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vanity and pleasure; if you devote your riches to splendid and luxurious enjoyment; then it is that the world will flatter
you and proclaim you happy. Live to the world, and the world will applaud you. Live to Christ, and an evil world will not fail to revile and condemn you. How righteous, how rational, is the judgment of Holy Writ! How equitable is the condemnation which the Scriptures pronounce against those who love the praise of men more than the praise of God!
Be ye, my brethren, servants of the Most High. Seek His favour. Give no real occasion to others to speak evil of you. Abstain even from the appearance of evil. There let anxiety cease. Be not uneasy as to the opinions of men. Be not depressed by the loss of human approbation. Be not elated nor ensnared by possessing it. Let it be your main solicitude to be found among those whose praise is not of men but of God. Christ is not like the world, an undiscerning, a capricious, an unjust, a forgetful master, The Lord will come, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart : and then shall every man, every true Christian,
may be that
have praise of God* That praise is praise indeed. That praise endureth for ever.
Thirdly: Justify wisdom, justify true religion, by manifesting yourselves to be her children. Draw not from the preceding observations a conclusion which they do not warrant. If you are censured by the world on account of your opinions, or your conduct, repecting religion ; imagine not that the censure is a proof that you are religious. The censure of the world though often misplaced, is not always misplaced. If you are charged with having judged erroneously, it
you have judged erroneously. If you are accused of having acted amifs ; you may have acted amiss. If enthusiasm or fanaticism be imputed to you ; perhaps you more or less deserve the imputation. Let the censure and the praise of others equally send you to your Bible. Search the word of truth. Compare your religious opinions, your religious practice, with the doctrines and commandments of your Lord. Consult him, in his revealed word, with an humble, and teachable heart, as a child listens to its instructor. It was in vain that John the Baptist preached to the scornful and hardened Pharisees ; that generation of vipers, * Rom. ii. 29. Cor. iv. 5.
who, though desirous to escape the wrath to come, would not abandon their fins, and bring forth fruits meet for repentance. It was in vain that Jesus Christ addressed himself to that self-righteous race, who trusted in their own imaginary merits, and despised the offered atonement of a Saviour. My fon, if thou wilt incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding : if thou seekest her as filver, and searchest for her: as för bid treasures: then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and
find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom : out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding *. When with reverence and submission you have listened to the words of wisdom, recorded from his mouth in the Gospel, strive, through the influence of his Holy Spirit, to obey them as an affectionate child obeys its parent. Let your faith prove itself by its fruits. At the same time that you are found in doctrine, be a pattern of every good work. So shall you be the children of wisdom : so shall you justify wisdom. So shall you evince that Christ Jesus is made unto you, wisdom, and righteousness and fanctification, and redemption. So Thall you glorify God in the way of sal
vation. So shall you recommend the way of salvation to mankind.
If you thus justify wisdom, behold the hour approaches, when before the assembled world wisdom shall justify you. Fear him who can cast both body and soul into hell. But fear ye not the reproach of men: neither be ye afraid of their revilings. Behold the hour cometh, when Christ shall render to every man according to his deeds. Then all the righteous man stand in great boldness before the face of such as have afflicted him, and made no account of his labours. When they see it, they shall be troubled with terrible fear: and shall be amazed at the strangeness of his falvation, so far beyond all that they looked for. And they, repenting, and groaning for anguish of spirit, shall say within thema felves; This was he whom we had sometime “ in derision, and a proverb of reproach. We fools accounted his life madness; and his end " to be without honour. How is be numbered « with the children of God: and his lot is among the saints * !"
Wisdom, v. I
John, v. 40.
a legislator, anxious to deter his subjects from the commission of a particular crime, were to annex to it, as a penal confequence, the total confiscation of property. Suppose an individual, forewarned of the impending effects of disobem dience, wilfully to commit the crime. Confiscation ensues. The inheritance defigned for his children is intercepted. Suppose the children arrived at manhood, and treading in the steps of their father. Suppose them habitually trampling upon statutes, which they feel themselves bound by ties of duty to obey; and manifesting by efforts of impotent treason inherent