Imágenes de páginas

is no standing ; you will sometimes be discouraged because of the way, question whether you are right, and debate with yourselves whether to advance or turn back. Yes, Christians, you will have need of patience, and perhaps of much more than you are aware. You know not what a day will bring forth. “Rich“es” may “make to themselves wings, and flee away." Your friends may deal deceitfully with you as a “ brook.” 'Your preferit comforts may become your greatest troubles. Trials which so far from expecting never entered your thoughts, may suddenly arise. Has not this world been always a vale of tears ? Did any of your brethren who were before you escape forrow ? Are you not assured that it is through much tribulation you must enter the Kingdom? But patience will prepare you for every changing scene, and every fuffering hour. What it cannot remove, it will allevi. ate; what it cannot diminish, it will strengthen you to bear. It will produce a composure which will allow you to discover every favourable circumstance in your situation; a silence which will enable you to hear every message of the Rod. “Let patience have 6 her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and en" tire, lacking nothing.”

Fifthly. GODLINESS is indispensable. Courage and Prudence, Temperance and Patience, would be no Christian qualities, if in the exercise of them we were not influenced by suitable regards to God. Without this reference, our religion is nothing more than morality ; our practice has no adequate principle ; our duties are in vain as to their acceptance ; and precarious, variable, lifeless, irksome as to their performance. When we are governed by the authority of God, and make his word our rule,and his glory our aim, we please him ; and though our services are attended with many imperfections, they are accepted. When we love and fear him, when we realize his presence, confide in his mercy, implore his grace, and maintain continual communion with him through the mediation of his Son and by the influences of his Spirit, our work becomes our privilege ; all is enlivened; all is fecured. In this Godliness consists ; it is to bring God into every part of life and religion; to make him the alpha and omega of

godliness, it always and inseparably attends it ; and he never performs his duty towards God, who lives unrighteously towards man : “ If a man fay, I love God, " and hateth his brother,heis a liar ; for he that loveth 6 not his brother whom he hath feen, how can he love 66 God whom he hath not seen ? And this commandament have we from him, That he who loveth God, 56 love his brother also." Hence

We are to add to Godliness, BROTHERLY KINDNESS. And who are our brethren ? All Christians. However they may differ from us, in their age, their dress, their features, they are all children of the same Father, members of the fame family, heirs of the same grace, travellers towards the same heavenly country. They have therefore claims upon us ; and we are to aid and relieve them. " Whoso hath this world's 66 good, and feeth his brother have need, and shutteth & up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwellfeth the love of God in him?' Let us not love in

16 word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” Who are our brethren ; all mankind. “God hath s made of one blood” all the nations of the earth ; they possess the same powers of conscience, reason, and immortality ; they are capable of the same privileges ; need the same succours ; are liable to the same afflictions. Hence love, good-will to the whole human race finishes the train, and becomes “ the bond of per6c fectness.” And : -To Brotherly kindness, CHARITY. Thus we are *the children of our Father which is in heaven : for 66 he maketh his fun to rise on the evil and on the « good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the un« just.” Thus every dispute concerning the extent or limitation of benevolence is settled. As we have opportunity, we are to do good unto ALL MEN, especially unto THEM who are of the HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH. 66 To some indeed I am peculiarly bound, to few only " can I be personally useful ; but my kind wishes and s prayers extend to every individual of the human 6 race. By the law of the Gospel I am required to 66 cherish in my bosom those sentiments of benevo“ lence which are only hindered from being universal s in their exercise by inability and necessity.”

Thus you are to add to your faith, virtue; to vir. tue, knowledge ; to knowledge, temperance; to temperance, patience; to patience, godliness ; to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity. But let us,

II. Inquire how this is to be accomplished. The apostle tells us ; It is by GIVING ALL DILIGENCE, To excite you to this, we would remind you, that these things deserve your diligence, that diligence will fecure them, and that they cannot be attained with. out diligence.

First. These things DESERVE YOUR DILIGENCE. It is pitiable to fee men employing their zeal and consuming their strength upon trifles ; but this is the case with regard to the pursuits of thousands. You may ask them as they rush by, “ Wherefore do ye “spend your money for that which is not bread, and “ your labour for that which fatisfieth not ?” None of these things can relieve them in their greatest exigencies, promote their chief interests, reward them for their toil, or indemnify them for the sacrifices they make. But this cannot be said of spiritual blessings and graces. These are in the fight of God of great price. They are necessary to man. They purify his passions, and tranquillize his conscience. They enrich, they dignify him ; they are his perfection. They make him happy in himself, and render him a bles,

how useful a single individual would be if seen, thus adorning the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things ; not only a believer, but courageous ; not only courageous, but wile ; not only wile, but selfdenying, and gentle, and pious ; and all this followed by kindness and benevolence! What then would a number of these characters accomplish as they passed along through life? They would look forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and ter. rible as an army with banners ; bearing down reproach, disarming infidelity, putting to filence the ig.


norance of foolish men, and constraining beholders to glorify God in the day of visitation.

Secondly. Diligence WILL INFALLIBLY SECURE these things. In the career of worldly good, many run, but few obtain the prize ; and the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yer bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. Fame depends upon a combination of circumstances, which may never return. A despised riyal may suddenly rise up, and carry off an acquisition which you had been pursuing inceffantly through life. Though the fower foweth in hope many things may frustrate his expectations. « But to the righteous there is a sure reward.” “ He " that goeth forth weepeth, bearing precious feed, “ Ihall doubtless return again with rejoicing, bringing “ his fheaves with him.” “ Alk, and it shall be given “ you ; seek, and ye shall find ; knock, and it shall. 6 be opened unto you; for every one that asketh, re“ceiveth ; and be that seeketh, findeth, and to him " that knocketh, it shall be opened.” In the world men {pare no pains, decline no difficulty, fear no hazard, though they have nothing more than probability to excite and encourage them; and shall we be insenfible and motionless, who have nothing less than actue al certainty?

Thirdly. There is NO ATTAINING THESE THINGS WITHOUT diligence. Diligence is indispensable.

Indispensable, if we appeal to analogy. You must labour even for 3 the meat that perisheth.” Through what a fucceflion of process does your bread pass be.

« AnteriorContinuar »