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THE MEASURE OF FAITH.

The measure of faith."-ROMANS xii. 3.

OUR moral and spiritual standards, ever more

or less false, are here corrected by one God gives from heaven; one that is sure to remind us of Himself. We may forget that it is in Him we live and move and have our being, that health and wealth and genius are from Him; but it is quite impossible to forget that faith is His gift. Nor can we ever misuse or debase itcredulity being quite a different, I might say quite an opposite thing. Faith is ever true to God and heaven, and so ever true to us. It is not surprising that in spiritual things such a power should be provided. In nature, men measure the earth's surface correctly by observations of the heavens, and calculate time by the

Our souls need to make true measure

sun.

ments; these are provided for by “the measure of faith” which deduces truth from God and heaven.

Without this, not only are we prone to call evil good, and good evil, as they appear in the conduct of others, but we grievously err about ourselves ; our weaknesses we esteem virtues, our sicknesses health, our gains losses, our losses gains, and our moral disfigurements, if they are only sufficiently fashionable, we esteem as highly ornamental. Just as in one of the loveliest spots in Europe, the Val d'Aosta, the inhabitants are so generally afflicted with goitre as to call the only people free of the deformity “swan-necked” in derision. Similar causes in morals made the sensuous worldlings in the beautiful city of Antioch mock the men of faith there with the name Christians.

Judgments with us become more numerous and more rapid in proportion to the extent of our observation, and the interest we take in affairs brought under our notice. It is more important than we usually think that these judgments should be correct: they form our character, they shape our destiny.

Let us try to make a closer acquaintance with this faculty of Faith, in some directions likely to be useful to us.

I. FAITH IS THE MEASURE OF A MAN'S

SPIRITUAL STATURE AND HEALTH.

II. FAITH IS THE MEASURE OF A MAN'S

ABILITY.

III. FAITH IS THE MEASURE OF A MAN'S

ASSOCIATIONS.

1. Spiritual life has its stages from the infant estate when there is for it “no language but a cry," when it must be fed with the milk of the word, up to the stature of a man in Christ Jesus, to use words of power that remove mountains. Faith reports correctly this growth. Many of you may remember a door-post in the old house at home where you and your brothers and sisters were measured when first you ran alone, when you went and returned from school, after some solemn wearing illness, when you entered life, and came back again perhaps more erect, perhaps bowed down and drooping. Well, depend upon it, in the household of faith the door-posts bear like measurements; and men as they go in and out leave their mark, and the measure of faith registers their growth and decline precisely as the head is lifted up nearer to God and Christ and heaven, or droops down to the earth.

We speak of health as the crown of our physical and mental powers ; but, depend upon it, faith which comes from heaven, and connects us with the happy immortality there, is the crown of our whole being. A body curiously and wonderfully made is something, but it is not the crown of being—far from it; a sound mind in a sound body is vastly more; but the crown of being is not yet reached. A man may be healthy, wealthy, and wise, and mourn his discrowned manhood. He may be courtier, philosopher, king, and yet miss something, the loss of which will compel him some time or other to take the lowest place. Our being is never complete until it is consciously at one with God, and we can call Him “Abba, Father.” It never has all its powers in healthy play, until immortality bears its proper part, and an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled is looked forward to, and prepared for. President Edwards has given an instance of this in one of his resolutions :

“That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory, and my own good, profit, and pleasure on the whole,

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