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run the same race with equal exertion, and in dependence on the same support, though with unequal strength and speed, will ultimately attain the same “prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.'
THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH.
EXODUS Xx. 8.
Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.
My Brethren.-We are the creatures of a most merciful God; the servants of a most kind master; the children of a most loving father. He is desirous that we should come to everlasting life and happiness; and has so prepared the way for us, that if we perish, it will most assuredly be entirely through our own foolish and presumptuous obstinacy. It would have been a most unspeakable mercy, and a most gracious condescension to such unworthy beings, if he had merely declared his will, and the way of approach to him in the bible, and then had left that sacred volume to make its way through the world, without any further assistance,-without providing any other means to bring men acquainted with its contents. It would have been as much as we could reasonably expect, if he had thus revealed to mankind the knowledge necessary to their salvation, and left it to them to devise the method by which that knowledge might be preserved and universally disseminated.
But what, think you, would have been the fate of that holy book, thus abandoned, and unsupported, among a race naturally averse to the doctrines it contains ; all busily occupied with their earthly cares, or devoted to the pleasures and gratifications of life? It would have been a treasure overlooked, and buried in the heap of worldly rubbish among which it was cast. It would have been as a little skiff, sent a-drift in the midst of the wide ocean, and carried about by the regardless winds and waves, until finally overwhelmed and lost. Who would have felt interested in its preservation ? Who would have checked himself in his eager pursuit after riches, or fame, or enjoyment, or whatever might be the bauble that engrossed his attention, to examine an object so apparently insignificant, and unworthy of his serious regard? Who would not have passed it by as an unheeded trifle, that had no claim upon his care, no right to divert his thoughts from the more important engagements in which he was involved? Who, above all, would have thought it worth his while to rescue it from its obscurity, and to proclaim its worth and excellence? Who would have taken the trouble to communicate to his fellow-creatures the solemn truths that it contained ? How soon would it have been forgotten that it had been sent by God, and that it revealed any thing which it was of moment for man to know! How soon would its very existence have been unknown, and if it were not actually destroyed, its memory blotted out for ever! Such would unquestionably have been its reception and treatment, if it had been sent unprotected amongst its enemies, and no means had been taken to ensure it an attentive hearing, a wide circulation through the world, and a safe conveyance to posterity. But God, in his
mercy, did not bestow his precious gift, without at the same time providing that it might effect the purpose for which it was given, and that his creatures might be made acquainted with the benefit which he had graciously conferred upon
them. For this end it was that the Sabbath was ordained : and a more wise, more beneficial, or more merciful institution it is impossible to conceive. Imagine to yourselves what the religious