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Why is it not thus with your love to Christ? Why is it hot thus with your pursuit of faith aod holiness? Brethren, said St. Paul, / count net myself lo have apprehended salvation. But this one thing I do: This is my great and unceasing object-forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which'are before, I press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (tn). Are you farther advanced than the apostle? Though he did not deem himself to have apprehended salvation; do you presume that you are secure? If you disclaim the arrogant delusion; if, representing yourself for a moment as a fellow-traveller with the apostle or> the way that leadeth to life eternal, you behold him already at an immeasurable distance before you: Why is it that you imitate not his humility, his ardour, his perseverance? Why is it that, like unto him, you count not all things but loss, that you may win Christ; if that by any means you may attain unto the resurrection of the righteous {n)? The Holy Ghost, the Comforter, from whom alone, through the merits of the Lord Jesus, every Christian grace is to be derived, withdraws not his countenance from you, limits not his bounty towards you

(mi) PJiilipp. iii. 13, 14, («) Philipp. iii. 8. 11.

Has Has he enabled you to bring forth fruit thirtyfold? Ke offers to enable you to bring forth sixty and an hundred fold. Ask; and you Jhall receive. What shall you ask? Ask that you may be enabled to give all diligence, to add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; end to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; audio brotherly kindness, charity. Ask that you may give diligence to make your calling and eleclion sure. For if you do these things you snail never fall. For so an entrance sjall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (o).

(o) 2 Pet. i. 5—7. .io, 11.

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On the Duty of openly ranging ourselves on the Side of the Lord.

Exodus, xxxii. 26.

Then Moses flood in the Gate of the Camp, and sajd: "Who is on the Lord's Side ?'*

A MONG the most evident tokens of the natural alienation of the human heart from righteousness is the indispositions of men to render unto God the fame measure, which they render one to another. He, who in some few instances has found his friend deserving of confidence, is prone to confide in him afterwards, and perhaps even to credulity. He, who has witnessed examples of the power of a superior, usually ascribes to him still greater power. He, who has experienced enced eminent and unmerited acts of kindness, and returns not to his benefactor the tribute of gratitude and love; is stigmatised with universal censure. How different is our conduct towards Him, to whom we owe everything! A son honoureth his father, and a servant his mas er. .f then I be a Father; "where is my honour? And, if1be a mafler; wherc is my fear, faith the Lord of Hofls (a) f They who have received unremitting testimonies of the providential wisdom of God, refuse to entrust themselves to his guidance. They who are surrounded by the wonders of his omnipotence, disregard his threatening^ and his promises. They who are indebted to his spontaneous bounty for blessings incalculable in number and in amount, thank him not, nor obey him: and forfeit not the favourable estimation of the world.

In the unbelief, the contemptuous disregard, the base and rebellious ingratitude displayed by the children of Israel towards the Almighty Father of mercies who had rescued them from Egypt, we imagine that we behold this natural alienation of the heart from God exemplified to an extent never to be rivalled. Instance after instance we read with astonishment. We forget that, what'

(«) Malachi, i. 6.

6 * soever

soever things were written aforetime^ were •written for our learning (b). We forget that all men are children of Adam; that the Creator hath made all nations of one blood; that human nature is in all men the fame; that in every man in every age the heart is in its original propensities deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (c). When we contemplate the enormities of the chosen people; we contemplate the course which we should ourselves have been no less disposed to pursue. The history of Israel is a mirror, which reflects our own likeness.

We learn, in the chapter from which the text is taken, that when Moses, who had been summoned to the top of Sinai that he might receive ordinances and directions from God, had now continued during many days upon the mountain; the people of Israel became extremely impatient at his absence. They assembled tumultuoufly around Aaron. They affirmed that, as for Moses, they knew not what event had befallen him. And although they had so lately covenanted in the most solemn manner stedfastly to keep the ten commandments; yet in defiance of the second commandment they insisted that Aaron should mould for them a graven

(I) Rom. xv. 4. (c) Jerem. ryi'u 9.

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