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from you the scenes of that day? But, perhaps, last, may not sanctify the character at all. Such you are afraid to hope so freely, as I commend, or hopers will have occasion to be ashamed before as you wish? Why?
God and man, whether they own it or not now : “The hope set before us” in the gospel, like the and the shame will become confusion of face," as Sheckinah of the divine presence which went be well as of spirit, when they are about to exchange fore the church in the wilderness, is "a pillar of worlds. cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night;" I would have you hope enough to make you neither so dim as to be indistinct, nor so bright as happy in your mind, and holy in your character.to be dazzling to the eye. It is, indeed, as full of For, what is the use of hoping too little, to proimmortality as the sun is full of light; but as the duce this very desirable and necessary effect? It sun shines through an atmosphere which softens cannot be produced at all without hope; and there his rays, and occasionally shades them too, so the will never be much holiness or happiness from hope of eternal life takes so many of the sweetest poor hopes. They will either produce poor spirits forms of social life, and is so surrounded by the or poorer virtues. She who has not hope enough duties and trials of public, domestic, and mortal in Christ, to keep her spirits from despondency, life, that it never shines too brightly to be looked will not do nor attempt much for the honor of at, nor too darkly to be seen. It is emphatically a Christ; and she who can enjoy herself without hope set before us : not so far off as to strain the settled hopes of salvation, will content herself eye in looking for it, nor so near as to pain the with still less. eye in looking at it.
This subject requires to be looked into with And then, how effectually it is set before us - much impartiality, and with no small degree of The pillar of cloud and fire came down from holy jealousy. Now it is quite as possible for you heaven into the wilderness, unexplained and un- to hope too little, as for the hypocrite to hope too heralded. Neither angel nor prophet foretold its much. “The hope of the hypocrite shall perish" descent from the throne, nor its continuance on because he is a hypocrite ; and just because you the footstool. It was set before the church, with are not a hypocrite, your spirits may sink, or your only its own light and shade to commend it. Re- character not rise at all in strength and beauty. velation did not define its nature, nor the covenant This is no paradox, whatever it may seem at first ratify its duration, nor the harps of glory celebrate sight. There is sure to be much depression, or its worth. It came into the world unsung, and but little diligence, wherever there is no guile," departed from the world unmissed. Not thus is and but little hope. And for this obvious reason. the hope of eternal life set before us. “The bring. A guileless mind deals so honestly with itself, that ing in of that better hope,” was not in silence, nor nothing can counterbalance its self-condemnation in darkness. It was brought into the world with and fear, but a full apprehension of the sufficiency the full chorus of all worlds. The hope of the and freeness of the Saviour's grace; and, thereworld, like the creation of the world, was welcom- fore, the very fidelity of the conscience must pa. ed by the morning stars singing together, and by ralyze the heart or the hands in the service of all the angelic sons of God shouting for joy. The God, if the riches of that grace are not clearly Lord Jesus Christ is the hope of glory: and when seen to be equally adapted and designed to meet God brought “the only begotten into the world, the case. Thus there cannot be good spirits withhe said, and let all the angels of God worship out a good hope through grace, wherever the conhim." All the patriarchs of God had typificd him science is faithful or tender; nor will such a con-all the prophets of God had foretold him—all science purify the character much, whilst it derives the oracles of God had described him-all the no peace from the blood of the Lamb. It must be covenants of God had guarantied him—all the somewhat pacified by the Cross of Christ, before providences of God had accredited him as the hope it can delight in copying the example of Christ. of the world ; and, to crown this attestation of Consider this. It is not with you now as it once his character and errand, all the armies of God was, nor as it still is with the self-righteous, that sang at his advent, “ Peace on earth, and good- the abandonment of a wrong habit, or the comwill towards men !"
