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membered, offers up a divided sacrifice. Who has not some tinsel ornament which he admires, or some friend he loves and cherishes, or some occupation which he cannot relinquish for the performance of the whole duty of Man to his Maker, and to his neighbour? And is it to be said all his good deeds are nought on account of one magnet which is always glittering before him, and may be of worldly importance to him still cherished in his bosom, and weaning him from the Lord? What saith the Scriptures ?" Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."* Jehoshaphat's father did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but in his old age he fell into distrust of God, gave the treasure that remained in the house of God and in the king's house to the king of Syria, to guard and help him against Baasha, the king of Israel, and he imprisoned the prophet who reproved him for it.
How many Christians like Asa begin well, but ere long fall away, become self-sufficient, and ere they have time to repent are summoned to their last home. Asa was attacked with a disease in his feet (supposed to be the gout,) "yet he sought not the Lord, but only to the physicians." Such sad spectacle is even in this day to be witnessed, where the pride of life and self-sufficiency have entered into the heart, men will not seek support
• James 2nd chap. 10th verse.
and protection from the only true Source, and so perish in their iniquity. Jehoshaphat commenced his reign by walking in the first and best ways of his father David, and God was with him, he had treasures given unto him, and war was suspended. But he at length offended God by joining Ahab the wicked king of Israel. Thus his good deeds lasted but for a little while, he forsook the Lord, and then the Lord forsook him:—" the high places were not taken away;" and Jehoshaphat with the wicked king Ahaziah made ships to go to Tarshish, but the hand of almighty justice was against them, and Jehoshaphat was punished for his wicked association; and we read "the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish."
Reader! have you never realized the interposition of Providence? have you never been checked in any unlawful undertaking, or irreligious' course of living, by some unseen and yet all powerful influence ?" Be sure your sin will find you out" as it found Jehoshaphat, and whatever idol you may be cherishing in your heart and weaning your love from God, will sooner or later be your condemnation, unless parted with speedily. You may begin life well with fair promises of future success in your spiritual life, you may gain treasures as Jehoshaphat, but if you ultimately faint and are weary in well doing, your finish may be as lamentable as Jehoshaphat's end. You may like him commence with holy resolutions and earnest endeavours, but what will such be if in the hour of temptation you like him fall away? Pray then for the assistance of the Holy Spirit, that all your works may be begun, continued, and ended in the fear of the Lord, and to the honor of his name!
"Oh for a closer walk with God,
A light to shine upon the road
Return, O holy Dove! return,
I hate the sins that made thee mourn,
The dearest idol I have known,
Whate'er that idol be,
And worship only thee.
So shall my walk be close with God,
So purer light shall mark the road
THE VALUE OF THE SOIL
"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
16th chap. Matthew, 26th verse.
The necessity of putting a proper estimate upon worldly possessions all will readily acknowledge. But, as great as the necessity is, so in proportion is the slackness which all more or less exhibit in seeking heavenly objects, and in pursuing after those things which are to be immortal. Hence we observe the toil, the diligence which men bestow to gain wealth, at the price of their souls: that thirst for mammon which engrosses so much of their time, and banishes from their view the "one thing needful." "Early to rise, and late take rest, and eat the bread of carefulness,"—such is the daily routine of many: alas! how few can say that it is not their own case. It is much to be regretted by the Christian, that that which is present, merely because it is present, should captivate his attention from loftier and better objects. The Christian's course is one of trial and difficulty ; and in considering the words before us now, we have this fully exemplified. The vanity of the world—the pride of life bring worms into the soul, and cut up religion by the root. Very difficult it is to enable men to take an interest in things which are unseen :—so many walk by sight, and not by faith, and for the enjoyment of this world, leave heavenly matters to chance. Who can say, "I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?" Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, and be he leading what life he may, he Temains satisfied. Thus vanity and folly are so popular, and amusement, recreation, fame, profit, and the like, all break in as the morning sun upon religion. Each in their turn are multiplied "to fill up the void of a listless and languid life." I do not speak against the social and more solid pleasures that exist for the happiness of mankind, and the advancement of science, but I do strenuously oppose indulgences of greater magnitude injurious to men here, and depriving them of a future world. How often we witness in old age, some pacing in the same varieties of pleasure, as implanted in their early youth. And here I would stay a moment to advise and warn those readers who like myself are sharing the sparkling promises which flit around the youthful brow, never to let the present engross their attention from contemplating the future. Many opportunities of advantage and improvement occur in the sunshine of life, and when past, are irrevocably gone. And our habits and principles in youth only increase and grow stronger as our age advances. Therefore, how diligent should parents be in "training a child in the way he should go, for when he is old he will not depart from it ,"* and with a proper obedience for a child