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sibilities of life. We should subject our fine ourselves to the one view of the piety to exactly the same test as we matter presented in these words of Scrip. would apply to anything else. A piece ture, “ Examine yourselves, whether ye of machinery, for instance, may look be in the faith.” Self-examination is to very well on examination—it may seem relate to our being in the faith. To be to be fitted up according to approved in the faith, means to be in the faith of rules—it may apparently correspond to Christ, to have faith in his atonement, every treatise that has been written on to be constantly relying upon his death. the subject; and yet, when put to actual It means, to be a believer. There are trial, by some strange oversight, or un three thoughts presented to us here: foreseen casualty, it may prove in the 1. The design of self-examination is working an absolute failure. That reli- to show whether we have ever been in the gion is genuine which will enable a faith. There are changes in our states person to resist temptation, to fight of mind, and points in our history, against evil in all its forms, to trample which it is of the utmost importance sin and Satan beneath our feet. That for us to examine and classify. There religion is genuine which will enable us are particular circumstances in the life to endure persecution for righteousness' of every person, to which we delight to sake, to bear calumny and reproach recur, or of which we think with sorwithout a murmur, to return a blessing row and sadness. Now there can be no for a curse, and love for hate. That period to the Christian so important as religion is genuine which makes a man that which witnessed his surrender to humble, and conscientious, and faithful, the claims of the Divine Redeemer, his and honest in all bis dealings with man renunciation of self, and his faith in the kind, and which prompts a man to pre
cross of Christ. There is nothing in the fer death to disgrace. That religion is history of any man comparable in real genuine which makes its possessor substantial importance to that change resigned to the will of Heaven, whatever which we denominate conversion. In that will may be: which uncomplain- Scripture it is called "putting off the ingly receives every stroke of the Divine works of the flesh and the devil, coming hand; which exclaims, “Though He out of darkness into marvellous light, slay me, yet will I trust in Him." That transformed by the renewing of the religion is genuine which nerves for toil mind, putting on the new man, being in the kingdom of Christ, which enables born again.” Every Christian should us to endure hardship as good soldiers, recur to this period as one of incalcuwhich prompts us to self-sacrifice, which lable importance, bearing, as it does, fires us with the zeal of a martyr and the upon its bosom, the issues both of time love of a seraph. “ Examine your- and of eternity. The exact time or place, selves," brethren, in all these respects. or circumstances of our conversion, may Remember, that in all these respects not in all cases be easy of discovery, others may examine you too; and whe- nor is it necessary too minutely to scruther you pronounce a verdict upon tinise them. There will, however, be yourselves or not, a verdict will be pro. some days of joy, of exultation, of trannounced. " Examine yourselves, whe- sport, to which we may look back with ther
profit. We may think of the vows we II. LET US SHOW THE DESIGN OF SELF. then made, and ask how have we ful. EXAMINATION.-Of course, the design of filled them ? We may think of the self-examination is various. Were we promises we made to God, and ask, to take in the whole of its design,--all have they been redeemed? We may the valuable results flowing therefrom, – think of the attachment we then prowe might occupy much space. We con. fessed to the Saviour, and ask, has time,
the test of all things, proved that at- | The angels who kept not their first estate tachment to be steady and true ? Look might reply to the great God, as he drove back, reader-it is a profitable exercise them out of heaven, "Were we not the -upon the time when God first called sons of the morning? Did we not live you by his grace, when Christ first re in thy life, and shine with thy lustre, vealed himself as an all-sufficient Sa- and dwell in thy blessed home?
