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and content, wisdom and discretion, which are the visible results of that invisible power, which has been to his character like the dews of heaven on the roots and branches of a tree.
If it were a topic admitting of public statement and discussion, it would be a curious subject for analysis; how much of the reputation and success of men whom the world delights to honor, are the direct product of that domestic companionship which has vitalized character, supplied its defects, rectified its faults, and gently and gradually pruned its excrescences. The world ascribes this success to accident or fortune ; but they themselves know full well how different it would have been with them, what different men they would have been but for that discretion and kindness, which were the atmosphere of their homes. The perfume of costly ointment may be hid so that it shall not betray itself; but the influence of a virtuous woman will inevitably diffuse itself through the whole life and character of her husband, whether it be humble or honored.
Behold how her honors and rewards multiply as her children grow up into success, reputation and goodness. The fidelities of her whole nature have been expended upon their nurture, and her reward has come when she sees them around her, as men and women, practicing all the virtues, and inheriting all the excellencies which were the themes of her conversation and her example. Wonder not that the Roman matron, when the ladies of the court were displaying their jewels, pointed to her sons and said, “ These are my jewels," for inspiration has mentioned it among the rewards of a virtuous woman, that her children rise up and call her blessed ; no other decoration does she need
-no amount of gold or jewels could add to her honors. Her highest praise is the good character of her obedient, grateful and affectionate children. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates. The good conduct of a household is the highest panegyric on her who has made it what it is. This is an honor to which there is no fading. Age and infirmities, so far from impairing and blighting, but add to it a new lustre. When personal beauty has faded into the sear and yellow leaf of life's autumn, the glory of the virtuous woman is approaching its climax. The unbought honors of filial gratitude and respect thicken around her declining days, and when she is dead she is not forgotten. Memory surrounds her name with a halo of virtues, and every success and honor of her children and children's children is her enduring monument. Every tear which the widow and the fatherless drop over her grave, as widows wept in the funeral chamber of Dorcas at the loss of a benefactress, is a better eulogium than oratory and of richer value than pearls and diamonds. Nor is it to be doubted, as I have dwelt on this theme, that many among my hearers have found their thoughts recalling the venerable form of their own mother, whether to their joy she be still lingering on earth amid the
grief shose mapy, membering the heart, the tion; the.
honors and beauties of a Christian old age, or whether to their grief she was long ago buried out of their sight; meditating upon those many virtues which made her to their infancy a sort of divinity ; remembering the strong and sound sense which disciplined manners, mind and heart, the discretion which interpreted character and consulted disposition; the love which calmed and blessed ; the confidence which no fault nor mistake could disturb; the piety which prayed, counselled and instructed, till each finds himself disposed to pour out his heart in gratitude before God for his descent from one so excellent; so that when he prays for himself he may plead the virtues of his parentage, adopting the very language which inspiration has prepared for his use—“ O Lord, I am thy servant and the son of thy handmaid." How many have been disposed to adopt the beautiful sentiment of Cowper
“My boast is not that I deduce my birth
“HINDER ME NOT;" A SHORT SERMON.
“ Hinder me not.”—Gen. xxiv. 56. So said Abraham's servant to the family of Laban, as they were trying to persuade him to tarry longer with them; and so should you say to every one and to every thing which would hinder you from yielding your heart to Christ. You may meet with many hindrances, but they all must be overcome by faith in Christ, with firmness and resolution. What are some of these HINDRANCES ?
The opposition of a wicked heart hinders. “The heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Their sinful affections carry them away in a course of disobedience, and if they go not after iniquity in one form, they will in another. This, sinner, is your condition. You will not come to Christ. Your wicked heart keeps you away from him. You strengthen your. self against conviction ; and for this, if you do not repent and believe the gospel, God will judge and condemn you.
The persuasions of impenitent friends hinder. They desire companions as unmoved and unconcerned as themselves. Does one of them by any means become serious, they ply him with every motive which can drive out the thoughts of God and a concern for his salvation. They soothe him with the deadly thought that he is in no danger, or the specious plea that there is time enough yet, that there is now no need of damping the joys of life by the gloomy subject of religion. Oh, how many are
persuaded in this manner to turn from the path of uprightness, and to walk in the ways of darkness until their steps take hold on hell.