mencement of a new duty, can create the hope of Thus the hope of eternal life is set before us in salvation. You know the way of salvation too the person and sacrifice of him, upon whom God well
, to imagine that you can make your peace has visibly set all the seals and tokens of the eter. with God, by laying down sins, or by taking up nal power and Godhead: and by the ministry and mere moral duties. You see and feel, indeed, the miracles of men who could not be deceived, and necessity of doing both ; but you see and feel of angels who could not mistake. Nor is the equally, that you cannot be justified by the works benefit of hoping in Christ set before us less clearly of the law, whatever good they might do you in or less impressively, than the fact that he is the other respects. They are not the price of an inonly hope set before us. The concurrent testimo- terest in Christ, nor the direct way of finding an ny of all ages, is, that "hope in him maketh not interest in him; and without that, you know that ashamed." The throne of heaven is already they will be of no avail. Thus mere duty must thronged with proofs of this. Even on earth, ever seem to you now useless labor, until you can none have been put to shame before men, by the work from love and gratitude to the Saviour.influence of a good hope through grace, when that Well, thus you never will work, until you venture hope laid hold upon the glory which grace leads to hope, “ that by the grace of the Lord Jesus to. “Every man who hath this hope in Christ Christ you shall be saved.” Waiting for the compurifieth himself even as he is pure ?" The heart- ing of this good hope, like working for it, will not less hope of a death-bed conversion, or the half- bring it. You must just “lay hold upon the hope hearted hope of just escaping liell in some way at set before you in the gospel," or live in suspense,
and thus in indecision too; for character will not penitent's hope, nor the pilgrim's hope, that you settle nor rise, whilst hope is unsettled.
are thinking about, if you say that you can get I do not forget, in saying this, that there are but little hope from the gospel. What would you some very lovely characters, who say that they hare, that the glorious gospel does not promise ? have little or no hope. They have, however, more Depend upon it, you are seeking some unpromised than they imagine. I do not mean that they say form of the hope of salvation, or some disproporone thing and think another : but that they mean tionate degree of that good hope, if you find it alby hope, much more than hope itself means. most impossible to hope for your own salvation.
Hence, in speaking of their own case they use it would be utterly impossible for you to despair language which, however familiar, misleads them- or despond, if you wanted nothing but what is selves and others: "I cannot see my interest in promised. Christ ; cannot see my title to the promises; can Be not offended nor surprised, if I suspect you not see my election or my calling." Now it would of wanting more. I do so, because I think favor. not be altogether unfair nor unkind, to bring down ably, upon the whole, of your motives and spirit, upon such complaints the apostolic remonstrance, in attaching a very high meaning to Christian “What a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for ? hope. This is far wiser than taking low views of But if we hope for what we see not, then do we it. You are, indeed, quite right in feeling quite with patience wait for it.” This refers, indeed, sure, that there should be a very great difference not so much to our hoping in Christ for mercy and between natural hope and spiritual hope. That grace now, as to the things hoped for when the kind of hope which you could keep up without whole creation, in common with the church, much difficulty, whilst you were careless or for“shall be delivered from the bondage of corrup- mal, ought not to satisfy you, now that you know tion, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God." the evil of sin, and the infinite value of the soul Rom. viii. 21—25. Still it is true, that hope, like and salvation. That “great salvation" deserves faith, is not "sight," nor necessarily “assurance," and requires a "good hope,” in more senses than and, therefore, it does not follow that an humble, the goodness of either its practical influence or devout, and exemplary woman has no hope, be- its humble spirit : it ought also to be grateful cause she says, “I cannot see my interest in and joyful. Well; it may be both, without being Christ or the promises." In speaking thus, she is all that you mean by “a good hope through not thinking of what the gospel warrants her to grace.” hope for; but either of what she wishes for, or Let me explain myself freely on this point. We what she once enjoyed.
are very prone to fix the meaning of hope from This is not a distinction without a difference. our first taste of the joy of salvation. But this, It is by far too common to confound hope with however well meant, is unwise. It is unwarrantrapturous ecstacy, or with perfect peace, or with ed. This is more than hope, in the relief which spiritual and heavenly mindedness: and when is usually obtained from the first sight of the glory these delicious feelings subside, to say,--that hope and grace of the Saviour. The Holy Spirit often is lost. It would hardly be more unwise to say, renders that discovery of the cross so cheering, that reason is lost. Reason had as much connec- or so charming, that the whole soul is absorbed tion with these feelings, whilst they lasted, as and transported with it. We can think of nothing hope: but, who suspects that reason is fled, when else. We can wish for nothing more. It is rapture or holy calm is gone? Neither reason heaven on earth. We could take an eternity nor hope is intended to keep up high enotion for of it.
