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that if pardon, faith, repentance, and even eternal life, be freely bestowed on the undeserving “ without money and without price,” then there is no need of any anxiety about a “ pure and holy life.” In answer to this, let us endeavour to illustrate the Apostle's position, that “ faith worketh by love."*

Your house has taken fire, and the flames are kindled all around you.

No probable way of escape appears. You give yourself up for lost, and, in your own apprehension, you must perish. Just at this critical moment, when despair has seized your mind, one, who is under no obligations to you, undertakes your rescue, rushes through the surrounding flames, and, after suffering severely himself in the attempt, is successful in effecting your deliverance. Ask yourselves what would the feelings of your heart be towards that person? This act of kindness is more than realized to the redeemed sinner. Must not he, who knows that he has been redeemed" from endless ruin, “ with a price, not of corruptible “ things such as silver and gold, but with the

precious blood of Christ,” love God, and labour to keep His commandments?

Will not gratitude operate on the ingenuous mind more powerfully than slavish fear?

“ We love Him, « because He first loved us.”+

Thus " at the last we shall come to His eternal

joy.” Blessed be God, there is a state before us, in which the tear of repentance will be wiped away from our eyes, the sigh of sorrow be suppressed, and the conflict of faith be changed for everlasting triumph! “ who sow in tears, shall reap in joy; he that

- For they

* Gal, v. 6.

+ 1 John iv. 19.

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goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious se seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, “ bringing his sheaves with him." * The husbandman ploughs his ground, and scatters his precious seed over the soil, in expectation of a future increase; his pleasing hopes are, however, often chastised by fear of a disappointment. So the awakened sinner weeps, and prays; laments his past life and corrupt nature; struggles against “ sin that dwelleth in him;' fights the good fight of faith, and labours hard to lay hold on eternal life. Many weary steps the industrious husbandman takes, while waiting for the time of harvest; but, when that season comes, his labours are amply repaid, while with joy and gladness of heart he carries the golden grain to his barns in safety. So shall it be with the humble believer. The present time is the time of sowing and waiting. We are now to live by faith, and that faith must be tried. Blighting winds and nipping frosts will threaten to destroy our pleasing prospects. The time of harvest may be long delayed. But there is a reaping season to come. Our utmost wishes will then be more than realized. « We shall “enter into His eternal joy.” That jay will be greater than “ the joy in harvest, or that of “ those who divide the spoil.”'t It will not be, like the short-lived joy which arises from worldly prosperity, and which resembles “ the crackling ss of thorns under a pot,”f a momentary blaze, and nothing more. But it will be "eternal." Our present comforts, even those of a religious nature, often leave us to regret their want of permanence and stability. But when the day of the consummation of all our hopes arrives, our joy will be everlasting and ever increasing, while we shall spend a happy eternity in casting our blood-bought crowns before the throne; acknowledging that our felicity is not the fruit of our own merits, but that we receive it only " through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

* Pe. cxxvi. 5, 6.

+ Isa. ix. 3,

* Eccles. vii. 6. VOL. I.

G

ESSAY V.

On the Psalms, Lessons, Epistles and Gospels.

A ,

S the wisdom of the compilers of our li

turgy appears in many remarkable instan, ces, so especially is it manifest in the appointment of large portions of the Holy Scriptures to be read at every season of public worship. They have divided the book of Psalms into thirty parts, that so the Psalter might be read through ių every month. “The old Testament is appointed “ for the first lessons at the morning and evening

prayer, so as the most part thereof will be * read over every year once, as in the calendar " is appointed. The new Testament is appointed « for the second lessons at morning and evening

prayer, and shall be read over orderly every

year thrice, besides the epistles and gospels; " except the Apocalypse, out of which there

are only certain proper lessons appointed upón' divers feasts.” This is the account which our Reformers themselves give of their procedure in this matter, in the Rubric which precedes the calendar in our common prayer books. Othat, while we are reflecting on the wisdom with which they were endowed for the execution of their pious undertaking, our minds may be elevated to admiration and adoration of the goodness of God, as apparent in the abundant means of grace which we so richls enjoy!

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The Bible contains a revelation from God to sinners of the human race, on a subject so important, that the knowledge of it is essential to their holiness and happiness, both in this world and also in that which is to come. An inquiry concerning the Author of the sacred volume will discover to us its Divine excellency; for “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God." * We attribute the several parts of which it consists to the subordinate instruments who were employed in conveying it to us, in order to facilitate a distinction between them; but one Divine Author indited the whole. Therefore it is dignified with this august title, “ The oracles “ of God;" + because Jehovah Sabaoth inspired the persons from whose pens we have received it. It is attributed equally to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, because therein these Three.co. equal" and co-essential Persons“ bear record, “ and these Three are One.” | It is “the word ** of Christ;" $ and “ holy men of old spake as

they were moved by the Holy - Ghost.” When the Scriptures are asserted to be written by inspiration, the least that can be intended is that a Divine 'influence on tlie mind of the person employed as the amanuensis of the Holy Ghost, so guided his pen as to preclude all possibility of error. It was not necessary that in all cases the use of the natural faculties of the inspired author should be intirely superseded. For where past events are recorded, of which the writer was an eye-witness, it sofficed that his memory was strengthened to retain them, and his understanding assisted in the selection

* Tim. 3, 16. † Rom. iii. 2. 1 John v. 7. Col. iii. 16.

ll 2 Pet. i. 21.

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