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Ax eminently pure character is a sacred property which the dying Christian bequeaths to posterity. The record of his own life is the simple instrument by which Jesus Christ has saved the world. An image of the Saviour shrined in the heart, and a constant seeking of the soul for a more vivid conception of him who manifested God unto the world, are the gospel's provision for our glory, the power of God unto salvation. We believe that this was the simple but grand design of a heavenly wisdom in that beautiful rite of Christianity, the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. The power of his character is thus made to act upon us as it did upon his apostles. He is thus “ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever. He is still existing in our hearts, and instead of a feeble voice of invitation, faintly echoed through intervening ages, his living brightness is guiding us to heaven. The lives of those who have made more than ordinary approaches to the serene beauty of his character, must be ever dear to the heart whose aim and daily prayer is a nearer resemblance to the Saviour. We want hopefulness and encouragement. We require to be led on, perhaps by easy steps, and to be shown the practicability of that lofty virtue.
There is excitement and power of motive in the bare knowledge of excellence existing in the world, even where we are unable to trace the influences under which the character had been formed. A knowledge of the pure desires, of the secret and severe struggles, of the meek aspirings and the calm triumphs of a growing mind, would be inestimable to the humble Christian, dissatisfied with the experiences of his own heart, and though still striving, yet despairing of success, and
painfully regarding his best efforts as but disheartening failures, and his brightest moments as but faint and dying gleams. It is but seldom, however, perhaps never, that it is permitted to us to read the history of another's heart, to trace the workings of the countless influences that make us what we are on the spiritual machinery within, or to follow out the lines of progress which result in formed and finished character. In character, we are obliged to be satisfied with results, without any vain attempt, which in all cases would be imperfect, and in most utterly fruitless, to seek the steps of the process. God is the artificer who is conducting that process, and of none of his “ wonders" may it be more truly said, “ God moves in a mysterious way.” Even of Jesus himself, we know not the influences under which his glorious character was formed. We know nothing of those awful' workings of mind which prepared him to do his Father's will. We are not told of the spiritual discipline which resulted in unearthly holiness, in supernatural strength of will, in one stupendous and selfdevoting purpose of mind. As of the sun in the glorious heavens, of whose brightness we do not ask from whence it was gathered, so of the sun of righteousness in the gospel, we seek not to trace its rays back to their source, but to have it brightening in our souls and beaming on our paths.
The varying lights of character ought to serve as so many guides to the advancing Christian, as he struggles from one degree of excellence to another, striving to reach the perfection of his Master. The light may die and be extinguished, or rather be removed, and lost to human eyes in the glory of a brighter heaven; but so long as God permits it to burn, it burns for us, to lure and to invite. But to the heart that has been moved by the beauty of a Christian's example, that light can never die. Its influence was on the soul, and there no present gloom can dim the glories of the past. The star that shines no more in this earthly sphere, is but carried nearer to that light inaccessible which mortal eye does not reach. Even to us it has not perished. Its softer ra