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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
to Him, that whoso is a partaker of it partakes of
Him, and truly belongs to Him. It were then to
separate what He hath made one, to look upon
the communion of the Lord's Supper as a mere
act between Christ and our single selves, as if we
alone were or could be His body. Rather is it
our communion with Christ in all His fulness; the
being joined heart and soul into the fellowship of
His body, and so as He himself expresses, the be-
ing one in Him and in His Father. Therefore we

thither to increase our love to one another as
well as to Him. We go thither to learn the feel-
ings that become His members: sympathy and
kindness towards each other, a desire to minister
to each other's good and to His glory, by the use
of all the gifts which He has given us. So indeed
would there be no division in His body, no unkind-
ness, no neglect, no pride; but all would care for
one another, and value one another; and all, whilst
improving to the utmost their own gifts, and ho-
nouring those of their neighbours, would have
found out also that more excellent way of which
St. Paul speaks; the way of love towards God and
man; the way, in short, to express it in the highest
possible language, of communion with Christ's

September 27th, 1835.

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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
which varying in form is yet in one shape or other
universally acceptable, and is found to be one of
the greatest of human pleasures -I mean, excite-
ment. The Apostle notices one sort of evil ex-
citement, the lowest certainly, but one of the most
common of all; and on the other hand he notices
one sort of good and wholesome excitement, not
indeed the most common of all, yet the best and

Let us first see what we mean by excitement ;
a term which may not be quite clear to all of us,
or at least our notions may not be distinct about
it, though we may understand its meaning gene-
rally. Now here, if we understood our own nature
perfectly, we might perhaps be able to describe
what excitement properly speaking is, how it is
caused, and on what part of our system it acts.
But, as in so many other instances, the imperfec-
tions of our knowledge oblige us to be content
with much less than this; we cannot do more than
describe excitement by its effects. To speak gene-
rally, that is excitement which interrupts our quiet
and ordinary state of mind with some more lively
feeling; which makes us live more consciously,
and in a manner quicker, than we do in common.
This more lively life, if I may so speak, is pleasant
universally, or almost universally; but the nature
of the excitement, or rather the things which are

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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

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