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selves of your increased age since you were last at home, to increase the confidence and openness of your intercourse with your parents.
your parents. Return here, not confirmed in selfishness and coarseness by six weeks' indulgence, but with a spirit at once more manly and more affectionate, and therefore braced, not weakened, for the work which will again be set before you. If you go home with such resolutions, and begin to perform them when you arrive there, be sure that the thought of God will be no burden to you ; you will remember this day and yesterday with no painful shame. Thank God for His goodness to you, and so learn to love Him better and better. You will be then more ready to do every duty which you have to do : pure happiness, such happiness as dwells in an open and a loving breast, is a wonderful excitement to labour in very thankfulness, that we may please those whom we love and who have made us so happy, whether it be our earthly friends or our heavenly one.
Your whole character will then have been strengthened and raised, and so there will be more depth of soil in which the heavenly seed may hereafter ripen. The work will be going on, silently and surely; there will be the beautiful and healthy promise of a plentiful harvest."
If, again, there be any whose minds are of a different quality, whose characters are formed beyond their years, in whom the love of knowledge or the
love of distinction is already a strong passion, for them the approaching return to their friends offers no less the peculiar benefit which they need. The soil with them is deep enough, and its produce will be vigorous: may God grant that it be the fruit of the tree of life, and not merely of the tree of knowledge. But here too home has an influence softening and sweetening, as for the weaker mind it was strengthening and elevating. Most heartily do I pity him who feels the common intercourse of affectionate hearts wearisome, and is always longing for some intellectual stimulus. Most heartily do I pity him, who is insensible to the happiness of a well-spent Sunday in the midst of his family. For him who is too ambitious, whose intellect is growing unnaturally, and fast overbalancing his love both of God and man, it is no wisdom to carry on the same fevering process at home, to think time lost when it is not spent in advancing his idol. For him the most familiar and simple pleasures will have a healthful tendency, by reducing the overweening growth of that plant which is fast becoming a deadly poison.
If there are those also amongst us whose hearts may be likened to the good ground of the parable, not too shallow for good, not overgrown with any luxuriant weed, for them little needs be said, save to bid them thank God with the deepest humility. But let them, too, not expect the fruit
immediately, nor deform their character by any unnatural putting on of the manners and babits 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
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.
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 gave 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