Thus we ought to be very careful how we “That hoiy calm within the breast, speak and think about the hope of salvation. It Seems the dear pledge of heavenly rest." is, remember, a sinner's hope,-a penitent's hope -a pilgrim's hope : and, therefore, it must not But although this be hope, it is also much more be expected nor desired in such a degree, as than hope. It is that joy of salvation, by which would banish all painful feelings. We are fully God revives and wins the heart of the contrite warranted, and quite welcome, to hope in Christ ones. It is that manifestation of Himself, by for present grace and future glory : but we are which he proves to us that he "giveth grace to not warranted to expect such grace as would the humble.” It is that " demonstration of the leave nothing in our nature to humble us; nor Spirit," which places beyond all doubt, both the such foretastes of heaven, as would render us in- reality and the blessedness of vital godliness. In sensible to trials or temptations on earth. We a word; it is the strong consolation of a dying may be really happy, notwithstanding outward saint, given to a sinking pénitent, that she may trials, and inward struggles; but the perfect hap- know and never forget the worth of Christ. piness of being without any of them, does not Now we ought to be very thankful for this belong to time; it is the bliss of eternity. timely and complete discovery of the all-suffi
I am not contradicting nor forgetting myself, ciency of the atoning sacrifice. It is a fine secuby thus guarding you against hoping for too much. rity, for ever after, against false doctrine and su. I repeat, with more confidence than ever, that perficial experience. It is not, however, a secuyou are not hoping enough in Christ, if you are rity against practical error. Accordingly, one of unhappy in your mind, when you think of judg- two errors is often fallen into, when this high state ment or eternity. You have too little hope, if of enjoyment falls away. It does subside : and either your spirits sink, or your efforts relax, in then, we either count nothing hope, which does following holiness. I must go still further, and not come up to it; or we do no more in religion, say, it is not exactly the sinner's hope, nor the than just enough to be somewhat in the way, nr 63
not exactly out of the way, of finding it again. most solemn and tender manner, “Take the sinAnd thus it is, that some sink into despondency, ner's hope : for as a backsliding child, no line of and others into heartless formality. One becomes the scarlet thread of adoption will save you, like sad, and another inconsistent: and both from the Rahab, now that the ark of the covenant is soundsame cause,-they cannot hope as they once did. ing its ram's horns around your walls.” I say, The hope (as they call it) which first cheered the in plainer terms, “. The hope set before you in spirits of the one, and inspired the diligence of the gospel,' may well suffice you. It would ill the other is gone: and because they cannot get become you to stand out or stipulate with God for it back, they both go back; the one into the re- your first joy. He deserves your first love,' and gion of doubts and fears, and the other into the your first works' too, for the hope still before region of declension.
you in the gospel. And it is this, Whosoever Now, which of these states are you in? shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be Which ever it be, there is but one remedy. You saved.' This is hope enough to make any one must regard something else as the hope of salva- happy, who believes it: yes, and holy too : for tion, than a return of the precise kind and degree what could bind you to follow holinese, if the as. of joy which you first called hope. I do not say, suring promise of salvation, from the lips of a God that that joy will never revisit your spirit. I do who cannot lie, do not ? not think (as Sheshbazzar would have said) that the candle of the Lord will never shine upon you thus thrown upon the eveniual answer of earnest
Do you dislike to have your hope of salvation again, as it did when it was first lighted. But I do both say and think, that it will not do so, whilst prayer? If so, you are not humble enough yet, you are merely waiting for it. You must be however, be glad to do so, when
you know your
to welcome salvation by grace alone. You will, humble enough to begin with the sinner's hope; self more intimately." Thus I should address and to go on with the pilgrim's hope, if you would be happy in your own mind again. And, why not
such a woman, who was still“ prefessing godlibe thus humble and content? What right has ness.”, and yet unwilling to take up hope by any one to make terms with God, for faith or obe prayer. dience?
