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that every stroke imparts a healing efficacy with the wound it inflicts—that for every earthly tie it severs, it forms a new one between the soul and heaven, which nothing can sunder, but which eternity shall strengthen. Thus it is, that the true believer, in the midst of severe trials and suffering, instead of being overwhelmed and driven to fa se refuges, is able to say—None of these things move me; neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I may finish my course with joy.

III. The true christian will not make haste in regard to his owN CHARACTER. A good name is, indeed, rather to be chosen than great riches. But the christian may be thrown into situations in which his good name can be preserved only by sacrificing what is more valuable than great riches.' He lives in a world which retains still the spirit of that, which crucified his Lord and Master. To be on good terms with it, often requires even now the dereliction of religious principle, and the abandonment of the divine glory as the end and aim of life. Thus circumstanced, how plain is it that he may purchase reputation at too dear a rate—that he may be too anxious to wipe off reproaches cast upon his character. Situated as the believer often is in the present evil world, it is to be expected that his name will be cast out as evil, that groundless suspicions of his integrity will prevail, and his christian character be called in question. But conscious that his own heart does not reproach him, and that Christ does not condemn him, he will not be in haste to justify himself, and to remove the cloud which malice, or envy, or jealousy, may have attempted to bring over his reputation. This is the operation of faith in Christ. It prepares him to expect this species of persecution, and quietly to wait until his master shall cause the cloud to pass away. It makes him feel, that it is a small thing to be judged of man's judgment; especially when his own determination to live godly in Christ Jesus, can be viewed as the cause of the calumny. Carrying him forward too, to look at remote consequences, and to behold the blessed results of his present sufferings from this cause, it helps him to bear it with a submissive, a cheerful, and even a thankful spirit, as a needful and most desirable discipline. Oh, this slowness to self-vindication clothes the character with a dignity, which nothing but faith in Christ can give. See it in the prophet Elisha, who neglected to send after Naaman to vindicate himself from the falsehoods of Gehazi. See it in him that was more than a prophet, who when he was reviled, reviled not again when he suffered, threatened not; but committed himself to him who judgeth righteously.

Nor is the believer's faith less operative and manifest in his comparative indifference to his character, when he happens to stand high in worldly estimation. He does not disregard popular applause, as he does popular censure and reproach, because he sees that, while the one is generally as unreasonable as the other, it is by no means as harmless.

His indifference to the one, makes him slow and measured in his own vindication; he watches and guards against the other, lest its bewildering influence should lead him to adopt the opinion of a misjudging multitude, and think himself something when he is nothing.

In such cases is seen the energy of faith. Nothing else can preserve the christian, whom the world applauds, from making haste to ruin himself, borne away from God in the tide of his own popularity. But faith in Christ can do this. It will make the believer see and feel the utter emptiness of popular applause. He will see it in the history of his divine Mas

One day the multitude worshipped him with hosannas another day, they nailed him to the cross. He will see it too, as he glances an eye of faith over the invisible realities of eternity, and contrasts the condition of those who have a name and a place among the children of God, with theirs who live on the breath of human praise, and have their names stand high among the sons of renown. Oh! and he will see it, as he retires into his own bosom, and contemplates the peaceful calm that reigns in the soul, which reposes itself on the Saviour ; and will feel that

ter.

“Oneself-renouncing "hour, whole years outweighs “Of stupid starers, and of loud huzzas." IV. The spiritual believer will not be precipitate in forming and expressing his opinion of the religious character of others. Scarcely in any thing does the faith of christians appear more decidedly marked with its own blessed nature, than in its influence on the judgment and decision of the mind respecting the spiritual state of others. So far as its influence extends, it

prevents hasty and rash opinions. It enters largely into the whole range of religious experience. As it works by love, it must prevent uncharitable and injurious decisions. As it purifies the heart, its judgments must be conformable to a correct spiritual taste.

