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and interest.

"He made us, and not we ourselves;" and when, in the depth and strangeness of frowardness and folly, man had gone astray, and renounced his sonship, the beneficent and pardoning Creator brought him back again, purchased and reclaimed him for his own, according to the awful counsels of his own sovereign will, and by an act of immeasurable kindness.

But, my brethren, ere we can serve God in that full and spiritual measure which is demanded of us, the creatures of his hand, the offspring of his bounty, the redeemed by his love, we must give ourselves to know him. "He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Neither is this knowledge, the knowledge necessary to make us "wise unto salvation," of difficult attainment. The word of knowledge is in truth very nigh unto us, from

3 Heb. xi. 6.

the least to the greatest. "As at no time, so undoubtedly not now, hath God left himself without witness." In our favoured country, most especially, my brethren, the treasures of heavenly knowledge, the importance and saving worth of the riches of God's mercy in Christ Jesus, are spread before us with a large and lavish hand. The written record, the blessed revelation of God's good-will to man, is placed before us, is freely offered for our acceptance and study, to be our sweet solace and our sure counsellor from the first dawn of our reason. Ignorance, therefore, of our duties as Christians, ignorance of the way in which we ought to go, cannot in any wise be pleaded by those to whom schools are daily open, and who are weekly invited to the hearing, and the exposition of the sacred word of God. Attend then, brethren, and hear the words, and adopt the profitable advice of David-" Know thou the God of 4 Acts xiv. 17.

thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind."


That his service, however, may be a willing and a pleasing service to us, our hearts must be perfect and right towards him; we must, that is, love him with an undivided affection; we must not allow any competition, any rivalry, in this our regard, our reverence, and our love. "The kingdom of God and his righteousness must first and principally be sought, and then may we innocently cherish, and follow all other lawful affections, desires, and pursuits. But God the Lord, and our Saviour Christ, must have no rival in our heart's best love. When the word from heaven speaks aloud, or drops into our ear, "This is the way; walk ye in it;" obedience must be promptly given, and unreservedly paid. There may, and there will, be from time to time many seducing adversaries, many strong obstacles springing up in the way.

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The world and the flesh, sin and Satan, shall oppose themselves to cross our path, and to turn us aside from "the straight and narrow gate which leadeth unto life." But know we, and remember "the prize of our high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

The many adversaries, the many difficulties to turn us aside from the holy commandment delivered, the the many

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temptations and allurements unto sin, vanity, and folly,-what are they? What, at the utmost, can they give us? Riches, and honour, and luxury, and pleasure— even so but for how long? or on what certainty dare we calculate on even the taste of these enviable (as we may think) good things? Nevertheless, granting the possession of these coveted objects-hear, brethren, and lay up deep in your hearts, for

your daily meditation, for your profit in the hour of temptation-hear the cutting declaration, or retort of king David's son: "Rejoice, O young man,

in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes; but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment." This, brethren, this

solemn and awful declaration of the wisest and most experienced of men, we ought ever to keep alive in our hearts, that it may come forward and speak to us, when duty calls one way, and passion and inclination clamour for the contrary path.

Behold! ye are free. The choice is with you to follow the corrupt desires of your sinful nature, or to obey the more honourable though rigid discipline of the Lord your God. But, my brethren, ere ye give yourselves up to the service of the devil, to go from bad to worse, until at length ye fearlessly "work all uncleanness with greediness," pause for one short moment, and, behold, place yourselves on your deathbed, and in all honesty ask

6 Eccles. xi. 9.

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