Look now at another case. There is a woman, Just look at such conduct in two cases. What not worldly minded; not exactly averse to devowould you think of a woman who could say in tion or diligence; and not at all wishing for any words, — I have not that comfort in religion, assurance of hope or faith, which would be a pilwhich I had at one time; and, therefore, I have low to sloth or inconsistency. But she has lost neither heart nor motive to be very devotional in all her hope; as she calls her first enjoyment at my closet, or very exemplary in my family, or the cross and the mercy-seat. She can neither very liberal to the cause of God, or very much glow nor melt, think nor feel, there, as she once attached to the means of grace?' I was all this, did: and just because she cannot, she says, that whilst my comfort lasted : but, as that is gone, it she cannot see one ray of hope for herself
. The would be a kind of hypocrisy on my part now, fact is, she means by a ray of hope, a beam, if not were I to do all that I used to do, just as if no- a burst, of that joy which shone upon her soul, thing had happened to discourage or disconcert when she was first enabled to commit her soul
I know very well, that I am not doing right into the hands of Christ: or she wants a degree at present: but | know too, that I am quite wil- of hope which would put down at once all the ling to return to my first love,' and to my first plagues of her heart; and keep out all temptaworks' too, whenever God returns my first hopes tion and vain thoughts ; and make all duty de
He has only to shine and smile upon my light, and all trials easy. She says, indeed, that soul as in the days of old, in order to my becom- she would be thankful for a single and the slightest ing again all that I was in the days of old. This, ray of hope. But, tell her that God is sure to I am waiting for; and I hope it will come in answer her cry for mercy ; and that, although a course of time. Accordingly, I do not go alto-fixed day-star of hope does not cheer her. It is gether out of the way of meeting with it. I do not that form of hope which cheered her formally. not pray much in secret, certainly : but I still It does not warm or melt her heart at a glance, keep under a faithful ministry, and keep up my as her first believing views of the Lamb slain did. connections with the church and sacraments of She is also too agitated, or too depressed, to grasp Christ. This, indeed, is my chief reason for hop- with her understanding, the sublime fact, that ing at all: for if God do not meet with my soul God's command, “ Call on me,” is God's comagain there, I am not likely to find him again at mand to hope in him. He means “ hope,” when home. I have no heart to seek him at home he says, “ Pray;" he means, “Pray," whenever now; but, could I only get such another strong he says, “ hope." But the very simplicity of this impulse from the sanctuary, as that which first way of setting hope before us, seems mystery, if sent me to my closet and my Bible, I make no not mockery, to a sad spirit, when sadness has doubt but I should go on again as well as ever, been long indulged. “Would not God show some And, is not this new impulse likely to come ? " token for good' at once, (it is said) if he intended Surely, my soul will not be • required' of me, whilst to be gracious ? But he sealeth up even the it is in this unprepared state, nor before God has stars !" Yes; but just that the desponding may healed my backsliding! If it should be re- look at the sun. It is not breaking a “bruised quired of me “this night'-or this year reed," to say so. She will never hope, who does what?"
not see that the command to pray, is a sun “shinWhat would you say to a case like this ? Shesh- ing in its strength.” How truly Paul says, “ We bazzar would have said at once, and that in his are saved by hope !"
ALLEGORY. No. III.
proud to be a debtor to grace. He took for
granted, that the little mercy he needed (for, how RACHEL'S CURE.
could it be much, after all his morals ?) must, as a
matter of course, be quite sure. For, what had WHEN they arrived at the tent in the wilderness, he ever done, that his soul should be in any danEsrom spread the skin of the young lion, which ger? He had, indeed, been rather free in his in. had perished in the swellings of Jordan, for a quiries: but then, truth was his object! Thus couch to Sheshbazzar. The patriarch said, as he Ésrom reasoned ; and thus he felt too. He had sat down upon it, “ An old lion would not have not borne " the yoke in his youth.". Like Moab, rushed over the precipice after his prey, when the he had been at ease, from his youth ;" and thus, Jordan had overflowed all its banks. He would his conscience had never been confronted with have couched when he heard the roar of the wa- the terrors of the law or eternity. Nothing had ters; or hunted in another direction, until they ever disturbed his self-complacency, until Rachel's had subsided. EsROM! you have often pursued penitence, on hearing the parable of the grapes of your speculations into the swellings of a river, Gonorrah, compelled him to pause and ask himwhich, like the Jordan, discharges itself into the self,—“ If Rachel weep, can I be right, or altogeDead Sea. It is of the Lord's mercies, that you ther safe?. Her spirit is both purer and humbler were not swept by the wild waves of conjecture, than my spirit: and yet she trembles before God ! into the dark Asphaltic of idolatry. You may Is this wisdom or weakness, on her part ? Weakwell say with David, of the God of your fathers, ness! Who ever saw Rachel weak ? Her spirit – He sent from above, he took me-he drew has towered in strength and majesty, ever since me out of many waters.' But for this, the proud its roots, like the cedars of Lebanon, dipped their waves' of Philistia, Egypt, or Babylon, had come feet in the oil of the olive valley. Can I be safe into thy soul :' for all their billows went over thee, -if she was in danger until then ?". This quesand even their water-spouts had thee often under tion went to his heart : and whilst it lodged there, their wings. You despised idols; but you wor. Rachel was won, and Sheshbazzar conciliated, shipped the powers of nature, and all but consult- and Esrom himself somewhat humbled. Still
, ed the powers of darkness. You would have di- his "eye was not single.” It caught occasional vined with the cup of Pharaoh, or stipulated with glimpses of the genius of Judaism, as the religion the witch of Endor, for the secrets of the future; of a sinner, and as the shadow of good things to and for the secrets of the invisible, you would come; but it never looked steadfastly to the subhave questioned, alternately, the oracles of Baby- stance of the system, nor to the simplicity of his lon, the graves of the dead, or the stars of hea own motives. He became a great « doer of the ven."
