for the first time, I should probably have regarded him as a child of the kingdom encountering the last enemy under the hiding of his Father's face, and wounded by such "fiery darts of the wicked One," as for the moment he could not quench. Or had I learned his character, such as the world would have given it, I ah. uld have hoped that, having been a sinner, he was one saved in the eleventh hour, a death-bed penitent. And as it was, I cannot but cherish the persuasion that he may have been saved "yet so as by fire," and that in the last hour his prayer may have been heard,-his chain have been broken,-his spirit set free. Still, in so far as man could judge, his dying repentance was not different from the many repentances of his life, which themselves "needed to be repented of." He was indeed shut up as he had never been before; there was no future time into which his thoughts might run in vague resolutions of amendment; life was done, it was all behind, death and judgment were before. So situated, his convictions of sin were more distressing, his fear of punishment more overwhelming, his desire for deliverance more intense. But the effect was simply this, that his mind was more dreadfully distracted than ever, and he could not fix it for a moment on any one object of thought; yet the returning and prevailing emotion seemed to be a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indiguation." His life declared that a thorough change of heart required to be wrought; that he had never truly discerned Christ and him crucified, nor trusted in him; that his repentance had been legal and self-righteous. "Sin would not have had dominion over him, if he had been not under the law but under grace." There was then this great transition to be made; the being born again; the being set free with the liberty of the children of God. His death gave no evidence that such a change had been produced; for any difference discernible between this and his former repentings, he might have risen from that bed the slave of sin as before. There was no returning of the soul unto quiet rest," no becoming like a little child, no peace of conscience, no sweet and placid reliance on the Hope of Israel. His soul was still" like the troubled sea which cannot rest;" his sun set in gloomy darkness unbroken by one perceptible streak of light.
In conclusion we subjoin these two remarks:
1. If we were better acquainted with the mental
history of men, we should probably find that many supposed death-bed repentances are the mere renewal of si milar repentings during life; the fruitless working of minds that are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth," seeking to enter in but never prevailing, because they do not strive. Such a death as that we have just narrated may surely well enforce the exhortation, "Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many will seek to enter in and shall not be able." 2. We cannot conceive two characters more different, in many respects, than is the one we have now been reviewing, from that described in our last. The one a blasphemer, and dead to every thing like a sense of sin; the other a man who trembled at the Word of God, and was feelingly alive to his guilt. Their dying hours were not less dissimilar; the one closing his eyes on this world with his mouth full of cursing and bitterness, the other, if not in prayer, at least in the attempt to pray. Yet in their lives there appears to have been no vital distinction between them; they both died in a manner remarkably correspondent to the manner in which they had lived; and if in the closing scene there was no thorough change in either, (which yet in the one case we fondly hope may have taken place,) then we must conclude that as the same sun set on both for time, the same habitation received both for eternity. Let the ainiable, and conscientious, and in some measure religious, weigh the reflection, that if they have not "passed from death unto life," and perish in their unbelief, then they must have as their companions for ever, the blasphemers, the unthankful, the unholy, the incontinent, the fierce, the implacable, the unmerciful.
A Fervent Appeal at the Lord's Supper.-O all ye inhabitants of the world and dwellers in the earth, come gather yourselves together unto the marriage of the great King. Hear, ye that are afar off, and ye that are near, the Lord proclaimeth salvation to the ends of the earth, the glory of the Lord is to be revealed. Tidings, tidings, O ye captives! Hear, all ye that look for salvation in Israel; behold I bring you tidings of great joy. O, blessed news! the Lord is coming down upon Mount Zion,-not in earthquakes and thunders, not in fire and burnings,-not in darkness and tempests, but peaceably; the law of kindness is in his mouth; he crieth," Peace, peace to him that is afar off, and to him that is near." Behold! how he leapeth on the mountains! He hath passed Mount Ebal,-no more wrath or cursing,-he is come to Mount Gerizim to biess; he cometh clothed with flames of love and bowels of compassion, plenteous redemption and multiplied pardons. O, how pregnant is his love! Hearken, therefore, unto me, O, ye children;" for behold ye stand all of you this day before the Lord your God; your captains, your elders, your officers, and all the men of Israel, your little ones, your wives, and the stranger that is within thy camp, from the hewer of wood to the drawer of water," that you should take hold of this marriage covenant. For I am come this day to deal with you in a very peculiar manner, and am warranted to proclaim and make offer of this marriage to you, and lay the offer before you. I am allowed to be particular with you in this offer and invitation, and to put it home to you and every one of you. Will you, then, man,-will you, woman,-old and young,-parent and child,-master and servant,-rich and poor,-learned and unlearned? All is ready, O, come; I dare not take a nay-say, nor hearken to any shift or delay; it must be now or never. O, then, what shall I answer Him that hath sent me? Surely ye can give no relevant reason why you will not, and, therefore, I can admit of no reply, but "Behold we come." Will ye then come, or not? Shall I say that you will or that you will not? Ah! shall I go again to God and say, Thy people
