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But who can ever exhaust the subjects of eternal interest? Who has come to the end of the goodness of God? who has sounded the depths of His wisdom, or drained to the bottom the cup of His love? Enter life as Christians, and you need not fear lest the world should hurry you on too rapidly. There is much to learn, much to admire, much to enjoy, and much to do. Vast powers are at work, vast results producing; do not despise them, nor yet fear them. Walk amidst them, study them, , use them; you will not be carried away with their intoxication; for on the one hand you see also what there is in them of weakness and of unworthiness; whilst you see and know what is hid from other eyes, the workings of a far greater power, results a thousand times more wonderful; -good brought out of evil,—good triumphing amidst evil, and over it,-self subdued,—God glorified, Christ's kingdom advanced in man's salvation. Never at any time, since the Gospel was first preached to mankind, were its peculiar qualities better fitted to the peculiar evils of the world. It raised and excited an age of barbarism: it is no less able to excite and to tranquillize an age of the highest civilization. For let the human mind go on as far as it will, and the wisdom of the Gospel still expands before it, satisfying its highest refinement, as it humbled itself to its greatest ignorance; but whilst giving a perpetual



interest to life, it is also perpetually soothing, be-
cause it calls us to those thoughts and to those
quiet and humble actions which must be sobering;
which must stay the vehemence of our feelings,
and give us intervals of rest and of peace.
But who can be thus filled with the Spirit

, unless he seek the appointed means of gaining it? In comparing the reading of the present generation with that of their fathers, I cannot but think that, amongst the higher classes of society, the Scriptures are less familiarly known than they were formerly, in those cases where religion has been really attended to. There were more instances of utter ignorance and carelessness in former times; but where there was a serious mind, and a religious education, I am not sure whether the Bible was not more familiarly known than it is in similar instances now. But be this as it may, it is at least certain that very many who are in earnest, and who serve God in Christ Jesus, are yet so far deficient in their knowledge of the Scripture, that its various stores for counsel, for encouragement, for warning, are not enough at their command; they go out into the world knowing some other things better. This, however, should not be so; it is not well to be more familiar with any thing than with the word of life and truth. This should be our most complete knowledge, as it is our best; and thus only will

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the Gospel be found to answer as fully our intellectual wants as we know it to answer to our moral wants, even when our knowledge of it is far less perfect.


June 28th, 1835.




COLOssians, iii. 17.

Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the

Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.

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This is one of those passages in the Scripture,
which are quite familiar to the ears of us all;
which we receive as a good and holy command;
but which, I think, we seldom follow up into its
real meaning, or rather into that multitude of les-
sons for our daily life which lie wrapped up as it
were within it.

One great business of Christian
preaching, as it seems to me,of preaching, I mean,
as a part of our Church service, in distinction from
the prayers and psalms, and the reading of the
Scriptures,—is to form the link between human
things and divine: to form a bridge, so to speak,
by which the truths taught and the feelings ex-

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pressed in the other parts of the service may be joined on to the common business and common language of life, and not allowed to remain apart and unapplied; respected, indeed, but powerless. And this same thought is contained in the words of the text. The Apostle had been speaking of acts of direct religion. “Let the word of Christ," he says, “dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs; singing with grace

in your hearts to the Lord.” And then he proceeds to speak of all the various acts of human life which are not in themselves acts of religion : “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” That is, let all your actions and all your words be done and spoken as in Christ's presence, and as done and spoken by His servants and His redeemed.

Many actions there are of our daily life which it would be curious to paint in what I may call their dead state and their living: first, I mean, describing any given action, the choice of a profession or calling, the purchasing or selling of property, the contracting marriage, the engaging in a lawsuit, or any other of our more serious acts, as done under the influence of our common and worldly feelings only; and then describing the very same things as done in a Christian spirit, and with Christian resolutions and feelings; or, in other words, as done in

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