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to the conscience, to reach the hearts of men, and make converts to God. Yes, this is the


“ Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles : that whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation." Another question. Is this what we are doing--shining so that men, knowing we profess the religion of Jesus, see, in looking at us, how pure, lovely, excellent, and divine a religion it is, and are led to say, “Verily, it must be from God, and we must embrace it too we will be Christians ?"

The other object for which Christians shine is to enlighten others. But on this I cannot now enlarge. Only this I would observe. See how far Christians shine! They do not merely illumine some little sphere. They are the light of the world. Their influence reaches to the ends of the earth.

Would we make good our Savior's assertion with respect to ourselves--would we be the light of the world, let us first take heed that the light which is in us be not darkness: and let us next have a care that our light make discovery to others of good works. Let us do them. Then, as for those who see us, it is their fault, not ours, if they are not converted. And as for those who are too far off to see us, it only remains that we carry them the light, or send it to them.

42. The Salt of the Earth,

Here is something else which Christians are. All that they are cannot be told in a single sentence. It requires many. Some content themselves with a partial representation of the Christian character. But the proper plan is to bring together all the Bible has to say about it, and then aptly to arrange the parts so as to present a full and perfect delineation. Many seem to think that every definition of religion in the Bible is intended to exhaust the subject. It is a great mistake, and one which, I fear, is fatal to inany

Christians are the light of the world, as has been already said. But this is not all they are; they are also “ the salt of the earth ;" and the same individuals are both these; they do not merely shine for the benefit of the world; they act upon it in another, more immediate and more energetic manner; they are not merely light to it, but salt to it also. They preserve it.

Here let me remark, what a useful people Christians are! What are more useful, I may say indispensable, than light and salt? How could we get along at all without them? Well, Christians are these to the moral world. They enlighten it. They discover moral excellence to it. Yea, they preserve it from perishing. The world would not keep but for


Christians. They are the salt of the earth. How soon Sodom was destroyed after Lot left it! He was the salt of Sodom. That one good man.saved the city while he remained in it; and if there had been nine more, they might all have remained, and Sodom should have been spared. Well may I say, how use. ful Christians are to their fellow-creatures! And I may add, how variously useful they are! If they were merely light to the world, they could be very useful; but they are also salt to it.

Moreover, what a disinterested people Christians are! It is not to themselves mainly that they are so useful, but to others. Not a man of them liveth to himself. Light shines not for its own advantage; and salt exists wholly for the benefit of other substances; and how completely it spends itself on them, and loses itself in them! Such are Christians. They please not themselves. They seek not their own. This is what we are, if we are Christians.

And now I have another grave reflection to make. How different Christians are from the residue of men! How very unlike them! Others are not the light of the world, and the salt of the earth. No, they are the world—the persons that require the light—the dark objects. They are the earth, which needs the salt for its preservation. They are the corrupt mass. Now, light is very unlike the objects it illumines, and salt very unlike the substance it preserves or seasons. If it were not, it would not at all answer the purpose intended by its application. Well, just as unlike other men, unregenerate men, the men of the world, are Christians—as unlike as are light and the world, or salt and the earth. But some may say, this is figurative language. What if it is? Figures mean something. They mean as much as literal phraseology. And the meaning of figures is as easily gained as that of any other kind of language. But St. John speaks on this subject without a figure, and he employs one of the strongest and most striking expressions I have ever read. To many ears it does not sound at all charitable. He says, speaking in the name of Christians, “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness;" or, to translate the original more literally, and to make the contrast still more striking, in the wicked one.

This is his account of the difference between Christians and others. Christians are of God. All other men are in the wicked one. Nor is it wonderful that Christians are so very different from others, when we consider that they become such by being created anew in Christ Jesus. Such a work of God upon them must needs make them very unlike those who are not the subjects of it. Creation makes a vast difference in things. The first creation did. The second does also. The new creature differs widely from the mere creature. The Christian is eminently distinguished from the man.

Christians are exhorted not to be conformed to the be seen.

world. It would seem impossible that real Christians should be conformed to it. It would appear to be as contrary to their nature to be conformed to the world, as for light to resemble darkness, or salt any insipid or corrupt substance.

But the world say they do not see the mighty dif ference between Christians and other men. Perhaps it is because they do not look at the right persons. It is no wonder they do not see a mighty difference between some professors of religion and the rest of mankind, for no such difference exists. It is not to

It is not every professor that is a true Christian. There are some that

for Christians, of whom it may be said that the light which is in them is darkness. Such are not the lights of the world. They need themselves illumination more than any others, for the darkness which is in them is great. Again, there are those in whom, according to the case supposed by our Savior, the salt has lost its savor- r—its saline quality. Yes, there are insipid Christians. That such should not manifest the difference which exists between real Christians and others, is surely not to be wondered at. These differ from others rather in being worse than better than they. What is so worthless as salt which has lost its savor ? " It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.' Just so it is with graceless professors of religion They serve no good turn, but many an ill one.


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