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abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh," and that 66 a good man out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth good things."
There is one other peculiarity to notice, and it is one to be much commended. It is the honest, simple, and conscientious endeavour, to raise the tone of conversation, with a view to mutual improvement. This is a widely different thing from religious exhibition. It has in it nothing of pomp or of exuberance, nothing of the assumption of unfelt sentiment, nothing of the wish to court attention, or to get a name, or serve a purpose. It arises very much from the feeling that divine things are of all others most worthy to be spoken of, and from a sense of the danger there is, that such weak and fallible creatures, and liable so easily to be led astray, may from a variety of concurrent causes waste those opportunities which might be spent with mutual profit. When any one from such motives makes an effort to elevate the tone of thought and conversation in the religious circle, he confers an essential benefit, and frequently, however trifling it may appear, performs an act of no small heroism for which he deserves well of his Christian brethren.
Let us then, my Christian brethren, bear this in mind. Time is short, and the pageant of this world is passing away. In a very little time, these lips shall be silent in death, and never again till the morning of the resurrection speak the Saviour's
praise. If then our hearts are alive unto God, and to the riches of his grace, let us see that "the word of Christ dwell richly in us in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another;" let us speak as the oracles of God;"" let our conversation be such as becometh the gospel of Christ, with all lowliness and meekness, in honour preferring one another." Let us pray for grace to steer wisely between the various difficulties which present themselves; neither assuming a prominency which does not become us, and a fervour that we do not feel; nor shrinking and remaining silent from false modesty, or the dread of reproach. But let it be our business by prayer and supplication at the throne of grace, to cherish the lovely and the delicate grace of simplicity, that artlessness and open unreservedness of soul, which shrinks not from inspection, because there is nothing to fear, and fears not, because there is nothing to betray; and which carries the individual who possesses it, through all the round of duty, without the wretched irritating consciousness, that other eyes are on him, and other minds forming an estimate of his worth. We may be thoroughly aware how difficult this grace is to attain, and how unlike it is to fallen human nature; but it is attainable; and it is essential to perfection. We shall never be fit for heaven till we have it. The reverse of it springs from pride; and when pride and self-sufficiency are cut down and withered, then
humility and simplicity shall spring, and blossom, and bear fruit.
One truth connected with this subject should be allowed to dwell forcibly upon the mind, as of real importance, that such is the close and intimate connection between the heart and the lip, that if you find your conversation generally free from the peculiarities of Christian feeling and principle, and if you detect within a reigning aversion or reluctance to the introduction of a better subject; if you shrink into yourself as sacred things are introduced, and rise to liberty again when the tone of conversation declines; then be assured that the abundance of your heart is other than what it should be. There is something seriously wrong, and to a heart in that state, heaven would not be counted a delight or a blessing.
And if it be so with many who lead a decent and respectable life, what shall be said of those whose conversation is avowedly and unhesitatingly sensual, earthly, and vain; who roll sin under their tongue as a sweet morsel; who never speak of God with reverence, or of heaven as if they believed its existence; but who live engrossed with this present world, and speak proud, and vain, and covetous, and impure, and angry things? "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.” What must that heart be? But go a step farther even than this: "For every idle," that is, useless, "word that men shall speak, they shall give ac
count thereof at the day of judgment." Oh, let every thoughtless sinner lay that to heart; for that day is nigh, even at the doors. It were sad indeed, for a man to be condemned out of his own mouth, and to pronounce his own doom on this side of the grave, by the wretched and contemptible triflings of each successive hour.
THE LAW OF PEACE.
ROMANS XII. 18.
If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, live peaceably with all
THIS is one of those practical precepts which are addressed in the epistles to the believing church of Christ, to those who are considered to be possessed of Christian principle and motive; and who are therefore competent subjects to be exhorted to Christian practice. And this is a very important point in the consideration of such precepts. They proceed upon the basis of Christian doctrine, and upon the ability of the individual to bring all the force of Christian motive to bear upon his own mind, for effective obedience. A Christian man is enjoined to seek for peace, as a disciple of the Prince of Peace, as a believer in him who died for us a humiliating death, that we might have peace; and he is enjoined to bring these sacred recollections in all