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when he has a few minutes devoid of regular employment; and to occupy his attention in a solitary walk, or when his hands are engaged in such work as leaves the mind free for other reflections. But these things require much spirituality, which can only be obtained and preserved by great earnestness in prayer: so that, in this respect also, they who would redeem time must be at the expense of renouncing many pursuits, indulgences, and amusements, for which the carnal mind has a strong predilection. The effect of such a conduct, persevered in for a course of years, both in the acquisition of scriptural knowledge, and established hope and comfort, and in the execution of various useful plans for the good of mankind, and the glory of God, is inconceivable: so that, if they who go through labours which astonish others were to be asked, what was their principal direction to those who desired to emulate them, they would with one voice say concerning time, "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost."
When the apostle added, "because the days " are evil," he particularly adverted to the persecutions which then continually threatened to deprive Christians of their liberty, property, or life, or to drive them as poor exiles into strange countries. He exhorted them, therefore, to seize the present moment of accomplishing their labour of love, for the good of their families and neighbours, or the church of Christ; that they might not at last be constrained to say, 'When the wind ' and tide favoured us, we trifled and delayed, and ' now the opportunity is lost for ever.
Nov. 5. 1 Thess. ii. 12. Walk worthy of God, who hath called you to his-glory.
6. Tit. ii. 11, 12. The grace of God teacheth us to-live soberly, righteously, and godly.
7. 2 Cor. v. 14. For the love of Christ constraineth us.
8. Matt. v. 3-11. Blessed are the poor in spirit, the mourners,-the meek, &c. 9. Zech. xii. 10. They shall look upon me, whom they have pierced, and mourn. 10. Rom. xii. 12. Rejoicing in hopepatient in tribulation-instant in prayer.
II. 1 John iii. 3. Every man that hath this hope purifieth himself.
12. 1 Pet. i. 8. Whom having not seen ye love; in whom believing-ye rejoice, &c.
13. John xiv. 15. If ye love me, keep my commandments.
14. John xv. 14. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15. John xv. 12. This is my commandment, that ye love one another, &c.
16. John xiii. 35. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples.
17. Matt. vii. 12. Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do even so to them.
18. Matt. v. 44. I say unto you, love your enemies; bless them that curse you.
19. Rom. xii. 21. Be not overcome of evil,
but overcome evil with good.
Nov. 20. Phil. ii. 14, 15. Do all things without murmurings and disputings, that ye may be blameless.
21. Eph. iv. 32. Forgiving one another, as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
22. Rom. xii. 18. If it be possible-live peaceable with all men.
23. 1 Tim. vi. 18. Be rich in good works,
24. Col. iv. 6. Let your speech be always
26. Pet. ii. 13. Submit yourself to every ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake. 27. 1 Pet. v. 5. Yea all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility.
28. Tit. ii. 10. That ye may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
29. Luke i. 6. Walking in all the ordinances and commandments of the Lord.
30. Heb. xiii. 20, 21. The God of peacemake you perfect in every good work, to do his will.
Life is always uncertain, and all earthly possessions precarious; so that "we know not what "a day may bring forth:" it therefore behoves us to use our time of health, strength, soundness of mind, liberty, &c, while we have them. But we live in "evil days." The present fluctuation in human affairs is perhaps unprecedented: "fear " is on every side;" and the men of the world are in vain shifting about to find security for themselves and their idolized possessions. Christians, therefore, should be doubly earnest to redeem their time, and improve their talent to some useful purpose. That, which is thus expended, is placed beyond the reach of every enemy, and the event of every change: so that, instead of being heartless in our work when things are in this unsettled state, or leaving it to engage in pursuits that belong not to us; we should be peculiarly earnest in examining on what ground we stand, and in attempting to do good to all around us; assured that all the powers of hell, all the forces of nations, and all possible revolutions, will be insufficient to reverse that joy which angels experience over one sinner that repenteth.
INTRODUCTORY REMARKS ON THE SELECTION OF
THE space here allotted to each text of scripture frequently would not contain the whole of what was requisite to complete the sense as it stands in the Bible; and on this account alone a few words are sometimes omitted, of which intimation is given by a hyphen. Great care has been taken
to convey the real meaning of each quotation; and the reader is requested in every instance carefully to examine the context: for short sentences have often been selected from different parts of scripture, in order to suggest the whole evidence and illustration of as many coincident testimonies, as could be done in so small a compass. In a very few instances a word has been added in a different character, to render the meaning complete and intelligible.
The editor is of opinion, that he formerly derived peculiar advantage from collecting together the various texts scattered throughout the sacred oracles, which belong to the same subject; in order that he might view it in all the different aspects in which it is presented to us. Thus he endeavoured to explain one scripture testimony by others, and availed himself of that body of evidence and variety of illustration, which this method supplied. He has, therefore, here attempted something of the same kind, (as far as the limits assigned him would permit,) by arranging the texts for each month on some important subject, with a view to the several ways in which the scripture calls our attention to it. This may appear trivial to some persons; but it has cost him more labour, and perhaps been of more use to him, than many attempts, which may be deemed more arduous or important.
In order to point out the intent of this arrangement, it may be proper to introduce it by a few brief observations on the general inferences, to be drawn from the texts on the subject selected for each month in the year. And it is seriously re