Reviour, when you found the pearl of great member what we were, and spare us, price, and obtained the peace which I thou terrible Avenger!” But who passeth all understanding.
does not see the utter absurdity of such 2. The design of self-examination is arguments as these? Nor are they less to show whether we are in the faith now.
absurd when used by you. The quesWe read in Holy Scripture of some tion is not, “ Did I once believe?" It churches and Christians who have "lost is, “Am I a believer now?” It is not, their first love," of some who are warned “ Was I once united to Christ?" It lest they make a shipwreck of faith and is, “ Am I united to Christ now?” It a good conscience,” and of some who are is not, “ Was I in the faith formerly ?" commanded " not to frustrate the grace It is, “ Am I in the faith at this present of God." We know it is a nice question moment?" for casuists, of which simple-minded 3. The design of self-examination is to people lay hold and say, " But if we had show whether we are growing in the faith. faith once, can we lose it?" To which Faith is progressive. Religion is a we would reply by another of far greater growth. “The path of the just is as practical importance, " Have you lost the shining light, which shineth more it?" It is very easy for men to argue and more unto the perfect day." Let about this and the other doctrine, and your eye wander abroad over nature. all the time be in " the gall of bitter. You see the grass, the flower, the tree, ness, and in the bonds of iniquity," and are all growing. There is life, teeming, to be hastening onwards with rapid rejoicing life, everywhere. The dew, the strides towards perdition. It is very sun, the shower, are all contributing of easy to say, “ O, but I think I once had their riches to fill the earth with animafaith, and right feeling, and real attach- tion, and to make man grateful to the ment to my Lord and Saviour; but all-bountiful Giver. Nor is it, at least, somehow I do not feel my interest in nor ought it to be less so, in the kingChrist so strong as formerly: may I not dom of grace than in the kingdom of rest on what I once was? Will not my past nature. But, alas! these plants, the conversion do, whether I have the present plants of grace, which ought to know no proof of it in a holy life or not?" Why, winter, but which ought to rejoice in the the very worst men may use such argu- ever-during sunshine of heaven, and to ments as these. The thief, when he is be continually yielding their ripe, mel. arraigned at the bar of justice, may say, low fruit, are stunted, and faded, and "O, I was once honest : spare me on dwarfish, and dying. Where do we find account of the past." The profligate the healthy, robust, vigorous Christian? may say, “0, I was once amiable, and Alas! brethren, our“ piety is sicklied o'er chaste, and consistent, when I lived be too much with worldliness and sin." We neath my father's honoured roof; but, have a name to live, but life is wellalas ! sad, sad scenes have I witnessed nigh extinct. We have a form of godlisince.” The first man, as he was driven ness, but where is its mighty, all-subout of Paradise, might say to the angel duing, all-controlling power? with the flaming sword, “ Think of what We might have given some directions I once was a companion of angels, the for attending to this important duty, friend of God—and treat me not thus." | but we must pause. “Examine your
selves, whether ye be in the faith.” Let membering how terrible, how fatal, the your self-examination be sincere, not consequences of mistake. Examine pretended; let it be thorough, not par- yourselves in the light of Scripture, of tial; let it be constant, not occasional; conscience, of eternity, and with a conlet it be prayerful, not in your own
viction that the full blaze of the
of strength, but in the strength and by the God is upon you; and then you will aid of Him who knows what is in man, not have discharged the duty in vain. and who has promised to help in every
J. B. L. time of need. Examine yourselves, re Northallerton.
Of all the vices indigenous to the confining ourselves to the Word of human heart, perhaps the most to be God, we there read of occasions no fewdreaded is envy; not only on account er than four-and-twenty, on which this of the torment it inflicts on its posses- hell-lighted torch blazed forth with the sor, but also because of the baneful and fury of a consuming fire. We make no wide-spreading evils consequent on its apology for using strong language: we pernicious influences. Did it stop have the sanction of the apostle James, short in its effects, and prove rotten. who employs the same figure in referness of the bones only to the frame ence to the tongue: “It is set on fire of work of the spirit which cherishes it, hell.” we would not so much care to exhibit We have an instance of envy in the the odiousness of this monster crime. Israelites, towards Moses and Aaron, But, when we consider, that instead of because the favour of the Almighty was this being the case, it is a polluted apparent towards them. Another is fountain, whose streams infect every that of the brethren of the patriarch object with which they come in contact, Joseph, who through envy delivered -a moral pestilence, which infuses its him into the hands of the Ishmaelites : deadly poison into the very heart's he being better than they. Their envy core of its victims,-a consuming fire, was so fiercely excited, that even murwhich spares not, but rushes on, in der was suggested by one or two of creasing in its fury, until its rapacious them: their father's just preference for maw is sated by having devoured what- Joseph instigating them to the foul ever came within its reach,—we can. deed. Gaunt Envy's weapons not but feel it our duty to fully exhibit always aimed against great and good its disgusting deformities.
