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to radiate all around him the purity and integrity of the Gospel. He is bound to carry his religion with him into all the business of life, making it the leavening particle which shall insensibly, yet irresistibly, diffuse its own spirit into all the commerce of the world.
And amidst all the cares and concernments of earth, never lose sight of your true character as the creatures of immortality. What will it matter though you have been successful commercialists, prosperous merchants, fortunate tradesmen, if you have neglected what is after all the main concern,-if
you have given no heed to the salvation of the soul? This is the chief-the pressing business of life, and all your other pursuits are only important in proportion as they bear upon your spiritual progress and prosperity. Let the claims of the soul have the first place in your thoughts, and the foremost place in your activities. Let the things of time be subordinated to the outweighing importance of the things of eternity. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all other things shall be added unto you." “What is a man profited if he gain the whole world and lose his soul; or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul ?"
THE BLESSED LIFE.
ONE of the ancients divided men into “ earthly” and “winged" souls. If the phrases of the Philosopher had been corporeally true, it is clear that rules for flight fit for the seraph-like adopted by the wingless would be more likely to put their necks in peril than to help their locomotion. Let them first be plumed, then leap from rocks and think of sailing in the azure.
How to get saved ? and how saved men should live ? are questions not less distinct than how to get wings ? and how to fly? Yet, distinct as they are, the careful severance of them, though trite, will not appear unnecessary when we remember that men of such mark as Luther, Wesley, and Chalmers, at their outset practically ignored the difference.
The Ethic school, of whom you may take Jeremy Taylor with his “Ductor Dubitantium,” and books of “Holy Living and Dying," as the noble representative; and the Contemplative school, of whom Thomas à Kempis is the profoundest and purest type, are valuable, incalculably valuable, to thoroughly evangelised men. But their writings meet not the case of the “anxious inquirer.” They are for the "winged" souls.
Believing that more and better exemplars of Christian character are greatly wanted in these times, I on this occasion speak first and directly to Christians. Nor can this be out of place when addressing the young men of a Christian Association. The denomination of your society, though sufficient to justify me in this method, is, of course, a foundation far too frail to support the weighty inference that all members of it in faith and virtue and joyful hope have reacbed the standard of the Christian name. When Whitefield spoke in Haworth Church, as if for the most part the congregation there were Christians, plain dealing Grimshaw cried out, “Sir, do not flatter them, I pray you. Christians! all Christians! no! not one twentieth of them." An estimate so sadly low would here, however, be untrue. Many of your number-a far higher proportion than that -I believe to be followers of Jesus; and, of the rest, to become such is, I trust, their desire. A certificated associate of a Christian Institute, careless of Christian life, might fitly be rebuked as the great Macedonian conqueror did a poltroon who bore but disgraced the name of Alexander ; “Either change," said he, “thy name, or change thy ways."
We preface all our directions for conduct with the aphorism that Duty cannot have too much of our diligence, nor too little of our confidence. As for mounting to heaven in virtue of any self-done thing, we might as well try to climb by a ladder of cloud to the Pleiades.
We have no intention of fostering in anybody the practical mistake so common to men just awakened to serious concern of trying to live divinely when as yet they have not the divine life. Good issues of a bad heart are as little to be expected as roses from thistles. Let, then, the beauty and bliss of spiritual and holy life lead all of you that are wishful so to live, to resort humbly and believingly unto Him who alone can be its author and strength, as His glory alone is its end.
Many titles designate the style of living which exemplifies