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which courts the laugh of fools by affecting not to
dread evil and not to care for good; then the un-
suitableness of any of these things with the scene
I had just quitted would indeed have been most
intensely painful. And why? Not because such
things would really have been worse then than at any
other time, but because at such a moment the eyes
are opened really to know good and evil, because
we then feel what it is so to live as that death be-
comes an infinite blessing, and what it is so to live
also, that it were good for us if we had never been
born.

Thus when feeling strongly what it is to have
our trial happily over, we turn with something of a
fit interest to the trial which is still going on.
From regarding those for whom our hope had even
grown into confidence, we turn to those for whom
anxiety is almost becoming fear. We look around
upon some whose characters are manifestly unde-
cided, upon others who we may fear seem, although
not yet bad, to be yet less promising for good than
they once were; upon others, again, who though
looking upwards seem still as it were on the edge of
danger; upon others, lastly, for whom hope is lively,
yet still we know how often hope is blighted. We
look around on such a scene, just fully impressed
with the full importance of its tendencies both for
good and for evil, and earnestly disposed,—who could
be otherwise?—to assist with God's help in turning

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Spirit for

the scale for good. But then there comes upon the mind also with no less force the conviction that no man can deliver his brother. With all the desire in the world to help in such a cause, we cannot but feel that there is no help in us. The work of turning souls is God's only; and your own, each for himself, is in not resisting the workings of His

your good.y Yet, feeling this most entirely, we would still pray you as in Christ's stead that ye be reconciled to God. We cannot but feel sure that many must need so to be reconciled; those at any rate, if there were no others, who have not yet begun to think of God, but who for many a year have been old enough to offend Him; those who have only the thoughtlessness of childhood left, but who have long lost its innocency. To them in particular the call is addressed, “ Be ye reconciled to God:” to them belongs the warning, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” How marked even to human eyes is in most instances the change from thoughtlessness to God. Not marked by changes of manner, or by adopting a peculiar and unnatural language; but by a manifest sincerity of purpose, by a plain desire to do what is right, by keeping aloof from the evil and the foolish; or as this cannot always be in such a society as ours, by not joining in their evil or their folly, by having better things to love and care for,

VIRKELEY LIDRAT

and by not being ashamed to show that it is so. He who shows such a change in him we may well believe to be reconciled to God: not that such works in themselves, or any works that he can do, are able by their own merit to reconcile him; nor does he for a moment believe that they are; but because, as it is our sin and carelessness that keep us away from Christ, so, where we see a manifest disposition to avoid sin, there we may be sure that Christ's Spirit has worked, and that Christ's redemption has been thankfully received!

And now then may I not well call on all who hear me to be reconciled to God? On all who have any influence, from whatever cause derived, that they being converted may strengthen their brethren, and not, while they perish themselves, incur also the dreadful guilt of leading others to perish also ? On all who are ripening in age, and on all who are not yet ripening; for neither can afford to linger on their way, and both, if they delay, are as yet in that state in which it would have been good for them if they had never been born? On all who being possessed of some ability, are either wasting it in absolute idleness, or disposed to exert it for the sake of their own distinction and credit, exercising their understandings while their hearts are neglected? On all who being deficient in ability have little or no interest in the peculiar business of this place, but who have there

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fore the more reason to take heed lest while they give up earthly prizes with indifference, they should give up the pursuit of eternal life besides. On all in short of whatever character, of whatever powers;--lest it should be said of you that it were good if you had never been born, when to the poorest understanding, to the humblest in age and influence amongst us, every hour of life may be

nade so precious, that to have been born shall be an eternal and infinite blessing.) RUGBY CHAPEL,

October 11th, 1835.

VERKELEY LIBRAR

N

SERMON XVII.

JOHN THE BAPTIST.

Sr. LUKE, iii. 4.

Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight

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As the lessons which are read from the New Testament are not chosen for the particular Sunday, but are taken in their order according to the day of the month and year, so we cannot expect that there should be any particular harmony between them and the fixed parts of the service, such as the lessons from the Old Testament, and the Epistle and Gospel. But when we do find such a barmony, and can thus connect together all the portions of the Scripture which are read on the same day, the effect is particularly striking. Now this is in a great measure the case with the parts of this day's service. The Gospel speaks of the blessing upon true repentance; and the second lesson for the morning describes the ministry of

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