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ye are called. With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of

peace. There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.**

This lovely feature of the Christian Church was soon disfigured. St. Paul had to mourn over, and admonish many, whose minds were corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ :-“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned ; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.""Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you ; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you." + yet carnal : for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men ? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal ?"S Thus rapidly did tares spring up among the wheat. Happy would it have been for the Church of Christ if this work of the enemy had been confined to the primitive age: but alas ! every age has exhibited his work of destruction. As union is strength, so the arch-enemy well knows, that disunion is weakness.How glorious will that period be when the universal Church shall experience the fulness of the promise, " I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me.” Eph. iv. l__6. of Rom. xvi. 17, 18. 1 Cor. i. 10, 11.

§ 1 Cor. iii. 3, 4.

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The graces of the Spirit harmonise and combine together. Like the links of a chain they mutually encircle and strengthen each other. How different are the vices of the human heart. They are, for the most part, discordant. Yet, while they appear to run in opposite directions, and in many cases to oppose each other, they all meet in one point—the destruction of the soul.

What can be more opposed, in appearance at least, than the miser and the spendthrift, the libertine and the formalist, the man whose heart is full of the cares of life, rising early, and late taking rest that he may amass a fortune, and the man of pleasure who says to his soul—“ Take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." Yet, these different vices all conspire the eternal ruin of the soul, and often reign, at different seasons, in the same breast. The libertine in youth often becomes covetous in old age; and the profane character, when wearied with licentious courses, sometimes assumes that of a religious devotee, hoping to atone for his past transgressions, and to merit

a reward by a round of formal duties.

How desperately wicked is the human heart. Sin blinds the understanding and perverts the judgment. Men appear to be wise in every thing but religion. Here, they discover themselves to be very fools, and would be ashamed to act in temporal, as they do in spiritual things. What a convincing proof is this of the truth of Scripture, which declares, that “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him : neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."*

0! my soul, renounce thy own fancied wisdom, righteousness, and strength, which in the sight of God is foolishness, guilt, and helplessness. Pray for grace to know thyself, and to receive the truths of the gospel with the humility and simplicity of a child.

* 1 Cor. ii. 14.

That delightful harmony which exists between the various graces of the Spirit is beautifully set forth in the word of God. Blessed is that soul in which the graces of faith, hope, and love-meekness, humility, and patience-self-denial, long-suffering, and resignation, dwell and flourish. Lord create my heart anew, and make it thy dwelling-place.

It is important to consider every precept in the Bible, as forming a part of the Christian character. The true believer in Jesus is not presented to us in one entire figure, in any portion of the Holy Scriptures, but the lineaments of it may be traced throughout the sacred volume, as drawn by the pencil of Eternal Truth.

Thus, " To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and that trembleth at my word."* Contrition and poverty of spirit form a part of the believer's character.

“ Be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long.+ The fear of God is another part of this holy character.

“ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart."

Love to God is also an essential part of it. And so with every promise to which peculiar dispositions are attached. The blessings promised to the poor in spirit; to them that mourn; to the meek; to those who hunger and thirst after righteousness; to the merciful; to the pure in heart ; to the peacemakers; to them who suffer for righteousness' sake, are so many blessings promised to those who have the character of a child of God. The Bible, when read with this view of discovering the full length portrait of the real Christian, affords abundant matter for daily self-examination :-“ If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” “Watch ye, and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.”. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.' “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”* Thus, self-denial, watchfulness, a prayerful spirit, obedience, and brotherlylove, form so many component parts of the Christian character.

* Isa. lxvi. 2. + Prov. xxiii. 17. Deut. vi. 5.

Oh! thou blessed Spirit of truth and love draw these sacred lines upon my soul, that I may become more and more like unto Jesus, in the whole frame and disposition of my heart. Fill me with every gracious affection. Subdue every evil, selfish principle and passion, and cause me to grow and abound in all the fruits of righteousness. Lord, renew my soul, and make me a monument of thy grace.

Who can study the Bible with prayer to understand it aright, and not be convinced that all true religion is seated in the heart ? Truly to love the Lord Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, is the essence of Gospel holiness, and the perfection of the Christian character. If I love the Saviour in sincerity, my will must be moulded into his, and all my powers become subservient to his glory. The influence of this divine principle will operate on every thought, word, and action. When it does not so operate, it is because this principle has grown weaker, or is opposed by some strongly counteracting evil in my heart. This evil is unbelief, pride, the lust of the flesh, and the love of the world. As this evil predominates, so is the man.

If it reign in his heart, he is carnal, and under the wrath of God; if it only rebel, and is not suffered to rule, it marks a character renewed by the Spirit of Grace, struggling with those remnants of corruption which will never cease to harass the believer till death end the warfare, and place the victorious Christian

“Where sin and flesh no more control

The sacred pleasures of the soul.” But, the very circumstance of this evil still dwelling within us, calls forth the graces of watchfulness and

* Matt. xvi. 24. Mark xiv. 38. John xiv. 15., & xiii. 35.

prayer. There is no period in the Christian life when watchfulness and prayer become unnecessary. Where can a passage be found, from Genesis to the Revelation, which countenances relaxation in duty, or a freedom from the exercise of vigilance and circumspection? The Bible, on the contrary, is full of exhortations, admonitions, and warnings, declaring that he only who endureth unto the end shall be saved ; that if any man look back, God will have no pleasure in him; that he that overcometh shall inherit all things; and that to him, who is faithful unto death, Christ will give the crown of life.

How sweet is a life of faith. Oh! that I could live such a life. It brings along with it holiness and happiness. God, who is the Author of it, is glorified by it, and the good of mankind in general is eminently promoted. A true believer in Jesus loves his Lord and Master; he esteems that day as lost which is not devoted to his service; he deems no sacrifice too great for him, who gave himself a sacrifice for sin; all his mental powers are exercised in the cause of his Redeemer, and when he hears of any good being done, through his feeble instrumentality, he rejoices, and gives God the glory.

Lord enable me thus to feel, thus to act, and thus to live. Undertake for me, that, through thy over-ruling Providence, I may become an humble instrument in thy hands, of promoting the spread of genuine religion. Shed abroad thy love in my heart. Reign the Sovereign of my affections. Make me vigilant and prayerful. Preserve me from unbelief and pride, sensuality and covetousness. Keep my feet in thy paths, and bring me to the kingdom of thy dear Šon, there to employ my perfected powers in loving, serving, and adoring thee „through the blissful ages of eternity.

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