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duty. It is an abstract and summary of Christian religion. Prayer is an act of religion and divine worship, confessing His power and His mercy; it celebrates His attributes, and confesses His glories, and reveres His person, and implores His aid, and gives thanks for His blessings it is an act of humility, and dependence, expressed in the prostration of our bodies, and humiliation of our spirits: it is an act of charity, when we pray for others; it is an act of repentance, when it confesses and begs pardon for our sins, and exercises every grace according to the design of the man, and the matter of the prayer 1.
No man enjoys content in his family, but he that is peaceful and charitable, just and loving, forbearing and forgiving, careful and provident. He that is not so, his house may be his castle, but it is manned by enemies; his "house is built," not " upon the sand," but upon the waves, and upon a tempest: the foundation is uncertain, but his ruin is not so.
This world would be an image of heaven, if all men were charitable, peaceful, just and loving.
The striving to secure our temporal interests, by any other means than obedient actions, or obedient sufferings, is declared by the holy Jesus, to be the greatest improvidence and ill husbandry in the world.
You have no certainty of life; now is yours, to-morrow may not be. You are young, but you may never be old. Now, God waits to be gracious; to-morrow may be too late. God now calls; His Spirit now strives, His ministers now exhort. You have now health; sin has not now so much dominion over you as it will have, increasing by every future moment, if you do not give up your hearts to your Maker.
Eternity alone is permanent; live for eternity!
Every holy man has a testimony of God's approbation in his own heart; and this makes him truly happy, let outward things be as they may.
After all, without labour and industry no man can get any comfort in life; and he who gives way to idleness is the veriest of fools'.
1 Bishop Jeremy Taylor.
2 Prov. x. 5. xii. 11.
He who knows that he has God for his protector may go quietly and confidently to his bed; not fearing the designs of wicked men, nor the influence of malevolent spirits.
No sacrifice, no performance of religious duty, will avail any man, if his heart be not right with God. And let all know, that, under the Gospel dispensation, no sacrifice of any kind will be received, but through the all-atoning sacrifice made by Christ.
The ways of sin are crooked, desert, rocky, and uneven they are broad, indeed; and there is a variety of ruins, and allurements, to entice fools, and a large theatre to act the bloody tragedies of souls upon; but they are nothing smooth, or safe, or delicate.
Sin has a fatal spirit of delusion belonging to it. It blinds the mind, while it hardens the heart, and sears the conscience. We must not play with this monster, even in his most inviting and deceptive forms; though the serpent's sting may be concealed, its lurking poison will penetrate the very soul.
There can be no more forcible motive to patience, than the acknowledgment of a divine hand that strikes us. It is fearful to be in the hand of an adversary: but who would not be confident of a Father?
The remunerations of the Almighty are infinitely gracious. He cannot want honour and patronage, that seeks the honour of his Maker. The ready way to true glory is goodness.
If a man have cast off his God, he will easily cast off his friends when religion is once gone, humanity will not stay long after.
Sent by the Rev. G. BONNER, B.D.
THE COTTAGERS' SONG.
TUNE." In my Cottage near a Wood."
SWEET the cottage where we dwell,
While, around, the breezes swell,
After labour, here we sing,
Here enjoy our peaceful rest;
Here with heaven's rich gifts are blest.
Praises in the morning rise,
Shedding round Thy grace and love:
Word of light, and life, and joy;
This our hearts doth oft employ;
This of heavenly comfort tells:
Then we bow before Thy throne;
J. B. C.
HUMILITY is like the root of a goodly tree, thrust very far into the ground, and this we may know by the goodly fruits which appear above ground. Of these fruits there are seventeen varieties. 1. The humble man trusts not ; to his own discretion, but in matters of concernment relies rather upon the judgment of his friends, counsellors, or spiritual guides. 2. He does not pertinaciously pursue the choice of his own will. 3. He does not murmur against commands. 4. He is not inquisitive into the reasonableness of indifferent and innocent commands, but believes their command to be reason enough in such cases to exact his obedience. 5. He lives according to a rule, and with compliance to public customs, without any affectation or singularity. 6. He is meek and patient in all accidents and chances. 7. He patiently bears injuries. He is always unsatisfied in his own conduct, resolutions, and counsels. 9. He is a great lover of good men, and a praiser of wise men, and a reviler of no man. 10. He is modest in his speech and reserved in his laughter. 11.
He fears when he hears himself commended. gives no pert or saucy answers when he is reproved, whether justly or unjustly. 13. He loves to sit down in private, and, if he may, he refuses the temptation of offices and new honours. 14. He is ingenuous, free, and open in his actions and discourses. 15. He mends his fault, and gives thanks when he is admonished. 16. He is ready to do good to the murderers of his fame, to his slanderers, backbiters, and detractors. 17. And is contented to be suspected of indiscretion, so he may really be innocent, and not offensive to his neighbour, nor wanting to his just and prudent interest. These, it may be said, are very many fruits to spring from the one root of humility. But this is of so very great and excellent a virtue that it draws with it most others.
Bishop Jeremy Taylor.
LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
JOHN XV. 12.
OUR blessed Saviour, before He was taken away from this earth, gave it as His command to His disciples, that, they should "love one another." And He enforces this command by the most engaging motive that could possibly animate a Christian's heart, " even," He says, as I have loved you." Here, then, we see plainly what ought to be our dispositions, if we would wish to be reckoned among the number of Christ's faithful followers. Yes; even as Christ loved us, so are we required to love one another. And we know the great love of Christ to us; He laid down his life for us: and greater love than this can no man show, that he lay down his life for his friends. There is no argument like this to show to a follower of Christ that he is to love his fellow Christians; if Christ so loved us, so ought we to love one another. "Love," says the Apostle 1, "is the fulfilling of the law:" and our blessed Saviour who came, not to destroy the law, but to fulfil, has summed up the whole law in one word, "love." It is "love" in its full extent, "love to God," and" love
1 Rom. xiii. 10.
LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
to man." We may observe all the ordinances, and attend all the outward services of religion; and this we are bound to do, as our Lord has commanded us, these being means which He knew to be needful for our growth in grace and godly obedience. But we are to look for the fruits of our Christian profession in the renewed state of our souls, the heart being turned to the love of God, and of His people. "To love the Lord our God with all the heart, and with all the understanding and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is better than all burnt-offerings and sacrifices." (Mark xii. 33.) Our Lord, here, teaches us, that however we may profess to honour Him with outward services, we shall be in no favour with Him, unless we have our hearts at the same time devoted to Him. This conversion of the heart is His own gift; it is the work of His own Spirit: and wherever that Spirit is, there is love, love to God, love to one another. Our blessed Saviour Himself gave us an example of that love which was to be in the hearts of all His people. His love to His heavenly Father was shown in the whole course of His ministry upon earth; His actions were in accordance with His directions; He showed His love by the proof which He required of His people; "if ye love me, keep my commandments." His prayer was Father, not my will, but Thine be done." To do that will, and to submit to it was His whole occupation whilst He was upon earth. And, as love to God shows itself in love to man, so did our blessed Lord, from the same delight in His Father's will, go about, doing good to men, to their bodies, and to their souls. From our Lord's example then, and from His instruction, we learn what manner of persons His followers ought to be.
If, then, we would not be content with merely the name of Christians; if we would be Christians in reality, acknowledged by Christ as His own people, and in a state to enter His kingdom in heaven, we must remember that as we are to give our hearts to Him; our hearts must be turned to Him, by the power of His Holy Spirit. This is the work of sanctification: and, when the heart is thus renewed by the influence of divine grace, then there is love to God, and love to man: the heart's anxious wish