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ing what ought to be the state of our hearts un- , finitely more than we deserve; so that in the light der a sense of his manifold mercies and loving- of heaven's sun, and the refreshing intluence of the kindnesses which have been ever of old.

surrounding atmosphere, and the food that nourishes In applying this passage to our own experience, our mortal bodies, and the bliss of contentment with let us, my brethren, meditate on various instances our estate, we shall behold abundant grounds of of divine interposition as exercised towards us. gratitude to Him who giveth us all things richly

And of these, the first which we shall notice to enjoy. And even when deprived of those very is embraced in our temporal mercies.

comforts which we had deemed indispensable to It is impossible, indeed, to separate the consi- our happiness, are we not thereby tanght that deration of these entirely from our spiritual pri- God is both able and willing to render the privavileges, because all God's mercies flow to ustion conducive to our higher and more permanent through the channel of mediation, and we are interests, and to supply all our real need according less than the least of any of them. Whatever to his riches in glory hy Christ Jesus? In takhelp has been vouchsafed to us, hitherto, as the ing a retrospect of our temporal mercies, let us creatures of the divine hand, we have received in not forget the interchange of those relative and consequence of hat unspeakable gift of love friendly offices which minister so abundantly to which the Father hath bestowed on us in the the happiness of our condition. How precious Lord our Saviour. Still, my friends, it is of are those mutual charities, in which the heart of great consequence to bear habitually in mind our man is knit to his kinsmen, his friends, his neighobligations to God for those common mercies, as bours, his fellow-countrymen, his brethren in they are sometimes called, which, as creatures | Christ! Much of the value of human existence simply, we have received from him. The enume- depends on the cultivation of those living symparation even of these surpasses our powers of recol- thies which flow through the social system, causing lection as far as it does those of thankful acknow- us to rejoice with them that rejoice, and to weep ledgment. Their history preceded our birth, and with them that weep. In every instance of a has run parallel with every hour of our being. brother born for adversity, we have reason to mark Let us reflect on the place assigned to us in the the loving-kindness of the Lord, who hath not, creation of God. Why were we endowed with because of our guilt, separated us for ever from rational and immortal spirits, rendered capable of the communion of the kind affections, and caused the exercises of contemplation, forethought, and us to know the extent of misery involved in that judgment, the powers of our minds, in their finite saying, “ hateful and hating one another.” In sur capacities, bearing witness to the infinite wisdom veying the wide range of our social relations, ant which created them? Why have so many inlets the happiness which we have experienced amidst to enjoyment been furnished for our sentient and them, we are constrained to raise our Eben-ezeraccountable nature, every faculty and affection our stone of remembrance—and to inscribe on it, proving that the Lord is good unto all, and that “ Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." his tender mercies are over all his works? And In the second place, let us review our spiritual as we have been thus “ fearfully and wonderfully mercies, in connection with the dispensation of made,” so our preservation in the land of the liv- the Gospel of the grace of God. ing is due exclusively to the truth, “ that hitherto It is here, my friends, that the text is seen in hath the Lord helped us.” Look back, my friends, the most varied and impressive lights; for it is to the helplessness of your infant years, and re- here that the Lord has been emphatically the help flect on the gracious provisions which not only and salvation of his people. From everlasting met, but even anticipated all your necessities, in Jehovah laid help for us on the Son of his love: the exercise of the parental affections, or in the and in the fulness of time sent him forth, male kind assiduities of those who loved you as their of a woman, made under the law, to redeem thels own souls. In how many subsequent stages of that were under the law, that we might receive your being have you experienced the help of God, the adoption of sons. In the scheme of our salo when he averted from you some threatened dan- vation by the Lord Jesus Christ, the help of Gied ger, or restored you from the couch of sickness, is, throughout, shown to be indispensable ; for or gave you his own strength to endure when helplessness, the very extremity of helplessness heart and flesh had begun to faint and fail! In characterises our low and lost estate. “Are we what a countless variety of instances have you helplessly guilty ? as identified with a self-lesrealised the protection of an overruling Provi- troyed race, condemned of heaven, and exposed to dence, the strength of an Almighty arm, the everlasting punishment ? In this situation, an overflowings of a Father's bountifulness! Hath atoning sacrifice was offered to the divine justice, not the Lord helped you to use the comforts of infinite and imperishable value,—a Lamb withwhich he had so amply provided, whether in your out blemish and without spot, whereby reconciindividual or relative experience, giving you the liation was made for iniquity, and a mercy-sesi power and the disposition to enjoy them? When provided for the refuge of the very chief of sur the mind is rightly exercised, we shall discover ners. causes for gratitude in whatever state Divine Pro- Are we, moreover, helplessly depraved, enemies vidence has placed us. Nay, the most ordinary to God, in our minds, and by wicked works