Jaw,” just that he might be a less debtor to the Such had been the character of Esrom, until covenant. He threw the whole weight of his inthe master-spirit of Sheshbazzar, and the meek Auence into the synagogue; but chiefly, that he spirit of Rachel, threw their joint spell over his might conciliate the elders to Rachel. He beauprying curiosity. Even then, he bowed his head tified the building, and placed new copies of the only, to Judaism. His understanding yielded to law upon the desk; but not until he found out the arguments of the patriarch, and his heart to that Rachel was preparing splendid hangings, of the influence of the virgin of Beersheba : but her own needle-work, for the tabernacle. He upon his spirit, the truth, not the grace of Juda- often led the choir, when the great Hosanna was ism, had all the power. It was the logic of the sung, if Rachel was present: but when she was system, not
mercy of the dispensation, that not there, his voice was sure to be out of tune, affected him. Its external evidence was a hook owing (as he said) to his being out too early in his jaws; but its internal glory, as the only amongst his reapers, or too late amongst his hope of a sinner, had no charms for him. The sheep-folds, in a day of rain. Thus his eye was rays of that glory fell upon the scales of his self- not single, even when his hand was most active righteousness, as the winds of heaven on the and liberal. scales of Leviathan, and the bones of Behemoth, Rachel was the first to discover his mixed mounfelt ; one was so near to another, that no air tives, and not slow to arraign them. With equal could come between them.” Job xli. He had promptness and point, she asked him, when his bowed at the side of Sheshbazzar, amidst the mantle of "flax and wool,” would be ready to thousands of Israel, when the high-priest went wear before the Lord in Zion ? and, why he did within the veil with the interceding atonement; not offer “swine's blood,” as well as the firstlings but, although the veil of the temple shook with of his flock, at the altar? Her parable, as she the intensity of their emotion, Esrom's heart nei- applied it, told upon his conscience, as “The ther beat with suspense before, nor burned with Grapes of Gomorrah" did upon her own. He was gratitude after, the answer of peace came from shocked by the discovery of his mixed motives; the mercy-seat. “The system must be true; and and, from that time, began to pray, “ Unite my therefore it ought to be respected,"—was the heart to fear Thy name." The impiety of serving whole amount of his worship. “ Its miracles the CREATOR for the sake of the creature, unveil. counterbalance its mysteries," —was his only rea- ed to him all the ungodliness of his spirit ; and son for believing. The eyes of his understanding, made him smite upon his breast, in all the bitterlike the eyelids of the morning, opened without ness of self-condemnation. Sheshbazzar had fear; and his hopes, like the wings of the morn-marked this revolution, and resolved to train Esing, expanded without effort; whether he thought rom for the ELDERSHIP of Beersheba ; and as his of life or death, time or eternity. He was too own successor in the guidance of the pilgrimages, rich, to feel dependent on Providence; and tool to Jerusalem. For this he had often "wrestled
umtil the break of day," with the angel of the co " Whilst he was yet speaking,” Rachel was recovenant. For this, he had long watched and prayed vering. daily. It was to this he referred, when he said to Esrom, in the wilderness, “ But for your sake Rachel would not have been restored." · He repeated this in the tent; and added, “The
No. IV. Shepherd of Israel intends thee to feed his sheep and lambs, and therefore he will spare the help,
VARIETIES, FROM INATTENTION. 'meet for thee. Thou art not fit to be trusted alone yet, with such a charge. Thou couldst not Tow much importance cannot be attached to a be calculated upon for prudence or fidelity, if thy right creed, except when it is put in the room of betrothed were taken away at this time. It is a holy character, or of an humble spirit. Then, not, therefore, for thy merit she is spared; but in however, there is something equally awful and pity to thy weakness, and in consideration of the ominous in orthodoxy. Not that a sound creed work thou art called unto. Give thy heart to that itself is a dangerous thing. Far from it! Indeed, work, from henceforth; and thus render unneces- there can be no true holiness nor humility, withsary such visitations as I incurred. God had to out soundness in the faith, upon all cardinal points. write me .childless,' and then 'wiilower' before I There may be virtues of character, which are ingave all my heart his glory. He had to make tended for holiness: and virtues of temper, which *my soul forget prosperity, before I would identi. are intended for humility: but, as both holiness fy my interests with his cause, or seek my happi- and humility have their chief reasons in the reness in the good of bis heritage.'
