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the fruits of righteousness. I appeal | righteous edict, and intended to keep
to your own convictions, whether you his creatures ever on their guard.
have availed yourselves of these ad- How mad then is the insensibility of
vantages. I ask you to search your those who, regardless of the lofty
own hearts, and to measure your destinies of an immortal soul, unim-
advances in religion, with the time pressed by the numberless mementos
that has been allotted you. When which surround them, uninfluenced
you take a retrospective view of life, by the exhortations of the pulpit, are
can you reckon up evil habits subdued, still content to remain barren of all
unchristian tempers regulated, temp- religious fruit, living wholly for this
tations resisted ;-can you trace on- world, and reckless of another. And
ward from one past year to another, still the God of Heaven forbears to
a growing contempt for the world, an smite, still the flash of vengeance
increasing love of holiness, a closer which should blast them, is withheld ;
approximation to Christ. Do you still the axe is laid to the root, but
feel that you are fitter now to die, the tree is not yet cut down. Year
than when the year that has just after year rolls on, and the Lord
retreated was beginning to dawn upon comes seeking fruit, and finding none.
you? If death were to surprise you Wondrous is the patience and long-
this night, could you aver that you suffering which he displays-great is
had fought the good fight, that you his condescension, and infinite are
had finished your course, that you his mercies.
looked confidently forward to the Thirdly ; But in the next place,
crown of righteousness as your re- we are reminded that a time will
ward? I trust there are some in this arrive, when after repeated discove-
congregation, whose delightful and ries of obduracy and impenitence, the
exalted employment it has been to alarming sentence will be no longer
measure the value of their passing held in abeyance. Cut it down, why
days by their growth in grace, who cumbereth it the ground. On taking
are ready at any time to die with

a survey of the years that have rolled calmness and resignation. But there past you, cannot you reckon up many must be many whose accounts with acquaintances, neighbours, or friends, God have been suffered to run on who have been summoned to the bar neglected, and who have therefore of judgment; some perhaps prepared a heavy bond to discharge, or a tre- to meet their judge, others, of whom, mendous penalty to suffer. Oh, con- alas, it must be said by the commonest sider, before it be too late, that there observer, that they cumbered the is but one period allowed for preparing earth by their iniquities and bad exyourselves for Heaven. This period ample, and were justly cut off from is comprized within that little interval the land of the living. Has not the which we call our life. There is no pestilence which, within the last year, repentance beyond the grave. “Now has been ravaging this land, carried is the accepted time, now is the day off its thousands and tens of thousands? of salvation.” Over each of you, as Some will tell you that it was the over the courtier recorded in classic mere result of natural causes, excludstory, there hangs a suspended sword, ing the Divinity from interference on the point of dropping every instant. with his creation. But the Christian It is the decree of our Almighty knows and believes that it was the Judge that not one of us should know arm of the Lord revealed in vengehow long he has to live. It is a ance, sweeping off from the land the

cumberers of our soil—while at the Thus, brethren, Jesus Christ has same time some of the excellent ones been pleading with the sovereign of the earth, already ripe for Heaven, Lord of Heaven, in behalf of many were wafted to their God by the same a sinner. And is it too much to say, visitation, snatched from some evil, that some of those whom I am adand safely lodged in the haven of dressing are at this moment subjects their everlasting repose. We cannot of his experimental mercy! It does presume to measure the proportion of not pertain to us to form judgments the sioners and the righteous ones of each other. We cannot dive into who were thus swept into eternity. the hearts of those with whom we are Our Saviour checked such vain pre-concerned. The shafts of the preacher sumptions, when some communicated are thrown at random, and we leave to him the story of the slaughtered the result to the grace of God and the Galileans, presuming that they were consciences of our hearers.