Ambition and love of earthly greatness hinder multitudes from submission to the Saviour. They cannot be content to be lightly esteemed and neglected for the sake of Christ. They will not forego the distinctions of earth for the approbation of God and the crown of glory which fadeth not away. They barter their souls for the miserable enjoyments of sinful pride, and in the end will lose both. “Whosoever will be the friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
The cavils of unbelievers hold many in doubt and suspense all their lives. They hear so many objections against the truth of the gospel, that they do not decide in its favor ; and yet such are the convictions of reason and conscience, that they dare not decide against it. The caviller is ever busy in pointing out some imaginary flaw in the evidences of Christianity, some fancied absurdity in its truths, or inconsistency in the lives of its professors. His own dark deluded mind raises fancied difficulties where there are none in reality, and seeing everything through a mist, he imagines inconsistency, where all is light and harmony and glory in the view of those who love God. Like the serpent, the caviller strikes ere he is perceived in his true character, and the deadly poison is spreading through the unsuspecting soul, and sinking his victim in eternal ruin, before he is aware of his danger. Thousands are thus prevented from escaping for their life, and embracing the offers of mercy.
Others are hindered by the ridicule of the openly vicious. Ridi. cule is a weapon often hurled at the young and unguarded. Oh, what numbers are now lifting up their eyes in torment and wailing in hopeless despair, who, under the guidance of an evil heart, were brought to that world of woe by a banter or profane jest which they had not the moral courage to withstand, nor the wisdom to despise. Remember that ridicule is not argument; it proves nothing; it stabs in the dark. Shun him who would turn the realities of eternity into a jest, as you value your soul.
Others are hindered from trusting in Christ by the cares and pleasures of the world. Probably more souls are lost by yielding to the pressure of business, and the calls of vain pleasure and fashionable amusement, than by all other causes. Men of business, take heed lest, under the plea of being diligent in business, the soul be wholly given to this world and the “mammon of unrighteousness," and thus God be shut out, and the soul be lost. And ye follower of sinful pleasures, hear the declarations of God's word respecting such as you: “Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” “Deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures." "She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth." 2 Tim. iii.: 4; Titus iil. : ; i Tim. v. : 6.
How then are we to OVERCOME these and all other hindrances to embracing Christ, and securing our salvation? Say to them unhesitatingly, “ Hinder me not.”
God commands your immediate repentance and submission to Christ. He says to you as to Lot, "Escape for thy life.” “Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions ; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.” “God now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” “Submit yourselves therefore to God." In this urgent and forcible manner the Lord of heaven and earth commands you to turn to him. He who has made you, and given his Son to die for you, who claims your obedience by the most tender and overpowering obligations, bids you forsake your sins and embrace the Saviour.
Think of the numerous mercies and favors which God has bestowed upon you. How constantly has he preserved your lives from destruction. With what powers of mind has he endowed you, with which to love and serve him. What rich means of grace has he conferred upon you. How has he opened the way for you to come to him for salvation through the blood of his Son. And how has he followed you with the pleadings of his Spirit and of his word, saying to every sinner, as he said by the prophet to Israel, “Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby you have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit; for why will ye die, O house of Israel ? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye." Ezek. xviii.: 30–32. Resolve in the strength of the Lord,
“Through duty and through trials too,
I'll go at his command ;.
To Immanuel's blessed land."
Consider the alarming providences of God. A once blooming young woman, of high hopes, who had often joined in worldly scenes of dissipation, but who at last felt the chilling hand of death upon her, said, “Oh, what shall I do? I am not prepared to die. I have been such a sinner there is no mercy for me. Could I live to get well, I would make it my first business to obtain religion, to secure an interest in Christ; but I cannot attend to it now." These were her last words. In a few minutes she expiçed. Hasten your return to God, if you would not be arrested in a similar manner, and die without hope.
You have a great work to do. In matters of earthly business, men exert themselves according to the greatness of the work they have in hand. Thus, the long distance of Abraham's servant from home made him the more anxious to return immediately. You have a great work in hand; you are far from God, and far from that home which is eternal in the heavens. Turn, then, lest it be for ever too late. Seek the Lord Jesus Christ, believe in him, and begin a new life of loving obedience. If you grieve the Holy Spirit, and he leave you to your native blindness and obstinacy, you will never see the face of God as the God of grace. Fear will soon come upon you as desolation, and destruction as a whirlwind.
Let the difficulties of the way excite you to break through all hindrances at once. Dangers jurk in your path. The snares of the adversary are spread beneath your feet; the world without, and evil propensities within, like so many enemies, lie in wait to destroy your soul. These difficulties are already formidable, and by delay will soon become insurmountable. Has. ten to the Lamb of God, without delay, or you will never enter the mansions of the blessed.
You are intrusted with immortal interests, with the care of the undying spirit. If saved, who can number its joys while the vast periods of eternity are passing on? If lost, who can count the billows of wrath which shall roll over it in that lake which burns with unquenchable fire? Will you not instantly throw yourself on the mercy of God in Jesus Christ, receiving and believing the promise of God in him? You defer at your peril. You put to hazard your soul and your eternal interests, of more value than worlds and the universe. May the Holy Spirit lead you to come to the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood cleanseth from all sin.