, our mercies will, in such circumstances, seem to us in spiritual beauty having consumed away like the

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moth ; and in us, that is in our flesh, dwelling no faithful love to the test. Was I in the depths of good thing ? The Lord hath made abundant and spiritual wretchedness? He left me not to sink suitable provision for our restoration to the purity, unpitied and forlorn, but revealed to me his power as well as to the safety of the redeemed. In that and his willingness to save. Was I overwhelmed fulness of grace and truth that belongs to the Lord with the burden of indwelling iniquity, my tresour Saviour,--with whom is the residue of the passes having gone up unto the heavens? Í heard Spirit,—there is seasonable help for every time of his voice saying, “ Come unto me, all ye that are need. Are we ignorant of any department of weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Christian obligation or privilege ? " The Lord Was I like men at their wit's end, tossed to and helps us to see these in their Scriptural import, fro on an ocean of conflicting difficulties because of anointing our eyes with the eye-salve of his own adverse providences, as I deemed them, “when my divine illumination. Are we helplessly destitute fig-tree had ceased to blossom, and the labour of of every spiritual benefit? The Lord gives unto my olive had failed, and no fruit was found in my us the bread of life which came down from heaven, vine, nor herd in my stall ?” Even then a stone for “ his flesh is meat indeed, and his blood is of remembrance was raised to that Lord who had drink indeed.” Are we in a dry and thirsty land, hitherto helped me. He who had hedged me in where no water is ? He hath helped us by opening on every side, as a trial of my faith and patience, a fountain in the desert, and springs of living water at length opened my way before me, and by his to satiate every weary, and to replenish every sor- own blessing, on his own providential ordinations, rowful soul. The Lord hath thus proved helpful caused me to reap an abundant harvest of the to us as our provider, our physician, our guardian. peaceable fruits of righteousness. Was I plunged In him his people are complete, and through him into the depths of anguish, because the desire of they lack nothing that is good. He sends forth my eyes had been cut off with a stroke, and the his Spirit to teach them the way of life, and he sorrows of death got hold on me? In that season strengthens them“ with all might in the inner man, of unutterable affliction, the Lord helped me to say, that they may go forward from strength to strength, not with a feigned, although with a burdened until they arrive perfect before God in Zion. heart, « The will of the Lord be done."

But it is necessary to be more minute and spe- It is thus, my friends, that each Christian's excific, in reference to the application of the text, to perience may be distinctly subservient to his unthe case of individual Christians. There are, in- derstanding of our text. And it is by such exdeed, necessities common to all men, for which, perience, indeed, that any portion of God's Word therefore, a common salvation is provided. Still is best understood ; for until we are placed in the it may be affirmed, with perfect justness, that very circumstances to which the Scriptures are whilst the heart of one man answereth to another, | adapted, we can have little more than a speculative even as in water face answereth to face, there are apprehension of their meaning. individual varieties of spiritual condition, as there We would, therefore, observe, in the third are of external features, which render each man's place, that the Christian's growing meetness for experience his own and not another's. And this heaven bears testimony to the language of Samuel, presents a strong additional cause of thankfulness, / “ Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. in considering the help which the Lord hath pro- This head of the subject has been in some meavided for his Church. It is help wisely and ex- sure anticipated, under the preceding head; but actly suited to the countless diversities of our spi- it is of sufficient importance to require separate ritual wants. It is help, accordingly, comprehend illustration. As the Lord is the source of all spiing the very amount of light which is necessary for ritual blessings, so it is his efficacious grace

which every season of darkness or of difficulty; of strength enables us to use them for his own glory, and our for every season of weakness, and of consolation Christian edification. Whatever measures of knowfor every hour of sorrow. The precise situation ledge, or faith, or holiness, we attain, are, thus, to of every member of the household of faith,—all be ascribed to the help of the Lord. It is He who his circumstances, whether joyous or grievous, are prepares the soil of the human heart for the recep“ naked and open unto the eyes of Him with tion of the good seed, in order that it

may spring whom we have to do,” and there is, therefore, a up, and yield fruit to his own praise and glory. superabundant fulness, which is adapted to every The same Lord enables us to exercise faith, and exigency. It would be unbefitting the infinitude hope, and repentant affections, and strengthens all of God were it otherwise. Could we conceive a these and other graces in the soul. By his help solitary exception which should not come within we labour, and by his help we endure. It is He the “exceeding riches of his grace,” that excep- who teaches our hands to war, and our fingers to tion would prove a want of adequacy in the pro- fight-strengthens us amidst the heat and burden visions of the Gospel. But it is not so.

