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very error, towards which we continue so proudly implacable? The spirit of Christ should be our spirit towards our bitterest enemies and revilers. "Oh, Jerusalem! how often would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings." Even in the very height of a necessary difference, a Christian should be marked by an unwillingness to differ, and a readiness to agree.
And then, Thirdly, A Christian must act on all occasions in the spirit of prayer. His mind must be a prayerful mind. His habit that of reverential application to the throne of grace, under the consciousness of his own lamentable weakness. And in this state of mind, duly cultivated, the Christian must find a safeguard against many evils. Maintaining a broken and a contrite heart before God, feeling that in our flesh dwelleth no good thing, contending daily in the strength of grace against the torrent of corruption, detecting daily and hourly fresh proofs of rebellion and ingratitude towards God, and going perpetually to the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness for a fresh sense of pardoning mercy,-how shall he of whose life this is an epitome, live in the spirit of strife and contention? It cannot be. The man who is anxious for a sense of reconciliation to God, will tremble to be at variance with man. The man who confesses himself corrupt before God, will suspect himself before men; and if he is sincere in the daily petition for forgiveness himself, he will
not dare, he will not wish, to cherish an unforgiving spirit toward his fellows.
These, beloved brethren, are some of the points of duty involved in the injunction," as much as in you lieth, live peaceably with all men." They may serve as hints for thought to Christian minds; but they have scarcely opened this very important subject. Something however may have been accomplished towards shewing us the value of the precept, and the duty of living under its guidance. Let me then ask you most seriously, and let us each ask ourselves, what is our practice in this respect? Is your soul at peace with God, through faith in the atonement of Christ? Can you look up to God as a reconciled God, and rejoice in the forgiveness of sin, and in the hope of glory? Is yours the spiritual mind which is life and peace, and which find its delight in God and godliness, rather than in the things of this present world? And then, under the influence of the mercies of God in Jesus Christ, are you prepared to present yourself a living sacrifice to God; and do you therefore deny yourself, repress your passions, and
purifying yourself from every filthiness of the flesh and the spirit, do you perfect holiness in the fear of God?”
And then come to the practical proof connected with the text. Are you doing all in your power according to the views of duty here given," to live peaceably with all men?" We are bound to judge
ourselves strictly, that we may not be judged. At this present time, then, however others may act towards us, are we at peace with all mankind, and without a harsh word or a harsh wish towards any man; without a lurking feeling of dislike, and enmity, and intentional revenge, which would lead us to rejoice in iniquity, to rejoice in that man's downfal, rather than in his improvement or repentance? If at this moment the precept finds us defective upon the point, seriously and habitually defective, be assured it is a point for anxious and solemn meditation. It must not be, that "out of the same mouth should proceed blessing and cursing;" a blessing for God, and a curse for our fellow. "Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet waters and bitter ?" "A good man shews out of a good conversation, his works with meekness of wisdom.” "But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, and devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." Bear this in mind, brethren, and judge yourselves accordingly.
But suffer it to be especially pressed upon you, that there is a measure of this duty which in this matter you owe peculiarly to those whom you regard as real Christians, those who make profession of the same faith, who partake with you of the same gracious feast of reconciliation and of love,
and who are, as far as you know, living members of the mystical body of Christ, and joint heirs with you of the promised glory. Can the members of the same body have different interests? Can the hand injure the foot with impunity? If one member suffer, must not the others suffer with it? This thought, brethren, should dwell upon our hearts; and if it did, it would in many important points alter the character of our dealings with each other. Let us remember that it is the law of love which the Redeemer has established in his church and family, and it is at our peril that we disregard it. It is written, "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another;" and this precept has a special force towards "the household of faith." Washed in the same atoning blood, and sanctified by the same Holy Spirit, it is sad indeed if there shall yet be variance, and strife, and envying, and vain glory among us. Oh! let the followers of the Lord Jesus, the meek and lowly Jesus, weep together over these evils, and diligently seek to remedy them. To a Christian on his death-bed, there will be few subjects of regret more deep than the indulgence of these sins of the spirit, and the unjust dealing to which they lead.
THE WORTH OF CHARITY.
1 CORINTHIANS XIII. 13.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three, but the greatest of these is charity.
THE sacred Scriptures evidently attach a very high degree of importance to the grace of love, or as in our translation of the Scriptures it is rendered,
charity." It is evidently the quality most wanting in the human heart; and the want of it is most fearfully exhibited in the dealings of man with man. There is an unkindness, a selfishness, a narrow illiberal devotedness to personal interests, and a neglect of the interests of others, which could not exist if men's hearts were warmed by that principle of charity and benevolence which the Scriptures recommend. And it is certainly to the want of that principle that we may attribute all the bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, by