not remove my integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go ; my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live."*

There have been old men who have been abhorred or feared for their deceit and knavery. They have artfully gained the confidence of youth, to abuse it for their own interest or that of their friends; they have taken ungenerous advantage of the straits of those to whom they intrusted their money or goods : the maxims they have instilled into the young have been those of a crooked and selfish policy; they have disregarded the claims which the relatives of those who once befriended them have on their aid, and in their disposal of their property have acted according to the dictates of arbitrary humour, of favouritism or prejudice, and not according to the rules of equity or justice. But the old man who is entitled to the character in the text will use his experience to teach the young prudence and discretion ; will be eager to fulfil every claim sanctioned by gratitude and honour, though it cannot be enforced by law; and will

regulate his worldly arrangements by the strictest impartiality.

Let those in the active scenes of life be persuaded, that justice is the surest guide to success in any worldly pursuit, and its best security when attained ; and let the young consider, that the habits of duplicity, intrigue, and treachery at that period will assuredly lead to the villany whose sad result is infamy and ruin

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He was also devout. Some pique themselves on their justice, deem it quite sufficient to give worth to their character, speak of devotion with contempt, apply to its exercises the most degrading epithets, and represent it as in general the covering of knavery. Nothing can be more false and wicked than such representations. That is the only justice worthy of the name which is prompted by the fear of God, and which is influenced by a regard to his authority. The fear of shame and of punishment may deter a man from the open invasion of his neighbour's rights, but the coyetous wish, or the fraudulent purpose, can only be checked by religious principle.

Simeon was not only just but devout. He was a punctual observer still of all the ordinances of religion. This had been the habit of his former years, and he could not have been happy unless he had still watched daily at Wisdom's gates. Those who have been careless about religious ordinances in youth and middle life, are generally found in old age eager to avail themselves of every pretext for absence, will offer to take any employment which will furnish them with an apology, and when, in circumstances where no excuse is deemed necessary, will, without scruple, disregard every holy service ; but the pious old man feels that the house of God is the scene of his best enjoyment, and longs for the Sabbath as the day of the gladness of his heart.

But the expression likewise intimates, that he lived under the influence of all the feelings and principles of piety. Knowing the Lord as revealed in his word, he loved him with a pure heart fervently, reposed in

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him entire and unlimited confidence, shuddered at the idea of offending him, and felt an ardent zeal for his glory. He maintained a solemn sense of his constant inspection, and walked, not only in his ordinances, but in his commandments blameless.

Simeon lived at a period and in a place where rites and ceremonies were viewed as the whole of piety, and where the religion of the heart was neither inculcated nor exemplified by those who sat in the seat of Moses; yet was he eminent in the power of godliness; he worshipped God in the spirit, and walked before him in the land of the living. Devotion is the best solace of age. In this sancpeace

of God rules in the heart, and everlasting rest opens to the view. The sighs and the groans which cannot be uttered are known to our Father who seeth in secret; and this shall be the testimony, borne from on high to him who hath lived in love to God and to man,

Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.”

It is mentioned, as the last feature of his character, that he waited for the consolation of Israel. This was a character of the Messiah given to 'him in consequence of some of the ancient prophecies respecting his coming, and it was peculiarly gratifying to the Jews at this time on account of the evils under which they groaned. In the Messiah they expected to find a deliverer from an oppression painful in itself and odious to their pride, and a conqueror who should raise Israel to a prosperity, dominion, and glory beyond all that it had known in its happiest days.

But the pious felt that they were under a yoke



LUKE ii. 25-30. And, behold, there was a man in Je

rusalem, whose name was Simeon ; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel : and the Holy Ghost was upon

him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple : and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him

up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word : for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.

It is seldom that any incident excites much interest in the aged. Detached from the bustle of the world, they know its transactions merely by report, and often disgust those who relate them by the indifference with which they hear of that which is the admiration of the public. Those feelings are blunted which once made them enter so keenly into the occurrences of the surrounding scene, and “the former days were better than these,” is the cold and sullen reply which they en make to the account of events which have raised the hearts of the young to ecstacy. What they saw in early life appears to them clothed with all the attractions which it derived from youthful gaiety and ardour, and is contrasted with what is beheld in all the circumstances of diminution and disgust which can be attached to it by a languid and sickly heart.

But in this passage we behold a scene which, though little adapted to interest a carnal mind, is in the highest degree important and delightful, and which kindled in the heart of aged Simeon the liveliest transport. The character of this man is rich in the qualities of true excellence; and, beholding the infant Saviour clasped in his arms, the Spirit of wisdom and glory resting on his hoary head, his faded cheek glowing with ardent feeling, and his failing heart throbbing with vivid expectation and rapturous delight, we cannot but exclaim,

“ Hail thou art highly favoured! the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou

among men.”

Never was false taste and credulity more strongly, manifested than in the attention which has been given to the fables invented by curiosity or superstition to embellish this narrative, and to heighten our interest in the character and fate of this venerable man. To detail them would be to trifle with your judgment and feelings; let them sleep in the legends of monkery, and let us be assured, that if any man finds not enough in this narrative to fix and to charm his attention, he hath no relish for the simplicity of the Gospel, and no knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus.

In this passage we behold a most interesting association of infancy and age,--the Saviour entering on the world, and an aged saint quitting it. Here we

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