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brethren. Let us do likewise. Are we converted ? Let us strengthen our brethren. It should be our ruling desire, our predominant ambition, to make our children, our servants, our neighbours, our dependants, and all with whom we come into contact, acquainted with Him, whom to know is life eternal. We should burn to proclaim him with our lips, and to recommend him with our lives : like the pious patriarch, who, while he “preached righteousness,” evidenced his sincerity by sedulously building his ark. How indefatigable are the apostles of error! They compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and sleep not, unless they have done mischief. Should we be less zealous in propagating truth? Shall Satan prove greater in the world than Christ in the godly! 0, let it not be ! Let us not prison the truth in unrighteousness, like a precious scent hermetically sealed; but let its spices flow forth, as “ a sweet savour of Christ,” that so, all around may be delighted with the odour, and allured to the Redeemer. " Because of the savour of thy good ointments, thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.” 1
Christian-meditate on all the divine mercies. Consider how great things God hath done for thee. Realize especially the fact of the Lord Jesus dying for thee—thee individually, and bringing thee out of darkness into his marvellous light; and, while
i Canticles i. 3.
thou art thus musing, the fire will be kindled“ the love of Christ will constrain thee to let thy light so shine before men, that they, seeing thy good works, may glorify thy Father which is in heaven.”
It is a time for energy and self-denial. It is a time for strenuous and unwearied exertion. It is a time for every one to be at his post, faithfully fulfilling his allotted province. “The devil is come down, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” If then, we strain not every nerve--between false religion on the one hand, and irreligion on the other, we shall be either clean swallowed up, or driven from the land. • The men of Issachar are praised for their understanding of the times; but it is added, “they knew what Israel ought to do:” and what their hands found to do, they did it with all their might.'1
Let those then, who value the Divine glory, or the good of their fellow-creatures, their own comfort, or their own safety, be up and doing. Let them not only labour in works of personal righteousness, but also contribute to the utmost of their ability, to extend evangelical knowledge at home and abroad. “ Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of our times.” 1 No other remedy can meet the exigence. Every other expedient has been tried in vain. The world still groans under a sense of its wretchedness, and complains, “ my wound is incurable.” The Bible is the only
1 Dr. M'CRIE.
2 Isaiah xxxiii. 6.
book “ the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations.” No other balsam goes deep enough -even to the root of the disease in the human heart. All our evils emanate from innate depravity : therefore, if ever we would heal the waters, we must first pour salt into the spring. Much is it to be lamented, that we saw not this
How different, in all probability, would be the state of things at present. God's word would not have returned unto him void. Let us then redouble our diligence for the future; redeeming the time, for the days are indeed evil. Let infant schools, and Sabbath schools, and all seminaries for biblical instruction, be worked to their greatest attainable point of efficiency; and their number multiplied. Let places for preacbing the gospel continue to be erected, and pastors of tried zeal, ability, and piety, be appointed to them, and supported. In short, whatever our hand findeth to do, let us do it with our might, seeing there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither we are going.
If the wealthy be but self-denying – if they resolve to retrench mere superfluities- all that is requisite may be accomplished, without their sacrificing any essential comfort.
This is what the Lord imperatively requires of them: and if they refuse it, they may lose every thing in this life, and be condemned in the next :-besides “ He that gathereth not with Christ, scattereth abroad."
The very vitals of our holy religion are in
jeopardy. Every thing pure, lovely, and of good report is in jeopardy; so that interest, benevolence, piety, and the general weal of our nation, unite, as with the voice of so many thunders, in calling upon us to do our duty. The time is arrived, when persons must really choose whom they will serve. The crisis demands decision. The call is now emphatically sounded forth by the posture of affairs, " Who is on the Lord's side ?” " Who will take part with him against the evil doers ?” And woe unto him, whosoever he be, that comes not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the Lord against the mighty !
• He who plants bis foot upon neutral ground, will select just the hottest place in the battle, and receive the fire from both sides. If any man, however, is smitten with fear, let him retreat. If any man is faint-hearted, let him draw back. If any man tremble at his proportion of the charge for evangelizing the whole world, let him depart. If any man is alarmed at the noise which precedes the last conflict, let him hide himself with his talent in the earth. But let all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, and wait for his appearing in glory, give themselves anew to his service, and break the earthen vessel, and lift up their light and shout, “the sword of the Lord and of Gideon ;” and the victory, and more than the victory, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High God.'1
1 DR. BEECAER.
But to active personal exertion must be added fervent and unceasing SUPPLICATION. Prayer without exertion is fanaticism ; exertion without prayer is presumption. Whoever may plant, God alone can give the increase. And for this He will be entreated. He will give his Holy Spirit unto them that ask him. Prayer and activity are a two-fold cord, that through Christ will infallibly draw down a blessing. While Joshua with his chosen warriors fight, and Moses, Aaron, and Hur intercede, Amalek is discomfited.
The duty of intercessory prayer is repeatedly inculcated in our heavenly directory. “Seek the peace of the city, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof ye shall have peace.
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” 3 Now each of these and of similar precepts implies a promise, that the blessing asked shall be received. Were not God a hearer of prayer, a rewarder of them that diligently seek him, he would not so often enjoin the duty. He hath not said to the seed of Jacob, “ Seek ye me in vain.” 4
1 Exodus xvii. 8-13. 3 1 Tim. 1-4.
? Jeremiah xxix. 7. 4 Isaiah xlv. 19.