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and numerous of the present life, the term of probation, and the period of hope afforded to all men, were purchased by the sufferings even unto death, of the immaculate Son of God.
And can those for whom He suffered insult him ; perchance, ere they begin the day by a mockery of thanksgiving and prayer, read the record of his “ love even unto death ; and then go forth day after day, virtually saying, by every action of their lives, by every emotion of their hearts, “Give as these blessings, purchased for us at so costly a price, but let us, that we may the better enjoy them, forget how they were procured, and by whom they are bestowed."
Christian friends, you do not thus deny the Lord who boaght you “but do you, do even you render unto a Saviour God,” His due ?
The requirement of justice towards yourself, may seem strangely to succeed in order of place to the appeal which would claim unlimited self-devotion, as the debt you owe to a Redeemer; and it may seem at first sight as if there were but little need to enforce the claims of self-justice upon hearts all too prone to yield to self a bomage which belongs not to the created being, but to him who formed it.
Yet is there a need of justice which obedience to the will of that Creator requires that we should render. Yet is there an attention due to self, which not seldom it requires a spirit of unhesitating self-sacrifice to enable us to pay, and that we may the more clearly discern,“ what the Lord” in this matter " quires of us,” let us remember that “we are not our owo.”
The time, the strength, the talents, redeemed by
the blood of Christ, belong of right to him; and for His sake, not from the low desire of self-gratification, are we called upon to care for all that he has thus purchased.
The work which he has appointed,—the sphere in which he bas called us to move are perfectly adapted by him, who “knoweth our frame,” to the time, the strength, the talent with which he would have us “occupy until he come ;” and however highly men may extol the heroism which would sacrifice health or life in some self-chosen path, or for the sake of some cherished idol of the unsanctified heart-however ready, in affairs of his important aspect, and in the daily routine of common life, the popular voice may be to greet with approbation, bim, who, at whatever expense, is ever willing to gratify the tastes or yield to the caprices of those by whom he is surrounded : yet let the first enquire in the deep stillness of some moment, when no earthly eye behold, no earthly voice is near to whisper the incense of adulation, or to silence the murmurs of the monitor within, whether the aims which he purposed to accomplish were higher, or more productive of good than those to which the counsel of Divine Wisdom would have directed bis endeavours? Whether tbe objects upon which he has expended time and thought, and love, and it may be life itself, were more worthy of such devotion, than was that God, who poured out his soul unto death for him?
And let the second, if indeed the confusion of a mind distracted by a bundred various motives and aims, and the hurry of time devoted to a hundred opposiog engagements will permit him to pause and reflect,- let him compare the dangers in which he
has entangled his footsteps, with the “ways of pleasantness, and the paths of peace,” in which he might have been led by that God, “whose grace is sufficient,” to enable his children to perform-yes, and to perform with heart all untroubled, resting in the remembrance of his love ; and eye all unclouded, gazing opon the brightness of his glory; and foot that “maketh not haste,” treading securely, even upon its “high places," all the work appointed by bim.
Should we praise the steward, who, entrusted with the interests of an absent lord, spent the money committed to his charge, in providing entertainments for his fellow-servants ; and the time, that ought to bave been devoted to the care of his master's interests, in ministering to their amusements, or even in aiding them in their lawful employments? And shall the stewards of the Lord of Heaven and earth, be thus unfaithful to their trast? Shall they thus sacrifice the claims of their Master to those of their fellowmen?
No-every duty we owe to man, is included in the performance of what is required of us by God, and can best be performed, when guided by his counsel and aided by his power; and truly our duties to our brethren and mankind, are of such imperative obligation, and of such weighty responsibility, that we may well shrink from encumbering ourselves with aught that could hinder us in discharging, and gladly look with single eye, unto him who alone can enable us efficiently, to perform them.
As members of the great family of earth, we owe a debt to each member of that wide fraternity.
But only by rendering unto each his due, can we perform the duty that we owe to all.
Our resources are not unlimited. We possess but a measure of time, and strength, and talent: and if we lavish upon one, more than the will of God, the the claims of that love “ wbich is the fulfilling of the law,” require of us; we must needs do so at the expense of defrauding another.
Have you ever watched a stone as it fell upon the glassy bosom of some tranquil stream, and marked how the perfection of the widest of the circles formed around it, depends upon the unbroken figure of the first ?
And thus is it, only by the right fulfilling of our first duties, that we can hope to meet the claims of those whicb are more remote. Only by rendering unto God the things that are God's,” can we ever hope for strength to "render unto Cesar the things that are Cesar's.” And only when that circle is perfect, which surrounds the home in which God has placed us, may we expect that those which embrace a wider sphere, will preserve the same faultlessness of form..
(To be concluded in our next.)
A GRAIN OF MUSTARD SEED.
AMIDst the many interesting institutions, the claims of which bave been prominently brought forward during the two past months, one was only heard of from the pulpit, no public meeting being held on its behalf: and we cannot refrain, if only on this ground, from commending it to the prayerful notice of our friends. We allude to the Home and Colonial Infant School Society, which truly seems to answer the description above given. It is a little grain, overlooked perhaps, among the larger roots, the bulbs, and tubers, and shooting stems of its vegetating brethren; but there is that in it which promises to become a great tree, and to yield to others on a large scale the shelter and protection now kindly afforded to it.
The immense importance of giving to the youthful mind a right bias, of training op a child in the way he should go, has never been questioned among Christians; nor even among worldly moralists : but it is only from a comparatively recent date that the principle has been brought forward and acted out, of being beforehand with the devil in the matter of education, though alas! he is and ever will be, far beforehand with us in polluting the soil. All are born in sin: and hitherto, with few exceptions, sin has been allowed to reign unchecked over the infant