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fleeting; and they issue in anguish and despair. There is, assuredly, no peace--no solid or lasting peace to the wicked while the peace of God himself a peace which passeth understanding, which banishes every fear, and fills the soul with joy unspeakable--is the por tion of him, and of him alone, whe repents and turns to God.
But the subject addresses itself to persons of every age, even to those who may have grown grey in the service of sin. Even these, though at the eleventh hour, are invited to repent and turn to God: and how incumbent is it upon such, while judgment and eternity press upon them, to attend to the invitation! There is hope even for them. If they will now come to God, repenting of their sins, and trusting in their Saviour, he will in no wise cast them out; he will receive them with joy, and welcome them, as the father in the parable his lost but returning child. Now, then, is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation; and, after so long a time, it is still called to-day. Therefore let us no more harden our hearts against him; lest he swear in his wrath, that we shall never enter into his rest.
And here I would remark, that repentance is not, as some suppose, the work of a Christian at the beginning merely of his religious course. It will continue to be his daily work, until he shall lay aside his mortal flesh. While we remain in this world, we shall find daily and hourly cause to humble our selves before God, for the sins of our thoughts, words, and actions. It is not with the confident and the presumptuous, but with the humble, the lowly, and the contrite, that God loves to dwell. And we may be assured, that, however strong at one time may have been our convictions of sin, and however loud may now be our profession of religion; unless we are in the daily exercise of humiliation; unless we daily repent, and daily
bring forth fruit meet for repent. ance; unless we are daily dying to sin, and living unto righteousness; we are still in our sins; sin still reigns in our mortal bodies, bring ing forth fruit unto death.
And now, let no one among us make any more excuses or delay but flee from the wrath to come: Evil pursueth sinners; and if death overtake us in our sins, eternal misery will be our portion. Yet a long-suffering God has patience with us. The Gospel still invites us. Jesus Christ still assures us he has no pleasure in our death, and prays us to turn to him, that our souls may live. If these things affect us as they ought, let us determine, whatsoever our hands find to do, to do it with all our might, for there is no work, nor device; nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither we are all hastening.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. As you have cast a comprehensive glance around the extensive circle which your eye commands, you have probably been often called to lament the evils resulting from the absence of habitual self-controul.
In the walks of public and of private life; in man, considered as a part of the great community of the world, and as head of the little sphere in which his lot, as an individual, is cast; we discern but too many incontrovertible proofs of the grievances which flow from this source.
It is to some few of the ills thus originating, as they affect us in domestic life, that I am now desirous of calling the attention of your readers. Where shall we find the man who may not see ample ground to deplore that we are disposed practically to deny truths which in theory we acknowledge? Faith has for its object the whole word of God; and we confess it to be the believer's privilege to walk with his Maker in the exercise of this heavenly principle, and,
by the power of God's Spirit, to mortify the whole body of sin. We also admit that they who content themselves with aiming at any thing short of this in practice, are too much strangers to their real state, and to the nature of that liberty wherewith Christ has promised to make his people free. But does our life correspond to our profession? How often do we see the characters of some valuable persons clouded, and the influence which they would otherwise so justly gain greatly counteracted, by comparatively small faults! We are feelingly awake to this fact in the case of our neighbours: but let us bring the matter home to our own bosoms.
It is a trite but important remark, that life is made up of a succession of little parts; and that each day derives its character from the prevailing ingredients in the multitude of little occurrences which accompany its flight: yet, alas! on retracing our own steps, in searching out our own hearts, we are disposed to rest satisfied with a very partial and limited survey. We fix upon some few scattered points of peculiar prominence, and, uniting them into a whole, sit down well pleased with the result; while the innumerable little shades, divisions, and inequalities, which have filled the intermediate space, are lost from the view. Thus do our fleeting hours leave behind them but a vague remembrance of the past; as a dream when one awaketh, the airy visions float faintly before the eye of memory. Self-love too steps in, and deceives us with her optical illusions. She points to a few bright spots scattered here and there on the surface of life, and, illuminating them with borrowed lustre, dazzles our sight. We yield ourselves the willing victims of her delusory powers, and make no efforts to discover the deception. But if we would know ourselves; if we desire to see our characters as they appear to our fellow-mortals, and to our God; let
us follow ourselves through the successive hours of each day. Let us mark the habits and the tempers which fill up the moments as they pass; let us labour to discover (to use the words of the excellent Newton) whether "our professions, like that of too many whose sincerity charity would be unwilling to impeach, is not greatly blemished, notwithstanding our hopes and our occasional comforts, by the breaking forth of unsanctified tempers, and the indulgence of vain desires, anxious cares, and selfish purposes." Let us look back to the hours of freedom and of domestic privacy. Has no impatience, resentment, or repining, been permitted to sully the fair tenor of our course? Has a peevish spirit, a wearying anxiety about mere trifles, a capricious dissatisfaction with the minutiae of family arrangements, and a continual change of plans, never ha rassed our children or our dependants, and very sensibly tended, by their systematic recurrence, to lessen the aggregate sum of domestic peace? Have low suspicions and petty jealousies never, by being harboured within our bosonis, soured our temper? Has an unaccommodating, self-indulgent spirit never practically led us in any degree to forget the law of love to our neighbour?
