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concerned in his preservation. The character is not extinct; there are still those who can pamper brutes, and groan over burthens, who have neither groan nor tear for the unfortunate of their own species.

But, possibly, they thought the man was an imposter. Thought him an imposter! This was no sufficient excuse for leaving him in his dreadful plight; an easy way, indeed, this were to avoid any charitable appeal, to think a man an imposter: they should have searched into the case. Many there are who starve and die in secret, lest, by coming forth as objects of commiseration, they should be thought imposters. Many a noble spirit is there, that cannot dig, and will not beg, and yet knows not how to live; and many a needy, yet meritorious individual is there, who shuns the light and avoids observation, lest his misfortune should be

accounted his shame.

The last reason which I shall imagine, as one which might possibly have actuated the Priest and the Levite, may be collected from the circumstance which is mentioned in the parable before us. The priest saw the man and passed by on the other side; the Levite also came and looked on the man and passed by also on the other side. From them both passing by on a different side of the road to that on which the poor Jew was, we might have imagined that they were shocked at the sight which they beheld, and therefore they hurried on their way to spare their feelings the pain which the contemplation of such a spectacle would have inflicted. Now, this is the most favourable motive which we can imagine; but it will not excuse them. There are, indeed, minds so nicely sensitive, that a bleeding wound, or a wretched object, completely destroys their composure, and unfits them for the discharge of The rich, and all who have leisure, those kindly offices which they themshould examine, and probe, into selves are most willing to render. It But, then, the best we can say to this cases of want and wretchedness. would be a course very beneficial, extreme sensitiveness is, that it is an amiable weakness, and ought to be indeed, to themselves, to the poor, and to society at large. They them- corrected. The circumstances of our selves would learn in miserable present being will not permit us to hovels true content, and, in the vi- cultivate even the tenderest and the cissitudes of human life, the sad most amiable feelings to that degree reverses to which even the proudest which shall disable us from being of men are subject, and the grievous serviceable to our fellow creatures. The changes and the chances in life inroads which change of fortune can make in the mind and the character, powerfully warn us, that the most timid may be called on to encounter as well as in the body: and there are histories more tragic, more interest- trials which shall require the highest ing, more instructing, than all the degree of self-command. numberless fictions on which they waste their sympathy. And the busy world too, through their means, would know where they might freely bestow their bounty without fear of fraud; and the unfortunate poor would be distinguished from the profligate, and the industrious from the idle.

The youthful mother, that would swoon at the sight of a stranger's wound, might at some time, and suddenly, be called upon to rescue her own babe from imminent peril; and although nature frequently provides for an emergency, yet, if she had not before learned to control her feelings, a life dearer to her than her own

might be sacrificed on the very altar which she herself had built. That others may suffer less we should habituate ourselves to suffer a little; that we may be efficient nurses of the sick we should learn to control our feelings, however painful the discipline may be; that the afflicted may have some friendly hand to help them, and that the death-bed of the dying may not be deserted, we should render ourselves moderately familiar with the sorrows and necessities of human nature. All are liable to them, and for some of them the strongest nerves are insufficient.

My design in entering on this explanation of the motive which governed the priest and the Levite, was, that in so doing, I might combat some of the commonest obstacles to benevolent exertions. The Samaritan could have alleged all the foregoing excuses, and others more weighty; he might have passed by the Jew simply because he was a Jew, and have felt well assured that he would not have assisted him in a like condition; or he might have passed him by thinking that, by leaving his enemy to perish, he would do GOD a service. On the contrary, however, "he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and sat him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out twopence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again I will repay thee." We have not the prejudices of the Jew, and therefore, perhaps, the full force of his example may not affect us equally with the lawyer. There is, however, an example which it should be our ambition to imitate; and our grief that we cannot equal. The Saviour of mankind was journeying

through an enemy's country; he came to the place where the poor and the ignorant, the sick and the helpless lay; he knew that they hated him, he knew that for his good deeds they would persecute him; he might have passed by on the other side, for they had no claim to his mercy; but he passed not by, he preached the gospel to the poor, he healed the sick, he strengthened the weak; and when he departed-when his sojourning here was ended, and it became him to return unto his Father's house-he enjoined his disciples to prosecute those works of love with which he had confirmed his ministry. Depart we, then, who call ourselves this good Samaritan's steward-go we, and do like him. If we have hitherto indulged in a cold indifference to the present and eternal happiness of our fellow creatures, near and remote, let us henceforth enlarge our contracted views, and expand our hearts

let us henceforth consider every man, who lives with us in this little planet, our neighbour, and every one who is heir to the same infirmities and necessities, our brother, if we can do him good. No journey should seem tedious, no labour a toil, no duty a task, and no charity a tax, while we are forwarding that gracious purpose which drew our Lord from heaven. Labour we, therefore, in our respective and immediate circle, labour we to promote to the utmost the glory of our GoD and Saviour, and the happiness of mankind. when He that hath given us the commission, and also set us the example, shall come again as the Lord of power and might, he will repay us all—all which in the interval of his absence we may have expended, through love to him, in the service of GOD, of virtue, and humanity; good measure pressed down, shaken together, and running over.


A Sermon,



Philippians, i. 9, 10, 11.-" And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God."

