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duty? Are you labouring for the MostHigh? Are you labouring in your appointed course? .
Thirdly. Would you labour efficacious-. ly? Remember whose is the strength in. which you must labour. Trust not in an arm of flesh. Lean not to thine own understanding. Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Not by might, not by power; but by My Spirit, faith the Lord of'Hosts. Through Christ who strengthened thee, thou .rnayest do all things. Without Him thou canst do nothing (o).
Fourthly. Be vigilant, be humble, be devout, in guarding through the all-sufficient grace of your Redeemer against those snares and forms of fin, which attach themselves to your occupation. Be fortified against its toils, its pleasures, its rewards, its disappointments. When under the garb of avarice, or of pride, or of amDition, or of sensuality, or of self-complacency, or of discontent, Satan lays claim to your heart; What is your reply? I serve the Lord Christ.
Finally : In the spirit of Htm whose meat and drink it was to do the will of his Father, accustom yourself to regard enjoyment as
(o) Eph, y'u 10. Zech. iv. 6. Philipp. iy. 13, John,
xv. 5.. '''
consisting in the performance of duty. By multitudes, duty and pleasure are beheld as distinct; as drawing in opposite directions: duty, toiling in one quarter, and summoning to an irksome task; pleasure smiling in an adverse region, and inviting to compensatory gratification. He, and he alone, whom Christianity enables to identify them, possesses the secret of virtue and happiness.
J SERMON XL
James, ii. 10,
Whosoever JhaU keep the ,whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
'"PO some persons it has been a subject of unreasonable surprise, that the Scriptures fshould contain passages apparently of dark and ambiguous import. AH the 'works, all the appointments of God, abound with difficulties. The nature of the air which you breathe, the properties of the foil on*which you tread, the growth of the plants and animals by which you are sustained, exceed your comprehension. In the common dispensations of Providence, in the moral government of the world, there is much which is obscure to the limited
mited faculties of man. Why then do you wonder that God should permit difficulties to subsist in the revealed declaration of his' will? If, in the natural world, there is not one of His gifts, which men may not perversely employ in a manner fatal to their happiness; are you astonished that, in his inspired communications, there should be some things hard to be understood, which they who are wilfully unlearned and unstable may wrest even to their own destruction? In all his counsels, the Most High determines with wisdom and with goodness. "While his inherent attributes, the evidences of Christianity, the doctrines of redemption, and the consequences of righteousness and of guilt, are distinctly and incontrovertibly let before us; are we not able to discover reasons which may render it beneficial to us, that many passages of Holy Writ should demand continued enquiry and meditation, before their meaning shall disclose itself? Such passages try our humility, strengthen our faith, call forth our diligence, exercise our attention, impress our memories. The truth which thgy involve is always of value more than sufficient to repay the labour by which it is rendered manifest.
Among the difficult portions of Scripture the text, in the opinion of most men, stands distinguished. Many persons when they hear it, like the disciples when Jesus Christ discoursed to them of salvation by eating h,is flesh and drinking his blood, are offended at it; and murmur among themselves, This is a hard saying: who can hear it? A hard saying however may be a true saying. That saying at which the disciples of our ILord were so deeply offended, that from that time many os them went back and walked no more with him, unfolded the method of atonement by which alone man was to be saved. And the truth comprized in this hard saying of St. James is a doctrine so momentous; that, unless your life be steadily conformed to it, you never will receive salvation.
Reflect, whoever you may be who have felt your mind staggered by this passage, that it is a part of the word of God. This circumstance at ' once establishes its truth, when rightly understood; and the importance of rightly understanding it. Were additional testimony needful, I might refer you to the signal eminence of St. James in the Christian Church. He was one of the Twelve Apostles. He was the brother, the very near relation, os the Lord 13 Jesus,