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the oneness of the Christian character, is subject to so much irregularity in its operations, and displays itself under such a variety of forms. The present is a state of imperfection and sin. The believer is sanctified but in part. The most pious are not yet freed from the weaknesses and corruptions of a depraved nature. But, blessed be God, such will not always be the condition of those who have put their trust in Jesus, and have been born again in his image. Even now, as they make progress in the divine life, and engage with increasing ardour in the coinmon cause which they have espoused, how are their “ hearts knit together in love,” while the differences of sect or party, or denomination, melt away, and
, are forgotten! but the time will arrive, when their resemblance to each other will be more striking ; when their communion will be more intimate and delightful ; when they shall enjoy complete and uninterrupted fellowship with each other, and with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. For they shall “ all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."
And now, would to God that I could press this subject, with all its importance and interest, upon such of you, my dear hearers, as have no fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ ! On earthly objects, where all is deceitful and transitory, where all is “vanity and vexation of spirit,” you fas
ten the desires of your immortal souls. The world, which has so often disappointed or betrayed you, and of which you so often complain, is still your chief good. Your fellowship is with mammon and his deluded followers. And what does such a communion promise you ? The enjoyment, perhaps, of sensual pleasure, the accumulation of wealth, the distinctions of rank, or the honours of fame. But consider, I pray you, that these are transient as the morning cloud, and as the early dew. Life itself is a “ vapour that appeareth for a little while, and then vanisheth away.” So that, could you enjoy this world to the full measure of your desires, how like a dream, short and shadowy, must still be your happiness ! But this is not the worst view of your case.
" No man can serve two masters : for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.' “ The friendship of the world is enmity with God: whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world, is the enemy of God.” “For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness ? And what communion hath light with darkness ? And what concord hath Christ with Belial ?" Do not, I be. seech you, continue to be so engrossed with the cares 'of this life, or so devoted to its sinful pleasures. Let me entreat you to remember and feel the momentous truth, that we are all by nature child
" ren of wrath, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the
ignorance that is in us, because of the blindness of our hearts ;” and that nothing but the sovereign grace of God can“ deliver us from this power of darkness, and translate us into the kingdom of his dear Son." He alone, through the influence of his Spirit on our hearts, can bring us into fellowship with himself, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And unless we thus enjoy communion with God here on earth, it is most certain we shall be for ever banished from his presence in the future world. Unless we here become “ fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God," it is most certain we shall never be admitted to “the general assembly and church of the first-born in heaven." Unless here we are renewed in the spirit of our minds, and possess that supreme love to God and good-will to men which form the very essence of the Christian character, it is most certain-as certain as the declaration of God can make it—that we must take up our abode for ever in the prison'of despair,“ prepared for the devil and his angels.” To that place, Benevolence, under all its attractive forms, will forever be a stranger. All will be selfishness and sin. The malignant passions which here harass our peace, and fill with bitterness the heart in which they reside, will there have full scope. Each will be the enemy of the other, and the torturer of his own breast. As you value, then, your own souls,--as you would escape, my brethren, from this society of wretchedness and woe, and secure your admittance into the paradise of God, among
the spirits of just men made perfect, where all is love, and peace, and joy,-now, while it is called to-day, now, by repentance toward God and faith in a crucified Redeemer, enter into fellowship with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ.
MATTHEW xi. 30.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
WHEN our Saviour uttered these words he did not mean to say, that his disciples would be free from all trouble. He did not intend to propose to them a complete security against the cares and misfortunes of life. He did not wish to represent the religion which he taught, as requiring of its professors no sacrifices, or as exposing them to no evils. Meek and forgiving as was his own character, he foresaw that this could not protect him against the malice of his foes, and that his heart, which was full of kindness to all around him, must soon pour forth its blood upon the cross.
What else, then, could his friends expect? “ The disciple,” said he, "is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.” “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” When he invites us to come unto him, therefore, it is to meliorate our condition indeed,