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a heart ready to practise it. Let us remember that unto each of us hath that Word been given : that there we learn how faith is to be obtained; by whom alone it is given; and how it is to be applied. This knowledge, if applied, will make us what all worldly wisdom cannot make us—at peace with God and with ourselves.

But then, through God's grace, we must apply it. Christ hath not told us that knowledge, of itself alone, will make us happy ; Chorazin and Bethsaida will perish everlastingly in their unapplied knowledge, whilst a lower judgment remains for the less enlightened sinners of Sodom and Gomorrah. · Our blessed Lord's warning voice to every one of us is this: “If ye know these things happy

ye do them.” His redemption will then be our glory, and our faith will be fulfilled in that “ only Name under Heaven whereby we may be saved, even the Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ."

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SECOND SERMON

ON

FAITH, HOPE, AND CHARITY.

1 CORINTHIANS, CHAPTER 13, VERSE 13.

Faith, Hope, Charity, these three.

A DILIGENT reader of the Word of God cannot fail in discovering therein every possible remedy for all human wants and sufferings, as well as all necessary rules for the government and improvement of human feelings and affections. The text makes mention of one of those mental feelings, of which all, in a greater or less degree, partake; for all are influenced in their thoughts and actions by hope.

In the first discourse upon the words before us, it was seen, that to the want of a due understanding, or of an honest cultivation, or of a conscientious practice of one or other, or of all of the three great Christian graces, “ faith, hope, charity,” might be traced the chief causes of so much irreligion, so much positive sin as we unhappily find among us. This assertion has already been applied to the Christian grace of“ faith;" and we have now to consider, with the same view, the heavenly virtue of “hope."

In speaking of hope, we must also speak of its opposite, fear and despair; and then it may be said, that hope, fear, and despair, are the most frequent and powerful causes of sorrow or joy, of all our natural feelings. With this truth before us, our attention will be excited under the assurance, of how great moment to our spiritual well-being it is that we be rightly grounded in our knowledge and direction of these strong passions of the soul.

Hope and fear are 'ruling påssions in the minds of all men: but they are both confined to this present life. In the next world hope is accomplished to the good, in the eternal possession of unmixed happiness ; fear ends to the wicked, in everlasting despair. : In this life every thing is imperfect;, nothing' which affects the mind arrives at its consummation here: and we may apply, in some degree, to the pássions of hope and fear, what St. John teaches of the perfection of holy virtue, of Christian love: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made. perfect in love."* In the same manner absolute and irremediable despair belongs not to the state in which hope still remains. In proportion as we love or disobey God, shall we have cause to hope or fear; and when in Heaven we shall love Him most, or in the “nethermost Hell” shall reap the fruits of a wicked life, we shall be perfected in love, or given up to despair. Hope will be at an end in the sure possession of our eternal inheritance in Christ; or despair will be our portion in Hell, when all hope shall be for ever gone.

* 1 John, iv. 18.

In Holy Scripture hope is always spoken of as an essential part of the Christian character: “We glory in tribulations,” saith the faithful Apostle St. Paul; “ knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope ; and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."* “For we are saved by hope; but hope, that is seen, is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”+ Whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning; that we, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope.”+ Now the God of hope fill * Rom. v. 3, 5.

+ Rom. viii. 24, 25. Roin. xv. 4.

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you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”*

This hope of the blessed fruits of the Gospel covenant, pardon, peace, and holiness in this life, glory and eternal happiness in the next, is thus spoken of as a necessary part of the Christian character. Without a Christian's hope there cannot be a real Christian principle operative in daily life.

It may indeed be said that there are very few indeed who would openly say, or who, perhaps, could bring themselves to feel, that they have not, in a greater or less degree, a Christian's hope-a hope that they shall not finally perish. But if we are to look among mankind for a Christian principle in its manifest fruits, how many seem to live as though they could "give” no “reason for the hope that is in them;" who shew by their lives how far removed they are from any real and well grounded hope, and how little they seek after the Gospel promises of pardon and future glory, as their own covenanted benefit in the Redeemer of mankind.

Must not such as these judge themselves by their fruits? Can they have a Christian hope if they lead a life which seems without hope ? What men hope for, that they labour to ob- ,

* Rom. xv. 13.

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