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immediately, nor deform their character by any unnatural putting on of the manners and habits which do not become their years. Let them increase evermore in their love of God; but let them remember also that God wills them to improve all the talents which He has given them, and that they can glorify Him best by discharging in a Christian spirit the particular duties to which He has called them.

I know that some would say that I have been dwelling only on weak and beggarly elements; that I should have better followed up the service of yesterday and to-day by calling on you to stir up the grace of God that has been given you, and to hold fast to your Saviour's cross. But indeed I have been doing so; else it were most true that my preaching were worse than vain. I have called on you to stir up the grace of God that has been given you, by forming such resolutions for the coming holidays as may help you to love God best, and to look back on these days with least regret. I have urged you to hold fast to your Saviour's cross; for I have urged you to look into your own minds, and see what are your prevailing faults, and against those favourite faults to struggle most vigorously, rooting out selfishness by love, and pride by peacefulness and humility. And if the love I have spoken of, namely, the love of earthly friends, be but a weak and beggarly

element, yet who has ever attained to the heights of knowledge by despising the first simple elements which lead to them. They deserve only the reproachful name of poor and beggarly if we rest contented in them, and seek to go no farther; not if we use them in their proper season to help us to that which we could not reach without them.

Deeply indeed should I grieve if I had awakened thoughts in any one's mind which, in any proper sense of the term, were low and worldly. I might, indeed, have produced a stronger excitement by using a different language; but would that excitement have maintained its ground against the different excitement which is now coming upon you? The soberer feeling is, I think, the more likely to be lasting; the letting your thoughts glide gently from the most solemn things to the things of the world, keeping with them that which will sanctify the worldly pleasure, and make it turn to forward Christ's work. May God bless you, bless you in your serious thoughts, bless you in your happiness; and make you to know and feel that, whether serious or cheerful, He is your loving Father and eternal Friend, through His Son Jesus Christ.


June 30th, 1833.



ST. MARK, xiv. 21.

Good were it for that man if he had never been born.

WHEN we consider by whom these words were spoken, and when also we think steadily of what is contained in them, they are, I think, altogether one of the most solemn passages to be found in the whole of the Scriptures. They were spoken by Him who so loved us that He


His own life for us, by Him who spoke of what He knew, to whom all things were open, the things of death no less than the things of life. They were spoken also when He was just going to lay down His life for us, when His love towards God and man was most perfectly displaying itself. Yet the words spoken by one so full of love and so full of all knowledge, the words spoken by Him who was truth itself, and at the moment

For they

when He was most showing His love, these words express the most fearful amount of misery which the human mind can possibly conceive. declare of an immortal being, that it would have been good for hiin if he had never been born. Now consider what immortality is, consider what is conveyed to us in the words “never ending ;" and it will be plain that if it were good for a man that this never ending being should never have been begun, it can only be because it will be to him a being of never ending misery. For let the misery last ever so long, yet if it has any end at all, the eternity of happy existence which follows that end must make it not bad, but infinitely good for us to have been born. Thousands on thousands of years of suffering, if that suffering is to end at last, must be infinitely less to an immortal being, infinitely more vain, infinitely more like a dream at waking, than one single second of suffering compared to threescore and ten years of perfect happiness.

There was one for whom it would have been good if he had never been born. But if this were all, if it were no more than a particular truth relating to one particular man, better a great deal that we should turn away our minds from a subject so dreadful rather than fix them on it; for why should we pain ourselves, why injure the calm tone of our feelings by presenting to them images

of gratuitous horror ? What I have said already would have been far too much, if this were so. But if it be no particular truth, but a general one; if there have been many of whom it might have been said no less truly that it were good for them if they had never been born : when above all it will be truly said of our very selves,--of us now sitting here,—of us, most of us so young and so happy,—of us, so full of hope and of enjoyment, —when I say it will be true of every one of us that it were good for us if we had never been born, unless we cross over from death unto life, and so strive, and so watch, and so pray, as many of us now perhaps can hardly fancy themselves doing, then it is no useless horror, no unnecessary exciting the feelings, but a work rather of soberness, and truth, and loving kindness, to open the eyes of any on that gulf of infinite darkness into which he of whom Christ spake once fell; on whose edge, unconscious of our danger, we ourselves in many cases are now standing:

There is no occasion to dwell on the particular sin of him of whom the words in the text were spoken; for we know that except we repent we shall all likewise perish. Otherwise we might remember that they who sin against their Saviour are expressly said to crucify Him afresh; their guilt being thus made directly of the same sort as well as degree with his of whom Christ said that it had

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