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of Godliness. “The devils believe and tremble." But it is a belief of His goodness, as well as of His Being, accompanied with such a trust in Him as leads to an expectation of happiness from Him. God, absolutely considered as an holy and just Being, cannot be to a sinner an object of confidence. To Adam, before the fall, He was; but now, without a Mediator, it is impossible for us to approach Him. The fear of God is another ingredient in true Godliness, The generality of mankind fear the reproach of the world more than the displeasure of God; and the loss of sensual gratification more than the loss of His favour. But true Godliness supposes such a fear of God as outweighs all other considerations. It includes also a supreme love to God. What we love, in that we delight. In the company of a friend we experience pleasure; and, if that friend be absent from us, a correspondence with him is ardently desired, and carefully maintained. The lovers of God labour to maintain “ fellowship with the Father “ and the Son, through the Spirit;" and consider the intercourse which they enjoy with heaven, by prayer and praise, as their inestimable privilege, dearer than life and all its other enjoy. ments.

Righteousness is the duty we owe to our neighbour, and has respect to all the precepts of the second table. It is excellently summed up by the compilers of our liturgy in a few words, when they inform us, in answer to a question put to a catechumen on the subject, that“ our

duty towards our neighbour is to love him as “ourselves, and to do unto all men as we would " they should do unto us." How comprehensive å rule! We act so far in a way becoming

the Christian character, as we put it in practice. In every situation and relation of life, this Divine epitome of ethics, if closely attended to, will direct us how to “walk and to please “ God.” It will unravel a thousand intricacies, and afford a satisfactory answer to almost every case of conscience that may occur.

Sobriety respects ourselves. It is soundness of mind in opposition to distraction or madness. * Man, in his natural state, is distracted or mad. He is so represented in our Lord's beautiful parable of the prodigal son, in which the unhappy spendthrift, when brought to a resolution of returning to his Father, is said to “come “to himself," or to be restored to the use of his

Madness is the loss or perversion of reason. Every unconverted man acts irrationally. He prefers the baubles of time to eternal realities. Like one in a delirium, he is in the utmost danger, yet perceives it not. If we saw a man loaded with ignominious chains, and unwilling to part with them, we should pity his condition, and conclude him to be divested of

The love of sin is the heavy and ignominious chain with which we are tied and bound, yet are we by nature pleased with it, and unwilling to have it removed from us.--Sobriety is also modesty or humility of mind, in opposition to pride, which is as contrary to the state of

reason.

reason.

* The Greek word owopovely is used in a threefold sense.

1. To be of a sound mind, in opposition to distraction or madness. Mark v. 15. Luke viii. 35. 2 Cor. y. 13.

2. To be of a modest, humble mind, in opposition to pride. Rom. xii. 3.

3. To be of a sober, recollected mind, as opposed to intemperance or sensuality. Tit. ii. 6. i Pet. iv. 7.

PARKHURST Each sense may have a place here.

mind for which our church teaches us to pray as rioting and drunkenness. It would be an act of insobriety for a pauper, supported by the parish, to consider himself and act as a person of independent fortune. It is equally so for a poor bankrupt sinner to justify himself before God. We then “ think soberly of ourselves as

we ought to think,” when, renouncing our own righteousness, we adopt the language used in the confession of our church, as expressing the genuine feelings of our own hearts.-Sobriety also signifies a sober, recollected mind, as opposed to intemperance or sensuality. It consists in a denial of worldly lusts. It is opposed not only to drunkenness, gluttony, and lewdness, but to all intemperate use of present things. Very awful are our Lord's words, « Take heed “ to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be “overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, “ and cares of this life, and so that day come. “ upon you unawares." * A man may be intoxicated with the pleasures, profits, and honours of this world, who is otherwise sober, temperate, and chaste. A man of true sobriety has his “ affections set upon things above, not “on things on the earth." + " His treasure is “ in heaven, and there is his heart also.”He is instructed to make it his main object

pass through things temporal as finally not to lose the things which are eternal."

A true penitent is cordially desirous of living “a Godly, righteous, and sober life.” He is conscious that his own strength is perfect weakness, and therefore applies earnestly to Him for grace who has promised to bestow it. “Having

so to

• Luke xxi. 34.

+ Col. iii. .

# Matth. vi. 21.

“ much forgiven, he loves much;" and there, fore is solicitous to spend his time, and employ his talents, “ to the glory of God's most holy name.O that

every

member of our com· munion may thus manifest the sincerity of the confessions which he makes!

The use which our church makes of Jesus Christ must not be omitted. To Him she con, tinually leads the attention of her children. When she teaches us to pray for sanctifying grace, we are reminded that it is for His sake" only that we can expect a favourable answer to our prayers.

His death is represented as the exclusive ground of hope to a guilty sinner, to whom an offended God can shew mercy only

through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Every humble soul will say “ Amen.”

ESSAY IV.

On the Absolution.

TH

THE act of ministerial absolution has been

the subject of much warm and contentious disputation. On the one hand it has been asserted, that the power of forgiving sins, conferred by our Lord on His Apostles, was personal with respect to them, and with them expired; their successors in the ministry being destitute of the proper qualifications for so high and important an office. On the other hand it has been argued, that the wants of the church being the same, there is no more reason to confine this part of the sacred function to persons acting under immediate inspiration than any other. Controversy is not the business of these essays. There is happily neutral ground, on which we may stand in safety without engaging with either of the contending parties. And surely on such a subject, if it be possible, all disputation should be silenced; and if any sound be heard, it should not be the din of warlike debate, but the groan of penitence, or the murmur of joy, occasioned by the gracious sentence of acquittal from the guilt of those sins which, without a pardon, would have changed the unhappy noise of religious controversy into weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. There is nothing in the absolution of our church that needs defence. It makes no pretensions

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