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to Him with fervent gratitude and with ardent hope! The man who seeks for that shelter will assuredly find it; if he would drink of that stream he will not be disappointed; his experience through life will confirm the justice of the description, Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a man shall be as a hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest : as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land ; and his dying testimony will declare, “I have not been deceived ; I have trusted in Christ, and He has never failed nor forsaken me; I can now resign myself cheerfully to His disposal, and I doubt not that I shall still find Him to be a hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; my refuge in the hour of death, my Redeemer in the day of judgment.”

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SERMON V.

THE CHRISTIAN'S CONVERSATION

PHILIPPIANS iii. 20.

“ Our conversation is in heaven.”

The apostle had just exhorted the Philippians to be followers together of him, and to mark them which walked according to the example of himself and his apostolical brethren. To those among them who heard this address, without possessing any correct view of the character and blessedness of Christ's disciples, the question would probably suggest itself :—“ On what principle do

you

thus exhort us? What is there either in your condition or your prospects which should induce us to tread in your steps? What class of persons is exposed to such privations and hardships, and so generally disowned by all who are respectable in society? To be followers together of you is to sacrifice every

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ourselves of the blessings thus graciously vouchsafed !

We read of these things, and we profess to believe them. Not a person is to be found, acknowledging the Christian revelation, who does not admit that Jesus Christ is a Saviour in every way suited to the necessities of man, and that with Him, and with Him alone, is to be found adequate consolation under all the pains and troubles of mortality. But how few seem to come to Him for these benefits! You see men conflicting with the wind and the tempest, as if there were no hiding-place; pursuing their parched and sultry road, as if there were no rivers to quench their thirst, no rock to offer them its friendly shade. You see them harassed with the troubles of life, and vexed with its anxieties, dejected and depressed by a thousand circumstances which they cannot avert, but not even thinking of Him who would give rest to their souls; eagerly inquiring who will shew us any good, * but never seeking for the light of that countenance which can alone impart it.

And is not this statement likewise applicable in some degree, even to them who are essentially of a different character, who have really

* Psalm iv. 6.

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come to Christ as their Saviour, and are numbered among His true disciples? Do not even these sometimes suffer themselves to be disturbed by griefs, which a more intimate union with Him would immediately dispel ? Are they not on some occasions inclined to deem their troubles almost irremediable, and to seek the remedy elsewhere than from Him, who alone can impart it? Do they not frequently yield to a suggestion of distrust and unbelief, when a right view of His grace, and a firm trust in His declarations would banish their griefs, and restore to them the blessing of peace? How much, my brethren, in these particulars are Christians frequently wanting to themselves ! How little comparatively do many of them realize the truth of the description here given of the Messiah! How often while they omit to avail themselves of the privilege, might they run into this refuge and be safe! How often might they repose under this great rock and drink of these living waters !

May we learn to behold our blessed Redeemer in the light in which He is here presented to us! May we be duly sensible of the overflowing fulness of His grace, and at all times, and under every emergency repair to Him with fervent gratitude and with ardent hope! The man who seeks for that shelter will assuredly find it; if he would drink of that stream he will not be disappointed; his experience through life will confirm the justice of the description, Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a man shall be as a hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest : as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land ; and his dying testimony will declare, “I have not been deceived; I have trusted in Christ, and He has never failed nor forsaken me; I can now resign myself cheerfully to His disposal, and I doubt not that I shall still find Him to be a hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; my refuge in the hour of death, my Redeemer in the day of judgment.”

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