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sins, and to form us to a holy imitation of the unbounded mercy which we receive.

But we may,


TIANS THEMSELVES HAVE TO DO IN ORDER TO ACT UP TO THEIR PROFESSION. The virtues we have been considering are not acquired in a day. A long course of instruction, and perpetual efforts of watchfulness and prayer, are indispensable. Holiness does, indeed, in some degree necessarily follow the true grace of God; but for the growth and promotion of it, there is great need of constant exhortation and vigorous exertion. The Colossians had already put on the new man; but they are commanded in the text still to proceed to cultivate the virtues which we have been reviewing, because they were to grow and increase in them, and to exert and exercise them daily in all the concerns of life. Christian morality must therefore be duly preached and enforced, as well as Christian doctrine, if we would follow the example of St. Paul. The necessity of doing this is evident. For how deficient are we in the holy and lovely graces, which our text enjoins? How difficult for us is it even to understand what is meant by them, or to feel the importance and difficulty of cultivating them, unless they form a part of

ministerial instruction!

How different would

be the aspect of the church, if its members uniformly, or any thing like uniformly, acted in the spirit of the Apostle's maxims! Let us then examine ourselves strictly on these points! Let us put off more and more the sordid and disgraceful garments of our unrenewed and sinful condition, and let us put on the becoming dress which should adorn the children of God!

And to this end let us enter more deeply into the MOTIVES of Christianity, that, by divine grace, we may employ them more fully to the production of Christian practice! If the doctrine of the love of God and the pardoning grace of Christ be withdrawn or obscured, the foundation is taken from the building, and the edifice will fall. If these doctrines be inculcated without Christian practice, we overthrow the edifice already reared, and leave only the foundation. To unite the two is the Apostolic method. Grow, then, in the view of the Saviour's PARDONING MERCY, that you may be merciful. Imbibe more fully the obligation of your Christian PROFESSION, that you may act agreeably to it. Increase in the LOVE OF GOD, that you may love others. The mysteries of the divine love, especially in the ELECTION OF GRACE, may be most profitably contemplated by the experienced and obedient

Christian, as our seventeenth Article states, if it be connected with a sober and intent regard to the holy fruits by which alone it is to be known, and with an habitual and well-fixed adherence to the following of that will of God which is plainly revealed in Holy Scripture. The consideration of it will then inflame our love to God, will promote our humility and thankfulness, will inspire us with holy hope of attaining everlasting felicity, will animate us to prepare more and more for it, and will teach us especially, as we find in our text it is intended to do, to put on all those virtuous and lovely tempers, which peculiarly become the children of God; all those graces which honour Christ, all that adorn the Gospel, all that benefit our fellow-creatures, all that prepare us for the peace, purity, and harmony of heaven.,




MATTHEW xxv. 14-30.

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two,

But he that had re

he also gained other two. ceived one, went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. After a long time, the lord of those servants cometh and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents; behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few

things, I will make theé ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents; behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed; thou oughtest, therefore, to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury, Take, therefore, the talent from him, and give it unto him that hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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