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7. They are for the profit and advantage of our fellow Christians. "Do good unto all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." Gal. vi, 10. "These things (good works) are good and profitable unto men.' "Tit. iii. 8. "Whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" 1 John iii. 17.

These are the scripture reasons for the practice of good works; yet vain man would add an eighth, which he thinks preferable to all the rest, though in fact it tends to subvert and defeat the whole gospel plan of salvation; namely, to recommend us to the favour of God, either in whole or in part, or at least to serve as conditions of our justification and acceptance. Sir R. Hill.

Grace, saith St. Augustine, belonging to God, who doth call us; and then hath he good works, whosoever received grace. Good works, then, bring not forth grace; but are brought forth by grace. The wheel, saith he, turneth round, not to the end that it may be made round; but because it is first made round, therefore it turneth round. So no man doth good works to receive grace by his good works; but because he hath first received grace; therefore, consequently, he doth good works. And in another place, he (Saint Austin) saith: Good works do not go before, in him which shall afterwards be justified; but good works do follow after, when 'a man is first justified. St. Paul therefore teacheth, that we must do good works, for divers respects: 1. To show ourselves obedient children to our heavenly Father, &c. 2. For that they are good declarations and testimonials of our justification. 3. That others, seeing our good works, may the rather be stirred up and excited, &c. Homily of Fasting.

How runs the heavenly edict, in this case made and provided? “I will, that they who have believed in God, for pardon of sin, and life eternal, be careful to maintain good works." Tit. iii. 8. How beats the pulse of a believing soul? You may feel it in that generous demand, made by the Psalmist, "What shall I render nnto the Lord," for delivering me from impending death, from deserved

damnation; and "for all the benefits that he hath done unto me?" Ps. cxvi. 12. A grateful heart wants not the goad; but is a spur to itself. How leans the bias of his nature? He is new-born, "created in Christ Jesus unto good works;" Eph, ii. 10. “his delight is in the law of the Lord," Ps. i. 2. Whatever is our supreme delight, we are sure to prosecute, and prosecute with ardour. “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard," (Acts iv. 20.) was the profession of the apostles; if applied to practical godliness, it is the experience of the Christian.

Nor can his main interest be secure without a holy obedience; because the Judge of the world, at the day of eternal retribution, will declare to the workers of iniquity, "I never knew you; depart from me;" Matt. vii. 23. because holiness, though not the cause of our admittance to the beatific vision, is so necessary a qualification, that "without it no man shall see the Lord." Heb. xii. 14. Without it there is no access to heaven, neither could there be any enjoyment in heaven.

Obedience, personal obedience, is necessary, because this is the most authentic proof of our love to the gracious Redeemer. "If ye love me, keep my commandments." John xiv. 15. This is a comfortable evidence of our union with that exalted head. "He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit." John xv. 5. This is also the most effectual method of adorning our profession, and of winning our neighbours to embrace the gospel. "Let your light," the light of your exemplary conversation, not only appear, but "shine before men, that they, seeing your good works," may think honourably of your religion, (Matt. v. 16.) " may glorify your Father which is in heaven," and say, with those proselytes mentioned by the prophet, "We will go with you."


Are not these obligations, real obligations, obligations whose reality will never be disputed, whose force must always be felt by the true believer? "Do we then make void the law," through an imputed righteousness? No, verily; but if gratitude to the crucified Jesus have any constraining influence; if a concern for our own comfort and happiness have any persuasive energy; if there be any thing inviting, any thing desirable, in the prospect of ho

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ouring God and edifying man;

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we establish the law." By all these generous, manly, endearing motives, we enforce its precepts,