persons, or great and good actions. What the power of envy is, we infer Who envies the despised? Who envies from the language of inspiration. poverty, or evil of any kind ? "Envy “ Wrath,” says Solomon, “is cruel, and delights to suck poison from the fairest anger is outrageous, but who can stand flowers." Its victims are Heaven's before envy?” It is a pestiferous virus, favourites. Towards such it directs its infecting man's very life-blood. The most envenomed darts ! Among these apostle James says, “The spirit that is are detraction, censoriousness, slander; in us lusteth to envy.” Profane history all which are sent forth with unsparing also, as well as individual observation and merciless hand. Sometimes, in the and experience, furnishes examples disguise of pity, it will insinuate its fully demonstrative of this fact. But, nauseous drugs. If the character be
too firmly established among mankind | ings; it behoves me to be more cauin its excellence and beauty, to be uproot- tious for the future.” Now, the necesed, it sides in the general opinion, and sity or desirableness of caution, once joins in its praise,—not without reserve, admitted into the mind, the however, which it hopes will tarnish, at heart, the transparent smile, the anxleast, some of its present lustre. It is ious desire after friendly intercourse, is regretted, that “one otherwise so per- at an end : “ Ichabod” might be fect, should bear even the taint of sus- written on that friendship, for truly picion.” And again, “the injustice of the glory will have departed ;” and those who breathe of such things" is there will follow, perhaps, sundry comcondemned. This is a species of that ments on this or that circumstance, envy which
this or that transaction; in short, the “ Withers at another's joy,
individual becomes, from the moment And hates the excellence it cannot reach.” of such-like insinuation, a person to be
Truly is it said, that “Envy follows talked of, and at, rather than to : in a Merit as its shade.” What is there too word, he is a victimized man! This base for its achievement? It has is only one class of evils incident on ruined individuals; it bas broken up envy. family concord; it has crushed the But we will further expose this despirit of the joyous ones ; it has broken moniac power to our readers; for which hearts ! Oh, envy is the fruitful purpose we will again draw our illusparent of a malignant progeny! Its trations from Scripture,—in the case of slimy brood, snake-like, hide themselves Cain and Abel, for example. In this from view, that they may unseen effect early age of the world's history, envy their wily purpose upon unsuspecting was discoverable. So soon as superiorvictims! The wickedness of its course ity existed, envy was born ; and this, we is, however, more easily felt than de- think, substantiates what we have stated scribed. Alas, that there should be so as to its being an essential element of many, who must, if honest to their own the heart of man. What moved the consciences, bear testimony to its hand of Cain to slay his brother? Was tyranny in their heart,-must own that it not envy? “His own works," we are it nullifies their judgment, as to any told, “were evil, and his brother's rightpractical steadfastness. Yes, there are eous." What occasioned the wife of the self-discovered discrepancies in all, of patriarch Abraham to hate the faithful which we feel ashamed; while we suffer Hagar? Was it not the remains of them, it may be unwillingly, yet which envy lurking still in her bosom? What we suffer to usurp an undue sway over raised the displeasure of the amiable our actions.
