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THE

PRACTICAL IMPORTANCE

OF THE

UNITARIAN CONTROVERSY.

COLOSSIANS 1. 27, 28.—Christ in you, the hope of glory :

whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom ; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

GALATIANS 11. 4, 5.-And that because of false brethren

unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage : to whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

E some stranger to our religion inquiring what it is to be a Christian, there are two quarters from which he might derive his ideas of that character. He might draw near to nim who is the only perfect expression of Christianity, and when he had sat at the feet of Jesus, listening with hushed heart, and then arisen and joined himself to the meek Prophet of Mercy on his way of Love, he might receive irom Christ his impressions of Christianity and catch from

uving Master the type of a disciple: or he might turn Information to the Christians of the day, selecting for con the largest and most prominent classes, and

from the common specimen his impressions of "per, their spirit, and their faith. Each of these

examination the largest and mo

modes of inquiry would produce a result of Truth; but the one would be a Truth of reality, and the other only a Truth of description; the one would present to us what we were seeking, the true idea of a Christian; the other would show with what degree of faithfulness Christians had preserved the spirit of the original, or whether in the copy, in the distant reflection, the features had been faded, marred, distorted; the one would furnish us with the great Master's idea of a Disciple, the other would exhibit the Disciple as a representative of the Master, and assuming to be his Image to the world; in a word the one would be Christ's idea of a Christian; the other would be only a Christian's idea of Christ. Oh, thanks be to God for the written Gospel, for the Epistles written on men's hearts, the living transcripts, give us no worthy ideas of Christ; and were it not for those silent witnesses which speak from a passionless page, and cannot be made to wear the garb of party, which reflect Christ's realities, and not man's ideas, the Image of Jesus had long since been irrecoverably lost!

Let us then for a moment place ourselves beside Jesus, and learn from the Christ what it is to be a Christian. I hear him inviting the weary and the heavy laden to come and find rest unto their souls. I listen for that doctrine of rest, the faith that gives the sin-bound peace. I hear him speak of God, and they are indeed healing words of peace, intended to quell a superstition and a controversy : “ God is a spirit: the hour cometh and now is when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.”* I hear him speak of Duty: “ The Lord our God is one Lord, and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength : This is the first Commandment. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. This do and thou shalt live.” I hear him speak of Heaven: “Blessed are the poor

* John iv, 23, 24.

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Blessed are in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed are the the pure in heart, for they shall see God. peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation, neither shall they say lo here, or lo there, for behold the kingdom of God is within you."* I hear him speak to Sin, melted, and transformed into penitence: “To whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. Thy faith hath saved thee. Go in peace. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon thee." I hear him speak of DISCIPLESHIP: “He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”+ 6 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in His love. Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth : but I have called you friends : for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” “ By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another.”I

We turn now from the words to the life of the great Teacher, in the endeavour to get a more definite idea of Duty, Discipleship, and Faith. The character of Jesus is the best, fullest, and truest interpretation of the words of Jesus. His life is his own translation of his own precepts into the language of cuon. We surely cannot be far from the true sources of

ristianity when we first drink his words into our hearts, and then follow him with reverent steps and with gazing eyes, to watch his own illustrations of those words, to behold

Luke xvii, 20, 21, + John xiv. 21 : xv. 8, 9, 10. John xiii. 35.

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