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This is also a very important link of our chain. must not only be careful to maintain good works, but he must be careful also how he employs his time. I could picture out to myself, that, when the soul of "Christian" leaves the body, whether in the morning or the evening, day or night, it will be conducted by a guardian angel, or ministering spirit, through the air to its place of destination; and, at the appointed time it will be conducted, by one of the officers of the court, to the bar of judgment; (for "it is appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment;") where he must give an account of every idle hour, every thought, word, and action, while in the body; where the book of remembrance will be opened, and the Judge, who sees a thousand years as a day, and a day as a thousand years, will say, by way of preliminary to the various charges and counts recorded even against the soul of the Christian*" Sinner at the bar, how did you employ your time, while down in yonder world?"+

Then will conscience read aloud the various charges against the soul of "Christian" before his Judge, and shall turn over, as it were, the leaves of his misspent time, in hours, days, and years; and will then resign him, without friend or counsellor, into the hands of justice.

1 Pet. iv. 18.

+ I have often remarked this question put by the judge to the prisoner at the bar in the Old Bailey: How do you employ your time? The answer generally gives the character of the prisoner.

"Shall I, then, be industrious to shorten what is no longer than a span, or to quicken the pace of what is ever on the wing? Shall I squander away what is unutterably important, while it lasts, and, when once departed, is altogether irrecoverable? O my soul, forbear the folly; forbear the desperate extravagance. Wilt thou chide, as a loiterer, the arrow that boundeth from the string; or sweep away diamonds, as the refuse of thy house? Throw time away! Astonishing, ruinous, irreparable profuseness! But oh! be parsimonious of thy days; husband the precious hours. They go connected, indissolubly connected, with heaven or hell. Improved, they are a sure pledge of everlasting glory; wasted, they are a sad preface to never-ending confusion and anguish.”

This is that moment-who shall tell
Whether it lead to heaven or hell?
This is that moment-as we choose,
The immortal soul we save or lose.


Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children. Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient; but rather giving of thanks.

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord:

walk as children of light.

Wherefore he saith, Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

See, then, that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Ephes. v. 1, 4, 8, 14–16.

Our moments slip away silently and insensibly; the thief steals not more unperceived from the pillaged house. And will the rus agates never stop? No: wherever we are, however employed, time pursues his incessant course. Though we are listless and dilatory the great measurer of our days presses on,


presses on,

in his

unwearied career, and whirls our weeks, and months, and years away. Is it not, then, surprisingly strange to hear people complain of the tediousness of their time, and how heavy it hangs upon t


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hands? To see them contrive a variety of amusing artifices to accelerate its fight, and to get rid of its burden? Ah! thoughtless mortals! Why need you urge the headlong torrent? Your days are swifter than a post, which, carrying despatches of the last importance, with unremitted speed scours the road. They pass away like the nimble ships, which have the wind in their wings, and skin along the watery plain. They hasten to their destined period with the rapidity of an eagle, which leaves the stormy blast behind her, while she cleaves the air, and darts upon her prey.

Now the day is gone, how short it appears! When my fond eye beheld it in perspective, it seemed a very considerable space. Miautes crowded upon minutes, and hours ranged behind hours, exhibited an extensive draught, and flattered me with a long progression of pleasures. But, upon a retrospective view, how wonderfully is the case altered! The landscape, large and spacious, which a warm fancy drew, brought to the test of cool experience, shrinks into a span, just as the shores vanish, and mountains dwindle to a spot, when the sailor, surrounded by skies and ocean, throws his last look on his native land. How clearly do I now discover the cheat! May it never impose upon my unwary imagination again! I find there is nothing abiding on this side eternity. A long duration, in a state of finite existence, is mere illusion. Hervey.

Leisure is pain; takes off our chariot wheels;
How heavily we drag the load of life!
Blest leisure is our curse; like that of Cain,
It makes us wander, wander earth around,
To fly that tyrant, Thought. As Atlas groan'd
The world beneath, we groan beneath an hour.
We cry for mercy to the next amusement;
The next amusement mortgages our fields;
Slight inconvenience! Prisons hardly frown,
From hateful time if prisons set us free;
Yet when death kindly tenders us relief,
We call him cruel; years to moments shrink;
Ages to years; the telescope is turn'd
To man's false optics, (by his folly false.)

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