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in making a gloomy mixture of piety and gall, and naming this religion. How different is the blessed teaching of the Saviour. “These things I speak in the world, that they may have MY JOY fulfilled in themselves.”

What a beautiful expression! My joy. The joy of doing good. The joy of making others happy. The joy of aiding, encouraging, purifying. The joy of lone labouring, and triumphantly imparting peace.

All healthy, orderly pleasures are gifts from God, and it is not religion but rebellion which disdains and renounces these. Harsh souls need sunshine, softening, and sweetening. They are caricatures, not Christians. God in creation is a God of beauty, loveliness, order, and joy. See how gloriously the sun throws his beams over the world, the trees bloom, the flowers exhibit their myriad forms of loveliness. Hear the insects hum, and the birds sing. Creation clothes itself in music! The orderly tones of the human voice are full of charms. How sweet are the joys of home. The cooing caresses of babyhood, the kindly confidences of friendship, are among life's highest pleasures. The sweet intercourse, the loving cares of married partners to secure the happiness of home, are all joys imparted by the Adorable Parent of the universe, who rejoices in His works, and who desires that all His children should have “fulness of joy.”

The Saviour said in another passage “ Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” Joy is full, when God is in it. Joy is full when we feel that it comes from God, that it reflects Him, and we bless Him for it. Every joy is full that is innocent, pure, wise, and healthy, and that is received with a grateful thankfulness to the Supreme Giver.

O what à grand world would this be if we all felt and acted upon the assurance that religion is intended to purify our lives, enlighten our minds, and make our pleasures more, not less. Life's roses might then be enjoyed without the thorns. The gall and the sorrow might be eliminated from our ways, and our lives would be a succession, a variety, and a fulness of joys. How majestic would religion then stand forth as the august patroness of human hearts and homes, the hallowing dispenser of purity, enjoyment, and peace.

This is clearly the Saviour's purpose. “These things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves."

He proceeds, “I have given them Thy Word; and the world hath hated them.”

There are two kinds of worlds. There is God's orderly world and

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man's wicked world. God's world is magnificent and full of excellence, it only needs that a man cultivate himself and it to bring out unending satisfaction, abundance and beauty. Its difficulties even are incitements to higher perfections. But man's world, degraded by selfishness and vanity, is the outbirth of the mixture of noble and base, of wise and foolish things which compose the human character. These are displayed in all human productions. Man's world is what man himself is. It is the outbirth and counterpart of human nature. The Jewish was a mass of superstition and hypocrisy, with here and there a few honest and devout souls, despised and hated by the rest, but hoping, waiting and praying for better days.

To these, the Lord gave His Word, and His exhortation, “Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

The Word is the grand lesson of love to God, and love to man drawn out in all the varied ways of history, precept, prophecy, and gospel. The natural and the spiritual senses apply to both worlds. These apply their divine truths to man’s regeneration and preparation for heaven, The Word condemns injustice, bitterness of temper, worldliness, and iniquity of every kind. In this respect it comes, not to send peace upon earth, but a sword. The Jews hated the Living Word that rebuked their sins; they hated the written Word. They hated all those whose virtues were a reproach to their insincerity and their wickedness.

How is it now? The Word is still the same. It has still the same holy requirements. “The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever; the judgments of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.” The burden of divine revelation still is, and ever will be, “ What doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to do justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God ?" But the vicious, the imperious, the self-seeking, frandulent, impure world hates those who demand from it justice, charity and virtue. The Word requires humility; self-will hates to be humble. The Word insists upon doing unto others as we would they should do unto us.” The world smiles at the credulity of those who imagine such a thing is possible, and hates those who strive to see it done. Yet the Word is immutable, and it is sharper than a two-edged sword. It cuts keenly into the conscience, and the world hates, repudiates, resists, and crucifies in return. The Word crucified to-day rises again to-morrow. The Word abideth for ever.


The truth remains the truth, however ill-treated, perverted, or rejected, and the world, hate as it may, is still miserable, and requires to be saved from itself.

Though changed largely, and wonderfully leavened with purer, nobler, and better men and better institutions, than in days gone by, what a strange self-torturing mass is the world even now! How jealous are the great of one another, and of the people over whom they rule. What mean those six millions of armed men, bustling with the dread appliances of war in Christendom, drafted in their manliest estate from the occupations which increase human comfort, to those which waste without producing in times of quiet, and which waste with wildest rapidity both life and property in times of vigour.

The splendid pageantry and deep heart-ache of such a world has been the theme of ages.

