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cation. Have you, then, ever seriously considered what that spiritual meaning is? Have you considered, that upon your rightly understanding this your true discipleship, or, in other words, your salvation, depends? Have you ever prayed to God to aid you in this examination, by the teaching of his Holy Spirit? If you have, I need not ask you the result. It has been, doubtless, this, that the renunciation of which our Saviour speaks, if it mean not an outward and literal, calls for an inward and spiritual, separation from every earthly tie; more deep, more lasting, and harder to flesh and blood, than if we, literally, parted with all our possessions, and set out upon the world as naked as we entered it. But I will add, that this separation is not grievous to the enlightened mind; but that, on the contrary, it is the only true liberty of the soul; the only rest that it can find, or solid happiness it can enjoy, on this side heaven.
Nothing, then, I repeat it, can secure us, amidst the iniquity which abounds, but that firm and close adherence to Almighty God, which establishes his throne in our hearts, and enables us to feel, that greater is he that is in us, than he that is in the world.
To aid you in attaining to a state so blessed, it is our duty to set before you every suitable means and motive in our power; and, amongst the rest,
the example of those who shine as lights in a dark place. It is good for us to see that there are some, who, in the midst of an evil generation, are willing to know, in order that they may do, the whole will of God concerning them. Allow me, then, briefly to call your attention to one such instance. I have had, within these few days, a communication from some unknown individual, of whom I may speak as of one dead, because he assures me that I never can know who he is in the present life. From this person I have received a letter, enclosing five pounds, for the poor of our parish; and asking for my counsel, as a Christian minister, upon a matter of conscientious doubt. He represents himself as having a family, who depend chiefly on his industry for support. This industry, he speaks of, as having been abundantly blessed: so that, after providing for his household all things necessary to life and godliness, a considerable overplus remains. Now, the question put to me is this: "Is it my duty" (and here the writer quotes many appropriate passages of Scripture)-" is it my duty to give all this overplus to the poor, and thus leave it to Almighty God alone to take care of me, if I come to old age, and of my beloved family when I am dead, having laid up no treasure for either, but in heaven?" This excellent man expresses himself
as anxious to be told, without reserve, the utmost extent of what the Gospel may, in this particular, require. Nay, he declares, that, were he to consult merely his own feelings, he would be deeply gratified at hearing that he ought to give up all. "For then," he adds, " having done this, I could, with more confidence, plead for the poor at the throne of grace, and commit them, and their miseries, into the hands of God." This letter speaks, in all the fulness of the writer's heart, of the utter worthlessness of any sacrifice he can make on the score of merit. He speaks, in the most affecting terms, of his own sinfulness, by nature and by practice, and declares that all his hopes are built upon the atonement, made for sinners upon the cross. I think it right to mention, that in answer to the question proposed, I merely said, that I did not think that the New Testament required the relinquishment he thought of. That it did, indeed, call on all who name the name of Christ, to give, according to their several ability, largely to his representatives, the poor. That the only wealth a man could call his own, is what he gives to the needy and distressed: for, when he leaves all his earthly treasures behind him, he will find this laid up for him in heaven. But that I considered, if the wealthy lived in all sobriety and godliness, they would
assist even the poor themselves, by employing them in their several trades and businesses, more than by relinquishing, for their sakes, the stations of trust in which God had placed them. Such was the advice I offered (in all humility), to one, at whose feet it might be well for me to sit.
This person (let me repeat it, to set all vain curiosity about him at rest) has assured me, that even I, who have received his letter, can never know him on this side of eternity.
May we all so live, that, through the atonement of a Saviour, and the mercies of God, we may meet this true disciple, till then unknown to us, in the morning of a blessed resurrection; and see him where the merciful shall obtain mercy; and behold this stranger crowned with glory, and giving praise unto God and unto the Lamb, for ever!
ST. JOHN, ix. 41.
"JESUS SAID UNTO THEM, IF YE WERE BLIND, YE SHOULD HAVE NO SIN: BUT NOW YE SAY, WE SEE; THEREFORE YOUR SIN REMAINETH."
THESE words were spoken, on the following occasion. Our Lord had just given sight to one that had been born blind: and this man, for his honest confession, that Jesus had wrought the miracle, was persecuted by the Pharisees, and put out of the synagogue. But he was no loser by his fidelity. For no sooner does our Lord find him thus cast out, and thus injuriously treated, than he calls him to a still higher illumination, than that of nature; even to "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ." Struck with the remarkable contrast, between the happy state of this persecuted man, and the delusion of his persecutors, our blessed Saviour utters these awful expressions: "For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind." The Pharisees, perceiving that they were pointed at, reply, "Are we blind also?" They were blind indeed; but not in such a sense,