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The dispensation of grace to some, is little more ) than a continual combat with corruptions: so that instead of advancing, a man seems to be bút just able to preserve himself from sinking. A boat, with the tide full against it, does well if it can keep from driving back, and must have strong force ine deed to get forward. We must estimate grace by the opposition which it meets with.
How blessed is the Christian, in the midst of his greatest troubles! It is true we cannot say he is perfect in holiness-that he has never any doubts that his peace of mind is never interrupted-that he never mistakes Providence; but, after all, his is a blessed condition; for he is supported under his trials, and instructed by the discipline; and, as to his fears, the evil under the apprehension of which he is ready to sink, frequently does not come or it does not continue or it is turned into a blessing
One of the greatest impositions of Satan on the mind, is that of quieting a man in the pursuit or possession of what is lawful. So that it is not mure 1 der, or adultery, or theft which he is committing, all is well! Because a man's bed is his own, he may idle away in it his inestimable time! Because his business is lawful, a man may intoxicate his mind with the pursuit of it!
The very heart and root of sin, is an independent spirit. We erect the idol SELF; and not only wish others to worship, but worship it ourselves.
We must take care when we draw parallel cases, not to take such as are not ar cannot be nade
parallel. For instance-we may ask, before we act,
What would Jesus Christ do in this case? or what i would St. Paul?" but we cannot be guided by this
rule in every thing, because Christ's mission was peeculiar: it was an unparalleled event: it was for three
years only: and, like a great fire, he was always burning-always intent on one point. St. Paul also was in peculiar circumstances: he was sent on ani especial errand. In every thing which is in any degree sinful, we should turn to these examples; but, in the conduct peculiar to our station, our
application of these examples must be governed S by circumstances.
Many inexperienced Christians are apt to look for wrong kinds of evidences, and so distress themselves about their state. The questions which we should put to ourselves, in seeking the best evidences, are -"Do I hate sin!-Is it my grand fear-Is it my grief, that, while I have a good hope of pardon, I yet should make such ill returns? Have I brok enness of spirit?".Godliness is analogous to the
principle of gravitation, in that it reduces every d thing to its proper centre.
The difference between what is called FATE, and PREDESTINATION, is something like that of a house without a governor, and a house with a governor. The Fatalist says, “Every thing must, of necessity be as it is as a stone must fall to the ground, fire must ascend, &c. The Predestinarian says, that every thing is determined by a wise Governor, who inspects, orders, and superintends the whole machine; so that a sparrow does not fall to the ground, or a hair of the head perish, without permission,
We are so accustomed to see sin within and without Ns, that we seldom deeply feel it, or are so shocked at it, as we should be were it less frequent. If an inhabitant of the court were to walk through some of the filthy streets and alleys of the Metropolis, how would he be disgusted and terrified! while the poor wretches, who live in them, think nothing of the matter. Thus a clearer view of sin and of the holiness of God, made the prophet cry out, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of tir unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of for unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, theft Lord of Hosts.
It is much easier to SETTLE a point, than to ACT on it.
I ONCE said to myself, in the foolishness of my heart, “What sort of Sermon must that have been which was preached by St. Peter, when three thousand souls were converted AT ONCE?"- what sort of Sermon_such as other sermons. There is nothing to be found in it extraordinary. The effect was not produced by St. Peter's eloquence; but by the mighty power of God, present with his word. It is in vain to attend one Minister after another, and to hear Sermon after Sermon, unless we pray that the Holy Spirit accompany his word. Neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
THAT humility which courts notice, is not FIRSTRATE. It may be sincere, but it is sullied. Do not sound a trumpet, nor say "Come and see how humble I am!”
We should be careful never to discourage any one wbo is but searching affer God. If a man begins
in earnest to feel after him if haply he may find him, let us be aware how we stop him, by rashly telling is him he is not seeking in the right way. This would
be like setting fire to the first round of the ladder, I by which one was attempting to escape. We must
wait for a fit season to communicate liglit. Had any one told me, when I first began to think religiously, that I was not seeking God in the right way, I might have been discouraged from seeking him at all. I was much indebted to my niother, for her truly wise and judicious conduct toward me when I first turned from my vanity and sin.
We should always record our thoughts in affliction
set up way-marks-set up our Bethels-erect our Ebenezers; that we may recur to them in health: for then we are in other circumstances, and can never recover our sick bed views,
1 A CONTEMPLATIVE life has more the APPEARANCE of a life of piety than any other: but it is the divine plan to bring faith into ACTIVITY and EXERCISE. We choose that sort of walk, which we like best: if we love quiet, we are for sedentary piety; but the design of God is to root us out of every thing, and bring us into more useful star
A WRETCHED prisoner, chained to the floor for a length of time, would deem it a high privilege to be allowed to walk across the room. Another, - confined to lie on his back till it had become sore,
would think it a great favor if he might be permitted to turn on his side for a few minutes. In a course of habitual pain, I am thankful for five minutes freedom from suffering: how forgetful have I been of fifty years of tolerable ease! How un mindful are we of what we call common tercies:
In order to read the Bible with profit, we must be gin by denying ourselves every step of the way; for, every step of the way, it will be found to oppose our corrupt nature.
CHRISTIANS resemble travellers in a stage-coach. We are full of our plans and schemes, but the coach is moving rapidly forward: it passes one i mile-stone, and then another; and no regard is paid to the plots and plans of the passengers.
A CHRISTIAN has advanced but a little way in o religion when he has overcome the love of the world; for he has still more powerful and importunate enemies: self evil tempers-pride unduer affections-a stubborn will it is by the subduing of de these adversaries, that we must chiefly judge of our ti growth in grace.
A FRIEND called on me when I was fill, to settle some business. My head was too much confused by my indisposition to understand fully what he said; but I had such unlimited confidence in him, that I did whatever he bid me, in the fullest assur ance that it was right. How simply I can trust in man, and how little in God! How unreasonable is th a pure act of faith in one like ourselves, if we cannot repose the game faith in God.
Some negative rules, given to a Young Minister ,
going into a situation of peculiar difficulty. if As I know you have received much good advice, I would suggest to you a few hints of a negative kind; with a view of admonishing you to be careful, while