A report, for instance, Rachael against her own sister? It detrimental to the character of an indi- was envy. In fine, what delivered our vidual, is raised; and what is the effect Saviour into the hands of his enemies? on the party whose ear it reaches? We are told that “ Pilate knew that for Just this: The judgment remains un envy the Jews wished to have Jesus dechanged, it may be; but the feelings livered into their hands.” Although are so disturbed as to occasion a giving there was a noted robber, who for sediway of the confidence. And what, at this tion and murder was sentenced to death, moment, is the reasoning process ? yet was there heard the remorseless cry, This: "Well,” says A., “I cannot the demoniac yell, “ Crucify him, crufancy B. is not what I have always cify him!” Here envy, as it were, thought him. Yet this person who reached its climax! here the depravity has alleged so and so against him, of the human heart was fully revealed! knows more than I do of his proceed. How humiliating to the pride of man
is such a picture! Yet, how consoling the equivocally as by him, who, on the first fact, that man, thus fallen from original opening to a brother's humiliation or righteousness, having lost the Divine disgrace, would eagerly seize upon it, image of his Maker, his glory laid in and rejoice in the hold that he had gotruins, may, in virtue of the obedience, ten—who would now delight himself sufferings, and death of Christ, be re- with the ignominy of him, on whom he instated into all the honours, all the was wont to lavish the hypocrisies of immunities of a citizen of the New Jeru- bis seeming friendship; and like that salem. We must not suppose, however, great father of lies, to whom he bears a that this best gift to man precludes the family resemblance so strikingly approdisplay of Almighty wrath against such priate, would convert the base advanoffenders as we have described - the tage into an instrument by which he crime of envy He abhors. His Word might tyrannise, and entangle, and declares of such, Lord, when thine destroy." hand is lifted up, they will not see; but they shall see and be ashamed for their “Oh! better 't were to live in some lone cell,
And breathe existence out from human ken, envy of the people, yea, the fire of thine
Than on this fair and lovely earth to dwell, enemies shall devour them." And again,
The sport of envy and of malice fellof the judgments of Mount Seir, for And be the victims of our fellow-men. their hatred against Israel, it is said, 'Tis base—'tis ignoble—to idly tell, “ Therefore as I live, saith the Lord
With venom'd tongue, the foibles of each
other; God, I will even do according to thine
'T were better far, as sister and as brother, envy, which thou hast used out of thine Frail members all of one great family, hatred against them, when I have judged In charity and love to step between, thee." These, and similar passages,
And try each other's frailty best to screen.
For who can see the mote in his own eye?' proclaim aloud the displeasure of God
Ah! better 't were, indeed, to cease to be, towards those who are swayed by this Than live encircled round by calumny!" monster passion. What the late Dr. Chalmers said of slander, is equally true More than enough, we think, has of envy, for envy is the mother of slan- been exhibited to convince our readers der. “The complacency,” observes that not only of the odiousness and wickedgreat man,
“which is felt by some on ness of envy, but also of the misery and the discovery of a neighbour's weakness the self-persecution which, when cheor his crime, savours of the spirit and rished, it entails on the spirit which is the morale of Pandemonium; the zost the subject of its corroding and peacewhich is so currently felt when scandal destroying properties. We would, theremixes up its infusion with the gossip of fore, most affectionately exhort any who an assembled party, are the distinct may peruse these pages, especially such traces of a contagion from below. There as may be conscious of the workings of is a secret exultation of heart on some this insidious foe in their own bosoms, humiliating exposure of an acquaint- to resolve, with Divine aid, to dethrone ance, which is absolutely fiendish. In the monster, and instead, to strive to the hateful temperament which I am possess themselves of that godlike benenow labouring to expose, there is, upon volence which makes to delight in the the sight or the report of such iniquity, happiness and prosperity of those a hellish joy—a gleam of malignant tri- around us, however depressing our inumph, that is peculiarly hideous; and dividual circumstances. The tyrant is were I called to fasten on the one trait to be expelled! The writer knows of that forms the most sure and specific an instance in the circle of her friends, indication of a satanic heart, I would where defeat was achieved. say, that never is it given forth so un- Miss who in every other respect