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instead of them. How lamentable that at such a stage of advancement, the man should be a “cast-away." Not from any pre-ordination, not from any arbitrary refusal of the good Spirit to proceed in this renovating work, but because of resisting, quenching, doing despite to the Spirit, because of admitting instead of repelling temptation, because of laying aside instead of putting on the whole armour of God. Seven spirits more wicked than his natural passions take possession of the backslider's heart, and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
It is strange that a truth so plainly taught by Christ and his apostles should be gainsayed; and yet is it not plainly declared, “ that men shall turn away their ear from sound doctrine, and be turned unto notions." Those things which happened to Israel we are plainly taught were ensamples to us, and for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” Paul shews that privileges unimproved defeat the end which is salvation. He says to the Hebrews, brethren, “ I would not have you ignorant that all our forefathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink of the same spiritual drink (which was Christ the Rock who followed them); but with many of them God was displeased, for they were destroyed in the wilderness," " wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."
We have an eminent illustration of this in the case of Judas, who was one of the chosen twelve; one of those on whom Christ breathed, saying, “Receive ye the Holy Spirit;" one of those to whom He gave power to heal all diseases, and to cast out the spirits of darkness : and after all Judas who preached to others was himself a cast-away.
The wrath of God burns unquenchably; but not for the
THE HUMAN HEART.
The heart of the well-educated philosopher exhibits the subjugation of the meaner passions by the power of reason and philosophy. The study and love of science, history, languages, and works of master-minds, have contributed to cultivate his mind and refine his intellectual taste. Every thing base in principle, and gross in manners, shocks and disgusts him; he is as far removed from the grade of the sensualist as the lion is from that of the mole. Both are unregenerated animal nature; but the one has in his studies and pursuits recognized mind, and the other body alone.
But after all with this contempt of every ignoble pursuit and sordid action, the splendid edifice of morals, taste, and imagination, which the philosopher has raised to immortalize his name, is built on a sandy foundation ; his own unrenewed will and affections being the only security of its existence. When all is calm sunshine, it wears its imposing aspect on high, as if it claimed the admiration of every eye; but the wintry storms of adversity-of bereavement—of disease, beat upon it; and not being founded upon the. Rock of Ages, it falls. Adversity finds the theorist unprepared for its bitter practical experience—bereavement of his idols, incurably lacerates his heart. He becomes disgusted with life and society. His fine and susceptible mind, whose powers had been quickened by cultivation in that intellectual sphere which he unduly prized, has lost the objects on which his affections centered; he sinks under the weight of his visitation ; he is the prey of melancholy, or subsides into a gloomy misanthrophy. When the discipline of the Creator secures its design in turning such characters from the love of idols to
the love of their first Benefactor, to whom they are bound by every tie of duty, affection, and gratitude, they become burning and shining lights to the world; such an one was Saul of Tarsus-such an one was Moses.
What is the vaunted name of philosopher but a sound ? They are theorists; but practical philosophy is illustrated by true believers, and that in every rank of society. The poor child of penury has here far out-done the proud philosopher, his philosophy did not forsake, but fortify him at the hour of death. What is philosophy? Is it not to be resigned and contented under every vicissitude of fortune? Is it not to be possessed of that magnanimity of soul which is neither elated with prosperity nor depressed by adversity ? Is it not to meet death undismayed, not with stoical insensibility of his terrors, but with the conviction that the Redeemer has deprived death of its sting, and the grave of its triumph ? Is it not with the dark valley full in view, and when about to leave what nature clings to in this world, to be able to say: “ I know in whom I have believed, and that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against the Great Day."
Our Lord informs us, that which is highly esteemed among men (in philosophy and every other mere profession) is abomination in the sight of God. However amiable and accomplished the philosopher may be, God accounts him an ungrateful, wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked rebel, having a heart at enmity with revealed Truth. God has appointed that Jesus Christ shall be the way through whom all must come; but the philosopher, like the sceptical Syrian, says of his unsanctified attainments, are not Abna and Pharpar, rivers in Damascus, better than the waters of Israel ? God cannot look without abhorrence on a heart in which the evil passions still exist, however subdued they may be, while he has offered to bestow a power which is capable of expelling them; and nothing but a renewed heart he can own or behold with complacency. Unless ye be born again, O miscalled philosopher, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of God: other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, Christ Jesus. The ordeal which God has appointed to try men's works in the latter day, will reveal whether they have raised on it those sterling virtues, and graces, which are compared to gold and precious stones, or those vain theories which are the creatures of their own device, and which, like wood, hay and stubble, are in their very nature unprofitable but as fuel to the fire. To the philosopher as well as to the sordid slaves of their passions, the call is, “ Awake thou that sleepest! arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light!"
THE HUMAN HEART.
The Heart which has become a shrine for the Holy Spirit, holds communion with the Father and the Son, having peace and joy in believing !
The will and affections are changed into obedience and gratitude. The fruit of the Holy Spirit admits not of counterfeit. Love is the seal of its alliance to the Holy One; and the bond which unites the new creature to his whole ransomed family above, and on earth.
“ If ye love me,” saith the Redeemer, “ keep my commandments.” Happy they whose hearts are thus renewed after the image of the second Adam! Newness of life bears witness that they are indeed the children of God, They trust with implicit confidence in the guidance of their glorified Head. His will prompts every action ; dictates every enterprize ; regulates every wish. Was he crucified to the world, which lieth in the Wicked One ? Was he cold to its applause ; regardless of its censure; dead to its attractions ? So are his members. Was he made perfect by suffering ? So are they. Did he bear witness to Truth, regardless of personal consequence ? So do they. Was he reproached without a cause ? So are they. The servants are as their Lord.
Wouldst thou be acknowledged, dear youth, by thy Lord when he comes surrounded with hosts of holy angels, to be the admiration of all who believed His testimony ! Wouldst thou participate in the glory then to be revealed ? Wouldst thou wear a crown which shall never pass from thee? Seekest thou to be one of those who shall be the firstfruits of the first resurrection of believers; one of those whom thy Lord calls blessed and holy, in being made partakers with Him of that Rest which remaineth for the people