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is sorry for it, and asks your forgiveness, refuse it not. “ If he repents, forgive him.” Confidence is not an affection ; it is not, therefore, in the nature of things to restore the confidence which has been abused or betrayed. Time is required to re-assure the affection which has been wounded in being too credulous. Nevertheless, “ when thine enemy hungers, feed him ; when he thirsts, give him drink.” “ Overcome evil with good.”
The disciples of Christ, were once desirous of resenting a personal affront, which was offered by the Samaritans, who because His face was directed towards Jerusalem, would not receive his ministration.
« Lord,” said they, 66 shall we command fire to come down from Heaven, and destroy them as Elijah did ?” How different the spirit which proved Elijah to be jealous for God's glory; and theirs to be resentful of a personal affront. But Jesus said : 6 Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of, for the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.”
When He comes in flaming fire, taking vengeance, it will be for no sin against the Son of Man—that can be and is forgiven; but for not doing the will of His Father, for not believing in the Light of His Word, whose fire shall judge them in the last day.
Anger, wrath, and malice never rage so fiercely as when contending for party opinions. In persecuting Christ's practical disciples, they think they do God service, as well as when they encounter any adverse sect, who also are ready to suffer martyrdom for opinion's sake.
The false zeal which has been enlisted in defence of party opinion, has, from time to time, deluged the Roman empire with blood, and has since constituted Christendom a Babel of hostile feeling and conflicting factions. Such as
acknowledge the divinity and atonement of Jesus Christ, instead of associating with those who do err from this truth converting them from their error by demonstrating the good fruits in their character of a clearer view of the character of Christ, act upon that sentiment, which is as intolerably offensive to God, as a sickening smoke is to our sense of smelling. - Stand by and come not near me,
for I am holier than thou.” An exclusive party thus separated from other denominations, is a self-deception; the tares and wheat still grow together; the tares may rest in the merit of knowing these two orthodox points concerning the Son, and yet not do the will of his Father.
What think ye? A certain man had two sons, and he came to the first saying : “ Son, go work to-day in my vineyard.” The son replied : “ I will not ;” but afterward repented and went. He also came to the second, saying the same. His reply was: “ I go, Sir;" but went not. Whether of the two did the will of his father ?” Many an exclusive in that day, shall say, “Lord, Lord!” 6 have I not done this and that in honour of thy divine atonement ?” To whom he will answer : knew you. Depart from me ye workers of iniquity.”
66 I never
Self is the god of the sensualist. All that is thought, spoken, done, is with this object of unwearied attention and regard in view. The youth who discovers an early disposition to consult his own will, and taste, and ease, and enjoyment in every thing, bids fair to become a gross or intellectual animal; he will be a sordid character, the slave of his passions; his will be ignoble pursuits, base enjoyments, and dishonourable gains. To expect that
such an one will aspire after an acquaintance with the light which purifies and exalts; knowing that it at the same time exposes and reproves all his actions, were as vain as to expect that a bat, whose nature is to grub in the dark, can love the blessed light of day, with which in perception or pursuit it has nothing in common.
« Their mind a wilderness for want of care ;
“ The plough of wisdom never entered there." They are as ignorant of the chief end of man as the brutes that perish. Their intellect is employed in the mysteries of the cookery book, in the combination of flavours, or in the science of the toilet. Gross sin requires only the veil of sentiment to render it alluring to their senses. The refinement of these libels on the character of man is all in their taste. They are enamoured of vice, but it must be attired in the captivating drapery of taste, sentiment, and fashion. Large cities swarm with such, whether in their grovelling or butterfly modifications; whether creeping from the means to the end, or fluttering from vanity to vanity like the thoughtless thing they resemble. The eyes
of a fool are in the ends of the earth. Selfknowledge he has none. The wise heathen maxim, “know thyself,' is lost upon him, Like the deaf adder, he shuts his ear from the voice of admonitory wisdom, charm she ever so wisely.
The apostle enjoins temperance. “Let your moderation be known to all men.” This moderation in modern times is, in many instances, even in what is termed the religious world, transferred from its original application, namely, the things of this world to the things which belong to our eternal peace. Here a lamentable moderation prevails; while much superfluous extravagance contradicts the apostolic injunction. The wants of nature are
few, simple, and easily supplied ; and in habitual temperance there is great reward ; for not only is the body thus preserved, from languor, disease, and suffering, but the mind is sustained in healthful vigour, with no intercepting cloud to withhold communion with spiritual realities. On the contrary, to abuse by intemperance those things which are only of benefit to man in a temperate use of them, is to lay up a store of physical as well as moral evil, for the time that now is, and that which is to
“ Who hath redness of eyes, who hath babbling and wounds without cause ? They that tarry long at the wine," &c. Who hath sleepless nights, and a diseased mind and body? They that wallow in luxury, whose god is their belly. "Be not deceived, God is not mocked ; they that sow to the flesh, shall reap corruption.” An invisible asp lurks in the wine-cup, to sting the voluptuary, while diseases of every form are ambushed in their vitiated viands.
Nobility of character never associated with the characteristics of an epicure or a glutton. The sensualist, who is described by our Lord as awakening in hel} from his sensual dream, is not accused of any positive breach of the law of God, or any positive oppression of man ; but he fared sumptuously every day, while he neglected to relieve the wants of a poor child of God, who desired the refuse of his table. Another sensualist is represented as saying, “ Soul, take thine ease ; eat, drink, and be merry, for thou hast much store laid up for many years :" to whom God replies, “ Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee; for whom, then, has thou provided these things ?" An attempt to draw the attention of such worldlings to the enlightening and exalting search of Truth were as inconsi
derate as to throw pearls before swine, in the hope that by a miraculous change of disposition they would appreciate their value: both animals must be left to wallow in their congenial mire. O fallen man ! who, seeing thy wreck and ruin, thine inglorious slavery, thy sordid pursuits, would for one moment question that human nature and intellect in thee have sunk beneath animal instinct, which seeks that which is adapted to its wants, and avoids whatever is hurtful. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; the stork and the swallow know their times and seasons; but the children of this world know not the indications which forewarn their judgment.
What a puny creature is one of these moderns placed by the side of the heathen nobles, who, according to the light of nature, acted consistently. How great their minds : how sound their understandings; how just, how disinterested, how faithful, how simple, yet how dignified. Now, alas ! how little, how feeble, how capricious, how selfish, how faithless, how elaborate, yet how mean.
If the light is perverted into darkness, how great that darkness !
“ Not slothful in business, but fervent in spirit, serving the Lord,” is an injunction exemplified in the lives of Christ and his apostles. Sloth is a base and degrading characteristic of the natural heart. Man in a barbarous state is slothful. Activity of mind and body are the characteristics of the new creature, who by the Word and spirit is renewed into the image of Christ. Health, time, means, and every other gift
other gift are considered a loan to be improved by industry, so that when an account of our stewardship is required, we may not be found unprofitable