of the day, and fortifies our souls against the con« Father's house there is bread enough and to spare," quests of the prince of darkness. It is to Him we and, therefore, every specific instance of want, or are indebted for whatever divine light is shed over of woe; of temporal or spiritual destitution ; of the warnings, or the promises ; the doctrines, or personal or relative distress, is thoroughly provided the precepts; the examples, or the consolations for.

llitherto hath the Lord helped us,” is of the written Word. These means of salvation, the blissful experience of all who have put his how excellent and seasonable soever, possess no

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inherent efficacy to soften the hardness of the ple testimony to the help of God in a juncture of human heart ; to quicken its languid affections; to critical interest to the civil and religious privileges concentrate or direct its energies ; to sustain its of ancient Israel. The ark of God had been refortitude, or to check its rebellious tendencies. stored after its sacrilegious detention amongst the But when the Lord helps us by his Spirit to pro- enemies of the truth. And the stone of rememfit through the Word, we are thereby enabled to brance was intended to perpetuate that cheering acknowledge that he is in it of a truth. And as event. Samuel and his brethren did not look to the reading of the Scriptures is wholly ineffectual their own things only, but they rejoiced in renderfor salvation, without the help of the Lord causing ing unto God the things that are God's. They us to understand and apply them, so the preaching had wept when they remembered Zion, and they of the truth is powerless, if unaccompanied with were glad when the majesty of the Lord God of the Spirit's helpful influence. The treasure of the Israel was again presented to their contemplation Gospel is in earthen vessels, that the excellency through his own appointed symbol. and the power may appear to be of God and not Was this the experience of Jehovah's ancient of man.

We cannot fix on a single point of the heritage ? Did they give thanks unto the Lord, Christian's history from the period of his transla- not merely because of their own personal comforts, tion from death unto life, until he reach the per- but sympathise most strongly with the restored fected felicity of his nature in the heavenly world, indications of his presence in the midst of them? that bears not on it this inscription : “ Hitherto Were they very jealous for the honour of the hath the Lord helped us.” Whether it was by Lord of Hosts? In the sublime language of the some arousing dispensation of providence in which Psalmist, who was soon to be their monarch, did his ear was opened to discipline, or by some vivid they say, “ We will not give sleep to our eyes, manifestation of Scripture truth to the conscience, nor slumber to our eye-lids, until we find out a --by the terrors of judgment, or the alluring in place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty vitations of mercy,—by the thunders of Sinai, or God of Jacob?” And ought not we, brethren, on the glories of Mount Zion, in whatever way the whom the ends of the world are come, to form the work of his preparation for eternity was furthered, same resolution, and offer up our united praver, to God's help he ascribes the whole. In the or- “ Arise, O Lord, unto thy rest : thou and the ark dinary course of things, this truth may fail to be of thy strength ?” kept steadily in view. But, there are seasons of We fear that many professed Christians conspecial necessity, ever and anon occurring, which ceive, that their duty is sufficiently discharged rouse to a more lively impression of it. There when they mind the things that belong to their are times of peculiar sacredness in the Christian's own peace, and fulfil the more ordinary obligations course, that demonstrate the necessity of a better of domestic and social life. But, my friends, horwisdom and a higher strength than his own, as in ever sincere the piety of such persons may be, it times of great personal affliction, or under very is devoid of an essential element of true religion

