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heavy with the burden of sorrow. The sad circle stand in tears around the motionless dust, and feel how much has gone out from the gladness and blessedness of life. And how does the stricken heart cry out then for the tender and gentle voice of Christian comforting, to breathe down its whispers of love! How does it plead then for the ministrations of trust, and hope, and peace, to come and be mingled with these terrible ministrations of bereavement and grief! How does the aching and throbbing heart long to rest itself on the promise of him who rose, in calm triumph over suffering, into the serene and tranquil air of immortality and communion with the Father! How is the eye of faith turned upward from bending over the wasting ashes, to follow the path of him who was "the way, and the truth, and the life"! How does it look to see the angels of a revealed and divine consolation through the opening of the tomb! If, then,

when the deep places of our nature are moved and speak, they utter such solemn testimonials to the Word from heaven, shall not that Word be taken always, -as the teacher of our whole pilgrimage, the ennobling and uplifting supporter of all our discipline, the very sanctification and glory of our being? If there are gloomy passages, if there are moments of overshadowed solemnity, that we cannot be borne through, save by the mighty arm of Christ's truth, do they not yield an unanswerable assurance, that this truth demands confidence and culture, yes, and genuine discipleship, in all the steps of life's journey?

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Enough has been said, perhaps, to show what is meant when we assert that men are constantly admitting that

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Christ's spiritual message is true, is essential to us, is of authority over us. As members of a Christian community, that is, we are continually professing more than we are apt to suppose, and more than others profess. The close question returns to us, then, "What do we more than others?" In other concerns, in business interests, in outside matters, when a man admits so much respecting a subject, he is supposed to bind himself to act upon his conviction, to do something about it. If a grand internal improvement is proposed, to be carried through your country; if it is designed to stretch a smooth, solid pathway across your broad territory, to press down upon levelled mountains and exalted valleys an iron band that shall link cities and lakes together, for the quickening of trade, of travel, and of agriculture, and the accumulation of gain, then they who consent to that bustling enterprise consent in earnest, and hold themselves as obligated, not simply to talk, pretend, go listlessly through with certain dry formalities in relation to it, but to act, and act resolutely and heartily. When they speak of it by way-sides, and in fields and workshops, they speak with the eloquence of feeling and persuasion; and when assemblies are gathered to deliberate upon it, they go on fire with determination, and longing to put their hands to the task. Let those who wear the Christian's name, and those who congregate themselves into assemblages as Christ's followers, learn lessons from worldly zeal, and imitate, on an infinitely loftier scale, the worldly man's consistency. Let them regard religion as more than a bare respectability. Let them cling to its principles. Let them drink in its spirit. Let them be converted to its

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righteousness. Let them practise its virtues. Let them be filled with its aspirations and prayers, and inspired with its love, and governed by its precepts, and so, true to their high vocation, be crowned at last with its salvation !

As a denomination, for we are compelled to use that word yet a little longer, though waiting for the time when the names of divided sects shall be merged in the one great name of Christ, as a denomination, we profess to have found better doctrine, to have sprung up upon a higher standing-point, and to see by the insight of a more single-eyed and spiritual affection, than our brethren. We claim to have outgrown the ritualism of Rome, the narrow exclusiveness of Calvinism, and the assumption and intolerance of Oxford and the English Church. Wehave cast off the gross conception of God as more than one in his nature, seeing plainly that that honest mistake had its origin in a pagan mythology. We have rejected the poor absurdity, so injurious to the sublime office and simple dignity of the Saviour, that the Deity suffered in his person, and in our stead, to satisfy his own stern indignation, and as a sacrifice to himself, - himself being very God. We have refused so to trifle with intelligible Scripture as to take, in place of the truth written there, that man is formed in the image of God, and, though liable to sin as to virtue, yet his child, and naturally capable of obedience, — we have refused to take, in place of that inspiring truth, the unworthy dogma that we are born in the fatal likeness of evil spirits. And we congratulate ourselves, and thank Heaven, for being set free from those dark delusions. We are glad and grateful to be on the

returning way to the simplicity of our Master and his gospel; to see in the Supreme Spirit one tender Father; in Jesus, a Saviour, and His Son, offering forgiveness if we will have faith in him and repent, teaching us righteousness, brotherly love, and purity of heart in daily action, and disclosing to us, by example and precept, that to live like him is life immortal; in our own natures, to read the capacity either to be miserable in sin, or to find joy, and strength, and ever-growing excellence, by serving devoutly that Father, and by believing and following humbly that Saviour. We profess, then, to be Christians, not like others only, but to have arrived at clearer views of human life and our duties and relations to the unseen world. Then let us have done with saying so merely with our lips, and prove it by our deeds. And if the question be put to us tauntingly or reproachfully, "What do ye more than others?" let it be answered in our closer nearness to Christ, and our more faithful imitation of that perfect Pattern.

Finally, if we accept Christianity at all, we must accept it as a revelation that is to break with continually new brightness and increasing power upon our minds. It must be a principle, within us, of growth, and of growing holiness, as well as enlarging knowledge. Virtue added to virtue, and grace to grace, must be the noble description of our progress. Not more than others only must we be content to do, but more than ourselves; more in the future than in the past, more to-morrow than to-day. The standard must be lifted higher, and the aim grow wider, with every impulse of our strength, every throbbing of our hearts, every breath we spend. Not up to the point of our profession and nominal belief should we


be satisfied with carrying our obedience, but both should be pressed upward together, and urged forward together, daily and unceasingly. Not happiness, not rewards, not rest, should be our end, but pure, disinterested duty. "He," it has been nobly said, "is no true soldier of the cross, nor worthy to wear the Christian armour, who will not make an hour's forced march of duty every day. He that will not lay his head to rest at night till he has renounced some ease, embraced some hardship, in the service of others and of God, shall replenish the fountains of his holiest life. He shall find his soul, not settling into the flat and stagnant marsh, but flowing, under the most delicious light of heaven above, over the gladdest fields of Providence below. Feeble minds complain of the climate in which God has planted them; but where there is any vigor of life, the good seed will not wait to burst till it is transported to some luxuriant slope or garden of the Lord; give it but a lodgment on the rock, and feed it with the melting snow, and it will start a forest on the hills, climbing with giant feet fast as the seasons can make steps." So animated, and so toiling, we shall each do something to bring in that kingdom of heaven, when all men shall look up with the Saviour's prayer upon their lips, and say, "Our Father!" from the heart.

"Our Father! What a glorious revelation,

Linking our birthright with the infinite whole;
Bidding man live as fits his noble station,
Teaching the priceless value of the soul!

"Blessed be God for this sublime ideal,

Which would transform this earth to paradise!
Blessed are they who strive to make it real,

In thought and life, by toil and sacrifice!"

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