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the Rev. T. SHAW
THE Editor of this work has to renew his thanks to those friends who have supported his serial through another year.
The objects of the work are simple, but important, viz., to disseminate Wesleyan Theology; to encourage rising talent; to preserve memorials of departed Ministers; to furnish to Ministers an additional means of usefulness; and to contribute, in an humble measure, to the edification of the Church.
These important ends, it is hoped have been served. And the continued support of our Friends is earnestly and respectfully solicited.
Best thanks are offered to those Ministers who have so promptly and disinterestedly contributed sermons ; and whose productions it is believed, have rendered the volume both acceptable and useful.
The present volume will not be found inferior in interest to any of its predecessors.
end be everlasting life.” But if not—if, while with our lips we have honoured Christ, we have yet served at the world's or Satan's shrine, then the final tempest will sweep away our refuges of lies, and we shall sink to “ the blackness of darkness” for ever.
We hope that that which was stated to be the principle embodied and announced in the text—that holy conduct is an essential part of real religion—has thus been sufficiently established.
1.-Let me now urge you, dear brethren, to apply it as a test to your own characters. Anticipate the inquiry which you must undergo before the tribunal of spotless and infinite Justice-sooner, it may be, than you now imagine.
Examine your own selves.” Tried by the touchstone of the text, you may correctly ascertain whether you are acceptable unto God. Some religious affections may be counterfeited, and it becomes difficult to discriminate between the semblance and the reality. But here is something obvious and tangible. And if, along with the persuasion that ours are the love and joy and peace which the Spirit brings, we also know that we are doing righteousness, then may we assure our hearts before him." How stands the matter ? You say that the Holy Spirit attests your adoption : have you also the testimony of your own “conscience that in simplicity and godly sincerity" you have behaved in the world? You speak of the happiness your religion brings : has it made you holy? Has it caused you to come out from the ungodly? Has it made you scrupulously just, honest, upright, and honourable in all your transactions ? Are you as anxious to appear well and fair in your homes, the circle of your friends, the workshop, the market, the exchange, as in the sanctuary, and among the people of God? Has it humbled your pride ? Has it subdued an ungovernable
temper, or sweetened a sullen one ? Does it bridle your tongue, keeping you from deceitful, idle, angry, or injurious language? Is selfishness supplanted by the mind of Christ,—that mind so loftily disinterested, so self-sacrificing, so benevolent? Do you ever and honestly pray that God would show you your duty, and make you keenly sensible of
your heart to perform” God's “statutes always even unto the end”? “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous."
2.-Let us further affectionately urge you to be “ ful to maintain good works.” Professing Christians are sometimes betrayed into conduct at variance with the nature and genius of Christ's kingdom, or they fail to meet the legitimate claims of their Divine Lord, not (as we are forced to hope through an utter derelection of right principle, but through inadvertency, or the want of a nice perception of the distinctions between right and wrong. “Be careful,” therefore, “to maintain good works.” “ Ponder the path of thy feet.” Take thought about your conduct. Study humbly, prayerfully, and anxiously God's word, as the rule of your life. Cultivate enlightened tenderness of conscience. Pray with the Psalmist, “ Make me to understand the way of thy precepts. Teach me good judgment and knowledge.” Come to the light that your deeds may
be made manifest. Depend upon it, that in a world of such error and sin, and with hearts so prone to evil, we cannot, by mere chance or good fortune, stumble or stray into the way of holiness. The most sedulous, unremitted, and devout care is required. But with this you shall be enabled to live holily and unblameably, and though, like Daniel, you have keen and scrutinizing, and even hostile eyes upon you, yet like him, shall you be faithful, neither shall there be error