now, even on a communion season, a high solemn Sabbath, will have none of thee?" If so, we need go no farther towards this solemnity, else ye will seal a blank, or a lie, or your own damnation. If you give not your consent, ye are held by God to dissent, and, therefore, say whether or not. O, if there be any motion, do not stifle it, but allow me in your name to say, "Even so we take Him;" and thus will the contract be closed in your name and his name. Bear witness to this, O, heavens, earth, angels, and saints! But, if after all, ye will not come, then I take witness against you, and call to witness the great God of heaven and earth, the holy angels who surround the throne, yourselves, your consciences, the very stones and timber in this place, and every one of you against another; and do, in the name of God, shake the dust from my feet against you, in witness, that on the 19th day of August, 1733, at a communion in this remote country of Zetland, in the Isle of Fetlar, Christ, and with him all the Covenant of Grace, the marriage covenant, was offered to you all without exception, and ye refused him and all this glory. And if you live and die in that mind, I solemnly charge and summon you to answer for this refusal before his awful tribunal at the Great Day. Bethink yourself, O, refuser and despiser! many a slight have you put upon Christ, and yet he is loth to take a naysay. O, is there nobody here, old or young, saying in their soul, "O, include me not in this protest ?"-come, then, O, willing soul; we are unwilling to leave you out, and again offer Christ to you. Consider what a husband you have in your offer, what he hath done, and how earnest he is. Consider what a rich bargain, what a full covenant ye are invited unto; and answer me three questions. First, What is your fault to the bridegroom? Second, Where can you make such a bargain? Third, Are you sure of another offer? If not, then take time when time is; and so fear not to come to the table and sit down at the feast, which is noble and excellent. And O, Lord God of my Master, I pray thee send me good speed this day! Eat, O, friend, drink, yea drink abundantly, O, beloved!-Unpublished Sermon of Rev. J. Bonar, Minister of Fetlar. "Lovest thou Me?"-Difficult as the question may be, it admits of a satisfactory answer. Had it not been so, Jesus would not have put the question. He would not have pushed the matter to a third interrogatory, if he had not known that the disciple could reply in the affirmative without hypocrisy, without his heart condemning him. Nor would he have appointed an ordinance which was intended only for his friends, and enjoined them to observe it, if he had not promised that his Spirit, witnessing with their spirits, should enable them to say with truth in the inward part, "We love him who first loved us." The real friends of Christ may have great doubts of their actual believing, and of the genuineness of their love to him. They are deeply grieved on account of the many evidences which they have given of indifference, and even of enmity to Him. The proofs of their ingratitude, forgetfulness, and unkindness, stare them in the face, and sometimes seal their lips. They complain, and they have good reason to complain, of the coldness of their hearts and the deadness of their affections. But though they cannot say in so many words, "Thou knowest that I love thee,' still they can say, "O Lord, the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee." And when urged by him, they cannot refrain from crying out, Lord, I love thee; help thou my want of love." To the question, "Will ye also go away?" they instinctively and resolutely reply, "To whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life." And if offered their liberty to leave him, they would cry with the manumitted slave under the law, "I love my master, and I will not go free." "Truly, O Lord, I am thy servant, I am thy servant, and the son of thine
handmaid: Thou hast loosed my bonds." And that is love. "But," methinks I hear some hesitating soul reply, "I do not feel that warmth of affection for Christ which is due to him." You cannot; for his love passeth returns, as it passeth knowledge. "But I do not feel that love which others bave felt for him, and have had freedom to express." Neither durst Peter speak strongly on this head; and the Saviour graciously dropped the clause in the first question, expressive of the degree of his love, and instead of " Lovest thou me more than these?" simply asked, "Lovest thou me?" Think on what He is, and what He hath done for sinners. Do you not love him? Can you say that you do not? Would you not wish to love him? Can you but love him? Would you not be ashamed of yourself if you did not love him? not your desire and prayer that all should love, honour, and serve him? And have you not such a strong sense of the high obligation which all are under to this exercise, that you can join with the apostle in saying, If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema, maran-atha"-accursed of the Lord at his coming?-Dr M'CRIE.
"Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee !"-The translators might have retained the verb have in both members; but in regard of the deceivableness and uncertainty of earthly goods and possessions, they change the verb have, in the first member, into desire in the second,have in heaven, and desire on earth,-not desire in heaven and have on earth: for in precise truth there is nothing which a religious soul can desire, but she hath it in heaven, and, on the contrary, nothing not to be had, that is, firmly possessed and enjoyed, which she desireth on earth. Heaven is the place of having, the earth of desiring, or craving. When an old man, being asked of his age, answered in the Latin phrase, I have, or reckon fourscore years, a philosopher took him up, and said, "What sayest thou? I have or reckon fourscore years, just so many hast thou not!" For in numbering the days and years of our life, whose parts are never all come until they are all gone, we usually count upon those years only that are fully past, which therefore, we have not, because they are gone. Even as he that taketh a lease for a term of years, after he has worn them out, has no more terms in his lease; no more may any man be said to have those years good which he hath spent in the lease of his life. Much less may he be said to have those that are not yet come, because they are not, and he is altogether uncertain whether they may be at all, or no. For all that he knows, this day the lease of his life may expire,-this hour his last glass may be running,-at this very moment and point of time, the thread of his life may be cut off. Now if we cannot be said truly to have any part of our time, how can we properly have any part in things temporal? If the lease of our lives, by which we hold all our earthly goods and possessions, be of so uncertain a date, let our lawyers talk ever so much of possessions and estates, of firm conveyances, and perpetuities, and various kinds of tenures, they shall never persuade us that there is any sure hold or any good tenure of any thing, save God and his promises: it is impossible that we should have any estate in things that are altogether unstable. Hereof it seemeth that Abraham was well advised: for though he was an exceeding rich man, yet we read of no purchase made by him, save only of a cave in Macpelah, for him and his heirs to hold, or rather, to hold him and his heirs, for ever. If any man ever knew the just value of all earthly commodities, it was king Solomon, the mirror of wisdom; and yet, after he had weighed them all in the scales of the sanctuary, he found them as light as vanity itself. If all things under the sun are vanity; therefore, the verity of all things is above the same, viz. in heaven.-FEATLY.