« PoprzedniaDalej »
of God? Do you feel warmly interested in the success of the Gospel ? Do you feel the cause of Christ as your cause? Is the cause of Christ that cause which beyond all others you have at heart? When a finner is reclaimed, when a righteous man makes a progress in holiness; do you delight in the reflection that it is your God, your Redeemer, your greatest Benefactor, who is glorified? Are you, like Barnabas, vigilant and earnest to embrace every fit opportunity of encouraging others to cleave unta the Lord with purpose of heart? To bring others unto the love and obedience of Christ is not an office peculiar to the ministers of religion. To them it is more especially committed. By them it is to be exercised in a manner different from that which becomes those, who are not ordained to the ministry. But in an appropriate measure and degree, watchfulness and exertion to impart religious' knowledge and assistance belong to every man. They'are testimonies of love to God and man required from every one. They are testimonies which every one who loves God and man cannot but be solicitous to render. Are they testimonies which in
families, among your friends, among your acquaintance, among your neighbours, you are anxious properly to render?
Finally: in examining yourselves by the scriptural characters of Goodness, take all of them together. Venture not to think of putting asunder qualifications which God has inseparably joined. More especially beware of being ensnared into the prevailing and very fatal delusion, of imagining that Goodness consists in benevolence. Benevolence can be at the utmost but one part of Goodness. It is a part of Goodness which, if it stands alone, is nothing. What could it a:rail you to love your neighbour as yourself; if you do not love the Lord your God with all your heart? Nay the greatest acts of kindness to your fellow-creatures may be entirely deftitute of Goodness. St. Paul aver's that, although you bestow all your possessions to feed the poor, the deed will profit you nothing if you have not charity: if you have not a cordial love to man founded on love to God. You may lay down your
you are a parent, from affection to your children; and yet be no more serving God by the sacrifice, no more be acting under the influence of religion, than the 9
brute animal which encounters death in defence of its young. The quality of a deed is stamped by the motive. occasion examine not only what you do, but why you do it. Nothing is service to God, but that which is done from love to God. Does either reason or the Gospel authorise you to expect that God should reward a deed which is not intended as service to Him? Let me leave before
you this practical truth; and
grace impress it upon your bosoms : that nothing is Goodness, which does not proceed from love to God; and that no one is a good man, unless the love of God be habitually the ruling principle of his life.
Prov. xvi. 5. Every one that is proud in Heart is an Abomi
nation to the Lord.
IN the maladies which affault the human
body, a marked distinction prevails as to the relative extensiveness of their influence. Of fome the force is nearly exhausted upon the
organ or the limb on which they fasten. Others, deeply rooted in the constitution, pervade the general system: and in every different state of the frame, and in every different mode of life, advance their machinations, and prepare their final triumph.
. Fulness of blood stimulates the internal foe: debility meets it with languid resista ance : exertion accelerates its progress : sedentary habits facilitate its inroads. A 5
kindred analogy discriminates the difa tempers of the mind. Some, as hatred and terror, firmly fixing upon particular objects, are little excited on ordinary occafions. Others, aspiring to general sway, find, under all circumstances, and at every period, opportunities of gratification. Of passions of this character the most eminent is Pride. Justly does it claim the denomination of an universal passion. Age or sex or situation exempts not from its control. Body and mind, virtues and vices, it presses into its service. The heart may ficken, the understanding may recoil, at the prospect. But on every side the scene is the saine. We behold men proud in health, proud in the chamber of disease; proud in public, proud in retirement; proud of their frugality; proud of their profusion; proud of their sobriety, proud of their intemperance ; proud of their pride ; proud of their humility.
Listen to the character ascribed by different families to each other. How general is that of pride! To some households covetousness is attributed as an hereditary failing; to some, irascibility; to fome, sufpicion. How much larger is the number to which pride is imputed! How few are