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health, long life, secular pro- such facts are in the text. perty, has no reason to expect They lie at the foundation of an answer to his prayer, only the evangelical system, and so far as these things are they reveal the infinite mercy sought with the grand motive of God. of promoting holiness. God I. The first fact is this, has not promised to answerany

that “ GOD SENT

HIS SON prayer that has not the desire INTO THE WORLD." This fact for holiness as its inspiration. implies (1) Separateness of Secondly : Successful efforts existence. (2) Subordination are efforts for holiness. Efforts of existence. These no philoafter wealth, influence, power, sophy as yet has reconciled fame, may, and frequently do, to the doctrine of divine succeed in the getting of these unity. The fact that God things; but what when they sent his Son into the world are got? If the inspiring desire is the greatest fact in the has not been holiness, the history of the world, perhaps end, which has been happiness, in the history of the universe. is not obtained. Since God's It constitutes the great epoch will is our holiness, no human in the annals of the race. effort for happiness not aiming II. The second fact is this, at the same grand end, has that “God sent his Son into ever been, or can ever be,

the world not TO CONDEMN IT.” successful. Whatever may This is not what might have be the appearance of things, been expected. Two things this is the fact, all human might have led one to expect prayers and human efforts that if God sent his Son from not aiming at holiness are heaven to earth, it would failures.

have been to condemn, to inflict condign punishment. First: The wickedness of the

world. THE FUNDAMENTAL FACTS OF

Before Christ came

the world was full of ingratiEVANGELISM.

tude, idolatry, corruption, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the

rebellion. It was ripe for world; but that the world vengeance. Secondly : The through him might be saved." ill-treatment his other messenJohn ii. 17.

received. The CHRISTIANITY is built on world had persecuted, torfacts. Those facts are con- mented, murdered his pronected with the history of a phets. Would it not, thereperson, and that person is fore, be natural to expect the Son of God. Three that if He sent his Son

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it would have been on an For how could God be love, errand of judgment ?

if we live just long enough to III. The third fact is this, know the rapture of a halthat “God sent his Son into lowed love, and then live too the world to SAVE IT.” What long in the knowledge that is salvation ? It does not the heart's treasure is ton consist in physical, intellec- away, &c. ? But the bad ! tual, or local changes. It is They want no confirmation of a restoration in the soul, of the thought; that is a dewhat it has lost through sin. monstration too awful for me. First : Supreme love to God. III. A POTENT INFLCENCE This is the life of the soul. “No mau liveth unto himSecondly: Constant fellowship self.” Life is communicative. with the great Father. This We are the parents of men's is the happiness of the soul. thoughts and habits, speech Thirdly : Useful service in and actions. Our very glanees the universe. This is the are sometimes shaping the mission of souls. All these destinies of men; the comthings are lost to the soul bined result of our behaviour, through sin, and Christ came who can measure it? This to restore them, and the regal power is wielded by the restoration is its salvation. beggar in his rays. There are

some who sway with this power over a domain almost

boundless—Carlyle, Voltaire, ASPECTS OF LIFE.

Emerson, Knox, Calvin, &c. “For what is your life?”- The power for good or evil Jas. iv. 14,

that is in the hands of the Consider-I. A GREAT MYS- popular thinkers, &c., ought TERY. Birth, growth, sleep, to overwhelm them. But how waking, volition, death, &c. we all ought to stand in awe

II. A PILGRIMAGE TO IM- of ourselves! Sometimes, we MORTALITY. But for this see life reappearing, as bethought death would be a neath the painter's hand I mystery of despair, a mystery have seen the portrait grow casting its black shadows in canvas, as beneath the beforehand on every scene we

sculptor's chisel I have seen tread. Juve we any con- the statue take form and firmation of this glad thought shape, &c. And, therefore, the Gospel gives us? If it is “ God is love,” we cannot

IV. A SACRED TRUST. The doubt that “ Death is but the God who gives it, says, “Use beginning of immortality.” | it for me." It is the talent

