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we hesitate, my brethren, and tremble under the loftiness of the conception, and sometimes despond, beset as we are, by natural inclinations, and worldly passions; or, at other times, unwisely endeavour to shake off all our lower affections and interests, and to lose ourselves at once in the boundless ocean of Deity? Are we in doubt, in what mannerwe shall come before the most High God, and sufficiently express the depth of our humiliation, or the flame of our gratitude? Can we be in doubt, when that Eternal Son of the Eternal Father, walks before us in the humble form of a man, and in every path, and in every line of our existence, shows us what He was, and what we ought to be ? - Does then that Gracious Master call us away from any natural affection, or interest, or enjoyment ? does He, wherever a flower may raise its head before us, point to the serpent that lurks under it? In His apprehension were nature and sin the same ? No, my brethren; in Him, amidst all his perfection, we behold the most natural of human characters, the utmost cordiality of affection, and the most social sympathy; the sanctity of Heaven veiled under the simplicity of a child, and exemplified in

Him, and in Him alone, that the perfection alike of nature, and of holiness, is innocence !

Is it from the world that He calls us, from the interest and distinction of mortal occupations ? No: that world, he shows us, when rightly used, is the great school of human character; to its occupations he ever points as our present business, and even as illustrative of the higher objects of Eternity. He separated himself not from the men of the world, nor refused to accommodate himself to their manners, in things harmless and indifferent; and while his eye was steadily fixed upon his Father in Heaven, he ever cultivated the knowledge of “ what was in man.”

Does He call us away from the study and the acquisition of the common rules of moral or prudential conduct,--or insinuate that they are rendered nugatory by his superior wisdom,

or that the sincere practice of duty, imperfect as it may be, is not acceptable in the sight of God? “ Think not (He says) that I am come to destroy the Law or the Prophets : I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, till Heaven and Earth pass, one jot, or one tittle, shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven : but whosoever shall do, and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.” And what is the grand scope of all his precepts, but to pour new light upon our souls on the invaluable subject of social duty ? and why has He revealed to us the Father, or how can we be the sons of that Father, but by endeavouring to follow out the glorious extent of his lessons of brotherly love ? “Ye have heard that it hath been said, thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy: but I

say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you, that ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil, and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just, and on the unjust. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.”

Does He call us from the wandering affections, and the degrading habits of an unthinking or sinful life, to a lively apprehension of the presence and purity of that God to whom reverence and obedience and love are ever due! Assuredly He does, my brethren ; and it is from his Cross that he calls to us, it is amid the tears and the agonies of death, that He implores us now at last to raise our eyes to a reconciled Father, and beseeches us, in his redeeming mercy, to “ sin no more.” We may follow the sentiments of nature, and the pursuits of the world, -in these He even walks before us ; but his Cross speaks to us, in language which our hearts cannot but feel, of the exceeding evil of sin, and the baseness of impious ingratitude; and, before that Cross, it well becomes us, now and ever, to form, amidst the tears of repentance, all the high resolves of future duty and holiness!

Such is the simple and obvious course of “ the sons of God,” in this world of corruption, and of death. What is to be their destiny in a higher world, Thou, too, O SAVIOUR of men, hast shewn. Thou hast risen from the gravemThou hast gone to prepare for thy followers the many mansions in thy Father's House. Look down, then, in mercy upon thy erring disciples; we“ believe on thy name;" pity the blindness of our understandings, and the wanderings of our hearts; console us, amid all our sorrows, and all our fears; and now, that we are once more advancing to fall down before the Cradle of thy Infancy, inspire us, we beseech Thee yet again, with the unpresuming minds, and the simple affections, of“ little child

ren !”

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