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tinct. Saul may offer sacrifice, Ahab put on sackcloth, Absalom pay his vows, and Herod worship the babe; but neither finds acceptance, because the state of the heart is
The nominal Christian may say, “I received my religion as an heirloom from my ancestors,” or through the medium of educational bias and conviction; or from the lip of some eloquent expounder of evangelical doctrine; but the genuine disciple may, with unpresuming eye, look upwards and say, “I received it not of man, but by revelation of Jesus Christ.'”
Again. It teaches us to distinguish between the varieties of character which obtain within the precincts of the church itself, between Christian and Christian, between those who give token of advanced spirituality and ripeness for heaven, and those of inferior attainments and of less vigorous piety. “ One star differeth from another star in glory.” Some attain an early maturity, and some continue “children in understanding” to a late period in life. The difference, perhaps, mainly consists in the degree in which voluntary attention is directed to religious objects; and the golden opportunities accessible to all are, or are not, conscientiously improved. Some run with patience the race set before them; others halt in their mid-way course, and long to unclasp their armour, if they do not surrender their shield. Some, like the children of Israel at Horeb, are satisfied to skirt the base of the Mount; whilst others, like Moses, ascend its summit, converse with God face to face, and bear about them much of the brightness and blessedness of the region in which they had found their happiness and their home. Some, like the Galatians, give ear to something very much like “ another gospel;" others, like the apostle, amidst lamented infirmities, firmly abide by “the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Finally. Our subject reads an impressive lesson to the ministers of religion.
“ They must not,” as Perkins judiciously remarks, “content themselves with that teaching which they find in the schools ; but they must learn Christ as Paul learned him. They that would convert others must be effectually converted. John must first eat the book, and then prophesy. The knowledge of Christ
crucified is Paul's learning, and this is the best learning of all." A man can preach no more than he knows; and much of the success of the ministry of the word depends upon the life and fervour of personal religious experience. Two men may possess equal intellectual endowments, and be alike conversant with the grand outline of Christian truth; but a marked difference will be visible in the moral impression and result of their labours. Who can read the writings of Bishop Leighton and Bishop Horsley without perceiving (though they held many truths in common) how much the former exceeded the latter upon the turning points of religious experience, and in that deep pathos which results from the fervour of devotional sentiment? Henry Martyn, as his journals show, was distinguished for his love of prayer. “ If there be any thing I do,” he says, “if there be any thing I leave undone, let me be perfect in prayer.” St. Paul began, continued, and concluded, his apostolical career in the spirit of devotion. He seems to have dwelt in an atmosphere of heavenly light, looking, from first to last, for “the revelation of Jesus Christ." Go and do likewise.
(To be continued.)
PLAN OF A SERMON ON PSALM XVIII. 30.
THE WORD OF THE LORD IS TRIED."
The Word.—His revelation of himself and of all needful truth
in the Scriptures. Tried.-As gold or silver in the refining pot.—Put to the test.
As it is to be tried, it is such a word as he will abide by. Heaven and earth shall pass, before the smallest part want fulfilment.
THE WORD. It relates to our present state
Revealing his intention concerning it as a state of trial.-Matt. xxv. 14 to end.
Every one receives to improve, and
in order to an account. It relates to the future- -As a state of unchangeable glory to
Ruin to his enemies. Its whole revelation is at variance with the maxims and opinions
of the world.-All put to the issue.
Tried by the godly.
State, poor; Helpless.- Rev. ii. 17.
Without Christ, nothing.-John xv. 5. His invitations
-Come to me weary.—Matt. xi. 28.
Whoever comes, none cast out.
-I will pour out my Spirit-Isa. xliv. 3.
A very present help in need.
Way of peace.
. Of safety.
To bring to glory.
hearts-hope of glory. Tried by the ungodly. Its imperishable nature.-Tried by their opposition to it.
His declarations- -Sin—an evil and bitter thing.
-Of consequences of sin.
No peace. Isaiah xlviii. 22.
Lamb of God terrible in judgment.
Cities of the plain.
Pharaohs', Belshazzars', Herods'.
pour out a blessing.”—Mal. iii. 10. His reference to experience
Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever? But my laws and my statues which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers ? and they returned and said, Like as the Lord of Hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us. Zech. i. 5, 6.
XIII. ENLARGED OUTLINES OF A SERMON ON THE
Exodus iii. 1-5.
MOSES SAID, I WILL NOW TURN ASIDE AND SEE THIS GREAT
(By the Rev. Samuel Thodey, of Cambridge.) In the annals of the human race, there is scarcely any name stands higher than that of Moses, for the influence that he exerted
upon his own and succeeding times. Moses was the bistorian of the creation, the legislator of the human race, the conqueror of Egypt's proudest monarchs, the founder of the Israelitish nation, an eminent type of the Son of God in his prophetic character; raised, in company with Elias, ages after his death, to hold communion with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration; and his name is honoured to mingle with the songs of heaven, for they sing the song of Moses, and the song of the Lamb.
Eminent in all these respects, he was still more distinguished in that one department in which all may hope to emulate him, in the devotional habits of his mind, and his desire for communion with God. And it is delightful to know that in the greatest of all pursuits, the exercise of piety and godliness, the humblest Christian may aim, not unsuccessfully, to place his feet in the footprints of those who have gone before. The highest gifts of genius and intellectual superiority God gives to few; but the opportunity of access to him by faith and prayer, he places within reach of all. He calls to the ends of the earth, and says, Let him that is athirst come. Jesus says, Him that cometh I nill in no wise cast out.
Paul assures us, The same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Do you ask what was the principle of his greatness? I answer, it was Faith. "
“By faith, Moses, when he came to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter.” It was faith