.

row ?

which again He will require. | that the future will be the outYou may use its power for growth of the present. 3. evil, if you will, but you then The condition of things sugrob God. He lent it to be a gests it. Looking at the bright star to light man in opportunities for good and the night, not a cloud ; to evil, &c. 4. The inevitable be a propitious wind upon result of living suggests it. the sea, and not a hurricane How do we come out of every to wreck, &c. And there temptation ? Greater slaves fore, it is

or truer men. How out of V. A MOMENTOUS PROBA- pressure ? How out of sorTION. It is the condition of

We are going to our your future. You are sowing own place. 5. The attributes the seed of which you shall of God suggest this. Righthereafter reap the harvest. eousness and justice deniand Your life is not a disconnected it. And therefore it is— link, but the germ out of VI. A THRILLING DRAMA. which your heaven or hell “ The world's a stage.” &c. shall come.

1. Your own A Mephistopheles dogs the consciousness suggests this. steps of every man.

How 2. Analogy suggests this. If will the plot end ? God each period of the life we looks on, angels, &c. now live is simply the out- VII. A BRIEF EXISTENCE. come of what went before,

H. J. MARTYN. there is at least the probability

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Scods of Sermons on the Book of

Proverbs.

1

(No. CXVIII.) THE SEEMING RIGHT OFTEN

RUINOUB. ** There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death."-Prov, xiv. 12. MANY of the ways which men pursue cannot even seem right.The way of the habitual blasphemer, sabbath-breaker, debauchee, &c., can scarcely appear

right to any man. They are manifestly wrong. What are the ways that often seem right to men and that are ruinous? We may mention three.

1. THE CONVENTIONALLY MORAL WAY SEEMS RIGHT, BUT IS NEVERTHELESS RUINOUS. Civilised society has its recognised rules of life. These rules recognise only the external life of mar.

They take (No. CXIX.) machinery not the actions of the

sons.

no cognisance of thought, feeling, EVANGELICAL SEEMS RIGHT FUT 1 desire, and the unexpressed things NEVERTHELESS RUINOUS. Evan. of the soul. Industry, sobriety, gelical religion, in the sense of a veracity, honesty, these are the

participation of the spirit of extent of its demands, and if Christ, is the religion of man. these are conformed to, society There is no true religion apart approves, and applauds. Thou. from a living faith in Christ. Bat sands consider these conventional the thing that is come to be called rules to be the standards of evangelical is to a fearful extent character, and pride themselves intensely selfish. It is the rein their conformity to them. Be- ligion of selfishness. Its appeals cause they are diligent in their are all to the hopes and fears of business, they deceive no one, men. Its preaching makes mer they pay every man his due, they feel, but their feelings are all consider their way right. With- concerned for their own interest; out disparaging in the least this makes men pray, but their prayer social morality we are bound to is a selfish entreaty for the deliver. say, that what is conventionally ance from misery, and the attainmoral may be essentially wrong.

ment of happiness. Fire and It may spring from wrong motives, brimstone bring men together and be governed by wrong rea- into congregations and churches,

The Scribes and Pharisees We fear that much that is called of old were conventionally right. the evangelical religion of this Albeit they were rotten to the age stands in direct opposition to core. He who read their natures the teachings of Him who said, through denounced them as whited “He that seeketh his life sball sepulchres. The end of such a lose it," and also to the teaching way is death. Death to all the of Paul, who said, “Without elements of well-being.

charity I am nothing." A selfs II. THE FORNALISTICALLY RE- evangelicalism is the way of LIGIOUS WAY SEEMS RIGHT, BUT I8

death. Men go to hell through NEVERTHELESS RUINOUS. Religion

churches. What, then, is the way has its forms, it has its places, that is really right? Here it is; and its times of worship, its order “I am the way." Following of service, its benevolent in- Christ is the only way that leads stitutions. A correct and con- to life. stant attendance to such forms CONCLUSION: Right and wrong are considered by thousands as are independent of men's opinione, religion itself. Regularity in what seems right to men is often Church, attention to all the re- wrong, and the reverse. Men are cognised rites of religion, con- held responsible for their beliefs. tributions according to the general A wrong belief, however sincere, standard of the congregation, all will lead to ruin. this passes for religion, but is not religion. It is mechanism, nothing more. The motions of

