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and their rights disregarded. If, in the pursuit of their favourite objects they do not trangress human law, they take it for granted they do not the Divine. That an act may be legally right, and at the same time morally wrong, seems not to have entered their minds. With many, public opinion, however erroneous, and human law, though in direct conflict with the Divine, constitute the standard of morality. Hence the pleas so often urged in vindication of the traffic in intoxicating drinks, divorce on the most trifling ground, the desecration of the Sabbath, public amusements of corrupting tendency, licentiousness, and offensive war. Nay, duelling, suicide, the holding of men“ for filthy lucre's sake,” in involuntary bondage, and converting them into mere

goods and chattels, ” and even the accursed slave-trade, have their advocates.

We rejoice to state that many who prefer no claim to the possession of the Christian spirit, hold the things just mentioned in utt detestation. They are distinguished for the exercise of the humane and social affections, have a keen sense of justice and honor, and are noble examples of a disinterested love of country. But these amiable attributes of character, notwithstanding they give their chief attention and regards to the interests of this world, and live as exclusively to themselves and the objects of their selfish attachment, as if there were no God to whom they owe their supreme homage. They refuse to deny themselves for His sake, and offer to Him the sacrifice of humble and grateful hearts. They form their plans, transact their business, and seek their own pleasure, to the utter neglect of the great end for which he dignified them with a rational and immortal existence. This class of amiable rejecters of the claims of God to their love and service, embraces many who seem wholly to overlook the necessity of right motives and affections to render actions, which are correct in form, acceptable to God. Provided their words are truthful and kind, and their visible deportment correct, they pass no sentence of condemnation upon themselves, though pride, envy, discontent, impure affections, and enmity, burn and rankle in their bosoms.

Infinitely superior to the system of the world's ethics, is the course to which the Christian spirit prompts men. So far as they are influenced by it, they do not inquire whether an act or course of conduct have the sanction of human law or public opinion, but whether it be right?—whether the Word of God approve it? Him they strive to please and honor. To receive His approbation and promote His glory, they cheerfully sacrifice their case and pleasure, their wordly interest, and the friendship of men. Abraham, when called of God to leave “Urr of the Chaldees,” and bis kindrid, for a land to him unknown, obeyed the heavenly mandate, and “went out, not knowing whither he went.” By

this act, he exposed himself to the world's reproach and scorn; but the opinion of men had little influence with him, when it contravened the will of God. Moses, when a candidate for the highest honors of the court of Egypt, “refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter ; choosing rather to suffer aflliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.” Nehemiah, when urged by his friends to seek safety, in an hour of peril, by deserting the post of duty and conccaling himself in the courts of the temple, with heroic decision of purpose and real magnanimity of soul, replied : “Should such a man as I flee? and who is there that being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.” When the apostles, after having been prohibited by the high-priest and elders to preach Christ to the people, persisted in their work, they justified themselves by appealing to the authority under which they acted. “We ought," said they,“ to obey Goli rather than man." Upon this principle, Paul, the Reformers, our Puritan forefathers, and "the noble army of the martyrs," acted. They cheerfully sacrificed the honors, the pleasures, the possessions and friendships of the world, in order to serve God and secure an inheritance in His kingdom. They looked beyond “the things which are seen and temporal, to those that are unseen and eternal.”

And who exhibit most true dignity and greatness? those who act in accordance with the maxims, the spirit, and the ethics of the world, or those who make the Word of God the rule of duty ?those who forego eternal joys for momentary gratifications, or those who sacrifice the latter, when they conflict with the claims of the former?—those who live to themselves, or those who make it their governing aim, though at the sacrifice of what they hold most dear on earth, to glorify and enjoy God? No candid person can be at a loss for an answer to these enquiries.

III. The Christian spirit exhibits its moral grandeur and magnanimity under the infliction of unprovoked injuries. Under malevolent treatment, the spirit of the world is bitter and vindictive. Its subjects, even when restrained by education, conscience, public opinion, or the supremacy of the law from avenging their wrongs, they awaken implacable hatred towards the authors of them. Were opportunities afforded and restraints to be removed, their causeless injuries would be visited by speedy and terrible retribution. Not unfrequently they have been. Examples are not wanting of individuals, suffering under real or imaginary injuries, who have watched for years for an opportunity to avenge them. When it occurred, they seized it as the tiger pounces on his prey, and left the victims of their hate lifeless or convulsed with their

final agony.

Such are not the fruits of the Christian spirit. These consist in

the cheerful forgiveness of injuries, and deeds of kindness toward their authors, prompted by holy and benevolent affections. The glorious Founder of our religion, not only forbids us to render evil for evil, but requires us to overcome evil with good, and to exercise towards enemies a meek and forgiving spirit. “Recompence to no man evil for evil. Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you." These are the laws of His blessed Kingdom. Such importance does he attach to these and similar commands, that He has made obedience to them the condition of obtaining forgiveness of our heavenly Father. “If you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”. Nay, in the prayer which he taught His disciples, we find this emphatic petition,“ Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." He requires us when we pray for forgiveness from God, to give a solemn bond, the penalty of violating which, is eternal condemnation, that we will forgive others as we pray to be forgiven. Such morality,-morality so utterly at variance with the maxims, spirit and usages of the world-may well claim a celestial origin.

