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or demur. But then there must be life-works, or else there is no life. Of what possible use is it to profess to have eternal life; to talk about faith ; to advocate the doctrines of grace, while, at the same time, the entire life, the whole practical career is marked by selfishness in every shape and form ? “Whoso," says the blessed apostle John, “ hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" So also the apostle James puts a very wholesome question to our hearts, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works ? Can faith save him ? If a brother or sister be naked or destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace,

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ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit ?"

Here we have life-works insisted upon in a way which ought to speak home, in the most solemn and forcible way to our hearts. There is an appalling amount of empty profession-shallow, powerless, worthless talk in our midst. We have a wonderfully clear gospel --thanks be to God for it! We see very distinctly that salvation is by grace, through faith, not by works of righteousness, nor by works of law.

Blessedly true! But when people are saved, ought they not to live as such ? Ought not the new life to come out in fruits? It must come out if it be in; and if it does not come out, it is not there. Mark what the apostle Paul says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith ; and that not of yourselves; it is

the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.” Here we have what we may call the upper side of this great practical question.

But there is another side to which every true, earnest Christian will delight to give his attention. The apostle goes on to say, “ We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before prepared that we should walk in them.

Here we have the whole subject fully and clearly before us.

God has created us to walk in a path of good works, and He has prepared the path of good works for us to walk in. It is all of God, from first to last, all through grace, and all by faith. Thanks and praise be to God that it is so ! But, let us remember that it is utterly vain to talk about grace and faith, and eternal life, if the “good works” are not forthcoming. It is useless to boast of our high truth, our deep, varied, and extensive acquaintance with scripture, our correct position, our having come out from this, that, and the other, if our feet are not found treading that

path of good works which God hath before prepared" for us. God looks for reality. He is not satisfied with mere words of high profession. He says to us, "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.He, blessed be His name, did not love us in word or in tongue, but in ceed and in truth; and He looks for a response from us—a response clear, full, and distinct—a response coming out in a life of good works—a life yielding mellow clusters of those "fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

Beloved christian reader, do you not consider it to

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be our bounden duty, to apply our hearts to this weighty subject ? Ought we not diligently to seek to promote love and good works ? And how can this be most effectually accomplished ? Surely by walking in love ourselves, and faithfully treading the path of good works in our own private life. For ourselves, we confess we are thoroughly sick of hollow profession. High truth on the lips and low practice in daily life, is one of the crying evils of this our day. We talk of grace ; but fail in common righteousness—fail in the plainest moral duties, in our daily private life. We boast of our position" and our “standing ;” but we are deplorably lax as to our condition and state.

May the Lord, in His infinite goodness, stir up all our hearts to more thorough earnestness in the pursuit of good works, so that we may more fully adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things !

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THERE are several lights in which we may view death. It is the wages of sin. (Rom. vi. 23.) It came by man. (1 Cor. xv. 21.) It has a claim on all the children of Adam, and all such are liable to enter into it. It terminates a man's existence upon earth, it cuts short all his plans in connection with this life, and manifests how really, because of sin, he is but a sojourrer in the world. To the weary, the troubled, the distressed, it brings cessation from earthly toils, and earthly vexations. (Job iii. 13–19.) To many it has come as the king of terrors. (Job xviii. 14; Heb. ii. 15.) To the unconverted, the impenitent, if at all alive to that which comes after it-judgment (Heb. ix. 27), it is a most unwelcome intruder. The Christian, however, if at peace with God, without desiring it (2 Cor. v. 4), can yet quietly yield to it. For him its sting is gone (1 Cor. xv. 55, 56), it is annulled (2 Tim. i. 10), and made subservient to his interests (1 Cor. iii. 22); and, if called to pass through it, he will find it the door of exit from earth, through which he departs to be with Christ. (2 Cor. v. 8; Phil. i. 23.) There is, however, another light in which we can view it, for it makes secure beyond the possibility of revocation or change, that which is based

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it. • For a testament is of force after men are dead, otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.” (Heb. ix. 17.)

But this introduces the thought of the death of another by which we receive a benefit. The man of the world then may talk of the certainty of death, the Christian can speak of security which results from it; but the worldling will be thinking of his own, or other men's death, the Christian of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. To the worldling, if he continues such, death is certain, " for it is appointed unto men once to die.” Death will come, and rob him of all that he possesses. Others may profit by his death as far as regards the things of this life, but to him death will be a robber, a spoiler, a captor. And it is the prospect of death which makes him feel, whether willing to confess it or not, how uncertain is his continuance on earth, and his tenure of the things of this life. Certainty of death, and insecurity arising from it, on these the man whose portion is in this life may sadly soliloquise, and descant. With the Christian how different! Of the uncertainty of his death he may speak, and on the security resulting from death, that his hopes shall be accomplished, he can confidently rely. If he thinks of death as affecting himself, he knows it cannot take from him one iota of his proper portion. His inheritance lies beyond it, and is untouched by it, for it is incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved. in heaven, for those who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Pet. i. 4, 5.) If he thinks of the death of the Lord, he knows how secure is his future. Now the one who has taught us this is God, and in the darkness of night He gave His servant Abraham, and us also, to understand, that what is based upon death, can never be annulled, nor altered.

When Abraham first pitched his tent at Sichem (Gen. xii.), God promised to give the land to his seed. When Lot separated from him, and chose the plain of Jordan, by Sodom, God renewed His promise to Abraham, that the land should be given to his seed, and accompanied the reiteration of His promise with the gracious addition of " for ever." (Chap. xiii. 15.) In chapter xv. God came to him in a vision, and Abraham asked for assurances both as to the existence of his seed, and as to their possession of the land. As regards his seed God gave him a fresh promise, and he believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. As respects the inheritance of the land, God entered into a covenant to reassure him of it. Now this was not the first covenant God had made with men. But it was the first which was ratified by death.

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