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tian character in this world, he is not likely to obtain the complete vindication of it before men. Much of his real worth cannot be understood, much of his purity, because it is hostile to the habits of the world, is sure to be misinterpreted; and whatever are his occasional defects, they will be blazoned abroad and magnified. It is improbable, therefore, that any truly Christian man will obtain full credit here for the real excellence of his character. We learn, however, from this, an important lesson :-Never to fret ourselves by a vain endeavour to live for the good opinion of those who, if we act consistently with our principles, cannot understand us; and never to receive against him, whom on good grounds we believe to be a possessor of the Christian hope, and who is therefore purifying himself even as Christ is pure, those vague but bitter calumniations which flow with such flippancy from men who neither know or love the Christian or his Master, or the truth and holiness in which they both delight.

We come now, then, to the close of this inquiry. We have looked at the standard of holiness which the gospel sets before us.-It is the purity of Christ. We have seen that the Christian hope operates by means of several active principles, to purify the heart and life; and we have noticed several important points in which the result is seen in the believer, and in which he purifies himself even as Here then is a case that you may

Christ is pure.

at once bring home to yourselves individually; and ask yourselves solemnly, as in the sight of God, "Have I any realizing hope of beholding and sharing the happiness in which the Saviour reigns? If I talk of hope in Christ, the hope of being with him, do I in the mean time see and appreciate the moral perfection of Jesus Christ, as the standard to which it is the will of God that I should rise? Do I feel the power of the gospel motives working within me, to accomplish this moral change in my character; and touched by the feeling of gratitude for the forgiveness of sin, of filial love to a reconciled Father, and in holy anticipation of the joys of a sinless world, have I attained to the sanctification of my thoughts, my tempers, my affections, my intercourse with men, and my conscience towards God? Can I, who am best acquainted with the real state of the case, and most capable of speaking to the fact; can I say, that in any ascertainable degree, this is the case; and that wherein my resemblance to Christ is yet imperfect, there is my sorrow and lamentation ?”

These are very home questions; but remember that true religion is a very serious reality. The gift of it is no other than a deliverance of a lost soul from the power of Satan, and a new birth of that soul in the likeness of God. If, therefore, you cannot conscientiously answer these questions, and say that in some degree, however small, you have reason to believe it is so with you, you have no rea

son to conclude that you are yet in possession of the Christian hope; you have yet to seek reconciliation to God, and the prospect of a happy eternity.

. Be entreated, then, to make this the most serious object of thought and inquiry. Let this great question be determined before any other. Bring the matter resolutely to a point, that you may ascertain whether you are the child of God or the child of the devil; in fact, that you may ascertain as speedily as possible, the awful but essentially important truth, that you are yet an unconverted perishing sinner. Do not suffer yourself to be deceived either by false reasoning or by delay. Put the case home to yourself. If your thoughts, tempers, affections, doings, are habitually earthly and irreligious, though you understood all mysteries and all knowledge, and had faith to remove mountains, it would profit you nothing. He that has this hope purifies himself. He that is Christ's, crucifies the flesh. And while this is the case, you cannot be safe. Go then where you will, let this truth follow you; let it poison your cup, let it cloud your prospects, let it mar your sleep, and wait on your waking; let it follow every thought, word, and deed, a ceaseless. sleepless monitor; let it ring perpetually in your ear," You are yet in your sins ;" and "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."





My son, give me thine heart.

THE common notion of religion is, that it is a decent adjunct to worldly pleasure,—something necessary to complete a character; and which, though it may very properly be had recourse to, with apparent seriousness, in later years, should not be suffered now in any measure to have possession of the heart. Its forms may be observed; but its realities, if there are any, are to be kept in the offing. Nothing is to impede the present joyousness of the soul, as it walks cheerily along the broad way of earthly indulgence and fascination. Language may as a matter of course be used on religious occasions, which seems to have a powerful meaning ; but the true business of religion as it is practised

by the world, is to acquire the habit of using, or encountering, such expressions with indifference, and then turning again as if nothing had occurred, to intemperate dissipation and unshrinking folly. There is many an one whose experience of what is called "life," has been a struggle once powerful, but at length gradually successful, on the one hand to crush and stifle all the better convictions of the soul, all old-fashioned notions of a duty to God as well as to man, and of an eternal existence to be considered and prepared for; and on the other, to bring up before the mind the mere frivolities of the passing scene, as the only substantial reality within reach, the only thing worth effort, worth the ready sacrifice of health, comfort, and common sense, and the endurance of all the years of languor which wait upon a jaded spirit and a broken constitution.

But there are those with whom this state of things will not serve. Though mixed up with the thoughtless crowd, and dragged sometimes by example, sometimes by habit, and sometimes by wayward inclination, into the stream of vain and unholy dissipation, they are not exactly identified with it. They have a conscience too enlightened, a moral habit too thoroughly formed, to believe that they are right, and that such a state can consist with the duty and the happiness of those who are required to worship God in the spirit, and to prepare at an uncertain hour to meet him. know that a dying sinful creature has something


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