Let us dwell upon these several heads in our daily private selfexaminations; and, it is to be feared, although the shapes which these faults will respectively assume may vary with the varieties which exist in the natural constitutions and habits of the mind, and with local circumstances, that an impartial conscience will condemn very many of us, upon some one or more of these points.-Nor let us deceive ourselves by regarding them as of trivial importance. "Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth!" This subject demands our most serious attention. Can we deny that it does so, when we call to mind the words of our Redeemer; Be ye perfect, as your Father
which is in heaven is perfect." we believe that the eyes of the Can we persuade ourselves that we Lord are in every place: yet, to are labouring to live up to the spirit our shame be it remembered, that of this command; that we are the presence of a prince, a nobleguiltless in His eyes to whose view man, a fellow-worm upon whom the most secret recesses of the heart we depend, and whose favouring are laid open, and who has himself regards we would propitiate, will declared that "for every idle word effectually smooth the ruffled brow, that men speak they shall give ac- check the impatient word, and count;"if we are knowingly allowing banish the rising emotion, while He ourselves in any one habit of sin," in whose favour is life" is little however small it may appear to our considered! We look back with partial judgments? If we attempt slight compunction upon faults comto apologize for our conduct by mitted before the Judge of Heaven pleading the constitutional infirmi- and Earth, the bare recollection of Lies of our temper, or the debilitating which would dye our cheeks with and agitating effects of ill-health, it blushes were we informed that some is to be feared that we are but frail mortal had been privy to our deluding our own hearts; that we conduct. are acting under the guidance of the author of all evil, and, in fact, are circumscribing the all-sufficient power of Divine Grace. Let us "judge ourselves, that we be not judged of the Lord." Let us not seek to quiet our consciences by bringing forward excuses which will be swept away, as "the refuges of lies," in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment.-Is any one disposed to think that the matter has been too strictly viewed? Let him beware lest he should at last too late discover that he is ruined, by having trusted in this point to the delusive reasonings of his own heart. Can we, with truth, affirm, that we labour to devote soul and body, every talent, every power, and every faculty, to Him who gave them; that we let our light shine before men to the praise of His grace; when we are habitually tolerating improprieties in our daily conduct which are contrary, to say the least, to the circumspection becoming our profession, which degrade the transforming power of religion in the eyes of the worldly-minded, and cast a snare and a rock of offence before the steps of those who look up to us to guide and strengthen them in their course to the heavenly Canaan ? We are in our judgments firmly persuaded of the omnipresence of God; CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 148.
Oh that we could truly estimate the evil of sin in its own inherent nature, and our utter helplessness and frailty! We might then be induced to rely for strength upon Him who is "mighty to save." Our spirit, our temper, our conversation, would then more uniformly evince that we live in the continual presence of our God. Under all the petty vexations and cross incidents to which a fallen race of beings are liable and the vicissitudes of each day may expose us, we should hear a voice going before us, and crying, My grace is sufficient for thee.' Sinless perfection, it is true, we shall not attain while we are sojourners below the skies; but we are awfully deceiving ourselves, if we deem ourselves safe while we are habitually neglecting to pursue "whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report." Did we carry our views no farther than the present life, mere selfish motives might, one should have conceived, be sufficiently powerful to constrain us to assume an amiable deportment. But, alas! the words of the poet present but too just a picture of our sin and folly!
Domestic happiness, thou only bliss Of Paradise, that hast survived the fall! 2G
Though few now taste thee unimpair'd and
Or, tasting, long enjoy thee; too infirm,
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. As the Christian Observer is read by many engaged in the Ministry, and also by several preparing for it, a paper may be occasionally admitted, with propriety, I conceive, exclusively with a view to their benefit. Of such a nature is the present. It contains a series of advices
respecting the conduct proper to be pursued by a Minister of the Gospel, extracted from a very interesting Memoir of the late Mr. Meikle, author of "the Traveller," "Solitude sweetened," &c. &c. Your clerical readers will, I feel persuaded, anticipate edification from the production of that man, who, though never permitted to engage in their sacred office, could, when contemplating his views of it, use these memorable words: As I feel a constant opposition in me to all that is holy and divine, I desire to be chained, as it were, by office, to religion; and, by a close exercise therein, and breathing after communion with God, to get, through his grace, the antipathy in my heart against what is good dispelled, as far as my militant state can allow of." In hopes that, at some period or other, God would accept his offers of service in the Gospel, Mr. Meikle penned the subjoined very excellent maxims ; which, as his biographer, informs us, not only shew how conscientious he was in his views, but contain hints which may be profitable to those whom God has put into the ministry.