vealed character and will of God, the conduct and Then, turning to Rachel, who sat leaning her enced by these reasons, are not those virtues.--
spirit (however good) which are not chiefly influ. head upon the ark of her covenants, the old man She who goes no further than the general princisaid, “ Rachel, I am not a prophet, nor the son of ple_“I ought to be holy because God is holy; a prophet ; but I have studied the past, and thus and humble because God is great," is certainly can anticipate the future, in some of its certain wiser than the woman who merely avoids vice and wants. It will always want Sarahs for its Abra- pride because they are vulgar: but still, the forhams, Rachels for its Jacobs, and Deboralis for its mer is almost as far from being “wise unto salvaLapidoths. Whilst SAMUELS are wanted at the tion,” as the latter. She assigns, indeed, a much altar of the Lord, there njust be Hannahs in Ra- better reason than the latter for her conduct and mathaimzophim. Even whilst Samsons are need
That, howed in Israel, there must be Mothers in Israel, like spirit : for it is a scriptural reason.
ever, is not enough, so long as it is her only rea. the wife of Manoah : and all such wives and mo
God has laid down other reasons than his thers must bear the yoke in their youth.' God own holiness, why we should be holy; and other has laid his heaviest yoke on thy young neck; and reasons than his own greatness, why we should thou has not been, • as a bullock unaccustomed to be humble. He enforces these graces of characit, iinpatient, or obstinate. Ye can both say, 'our ter, by the purifying virtue and design of the blood hearts are not turned back, though Thou, O God, of Christ, and by the sanctifying influences of the hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and Holy Spirit, and by the sublime perfection of hea. covered us with the shadow of death.' Ye have venly bliss. Now, although all these reasons may both gone astray like lost sheep; but ye both re- be resolved into the glorious holiness of God, as turned to the shepherd of Isr:el
, the moment he their original fountain, or moral cause, it is ceremployed his guardian crook as a chastising rod; tainly not as such, that she sees the matter, who and now, it is over you as a pastoral crook again, is less influenced by the love of Christ, than by the and will soon guide you back in peace, to all the law of duty. ANGELS only are able to be holy, green pastures and siill waters of Zion. This le
“ because God is holy.” She is, therefore, both prosy will give place to health in thy countenance; l heedless and heartless in religion, who satisfies and this lowness of spirits, to the joy of salvation. herself with this single motive. Alas, all the moBut, my children ! let the dawn of this hope, as it tives and reasons furnished by all the wonders of brightens unto perfect day, bring all your respon- redeeming love, produce but too little holiness, sibilities, as well as your prospects, distinctly be
even in those who admire them most; that morali. sure you. You are about to be blessed again, that, like Abraham and Sarah, ye may be a blessing, ty, therefore, which can subsist without them,
must be very meagre indeed. in your house and neighborhood. Know therefore, and remember, that if ye dare to live unto that, in some things, the character and spirit of
It is, however, a very solemn and startling fact, yourselves' again, “a worse thing will befall you.”'
females, who act only from a strong sense of proThere was no occasion to prolong the conversa- priety, or upon a vague principle of duty, surpass tion. Rachel's leprosy was rapidly passing away. those of some women who profess "godliness," The composure and tenderness of Sheshbazzar, upon evangelical principles. “ This is a sore evil had created a crisis in her spirits, which led on under the sun!” It proves that there is a way of her health, as if Lot's angel had taken her by the believing "in vain," or of “ holding the truth” hand, and whispered a message of peace from the without the love of it: a state of mind and conthrone, in tones and terms of heavenly sympathy; science, of all others the most ruinous ! For, if for Sheshbazzar closed the evening with prayer. the glorious gospel is believed, without being And, what a prayer! Never, since Jacob wrestled obeyed, one of two things is certain : either that with the angel on Peniel, had such petitions been the person is verging towards a reprobate mind, poured from the heart, or pressed into heaven. or that she was never renewed at all in the spirit