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chiefly consist, and what are the obstructions which especially impede our progress?

That middle course which the lukewarm Christian takes, he takes partly because it seems to carry with it many present advantages which the genuine Christian loses. This measured conduct obtains for him that general popularity, the desire of which is his main spring of action. He secures the friendship of worldly men because he can accommodate his taste to their conversation, and bend his views to their practices. As he is not profligate, the pious, who are naturally candid, judge him favourably, and entertain hopes of his becoming all they wish; so that he unites the credit of their good opinion with the pleasure derived from the society of the others. A neutral character thus converts every thing to his own profit, avoids the suspicion attached to saints, and the disgrace inseparable from sinners. To disoblige the

the world is, upon his principles, a price almost too high for the purchase of heaven itself. Is it not doubtful whether he who accounts it so easy a matter to be a Christian, is a Christian in reality? To such an one, indeed, it is as easy as it is pleasant to reckon upon heaven; but can any, without faith and without patience, be followers of them, who, "through faith "and patience, inherit the promises ?"

The truth is, mere men of the world do not conceive a very formidable opinion of the real evil of sin; they think slightly of it, because it is so common; they even think almost favourably, at least they think charitably of it, when they see that even good men are not altogether exempt from it. From carelessness, or an erroneous kindness, they entertain a tender opinion of what they perceive to be a constant attendant on human nature; they plead in its vindication, the mercy of God, the weakness of man, the power of

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of temptation, and are apt to construe a strict judgment on the thing into an uncharitable harshness on the man. For this forbearance they expect to be paid in kind, to be paid with interest; for their very charity is usurious. The least religious, however, often resent keenly those crimes which offend against society; of sins which affect their own interest they are the most forward to seek legal redress. But they do not feel that some of the worst corruptions are of a spiritual nature; and to those which only offend God, they never shew themselves tenderly alive.

But if they were brought to entertain just notions of the glorious majesty of God, they would soon learn to see how sin dishonours it: nor could an adequate view of his unspeakable holiness fail of leading them to a thorough hatred of every thing which is in direct opposition to it. If, however, their own impure vision


vision prevents them from perceiving how deeply sin must offend the infinite purity of God, they might at least be awfully convinced of its malignant nature, by contemplating the wide and lasting ravages it has made among the human race. That can be no inconsiderable evil which has been perpetuating itself, and entailing misery on its perpetrators for nearly six thousand years.

Many are too much disposed to confound a confident feeling of security with religious peace. Conscience, whose suggestions were perhaps once clamorous, may, from long neglect, have become gradually less and less audible. The more obtuse the feelings grow, the less disturbance they give. This moral deadness assumes the name of tranquillity, and, as Galgacus said of the Roman conquerors, in his noble speech on the Grampian hills," when they have laid all "waste, they call the desolation Peace."




Is there not a growing appearance that many are substituting for the integrity of Christian doctrine as taught in the Gospel, a religion compounded chiefly of the purer elements of deism, amalgamated with some of the more popular attributes of Christianity? If the apostle, after all his high attainments, was " determined "to know nothing but Jesus Christ and "him crucified," shall a deteriorated, or, as it is pleased to call itself, a liberal Christianity, lead its votaries to be satisfied with knowing every thing except him; that is to be satisfied without knowing him in such a manner, as at once to believe in him as a prophet, and to be ruled by him as a king; at once to obey him as a teacher, and trust in him as a Saviour?

On the other hand, let us remember that we may be correct in our creed, without possessing a living faith; we may be right in our opinions, without any cordial

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