, striking domestic visitations, when he feels how that of an enlarged regard to the divine glory, ia utterly vain is the help of man, and how precious connection with the interests of the kingdom of is the help of God. And when under the pres- grace on earth. The Christian, especially if he sure of such calamities, he grasps, with tenacious have leisure and other facilities at command, ough: earnestness, the rod and staff which the Shepherd to consider himself as bound to maintain the cause of Israel hath proffered, and lays hold on his of his Redeemer in its enlarged relations to the strength, he then “knows in whom he has believed, human family. The church of the living Goi. and that he is able to keep that which he has the pillar and ground of the truth, must be indcommitted unto him against that day.” Nor does nitely more sacred to his heart than any earthly his stone of remembrance disappear even amidst considerations. With every addition to its numthe waters of Jordan; the floods of death do not bers, and with every increase to their faith, hope, overwhelm it. “ Hitherto hath the Lord helped and charity, he must seek to possess a community us,” is the Christian's memorial in life and in of feeling. When the ark of God is removed, or death, as it shall be the theme of his everlasting when danger overhangs it ; when aliens from the praise when the feebleness, and the wants, and the commonwealth of Israel would carry it away, or tribulations of the present time shall all be ex- tarnish its lustre, the Christian must then gird up changed for that world in which there is fulness the loins of his mind, and, with the help of God, of joy and pleasures for evermore. “ And God contend earnestly for the faith once delivered unta shall wipe away all tears from their eyes ; and the saints. And, if honoured to be a fellowthere shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor worker with God in thus maintaining a testimony crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for for his name's sake, the most natural and appathe former things are passed away.”

priate expression of his heart will be that of the But the text reminds us, that it is not in the prophet, “ Hitherto hath the Lord helped us personal or private walks of Christian experience Nor will he cease from exertion, nor from prater, only, that we ought to raise a stone of remem- until the night come, when no man can work. brance, saying, “ Hitherto hath the Lord helped Whilst the wise men of the world sport themseiras us." The transactions recorded in this chapter, with their own deceivings, and prosecute as the are of a public and national character, bearing am- ruling passion of their hearts, that their own names

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ON THE EVIL OF

be inscribed on the stones of this perishable earth ; | Christ came to save the chief of sinners, and that those

who come unto him he will in no wise cast out. Prowhilst they pursue the fleeting phantoms of a scene, which is full of vanity and vexation of ceeding on these declarations, they would acquire more

and more of the character and consolation of true Chris. spirit, the Christian labours to extend the memo

tians; and thus, by inverting the order of their inquirials of Jehovah's mercy and grace, rejoicing in ries, they would gradually obtain, in the way of legitithe prospect of that glorious era described by in- mate inference, that satisfaction which they can never spired prophets, in which men shall be blessed in properly find in the way of direct search. the Saviour, and all nations shall call him blessed. There are, again, various things in the grand and Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, vealed as to the mere fact, but which are kept secret as

comprehensive purposes of the Almighty, which are rewho only doeth wondrous things; and blessed he

to the time : and therefore, it is in vain for us to enhis glorious name for ever. And let the whole deavour to settle the exact period when they are to earth be filled with his glory. Amen and amen. take place. When the disciples put this question to

Jesus after his resurrection, Lord wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel ?” he replied,

“ It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, VAIN CURIOSITY, AND INDETERMINABLE which the Father hath put in his own power. But yo AND USELESS SPECULATIONS. shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon No. II.

you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jeru

salem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the BY THE REV. JAMES FOOTE, A. M.,

uttermost parts of the earth." Our Lord did not stop Minister of the East Parish of Aberdeen. to rectify their carnal views which the descent of the

Holy Spirit was soon to dissipate, nor did he give them Having, in a former paper, considered the evil of vain any direct answer to the question in its spiritual imcuriosity and indeterminable and useless speculations, as

port; but he proceeded immediately to inform them it shews itself in the attempts which are often made to

how they were to be qualified, and how they were to settle certain points more positively and circumstantially act, for the advancement of his kingdom throughout the than they are settled in Scripture, we shall now proceed world. In like manner, still, no certainty is likely to to consider it, and put in a caution against it, in refer- be obtained as to the time when the Gospel shall preence to all prying into the secret purposes of the Al- vail through the whole earth ; nor is much good likely mighty.

to arise even from the most modest attempts to fix it. “ 'The Lord of Hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as But what is that to us? Does our comfort, or our I have thought, so shall it come to pass ; and as I have duty, depend either on our knowledge, or on our ignopurposed, so shall it stand.” “My counsel shall stand, rance of that point? Should we not rejoice that the and I will do all my pleasure.” God “worketh all

