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which remains in the crucible after the extraction of the precious ore: all which the judicious chy. mist will reject, as totally unprofitable to its heavenly proprietor.
The end we propose in this request for the guidance and governance of God's Spirit is very important, viz. “ that all who profess and call “ themselves Christians may be led into the way “ of truth.” Many professors are in the way of error, both as to doctrine and practice. What our church means by truth, may easily be gathered from her liturgy, articles, and homilies; and how exactly these coincide with the oracles of God, has in some measure been shewn in the preceding pages. It becomes all her members to examine whether they are walking in the way of truth. All curious inquiries about speculative matters in religion are unbecoming and hurtful: they are unbecoming, as they shew a desire to be wise beyond what is revealed; and they are hurtful, as they distract the mind from a due attention to those things which are truly interesting and essential to its happiness. A person running in a race, * in which an immensely valuable prize is to reward the successful candidate, is inexcusable if he spend his time in any trifling investigation. A patient who is sick of a mortal disease would be ill employed while making deep researches into anatomical or botanical subjects, instead of attending to the prescription of his physician, and taking the medicines recommended. Our gracious Saviour says, “ Enter ye in at the strait
gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way " that leadeth to destruction, and many there be - which go in thereat; because strait is the gate
“ and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, " and few there be that find it.' Dear reader, have you entered through this strait gate into the narrow way of eternal life? You have a soul to be saved; and therefore the question is of immense importance, insomuch that you ought to estimate every thing as it bears a greater or less relation to it. Alas, how many live like the beasts that perish! The human soul is naturally in a lost state-a state of sin and guilt; and a state of sin and guilt is a state of impotence, so that it is impossible that man should be his own Saviour. The gate through which a sinner must pass in the way from guilt and condemnation to pardon and acceptance, from sin to holiness, and from hell to heaven, is Jesus Christ, who is frequently styled “ a door” and “a way:" by which metaphors the Scriptures intimate continually that Christ is the only medium of salvation to a sinner. A sinner must be justified before he can be saved; but
by the works of the law can no flesh justi“fied :'t a sinner must be sanctified, before he can be glorified; but Christ is our sanctification as well as our righteousness. I He, therefore, is the only gate, the only way that leadeth to life: and if you have not entered by this gate, and if you are not walking in this way, you are in the way of error which leadeth to destruction. The gate of life is strait, and “the way of truth” is narrow; too strait to admit unhumbled Pharisees, worldlyminded Sadducees, and lovers of sin. None but the humble contrite mourner can find admittance by this gate, and walk in this way.
and walk in this way.' 0" strive to “ enter in !” Anxiety and exertion are absolutely necessary. The time of admission will soon exa
* Matt, vii. 13, 14.
+ Gal. ij. 16.
1 Cor. i. 30.
pire. Therefore begin directly and without delay; carry on the work with diligence, and continue in it with perseverance. You have the prayers of the Church on your behalf, that God's “good Spirit may lead you into the way of truth.”
We go on to intercede that those who are walking “in the way of truth,” may be enabled “ to hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond “ of peace, and in righteousness of life.” For the guidance and governance of God's good Spirit are as necessary for the preservation of the saint, as they are for the conversion of the sinner. Since temptations abound and many have apostatized, every humble disciple of Christ will be thankful that he enjoys the daily prayers of the church for his continuance in the faith. And, since Satan's watch-word among his infernal emissaries is, “ vide and rule;"* how proper it is that we should pray for all the members of the catholic Church, that they may “hold the unity of the “ Spirit in the bond of peace !” And, since “ faith without works is dead, being alone;"-that
righteousness of life” may evidence the truth of our profession. These are excellent petitions. May we see more of their beauty, and join in them with increasing fervour of soul!
Finally, we commend to God's fatherly good"ness all those who are any ways afflicted or dis"tressed in mind, body, or estate.”. Sin has metamorphosed the world into a vale of tears.
Through this valley of Baca all must pass in their wav to Zion. + Saints and sinners taste of the bitter cup. With respect to the former, we are expressly told, that it is “ through much tribu“ lation we must enter into the kingdom of
• Divide et impere.
† Ps, Isxxiv, 6.
• God."'* Calamity appears“ in a thousand
shapes." We shall not endeavour to enumerate them-our Church has comprehended them all. It is meet that we should "remember “ them which suffer adversity, as being ourselves “ also in the body.”+ We are commanded to
weep with those that weep,” as well as to “rejoice with them that rejoice.” Our great High Priest sympathizes with His suffering members, “ being touched with a feeling of their infirmities.” “ In all their afflictions He is afflicted.” His people resemble Him, and feel for each other; so that, “if one member suffer, all the members suf“ fer with it.” And being unable to afford consolation and relief out of any stock of which they are possessed; they carry their dear brethren in affliction to the throne of grace, praying “ it may please God to comfort and relieve them “ according to their several necessities, giving “them patience under their sufferings, and a
happy issue out of all their afflictions.” God knows the sorrows of all His saints, and puts their tears into His bottle. $ He can comfort in every trouble, relieve in every distress, and succour in every necessity. However great our sufferings, He can give patience under them; and however heavy the pressure of our afflictions, He can give a happy issue out of them. And therefore, as these are promised blessings, “ we beg” them for ourselves and our brethren humbly at His hands " for Jesus Christ His sake. Amen."
* Acts xiv. 22.
+ Hebr. xii. 3.
#Ps. Ivi. 8.
RAISE is an essential part of the worship of
God, and it is due from every rational being to Him, who of His goodness created all things, and who upholds them by the word of His power. Our church in the exhortation that precedes the general confession, when she is recapitulating the several constituent parts of Divine worship, and assigning the reasons of our frequent and stated visits to the house of God, reminds us that “we as“ semble and meet together to render thanks for “ the great benefits which we have received at “ His hands, to set forth His most worthy praise, “ to hear His most holy word, and to ask those “things which are requisite and necessary as well " for the body as the soul.” Here praise stands foremost in our list of duties: and indeed it is not without solid reason that it obtains a distinguished place. For it is that for which man was at first created. Confession of sin, deprecation of punishment, and supplication for mercy, became necessary only in consequence of the fall; but praise is the work for which man originally received his being. This is the great business of heaven, from which its blessed inhabitants cease not day and night: and if ever we join the highly favoured throng, it will also be our's to all eternity. The necessity of confession and prayer will then be superseded, because we shall be