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dency; and because the character of such a one may be free from the imputation of great and open wickedness, the heart becomes unconscious of the idol which is enshrined within, and forgets the solemn Scripture command of God, “My son, give Me thine heart.”

Another ill arising from this Christian idolatry is, that it prevents the increase of real love and gratitude towards God, as well as a holy and unmixed charity towards man. The soul which is already engrossed in its strongest feelings by some object of temporal interest, and of only earthly attachment, can never so think of God as to love Him supremely above all, nor be so really desirous of promoting the happiness of others, as to love them with Christian feeling of our common claims to each other's best endeavour, to love our neighbour as ourselves.

Hence no effectual preparation can be made for the arrival of that period, wherein

God shall be all in all ;" when the mediatorial kingdom shall cease, and one great and prevailing principle of angelic love shall be made manifest in eternity, among all the redeemed.

If, in the mean time, we fix some idol in our hearts, and so exhaust those precious hours given for our probation, in the indulgence of some favourite train of thought and action, contrary to our professed surrender of ourselves to God, we cannot be fitted for the possession of a purchased inheritance, where will be realized in its fulness, that incipient state of love and obedience which here only can be proved.

We might still go on, and point out other ills which cannot but proceed from the idolatry of Christians; which embitter their own and others' peace in this world, and render them more and more alienated from the spiritual but future joys of the next. But these are sufficient for the purpose of at least convincing the understanding. The further spiritual good must be sought elsewhere than in the strength of human argument.

: Let those, then, whose consciences inwardly shew the idol which keeps them from God, and renders their better knowledge and circumscribed obedience in other things matter of heavy condemnation, go to the root of the ill; let them sacrifice the idol of their hearts at the

pure altar of a stronger faith, and with better and unreserved obedience to the Lord and Saviour of those souls which, heretofore, they have only in part given up to Him. Then, in their humble desire and fervent prayer to have it so, will their bodies more and more

become the temple of the Holy Ghost their souls more and more brought nigh, through the blood of Christ, to real peace and lively hope; and their best affections fixed, in their sanctified aspirations after God, upon a better, an enduring treasure.

Hitherto, while the idok reigned, they have found no sufficient hope, no adequate motive, made operative in daily life, to bring them to real happiness. Hitherto they have been in thraldom under the severe, though enticing service of a foreign master. Now, then, at last, let them disencumber their soul of the weight which presses it to earth, by fulfilling, under God, the terms of their baptismal covenant in Christ.

Let them be no more the friend of the god of this world, the idol in their heart; but through prayer, through faith, and self-dedication, become the friend of Christ. The inconsistencies which have heretofore marked their course, under the outward profession of a Christian faith, will then mark it no more, the peace

which has been so often disturbed in their own and others' lives, will then become grounded upon a better hope; and the current of their whole life will proceed onward in its holier way, until it bring them to “ the haven where they would be."

Let these be the motives to a better rule of holier living, and then shall we be free: then, but then only, shall we be enabled, in the

performance of present duties, in the enjoyment of present hope, to persevere in our Christian walk, “standing fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free."

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I have been young, and now am old: and yet saw I never

the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging their bread.

In receiving a rule of duty, or a statement of some fact, or a plain and positive assurance from the Word of God, this consideration ought always to go along with it: that we must not regard it as a maxim of human wisdom, or a mere consequence of human testimony or human experience. The writer of the Word of God speaks imperatively to us all, and is upheld with the authority of God Himself, in all matters which are designed to form our principles, and to guide our practice. The words, therefore, which are now before us, must be taken as the real and solemn assurance of an inspired prophet, and not as stating the mere result of the psalmist's own experience as a common man. consequently, receive these words as a divine

We must,

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