event is certain ? Is not our duty in the mean time things after the counsel of his own will.” Such is the plain? Are we not called on to do what we can to truth : but beyond this we can seldom go with certainty promote the cause of the Redeemer ? Has he not lest or safety; for, except in the few instances in which with his Church the very intelligible command, God himself has made a particular discovery, these pur- ye, and teach all nations?” Is it not always the time poses are inscrutable till they be manifested by the re- for us to be exerting ourselves towards the desired cogsult. And yet much time is wasted in endeavouring summation? And ought we not to be praying, and to anticipate the knowledge of some of them, while the planning, and labouring, that the kingdoms of this world divine declaration by Moses is disregarded,—“ Secret | may become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things Christ ? which are revealed belong unto us, and to our children So also, (as may be seen at large throughout the for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew,) when the disciples Thus it is, for example, with regard to the intinitely asked of our Lord the time and the signs, both of the important purpose,— God's purpose as to the salvation of destruction of Jerusalem, and of the general judgment, individuals. It is true that believers are exhorted to saying, “ Tell us when shall these things be ? and what “ make their calling and election sure. But then, shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the their election can be ascertained by themselves only, in world ?” he gave them no chronological answer, either consequence of their being actually called, or brought as to the one event, or as to the other, but only furinto a state of grace : and when it is thus scripturally nished them with some signs of each, and gave them ascertained, it is no longer one of “the secret things, directions how to prepare for both, and especially for but it is one of the things which are “ revealed," and the great day of judgment; in reference to which, as which belong to them. If, however, men venture to shadowed forth by the national calamity, he said, “ Of reason and determine, independently on their actual that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels conversion, whether or not they are within God's pur- of heaven, but my Father only.” Watch, therefore, pose of mercy, this is highly presumptuous and danger- for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come!

On this plan, there is reason to fear that some “ Be ye also ready; for, in such an hour as ye think continue in unbelief and sin, satisfying themselves with not, the Son of Man cometh.” Instead, therefore, of the idea, altogether without evidence, that they are the here prying into what cannot be determined, let us live chosen of God. On the other hand, it is not very un- habitually under the belief of Christ's second coming, common to meet with persons in great distress of mind, and give all diligence, that we may be found in Ilim because, not being able to come to the conclusion that without spot, and blameless. they are possessed of the character of God's children, Moreover, as many of God's purposes are secret as or influenced by some unaccountable impression, or, to their nature, or as to the time of their fulfilment, so forgetting that the only certain proof of reprobation is many of them are secret as to the reasons of their adopfinal impenitence, they conclude, very unscripturally tion. Hence it is said that “God's judgments are a and presumptuously, that there neither is, nor ever will great deep,” that "his footsteps are not known," and be, any mercy for them. Instead of brooding over this that “ he giveth not account of any of his matters. idea, which is alarning enough to overwhelm the strong- Into the reasons, therefore, of his purposes, further than est mind, they ought to fix on the plain declarations of what he himself has been pleased to open up, we canGod's Word, that all who believe shall be saved that not penetrate, and ought not to pry. Let it suflice us

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to know, and carefully to improve for holiness and com- question might have been a wise one,) but curious to
fort, this general truth that God is intiuenced by rea- know particularly, and by name, who was the greatest
sons, and proceeding on a plan, according to which he of all his immediate disciples. Accordingly, Jesus, as
will most effectnally cause all things to work together usual in such cases, instead of giving a direct answer

,
for glory to himself, and for good to them that love him, | replied in such a way as to lead them to think of thein-
and are the called according to his purpose. If, when selves; he told them that except they were converted
attempting to go beyond this, we are reduced to a non- they should not enter into the kingdom of heaven as
plus, let us humbly stop short, and devoutly exclaim, all, and that of those who did enter, the humblest should
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and be the greatest. This teaches us that instead of disa
knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judg- puting who of all the great and good men in our day is
ments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath the greatest and the best, which could only tend to stir
known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been bis up envy and jealousy, we ought ourselves to see that
counsellor ? Or who hath first given to him, and it we be indeed converted, that we belong to Christ's
shall be recompensed unto him again? For, of him, kingdom, and that we be seeking to excel in every
and through him, and to him are all things; to whom grace, but especially in humility.
be glory for ever. Amen.

