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this revelation of ourselves is never realised by merely hearing the truth. Just as the man who looks in the mirror once for all (for that is the meaning of the tense here, katevónoe), and thinks no more of it, but is immediately gone, will forget the appearance of his physical face, so the mere hearer of the word will rapidly forget whatever of his moral image he may in a passing moment have seen. Self-knowledge is dependent on obedience. Professor Plumptre on this text remarks :“Each single act of disobedience, each sin wilfully committed, each preference of the law of the flesh to the law of God, of the judgment of men before His judgment, weakens our power to discern what we are, and what He wishes us to be.”

II. “THE WORD" RIGHTLY PRACTISED. When men are true doers of “ the word.” (1.) It is thoroughly investigated. The obedient hearer is spoken of by James as one who “looketh into.The word asapakúựas, thus translated, is that employed to describe the stooping down of the disciples to look into Christ's sepulchre, and also the narrow search which the angels desire to use to discover the mysteries of salvation. It evidently signifies that the practical hearer closely inquires into “the word." He looks into it (a) to learn to obey it, and then, having obeyed, he loves it, (B) and looks into it because he loves it. “O how I love thy law," &c. (2.) It confers the highest blessing. “Whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein,” &c. From this sentence of Scripture we are taught that the Gospel (a) imparts complete liberty. It is the "perfect law of liberty," that is, the liberating law emancipating from the power and the guilt of sin. “ I shall walk at liberty, for I seek thy precepts.” (B) It ensures constant happi.

“The word,” when rightly practised, does not merely tell of a heaven of future blessedness, as the result of virtuous deeds, but makes the obedient man "blessed in his deed"happy in his daily doings.

While the whole of this epistle is perhaps the distinctest echo of the Sermon on the Mount that any of the apostolic teachings afford, this utterance of James about hearers and

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doers of the word has a specially marvellous resemblance to the closing tones of that Sermon, “Whoso heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them," &c. Bristol.


Germs of Thougbt.


SUBJECT: Daily Dying.

“I die daily."-1 Cor. xv. 31. Inalysis of Homily the Seben Gundred and Fifty-First. N all the writings of the world there is nothing in doctrine,

argument, style, influence, surpassing this chapter. It shines as the brightest orb in ali literature - an orb that sends its radiance into the grave, and reveals a glorious future for redeemed humanity. Millions of mourners, in committing their loved ones to the tomb, have felt the consolatory influence of this priceless section of apostolic writing. It has hushed the sigh, dried the tear, dispelled the gloom, and lifted the spirits of the bereaved to worlds over which death has no power. Were these verses but the creations of fancy or the dreams of fanaticism, I scarcely know that I should be disposed to give them up as worthless. The whole is so grateful to our hearts, so enrapturing to our hopes, so consolatory in sorrow, so uplifting in depression, that its erasure from sacred literature would be an incalculable loss.

As the HOMILIST has discussed at various times different portions of this chapter,* we will confine our attention to the short sentence now read—I die daily.Though Paul used these words to express the perils to which he was daily exposed as the apostle of a faith so directly at war with the prejudices, the superstitions, the philosophies, the institutions, the habits and spirit of his age, as to rouse the spirit of bitter hostility against him wherever he went, there is a sense in which the words have a universal application.

* See, for example, vol. vii., third series, pp. 278 and 279.

