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nishment to those who disobey its commands? Have we courage to look up to Heaven? may our eye meet there an offended Omnipotent God, who is too "pure to behold iniquity," whose authority we have disputed, whose displeasure we have braved. Yes-in this the moment of our extremest need, the Gospel will afford us consolation, the all-merciful God will compassionate our wants, and listen to our prayer. If, in the language of the parable, we "arise and go to our Father, and say unto him, Father, we have sinned against Heaven, and before thee, and are no more worthy to be called thy sons;" if we sincerely acknowledge our disobedience, our unworthiness, and throw ourselves upon his compassion, God will have mercy upon us; there will be unusual rejoicing among his angels; they will gladly welcome the recovered prodigal, and his transgressions will be for ever blotted out from the register of Heaven.
We have yet to consider the remonstrances of the elder son, who had never quitted his father's house, on witnessing such unusual rejoicing at the return of his prodigal brother:-" He was angry, and would not go in.” And, in answer to the earnest entreaties of his father that he would partake the universal joy, he exclaims, "Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment, and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends; but as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf."
Let it not be imagined from this, the elder son's remonstrances, that repentance, however sincere, following upon a course of disobedience and crime, is of more value in the sight of God than actual innocence. Lively as is the rejoicing in Heaven at the resurrection of the penitent prodigal from the death of sin, we are not warranted in coming to the conclusion that his reward will be commensurate with that of him who has not wilfully swerved from his duty, nor disobeyed the commands of his Maker, and who, consequently, needs less the purification of repentance. In confirmation of this, look to the reply of the father in the parable" Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine."—It is true thou hast never rebelled against my authority, nor quitted my protection; thy reward will be proportionate; "all that I have is thine:" but this thy brother, who has long been dead in sin, is risen again to righteousness," It is meet, therefore, that we make merry and be glad;"- -as our hearts were severely grieved at his loss, so let them revive on his return. Repine not that he is "alive again" to share the comforts of the present and hope the blessings of the future-thy patrimony will not be impaired by his participation in the fruits of my bounty-come, therefore, and unite with us in rejoicing for his recovery, and thanksgiving for his return to liberty and life.
Such, my brethren, will be the disposition of our Heavenly Father towards the reviving sinner-with such encouragement will he meet his earliest efforts after virtue-and such sentiments of joy and gratitude should we indulge
when beholding a fellow-creature burst the bonds of sin and pursue the path that leads to his everlasting home. Hasten onwards, then, to those tranquil habitations where a Father's arms are open to embrace you to that fountain of grace, whose waters had not learned to flow but for the sacrifice of Christ;-refreshed by the exhilarating draught, and cleansed in that pure stream from the pollution of the past, "go on your way rejoicing." Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow,"—and though a higher recompense may await thy brother, who has been contented and happy in the innocent pursuits of his father's house, yet will joys beyond the reach of your present conception crown your future services, if they begin in repentance and close in reformation.
(From the Christian Register.)
In these resolutions the reader will find much to admire and imitate. For a king or a Christian, commencing his respective course of life, never were principles more admirably adopted.
David was now proclaimed king of Israel. It is the object of my present number to develop that course of
conduct, which, on his accession to the throne, he professed it his intention to adopt. The hundred and first psalm is supposed to have been written on that occasion. He commences with the development of the just and merciful principles, by which he meant to govern the kingdom; and he expresses them as in the presence of that Being, who had approved his former character, and raised him to the royal elevation he now enjoyed; I will sing of mercy and judgment; unto thee, O Lord, will I sing. Mercy, justice, and integrity shall be my guiding lights, and I will walk in them as under the immediate inspection of the Omniscient. After this exordium, David makes allusion to himself— to the resolutions he had formed respecting his own behaviour: I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. This is the first and grand aim of every good man. He looks at home. He examines his own motives of action. He views his own proficiency in obedience. He ascertains his own departures from that luminous path. For a person who desires to be a Christian, there is no propensity more offensive or fatal, than a scrutinizing or condemnatory spirit;-a spirit more disposed to intermeddle with the affairs of a neighbour, than to pronounce at home that startling admonition of the prophet:-Thou art the man. Let me intreat you, therefore, if you imagine you have embraced the pure doctrines of the cross, to be satisfied with that peace in believing let me intreat you to abstain from every unchristian word and work against your neighbour. Let not your best of trees produce the worst of fruit : that would be a miserable recommendation of the infalli
bility of your faith. You say that your belief is more scriptural than that of other denominations. This may be true, and it may be a mistake. But allow it to be correct. Then, to employ the language of a poet, let those denomi
That as more pure and gentle in your faith,
Imitate the resolution
of David: conduct yourselves You will feel your insufficiency, repair to the fountain of wisdom
David proceeds in developing the principles, by which he purposed to regulate his conduct: I will walk within my house, or my court, with a perfect heart : To my family and kingdom, I will discover perfect integrity of heart and life; in my personal intercourse, setting a praiseworthy example, not from prudential, not from political views alone, but from a firm conviction of God's eye being upon me, and through desire to promote his glory. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I will have no unjustifiable aim. My honor shall not be corrupted by reasons of state. I hate the work of them that turn aside: I execrate the crooked policy of the artful, the designing,