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ashamed of them hereafter at Christ's coming. We do not, indeed, "go out of the world,” (1 Cor. v. 10,) nor avoid any to whom we may do good; for our Master did not so.

We do not pray,


any heart-sick weariness of living, to be “taken out the world.” (John, xvii. 15.) But we do earnestly desire a holy Christian separation from what is unbecoming the Gospel. We would sain keep ourselves unspotted from the world.

We can readily “try the things that differ.”* At times we shall meet with things in life; and they are of such a nature that we hesitate whether we shall engage in them or not. Outwardly they seem harmless; nor is it easy to fix the amount of apparent evil that is in them. But what is doubtful should be avoided, not followed; and if these things be tested, not by their present appearance, but by their ultimate tendency, their character will be determined. The mask they wear will fall off, and we can read all their true lineaments. If they unfit us for the Lordif they turn us again to the weak and beggarly elements of the world, that we may be brought into bondage-if they allure us to the Egypt we have quitted, and impede us on our way to the Canaan whither (we say) we are going—they are Satan's snares. Pleasures they may be in the eyes of our fellow-men, but perils they are in very truth to our souls. Of present harm their amount may appear to be very little; but of evil imparted and afterwards grievously felt, the traces will be abundant. Now,

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all such things must be resolutely avoided. They will grieve the Holy Spirit of God, if not quench His gracious influence. They will manifest to others inconsistency in us. They will rob us of bosom peace.

The general rule of conduct is plain :

“Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

By this test, we can infallibly “prove all things !” Before an engagement be entered on, let the enquiry be made, “Will it promote the glory of God, in ourselves and others? Will it, alike when it is in doing and when it is accomplished, exercise an influence for good? Will it leave behind it a blessing or a curse?” By the response, we shall understand its real nature.

I. Let us, likewise, accustom ourselves to realise the presence of our Redeemer. If there be a place, whither we are invited, if there be any employment awaiting us there; and we wish to know whether that place should be visited, or that employment entered upon, let each for a while thus meditate: “Suppose my Saviour, in all His calm tender majesty, were to come into the room where I am to be, would I hide myself from Him? Would I tremble, because of His finding me and His saying, What doest thou here?' Would I try to flee from His presence?" Let us imagine this; and then we shall find whether many a scene of public resort is the place for the followers of the ascended and glorified Jesus.

II. Let us use the touchstone of Prayer. We know that in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, we should make known our requests unto God. Now, whatever unfits us for spiritual communion with God, and hinders prayer, cannot be right. We may assure ourselves that the day or evening has not been well spent, which bewilders the mind, confuses the senses, and makes us lie down to rest without speaking to our God. We may be satisfied that there is something wrong in that amusement, or employment, upon which our conscience tells us it would be unseemly to ask a blessing, or before or after which we feel that we could not immediately pray.

III. Let us also think of Death. Between us and it there is but a step! Would we be fit to be joined to an innumerable company of angels, and to the spirits of just men made perfect? Is our daily employment such that we could spring from it, as with a bound, to the joys of heaven; or would it rather sink us into the damnation of hell? In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we may pass into the unseen world, and what would be our sensations ? Eternity truly is the best standard for judging of the things of Time.

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Pilgrims to immortality as we are, we cannot permit the affection to be engaged with earthly things. As little might Israel promise herself an entrance into Canaan ; if, instead of continuing the marches thither, she had built herself in the wilderness a city to dwell in. Continually are needed the admonitions, “Set your affection on things above;” “Be not conformed to this world;" for the heart is prone to earthly things, and would fain—if it might-linger here below. But when we have tasted that the Lord is gracious, we have found higher enjoyments, and are raised up and made to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Then, is the world crucified unto us, and we unto the world. We are set free from its enthralling vanities. We lose the relish for its unsatisfying joys. We find that its fashion is passing away.

Oh! the blessedness of being dead to Earth's empty shows, so that they can move us no more than they can influence those who sleep quietly in their graves ! To be dead to the riches of the world, to the pleasures of the world—nay, even to the lawful things of the world, so that we are not enwrapt in their enjoyment if we have them, nor covet their possession when they are not ours! To be, in short

“ Like ships in seas, while in, above the world.”



“That heaven is a scene of unbounded happiness and everlasting delight, there is no doubt whatever ; but should we find it so ? is quite another question. We know that a deaf man might be surrounded with the sweetest music and the most enchanting harmony, and to him it would be all dead silence; and a beautiful portrait, or a lovely landscape, would be nothing but darkness to a blind man's eye.”


F, in the providence of God, it were definitely

arranged for any of us, that in a little

while we should leave our native land for ever, and follow those bands of emigrants who continuously seek a new home on a foreign strand, how changed would be our feelings both about our own country and about the country to which we would be proceeding! As regards our own country, we should feel an unfixedness that we never knew before. We should smile at the counsel that suggested to us joining house to house and laying field to field. We should regard passing events with an indifference, that we never thought could be our own. When the notion of permanent inhabitation of our country would be displaced, a disenthralling of the affection in regard to its soil straightway would follow; and the land, in which we dwelt securely, would be

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