Wben, again, one said to Jesus, “ Are there few that We shall only advert, at present, to one other mode be saved ? ” he replied, "Strive to enter in at the strait in which the unhappy and unprofitable turn of mind in gate ; for many will seek to enter in and shall not be question, operates, namely, inquisitiveness with regard able.". Now, to what purpose should we spend time to things relating to others. We are not, indeed, to in calculations and inquiries as to the number of those cherish that selfish and contracted spirit which would who may get to heaven? Suppose we could ascertain render us indifferent to what really concerns the hap- | it, which we cannot, of what benefit would it be to us? piness of our fellow-creatures; on the contrary, we are, Rather let us be earnest in the prosecution of our own considerately and kindly, to “look not every man on salvation. Rather let us anxiously inquire, each for his own things, but every man also on the things of himself, “What must I do to be saved ?" However others. At the same time we ought to avoid such in- many may be lost, will that prove any excuse for my oterferences and inquiries as are uncalled for, and as argue stinacy, or alleviate my condemnation, if I also perish? on our part, rather an impertinent curiosity, than an However many may be saved, will that be of any mohonest desire to benefit either our neighbour or ourselves. ment to me, if I am not among them? I will, thereThe Apostle Paul speaks with much disapprobation of fore, by the help of God, withdraw from those wio those who “learn to be idle, wandering about from are going down to death; and as I see a company was house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also, are pressing into the kingdom of heaven, I will add ? and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not ; to the number. and he enjoins Christians, instead of meddling with the We are informed, in the last chapter of John's Gos. affairs of others, to “ study to be quiet, and to do their pel, that when our Lord had told Peter that he was to own business." We should recollect, too, that it will suffer martyrdom for bis sake, Peter seeing John is. not be a whit more wise in us that it is the spiritual, and lowing Jesus, said, “ Lord, and what shall this La not the temporal welfare of others that interests us, if, do?” or more literally, “ What as to this man?" that while we are minding them, we are forgetting ourselves, is, What is to be John's history and end? Is he also if, while we are busied in keeping their vineyards, our to die a martyr ? In reply to this question, Christ sali own vineyard we have not kept.

to Peter, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is Neither does it belong to us, generally speaking, to that to thee?” Whatever information may have been form, or to pronounce any positive opinion as to the couched in this way of speaking, it is evident that our religious state and character of others.. " Who art thou Lord declined giving Peter a direct and positive answer, that judgest another man's servant ? to his own master being displeased with the improper curiosity whics he standeth or falleth. Instead of this, it will be bet- manifested, at a moment when it would have been ta: ter for us to scrutinize ourselves, and to judge ourselves. more becoming in him to have been intensely oeceLet every man prove his own work, and then shall pied about his own duty, and endeavouring, by in he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. ther edifying communication with his Lord, and by For every man shall bear his own burden.”

prayer, to acquire faith and courage sufficient to eat Solomon adverts to one inquiry of little moment, in him through the labours and sufferings to which be wa these words, Say not thou, What is the cause that | divinely called, and which he had solemnly engaged to the former days were better than these ? for thou dost undergo. “ What is that to thee? Follow thou se. not inquire wisely concerning this.” It must be pre- Cease, as if our Lord had said, cease to waste precios mature to inquire into the cause of such degeneracy be- time in such inquiries, and let it be thy constant stuu fore we are sure of the fact; and this, to say the least, to follow me,to follow me as thine instructor in ewill often be very difficult to ascertain. Of what use, vine truth, as the only object of thy trust, as thy Lure too, is it to declaim against the growing profanity of the whose commands thou art bound to obey, and as Lily world, if our zeal evaporate in such declaination, and pattern, whose example thou art to copy; and if theine we sit down in indolence, and make no attempt to stem wilt come after me, deny thyself, and iake up thyeres, the torrent ? If, indeed, in our belief of the surpassing and follow me through sufferings and death. Cene i iniquity and misery of our own generation, we exert amuse thyself with vain speculations, and make it easy ourselves to improve it, then that belief, whether cor- great concern thus to follow me. rect or unfounded, is harınless. But such a belief is No doubt, like Peter, in this case, we would or not necessary as a motive to action, for, whether the times be glad if we could know what is to be fel times be better or worse, it will always be our duty friends in this life, and when they are to have acero to do what we can for the public good; and with regard with this life altogether. This will frequently be som especially to the improvement of the religious character for example, when any important temporal isterest of the age, we ought never to forget the importance of depending on the life of another ; but here the ingom looking to ourselves, for, every person would reform is quite in vain. It is natural enough, too, for det one, all would be reformed.

lations to feel somewhat in this way towards ou The disciples put this question to our Lord, "Who other; for a father, for example, as he looks with best is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” not inquir- eye on the son of his love, to feel as if he would ing, without reference to any individual, who, generally to himself

, “ How will this my son conduet blazer speaking, was tlie greatest by character, (for then the How will he succeed in the world?

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