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upon, that the body goes on healthfully. He is the Head of us all, of the greatest and of the humblest. Have we a high station, great influence, great powers ?--yet what are we to that perfect Man who is our Head? What are our faculties, what the value of our best services, when we think of His infinity? Can we do but little, are our powers very humble, our means very small, our opportunities of doing good next to nothing; are we very young or very old, very sick or very poor; are we such as society would scarcely miss, whose place a thousand seem ready to fill ? yet we are no less members of the body of Him who filleth all in all; and He values us and loves us with an infinite love; and prizes our souls so deeply, that He gave His own life to save them. So in Him we each shall find according to our need; humiliation, if we are exalted in our own strength ; exaltation, if we are humbled in our own weakness.
The state of union with one another, and with Christ, of feeling ourselves to be, in St. Paul's words, the body of Christ, and severally members one of another, is the perfection of a Christian life; it is that perfect communion of which the outward sign is the act of communion at the Lord's table. For that body of Christ of which they who worthily communicate at that table become partakers, is and can be only His spiritual body, that body of which He is the Head, redeemed by the offering
of His natural body once for all, and now so united
thither to increase our love to one another as
September 27th, 1835.
EPHESIANS, v. 18, 19.
Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess ; but be filled with
the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
On the first reading of these words, it may not be evident to every one what is the connexion between the first part of them and the second, between the command not to be drunken with wine, and the bidding them to be filled with the Spirit. When we begin to think, however, about it, we shall recollect that when the Spirit first descended on the day of Pentecost, some of those who saw its effects, said mockingly, “ These men are full of new wine;" and when we consider it a little more, we shall see that the direction of the Apostle in the text relates to that which in this generation
is even more familiar than it was of old; to that
Let us first see what we mean by excitement ;
capable of exciting different classes of men, and different individuals, are of course exceedingly different. Highly agreeable and intellectual society, which to some is one of the most exciting things in the world, is to others one of the least so; and the same may be said of poetry and of music. But whatever does excite us, also pleases us; and the pleasure, or at any rate the craving, grows with the indulgence; whence arises the known difficulty of persuading a confirmed drunkard to leave off his habit of drinking. Life is so insupportable to him when robbed of its excitement, that he cannot persuade himself to abandon his propensity, although knowing its sin and its danger.
The direction of the Apostle in the text bids us choose that excitement which is good and healthy, instead of that which is bad and mischievous. And, as I said before, the command which was needful in his days is even more so now.
I do not mean, indeed, with regard to the particular excitement of drunkenness; for although that was not, probably, a very general vice in those days amongst the inhabitants of a warm climate, yet neither is it in our rank of society general amongst us now. And comparing our own country, and the richer classes in it especially, with what they were forty or fifty years ago, we shall find that there is much less danger from this temptation now than formerly; in fact, in the ordinary