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wretch, ripe for destruction, and will soon fall into the nethermost hell. Characters so diverse, where circumstances are so alike, should (1) Guard us from the error of making external circumstances the test by which to determine our spiritual position. And (2) Show us the native power of each soul over the external circumstances in which it is placed.

Another truth which we discover in connexion with these three crosses is :

V. THAT FAITH IN THE LIVING PERSONAL CHRIST, BECOMES THE MOST OPERATIVE POWER IN THE SOUL. What a strong faith this penitent now had in Christ ! “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” He believed in Christ's sovereignty, though He was a malefactor ; he believed in His happy future existence, and he believed in His power to conduct him into that state. Now, look how this faith worked as a power in his heart. It worked (1) In reproving wickedness. Addressing the taunting thief, he says, “ Dost thou not fear God ? ” It worked (2) In penitential confession. “We suffer justly." (3) In vindication of Christ. “But this man hath done nothing amiss.” And, (4) In earnest supplication. “Remember me,” &c. Real faith ever works thus. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Another truth which we discover in connexion with these three crosses is :

VI. THAT THERE IS FOR THE GOOD, A GLORIOUS SCENE OF LIFE AFTER THEIR DEPARTURE FROM THE WORLD. “This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” The words teach several things about this Paradise. (1) It is a scene of exquisite delight. It is to the great universe of God, what primeval Eden was to this globe — its lovely garden. A garden, however, into which no tempter will ever enter; whose flowers will never fade, whose fruits will never decay, whose air shall never be

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ruffled by the tempest, whose sun shall never be darkened by a cloud. “An inheritance incorruptible, undefiled," &c. (2) It is a scene of fellowship with Christ. “Thou shalt be with me.” How delightful will it be to be with Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and Paul, and the great and holy men of all ages; but how much more delightful to be with Christ! (3) It is a scene entered upon immediately after death. This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise. Good men neither go out of existence, nor into a long sleep, but go into “Paradise” on the day of their death. My pious brother, thou art as near heaven as death. (4) It is a scene at the disposal of Christ. Christ grants it-it is His Paradise. He has the keys, He shuts and none can open, &c. (5) It is a scene obtained by man's agency. Why was the penitent thus promised it and the other not? Because one sought it and the other did not.

Another truth which we discover in connexion with these three crosses is :

VII. THAT SUFFERING HAS NO NECESSARY TENDENCY, TO PROMOTE AN IMPROVEMENT IN OUR SPIRITUAL CHARACTER. Here is one of the malefactors railing against Christ even in the agonies of death. Some persons are disposed to imagine that, because the prayer of the penitent thief was now heard, it is time enough to seek for mercy when we come to die. Thus they presume, and thus the day of grace is allowed to run to waste. I am disposed to believe that, the penitent thief was penitent before he went to the cross; for it is scarcely reasonable to suppose that, the human soul could have passed into the state of evangelical faith, penitence, and devotion displayed here, in the course of one short hour or so. The fact of his being a legal criminal is no conclusive argument against this supposition, since legal criminals have often been great saints. Be this, however, as it may, the conduct of the impenitent thief in the agonies of death warns us against the delusion that it is time enough to seek salvation in our last

hours. Suffering is not favorable to repentance; affliction is not necessarily conducive to virtue : were it so, you would find that, wherever there was the greatest suffering there would be the greatest goodness, and that hell would be the scene of the greatest virtues. No. Prosperity is more favorable to religion than poverty, health than sickness, youth than age, life than death. “Now is the accepted time,” &c.

SUBJECT :-Mental Misery in Connexion with Material Wealth.

“And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits ? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater ; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided ? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”—Luke xii. 16-21.

Analysis of Homily the Four Hundred and Fifteenty.

In this parable and its neighbourhood there are four things which strike us as exceedingly anomalous :

First: Worldly thoughts rising under spiritual teaching. Christ had just been delivering to a “numerous multitude” of people some of His most startling and elevating truths. One might have supposed, that the minds of all present would have been engaged with the utterances of this Heaven-sent Teacher- but no; there were some present, whose minds were taken up with other and improper subjects. One of the company said unto Him, “ Master, speak to my brother that he divide the inheritance with me.” Poor, miserable soul! he was thinking all the while upon his own little

" inheritance." This is no extraordinary occurrence. Often now, men's brains teem with business ideas while listening to sermons in the pews.

Another thing which strikes us here as anomalous is :

Secondly: A morally worthless man growing secularly rich. Here is a man, whom Heaven denounces as a fool,” in a moral sense, whose “ ground brought forth plentifully," and who had “goods laid up for many years.” This is not what we should have looked for; it would be natural to expect that wherever there was a morally worthless man, there would be great secular destitution, and the reverse. Job's friends expected this; but it is not so. Physical providence pays no deference to spiritual distinctions.

“ The sun shines upon the just and the unjust.” It is not a man's piety that will ensure him good crops, but his skill and industry in agriculture; not a man's piety that will make him prosperous in the market, but his shrewdness, tact, and push. Do not let us err by making a man's secular condition, the test by which to try his character.

Another anomaly which we discover is :

Thirdly: Evil occasioning the communication of great good. Had not this man thought about his “inheritance” and expressed his thoughts, this striking and significant parable of Christ would never, perhaps, have been given to the world. Whilst there are no thanks due to the mercenary thinker, and whilst we must deprecate his conduct as wrong, we do feel thankful that he did thus think and speak, because of the good that came out of it; not as the cause but the occasion. Thus, under the government of Infinite goodness, evil gives rise to good. "Out of the eater comes forth meat.'

The other thing which we discover here as somewhat anomalous is :

Fourthly : Mental wretchedness in connexion with material wealth. It would be natural to expect that wherever there was “the abundance of the things of this life," there would invariably be joy and gladness. Indeed this seems to be the

practical belief of the world. Hence men labor for wealth in order to get happiness ; they consider happiness to be in what they have, rather than what they are. This is the error that our Saviour here exposes in two ways—by a full declaration, and by a striking parable. The picture He gives is, that of a rich man very unhappy.

There are four things in connexion with this man's history that will show his miserable folly :

I. MAKING HIS OWN GRATIFICATION THE GRAND PURPOSE OF HIS LIFE. “What shall I do?” For what?- to promote the culture of my soul,—to extend the empire of truth in the world ? No. What shall I do to hoard up my property ? Observe, (1) He does not consult any one ; he keeps his affairs to himself; a selfish man is ever suspicious of others. Observe, (2) He does not think of others ; his social sympathies are dead : he might have found barns for his goods in many an empty cupboard, store-houses in many a pauper's home. A man who is thus selfish must always be unhappy. But are we not to take care of ourselves ? you will say—Is not this the first law of life? There are three principles in our nature,-self love, social love, and religious love. The first is the lowest impulse, the second next to itin importance, the third is the highest. The first should be subordinate to the second, the second to the third, the third should be under the control of God. In other words, man should promote his own personal interests in promoting the good of others; and promote the good of others by promoting the will of God.

Another element of folly which we discover in this man is :

II. LIVING IN A PRACTICAL DISREGARD OF HIM, IN WHOM HE LIVED AND HAD AIS BEING. There is no recognition of God in the man's calculations. “My fruits," my goods." It seemed never to occur to him that all his industry was dependent on the blessing of God. He did not feel that it was God's earth, God's sun, God's shower ;

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