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man will soon learn to regard his conduct with very different eyes from what he used to do; he will be trying to bring it in all points to agree with the Gospel pattern. In this stage of things comes an evil which we should earnestly strive to avoid, because it furnishes the enemies of Christ with a handle against the Gospel, although he must be rarely favoured by the grace of God, who does not in some de

fall into it. It is well known, even to a proverb, that men when beginning any thing that is new to them, are apt to practise it somewhat too violently. So it often happens that persons new to the faith of Christ are, not too thoughtful and too zealous, for that they cannot be,—but too scrupulous, and too little inclined to make allowance for others. They would be perfect Christians all at once, which is impossible; and they catch too hastily at some trifling outside points, which may perhaps, belong to the perfect Christian character, and at any rate are not unbecoming in it, but which are very unbecoming when worn by those who are as yet only children in Christ. It is like a boy trying to be manly by assuming the dress, and imitating the manner of a grownup person, while he has no more than the understanding of a boy. Here, then, we should pro

carefully study the frequent exhortations in the Gospel to humility, the commands not to judge our brother, the warnings not to look upon ourselves as holy and marked out from the fane world, such as we find in the parable of the Pharisee and Publican. If we are perfectly charitable to others, our scrupulousness towards ourselves will be regarded even by the world with respect rather than with hatred; and though it may affect our own personal comfort, and may not be consistent with the highest wisdom, yet I confess that I think it is an error on the safe side, and that it is better to be too scrupulous than too presuming.

It remains only to speak of one other temptation that is sure to beset every man who has entered upon a Christian course of life, and which has succeeded in ruining thousands. The first feelings of him who turns in earnest to God are, of necessity, highly raised, and exceedingly delightful. We have been allowed to catch a glimpse of heaven; we have been with Christ on the Mount, and have seen his glory, and have cried out in our joy, “ It is good for us to be here.” But we must come down again to continue our journey through the wilderness : in other words, we must go through the common duties and concerns of life, and Heaven

will still be at a distance from us. Then it is that we grow weary of well doing; that our feelings, from being sober, become cold ; that earthly things rise again into importance, and very often end by bringing us back to them again altogether, and making us forget our Saviour, whom we so lately promised to follow. Here, then, is the need for watchfulness; and we should do well, when our spirit is most willing, to remember that our flesh is weak, and that sleep will steal upon us in spite of all our lively feelings, if we do not strive against it by constant prayer and sober watchfulness. It is wise, therefore, to begin a Christian course sincerely, but quietly and soberly; to be not too hasty in endeavouring to reach a very high pitch at first, but to regulate our strength, that it may last out through our whole journey. Leave off at once every known sin ;—that is the first step, and without that we do nothing; then be diligent and honest in the duties of your calling, striving to grow in humility and in love to God and to man.

If prayer and watchfulness, be not afraid that you will not reach in time the highest point of Christian perfection,—“We all beholding, as 2 Cor.iii.18. in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are turned into the same image, from glory to glory, even

you go on with

as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Studying the life of Christ, and living by his Spirit, our eyes will open more and more; our notions of duty will rise higher and higher, still keeping above our practice, even though that be continually growing purer and better too. Added

years will then, indeed, bring added wisdom, till, if our life is spared to the full term of the

age

of man, we may be so ripe for the kingdom of God, as to seem only to be transplanted into it in the course of nature, as being grown to too great a height in goodness to remain any longer in the nursery of this world.

To

SERMON III.

GENESIS VIII. 21.

The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth.

Bodily sickness makes itself so clearly felt, that a sick man seldom requires to be convinced that he is unwell, although it may not always be easy to persuade him to take the proper remedies. It does, however, sometimes happen, that a disease is working secretly within us, and that it is more visible to others by some of its symptoms, than it is perceptible to ourselves from any actual pain or indisposition which we feel. In such a case it is clearly needful to awaken the patient to a sense of his danger, in order that he may take proper precautions against it; and if it is not always prudent to make him aware of its full extent, it is only because fear în bodily sickness is often as fatal as disease; and a man may do himself more harm by fancying himself in a desperate state, than he could receive good from any increased care

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