Examples of such a spirit are not wanting. The persecuted apostle of the Gentiles could in truth say for himself and his suffering brethren, “Being reviled we bless; being persecuted we suffer it; being defamed we entreat." From the records of ecclesiasti. cal history we learn that the Jews became so incensed at the apostle James because he preached that Jesus was the Messiah, that they put him to a violent death; and that while suffering its agonies, he earnestly prayed that they might be forgiven. Stephen, when dying under a shower of stones, which his enemies poured upon him, “ kneeled down and cried with a loud voice, Lord lay not this sin to their charge.” Examples of this sort were not confined to the apostolic age. The dark and suffering periods of persecution abounded with them. And, much as they lack in spirit of Christian forgiveness in the professed disciples of the Lord Jesus is to be deplored, we believe it has, in centuries gone by, existed, and that it now exists among them to a far greater extent than the children of disobedieuce are willing to admit. One example I cannot forbear to omit.

David Brainerd, after asking forgiveness from one of whom he had spoken disrespectfully, adds, “God has made me willing to do anything that I can do consistent with truth, for the sake of peace, and that it might not be a stumbling-block to others. For this reason, I can cheerfully forego and give up what I verily believe, after the most mature and impartial search, is my right in some instances. God has given me the disposition, that if a man has done me an hundred injuries, and 1, (though ever so much provoked to it) have done him only one, I feel disposed and heartily willing humbly to confess my fault to him, and on my knees to ask forgiveness of him, though at the same time he should justify himself in all the injuries he has done me, and should only make use of my humble confession to blacken my character the more, and represent me as the only person guilty; yea, though he should as it were insult me and say, he knew all this before, and that I was making work for repentance." But we have a more illustrious example of a forgiving spirit than is furnished by the lives of Paul, or Stephen, or James, or Brainerd. When the incarnate Son of God was expiring upon the cross in unutterable agony, amidst the taunts and insults of His murderers, He prayed, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Compared with the meek, forgiving spirit of the gospel, that of the irascible and vindictive spirit of the world is abject meanness. The difference between them was well expressed by one, whose friend when smarting under an injury, inquired whether he did not think it would be munly to avenge it. He replied, “ I think it would be man-like to avenge, and God like to forgive it.” There is real magnanimity of soul, a moral grandeur in acts of Christian forgiveness,—which make the avenging of injuries and the chivalrous deeds of the world's heroes and conquerors, appear degrading and even contemptible.

IV. The magnanimity of the Christian spirit is shown by the support and consolation which it gives in seasons of sorrow and pain, and the victory which it achieves over the king of terrors. It enables those ancient worthies of whom such honorable mention is made in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, patiently to suffer “cruel mockings and scourgings, yea moreover of bonds and imprisonment,” and armed their souls with holy fortitude when "stoned, sawn asunder, tempted and slain with ihe sword.” Job, sustained by this spirit, as he sat down amidst the ruins of all his earthly comforts, with celestial composure and peace, said, 66 The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Fortified by this spirit, David, when his life was unrighteously sought by his enemies, triumphantly exclaimed “ The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid ? Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock.” Under the sustaining power of this spirit Paul, even when his bosom was pervaded with the sense of his own weakness, exultingly said, I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me." It enabled him and his suffering brethren amidst want, weariness, scorn, enmity, and persecution, 6 to glory in tribulation,” and in the language of assured faith to say,

“ Our light aflliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Thousands of the possessors of this spirit, when bending in the agony of grief over dying friends and kindred, and over their graves when dead, have sweatly acquiesced in the will of God. The feeling of their hearts has been, " Not our will, but thine be done.” And signal have been the victories which it has gained over the cruel spoiler, death. The sweet Psalmist of Israel said, “ Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”

In anticipation of his departure from the world, Asaph thus expressed his soul-sustained confidence in God: “ My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.” Paul, panting to enjoy the Saviour's presence in heaven, said, “I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ.” In the prospect of his speedy removal to eternity he was enabled to say,” I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day." This victory over death was not the exclusive privilege and achievement of saints, endowed with the gift of inspiration. Since that was withdrawn, thousands have died in the triumphs of faith in Jesus. And they have embraced all ages and every grade of intellect and variety of native temper and education. It would be delightful to contemplate the victory of many of them over the king of terrors, but our limits allow us to notice only a few.

Nathan W. Dickerman, an uncommonly lovely and interesting child, died in the cighth year of his age. During his long and painful sickness, he enjoyed great peace in believing in Jesus. To him, death had no terrors. Shortly before he died, he sent this message to an absent friend. “Tell him I'm very happy-my Saviour is precious—and if we don't meet on earth again, I hope we shall meet in heaven.”

Catherine Brown, whose conversion was one of the carly fruits of missonary labour among the Cherokee Indians, died young. When it became evident that her final hour on earth was near, she said, “I feel perfectly resigned to the will of God. I know he will do right with His children. I thank God that I am entirely in his hands, I feel willing to live or die, as He thinks best. My only wish is that he may be glorified.

The widow of the late Rev. Dr. Blatchford, of Lansingburgh, who through a long life was an ornament to her sex, and an honor to humanity and evangelical religion, in the early part of her last sickness, suffered some disquietude of mind, under a sense of her own unworthiness. But the Sun of Righteousness soon dispelled the gloom. “ Now," said she, “I enjoy not merely a glimpse

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