But I sinners above all their countrymen, intreat you in all the simplicity of because they suffered such things. But truth and love to ask your own hearts, he bids them make a practical use of whether you think that you were the transaction, and concisely says, prepared to die, when so many were except ye repent, ye shall all likewise dropping around you—whether you perish. Remember then that thou- think that you are now ready for the sands have been summoned to another event, and confident of happiness world, because the patience of God hereafter. If not, I beseech you to would wait no longer. And let each turn your thoughts to that gracious ask himself-Why then am I still Being, who has proved himself not spared? What merit has exempted only able but willing to let you alone me from the fate of others? Why is for another year. Perhaps even now not my body stretched in the cold the mandate has gone forth against sepulchre, and my soul consigned to one or other of us present, that this its unchangeable destination? While shall be our last. Nevertheless you so many have fallen at my right hand still live and breathe. A throne, a and at my left, here I continue in the sceptre, a crown of glory, an inheritenjoyment of life’s various comforts ; ance undefiled, unfading, is yet within amid the treasures of knowledge, the your grasp. And this privilege you endearments of friends, the socialities | derive from the merciful interposition of the domestic circle. Above all, of your Saviour. the opportunities of salvation are still Fifthly: I have next to remark, that within my reach, and Heaven may there is no reply recorded in answer to yet be attained. Transporting privi- this gracious expostulation. The word lege! and where must I look for the of God, whilst it gives every encouorigin of this invaluable boon? ragement, yet holds forth no loose and

Fourthly, We are now brought to easy promises of acceptance. It another division of our subject. We everywhere inculcates the danger of find the dresser of the vineyard kindly delay, and sounds an alarm in the remonstrating with the disappointed sinner's ear. We know that we lord of the property, and accosting have an advocate with the Father, him with placid language, “ Lord, let Jesus Christ the righteous; but finite it alone this year also, till I shall dig beings, like ourselves, have too little about it and dung it; and if it bear acquaintance with the nature of the fruit, well ; and if not, then after that Infinite, to be enabled to affirm that thou shalt cut it down."

the advocacy of the Son is always

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effectual with the Father. Intimate have gone before you, augmenting
as is their union, we cannot say with their peaceful repose, and imparting
certainty in what cases stern justice fresh touches of consolation.
shall be arrested, in what cases the And who can say what accents of
sinner shall be given over to irre- fiendish triumph may echo through
prievable condemnation. Enough is the cloisters of hell, and diffuse among
revealed to us for the attainment of the damned some momentary gleam
salvation. All that choose may avail of baleful joy at the anticipated sen-
themselves of the opportunity. No tence awaiting others :-Cut them
sinner is too far gone for recovery down, why cumber they the ground.
whilst life is allotted him. Christ is I conclude this discourse with a
the gracious intercessor for sins of few suitable admonitions.
every colour and complexion. From Every one has some besetting sin,
the earliest times to this very moment, some grand impediment to his salva-
his mediatorial office has been un- tion, on which a multitude of subordi-
ceasingly in operation. Who was it nate vices are suspended. It requires
that pleaded in behalf of the anti- no great portion of sagacity to discover
diluvian world, until their iniquities this. Conscience is a faithful mon-
made them ripe for destruction, and itor; and I doubt not that there is at
the Spirit would strive no longer in this moment rising in every breast, a
their favour? Who was it that pro- thought-executed picture of the in-
tracted the desolation of Jerusalem, siduous monster that so triumphantly
not for a single year, but for century controls it.
after century, sending prophets among Summon at once all your energies
them, to dig about the fibres of their and powers to grapple with this ty-
stubborn hearts, and to manure the rant of the soul. Like a skilful
meager soil by every fertilizing ap- general, who concentrates all his
plication. “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, forces to one point, and thus gains
thou that killest the prophets, and access to the beleaguered town, so let
stonest them which are sent unto thee, the Christian combatant arrange his
how often would I have gathered thy attack. Let the voluptuary declare
children together, even as a hen ga-

instant war with those degrading pas-
thereth her chickens under her wings, sions that are hurrying him to misery
and ye would not!” Who was it and destruction. Let the drunkard
that bore so long with Paul, the per- break away from the seducements
secutor, and, milder measures failing, that bind him-let him spurn the in-
smote the rebel to the ground, encom- ordinate cup, and resolutely resist
passing him with a supernatural flood the accursed temptation. Let the
of light, and accosting him in lan- miser awake at once from his delu-
guage of gracious import? The same sion--let him dash away the golden
Jesus who has permitted you to enter image set up in the province of his
upon another year of probationary heart, and scatter about its fragments
existence. Oh, who knows what co- in deeds of Christian mercy. Let the
pious fruits of righteousness he con- proud, the deceitful, the selfish, the
templates gathering from some of calumnious, the unforgiving, at once
you? Who knows what sounds of take up arms against the antagonist
joy may ring through the courts or of their happiness, and determine,
heaven at such a prospect, and pass with the spirit of martyrs, to r'je
on by some mysterious transmission
to the conscious spirits of those who

(To be continued.)



