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loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” I have copied the whole of the story, for it is so striking a picture of our common state of mind towards Christ. We hear his words with respect,the Pharisee evidently respected Christ, and wished to show his attention to him by asking him into his house : but, when the question is of loving him, of believing in him as our only Saviour, of fleeing to him as our peace with God, through whose merits our sins are washed away, truly we feel no disposition for this. Our sins give us no anxiety; we care nothing for being at peace with God, or at enmity; we think nothing about our need of being forgiven, and therefore feel very little love to him who has forgiven us. It is vain therefore to talk to you of Christ, till you


your want of him; it is idle to speak to you of the mercy of your redemption, till


have some sense of the danger from which you have been redeemed. If, by having your great and daily faults brought home to you,—if, by seeing how much your lives fall short, I do not say of the law of God, but even of the lives and hearts of good men, even amidst all the imperfections of humanity,-if, by seeing how bad you are, you could learn to wish to be better,—then,

indeed, you would be ripe for the doctrine of the cross of Christ; then the same Spirit, who had done his first work in making you know and feel your sin, would be ready to begin his second, of showing you through whom you are forgiven.“ The law is our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ :” but Christ will never be sought by those who have never learned to fear the law.

True it is, your faults may be pointed out to you, and yet you may not wish to turn from them : your evil practices and evil principles may be shown to you, and yet you may continue, on the very next temptation, to follow them as before. The fear of God may be preached to you; but you will continue to be led by the fear of one another. There is nothing new in all this : for forty years the Israelites provoked God in the wilderness; and of all that great multitude who had been delivered out of Egypt, who had heard the voice of God giving to them the law of life, and who had been fed with manna from heaven, only two continued stedfast unto the end, only two entered into the land of promise. So it ever has been, and so it will be. If sin had no present sweetness or present advantage, who would ever be so brutishly

foolish as to be guilty of it? We must not wonder at this, nor be discouraged.

We are taught that sin will ruin us at last,--not that it will be sure never to gain us any worldly good. The Psalmist said, long ago, that he was grieved because he saw the ungodly in such prosperity; and the last of the prophets, Malachi, said, that many in his time thought it of no use to serve God, because they who tempted God were even delivered; that is, they who sinned often found their profit in it. So also Christ, speaking of the latter times, such as those in which we are now living, says, " that because iniquity shall abound, the love of many will wax cold :" that is, because the wicked shall go through life unpunished, many will grow tired of the service of Christ, and think that the wages of sin will answer better. Nor will it be till this earth and all that are in it are burnt up, that their calculation can be proved to have been as foolish as it was wicked. Be not,

, therefore, surprised at this, nor discouraged, you, whoever and how many soever you may be, who can bear Christ's words, and are guided by Christ's Spirit, and love your Saviour, because he has saved your souls from sin and destruction. For you the events

recorded in this week are not idle words: you have an interest in that most solemn story; nor is it like a mere tale of other days, that Christ was betrayed, and crucified, and rose again the third day. In that death, and in that resurrection, are contained to you all that makes it truly an infinite blessing to have been born. For you was Christ mocked, and scourged, and crucified; for you he suffered the fear of death, and the pains of death; for you he rose again from the dead, the first-fruits of them that slept, that he might open the kingdom of heaven to all that slept in his faith and fear. For you he ascended to the right hand of the Father; and in your hearts he lives continually by his Holy Spirit, an earnest of your full and perfect rest. For you, the partaking of the

, memorials of his body and blood is a solemn and a blessed privilege, reminding you at once of your sins and of your safety ;-how weak and lost in yourselves, how strong and how happy in the strength of Christ. What though you see others walking in far different courses, turning a deaf ear to all instruction,—making their belly their God, and glorying all the while in their shame,remember that the way to destruction is ever

wide and easy, and many are they who follow it. But it is better, perhaps, to draw off your thoughts from them, lest, in thankfulness that you are not as they are, you should forget a Christian's humility and love. You have your own work to do, your own temptations to struggle with; and that worst temptation besides—that if ever you fall into sin, there will be many to triumph in- it, and to glory in the weakness of a true servant of Christ. But go on still in the strength of Christ's Spirit; and though you fall, yet shall you arise and conquer at the end. And for you who are yet in suspense, not yet able to bear all Christ's words, but still aroused, and inclined to listen to him,-may the seed, once sown, be mercifully preserved and fostered ; may you go on, till you understand the way of God more perfectly; may it be said of you, not only “ that you are not far from the kingdom of God,” but that you have, in sincerity, entered into it, and have made its holiness and its happiness your own.

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