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ignorance that is in us, because of the blindness of our hearts ;” and that nothing but the sovereign grace of God can “ deliver us from this power of darkness, and translate us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” He alone, through the influence of his Spirit on our hearts, can bring us into fellowship with himself, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And unless we thus enjoy communion with God here on earth, it is most certain we shall be for ever banished from his presence in the future world. Unless we here become “ fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God,” it is most certain we shall never be admitted to “ the general assembly and church of the first-born in heaven." Unless here we are renewed in the spirit of our minds, and possess that supreme love to God and good-will to men which form the very essence of the Christian character, it is most certain-as certain as the declaration of God can make it—that we must take up our abode for ever in the prison of despair,“ prepared for the devil and his angels.” To that place, Benevolence, under all its attractive forms, will forever be a stranger. All will be selfishness and sin. The malignant passions which here harass our peace, and fill with bitterness the heart in which they reside, will there have full scope. Each will be the enemy of the other, and the torturer of his own breast. As you value, then, your own souls,-as you would escape, my brethren, from this society of wretchedness and woe, and secure your admittance into the paradise of God, among
the spirits of just men made perfect, where all is love, and peace, and joy,-now, while it is called to-day, now, by repentance toward God and faith in a crucified Redeemer, enter into fellowship with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
When our Saviour uttered these words he did not mean to say, that his disciples would be free from all trouble. He did not intend to propose to them a complete security against the cares and misfortunes of life. He did not wish to represent the religion which he taught, as requiring of its professors no sacrifices, or as exposing them to no evils. Meek and forgiving as was his own character, he foresaw that this could not protect him against the malice of his foes, and that his heart, which was full of kindness to all around him, must soon pour forth its blood upon the cross. What else, then, could his friends expect ? " The disciple,” said he, "is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.”. “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” , When he invites us to come unto him, therefore, it is to meliorate our condition' indeed,
but not to render it perfectly happy in this life : -it is that we may cast off the yoke which the world imposes upon us, and wear his which is comparatively easy to be borne :-it is that we may enter upon a more delightful service than that of the slaves of sin; yet a service not without its pains and trials :—it is that we may find rest unto our souls, but a rest not complete and uninterrupted on this side the grave. The life of the Christian must indeed be a life of self-denial ; and yet it is comparatively a happy life. His condition not without its cares and sorrows, and yet it is the most desirable of all conditions. Behold a paradox, my brethren! which the world always makes matter of wonder, and sometimes of ridicule, but which is capable of being defended on the plainest principles of common sense. The force of these principles is admitted in every thing that relates to the daily concerns of life, and yet we are too apt to reject them when applied to the concerns of the soul. A man who wished to secure any earthly benefit would be thought a fool if he did not adopt them; yet if adopted in order to obtain an eternal good, they are too often viewed as weak and childish. Let us consider them; and in so doing, let not our consciences shrink from the duty of deciding, whether, while we recognize their force with regard to our temporal interests, we also apply them to the more important concerns of eternity.
The first of these principles is, that no prudent man, who consults his own happiness, is ever so
much engrossed with present objects as to be regardless of the future. I speak now of the man of the world of one whose sole purpose is to make the most of human life, to secure the greatest possible share of its pleasures, its riches, its honours, or its ease. Scrutinize his daily conduct ; follow. him to his retirement ; enter into the chamber of his soul ;-what engrosses his thoughts ? Whither do his motives of conduct lead ? Where do his desires tend? To what are his plans directed ? When does he hope to see them accomplished ? To-morrow! To-morrow he expects to “bear his blushing honours thick upon him." His coffers in a little while will be full; his sources of enjoyment and of ease equal to all the wants of his soul. Urge him to abandon bis toil for what is future and uncertain, and to think only of the present moment so as to make the most of it; to eat, and drink, and be merry, for to-morrow he may die ;-talk to him of the disappointments of human life, and point to him thousands who have trod the same paths of diligence and carefulness in which he is walking, and have at last found them to end in complete failure ; he would call such language that of a madman; and unless wallowing in the lowest depths of sensuality, seeking no gratifications but what are common to him with the brute, he would reply--that the voice of Wisdom bids him look to something beyond the present day, and that the smile of hope invites bim to follow her towards some distant good. This regard to the