As it overcomes the world, no worldly motives or considerations will shape its views of character. Under the guidance, therefore, of a vigorous faith, associated, as it ever is, with a corresponding lively exercise of the other graces of the Spirit, the christian cannot but be deliberate in coming to conclusions respecting the piety of his fellow sinners. He knows that to become a child of God, involves an exceedingly great alteration in the inherent bias and relish of the mind; and that to fail to become such, is a greater calamity than the loss of existence. Knowing this, and loving, and desiring the salvation of the souls of his fellow sinners, with trembling caution will he let the influence of his opinion go, to excite or confirm a hope in the breast of one of his fellow immortals. He will think of the tremendous responsibleness attached to the influence of such an opinion. It is not the cherishing of an innocent persuasion in his own bosom. It may be the sending of a soul to the judgment without being pardoned and renewed. It may be fixing the seal of perdition upon an immortal mind. It

may be giving one a hope which will speedily terminate in everlasting despair. However reluctant, therefore, he may be to protract the anguish of a sinner oppressed and burdened with a consciousness of guilt, unwilling as he may well be to destroy the hope of one, who has truly submitted to the terms of salvation through Christ, he would rather do this,-0! he would rather send every broken hearted sinner who is liable to be directed by his decision, all the way through life in hopeless sorrow, than to be the occasion of encouraging one in a hope that must prove ruinous ! Who can tell the importance of every christian's so believing, as to be saved from a participation thus fatal to the souls of men ?

V. The christian whose faith is practical and purifying in its influence, will not be rash and precipitate IN HIS EXPECTATIONS. Although he will attempt much, and expect much, he will be deliberate in his efforts, and rational in his hopes. Being swayed less by what he beholds around him, than by the great objects of faith, he may appear at times to those who sympathize with the changes and fluctuations of things seen, slow and reluctant to duty; but the impulse by which he moves onward, is of a steady and enduring character. His expectations in regard to the progress of the gospel, grow out of a steady and heartfelt reliance on the promises of the gospel. His zeal is the warm glow of an unwavering determination of soul to watch, and pray, and labor, and wait for the accomplishment of the divine intentions respecting his church. It is not borrowed from occasions and circumstances. It is not the dying flame that is fed only by the incidents and sentiments of time and place. It is not a feeling that wastes itself in confessing past unfaithfulness, and in promising future obedience, but that impels onward in a course of steady and noiseless enterprize. Thus in respect to the grand object which christians of the present day are so generally looking forward to with interest and expectancy, the subject of lively and sanctifying faith entertains no impatient and hasty anticipations; but, watching the symptoms, and welcoming the approach of that glorious era of the church, he makes the influence of his personal character and efforts tell decidedly on the advancement of a cause, which is gradually bringing all the tribes of Adam's offspring to hear the tidings of salvation, and to participate its blessings. . His faith is seen too, in guiding his expectations of the special presence of Christ in any portion of his church. His expectations rest on the promise of that blessing, and are confident in proportion as the condition on which it is promised, is fulfilled. He is always expecting and desiring the effusions of the Holy Spirit upon those around him ; but his expectations come up to something like full assurance, only when the souls, that pray, are seen to be in a posture to receive the infinite good. His hopes spring not from impulses of feeling apart from evidence. They are anchors cast within the veil, and his thoughts, desires, and heart, are too steadily swayed by their attractions, to be affected by the current of hásty opinions. He expects and hopes, not because others do, but because God has promised to give his Holy Spirit to them that ask it. Thus he remains constant, patient, expectant, while others whose expectations are rashly placed on something apart from the oath and promise of Jehovah, are passing through all the variety of changes, from full assurance to “Hat despair. His trust is fixed on God, and therefore he does not make haste-does not rashly expect what, from all that faith or reason can descry, it would be presumption to look for. Their trust is in something undefined and unknown, and, therefore, they are forever hurrying from one disappointment to another.

I remark, from what has been said,

1. That true faith is shown by works. Faith which is not thus evinced, is spurious, useless, and dead. Such is the character of the great object of the christian faith,

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