Imatges de pàgina
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what you know to be right, and walk before him in confidence and without fear. Fear contracts the heart, it is the sentiment of a slave; but hope and confidence enlarge and strengthen the soul, and incline it to that love of God, which we ought (as his children) to feel for our heavenly Father, who is ever pouring down his benefits upon us.

13. When you feel yourself unsteady and faint-hearted, and reluctant to obey the calls of the Holy Spirit, endeavour to strengthen your soul by the counsel and example of those who are truly virtuous; open your heart to some chosen friend, and confess your weakness; not with the desire of being flattered again into selfconfidence, but that you may see and renounce your errors, and be heartily sorry for them. You must strive to conquer the resistance which your self-love makes to that humble and contrite spirit, so necessary to a Christian. Listen to God, and not to yourself. Be patient in suffering, and abundant in love towards him; speak little on sacred things, but let your actions shew that the Holy Spirit

dwelleth in you.

ON SELF-KNOWLEDGE-AND THE DUTY

OF SELF-EXAMINATION.

1. It is our constant duty to examine ourselves, and to enquire strictly into the state of our hearts, towards God and our neighbour; to reflect upon it with humility, yet with confidence in God's mercy; imploring pardon for our sins and errors, and faithfully endeavouring to repair them, by our future conduct. We cannot make any more acceptable reparation for those faults into which pride or vanity may have betrayed us, than by becoming humble in our own estimation, and patiently submitting to any degradation in the sight of the world, which it may please God to appoint to us. Restrain your desires to what God chooses for you;

and if you constantly make the best use of the present hour, you are sure to be prepared for those which are to follow, The duties of life are simple, and the preparation for death easy, to those who live in the habitual discharge of their duty, and in the love and fear of God. Death cannot affright them, for it brings them to the presence of their heavenly Father. Blessed are those who can say, with the royal Psalmist, “ One day in thy courts is better than a thousand in the tabernacles of the ungodly.”

2. We sin against the Holy Spirit, and wickedly try to deceive God, (not consis dering how impossible it is to do so,) if ve make any reservations in our obedience to him, or cherish any one sin, when we have forsaken the rest. We are guilty of a greater crime than that of Ananias and Saphira, and God will not fail to punish us both here and hereafter, for so impious a desire. If we say that we have no'sin, we deceive ourselves; but let us remember that we cannot deceive God; and if we impose upon the world by an outward garb of sanctity, and an appearance of holiness, while in secret we in. dulge any one criminal and sinful inclination, He who seeth in secret, and from whom nothing is hidden, will discover our hypocrisy, and punish us for it in that great day, when the hidden things of darkness shall be brought to light, and when we shall in vain endeavour to fly from our offended Judge.

3. The correction of our faults, is not to be the occupation of a day, or to be compassed in the intervals of worldly amusement: it must be a work of time and patience, and demands constant watchfulness and attention. We must take care not to substitute the short and sudden impulse of a frightened conscience, for that calm and steady perseverance in amendment, which can alone

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