What an unsatisfactory turmoil is the world of trade and commerce ! How much of fraud, chicanery, and wrong, taint all the ways of business life, from the turmoil of the stock exchange to the pettiest productions of industry. From the crown of the head to the sole of the foot we are still full of wounds and bruises and putrifying sores ! Like the change of dissolving views, the old world is going, and a better world appearing, but oh! how much of wrong remains. But, what then ? Shall we leave this scene of strife and imperfection? Shall we forsake the busy ways of life, and sever ourselves from the burdens and duties of social and family existence? Shall we by selfish impatience quit the post Providence has assigned to us, before the battle of life has well begun ? Shall we seek salvation in solitude, hugging the little world of our own fantasies, and rejecting those checks, those crosses, those deferences to the ways, the requirements, and even the unreason of others, which are permitted to draw us from self? Why, the most dangerous part of the world is the world within us, and we take that with us wherever we go. It is easy to fly from a situation, but not easy to fly from self. Society shews us, if we are willing to learn the lesson, how empty, how vain, how unsatisfying is worldliness, and affords us a life of real use. In the self-denial, the reflection and the effort needed to discharge our duty in every one of the relations of society, we have a constant means of purification, a constant demand for tolerance and charity.

“I pray not,” the Lord says, “ that Thou shouldest take them out of the world.” The narrow promoters of monastic life have prayed for this, but not the Saviour. Selfishness makes us fret, and fume, and

pine at the requirements of daily duty, and the sacrifices of family and business responsibilities. But let us look at them with cheerful love, and perform them with alacrity, because of their usefulness. Think less of yourself, and more of the Divine Will, which has made society a grand man, and you an individual member intended to carry out its part for the good of the whole, and you will then pray not to be taken out of the world, but to do your part well in

Work nobly in your vocation, and pray to be preserved from the evil. Such was our Lord's prayer for us, such should be



True Christians are not of THE WORLD, though they are IN THE WORLD. They seek to be like their Divine Master. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” The objects which form the allurements of the world are glory, fame, grandeur, greatness, power, self-laudation, and self-indulgence. The glitter, the glare, the pomp of worldly splendour, are often the inducements for which virtue, order, uprightness, and peace are sacrificed, and life itself made an utter waste, a bubble, and a dream.

But genuine Christians see and avoid the hollow sham. They love the truth. They love the Word. They love their Lord. They seek for victories within, they live for a better world.

The relations of society are all noble and blessed, if only we resist the evil. Keep them from the evil.

To become father and mother of an immortal being, how grand and how godlike it is!

How good it is to train the young soul for heaven, to receive its gushing, gladsome caresses, to watch and assist the dawn of its little genius. By wise counsel and kind example to forestall the errors of a child's inexperienced course, or to withdraw it from the smaller aberrations of early mistake, is the work of angels. And they who do it well become like angels. We are made brothers and sisters of earth, that we


become brothers and sisters for heaven. The genial intercourse of home, the mutual sympathy, and the mutual forbearance of home life, the reparations of home errors even, are the means of becoming like our Saviour, forgiving, gentle, restorative ; not of the world as He was not of the world. Only, let us pray to be kept from the petty tyranny of a violent unreasonable temper, surly spite, or anything that mars family peace and well-being. The wider relations of citizenship, the promotion of the interest of our town and our nation, fills us with generous life,

if we are animated by the love of duty and the public good, eschewing ambition, vanity, and greed.

How sublime a thing is trade! It is man's sphere as a finite image of the Creator. God makes on a grand scale, man imitates on a small one, but to man's use of the powers and faculties with which the Almighty has endowed him, we owe all that makes life tolerable and beautifies it. To trades, we owe our houses and superb palaces and halls, our gardens, our fields and woods, our quays, our harbours, our ships, and all the myriad objects which constitute our outward life and social conveniences. Let any one look at a noble Atlantic steamer, and then at the petty crucifix or bead of monkish workmanship, and he will see the sublime character of social industry, as contrasted with the maundering pettiness of solitary retirement. Let noble work continue then, but keep us from the evil. Let there be business without fraud. Let there be neither overwork, nor dishonest work. Let work be blended with leisure, and with literary culture. Let there be as much work as is compatible with health, and no work allowed which is not consistent with physical well-being. Let there be time for reading, thought, and mental cultivation. Let there be enough of relaxation and enjoyment to make life happy; to restore and recreate both mind and body, and let all be blessed with the holy worship of our heavenly Father, in faith and love. Thus the Will of God will be done on earth, as it is done in heaven.

But this state of things will not come of itself. Spiritual heroes of trade must labour for it, suffer for it, conquer for it. It is the battle which, more than any other, requires now to be fought out. Millions are slaves to toil, to crushing toil, and make others slaves to overwork until they become stupid imbeciles, that they may achieve wealth they can never use, and commit to their children the means of passing through the world without doing one atom of useful service. No temptation is so subtle to the young mind as the combination of strong passions and abundant wealth. Let there be no idler and no mere slave to work in the world, but every one from love to the Lord, do his share and enjoy his share. Then the kingdoms of this world will have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign for ever and ever.

May we then not be taken out of the world, but preserved and saved from the evil. May we be in the world but not of the world; as He the adorable Jesus, our Saviour and our Head, was not of the world.

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