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First: There is a daily dying of our corporeal frame. In each human body the seed of death is implanted, the law of mortality is at work. There is decay with every respiration and heart-throb. When Dr. Watts wrote, “The moment we begin to live we all begin to die,” he wrote what is not the mere ebullition of a poetic sadness, but a fact of scientific demonstration. The water does not more naturally roll towards the ocean, or a falling body more naturally gravitate towards the centre of the earth, than the human frame runs every moment to dissolution. Life streams from us at every pore. This fact should teach us (1.) that worldly mindedness is an infraction of reason. What a monstrous absurdity it is to set our supreme affections upon objects from which we are departing every moment! As the ship of the emigrant in full sail is bearing him every moment farther and farther from his native shore, so destiny is bearing every man farther and farther from his connection with this earth. No anchor can stop this ship of destiny. All “Life Insurance” offices l'ecognize and act upon this fact. Every man's life is less valuable to-day than it was yesterday. This fact teaches us (2.) that sorrow for the departed should be moderatel. Why indulge in grief for those who are gone? Their departure was but obedience to the resistless law of their nature, and that same law is daily bearing us whither they are gone. Why battle with destiny? This fact shows (3.) that Christianity is an invaluable boon to mortals. It does two things,-it teaches us that there is a future world of blessedness, and points us the way by which that blessed world is reached.

Secondly: There is a daily dying of our social rorlul. We live not only with others but by them. Without society we might exist, but live we could not. They are the objects of our sympathies, the subjects of our conscious life; they engage our thoughts, they affect our hearts, they originate our motives, they stimulate our conduct; and all this is much of our life. But this social world in which we live, and by which we live, is dying daily, and with its death much of our own life dies. The social circumstances which feed our life are changing every day. No two days are they exactly the same. Something comes and something goes every hour. Like the waves of the river that roll at our feet, as we stand, they sweep by, and they roll back no more. We are to these circumstances what the traveller is to the scenes through which he passes. As he proceeds, old objects fade from his view, and new ones appear. The circle of the nursery

in which we once lived is gone; the circle of the school and other circles in which we lived have broken up long ago. Thus it is we“ die daily." The thoughts, the love, the grief,

anger, the fear, the hopes which were once elements of life to us, have passed away because the objects of them


have gone.

Thirdly: There is daily dying of our mental motivity. The motives that influence us to action are elements of life, and they are constantly dying. For example, the leading purpose that a man has is for the time one of his strongest motives of action, that which touches most potently the springs of intellect and heart; but the leading purpose of every man is a dying thing. It is dead as a motive both when it is frustrated and given up, as is constantly the case, and also when it is fully realised. A realised purpose has lost its motivity. Thus we die daily in mind. Many of the loves, hopes, fears, romances, ambitions, which once formed much of our life, have been buried long ago in the ever-widening cemetery of the soul.

II. THERE IS A DAILY DYING THAT IS OPTIONAL TO HUMANITY. This optional death is of two kinds—the criminal and the virtuous.

First : There is the criminal. There are noble things in man that are dying daily, for which he is responsible. In the depraved soul, sensibility of conscience, generosity of impulse, elasticity of intellect, freedom of thought, spirituality of feeling,—these, that constitute the highest life of man, die daily in the corrupt soul. The sinner is constantly murdering these, and their blood cries to heaven for vengeance. “To be carnally minded is death.”

Secondly: There is the virtuous. There are certain things that men should and ought to crucify-selfishness, sensuality, love of the world, &c. The highest life of man is a daily dying to all that is mean, false, mercenary, unspiritual, and uncharitable. The apostle felt this when he said, “I," that is my carnal self," am crucified with Christ”; nevertheless, I,” that is my spiritual self, “live," &c., &c.


SUBJECT : Man as a learner, and Christ as a teacher. “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now."-John xvi. 12.

Inalysis of Homily the Seven Hundred and fifty.Second. PHE feelings of a true and earnest teacher who knows

that he is addressing the people of his charge for the last time, are set forth in the last volume of the HOMILIST, page 276. It is highly probable that such feelings in some measure, and in certain aspects, set forth Christ's feelings during the delivery of this last protracted discourse to his disciples. He communicated to them thoughts and facts of wonderful consolatory power.

He warned them of their approaching trials, and strengthened them to meet them. He exhorted them to fidelity and holiness. He announced his speedy departure. And, having said many most precious and beautiful things to them, He said, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." But Christ had resources under these circumstances, such as no teacher has. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of trath, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” The Spirit, whom

, the Master was about to send unto his disciples, trould guide them into the truth which then they were not able to

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