SINFUL MIRTH. soul. There is no life in it, and

"Even in laughter the heart is sorit cannot lead to life, but to death.

rowful, and the end of that mirth is «The letter killeth.” “God is a heaviness."Prov. xiv. 13. Spirit, and they that worship him THERE an innocent mirth, a must worship him in spirit and sunny, sparkling, cheerfulness, in truth."

arising from a happy natural temIII. THE WAY OF THE SELFISHLY perament. There is a rirtuous

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mirth. A mirth that has moral than the laughter of him who goes worth in it, springing from holy through life with a heart in hosstates of heart. This mirth, all tility to God. should have. We are commanded II. IT IS SAD IN SPIRIT. “Even « to rejoice evermore.” There is a in laughter the heart is sorrowsinful mirth, and of this the text ful.The jovial merriment of speaks. Three things are sug- the social board, the joke, and the gested concerning this mirth. laugh, as the glass goes round, are

I. IT 18 BOISTEROUS IN EXPRES- but a veil drawn to conceal a BION. The “laughter". which world of misery within. Beneath Solomon here refers is of a certain all, the heart is sorrowful, with kind. Laughter in itself is not dark moral memories of the past, wrong. “ Ît is," says Steele, with gloomy forebodings as to the “that which strikes upon the future. Sinful laughter is but mind, and being too volatile and misery mimicking happiness. strong breaks out in the tremor Judge not men by appearance. of the voice." And this author The most miserable may often speaks of different kind of show the most merriment. A sor. laughers- the "dimplers,” the rowful heart lies under all that's "smilers,” the “grinners," and gay, and jovial and sparkling the "horse laughers.” A man's in the circles of wickedness. laugh is often the best index to III. IT IS WRETCHED IN END. his character. “How much," says “The end of that mirth is heavi. Carlyle, “lies in laughter-the ness.” (1.) Sinful mirth will have cipher-key wherewith we decipher an end. Its jestings and carousthe whole man! Some men wear ings will not go on for ever. an everlasting barren simper; in Disease, age, decay, death, hush the smile of others lies the cold

all for ever.

(2.) “The end is glitter, as of ice; the fewest are heaviness." There is no laughable to laugh what can be called ter in the agonies of death, no laughing, but only sniff, and laughter on the day of judgment, titter, and sniggle from the throat no laughter in hell. outwards, or, at least, produce some whiffling, husky cachinnation, as if they were laughing

(No. CXX.) through wool. Of none such

THE MISERY OF THE APOSTATE, AND come good. The man who cannot

THE HAPPINESS OF THE GOOD. laugh is not only fit for treasons,

“ The backslider in heart shall be stratagems, and spoils; but his

filled with his own ways; and a good own life is already a treason and man shall be satisfied from himself."a stratagem.” The laughter of

Prov. xiv. 14. which Solomon speaks, however, I. THE MISERY OF THE APOSis not a natural laughter. It is a

“The blackslider in heart hypocritical laughter; it is the shall be filled with his own laughter of a man who has little

ways," First: The character of or no joy in him-a man ill at the apostate. “He is a backease. It is what Solomon calls slider in heart." There is a elsewhere, “the laughter of the sense in which all men are backfool," and he said of it, “ It is sliders. Sin is an apostacy; souls mad." The laughter of a corrupt turning away from virtue and heart. It is the roar of the from God. T'he blackslider here, maniac; the laugh of the drunk- however, refers to one who, by ard, who is about stepping over a God's grace, had been restored to fearful precipice, is not more mad moral goodness, but who had VOL. XXI.

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