No. 131.]


[Price 3d.

(Rev. F. H. Hutton's Sermon concluded.) sist and conquer. Let the glory of again and again to this sacred source the result be set before your eyes. of power and consolation, and acLet no present difficulties impede quires, from such repeated interyour firm resolves, no bland persua- course with his God, continual augsions of the foe induce you to falter. mentations of ascendency over sin, Should the sin with which you are and of holiness unto salvation. called on to wrestle be habitually Having thus resolved to set out on dearer to you than the light of the a new career, making heaven the obeye, or more serviceable to you in ject of all your desires, and Christ your intercourse with a profligate the north-star of your eager gazing world than the use of the right hand hopes, the stream of life will run to the labourer for his daily bread, yet clear, comfort will embrace you on remember the uncompromising lan- every side, the grave will be disguage of your Saviour, “ If thy right armed of its terrors, the sting of death hand offend thee cut it off and cast will be extracted. As one year sucit from thee: for it is profitable for ceeds another, and the faded comthee that one of thy members should plexion and wrinkling brow bespeak perish, and not that thy whole body your approach to another world, you should be cast into hell."

will calculate, with joyful anticipaBut resolutions of amendment, in tion, your prospective exemption from themselves, however strong, are yet the sorrows of life, from the hazards of little value, without the co-ope- of relapse into sin, from the assaults rating grace of heaven. There is a of your spiritual enemy. You will mighty energy imparted from above, think with serenity of the shroud and when earnest prayer has ascended the coffin, and enter upon your last from the penitent's lips. Prayer is a sleep as calmly and sweetly as the powerful engine to bring down the innocent child passes into its nightly favor of the Almighty. And yet how slumber. And oh, in that climate of simple an instrument it is. The sin- unclouded bliss, in what a new and ner examines himself, becomes con- surpassing character shall we behold scious of his danger, retires to his the heavenly vine-dresser. The soul eloset, and there kneels before his embodied in its earthly tenement, Maker in meek petition and earnest speculating upon heaven and hell, acknowledgment. His prayer is can but faintly conceive the excess granted, his weakness is strengthened, of holy love, with which the redee med his spirit is encouraged, he resorts in Christ shall contemplate Him, who



has gathered them into the possession, us in these realms of probation, exof all good, and for ever hidden from postulating with the God of justice, their eyes that knowledge of evil, the and making mercy triumphant over fatal patrimony inherited from the the rigour of law—“Lord, let them first Adam.

alone this year also ; and if they bear To Him then be the voice of grati- fruit, well; if not, then after that tude uplifted, who hath hitherto spared thou shalt cut them down.” us, and borne with us, and detained

A Sermon,




Matthew, vii.12.-" Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do

ye even so to them."

BRETHREN, this precept may indeed, the man of letters may diffuse know-
be called, with reason, a precept which ledge and promote the cultivation of
belongs exclusively to revelation. intellect, and yet there may be within
Man learns it not by the world around him the close, exclusive, unfeeling
him, and learns it not by the teach- principle of selfishness. It is the con-
ings of his own heart: man learns it tribution of the two mites of the poor
exclusively from the words of Jesus widow, out of her penury, that marks
Christ himself. Naturally, the heart the inward sentiment. True benevo-
of a man is bound up in selfishness. lence, in a word, is self-denial.
A man of benevolenen

it is true,

Now St. Paul seems to have had feel pleasure in relieving poverty ; | a very painful sense of this natural deor a man of compassion may expe- fect in man. He warns his Philippian rience satisfaction in relieving pain : converts—“My brethren, dearly bea man of philanthropy may rejoice in loved and longed for, (so, in the extent bettering the condition of his destitute of his affection he calls them,) look and ignorant neighbours; but a bene- not every man on his own things, but volent, or a compassionate, or a phi- every man also on the things of lanthropic feeling, is not so incom- others.” He complains that in all the patible with actual selfishness as may city of Rome,-great, and marvellous, appear at first sight to the superficial and powerful and celebrated as it was, observer. The tender-hearted man-he had found no man like minded may wipe away the tears of the with himself, who would naturally care mourner and yet be selfish : the rich for the state of his brother. I know man, out of his abundance, may not, my Christian brethren, whether minister plentifully to the wants of there is one single fact, recorded in all the necessitous and yet be selfish : scripture, that more strongly marks

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