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unto sin, and by putting on more and more your Divine Master's character, that new man which, after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness | Two rocks there are to be avoided, on either of which we may suffer shipwreck—self-righteousness, thinking too much of our good deeds and orderly life, is one—and careless living—a far more common cause of ruin— is the other. Let us keep a good look out against both. Let us remember it is not for righteousness that we have done, but solely because of the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, that the curse is done away, and the kingdom of heaven opened—By grace ye are saved, through faith ! And, on the other hand, let us remember that not even Christ's merits will save a sinner that continues in his sin. Remember it is written—the unrighteous—and under the term are to be included all who habitually break any one of God’s commandments—shall not inherit the kingdom of God! One word more in concluding. Our Lord, when He had ended the parable, added this remark—For many are called, but few are chosen. It would seem, from this, that the guest who was excluded stands for a large class—it would seem that in the great day of discrimination, not one or two, but many, perhaps a majority of professed Christians, will be rejected This is certainly a mournful thought, and not without its terror. But it need not overwhelm us. For be they few, or be they many who shall finally be saved, of one thing we are assured, that none will be lost but through their own wilfulness. God would have all men to be saved God desires not the death of a single soul!' What He desires—what, by His mercies and His chastisements, His patience and long-suffering, He is ever seeking to bring about, is, that the wicked man should turn away from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, and save his soul alive
TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
IN the Epistle for to-day, we have that famous passage of Scripture in which St. Paul describes the armour of a Christian. In words that will have a place in most of your memories, the Apostle sets before us the Christian warrior equipped from head to foot in the panoply of God-prepared at every point for doing combat with his strong enemy the Devil, the ruler of the darkness of this world.
These are the several parts of that heavenly armour. The warrior's girdle, that which keeps the whole of the rest of his armour together, is truth—his breastplate is righteousness—his feet are shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace—that charity of heart and word, which more than anything smoothes the way for Christ's disciple to walk in—his shield, that most important part of
his armour, that which he uses for the defence of his whole body, and on which he receives and quenches the fire-winged darts of his adversary—the Christian's shield is faith, a fixed and firm belief in God and His revealed Word—his helmet, that which covers his head in the day of battle, that which keeps off from the seat of life every deadly assault, is salvation, or as St. Paul expresses it in 1 Thess. v. 8, the hope of salvation, an inspiriting, sustaining sense of the real worth of the great prize for which he is contending. These then, the girdle, the breast-plate, the sandals, the shield, the helmet, make up the defensive armour of a Christian, with these on him, no weapon forged against him by the Devil can have any prevailing force. But this is not all, the Christian in his warfare, does not always stand on the defence. He must in his turn be the assailant, and so, over and above what we have enumerated, there is given to him one other piece of armour, a weapon for attack—a weapon sharp and well tempered, able to pierce even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow—and that weapon is the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Such is the Christian arrayed for battle, so ought we to be arrayed, every one of us, for the contest in which we are engaged. Each day when we rise, and go forth into the world, our care should be to have on the whole armour of God. Each day should we look well to our armour, and see that no weak part of our spiritual being is exposed. Each day should we bear with us into whatever company we may go, truth, righteousness, peaceableness, faith, hope—the hope that maketh not ashamed ! So far, then, of the whole armour of a Christian warrior. But, as my text will shew, it is chiefly of one part that I would speak this morning. It would be impossible in one sermon to discuss every portion of it. Enough if today we fix our thoughts for a few minutes on one, and that not the least essential piece in the divine armour, the girdle—enough, if when we quit the church this morning, we quit it with some good resolves to look well in future to this particular part of our array—if we go home convinced perhaps more deeply than we had been before, of the infinite importance of truth—truth in our words and truth in our actions. And first of truth in our words—of speaking the truth and nothing but the truth always. That this should be our aim and habit, none will dispute. Even were nothing said about it in the Bible, we should still maintain it to be our duty, to speak the truth. Nations who never heard of Christianity have recognized the same duty; have by a kind of moral instinct honoured and inculcated truth. Of the three things which the Persians of old, ignorant as they were of the true God, thought most necessary to teach their children, this was one—to speak the truth. Then how much more should we honour, and teach our children to honour truth, who besides the same inward sense to guide us, which the heathen had, have over and above the express law of our God on the matter. For we must indeed have read our Bible to little purport