THE zeal and affection of the Apostle Paul is in no passage more conspicuously displayed than in those earnest and hearty aspirations for the eternal welfare of his converts, which are found at the beginning of his writings. There is a worth and a reality, a feeling and affection, in these interesting prayers which speak at once to the heart. They bear the strong impress of truth; they are evidences at once of the Apostle's sincerity, and of the vast importance of the doctrines which he taught; he could propose to himself no limit to his affection for the souls of men, and the mighty love of the Saviour for a ruined world. Whether it were merely an expression of patriotism for Israel's conversion, or the more extended wish for the salvation of the Gentile world, no one can question the high and holy nature of those feelings, if he do but regard the sacrifices and exertions which they produced in the Apostle. For this he left the honor and respect of Israel's strictest disciples; for this he was content to endure hardship, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ; for this he gave up his hopes of personal advantage and emolument, and chose rather the scorn of the Jews and the violence of the Gentiles, that he might prove himself the servant of Christ, a vessel that should bear his name among the kingdoms of the earth.

It is evident that every argument tending to show the truth and sincerity of the apostles, tends also to exhibit the great value of those blessings for the extension of which they laboured. It could be no light or unimportant matter for which St. Paul thus devoted the energy of his mind and the fervency of his affections; for which he struggled with the opposition of his enemies, and prayed in secret to his GOD. The higher our estimate of the Apostle's character, the higher ought to be our estimate of our spiritual blessings, and the more earnest ought to be our prayer that we may duly employ those valuable privileges, and more fully enjoy those unfailing comforts which the Gospel offers to our acceptance. Too generally, alas, we are content to live without a due regard to the value of the Gospel, and forget the extent of those benefits offered to us, because we do not feel and recognise that reality and force in the promises, the threatenings, the hopes, and the comforts of Christianity, which could not but be impressed on our hearts, if we duly considered the fulness of that conviction of the truth which the whole conduct of the Apostles manifested in the amazing power of that faith, and the mighty energy of those hopes, which supported them under all their trials. If we have not the same power and the same energy, it

is because we depend not with full confidence on the assistance of GOD; it is because we either neglect to use, in our own petitions, the prayers which the apostles uttered for their converts; or, if we do re-echo their holy aspirations, it is with a faltering tongue and with a wavering mind; it is without due regard to that honest sincerity which can alone call down a blessing, and that earnest and zealous exertion which can alone render even the best blessings of GOD effectual to our real benefit. We either pray without an admission of the practical influence of our prayers, or we strive in our own strength without an humble supplication for that assistance which we need.

The language of the text expresses the earnest desire of the apostle that the Philippians should make due progress in the attainment of the Christian character, that their improvement in Christian knowledge and in Christian holiness might be great and lasting; in fact there appears to be a description of that gradual improvement which is essential to the formation of the Christian character. He prays that his converts may be led on to various degrees of

moral power, to different states of intellectual and spiritual improvement, till, being filled with the fruits of righteousness, they accomplish the great end of their existence - the promotion of the glory of God.

We will proceed, then, to examine in detail the several portions of this passage. And while we view the objects of the Apostle's prayer, may we make it our own in the earnestness of heartfelt supplication, and in the zeal of honest exertion. “And this I pray, that your love may abound, yet more and more in knowledge, and in all judgment; that ye may approve the things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise of God.”



(To be continued.)



No. 154.]


(Rev. C. Lawson's Sermon concluded.)

First, then, these words contain a prayer for THE ENLARGEMENT OF THE AFFECTIONS BY THE IMPROVEMENT OF

THE INTELLECTUAL POWERS. The great principle of Christianity, the great purpose which it seems continually to regard, is the return of the affections to their legitimate object; it is nothing less than to secure the love and allegiance of man to GOD; it is nothing less than the remoulding of the soul after the image of Him that created it. Love is absolutely essential to the Christian character; all other qualities, be they moral or intellectual-all other acquirements, however distinguished or valuable, are as nothing without this divine virtue. Beneficence, patriotism, learning, genius, are but "as the sounding brass or the tinkling cymbal," if love be not the animating and the guiding principle of the heart. It is a new commandment of the Christian lawgiver, comprehending in its simple but extensive requirements, the full demands of our duty to GOD, our neighbour, and to ourselves. Now since the very foundation of this love is in the knowledge of the love of GOD, it must follow that, in proportion as the knowledge which we possess is enlarged, our love to GoD and our neighbour will likewise be extended. Our love must abound in knowledge:


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we must endeavour to acquire clear and correct views of the divine character; we must acquaint ourselves with GOD, that we may be at peace. And in this manner the apostle, in writing to the Ephesians, prays that they, "being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that they might be filled with all the fulness of GOD." Man need not expect that his finite capacities can find the limit of the divine perfections. Whether we contemplate Him as the creator and the governor of the universe, by whose providence the whole world is supported, or whether we look to Him as our father and redeemer, and search into those mysteries of divine grace that even angels desire to look into, still there are lengths and breadths and depths and heights, still there are secret things which pass our knowledge, and which we must in vain seek to find out to perfection. We know but little of His providence; we can form but faint conjectures of the reason and issues of His dispensation; we have but superficial views of the mysteries of redemption; we know but little of the loveliness of the Saviour's character; we are but par


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