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proves its faith by righteous obedience; shews itself by its works in a good life and conVerfation. It is without partiality: it draws no needless or unwarrantable distinctions between man and man; it render's equal justice to all, and distributes kindness in proportion to the united claims of necessity and desert. It is without hypocrisy': it assumes no delusive exterior ; it is a stedfast observer of truth; it will submit to any loss, any scorn, rather than escape them by having recourse to the crooked management which is the policy and the pride of the children of this world. Such are the characters by which the Holy Ghost has distinguished heavenly wisdom; that wif* dom' which comes down from heaven; that wisdom which points to heaven \ that wisdom which makes wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus; that wisdom for want of which the fool dieth even dc*Mh eternal. Have you this wisdom? If you have it not, you have nothing. Had you all the abilities, all the learning, all. the riches, all the grandeur, which mortality can attain, and had not this .wisdom; you would have nothing. Wisdom; faith our Lord, is justified of her children. Are you the children of 'wisdom'?.
Do you prize her above all things.? Do you walk by her rules? Da you shew forth her 'fruits? Do you labour for her rewards? Do you maintain her cause? Do you invite others to her lessons? Give me underr standings exclaims David, and IJhall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my -whole heart. Under whatever points'.of view you consider the subject, the result is uniformly this: that to fear God and to keep his ' commandments is the whole wisdom as well as the whole duty of man. Let us la* bour then, my brethren, by fervent .supplication, to draw down upon ourselves this blessing from above. Let us beseech the only wise God to renew a right spirit within us, that we may forsake the foolish and live ; .that we may go in the ways of understanding, and find it a well-spring of life. While we perceive that wisdom and true religion are the same, let us pray that He may grant us understanding to discern that there is a religion which is pot wisdom, but folly : a religion of form, and decorum j a religion of self-justifying morality; a religion of the head, not of the heart,. Let us intreat him to teach us so to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom; to enforce upon us not
only the inexpressible importance of working out our salvation through the grace of his Son Jesus, but the shortness of the time during which we have to work. May He instruct us habitually to bear in mind how speedily the longest life will have passed away: and how uncertain it is, not merely whether we shall be preserved unto length of days, but whether another year, another month, or even another hour, may not have ended our existence upon earth. May He cause us to be roused to serious and deep reflection by the frequent examples which He displays of the precariousness of life. May He cause those who are in tbe vigour of health ever to remember that strength rears not even a momentary bulwark against death: and those who are of a feeble frame, daily to consider how flight a barrier is interposed between them and dissolution. 0 that men were wife; that they understood this; that they would conJider their latter end!
x SAivi. xiii. ii.
i - :- . °.
And Samuel said to Saul; "'Thou hajl done ^foolishly: thou hajl not kept the com"mandment of the Lord"
'fXfHEN the children of Israel, dissatisfied with their situation under the immediate sovereignty of the Most High, persisted in requiring to be governed, like the neighbouring nations, by a king ; Saul, a young man of the tribe of Benjamin, was the person whom God placed upon the throne. We perhaps, had we possessed no ulterior information, might have been disposed to expect that, when the Searcher of hearts cast his eye over the twelve tribes in quest of a man whom he might appoint to be ruler over his people; He would select
one conspicuous for piety, and prepared r/y^ftedfastf faith to meet the trials with which his exaltation would be attended. Yet why should we have expected such a choice? Is it the established order of Providence that piety should be recompensed by elevation to dignity and power? Are the rulers of the earth, whether in Pagan or in Christian lands, whether God raises them to empire by the settled course of succession, or by the storms of warfare and revolutions, usually eminent for religion beyond the mase of their subjects? Was jt to he presumed that when He gave to his people a king in His anger (a), in His anger at their rebellious rejection of His own regal sway, the individual singled out should be one whose excellence might/lull them into forgetfulness of their crime; rather than one who through misconduct sowing from wilful peryerseness of character might be the instrument of convincing them of their guilt, and of the preeminent distinction and peculiar happiness which they had. renounced? The thoughts of the Most High are not as our thoughts. He knows by what governor,-in any par...„... . '_ ;: ., .•.: ....'A I '.: ,>f.o.1
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