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escaped the midnight darkness of our former conversation, to have our works and our practice such, as may bear and become that light: "The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying." As if he had said, "If indeed the "darkness hath forsaken you, and quitted the "possession of your soul; if the night be truly "far spent with you, and its obscurity to a good "degree dispelled; if the brightness of the day "hath shone in upon you, and you are really "become the children of light: do thence"forwards the will of Christ, who is himself the "day-star, and the light to lighten you: and "involve not yourself in the clouds and darkness "of envy, nor blind your eyes and put out the "light of peace and charity, through the suggestions of that hellish passion." Now it is evident from what the apostle St. John hath declared upon this subject, that whosoever envies and hates his brother, hath the guilt of murder imputed to him: "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." And again: "He that saith he is*in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that dark
ness hath blinded his eyes." And he that hateth his brother, walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth; for he goeth, indeed, the strait way to hell, without being aware of it, and blindly pushes forwards to his own destruction leaving behind him the light of Christ, who hath called upon him to reclaim him, and hath told him, saying: "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." Now the man who followeth Christ, is he who treads in Christ's steps, keeps close to his commandments, walks in the way appointed for him, and follows the pattern which Christ hath set him; according to what the apostle St. Peter hath written for our instruction, saying: "Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps."
7. We should, upon this occasion, call to mind, under what name and title Christ hath described his people and his flock; he calls them sheep, in token of that innocence which is the distinguishing badge of their christian profession ; and lambs, to represent that harmless undesigning temper which should ever mark their character. How comes it then to pass, that the wolf should at any time lurk under the sheep's clothing? That the man, who calls himself, and pretends to be, a christian, should scandalize the fold to which he is a retainer; whereas to wear the badges of a servant of Christ and not to go in the path which Christ hath appointed for us, is indeed to betray that holy profession, to slur the character, and to leave behind us the way of salvation. Christ himself, we are sure, hath taught us otherwise; and hath told us, that such only shall find life and immortality as keep his commandments; that such only are wise "as hear his sayings and do them," as also that those teachers "should be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven who should both do and teach themfor that then, and then only, would the teacher's sound and wholesome doctrine be of use to him, if what he should deliver in words, he would also exemplify in practice. There was no one thing more frequently inculcated, or more strongly pressed, by our Saviour upon all his followers, than this; that as he loved them, so they should love one another. But now what obedience is paid to this precept? how is either the peace or the love of Christ preserved by such as through the instigations of envy cannot bring themselves to live in unity or charity with their brethren? Wherefore when the apostle was displaying the excellencies of peace and charity, and teaching, that no degrees of faith, no liberality in alms, nor any measure of suffering in the cause of Christ, would be at all available, without keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace; he added moreover, "charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not;" thereby strongly hinting, that he, and he only, was likely to maintain charity, who was long-suffering and kind, and a perfect stranger to all envious emulation. Thus in another passage, when he was admonishing the man, who was full of the Holy Ghost, and who by his second birth was become one of the children of God, to breathe most earnestly the things of God: he introduced his address in the following manner: "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"
8. All the sins of the flesh, my beloved brethren, should be subdued; and our religion should prove its strength and power, in mortifying the deeds of the body, lest by relapsing into the conversation of our old man, we should entangle ourselves in an inextricable and fatal snare, concerning which the same apostle hath given us this prudential and wholesome warning: "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." If then we are in earnest the children of God; if we are already become his temples; if upon our receiving the Holy Ghost at our baptism, we have engaged in a course of spiritual and holy living; if we have lift up our eyes and our thoughts from earth to heaven, and have employed our souls in religious aspirations towards God and Christ, and do breathe only the things pertaining to them, then let our practice speak for us what shall in every part of it be conformable to these sentiments and apprehensions, according to what we find recommended to us by the holy apostle, saying: "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." We therefore, who at our baptism have undertook to be dead to the sins of the flesh, and to be buried with Christ, and to put off the old man, and have risen together with Christ unto a new and an heavenly birth, should think and act agreeably to such professions; as the same apostle hath elsewhere directed and admonished us, saying: "The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the