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peculiarities of circumstances.
This relates to the dress
or manner in which the other graces are exhibited, and gives to them, so far as humanity is concerned, all their attractiveness. This is a clear proof that beauty does not consist chiefly in personal charms, but in manner and general deportment. Hence many, otherwise ordinary persons, by the gentleness and amiableness of their dispositions, are far more and lastingly fascinating, than the unamiable, though beautiful are. It was, doubtless, the manifestation of this spiritual adorning of a "meek and quiet spirit," which caused the persecuting Jews,the idolatrous and refined Greeks, and others to take knowledge of the early Christians, and exclaim that "they had been with Jesus."
9.-TEMPERANCE.-This is ruling, governing, and moderating of our desires; is closely allied to pure modesty, and implies acting in strict accordance with the promptings of reason, and the teaching of the word of God.* It, therefore, relates to all the circumstances of life. It is alike opposed to fanaticism, heterodoxy, and all extremes in dress, eating, drinking, thinking, speaking, and acting. It is this which shows the Gospel, as a system of morals, to be infinitely superior to all the boasted systems of ancient and modern times; and that
*It is well observed by Cicero "Modestia vel temperantia moderatio est cupiditatem, rationi obediens." The Gr. encrateia, signifies that moral self-controul, or temperance which Christians practice in all they do or suffer. It is inward strength, to overcome, to continue, and persevere to the end.
whatever in them is good or commendable, is derived from this source. The commandment of God is very broad. The morality of the Gospel is very strict. The gate leading to heaven is very strait, and the road is very It constituted a part of that sublime and consecutive reasoning or discoursing, which Paul delivered in the presence of Felix, which caused the latter to tremble, and say, "Go thy way for this time; when I have a more convenient season, I will call for thee."Acts xxiv. 25. It is mentioned by St. Peter, as one of those graces in which the believer must strive to become perfected, 2nd ep. 1-6. I have thus, though briefly and imperfectly mentioned and explained some of the principal features of practical or experimental religion; before dismissing this subject, I shall, as concisely as I may be able, exhibit the duty. People should know for themselves, and a man should know for himself. To originate strife about words, to dispute about forms and ceremonies, or no forms and ceremonies, to question the justice of Paul's claims to the apostleship, the right of a certain party or other to receive episcopal ordination, whether B considers that A walks consistently or not; or A thinks that B holds and entertains sentiments opposed to A's interpretation of truth, whether, high, moderate, or low Calvanism is taught in the Bible; whether it is necessary to interpret the doctrines of decrees in a certain peculiar way; whether a person shall cultivate the idle habit of sitting to sing, or of pharisee-like standing up to pray, these and similar other questions yield no real spiritual
advantage to those who start them, and prosecute their enquiries concerning them, but often result in much painful misunderstanding and harm; but whether I or you are in the faith of Christ; whether we have received the adoption of sons, is a question of eternal importance to us. In the silence and seclusion of the closet, when the Christian and his God are the only parties present; then all the thoughts, words, and actions; all the motives, ends, feelings, and desires, as far as he can, or may be rendered capable of remembering, should be caused to pass under review before the mirror of truth. The ground of his hope tested by the word of God; assistance from an high should be prayerfully sought, in order that this duty of self-scrutinizing examination may be performed aright. There should and must be a willingness to know and feel the very worst of ourselves, notwithstanding the pain which it may occasion. And then, there must be fervent and believing prayer offered up to God, in the name of His Son, for deep contrition of soul for having so shamefully violated His laws, even while we professed to be His: and crave, through Christ, pardon of sin, and renewal of nature, and grace to help us in time to come. Our public duties and responses will then be full of meaning, force, and significance, and we shall rejoicingly walk in the light of God's countenance, and go in and out of the sacred edifice with hearts burning with the love of the Crucified. The service of the Church will not be barren, neither will her scriptural forms be irksome.
This duty, which is of paramount importance, is too often thought of the last. The time, however, is fast approaching when the windows of the house will be closed, and the pitcher broken at the fountain or cistern; when the whole of the vital organs will cease their several and combined motions; and ourselves pass into the world of spirits. Our eternal destiny, we shall then find, was shaped while on earth Then, let us act the wise part, lay up in store a "good foundation for the time to come."*
* One commentator observes on "Examine yourselves," &c "Try yourselves, bore yourselves throughout, pierce your heart, try yourselves by what I have written, and see whether ye retain the true faith of Christ,"
"Put yourselves to the test, as he would try gold or silver suspected of adulteration. No more take that for Gospel which is not so, than you would take adulterated money for sterling coin."
St. Paul's Disinterested Benevolence.
Pure disinterested benevolence is based upon the love of God shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost; and is at once the fruitful source of all those beneficent expressions of disinterested kindness and benevolence which areso ennobling, attractive, and diffusive in their nature and design. The pattern which the great Apostle of the Gentiles set before him, and whose example he studiously and prayerfully imitated was JESUS; GOD manifested in the flesh, the KING eternal, immortal, invisible. Christ lived and reigned in him; he had the undisputed sway of all his powers; and he (the Apostle) lived in, by, and to Chrlst. He lived in the unclouded light of Him who was, and is the Life, the Truth, and the Way to God. The germinating, and moving principles of his life and conduct were, therefore, of the highest and purest order. He thus, while living on earth, had his real life in heaven: his life was hid with Christ in God; he was surrounded by, and breathed the invigorating atmosphere of heaven. No wonder then, that he should partake largely of the spirit of his divine Master.
We become mentally, morally, and in our physical bearing, to a great extent, assimilated to the teaching, bearing and influence of those whom we most admire and love; not necessarily, or of compulsion, but by at