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not, it is to be hoped, of selfish tyranny. But may not the error have appeared in its worst form to those who, in selfdefence, yielded to the temptation of being guilty of deceit and falsehood?

There is no act of inconsideration, whether it tempt others to sin or only causes them pain, that has not its root in selfishness. It is not from want of memory or want of judgment that we do not see clearly how we are injuring or inconveniencing others; it is simply want of interest in others' welfare and an engrossing consideration for our own. This form of selfishness, as well as all others, bears its penalty even in this life. During the course of this day you may feel severe pain from observing the diminished affection, the diminished respect of others; from seeing that your benevolent feelings, your consideration, your readiness to oblige, are not appealed to because they are not believed in. Seek the cause of

this pain in yourself, and not in others; you are only reaping what you have sown; the consequences of to-day follow inevitably from the actions of yesterday. There is a fatality in human life, but it is wrought for us by our own hands. May the pain of discipline avert this fatality from eternity, though it may not from time!




"Be sober, be vigilant.”—1 PEter, v. 8.

To be sober-minded, is a very significant expression to be sober-minded there is need of vigilance; vigilance ever wakeful, ever earnest, combining never-ceasing prayer with stern self-denial. To be soberminded, in the Scriptural sense, is a state of grace, towards which we should all strive, as an earnest of a perfect "meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light."* To be sober-minded, is not the state, by nature, of any child of Adam; dulness, heaviness, insipidity is not sobriety of mind. But when warm affec* Colossians, i. 12.

tions, ardent hopes, aspiring genius, are one and all "brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,"* this is the sobriety of mind that divine grace produces, that the carnal mind cannot even conceive. "The love of Christ constraining us "† is the only means of effecting this wondrous change, bnt it is the will of God that human means should always occupy a place, though a subordinate one, in “working out the salvation "‡ of man.

Amongst these human means for producing Christian sobriety of mind, there is none more effectual than a vigilant guarding against self-indulgence, either mental or physical. Self-indulgence of the most innocent kind will lay the mind fearfully open to the assaults of the tempter. Though at times it may be "lawful," very seldom indeed is it "expedient."§ Every man that striveth


* 2 Cor. x. 5..
Philippians, ii. 12.

† 2 Cor. v. 14.

§ 1 Cor. vi. 12.

for the mastery, is temperate in all things."* If St. Paul, leading a life of the most incessant hardships, the most unworldly labours, and the constant expectations of violent death, found it necessary "to keep under his body and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means," even he "should be a castaway;"† how much more must it be needful for us who are, so to say, compelled, by the habits of social life in this generation, to lead lives of luxurious ease, of freedom from labour, of intellectual and social enjoyment.

It is not intended to enter here on the controverted subject of how far the system of mortification practised in the Romish Church is anti-scriptural, and incompetent to answer the desired end. It is enough for us to ascertain that there are various modes of mortification within reach of the members of a more enlightened Church, which, avoiding the popish error of ex† 1 Cor. ix. 27.

1 Cor. ix. 25.

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