"Contract not much carnal acquaintance.
"Meddle not much with the affairs of this life.
"Argue coolly, and from conscience, not for victory.
"Affect not a shew of sanctimony before men.'
"Be not ashamed of piety in any company.
Whatever else thou readest, read a double portion in the Scriptures of Truth.
"Shun familiarity with the men of the world, else celestial truth, as uttered by thee, will be contemned.
"Care not much about thy own reputation, so Truth and the Gospel suffer not.
"Learn daily more of Christ, and more of thyself, else thy other studies will profit little.
"Seek not great things for thyself; seek not great approbation, great applause, great conveniencies, or a great income: but seek great things for Christ; seek to him great glory, many converts, and much fruits of righteousness.
"Consider the preciousness of souls, the value of salvation, the weight of the sacred charge, the terrors of the Almighty, the awful day of account, and thine own utter inability :-then shalt thou have no vain confidence, but depend on God
"Please all men in the truth, but wound not the truth to please any.
Set thy affections on things above; so shall spiritual things be thy delight, and not thy burden.
"In company, always study to drop something for edification; and so in a manner preach occasionally, as well as statedly.
"Be much with God in secret; so shall God be with thee in public.
"See that the carriage of every one in thy family be a pattern to all observers, and not matter of reproach, to the joy of enemies.
"Let thy charge be continually on thy mind; and not only pray "Learn to be abused without with them in public, and from house becoming angry. to house, but carry them to the
closet, and pray for them in pri
"Neglect not to visit them at all proper times, but especially embrace those golden opportunities, sickness and amiction.
"Have a fellow-feeling with the sufferings of all thy flock.
"Let thy conversation be uniform; and what thou preachest on the Sabbath, practise through the week.
"Not only press charity on the wealthy, but let thy example, according to thy power, shew the
"Rather lend thine ear to reproaches than applauses: the first may let us see some foible or failing with which we are chargeable; but the last is very apt to kindle self-conceit, of which every one has enough.
"Act the Christian even in eating and drinking; and be not, when at a feast, though temperate at other times, a glutton or a winebibber.
"With respect to thy charge, consider that thou art made the steward of a family, and therefore must, seeing the great Master allows it, provide food for all; flesh for the strong, and milk for the weak. See that the worship of God be set up in all families, and performed twice a day; and that parents instruct their children in private prayer, to say grace at meat, and to keep the Sabbath. See that the rising generation under thy care grow in knowledge, and be well acquainted with the Scriptures. Be well acquainted with the knowledge and conversation of every one that is ad
mitted to the Lord's table.
"Keep an exact list, or catalogue, of thy charge; who is pious or profligate, knowing or ignorant, in affluence or exigence, in health or sick; and read it often.
"Give a pleasant ear to the commendations of others, but always frown away the friend that would commend thee to thy face.
"Be sparing in producing speci
mens of thy learning, or criticisms on the words in the original, especially before the unlearned; for a nice grammarian may be but a novice in the Gospel.
"In preaching, aim at God's glory and the good of souls; and then, without deviating from that rule, please all men as much as possible.
"Let thy sermons be always the fruit of much study and application; and never dare to serve God with that which cost thee nought.
"Never be bigoted to thine own opinions, or interpretations of particular texts, lest, in establishing them; thou be seeking after thine own fame; but if the thoughts of others be as orthodox and consonant to the analogy of faith, if it be necessary for peace's sake, acquiesce in them.
Never shew a fondness for new new doctrines, which, among Christians, are little better than new gods among the Israelites ; but contend earnestly for the faith once (and but once, because sufficiently) delivered to the saints in the Scriptures of Truth; and still walk in that way which, though very old, is very good."
That the perusal of these advices, Mr. Editor, may be accompanied with the same Divine Unction with which they seem to have been written, is the sincere wish of
An unworthy Labourer in the
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. IN the Christian Observer for last January, "A COUNTRY CURATE" SOlicits information concerning the lawfulness of substituting other Lessons for those appointed to be read in churches. He quotes, from the present Bishop of Ely's primary Charge, that prelate's judicious and seasonable caution against this de viation from the Liturgy, contrasting it with the " Admonition" pre