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know, we shall never be permitted materially to err in the knowledge and fulfilment of the will of God. « The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will shew them His covenant.” God hath created the body and the soul for the destinies of eternity. But the distinction is this: present objects are the instruments of a probation for the soul; and the body is simply the medium through which it is to act. The soul has been so constituted from its creation that it cannot die.. Let this but have its proper force, and the body, which quickly must return to its original dust, will then present no overpowering calls for undue thought and care to the injury of the soul.The soul has been redeemed under the same infinite and eternal love through which it first received its being : let this be remembered, and let it influence the will and affections; and the remembrance of the great Redeemer's personal deprivations and personal sufferings in the body will lead to the earnest seeking after those better things which He, by dying for us, hath bequeathed to our souls. The soul is sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Let this be deeply considered and applied; and then the body, mortified through grace in its natural cravings, and governed and purified by that Heavenly Visitant, will be seen in its only real honour, as the temple of the Holy Ghost, and as the seed of that celestial body, which shall hereafter be united with the soul in the joys of the Redeemer's presence, and in the participation of His own glory.
We have now seen what appears from Scripture, and from the experience of every one who has made trial thereof, a safe and ready way
to judge of our condition in respect to our use or abuse of earthly things. This true statement from Holy Scripture of what the soul is, and of what the body is, can never mislead us. In our doubts and difficulties as to the number and extent of our earthly gains and earthly comforts, let us be satisfied only, when our conscience can answer to the intimation of a future judgment, that for that judgment, in the chief care for the soul, we are making humble and heartfelt preparation, in the application of the doctrines, and in performance of the commandments of the Gospel. If our conscience do not so comfort us in the faithful examination of our daily life, our habits and temper with respect to all earthly things, then must we apply to ourselves a lesson of holy warning from the Word of God; “ Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for
your miseries that shall come upon you.
Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten. Your gold and silver is canker
ed; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.”* In mercy
to our souls, and in the full know, ledge of our danger which hitherto hath not alarmed ourselves, this record of an anticipated condemnation for abused earthly things is written in the Word of God. Be it, then, the instrumental cause of better knowledge, of holier practice, before, in the cessation of the day of trial and of grace, its terrors shall be experienced after its warning shall have been despised. It is our happiness, let it be our utmost endeavour, so to use our worldly callings in the possession and acquirement of worldly gains and personal comforts, that they may not prove our only consolation : for if that be so, our consolations will have been in time, and our sorrows will be for eternity. Let us examine well, and examine frequently, our habits and inmost thoughts upon all the questions connected with the present possession, or hoped for enjoyment, of this world's goods. Let us be fearful of ourselves, and trusting in God. The gracions promises of the Redeemer's sufficiency will then be realized to us, and “ His strength will be perfected in our weakness.' Using without abusing the things which God hath lent us to be accounted for, we shall rejoice in His gifts, and equally rejoice when He takes them from us, or ourselves from them. We shall more and more lose the doubts and fears from the possession of wealth and personal comforts, because we shall more and more cease to value them for any other than those three great ends for which they have been bestowed; God's glory, our own spiritual welfare, and our fellow-creatures' happiness. Under a discipline thus sanctified from above, we shall then live and die,“ persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
* St. James, y. 1, 8.
ON THE DUE EMPLOYMENT OF EACH
1 PETER, CHAPTER 4, VERSE 10.
“ As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the
same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold
grace of God.”
THE Apostle hath here laid before us all, three most important truths. First, That we have all received a gift; or, as we learn in another part of Scripture, a specific “talent;' every man hath received the gift.” Secondly, That these talents are to be used for each other's good :
6 So minister the same one to another.” Thirdly, That these talents are to be accounted for; we are commanded to minister them, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God,”
of God,” Let it be our endeavour to consider these truths, each in its order, for our common spiritual good.
The first division of the text is, that God has given to each of us a specific talent, a gift of certain advantages, spiritual and temporal, which we could have received from no one beside. This talent, be it great or small, is