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hope of immortality. Enter the cottage of the labourer, and the cell of the prisoner; and communicate to the more ignorant or thoughtless than yourself, the consolations and joys of religion. This is Christian charity,-kindness and benignity of heart, which every class of men may cultivate and exercise, and which of every class will be required.
Christian! remember! Your doom is not yet sealed: you are not yet in the helpless, the desperate condition of the subject of this parable. "The pit hath not yet shut her mouth upon you:" the gulph, which cannot be passed, opens not yet between you and the blessed. Would you flee from the wrath to come ?-Then "bring forth fruits meet for repentance; and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our Father"-" for they are not all Israel, that are of Israel, neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children :"-" for he is not a Jew that is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward, in the flesh." And think not to flatter yourselves, that you have Christ for your Master, and may rest in the privileges conferred on his church: For they are not all Christ's who wear his badge, neither because
they have been dropt into his fold, are they all his flock: for he is not a Christian, who is one in name; nor is that saving regeneration, which has the mark of the cross,-the outward sign;-but he is a Christian, who is one inwardly; and true regeneration" is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of GOD.”
"Son!" offspring of the ground-" remember!"-Thy day of trial is on the wing. The scenes of this vast, but temporary theatre of material nature, are rapidly shifting-soon must the curtain drop. These "elements shall melt with fervent heat;" this "earth, with all its works, be burned up;" these skies "depart, as a scroll that is rolled together."-But a new and immaterial world arises, "not made with hands,eternal."-New scenes are opening upon us, magnificent, yet terrific, beyond all that imagination can conceive. "A throne is set in heaven, and ONE is sitting on the throne," "before whose face the heavens and the earth flee away." "The LORD, even the MOST MIGHTY GOD, hath spoken;"" There goeth before Him a consuming fire, and a mighty tempest is stirred up round about him- He calls the heaven from above,
THE JEWISH AND THE CHRISTIAN DIVES.
and the earth, that He may judge his people." "The books are opened:"-" the sea gives up her dead;"-" Death and the Grave" let loose their captives :-"The Son of Man" "descends with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of GOD :"-" Behold, He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him!" "But, who may abide this day of his coming?" -Even thou," faithful and wise steward, whom thy Lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season," and "whom thy Lord, when He cometh, shall find so doing." "Thou hast been faithful over a few things-He shall make thee ruler over many things-enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!"
MATT. CHAP. IV. VER. 1.
"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil.”
THE temptation of our Lord and Redeemer, as recorded by the Evangelists, Matthew and Luke, has afforded matter of speculation and controversy to the curious and polemical. The infidel has thought it a happy topic on which he might exercise his facetious humour; and the weak and wavering believer has been perplexed and disconcerted by doubts and misgivings, which, though perhaps they may not be easily satisfied, yet ought not to disturb the mind, or shake the faith, of an honest and humble Christian. Some have been willing to ward off all objections by treating the whole account as allegorical-a very conve
nient mode of getting rid of difficulties which we have not ingenuity enough to explain, or confidence enough in the divine oracles implicitly to believe; but this device, carried to any extent, may lead us into a maze of scepticism, and leave us dubious respecting almost every recorded fact. The creation, the fall,-the deluge, a visionary fancy may turn into emblematic representations; and this habit of allegorizing may grow upon us, till the sacred volume become little else than a string of parables and well-wrought fictions. For my part, I am content, in most places at least, to take the narrative as I find it; and, indeed, the older I grow, the less cause do I see to be moved and agitated by any cavils of the scorner, or any real or seeming incongruities or mysteries in the book of life and immortality. I perceive, more and more, the poverty of my own understanding, the insufficiency of human reason, and the evil of "all foolish questions, and contentions, and strivings about the law, (whether of Moses or of Christ,) for they are unprofitable and vain."
But, after all, there appears to be no great weight in the objections that have been made to the scripture account of the temptation of our blessed Saviour. The belief of an evil Spirit, or