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own eye. For on a certain occasion, when he had been delighting his hearers with an effusion of heavenly wisdom, a woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.' Now of all the conceivable substitutes for personal piety on which human indolence might seek to repose, that of kinship to Christ seems the most natural, and the least liable to general abuse. But he saw in this outburst of maternal feeling, however natural, a principle involved capable of general application, and pregnant with danger; and, therefore, in order to take off our attention from every inferior distinction, and fix it on the true theory of blessedness, he instantly rejoined, 'Yea, rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.'

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5. On another occasion, his mother and brethren, actually presuming on the ties of kindred, wished to interfere with his labors, and expected that he would show them some public mark of deference. But he answered and said, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?' thus plainly intimating that, in his official capacity, he knew no affinity but that which originates in faith, is cemented by love, and puts forth the fruits of holy obedience. He detected the hydra of religious formality in this chrysalis of natural feeling; and, therefore, at the hazard of appearing severe to his earthly kindred, he cast it from him, and smote it with the sword of his mouth. But, stretching orth his hands towards his disciples, he said, Behold my mother, and my brethren; for whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.'

6. Were we to quote every part of the practical instructions of Christ, our citations would amount to at least, twothirds of all he is recorded to have taught. In his first,

discourse on record, that which he addressed to Nicodemus, he describes himself as having kindled a light in the midst of the world; and that while all the children of the day delighted to feed and strengthen their spiritual vision at its beams, the doers of evil, all the progeny of darkness, feared to come forth from their dens of night to encounter its rays, lest it should flash condemnation in their face.

7. His Sermon on the Mount, the most detailed specimen of his preaching we possess, is practical throughout. Unlike many a modern discourse, it is not merely guarded and finished with a border of practical application that it may not be quite unuseful, the material and texture of the whole piece consist of the most serviceable and enduring principles of duty. So perfect is the character which Jesus requires of his disciples, that the infidel has pretended to see in it nothing but the unattainable beau-ideal of romance, and to read in its very perfection its own refutation. He knew not that celestial aid is offered for the attainment; and reflected not that to erect a standard professing to be divine, and yet short of perfection, would have been representing the holy God as making a compromise with sin. The morality of Jesus gives no quarter to vice; allows not a moment's truce to any sinful propensity. Every member and instrument of sin is to be severed and cast away with an unsparing hand. His people are to turn every act into devotion; to make every meal sacramental, a token and pledge of infinite love. The termination of one duty, is to be only a signal for the commencement of another; their life is to be one continuous act of obedience. Though, for the sake of civil government and order, they may comply with many of the forms which yoke men to duty, and keep them in allegiance to virtue, they are yet to consider themselves bound by superior obligations; their heavenly Master has taken them to his cross, and sworn

them to holiness over the symbols of his death; henceforth they are to live on oath.

8. And their piety is to be diffusive; bursting the limits of their own life, it is to multiply itself in the lives of others. He offers a premium to eminent piety by proclaiming that, when sinners, aroused by its active and unsparing aggressions on vice, shall league and arm to destroy it, the gates of bliss shall be thrown wide open to welcome the martyr-spirit in its ascent from the field of conflict, and great shall be its reward in heaven. His people constitute the salt of the earth; the advent of his gospel was the introduction of a new restorative principle into the world; it arrested the progress of corruption, renovtaed much that had fallen into a state of moral decomposition, and infused into it the permanent vitality and strength of holiness. His people are the depositories of this principle; and by their holy activity they are not only to suspend the tendency of the world to a state of general demoralization, but to save it for God. They are the lights of the world; they have been kindled to irradiate the surrounding gloom; they are placed in their respective orbits to catch the radiance of his throne, and transmit it to a world immersed in the shadow of death. In order to sustain their office with effect, he requires them not merely to shine, but to burn, to be resplendent with holiness and zeal.

9. When an eastern monarch contemplated a journey through a distant part of his dominions, he prepared for the expedition, and made it memorable, by sending harbingers to level a road, and announce his coming. The regal progress of Jesus through Judea was preceded by the command, ' Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.' The impediments to be removed, and the mountains to be levelled, were moral obstructions; and by issuing an edict for repentance, a call to universal reformation, he would fain have signalized the epoch of his mis

sion, by sweeping the land of its mountainous iniquities, preparing it for the free and unobstructed commerce of goodness, and filling it from one end to the other with the paths of pleasantness and peace.

10. And this holiness he wills to be universal. In requiring us to yield our supreme affection to God, and to love our neighbor as ourselves, he was prescribing for earth the elements of celestial felicity; for it is by doing this that angels are happy, that heaven is the region of blessedness which it is; nor could its happiness survive this duty for a moment. But in directing us to pray, that 'the will of God may be done on earth, as it is in heaven,' he would open before us the prospect of unbounded progression and improvement; he would inspirit us to enter on a career of emulation with angels; to despair of nothing, to hope for every thing, in the moral advancement of the world; to stop at no point short of universal holiness; and to call in, at every step, the almighty agency of God. Heaven, it is true, is in every divine excellence, immeasurably in advance of earth. Truth, is the food of the soul; and there, in the clear revelations of the eternal mind, the spirit is perpetually feasted with fresh discoveries of truth. Obedience, is the activity and exercise of the renewed soul; and there it is its privilege to serve him day and night in the noblest acts of duty. Holiness is the beauty of the soul; and there it is robed in that 'fine linen, white and clean, which is the righteousness of the saints.' Happiness, is the health, the well-being of the sanctified spirit; and there it imbibes felicity, at will, at the fountain head. The specific employments of the blessed we know not; but we are told that every earthly impediment to duty is to them unknown, and that in every act of obedience they put forth all the mightiest ardor of the most intense devotion. Every motive to holiness acts on them with a force to which earth at present has no parallel. So directly

does their happiness flow from their obedience, that they would deplore a pause in their duty as a suspension of their bliss. Holiness is always at its standard there; and happiness, at its full-tide mark.

But that state of blessedness, instead of depressing us by its superiority, becomes, in the hands of the Great Teacher, a spring to hope, and a motive to imitation. He knows that, in every condition of our nature, the best way to ensure excellence is to aim at perfection; on this principle he renders the perfection of the heavenly state subservient to the improvement of this. Aware of the capabilities of earth, when pervaded by his Spirit, and blessed with his fostering care, he has pledged himself fully to develope its best properties, even all its possible excellences; and, for this end, he has raised its aim to the highest point, elevated its endeavors to the loftiest pitch, by showing it the fairest specimens of created excellence as seen around the throne above. He has brought the throne of God within sight of earth, he has directed all flesh to come and collect around it; and that we may not ask a blessing unworthy of the greatness of the occasion, he instructs us to request that we may rival angels in the perfection of their obedience; in order that we may not retire from the throne unblessed, through the poverty of our desires, he aims to make us jealous of the inhabitants of heaven, and incites us to ask to be admitted into a full community of excellence and happiness with them. Yea, more; by urging us to make this request, he would fain induce us to move God himself to jealousy, for the honor of his holy name; for what is it, in effect, but the presentation of a memorial to the King of kings, setting forth that, in this distant dependency of his empire, though its capabilities are great, though it might be made to yield him a revenue of glory which should compete with the treasured homage of heaven, yet his laws are dishonored, his glory defraud

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