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hold fast our integrity, and not be weary of well-doing; assuring ourselves, that nothing is more true than the doctrine of the text ;-that what a man foweth, that he hall also reap : for be that soweth to his flesh, Mall of the flesh reap corruption ; 'but he that soweth to the spirit, shall of the spirit reap life everlasting.
EPH. V. 16.
REDEEMING * THE TIME, BECAUSE THE DAYS
This passage occurs twice in fcripture. In the epistle to the Colossians, it appears rather as a prudential caution. It is introduced with these words: Walking with wisdom towards them that are without t.—But in the passage before us, I
* The same word, eğayopasw, is made use of in purchasing À commodity, and in redeeming the world by Christ. This laxness, I should think, might bring some litýle difficulty on the doctrine of the redemption, if it were not secured by various other modes of expressing the same idea ; such as, Ephef.i. 14.--1 Theff. v. 10.--1 Tim. i. 15.-1 Tim. ii. 6. ~ 2 Tim. ii. 10.--Titus, ii. 14.-Heb. i. 3.-xi. 14, 17.Heb. iv. 16.--v. 9.vii. 25 & 27.--Heb. ix. 12, 28, &c. † Color. iv. 5.
see nothing that has any reference to worldly matters; but much that has reference to spirit, ual. At least, the words seem capable of a much higher, a more general, and a more instructive interpretation, than å prudential one.
I mean, therefore, to consider them in this enlarged sense; and to take occasion from them to press upon yoù, first, the necessity of a religious im
your time; and, secondly, to explain the reason given for it-because the days are evil.
I. To redeem a thing, is to take it out of a state of bondage and restraint, and to place it again in its proper situation; generally, paying fome consideration as the price of redemption. Thus we redeem a man from prison by paying his debts; and thus our blessed Saviour redeemed us by dying for our sins.
To redeem our time, therefore, is to restore it from some abuse into its proper channel; paying, as the price of its redemption, our sorrow for what is past, Or, in other words, to redeem our time consists in correcting the abuses of it; and in spending it, for the future, in a rational and religious manner.
That we may be enabled to spend the future in a proper manner, it behoves us to examine, in what way we have spent the past. Year after year passes over us. Many of us have seen a great number of these portions of time fleet away, which must, on the whole, either have been redeemed, or must now be a heavy burden upon us.
That we may the better ascertain the use we have made of our past time, once in our own power, let us consider it in three points of light: as having been well employedmor ill employed or mispent, in a fort of trifling way, between both.
That part of our time which hath been well employed--which, amidit the business of this world, and an honest attention to our calling, hath been dedicated to God by piety and devotion—by acts of kindness to man--by conquering our bad habits, and forming in ourselves good difpofitions-by instructing our families, and breeding them up in the fear of God; stands in little need, we hope, of being redeemed. We presume there is nothing here, but such infirmities as will be pardoned through the merits of Christ.
I shall proceed, therefore, to that part
This is indeed the grand point, about which
Our heavenly Father hath marked it in his book. We have done with it, till that day when our great accounts shall be settled.-But the time we have spent "Wickedly deserves our closest attention. ; Wickedness is the disease of nature: it is constitutional, and therefore should be the more watched. Our bodies and souls are equally subject to disease; and if the causes be not checked which produce these diseases, they will infallibly end in death. We generally, however, do our utmost to ward off the death of the body; while the death of the soul, which is infinitely more dreadful, is little heeded. And yet remedies for the diseases of the soul are much more certain in their effect than those of the body. Gout, fever, and consumption, often elude the skill of the physician : but, under the physician of fouls, you never miscarry, if you take