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.Those speeches would send up unheeded pray'r,
That scorn of life would be but wild despair ;
PRIOR, The Apostle's mode of speaking evidently supposes the possibility of a man's possessing all those extraordinary and miraculous endowments which were conferred on the members of the primitive church, while, nevertheless, he remained destitute of charity. It is however to be observed that the faith of which he speaks is the faith of miracles, and not a justifying faith; for the latter is never separate from charity. It does not appear that Judas was, in any miraculons power, inferior to the other apostles; for such defect would have stigmatised him before the time arrived for the discovery of his true character. But no spark of charity was ever kindled in the traitor's bosom. He lived as he died, “ sensual, © not having the Spirit.” The Corinthian church, which was abundantly favoured with gifts, most probably contained many persons who were des. titute of saving grace, for whose conviction and conversion this awful declaration of the Apostle, though modestly couched for the purpose of avoiding offence in the first person, was intended. It is a most awakening consideration to which our collect calls attention. A man may be learned, may pray fluently, and preach eloquently, and yet be a reprobate for want of charity. O how superior in value is a grain of that “ faith “ which worketh by love" to the most splendid attainments without it! The latter may indeed most highly recommend their possessor to the approbation and admiration of men, but the former is essential to a participation in the favour of God and in the happiness of His kingdom,
The Apostle, moreover, supposes it to be a possible thing for a man to bestow all his fortune in the relief of the poor, and yet be destitute of genuine charity, or a Divine principle of love to God and man. It may be difficult to account for so uncommon an act on any human motives. But pride and ostentation, or the emotions of a naturally compassionate temper, may produce such an effect, and, without doubt, have sometimes produced it. The voluntary poverty, so highly estimated in the Romish church, frequently, if not generally, originated in corrupt motives. Nor is the alms-giving of protestants always of an unsuspicious nature. It is very necessary that we should closely scrutinize our motives, since an outwardly similar line of conduct may arise from different, nay, from diametrically opposite inducements. For as the summer's sun and the winter's frost both subserve the traveller's accommodation, by drying up the roads and rendering his journey safe and pleasant; so may the benefit of others and the good of society be promoted by the frigid act of mere nature, while the doer is wholly unblessed in his deed, as well as by the genial influence of Divine grace on the heart. But a supposition still more extraordinary is stated by St. Paul in the before-cited passage of his epistle to the Corinthians. A submission to martyrdom in defence of our creed seems to be the highest act of piety that can be performed, and the strongest proof of sincerity which can be given. Yet this semblance of piety may exist without charity. Pride, vain glory, or an obstinate attachment to opinions from which no sanctifying efficacy is derived, may produce this effect also. We have therefore read of heathens, of Jews, of Turks, of infidels, and of heretics, as well as of Christians, who have sacrificed their lives in support of their religious systems. And it is by no means certain that all who have suffered in the cause of Christianity were real Christians. Other proof is necessary besides a submission to martyrdom. Perhaps many of those whose names are recorded in the calendar of supposed saints, will not be found numbered in “ the holy army of martyrs” who will praise God in his eternal kingdom.' But to an inquiry of this kind the Searcher of hearts is alone competent. “ Charity hopeth all things.” The use which we are to make of the Apostle's awful supposition is of a personal nature. Is “ the love os of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy « Ghost given unto us?” It is easier to sacrifice every thing, even life itself, than to give up the heart to God in the bond of Divine charity.Nature may do the former, but grace only can enable us to do the latter. : “ All our doings without charity are nothing “ worth.” For “ if any man,” says our Apostle, “ love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anass thema Maranatha,” accursed till the Lord come. And when He comes, many will say to Him, “Lord, “ Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, « and in thy name have cast out devils, and in “ thy name done many wonderful works? To " whom He will profess, I never knew you : de" part from me, ye that work iniquity.”
No works of ours, even though they spring from love to God and man, can be of a propitiatory nature; for after we have done all that is required of us, and in the best possible manner, we are still unprofitable servants. Our works, moreover, are utterly' useless for the purpose of recommending us to the Divine favour; they are
neither needed noi qualified for this office. Good works are however the necessary fruits of faith, and evidences of justification: they are essential requisites to an admission to the kingdom of God, 'not as the procuring but as a qualifying cause.But works which do not spring from love or charity afford no evidence of a justified state, nor do they prepare for the enjoyment of the heavenly inheritance. Nay, “ foras much as they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done, they have the nature of sin,” are proofs of a carnal mind, and prepare for eternal vengeance. Add, then, dear reader, .
Deeds to thy knowledge answerable; add faith,
................ THE SOUL
Milton. ' O what an awful day will the day of judgment prove! The motives of action will then be exhibited to open view. And Oh! how many build'ers of hospitals and endowers of alms-houses, it is to be feared, will be found destitute of love to God! How large a part of that piety, which is so much admired in the world, will be set aside as “nothing worth !” May the thought hereof produce “great searchings of heart."
Important beyond description are right notions of religious truth. The world talks with great volubility of tongue concerning candour and liberality of sentiment-terms which, in their lips, are synonymous with indifference to vital Godliness. But they are terms which, when applied to the gospel, are absurd and blasphemous. For there certainly is a system of Divine truth. We must acknowledge it, or avow ourselves the disciples of Voltaire or Spinoza, the patrons of deism or atheism. And if there be a system of .
Divine truth, its Divinity gives to it an impor-
That the greatest fervor of spirit in the use of